Skip to main content

Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

See other formats

—---------------...................     —-------—------------------  177
bodies of the young—the thought that these savings should
have to be dissipated upon the construction of weapons of
war is hateful and damnable. Yet I cannot shut my eyes to
the fact that under the present conditions of the world we
have no alternative but to go on with it, because it is the very
breath of our British being, our freedom itself, that is at stake.
" Do not let us forget that this freedom has come down to
us from the past, bought for us at a price. If we wish to keep
it we must pay the interest on that price in each succeeding
generation, but there is no need to look forward to the future
with apprehension, and still less with despair. We pass no
judgment here upon the political systems of other countries,
but neither Fascism nor Communism is in harmony with our
temperament and creed. We will have nothing to do with
either of them here. And yet, whatever differences there
may be between us and other nations on that subject, do
not forget that we are all members of the human race and
subject to the like passions and affections and fears and desires.
There must be something in common between us if only we
can find it, and perhaps by our very aloofness from the rest
of Europe we may have some special part to play as conciliator
and mediator. An ancient historian once wrote of the Greeks
that they had made gentle the life of the world. I do not
know whether in these modern days it is possible for any
nation to emulate the example of the Greeks, but I can imagine
no nobler ambition for an English statesman than to win
the same tribute for his own country/'