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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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Miss RATHBONE :   " What are you doing to strengthen
THE PRIME MINISTER : " —that it can fulfil its purpose,
that it can be an efFective instrument for the prevention of war
and the establishment of settled peace in the world, and we
shall do our best, as we said at the time, to increase the
efficiency of the League until it is capable of performing its
functions. It cannot perform those functions to-day. [HON.
MEMBERS : c Why ? '] If hon. Members want to know why
that situation has changed, I can give them the answer in the
words of my predecessor, Lord Baldwin. Speaking on this
subject as long ago as 23rd June, 1936, the same year as the
speech was made to which the right hon. Gentleman referred,
Lord Baldwin was talking about sanctions, and he said :
" c The ultimate sanction is always war, and unless the
sanction you apply is such as to bring the aggressor to his
knees, war is inevitable/
He went on to say :
" c Where there is an aggressor it would be quite impossible
for the nations that wished to exercise the power of military
sanctions against the aggressor or a group of aggressors to do
it unless they are in a position to do it at once and together.
— If collective action is to be a reality and not merely a thing
to be talked about, it means not only that every country is to
be ready for war, but must be ready to go to war at once.
That is a terrible thing, but it is an essential part of collective
That was the explanation which Lord Baldwin gave of why it
was not possible for the League to exercise the functions
which had originally been designed for it and to secure col-
lective security. If it be true that the League cannot properly
be described to-day as the keystone of British policy, but only
in the future, it is not because we have changed our policy.
We are still intending to make the fullest use we can of the
League within the limits which must be recognised, but we
say that it is to-day in no state to fulfil the conditions which
Lord Baldwin laid down as being essential to collective
security. To deny that, as I understood the right hon. Gentle-