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BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
AN AGENCY OF THE BRITISH GO: VERN MEN.T
OF THE DAY
RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister,
March 21, 1943.
RT. HON. ANTHONY EDEN, Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, April 1, 1943.
RT. HON. CLEMENT R. ATTLEE, Secretary of State for
Dominion Affairs, February 28, 1943.
RT. HON. L. S. AMERY, Secretary of State for India,
March 12, 1943.
RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary and
Minister of Home Security, February 13, 1943.
Issued April 1943
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RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
Broadcast, March 21, 1943
Let me first of all thank the very great numbers of people who have made
kind inquiries about me during my recent illness. Although for a week I had
had a fairly stiff dose of fever, which but for modern science might have had
awkward consequences, I wish to make it clear that I never for a moment had
to relinquish the responsible direction of affairs. I followed attentively all the
time what was happening in Parliament and the lively discussions on our home
affairs when peace comes.
It was very clear to me that a good many people were so much impressed by
the favorable turn in our fortunes which has marked the last six months that they
have jumped to the conclusion that the war will soon be over and that we shall
all be able to get back to the politics and party fights of peace time.
I am not able to share these sanguine hopes, and my earnest advice to you is
to concentrate even more zealously upon the war effort and, if possible, not to
take your eye off the ball even for a moment. If tonight, contrary to this advice,
I turn aside from the course of war and deal with some post-war and domestic
issues it is only because I hope that by so doing I may simplify and modify political
divergencies and enable all our political forces to march forward to the main
objectives in unity and, so far as possible, in step.
First of all, we must beware of attempts to overpersuade or even coerce His
Majesty's government to bind themselves or their unknown successors in conditions
which no one can foresee and which may be years ahead, to impose great new
expenditures on the state without any relation to circumstances which might prevail
at that time and to make them pledge themselves to particular schemes without
relation to other extremely important aspects of our post-war needs.
The business of proposing expenditures rests ultimately with the responsible
government of the day, and it is their duty and their duty alone to propose to
Parliament any new charges upon the public and also to propose in the annual
budget the means of raising necessary funds.
The world is coming increasingly to admire our British Parliamentary system
and ideas. It is contrary to those ideas that the ministers or members should
become pledge-bound delegates. They are a band of men who undertake certain
honorable duties and they would be dishonored if they allowed their right and
duty to serve the public as well as possible on any given occasion to be prejudiced
by the enforced premature contraction of obligations.
Nothing would be easier for me than to make any number of promises and
to get an immediate response of cheap cheers and glowing reading articles. I am
not in any need to go about making promises in order to win political support or
to be allowed to continue in office. It was on a grim and bleak basis that I under-
took my present task and on that basis I have been given loyalty and support
such as no prime minister has ever received.
I cannot express my feelings of gratitude to the nation for their kindness
to me and for the trust and confidence they have placed in me during the long,
dark and disappointing periods.
Iam absolutely determined not to falsify or mock that confidence by making
promises without regard to whether they can be performed or not. At my time
of life I have no personal ambitions or future to provide for. And I feel I can
truthfully say that I only wish to do my duty by the whole mass of the nation and
of the British Empire as long as I am thought to be of any use for that.
Therefore I tell you, round your firesides, that I am resolved not to give or
to make all kinds of promises and to tell all kinds of fairy tales to you who have
trusted me and gone with me so far and marched through the valley of shadow
till we have reached the upland regions on which we now stand with firmly
However, it is our duty to peer through the mists of the future to the end
of the war and to try our utmost to be prepared by ceaseless effort and forethought
for the kind of situations which are likely to occur. Speaking under every reserve
and not attempting to prophesy, I can imagine that some time next year-but it
may well be the year after-we might beat Hitler. By which I mean, beat him
and his powers of evil into death, dust and ashes.
Then we shall immediately proceed to transport all the necessary additional
forces and apparatus to the other side of the world to punish the greedy, cruel
empire of Japan, to rescue China from her long torment, to free our own territory
and that of our Dutch allies and to drive the Japanese menace forever from the
Australian, New Zealand and Indian shores. That will be our first and supreme
task and nothing must lure us from it.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the moment when Hitler is beaten and Germany
and Italy are prostrate will mark the grand climax of the war and that will be the
time to make a new declaration upon the task before us. We and our allies will
have accomplished one great task. I repeat, one great task.
