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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

---------------------------------------------------------------   275
intense relief when they thought, too soon, that the danger
of war was past.
" If I felt my responsibility heavy before, to read such
letters has made it seem almost overwhelming. How horrible,
fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches
and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-
away country between people of whom we know nothing.
It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already
been settled in principle should be the subject of war.
" I can well understand the reasons why the Czech Govern-
ment have felt unable to accept the terms which have been
put before them in the German memorandum. Yet I believe
after my talks with Herr Hitler that, if only time were allowed,
it ought to be possible for the arrangements for transferring
the territory that the Czech Government has agreed to give
to Germany to be settled by agreement under conditions
which would assure fair treatment to the population concerned.
" You know already that I have done all that one man
can do to compose this quarrel. After my visits to Germany
I have realised vividly how Herr Hitler feels that he must
champion other Germans, and his indignation that grievances
have not been met before this. He told rne privately, and
last night he repeated publicly, that after this Sudeten German
question is settled, that is die end of Germany's territorial
claims in Europe.
" After my first visit to Berchtesgaden I did get the assent
of the Czech Government to proposals which gave the
substance of what Herr Hitler wanted, and I was taken
completely by surprise when I got back to Germany and
found that he insisted that the territory should be handed
over to him immediately, and immediately occupied by
German troops without previous arrangements for safe-
guarding the people within the territory who were not
Germans, or did not want to join the German Reich.
" I must say that I find this attitude unreasonable. If it
arises out of any doubts that Herr Hitler feels about the
intentions of the Czech Government to carry out their promises
and hand over the territory, I have offered on the part of the
British Government to guarantee their words, and I am sure
the value of our promise will not be underrated anywhere.