programme was rattling us back to war. It has had exactly
the opposite effect. The sight of this enormous, this almost
terrifying, power which Britain is building up has a sobering
effect, a steadying effect, on the opinion of the world. Every-
one knows that these forces, great and powerful as they are,
are not going to be used for aggression. We cannot regard
the prospect before us with satisfaction or even with equani-
mity. We have glimpses revealed to us from time to time
of vast expenditures going on into the dim spaces of the future.
This is no time to sit idle while the boat drifts on to the
cataract, and I desire to see our country strong, because I
believe that in her strength lies the best hope of peace. Side
by side with a process of building up her strength I will lose
no opportunity of trying to remove the causes of strife or
war. Neither past memories nor present misrepresentations
will deter me from doing what I can to restore confidence
and tranquillity of mind in Europe. This is no change of
policy. These are the views I have expressed both in private
and public at any time during the last three or four years.
They were well known to all my colleagues when I became
* Prime Minister, and they have not changed since.
" Because I do not share the views of the Opposition that
one has to take sides with the party they favour in Spain, they
charge me with having a bias towards dictators."
MR. COCKS : " Absolutely true."
THE PRIME MINISTER : " There is no foundation for the
charge. But I have to deal with a world in which dictatorships
exist. I have no interest in other forms of government, except
in so far as they react on other countries. I have no bias in
favour of Nazism, Fascism or Bolshevism, because all of them
seem to me to be inconsistent with what is all-important to
me, because it is the root of my political creed, and that is
individual liberty. No sensible man will ask that liberty, even
the liberty of the individual, should be completely unfettered.
That would merely be to allow one individual to gratify his
own selfishness at the expense of others. But subject to reason-
able restrictions, I believe in liberty of thought, of speech,
of action. Without that there can be no true democracy.
I do not believe that a democracy need necessarily be less
efficient than other systems of government. It may, indeec^