Nazi tyranny and Prussian militarism which threatened to engulf the whole
world and against which we stood alone. for a fateful year-these curses will have
been swept from the face of the earth.
If I should be spared to see that day and should be needed at the helm at
that time I shall then, with the assent of the Cabinet, propose a new task to the
British nation. The war against Japan will demand a very different arrangement
of our forces from what exists at present. There will certainly be large numbers of
British and also, no doubt, United States soldiers who it will not be physically
possibly to employ across the vast distances and poor communications of the
There will certainly be large numbers of men, not only abroad but at home,
who will have to be brought back to their families and to their jobs or to other
equally good jobs. For all these, after full provision has been made for the
garrisoning of the guilty countries, a return to something like home and freedom
will be their heart's desire. However vigorously the war against Japan is prose-
cuted, there will certainly be a partial demobilization following on the defeat
of Hitler, and this will raise the most difficult and intricate problems, and we are
taking care in our arrangements to avoid the mistakes which were so freely com-
mitted last time.
Of course, these ideas may be completely falsified by events. It may be that
Japan will collapse before Hitler, in which case quite another layout will be neces-
sary. As, however, many people wish ardently to discuss the future, I adopt for
this purpose tonight what seems to me the most likely situation.
On this assumption, it would be our hope that the United Nations, headed
by the three great victorious powers, the British Commonwealth of Nations, the
United States and Soviet Russia, should immediately begin to confer upon the
future world organization, which is to be our safeguard against further wars by
effectively disarming and keeping disarmed the guilty states, by bringing to justice
the grand criminals and their accomplices and by securing the return to the
devastated and subjugated countries of the mechanical resources and artistic treas-
ures of which they have been pillaged.
We shall also have a heavy task in trying to avert widespread famine in some,
at least, of the ruined regions. We must hope and pray that the unity of the
three leading victorious powers will be worthy of their supreme responsibility and
that they will think not only of their own welfare but of the welfare and future
of all. One can imagine that under a world institution embodying or representing
the United Nations, and some day all the nations, there should come into being
a Council of Europe and a Council of Asia.
As, according to the forecast I am outlining, the war against Japan will still
be raging, it is upon the creation of the Council of Europe and the settlement
of Europe that the first practical task will be centered. Now, this is a stupendous
business. In Europe lie most of the causes which have led to these two world wars.
In Europe dwell historic parent races from whom our Western civilization has
been so largely derived. I believe myself to be what is called a good European
and I should deem it a noble task to take part in reviving the fertile genius and
restoring the true greatness of Europe.
I hope we shall not lightly cast aside all the immense work which was accom-
plished by the creation of the League of Nations. Certainly, we must take as our
foundation of the lofty conception of freedom the law and morality which was the
spirit of the league. We must try-I am speaking, of course, only for ourselves--
to make the Council of Europe, or whatever it may be called, into a really effective
league, with all strongest forces concerned woven into its texture, with a high
court to adjust disputes and with forces, armed forces, national or international
or both, held ready to inforce these decisions and to prevent renewed aggression
and preparation of future wars.
Any one can see that this council, when created, must eventually embrace
the whole of Europe, and that all the main branches of the European family must
some day be partners in it.
What is to happen to the large number of small nations whose rights and
interests must be safeguarded? Here let me ask what would be thought of an
army that consisted only of battalions and brigades and which never formed any
of the larger and high organizations like army corps? It would soon get mopped
up. It would, therefore, seem to me at any rate worthy of patient study that,
side by side with the great powers, there should be a number of groupings of
states or confederations which would express themselves through their own chosen
representatives, the whole making a council of great states and groups of states.
