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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

148 ________---------------------------------------------------
no need to assume the use of force, or, indeed, to talk about it.
Such talk is to be strongly deprecated. Not only can it do
no good; it is bound to do harm. It must interfere with
the progress of diplomacy, and it must increase feelings of
insecurity and uncertainty.
" There is another subject which is of such great importance
that the House will rightly expect me to make reference to
it. With regard to the unhappy situation in Spain the policy
of His Majesty's Government has been plainly declared.
That policy has consistently, from the outbreak of the con-
flict, been one of non-intervention in Spanish affairs and loyal
observance of our obligations under the Non-intervention
Agreement. This policy was adopted in view of the dangerous
international situation which threatened to develop with the
first signs of civil strife in Spain. From the early stages of the
conflict the prospect of open and active assistance to both
Spanish parties from outside constituted a real menace to the
peace of Europe. If nothing had been done to check this
process, it might well have culminated in a general European
war. His Majesty's Government, acting in concert with the
French Government, came to the conclusion that the only way
to avert this very serious threat was by doing their utmost to
induce other European Powers to fall in with their own
determination to adopt a completely impartial attitude to both
parties in Spain and to refrain from giving material assistance
to either side.
" His Majesty's Government are fully alive to the fact
that repeated infringements of the practice of non-intervention
from more than one quarter have taken place, and they
deeply regret it. But serious as are these infringements, they
do not alter the judgment of His Majesty's Government that
the policy of non-intervention, even though infractions of this
policy may take place, affords the best means of avoiding a
major conflagration. In the meanwhile, His Majesty's Govern-
ment, in a spirit of complete impartiality, have devoted their
efforts to such humanitarian work as has been possible for the
benefit of the Spanish people as a whole. They have greatly
deplored the excesses committed during this strife as affecting
the^civilian population, and they have taken every opportunity
which presented itself to convey to both sides their strong