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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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" T T has been my lot to listen to more than one speech by a
X Minister who came to this House to explain the reasons
why he had felt it necessary to resign his office in the Govern-
ment. I have never been able to listen to such speeches
without emotion. When a man gives up, as my right hon.
Friend has so eloquently described, a great position, and
association with friends in the pursuit of work in which he
takes a pride and interest, and gives up these things for con-
science* sake, everybody must listen to him with respect. One
must feel, too, sympathy for a man struggling to explain the
reasons which have separated him from his colleagues con-
scious that among them, at any rate, he has been in a minority.
But I am sure my right hon. Friend (Mr. Duff Cooper) will
not think me discourteous if this afternoon I make no attempt
to answer him or to defend myself against the strictures which
he has made upon the policy which the Government have been
pursuing. It is not that I have anything to withdraw or to
regret, but that in the course of this Debate there will be, no
doubt, other criticisms which can be answered before the
Debate closes, along with those of my right hon. Friend., and
that I desire to open the discussion with the speech that I
would have made if my right hon. Friend had not resigned, in
order that I may try and give the House the background, as
we see it, for the events that have taken place and for the
decisions that have been taken.
" When the House met last Wednesday, we were all under
the shadow of a great and imminent menace. War, in a form
more stark and terrible than ever before, seemed to be staring
us in the face* Before I sat down, a message had come which
gave us new hope that peace might yet be saved, and to-day,
only a few days after, we all meet in joy and thankfulness
that the prayers of millions have been answered, and a cloud
of anxiety has been lifted from our hearts. Upon the Members
of the Cabinet the strain of the responsibility of these last few
weeks has been almost overwhelming, Some of us, I have no