It is my earnest hope, though I can hardly expect to see it fulfilled in my
lifetime, that we shall achieve the largest common measure of the integrated life
of Europe that is possible without destroying the individual characteristics and
traditions of its many ancient and historic races. All this will, I believe, be found
to harmonize with the high permanent interests of Britain, the United States and
Russia. It certainly cannot be accomplished without their cordial and concerted
agreement and direct participation. Thus, and thus only, will be glory of Europe
I only mention these matters to you to show you the magnitude of the task
that will lie before us in Europe and in Europe alone. Nothing could he more
foolish at this stage than to plunge into details and try to prescribe the exact
groupings of states or lay down precise machinery for their co-operation or, still
more to argue about frontiers now while the war even in the west has not yet
reached its full height, while the struggle with the U-boats is raging and when
the war in the Far East is only in its first phase.
This does not mean that many tentative discussions are not taking place
between the great nations concerned or that the whole vast problem of European
destiny-for that is what I am speaking of now-is not a subject of ceaseless heart
We must remember, however, that we in Britain and the British Common-
wealth of Nations, although almost a world in ourselves, will have to reach agree-
ments with great and friendly equals and also to respect and have care for the
rights of weaker and smaller states, and that it will not be given to any one
nation to achieve full satisfaction of its individual wishes.
I have said enough, however, I am sure, to show you at least in outline the
mystery and peril and, I will add, the splendor of this vast sphere of practical
action into which we shall have to leap once the hideous spell of Nazi tyranny
has been broken.
Coming nearer home, we shall have to consider at the same time how the
inhabitants of this island are going to get their living at this stage in the world
story and how they are going to maintain and progressively improve their previous
standards of life and labor.
I am very much attracted to the idea that we should make and proclaim what
might be called the four years' plan. Four years seems to me to be the right
length for a period of transition and reconstruction which will follow the downfall
We have five-year Parliaments and the four years' plan would give time for
preparation of a second plan. This four years' plan would cover five or six large
measures of practical character which must all have been the subject of prolonged,
careful, energetic preparation beforehand and which fit together into the general
When this plan has been shaped it will have to be presented to the country,
either by the national government, formally representative, as this one is, of the
three parties in the state, or by a national government comprising the best men in
all parties who are willing to serve. I cannot tell how these matters will settle
themselves. But by 1944 our present Parliament will have lived nine years, and
by 1945 ten years, and as soon as the defeat of Germany has removed the danger
now at our throats and the register can be compiled and other necessary arrange-
ments made, the new House of Commons must be freely chosen by the whole
electorate, including of course, the armed forces, wherever they may be.
Thus, whoever is burdened with the responsibility of conducting affairs will
have a clear policy and will be able to speak and act at least in the name of an
effective and resolute majority.
From what I have already said you will realize how very difficult and anxious
this period will be, and how much depends not only on our own action but on
the action of other very powerful countries. This applies not only to the carrying
to conclusion of the war against Japan but also to the disarming of the guilty and
the settlement of Europe; not only to arrangements for the prevention of further
wars but also to the whole economic process and relationships of nations, in order
that the ruin of our wealth may rapidly be repaired, that employment and pro-
duction shall be at a high level, and that goods and services be interchanged be-
tween man and man and between one nation and another under the best conditions
and on the largest scale.
The difficulty which will confront us will take all our highest qualities to
overcome. Let me, however, say straightaway that my faith in the vigor, ingenuity
and resilience of the British race is invincible.
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. The day of Hitler's downfall will
be a bright one for our country and for all mankind. Bells will clash the peal of
victory and hope and we will march forward together, encouraged and invigorated
and still, I trust, generally united upon our further journey.
I personally am very keen that the scheme for amalgamation and extension
of our incomparable insurance system should have a leading place in our four
I have been prominently connected with all these schemes of national, com-
pulsory, organized thrift from the time when I brought my friend, Sir William
Beveridge, into public service thirty-five years ago, when I was creating labor
exchanges, on which he was a great authority, and when, with Sir Hubert Llewellyn
Smith, I framed the first unemployment insurance scheme. The prime parent
of all national insurance schemes is Mr. David'Lloyd George. I was his lieutenant
in those distant days and afterwards it fell to me, as the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer eighteen years ago, to lower the pensions age to sixty-five and to bring
in widows and orphans.
The time is now ripe for another great advance, and any one can see what
large savings there will be in administration once the whole process of insurance
has become unified, compulsory and national.
