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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

254 --------—---------------------------------------------------------
selves abstained from .making suggestions as to the particular
method of trying to solve this Czechoslovakian question,
although, of course, in this country we have had a certain
amount of experience of the difficulty of trying to provide for
local government without endangering the stability of the
State. We have, perhaps, in that respect had as much experi-
ence as any country in the world.
" But while we have felt that an agreement voluntarily
come to, if it could be reached between the Sudeten Germans
and the Czech Government, would be the best solution,
nevertheless, as time has gone on, it has begun to appear
doubtful whether, without some assistance from outside, such
a voluntary agreement could take place. In those circum-
stances, His Majesty's Government have been considering
whether there were some other way in which they could lend
their help to bring the negotiators together, and, in response
to a request from die Government of Czechoslovakia, we have
agreed to propose a person with the necessary experience and
qualities to investigate this subject on the spot and endeavour,
if need be, to suggest means for bringing the negotiations to
success. Such an investigator and mediator would, of course,
be independent of His Majesty's Government—in fact, he
would be independent of all Governments. He would act
only in his personal capacity, and it would be necessary, of
course, that he should have all the facilities and all the informa-
tion placed at his disposal in order to enable him to carry
through his task.
" I cannot assert that a proposal of that kind will necessarily
bring about a solution of this problem, but I think it may
have two valuable results. First of all, I think it would go far
to inform public opinion generally as to the real facts of the
case, and, secondly, I hope that it may mean that issues which
hitherto have appeared intractable may prove, under the
influence of such a mediator, to be less obstinate than we have
thought. But it is quite obvious that the task of anyone who
undertakes this duty is going to be a very exacting, very
responsible, and very delicate one, and His Majesty's Govern-
ment feel that they are fortunate in having secured from
Lord Runciman a promise to undertake it, provided he is
assured of the confidence of the Sudeten Germans—I hope