214 --------------—----------------------------------- misunderstandings. And the ease with which, once we had broken the ice and begun conversations, we were able to reach agreement on every aspect of the situation which we discussed shows, I think, that I was right in that view and that there was no real and solid foundation for supposing that our interests were opposed to one another. " You probably know that we cannot put the Agreement into full operation until we can regard the Spanish situation as settled, and consequently find ourselves in a position formally to recognise the Italian situation in Abyssinia* But already the mere fact that we have made this Agreement has resulted in a perceptible easing of the tension. " The approval with which the Agreement has been received in France, in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in the Dominions, in America, and even in Russia, shows that it is generally recognised as a long step forward in the direction of general appeasement and peace. " Now, is it not strange that, when the whole world seems to be rejoicing at this Agreement, there should be one quarter from which it is criticised and scoffed at ? And that quarter is, as perhaps you would expect, in the two branches of the Opposition in the House of Commons. " The Opposition pay lip service to the cause of peace, but with them party interests come before country, and they don't scruple to misrepresent the motives and the actions of the Government if by so doing they think they can discredit it with the electors. Their latest device is to make personal attacks upon the Prime Minister and to declare that he has abandoned the League and become a Fascist. " I do not think that personal attacks are very effective, nowadays, unless they put the victim off his sleep, and I can assure you that they have not done that, or unless the charges which are brought can be shown to be true. In this case they are the very reverse of the truth. I am, and always have been, against any form of dictatorship in this country, whether it be of the Right or of the Left. The introduction of Fascism here would certainly breed Communism and vice versa, and both Fascism and Communism alike are utterly inconsistent with our democratic notions of equality and liberty.