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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

insupportable, because it runs counter to all our most funda-
mental conceptions of the framework of human society. But
I fully recognize that these ideas are not held universally, and
it seems to me neither useful nor desirable to criticize others
because they prefer systems which would not suit us but do
suit them.
" One other observation I would make on this subject,
and it is this: History teaches us that no form of government
ever remains the same. The change may come by slow degrees
or it may come suddenly like an explosion. But change in
one form or other is inevitable and it would seem to follow,
therefore, that we should be careful not to shut ourselves off
from contact with any country on account of a system which
in the course of time may well undergo such modifications
as to render it very different from what it is to-day.
" Let me now turn to another aspect of British policy, that
which is concerned with our military preparations. You
whose business it is to watch and report upon the trend of
opinion in this country cannot fail to have noticed that,
though there may be differences about the methods of carrying
out the aims of our foreign policy, there is practical unanimity
about the necessity of pushing forward the progress of
our armament programme. That programme was originally
designed to be carried out in f five ' years, three of which have
now gone by. From the beginning we made it clear that the
programme was flexible and must be modified from time to
time in the light of changing circumstances.
" In fact the programme has been modified in two direc-
tions ; it has been accelerated and it has been expanded, and
those modifications have demanded very considerable efforts
on the part of industry, of labour, of the taxpayer, and of the
individual whose time and services have been called for.
So far from resenting these demands the people of this country
have shown that they are ready to make even greater efforts
if they should be demanded. Is that to be considered as
evidence that our people are war minded ? Not in the least.
Their hope is that these armaments may never be required;
certainly they will not be required for aggressive purposes.
" But while we hear so much talk about the advantages of
force, while we see others accumulating force and making no