Skip to main content

Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

See other formats

-----------------------------------—------------------------------ 399
it cannot hurt us to add a few tens of millions to our annual
expenditure, even if those tens of millions produce no return
whatever?   My second observation is that in my view it
would be criminal to allow the situation to go on developing
as it has been developing without making some determined
effort to put a stop to it*   I listened yesterday to a very eloquent,
indeed impassioned speech by the hon. Member for Burslem
(Mr.  MacLaren).    He spoke with great sincerity, which I
think appealed strongly to all those who heard it.   He begged
us not to allow people to slip down this slope like Gadarene
swine, and suggested that the leaders of nations ought here
and now to call a conference to consider whether the time
had not come to agree upon disarmament.   If I could believe
that such a conference would produce an effective result at
this moment—[HON. MEMBERS :   * Have a try.5]—I would
not hesitate to call it.   But a conference that failed would be
worse than no conference.   I feel that, before it is possible
to anticipate success from such a conference, we must be sure
that those who came to it would come with good will and with
a determination to produce the desired result*   I do not feel
that we have sufficient confidence established yet to make
that conference a practical proposition at this moment*"
MR. MAXTON : " Will the Prime Minister allow me to
interrupt him for a moment ? I am keenly interested in this
part of his speech. He says that no conference would be
worth having unless there was a spirit of good will among
those who attended it ; but were those conditions
present when he went to Berchtesgaden, Godesberg and
Munich ? "
THE PRIME MINISTER : " Yes, Sir; I think that those
who went to the conference at Munich went there with the
intention of making that conference succeed. (Interruption.)
That was the only conference. If I felt the same confidence
that a conference for disarmament would come to a satisfactory
conclusion now, I should be die first to advocate it But, as I
say, I think we have to be a little further advanced in confidence
before the time for such a conference has arrived. Perhaps
it would not be a bad thing if we ourselves were to show a
litde more confidence, and not to allow ourselves to beBeve
every tale that comes to us about the aggressive intentions