Skip to main content

Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

See other formats

150 ---------_-------------------------------------------------------
make good their assurances. They believe that, with the spirit
of mutual confidence in which both Governments are address-
ing themselves to the task, it will be possible through these
conversations to reach complete agreement.
" In an earlier passage of my speech I referred to the
obligations, legal or moral, which lie upon us. We recognise
that these obligations imply also that we should be in a position
to fulfil them, and we have made and are making strenuous
efforts to that end. Nevertheless, in accordance with our
expressed intention of reviewing our programme from time
to time in the light of changing circumstances, we have
considered the position afresh, and we have decided that still
further efforts are now called for. These efforts must be
devoted to increasing production and accelerating the com-
pletion of the rearmament programme. The details of that
programme have been from time to time laid before Parlia-
ment. Recently, in connection with the Estimates for the
Defence Departments, statements have been submitted
to the House of Commons as to the steps to be taken in
the next financial year. The existing programme, however,
has been carried out with the intention of interfering as
litde as possible with normal trade. In practice, notwith-
standing this limitation, an increasing degree of priority over
civil work has been gradually accorded to rearmament orders,
with the result that in some cases the execution of orders for
home and export trade has been delayed. The additional
skilled and semi-skilled labour required by the programme has
occasionally had to be provided by withdrawing labour from
other activities. Only by such means has it been possible
to undertake the large-scale programme of production which,
in spite of some delays, is now continuously and rapidly
increasing in volume.
" We had hoped that further acceleration, with its conse-
quent interference with normal commercial work, might have
been avoided, but, as I have already said, we have always
made it^ clear that the Defence programme was flexible and
was subject to review from time to time in the light of changes
in the international situation. We have now corne to the
conclusion that in the present circumstances acceleration of
existing plans has become essential and, moreover, that