" When Mr. Lloyd George complains, as he did the other
day, that I am a very obstinate man, my reply is that I am not
going to be diverted from the policy which I believe to be
right for this country by criticism which seems to me to be
as ill-informed as it is ill-natured.
" What I do regret about the attitude of the Opposition is
the impression it creates abroad of national disunity. I believe
that to be a completely false impression.
" I do not believe that the country desires us to abandon
our efforts to establish and maintain peace—efforts which,
as I am continually hearing, have already changed the atmo-
sphere on the Continent for the better. I do not believe that
the people want us to substitute for that attitude one of chal-
lenge and aggression, which may sound very heroic, but which
is apt to involve us in frightful consequences.
" We are day by day building up the strength of this
country. The stronger a country is, the more it can afford to
be patient, and even generous. In our view our strength
should be kept in reserve until we are satisfied that only by its
use can we preserve our own or our vital interests....
"... I am not sure that the public fully realises the gigantic
effort we are making in this defence programme. Our ship-
building yards have a tremendous number of warships to
build. Orders for new warships that we have placed since
April, 1935, amount to something like half the tonnage of the
entire fleet as it existed at that time.
** We are beginning to see the results to-day in these power-
ful new cruisers and destroyers, along with a lot of smaller
craft, which are joining the fleet in a continuous stream. Our
enormous programme of battleship construction and recon-
struction will ensure our continued supremacy in capital
" It is not possible for me to give details of the additions
which have been made to the Air Force, but the number and
quality of our fighter and bombing machines are becoming
more formidable every day.
" New factories are to be built at Crewe for an increased
output of aero engines by the Rolls-Royce company. All