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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

374 --------------------------------------------------—-----•------------
concluded between democratic and authoritarian States.
Surely that is an achievement which calls for satisfaction
rather than pessimism, and one which should encourage
us to persist in a policy which has given such remarkable
results.
" Of course, I am well aware that the Munich Agreement
has been described in some quarters not as an example of
co-operation but as a defeat for democracies. The curious
thing is that that description comes from men who are proud
to call themselves democrats. I cannot help thinking that
such pronouncements do no service to democracy or to the
chances of further international co-operation. In my view
we should not try to assess the results of such meetings in
terms of victory or defeat. We should rather remember what
was the alternative which the Munich Agreement averted—
namely, an attempt to effect a revision of the Treaty of
Versailles by force instead of by discussion, an attempt which
would certainly have resulted in a condition of affairs very
different from the peaceful atmosphere in which we are dining
here to-night.
" Moreover, other results followed the Munich Agreement
besides the settlement of the Czechoslovak frontiers. Last
September the peoples of four great countries, Great Britain,
France, Germany, and Italy, were brought face to face with
the imminent horrors of war. In imagination they saw hus-
bands, brothers, and sons torn from their families, perhaps
never to return; they saw their homes wrecked, their children
terrified or mutilated, their happiness and peace of mind
gone for ever. When the news of the Munich Agreement was
known, a sigh of relief and thankfulness went up from the
whole world, which felt a load lifted from its heart.
"Do you think those days are forgotten ? I do not believe
it. I must deplore the recent attitude of the German Press,
which, in one case, has not scrupled to pour its vituperation
against our most respected statesman, himself only recently
the Prime Minister of this country, and in few cases has
shown much desire to understand our point of view. Never-
theless, I am convinced that the wish of our two peoples
remains still as it was recorded in the Munich Declaration—
namely, that never again should Ve go to war with one