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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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crisis. I am convinced that after Munich the great majority
of British people shared my hope, and ardently desired that
that policy should be carried further. But to-day I share their
disappointment, their indignation that those hopes have been
so wantonly shattered.
" How can these events this week be reconciled with those
assurances which I have read out to you ? Surely as a joint
signatory of the Munich Agreement I was entitled, if Herr
Hitler thought it ought to be undone, to that consultation
which is provided for in the Munich declaration. Instead of
that he has taken the law into his own hands. Before even
the Czech President was received, and confronted with
demands which he had no power to resist, the German
troops were on the move, and within a few hours they were
in the Czech capital.
" According to the proclamation which was read out in
Prague yesterday, Bohemia and Moravia have been annexed
to the German Reich. Non-German inhabitants, who of
course include the Czechs, are placed under the German
Protector in the German Protectorate. They are to be subject
to the political, military, and economic needs of the Reich.
They are called self-governing States, but the Reich is to take
charge of their foreign policy, their Customs and their Excise,
their bank reserves, and the equipment of the disarmed Czech
forces. Perhaps most sinister of all, we hear again of the
appearance of the Gestapo, the secret police, followed by the
usual tale of wholesale arrests of prominent individuals, with
consequences with which we are all familiar.
" Every man and woman in this country who remembers
the fate of the Jews and the political prisoners in Austria must
be filled to-day with distress and foreboding. Who can fail
to feel his heart go out in sympathy to the proud and brave
people who have so suddenly been subjected to this invasion,
whose liberties are curtailed, whose national independence
has gone ? What has become of this declaration of * No
further territorial ambition * ? What has become of the
assurance' We don't want Czechs in the Reich * ? What regard
had been paid here to that principle of self-determination oa
which Herr Hitler argued so vehemently with me at Berchtes-
gaden when he was asking for the severance of Sudetenland