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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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MR. HERBERT MORRISON : <c Has there been no census since
MR. CHAMBERLAIN : " The reason was because the position
in 1918 was to be taken as the basis, the argument being—I am
not saying this is my view, I am only explaining the position
—that the position had been deliberately changed since 1918
by the introduction of Czechs into areas which in 1918 were
predominantly German, and therefore if a census had been
taken later than 1918 it would not have met that particular
objection. Once the Czechoslovakian Government had,
accepted that decision of the International Commission, which
they did on I3th October, it became apparent that there
was no longer any need for plebiscites. The Czechs agreed
that the lines which had been determined in accordance \vith
that basis should be the provisional frontier, but that it should
be subject to examination and modification not only in
accordance with strictly ethnographical lines but also taking
into account the economic considerations, and it will be
observed that in consequence of that agreement the line may
be modified not only in those areas in which, under the
original Agreement, there would have been a plebiscite, but
the whole line from one end to the other may be reconsidered.
As it had been decided not to have any plebiscite there was,
of course, no occasion for any international force to occupy
the plebiscite areas, and therefore His Majesty's Government
were not able to avail themselves of the very public-spirited
offer which had been made by the British Legion for this
purpose. I should like, on behalf of the Government, to
express our very warm appreciation of the offer and our
confidence that had the need materialised members of the
British Legion would have distinguished themselves as much
in peace as they formerly did in war.
"Another point to which the right hon. Gentleman
addressed himself referred to the rights of optants. He said
the clause referring to optants was entirely illusory. I do not
know by what right he said that. I do not know whether he
is aware of the present position. Under Article 7 of the
Munich Agreement it is provided that a German-Czech Com-
mission was to settle the details of this right of option. They
were to determine ways of facilitating the transfer of those