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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

atmosphere of good will in the world, because that is the
essential preliminary of a League that will work. I mentioned
just now those events which took place just a month ago,
and which terminated in the inclusion of Austria in the German
Reich. I do not think that the people of this country would
want to interfere in a case where two States desired to join
together, but there were features about the methods which
were employed in this particular case of union which were
extremely distasteful to His Majesty's Government, and which
profoundly shocked public opinion.
" One result of that shock has been in the general desire
which has been manifest throughout the country to do some-
thing to demonstrate our solidarity, and there have been dis-
cussions in the Press and elsewhere as to the ways in which
individuals can do something to show their willingness to
put their services at the disposal of the country. One sugges-
tion has been made that the Government should institute a
voluntary register, so that men and women could enrol
themselves for some form of public service. I very warmly
welcome the spirit which lies behind that suggestion, but,
after thinking it over very carefully, I have come to the
conclusion that it would not be likely to give satisfactory
results in peace time. It is no use to register for work unless
there is some work to do for which the person who registered
is suited, and I am afraid if we started a voluntary register we
would find a great many people either registering for work
not immediately wanted, or registering for work for which
they had not the necessary qualifications. If it was to be of any
use, it would have to be constantly revised, or otherwise it
would quickly get out of date, and I cannot help thinking
that this continual re-registering without any visible result
would soon weary and would cause disappointment and dis-
illusionment.
At any rate, I dare say many of you know the employment
exchanges to-day have got exact particulars of the qualifica-
tions and whereabouts of over 12,000,000 workers in industry
and commerce, and I may tell you, too, that we have already
prepared a carefully thought-out scheme of compulsory
registration which in an emergency could be put very rapidly
and very smoothly into operation.