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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

prepared to enter into a gamble of that kind, and though the
stern necessity for war may arise in the future, as it has arisen
in the past, I would not give the word for it unless I were
absolutely convinced that in no other way could we preserve
our liberty.
" Then there are other critics who say they cannot under-
stand what the policy of His Majesty's Government is, and
they conclude therefore that there can be no policy. You
may remember what Johnson said to a man who said he could
not understand his reasoning: ' Sir, I can give you a reason,
but I cannot give you understanding.' Our policy has been
stated often enough and clearly enough, but nevertheless, I
will state it again to-night. But before I come to that, I would
like to say to you what our policy is not.
" Our policy is not one of dividing Europe into two
opposing blocs of countries, each arming against the other
amidst a growing flood of ill-will on both sides, which can
only end in war. That seems to us to be a policy which is
dangerous and stupid. You may say we may not approve of
dictatorships. I think, perhaps, most of us in this room
do not approve of them, but there they are. You cannot
remove them. We have to live with them, and to us in the
Government it seems that, while we must continue to arm
until we can get a general agreement to disarm, it is only
common sense that in the meantime we should try to establish
friendly relations with any country that is willing to be friends
with us. We should take any and every opportunity to try
to remove any genuine and legitimate grievances that may
exist.
" During the recent weeks we have been engaging in
conversations for this purpose with the Italian Government,
with the result that a whole cloud of suspicions and misunder-
standings has been blown away. There is to-day a good
prospect of restoring those old friendly relations which, until
they were recently broken, had lasted so long that they had
become almost traditional between our two countries.
" Anyone would think that such a happy change as that,
such a lightening of the tension, such a prospect of getting
rid of a state of feeling which was becoming a menace both to
Italy and ourselves, would have been welcomed everywhere,