pronouncements, and in that event it would be well within
the bounds of probability that other countries, besides those
which were parties to the original dispute, would almost
immediately become involved. This is especially true in the
case of two countries like Great Britain and France, with long
associations of friendship, with interests closely interwoven,
devoted to the same ideals of democratic liberty, and deter-
mined to uphold them.
" It remains for His Majesty's Government to state their
attitude in regard to the proposal made by the Government
of the U.S.S.R. that an early conference should be held for the
purpose of discussion with certain other Powers of the
practical measures which in their opinion the circumstances
demand. His Majesty's Government would warmly wel-
come the assembly of any conference at which it might be
expected that all European nations would consent to be
represented, and at which it might therefore be found possible
to discuss matters in regard to which anxiety is at present felt.
In present circumstances, however, they are obliged to
recognise that no such expectation can be entertained, and the
Soviet Government do not, in fact, appear to entertain it.
Their proposal would appear to involve less a consultation
with a view to settlement than a concerting of action against
an eventuality that has not yet arisen. Its object would
appear to be to negotiate such mutual undertakings in advance
to resist aggression as I have referred to, which, for the
reasons I have already given, His Majesty's Government for
their part are unwilling to accept. Apart from this, His
Majesty's Government are of opinion that the indirect, but
none the less inevitable, consequence of such action as is
proposed by the Soviet Government would be to aggravate
the tendency towards the establishment of exclusive groups
of nations, which must, in the view of His Majesty's Govern-
ment, be inimical to the prospects of European peace.
" Great Britain has repeatedly borne witness to the prin-
ciples on which she considers the peace of the world depends.
We do not believe that any stable order can be established
unless by one means or other recognition can be secured for
certain general principles. The first is that differences between
nations should be resolved by peaceful settlement and not