Here is a real opportunity for what I once called "bringing the magic of aver-
ages to the rescue of millions." Therefore, you must rank me and my colleagues
as strong partisans of national compulsory insurance for all classes, for all pur-
poses from the cradle to the grave.
Every preparation, including, if necessary, a preliminary legislative prepara-
tion, will be made with the utmost energy, and the necessary negotiations to deal
with the existing worthy interests are being actively pursued so that when the
moment comes everything will be ready.
Here let me remark that the best way to insure against unemployment is to
have no unemployment.
There is another point. Unemployables, rich or poor, will have to be toned
up. We cannot afford to have idle people. Idlers at the top make idlers at the
bottom. No one must stand aside in his working prime to pursue a life of selfish
There are wasters in all classes. Happily, they are only a small minority
in every class, but anyhow we cannot have a band of drones in our midst, whether
they come from the ancient aristocracy or the modern plutocracy, or are the
ordinary type of pub crawler.
There are other large matters which will also have to be dealt with in our
four years' plan upon which thought, study and discussion are advancing rapidly.
Let me take first of all the question of British agriculture.
We have, of course, to purchase a large proportion of our food and vital raw
materials overseas. Our foreign investments have been expended in the common
cause. The British nation that has now once again saved the freedom of the world
has grown great on cheap and abundant food. Had it not been for the free-trade
policy of Victorian days our population would never have risen to the level of a
great power and we might have gone down the drain with many other minor
states, to the disaster of the whole world.
Abundant food has brought our 47,000,000 Britons into the world. Here
they are and they must find their living.
It is absolutely certain that we shall have to grow a larger proportion of our
food at home.
During the war immense advances have been made by the agricultural indus-
try. The position of the farmers has been improved, the position of laborers
immeasurably improved. The efficient agricultural landlord has an important
part to play. I hope to see a vigorous revival of healthy village life on the basis
of these higher wages and of improved housing-and, what with modern methods
of locomotion and the modern amusements of the cinema and wireless, to which
will soon be added television, life in the country and on the land ought to com-
pete in attractiveness with life in the great cities.
But all this would cost money. When the various handicaps of war conditions
are at an end I expect that better national housekeeping will be possible and that,
as a result of technical improvements in British agriculture, the strain upon the
state will be relieved.
At the same time, the fact remains that if expansion and improvement of
British agriculture is to be maintained, as it must be maintained, and a reasonable
level of prices is to be maintained, as it must be maintained, there are likely to be
substantial charges which the state must be prepared to shoulder. That has to be
borne in mind.
Next there is the spacious domain of public health. I was brought up on
the maxim of Lord Beaconsfield, which my father was always repeating: "Health
and laws of health." We must establish on broad and solid foundations a national
Here let me say that there is no finer investment for any community than
putting milk into babies. Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can
have. One of the most somber anxieties which beset those who look thirty or forty
or fifty years ahead-and in this field one can see ahead only too clearly-is a
dwindling birthrate. In thirty years, unless present trends alter, a smaller working
and fighting population will have to support and protect nearly twice as many
old people; in fifty years the position will be worse still. If this country is to
keep its high place in the leadership of the world and to survive as a great
power that can hold its own against external pressure, our people must be encour-
aged by every means to have larger families.
For this reason, well thought-out plans for helping parents to contribute this
lifespring to the community are of prime importance. Care of the young and
establishment of sound hygienic conditions of motherhood have a bearing upon
the whole future of the race which is absolutely vital. Side by side with that is war
upon disease, which, let me remind you, so far as it is successful will directly aid
the national insurance scheme. Upon all this, planning is vigorously proceeding.
Bearing upon health and welfare is the question of education. The future of
the world is left to highly educated races who alone can handle the scientific appar-
atus necessary for pre-eminence in peace or survival in war. I hope our education
will become broader and more liberal. All wisdom is not new wisdom, and the
past should be studied if the future is to be successfully encountered. To quote
Disraeli again in one of his most pregnant sayings: "Nations are governed by
force or by tradition." In moving steadfastly from a class to a national foundation
in politics and economics of our society and civilization, we must not forget the
glories of the past nor how many battles we have fought for the rights of the
individual and for human freedom.
