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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

134 .,---------------------------------------------------.---------
hardly justified by the evidence before us. Why does he
think a victory is imminent ? It may be, I am not saying it is
not; but we have heard on a good many occasions that
victory was imminent on one side or the other. I remember
the right hon. Gentleman coming back from Spain and saying
that the other side were on the point of victory. There have
been successive disappointments, first on one side and then
on the other for quite a long time.1 I ask myself, supposing
it be true that that which suddenly seems to have altered the
situation in favour of General Franco's forces, does presage
what I may call a complete victory, can it be said that that
is due to the accession of fresh forces and munitions to his side?
[HON. MEMBERS : * Yes.'] Of course, it can be said, but can
it be supported ? After all, there are foreign forces on both
sides. There are rumours of additions to the foreign forces on
both sides, but as far as I am concerned I am bound to say
that I have not yet seen evidence which I can feel was con-
vincing and reliable as to the numbers or quantities of the
forces or munitions on either side.
" Hon. Members opposite admit that they are partisans in
this matter. They believe every story against the other side
and disbelieve all the stories which they think are not favour-
able to their own side. I cannot take up that line. I have to
weigh the evidence before I found upon it action which may
involve His Majesty's Government first, and then the people
of this country, in serious consequences. I say that so far the
rumours, although they may be considered to be more or less
probable, are still only rumours, and I have no definite
evidence of these fresh accessions of forces which hon.
Members opposite appear to take for granted. As far as I can
see, there is no reliable evidence that, whatever may be the
effect of this recent advance of General Franco, he has not
been able to carry it through with the forces which were at
his disposal and have been at his disposal for some time.
" I ask myself, in the second place, what is this Ministerial
policy for which the right hon. Gentleman has called, and
1 Mr. Chamberlain was right in his forecast of the Spanish military
situation: the Opposition wrong. After General Franco's victory in
March and the arrival of his armies on the Mediterranean coast, a long
period of deadlock set in on all fronts.