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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

--------------------------------_-----------------------------  239
who thinks what another war would mean, can fail to agree
with me and to desire that I should continue my
efforts.
" Ever since the beginning of the war in Spain my colleagues
and I realized the inherent danger in the situation, that it
might lead to war in Europe; and it was because of that
consideration that, in conjunction with the Government of
France, we decided very early upon a policy of non-inter-
vention with the express purpose of confining the civil war
to Spain and preventing it from becoming a general con-
flagration. We have had endless difficulties in that policy,
but in spite of them all, in spite of the sneers and the jeers of
the Oppositions, we have succeeded in our main objects.
We have kept other countries out of the war, and to-day, at
long last, the British plan for the withdrawal of foreign
volunteers from Spain has been accepted, and we are hope-
ful that it will not now be long before they leave that country
to Spaniards.
" The situation has been complicated by the bomb-
ing by General Franco's aeroplanes of British ships
entering the zone of hostilities in Spanish ports, and the
Government have been fiercely denounced by those great
patriots who sit opposite to us in the House of Commons
for allowing the British flag to be insulted, and particularly
for allowing British property to be destroyed. There is
nothing like your Socialists for standing up for British
property. Well now, a long time ago we gave a warning
to British shipowners that, while we were intending to
gVe them full protection so long as their ships were on the
gh seas, we could not undertake to protect them after
they had entered territorial waters in the zone of fighting, and
we said that, because, after very carefully examining all the
possible means of giving them protection, we were satisfied
that we could not do so without at any rate a very considerable
risk of being ourselves involved in the war.
" Well, now, the risks which are run by these ships literally
mean that the rate of freight which has to be paid is very high,
and shipowners are getting as much as four and five times the
ordinary rates of freight for voyages to these ports* We have
given this warning. If, in spite of it and for the sake of making