We must beware of trying to build a society in which nobody counts for any-
thing except the politician or official, a society where enterprise gains no reward
and thrift no privileges. I say "trying to build" because of all the races in the
world our people would be the last to consent to be governed by bureaucracy.
Freedom is their lifeblood. These two great wars, scourging and harrowing men's
souls, have made the British nation master in its own house. The people have
been rendered conscious that they are coming into their inheritance.
The treasures of the past toil of centuries, the long built-up conceptions of
decent government and fair play and tolerance which comes from the free working
of the parliamentary and electoral institutions and great colonial possessions for
which we are trustees in every part of the globe-all these constitute parts of this
inheritance, and the nation must be fitted for its responsibilities and the high duty.
Human beings are endowed with infinitely varying qualities and dispositions, and
each one is different from the other. We cannot make them all the same. It
would be a pretty dull world if we did.
It is in our power, however, to secure equal opportunities for all. Facilities
for advanced education must be evened out and multiplied. Nobody who can
take advantage of higher education should be denied this chance. You cannot
conduct a modern community except with an adequate supply of persons upon
whose education, whether humanitarian, technical or scientific, much time and
money has been spent.
There is another element which should never be banished from our system
of education. Here we have freedom of thought as well as freedom of conscience.
Here we have been pioneers of religious toleration.
But side by side with all this has been the fact that religion has been the rock
in the life and character of the British people upon which they have built their
hopes and cast their cares. This fundamental element must never be taken from
our schools, and I rejoice to learn of the enormous progress that is being made
among all religious bodies in freeing themselves from sectarian jealousies and feuds
while preserving fervently the tenets of their own faith.
Secular schooling of the great mass of our scholars must be progressively
prolonged, and for this we must both improve our schools and train our teachers
in good time..
After school time ends we must not throw our youth uncared for and un-
supervised on to the labor market, with its blind-alley occupations which start
so fair and often end so foul.
We must make plans for part-time release from industry so that our young
people may have the chance to carry on their general education and also to obtain
specialized education which will fit them better for their work.
Under our ancient monarchy, that bulwark of British liberties, that barrier
against dictatorships of all kinds, we intend to move forward in a great family,
preserving the comradeships of war, free forever from class prejudice and other
forms of snobbery from which in modern times we have suffered less than most
other nations, and from which we are shaking ourselves entirely free.
We have made great progress, but we must make far greater progress. We
must make sure that the path to the higher functions throughout our society and
empire is really open to children of every family. Whether they can tread that
path will depend upon their qualities, tested by fair competition.
All cannot reach the same level, but all must have their chance.
I look forward to a Britain so big that she will need to draw her leaders
from every type of school and wearing every kind of tie. Tradition may play its
part, but broader systems must now rule.
We have one large immediate task in the planning and rebuilding of our
cities and towns. This will make a very great call on our resources in material and
labor, but it is also an immense opportunity not only for improvement of our
housing, but for employment of our people in the years immediately after the war.
In the far-reaching scheme for reorganizing the building industry, prepared
by the Minister of Labor and the Minister of Works, will be found another means
of protecting our insurance fund from the drain of unemployment relief.
Mr. Ernest Bevin is attacked from time to time, now from one side, now from
another. When I think of the tremendous changes which have been effected under
the strain of war in the lives of the whole people of both sexes and of every class
with so little friction, and when I consider the practical absence of strikes in this
war compared to what happened in the last, I think he will be able to take it all
You will see from what I have said that there is no lack of material for a
four years' plan for the transition period from war to peace and for another plan
For the present, during the war, our rule should be no promises but every
preparation, including, where required, any necessary preliminary legislative
Before I conclude I have to strike two notes, one of sober caution and the
other of confidence: that all our improvements and expansion must be related to
sound and modernized finance. A friend of mine said the other day in the House
of Commons that "pounds, shillings and pence were meaningless symbols." This
made me open my eyes. What, then, are we to say about the savings of the people?
