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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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17*   ------------------------—------—•-----------------------
and yet the whole of the Opposition, the Socialists and Liberals^
with the notable exception of the veteran George Lansbury
and George's friends who have the courage to express their
approval, have denounced these conversations with the utmost
bitterness. They have painted the most fantastic pictures
of the subjects which we are supposed to be discussing. They
have talked about vast loans, about surrenders to dictators,
about the gullibility of the Prime Minister in believing a
single word that was said to him, and even declare that they
believe we were going to sacrifice the British Empire itself
in a panic.
" I only ask you to have a little patience, to wait a little
longer—and I do not think it will be very much longer—
before our agreement with Italy is concluded and published,
and then, if you are not of my opinion, if you do not believe
that it is not the Prime Minister who has been fooled, but the
Socialists and Liberals who have fooled themselves, I will be
prepared to eat my hat.
" No, believe me, the Government have a very clear and
definite foreign policy, which they keep always before them,
and which they continue to pursue by various methods
according to the circumstances of the time. The object of
that policy is to maintain peace and to give confidence to the
people, if that be possible, that peace will be maintained, so that
they may all go about their occupations free from a sense
of menace lurking always in the background.
" Our policy is based upon two conceptions. The first
is this: That, if you want to secure a peace which can be
relied upon to last, you have got to find out what are the
causes of war and remove them. You cannot do that by sitting
still and waiting for something to turn up. You have got to
set about it. You have got to inform yourself what are the
difficulties, where are the danger spots, what are the reasons
for any likely or possible disturbance of the peace ; and,
when you have found that out, you must exert yourself to find
the remedy.
" The second conception is this: In any armed world
you must be armed yourself. You must see to it that your
preparations, or defensive and offensive forces, are so organised
and built up that nobody will be tempted to attack you, but