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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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confidence in its capacity to keep the peace, then there will be
no need for us to trouble our heads about our own defence;
it will be done for us. But until that day comes—I am afraid
it is a great way off yet—we must think first of the safety of
this country and the safety of the peoples for whom we are
responsible. When we have made what seems to us to be
adequate provision for all that, then the size and the strength
of the forces which we have built up will be a measure of the
contribution which we can make to collective action for peace,
whatever form that action may take. I would add only this
last word. The value of any guarantee which we may give
or of any treaty obligation into which we may enter must
in the last resort depend upon our ability to implement the
obligations or the guarantees upon which we have entered.
" I now turn to the situation with which we are more
particularly concerned this afternoon. His Majesty's Govern-
ment have expressed the view that recent events in Austria
have created a new situation, and we think it right to state
the conclusions to which consideration of these events has led
us. We have already placed on record our judgment upon the
action taken by the German Government. I have nothing to
add to that. But the consequences still remain. There has
been a profound disturbance of international confidence. In
these circumstances the problem before Europe, to which in
the opinion of His Majesty's Government it is their most
urgent duty to direct their attention, is how best to restore
this shaken confidence, how to maintain the rule of law in
international affairs, how to seek peaceful solutions to questions
that continue to cause anxiety. Of these the one which is
necessarily most present to many minds is that which concerns
the relations between the Government of Czechoslovakia and
the German minority in that country; and it is probable
that a solution of this question, if it could be achieved, would
go far to re-establish a sense of stability over an area much
wider than that immediately concerned.
" Accordingly, the Government have given special attention
to this matter, and in particular they have fully considered
the question whether the United Kingdom, in addition to
those obligations by which she is already bound by the
Covenant of the League and the Treaty of Locarno, should,