We have just begun a "Wings for Victory" war-savings campaign to which all
classes have subscribed. Vast numbers of people have been encouraged to pur-
chase war savings certificates. Income tax is collected from wage-earners of certain
levels and carried to the nest egg for them at the end of the war, the government
having the use of the money meanwhile. A nest egg similar in character will be
given 'to the armed forces.
Those whose houses have been destroyed by air-raid damage and who have
in many cases paid insurance are entitled to their compensation. All those obliga-
tions were contracted in pounds, shillings and pence.
At the end of this war there will be seven or eight million people in the
country with two or three hundred pounds apiece, a thing unknown in our history.
These savings of the nation arising from the thrift, skill or devotion of indi-
viduals are sacred. The state is built around them and it is duty of the state to
redeem its faith in an equal degree of value.
I am not one of those who are wedded to undue rigidity in management
of the currency system, but this I say: that over a period of ten or fifteen years
there ought to be a fair, steady continuity of values if there is to be any faith
between man and man or between individual and state. We have successfully
stabilized prices during the war. We intend to continue this policy after the war
to the utmost of our ability.
This brings me to the subject of the burden and incidence of taxation. Direct
taxation on all classes stands at unprecedented and sterilizing levels. Besides this
there is indirect taxation raised to a remarkable height.
In war time our people are willing and even proud to pay all those taxes.
But such conditions could not continue in peace. We must expect taxation after
the war to be heavier than it was before the war, but we do not intend to shape
our plans or levy taxation in a way which, by removing personal incentive, would
destroy initiative and enterprise.
If you take any single year of peace and take a slice through the industry
and enterprise of the nation you will find work which is being done at the moment,
work that is being planned for next year, and projects for the third, fourth and
even fifth year ahead which are all maturing.
War cuts down all this forward planning and everything is subordinated to
the struggle for national existence. Thus, when peace came suddenly as it did
last time, there were no long carefully prepared plans for the future. That was one
of the main reasons why, at the end of the last war, after a momentary recovery,
we fell into the dreadful trough of unemployment. We must not be caught again
It is therefore necessary to have projects for the future employment of people
and a forward movement of our industries, carefully foreseen, and, secondly, that
private enterprise and state enterprise are both able to play their parts to the
A number of measures are being and will be prepared which will enable
the government to exercise a balancing influence upon development which can be
turned on or off as circumstances require. There is a broadening field for state
ownership and enterprise, especially in relation to monopolies of all kinds. The
modern state will increasingly concern itself with the economic well-being of the
nation, but it is all the more vital to revive at the earliest moment widespread,
healthy and vigorous enterprise, without which we shall never be able to provide
in the years when it is needed, the employment for our soldiers, sailors and airmen
to which they are entitled after their duty has been done.
In this brief survey I have tried to set before you both hopes and fears; I
have given both caution and encouragement. But if I have to strike a balance,
as I must do before the end, let me proclaim myself a faithful follower of a larger
hope. I will proceed to back this hope with some solid facts. Any one can see the
difficulties of placing our exports profitably in a world so filled with ruined
countries. Foreign trade to be of value must be fertile. There is no use in doing
business at a loss.
Nevertheless, I am advised that, in view of the general state of the world
after the defeat of Hitler, there will be considerable opportunities for re-establish-
ing our exports. Immediately after the war there will be an intense demand both
for home and export for what are called consumable goods, such as clothes, fur-
niture and textiles. I have spoken of an immense building program and we all
know the stimulus which that is to a large number of trades, including electrical
and metal industries. We have learned much about production under the stress
of war. Our methods have vastly improved. The layout of our factories presents
an entirely new and novel picture to the eye. Mass production has been forced
upon us. Electrification of industry has been increased 50 per cent. There are
some significant new industries offering scope for the inventiveness and vigor which
made this country great and which still live. When the fetters of war time are
struck off and we turn free hands to the industrial tasks of peace, we may be aston-
ished at the progress in efficiency we shall suddenly find displayed. I can only
mention a few instances. The ceaseless improvements in wireless and the wonders
of radio-location applied to the arts of peace will employ the radio industry.
Striking advances are open for both gas and electricity as servants of industry,
agriculture and the cottage home. There is civil aviation. There is forestry.
