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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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response to any suggestion for disarmament, we are bound
to take all steps necessary to fill up any deficiencies there may
be in our defences. For, while I hope we shall always be
ready to discuss in a reasonable spirit any grievances or any
injustices that may be alleged to exist, it is to reason that we
are prepared to listen and not to force. Nor can we forget
that we have obligations not only to our own people at home,
but to those for whom we are responsible in the British Empire
and to the allies who are bound to us by treaty.
" Those obligations we must be ready to fulfil, and our
preparations have now proceeded far enough for us to say with
confidence that we are in a position to do so. But let me once
again repeat this. No one recognizes more fully than I that
the process of piling up armaments for whatever cause must
in time exhaust the resources of any nation, resources which
should properly be devoted to the advancement of the pros-
perity and happiness of its own people. No one, therefore,
would more gladly than I join in any international arrangement
that would limit or reduce armaments all round by mutual
agreement.
" More than once in recent weeks I have sustained a certain
shock in seeing myself described as c that old man.* Certainly
I am not conscious of the approach of old age either in my
mental or physical powers. But in one respect, perhaps, the
passage of years has left its mark upon me, and that is in the
recognition of the futility of ambition, if ambition leads to
the desire for domination. For once again history teaches that
attempts at domination are never long successful and have
never added to the happiness of nations which have attempted
it. Past experience has shown that there is an innate resistant
force arising out of fear for the loss of liberty, combined with
the ever-present passion for national self-expression, which
makes domination difficult and precarious.
" It seems to me, therefore, that happiness must be sought
in other directions. Something depends upon our material
condition, upon our ability to command a standard of comfort
which each sets for himself. But even more are we dependent
for our happiness upon our mental condition, upon our
freedom from apprehension, upon the possession of that peace
of mind without which no material comforts can bring saris-