which may present themselves for such conversations because
other Powers do many things we don't like, if by taking
advantage of those opportunities we could put an end to the
old quarrels, settle our differences, and avert the danger of war.
These are the two related members of our foreign policy
—on the one hand, building up of defence forces and on the
other hand entering into friendly conversations and relations
with other Powers. That policy is already bearing fruit.
" When I remember all the long years of our differences
with Ireland, all the bitterness and hatred engendered in the
past in the course of that struggle, I am amazed at the universal
approval which has welcomed the success of our efforts to
reach agreement with Mr. de Valera's Government in Southern
Ireland. It involves large concessions and sacrifices on our
part, but in the view of His Majesty's Government all that we
give away will be repaid if we can once and for all close an old,
unhappy chapter and open a new one of trust and friendship
between our two countries. We are confident that our
expectation of that happy result will not be found to be dis-
appointed, but that these new relations we have now opened
with a country which we are to call Eire, will result in increased
strength and prosperity for two nations which have been
placed by Providence side by side, and which cannot afford
to quarrel with one another.
" Still more important to the cause of world peace is the
Agreement we have made with Italy. I have not changed
in any respect the opinions I expressed about the Italian con-
quest of Abyssinia at the time. But, after all, the League of
Nations was not able to stop that conquest or restore the
situation to what it was before, and in the meantime relations
between Italy and ourselves had been poisoned by the action
which we, in common- with others, took in pursuance of our
obligations under the Covenant.
" Those relations were deteriorating so fast that we were
rapidly approaching a situation full of danger which might
easily have led to our being involved once again in war.
When I became Prime Minister I made up my mind that it
was necessary for us to make another and a determined effort
to avert that dangerous situation. I believed that the quarrel
-between us rested largely upon unfounded suspicions and