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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

would have been necessary for France also to say that. Is any-
body prepared to suggest that France, who was bound by
solemn treaty to give aid and assistance to Czechoslovakia if
she was the subject of unprovoked aggression, should repudi-
ate this obligation beforehand ? I would not have cared to
have been the one who made such a suggestion to a French
Minister.
" It was impossible for us to take either of these courses,
either to say that we would stand by Czechoslovakia if she
were attacked, or to say that in no circumstances would we be
involved if she were attacked and other countries were in-
volved. What we did do, and it was the only course we could
take, was twofold. We advised the Czech Government
repeatedly to come to terms with the Sudeten Germans, and
when Germany mobilised we uttered no threats, but we did
utter a warning. We warned her again and again that if as a
consequence of her obligations France was engaged in active
hostilities against Germany we w^ere bound to support her.
When we were convinced, as we became convinced, that
nothing any longer would keep the Sudetenland within the
Czechoslovakian State, we urged the Czech Government as
strongly as we could to agree to the cession of territory, and
to agree promptly. The Czech Government, through the
wisdom and courage of President Benes, accepted the advice
of the French Government and ourselves. It was a hard
decision for anyone who loved his country to take, but to
accuse us of having by that advice betrayed the Czecho-
slovakian State is simply preposterous. What we did was to
save her from annihilation and give her a chance of new life
as a new State, which involves the loss of territory and fortifica-
tions, but may perhaps enable her to enjoy in the future and
develop a national existence under a neutrality and security
comparable to that which we see in Switzerland to-day.
Therefore, I think the Government deserve the approval of
this House for their conduct of affairs in this recent crisis
which has saved Czechoslovakia from destruction and Europe
from Armageddon.
" That is all I want to say of the past. I come to the present
and the future. First of all I want to say a word or two about
some allusions which have been made, I understand, to