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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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contrary, claim that I am a better friend of the League than
some of those who speak of it. The League to-day is muti-
lated ; it is halt and maimed j and those who, like myself, do
their best to build it up afresh to be a real world League------"
COLONEL WEDGWOOD : " A League of dictators."
THE PRIME MINISTER:   "------which could protect the
weak and limit the powers of the strong, serve it better than
those who would attempt to put on it in its present state tasks
which are manifestly beyond its strength. What is, in fact,
meant by this phrase that peace can be attained only through
collective security under the League of Nations ? We have
never said that in no conceivable circumstances could col-
lective security under the Covenant be provided, but I ask
what small country in Europe to-day, if it be threatened by a
larger one, can safely rely on the League alone to protect it
against invasion? I challenge hon. Members opposite to
answer that question. There can be only one honest answer to
it, and that is ' none,' although a small nation may have
powerful friends who will act as its guardians and protectors,
and so preserve the peace. If that be so, why should we try
to persuade small nations that they can rely on peace wherefc
there is no peace ? Why should we mislead them by giving
them an assurance of security when any such security can be
only a delusion ?
" The ideals of the League are grand and magnificent, and
I will never believe that they are not ultimately attainable. We
shall not bring them nearer by pretending to ourselves that
they are within our grasp, because it will require prolonged
and sustained effort before that can be achieved. In all such
efforts the Government will take their full share just because
we believe in the possibility that the League may some day
be the salvation of the world. Since we must recognise
that that day is still far away, we shall do well to take thought
for the perplexities of the hour, which will not wait.
" A study of the White Paper, and perhaps much more,
any observation of what is going on in the country to-day,
will convince people of the enormous progress that we have
made in the building up of our defensive forces. It has made
a deep impression upon foreign nations. I remember that in
tb§ Leader of the Opposition said that our armaments