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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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Despite the manifest importance of national unity on matters
of foreign policy, the Opposition persisted in their attacks on
the Government. On the ^th April^ Mr. Arthur Greenwood
moved on behalf of the Socialist Party :
" That, as the foreign policy of His Majesty's Government
cannot arrest the dangerous drift towards war and is inconsistent
with their election pledges, this House is of opinion that the issue
should be submitted to the country without delay.'*
This issue, however, was one which the Opposition leaders
seemed more anxious to use as an argument than to fight over.
It was indeed growing increasingly clear in the country that their
programme of military alliances and provocatively self-righteous
declarations would almost certainly result in, war, and a War
Party was likely to be extremely unpopular with the average
voter. Mr. Greenwood's speech seemed designed to avoid any
reference to the terms of the Motion he had proposed. He
contented himself with taunting the Government with cowardice,
declaring with a fine disregard of historical accuracy " that
Great Britain had never leen so humiliated since the seventeenth
century when Van Tromp sailed up the Thames." Not only
did the Opposition make no attempt to avoid the appearance of
national disunity, but its members felt no obligation to ease
the strained international atmosphere by any moderation in
their utterances about foreign statesmen. The spokesman
of the Socialist Party referred to a recent'speech by the head o
the Italian State as one of " iragg, ttuf, braggadocio and
cowardice." At the end of his speech, Mr. Greenwood made
two references which read curiously in the light of after events.
" We would rather have a peace conference before a war than
one after the next war" " The people of this land, in the words
of Disraeli, want peace with honoury and it is the responsibility
of the Government to give our people that which they
At 4.50pjn. the Prime Minuter rose to reply.