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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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limited, that they had no wish to dominate other races, and
that all they wanted was to assimilate Germans living in terri-
tory adjacent to their country. We were told that when that
was done that was to be the end, and there were to be no more
terrritorial ambitions to be satisfied. Those assurances have
now been thrown to the winds. That is the new fact which has
completely destroyed confidence and which has forced the
British Government to make this great departure of which I
gave the first intimation on Friday.
" It is true we are told now that there are other reasons for
recent events in Czechoslovakia—historical associations, the
fear of attack. Well, there may be excellent reasons, but they
do not accord with the assurances which were given before.
It is inevitable that they should raise doubts as to whether
further reasons may not presently be found for further expan-
sion. I am not asserting that to-day this challenge has been
made. No official statement that I know of has ever formu-
lated such ambitions, although there has been plenty of
unofficial talk; but the effect of these recent events has pene-
trated far beyond the limits of the countries concerned, and
perhaps far further than was anticipated by those who brought
them about. It is no exaggeration to say that public opinion
throughout the world has been profoundly shocked and
alarmed. This country has been united from end to end
by the conviction that we must now make our position clear
and unmistakable whatever may be the result.
" No one can regret more than I do the necessity to have to
speak such words as those. I am no rnore a man of war to-day
than I was in September. I have no intention, no desire, to
treat the great German people otherwise than as I would
have our own people treated. I was looking forward with
strong hopes to the result of those trade discussions which
had already begun in Germany, and which, I thought, might
have benefits for both our countries and many other coun-
tries besides, but confidence which has been so grievously
shaken is not easily restored. We have been obliged, there-
fore, to consider the situation afresh.
" It is not so long ago that I declared my view that this
country ought not to be asked to enter into indefinite, unspeci-
fied commitments operating under conditions which could not