There is transportation in all its forms. We were the earliest in the world with
railways. We must bring them up to date in every respect. Here, in these few
examples, are gigantic opportunities which if used will in turn increase our power
to serve other countries with the goods they want.
Our own effort must be supported by international arrangements and agreements
more neighborlike and more sensible than before. We must strive to secure our
fair share of an augmented world trade. Our fortunes will be greatly influenced
by policies of the United States and of the British Dominions, and we are doing
our utmost to keep in ever closer contact with them. We have lately put before
them and our other friends and allies some tentative suggestions for future man-
agement of exchanges and of international currency, which will shortly be pub-
lished. This is a first installment.
I have heard a great deal on both sides of these questions during the forty
years I have served in the House of Commons and the twenty years or more I
have served in Cabinets. I have tried to learn from events and also from my own
mistakes. And I tell you my solemn belief-which is that if we act with comrade-
ship and loyalty to our country and to one another and if we can make state enter-
prise and free enterprise both serve national interests and pull the nation wagon
side by side, then there is no need for us to run into that horrible devastating slump
or into that squalid epoch of bickering and confusion which mocked and squan-
dered the hard-won victory which we gained a quarter of a century ago.
I end where I began. Let us get back to our job. I must warn every one
who hears me of a certain unseemliness, and also of the danger of it appearing
to the world, that we here in Britain are diverting our attention to a peace which is
still remote and to the fruits of a victory which have still to be won while our
Russian allies are fighting for dear life and dearer honor in a dire, deadly, daily
struggle against all the might of the German military machine; and while our
thoughts should be with our armies and with our American and French comrades
now engaged in decisive battle in Tunisia.
I have just received a message from General Montgomery that the 8th Army
is on the move and that he is satisfied with their progress. Let us wish then
godspeed in their struggle.
Let us bend all our efforts to the war and to ever more vigorous prosecution
of our supreme task.
RT. HON. ANTHONY EDEN
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Ottawa, April 1, 1943
As the war progresses we see the conception of the United Nations gradually
I believe it is better that this development should come about in this gradual
way. Co-operation, which is borne of stern necessity and forged by experience, has
the best chance to survive into the years of peace.
It is better to build as we go along, to test our mutual understanding and to
develop it, rather than to devise all at once some elaborate structure into which
we should seek to fit the component parts as best we may.
In this sphere of international endeavor the British Commonwealth has its
specific contribution to make. It has been our practice to allow and encourage co-
operation to grow. We have no rigid rules for precise formulae between us, but
we have the spirit of understanding and we know the road that we would travel.
If we can infuse this same spirit into the sphere of international relations
we shall have made an essential contribution to a peace that can endure. ...
When we consider the unhappy years between the two wars we should do
so in the determination to learn the lessons of our failure. I have had myself some
experience, as have your Prime Minister and other Canadian statesmen, of the
attempts which have been made to keep the peace by international machinery.
One lesson is predominant in my mind. The League of Nations suffered no
doubt from a number of human failings and shortcomings. But what above all it
lacked was a sufficiently wide international authority to express its decisions with
conviction, and an adequate force to see them executed. So it was that the gangster
nations, Germany, Italy and Japan, could test their strength and work their will.
We must never be in that position again.
It is essential that when this war is over the United Nations should maintain
sufficient force to ensure that neither Germany, nor Italy, nor Japan can ever again
plunge the world into war. The experience through which I have lived is similar
to that which many of you have known.
I have taken part, as you have done, as a soldier in one war, which we had
hoped was a war to end war. I now watch my son preparing to take part in a sec-
ond war. It is our duty to see that this cruel and inhuman lot is not also the
heritage of our children's children.
For my part, I therefore say definitely that I am not prepared to take risks
again with either Germany, Italy or Japan. I have no faith in the promises of
their statesmen nor in the smooth assurances of their apologists. There is only one
security for mankind in respect of all of them, to ensure that they are totally dis-
armed and in no position ever to try their strength again. Then indeed peace may
have its chance. After the bitter lessons which we have learned, we must insist
upon the fullest precautions.
To say these things is not to show a lack of humanity, but to clarify our
thought on issues upon which the future life of the world will depend.
