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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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" I want to utter one word of warning* People are apt
to think that, with all this talk of recruiting and arming and
air raid precautions, the Government must be expecting that
a war is going to come upon us very soon. If such an idea
has occurred to you, get it out of your mind. The exact
contrary is the case. As I have tried to explain to you, our
whole policy is directed towards maintaining peace. But we
are convinced at the same time that one of the ways to ensure
peace is to make ourselves ready for war. Remember that
there are many interested people who are watching very
closely what is going on in this country* You must look
upon these preparations not merely as a precaution against
war, but as one of the most effective deterrents.
" I should have liked to have dwelt for a time upon some
other topics. I should have liked to have shown you, as I
could by many illustrations, that, in spite of all our pre-
occupations with foreign affairs, we have not forgotten our
home needs, and we are still doing many things to improve
our social services, particularly in connection with housing
and our various insurance schemes. I would like to have
shown you how we are all the time taking measures to main-
tain the conditions under which our industry and our agri-
culture can continue to expand and prosper. But I must leave
a fuller discussion of these topics to another occasion, because
to-night I have rather thought it was my duty to tell you first
of all of our efforts to keep this country out of war, and
secondly to urge you to do your part in playing up and
completing our defensive organisation.
" I have confined myself to those topics sadly and reluc-
tantly. There are many here to-night who can look back
some twenty years, and who may remember me as a member
of our city council here, when all my ambitions were to
do something to help the people whom we were serving to
lead healthier and happier lives. To-day, when my responsi-
bilities cover so much wider a field, I should be happy if I
could still concern myself only with those same objects. To
me the very idea that the hard-won savings of our people,
which ought to be devoted to the alleviation of suffering,
to the opening out of fresh institutions and recreations,
to the care of the old, to the development of the minds and'