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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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MR. ATTLEE : " May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to
bear in mind that those who advocate a Ministry of Supply do
not accept for a moment the idea that it must have compulsory
powers ? "
THE PRIME MINISTER : " I said that it must involve com-
pulsory powers if it was to produce an appreciable effect. If
the right hon. Gentleman does not accept that, perhaps he will
say, when he again intervenes in the Debate, in what way it
will produce an appreciable effect without compulsory powers.
I have never yet been able to discover how it can be done.
Generally, on the military side we have not yet completed
the consideration of the review which we have made, but, as I
stated in answer to a question, there will be an opportunity in
the new Session of Parliament to have a full debate on this
subject. I would like, however, to make two general observa-
tions on the subject now. The first is this. I want hon.
Members to remember that our programme of rearmament is
a five-year programme, and we are now only in the third year
of that programme. To argue that because everything had not
been completed in the third year the programme had broken
down is to lose sight altogether of the fact that it was never
intended to be completed in three years. I doubt whether it
would have been possible, if we had endeavoured to do so at
the beginning of die programme, to squeeze a five-year pro-
gramme into three years. But, to conclude, our review does
bring up the special urgency of certain parts of that pro-
gramme and the necessity for reinforcement of certain weak
spots, which, if they were allowed to continue, might
jeopardise the effectiveness of the whole system which we have
built up. Therefore, we have to address ourselves to this
point. The measures which it will be necessary to take will
undoubtedly add to the total cost of armaments as we had
hitherto contemplated.
" That brings me to my second observation, which con-
cerns the use which is to be made of these armaments. I tried
on 5th October to give as clear an exposition as I could of the
Government's policy; but I regret to observe that since then
doubts have been expressed in some quarters, both at home and
abroad, as to whether this review, this bringing up to standard,
of the scale of our armaments, is consistent with the peaceful