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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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BEG to move:

That this House welcomes the intention of His
Majesty's Government to bring the Anglo-Italian Agreement
into force/
"Yesterday, in speaking of the Declaration signed at
Munich by Herr Hitler and myself, I said I thought that if it
were suitably followed up it might well be found to contain
the seed which would ultimately "develop into a new era of
confidence and peace in Europe* Somewhat the same idea
was expressed, in different language, by the right hon. Gentle-
man the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Attlee) when he asked
whether we must always wait for subjects of difference
between nations to give rise to threats of war before we
considered them ripe for peaceful discussion and negotiation.
Since we made an Agreement with Italy on i6th April last,
I am glad to think that there are no differences between our
two countries [An HON. MEMBER : * What about Spain ? *]
but it is clear that if the improvement in our relations which
so markedly followed upon the conclusion of that Agreement
is to be maintained, the delay in putting the Agreement into
force, which had already lasted for more than six months,
cannot be indefinitely prolonged.
"It is not necessary for me this afternoon to discuss the
merits of the Agreement itself. The terms of the Agreement
were debated in this House last May, and on the 2nd of that
month, a Motion, which was moved by me, of approval of
the Agreement was carried by a large majority. Of course,
I am well aware that the Opposition resisted the Motion
then, and naturally I do not expect them to have changed
their views, but the question we have to consider to-day is
not whether this is a good Agreement or not. That has already
been settled as far as this House is concerned. The question
we have to consider is whether the time has now cotne to
put it into force, and whether the preliminary condition
M                               351