Skip to main content

Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

See other formats

276 _---------------------------------------------------------.____
" I shall not give up the hope of a peaceful solution, or
abandon my efforts for peace, as long as any chance for peace
remains. I would not hesitate to pay even a third visit to
Germany if I thought it would do any good. But at this
moment I see nothing further that I can usefully do in the
way of mediation.
" Meanwhile there are certain things we can and shall do
at home. Volunteers are still wanted for air raid precautions,
for fire brigade and police services, and for the Territorial
units. I know that all of you, men and women alike, are
ready to play your part in die defence of the country, and I
ask you all to offer your services, if you have not already
done so, to the local authorities, who will tell you if you
are wanted and in what capacity.
" Do not be alarmed if you hear of men being called up to
man the anti-aircraft defences or ships. These are only
precautionary measures such as a Government must take in
times like this. But'they do not necessarily mean that we
have determined on war or that war is imminent.
" However much we may sympathise with a small nation
confronted by a big and powerful neighbour, we cannot in
all circumstances undertake to involve the whole British
Empire in war simply on her account. If we have to fight
it must be on larger issues than that. I am myself a man of
peace to the depths of my soul. Armed conflict between
nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that
any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by
fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted. Under
such a domination life for people who believe in liberty would
not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must
be very clear, before we embark on it, that it is really the
great issues that are at stake, and that the call to risk every-
thing in their defence, when all the consequences are weighed,
is irresistible.
" For the present I ask you to await as calmly as you can
the events of the next few days. As long as war has not
begun, there is always hope that it may be prevented, and
you know that I am going to work for peace to the last
moment. Good night."