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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

a surgical operation was necessary to save the life of the
patient.
" After all, the first and the most immediate object of my
visit was achieved. The peace of Europe was saved ; and, if
it had not been for those visits, hundreds of thousands of
families would to-day have been in mourning for the flower
of Europe's best manhood. I would like once again to express
my grateful thanks to all those correspondents who have
written me from all over the world to express their gratitude
and their appreciation of what I did then and of what I have
been trying to do since.
" Really I have no need to defend my visits to Germany last
autumn, for what was the alternative ? Nothing that we could
have done, nothing that France could have done, or Russia
could have done could possibly have saved Czechoslovakia
from invasion and destruction. Even if we had subsequently
gone to war to punish Germany for her actions, and if after the
frightful losses which would have been inflicted upon all
partakers in the war we had been victorious in the end, never
could we have reconstructed Czechoslovakia as she was framed
by the Treaty of Versailles.
" But I had another purpose, too, in going to Munich.
That was to further the policy which I have been pursuing
ever since I have been in my present position—a policy which
is sometimes called European appeasement, although I do not
think myself that that is a very happy term or one which
accurately describes its purpose. If that policy were to succeed,
it was essential that no Power should seek to obtain a general
domination of Europe ; but that each one should be contented
to obtain reasonable facilities for developing its own resources,
securing its own share of international trade, and improving
the conditions of its own people. I felt that, although that
might well mean a clash of interests between different States,
nevertheless, by the exercise of mutual good will and under-
standing of what were the limits of the desires of others, it
should be possible to resolve all differences by discussion and
without armed conflict. I hoped in going to Munich to find
out by personal contact what was in Herr Hitler's mind, and
whether it was likely that he would be willing to co-operate
in a programme of that kind. Well, the atmosphere in which