Skip to main content

Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

See other formats

THE PRIME MINISTER : " My right hon. Friend asks whether
both sides have agreed, and my reply was that we have not
heard from the Sudeten Germans. We have impressed upon
the Government of Czechoslovakia, and also upon the German
Government, our own sense of the desirability of restraint
We have noted with satisfaction the efforts which the Czech
Government have made, and we have also been very happy to
receive assurances, only recently renewed, from the German
Government of their own desire for a peaceful solution. The
right hon. Gentleman asked me what assurances I had given
to the German Ambassador. I was not myself responsible
for the exact wording of the communique to which the right
hon. Gentleman has referred; but it does not mean anything
more than I have already told the House of our action in
urging the Czechoslovakian Government to try to do all they
possibly can, consistent with what they consider essential to
their own State, to come to an agreement. On the other
side, too, we have continually urged the need for patience in
a very delicate and difficult situation.
" If only we could find some peaceful solution of this
Czechoslovakian question, I should myself feel that the way
was open again for a further effort for a general appeasement—
an appeasement which cannot be obtained until we can be
satisfied that no major cause of difference or dispute remains
unsettled. We have already demonstrated the possibility of a
complete agreement between a democratic and a totalitarian
State, and I do not myself see why that experience should not
be repeated. When Herr Hitler made his offer of a Naval
Treaty under which the German fleet was to be restricted to
an agreed level bearing a fixed ratio to the size of the British
fleet, he made a notable gesture of a most practical kind in the
direction of peace, the value of which it seems to me has not
ever been fully appreciated as tending towards this general
appeasement. There the treaty stands as a demonstration that
it is possible for Germany and ourselves to agree upon matters
which are vital to both of us. Since agreement has already
been reached on that point, I do not think that we ought to
find it impossible to continue our efforts at understanding,
which, if they were successful, would do so much to bring
back confidence.