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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

quite different. There will be many who think that they
have sufficient knowledge to form a sound and considered
judgment upon these events. But I think probably the great
majority do not fully understand the situation and would
welcome a little guidance, because they feel that what has
happened, and still more what is going to happen, must
vitally affect their interests and those of the generations which
are going to come after them. It is to those people in particular
that I want to speak to-night. Since, as I am not infrequently
reminded, I am no orator, I shall use such plain and simple
language as I can command.
" First of all I should like to get rid of the idea that at
Munich there was a clash between different systems of govern-
ment and that the result was a victory for one side or the
other. Now of course you always get enthusiasts who are
more royalist than the King, and who make claims which are
in no way sponsored by their leaders. They are like the
claims which are put forward in war time when, as you may
read any time now in our newspapers, both sides declare
that in the same action they inflicted a crushing defeat upon
their adversaries. By a curious perversion sometimes we
get an equally extravagant claim that it was the speaker's
own side that suffered defeat and humiliation. I confess
that, for my part, I do not understand a state of mind which
desires to advertise the defeat of its own country. At any
rate I, who happened to be there, can tell you that at Munich
there was no clash—there was no question of a victory or
defeat for either side. And I think if we are wise we shall
find that one of the most gratifying features about Munich
was that four Great Powers, owning different systems of
government, were able to sit down together to agree without
quarrelling upon the main outlines of a settlement of one of
the most thorny and dangerous international problems of
our time.
" If we are able to do that, does it not encourage us to
think that it must be possible for such Powers to agree on
other things as well—to agree, not only on preventing disaster,
but on creating happiness and prosperity for all their peoples
by mutual aid ? For every leader in every country, whatever
may be his political creed, must surely put as the first of his