It is no easy task to co-operate the action of the United Nations in war nor
will it be simple in peace, but if the basis which I am propounding is accepted,
as I am sure it is by us all, then the task can be achieved.
I have myself been greatly encouraged by the conversations which I have
had upon these matters a year ago in Moscow and more recently in Washington.
They have been an inspiration to me. Admittedly there will be differences and
divergencies amongst us. But these are not insurmountable, because at heart we
want the same thing-international security in order that all of our peoples may
live and develop their lives in freedom and at peace.
For this task we shall need not only a close understanding between the British
Commonwealth and the United States, Russia and China, but the full co-operation
of all the United Nations.
Together we can win the war and win the peace. Nothing less should content us.
It is our duty to hand on to our children a world in which freedom can live
and man command his soul; free from the constant dread which has shadowed
our own time. To that task we have set our hands and will dedicate our lives. Let
us give this pledge this afternoon-we will neither falter nor fail till we have re-
deemed our word, and opened to future generations a peace and promise that we
have never known.
RT. HON. CLEMENT R. ATTLEE
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Ashton-Under-Lyne, February 28, 1943
Dealing with post-war problems cannot be left to the end of the war, and I
sometimes wonder whether all those who talk about what the Government ought
to do realize how much is already being done. I wonder whether they realize
how much the shape of things to come is already emerging, how important are
the changes already effected.
Let me give two instances from what occurred this week. On Wednesday
the House of Commons approved the second reading of a Bill which was brought
forward by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr. Tom Johnston. This makes
provision for a great development of electrical generation from water power in
Scotland: the resources of the Highlands will be developed by a public corporation
in the public interest. The results will be momentous. They will affect the indus-
trial life of Scotland. The new Board, through its activities, will be a powerful
instrument for planning the development of a great area. This question of hydro-
electric development was an old and thorny question. I have seen three private
schemes turned down. This scheme has been approved without a dissenting vote.
It is a great piece of post-war planning.
Let me give you a second instance. Everyone recognizes that there will be an
immense amount of house-building to be done after the war. It will take a long
time to repair the ravages of war and to make up for the almost complete cessation
of house-building during the last few years. You can't build without building
labor, and you can't get people to go into the building industry unless you offer
them a reasonable prospect of steady employment.
This week it was announced that the Minister of Labour, my friend Ernest
Bevin, Lord Portal and George Hicks working together had arrived at an agree-
ment with the building employers and the building workers for the recruitment
and training of workers to the industry and for the establishment of the principle
of the guaranteed week. The Government has here played its part, working with
both sides in the industry, so that when the war comes to an end the men may be
available for a great programme extending over many years for housing the people.
I remember over thirty years ago reading a book that had just come out, by
that great public servant Sir William Beveridge, called "Unemployment-A Prob-
lem of Industry." That title suggested what was then almost a new idea, for most
people considered unemployment as due to the fault of the individual. Sir William
distinguished in his book between various types of unemployment. One category
was what he called the man of discontinuous employment. There were two great
examples which he gave-the man in the building trade who suffered from
unemployment between jobs and during wet weather, and the casual dock workers
amongst whom I have spent the greater part of my life. Both suffered from the
curse of casual labor. Mr. Bevin has decasualized dock work. In this agreement
building work ceases to be casual. In both industries we have the guaranteed
In the same way the miners now have the guaranteed working week, and
actually, through the Essential Works Order, eight million people in this country
have a guaranteed weekly wage. My friend George Tomlinson, whom I am sure
you know, and who has been working very closely on all these problems, tells me
that for 30 years in the cotton trade the Union has been trying to abolish under-
employment and to establish a minimum wage. These things have now been
My friends, these are tremendous changes that affect the lives of thousands of
people. When I first went down to live in East London, over 35 years ago, one
of the great causes of misery and poverty in that great district was the fact that
so many wives never knew from week to week how many days' work their hus-
bands might get and what money they would have to spend. I was talking with
a miners' M.P. yesterday who was recalling from his own experience the difficulties
which his mother had to face owing to the irregularity of the weekly money.
The establishment of this principle in so many industries means a great deal
to the men, and I believe it means even more to the women and children. May
I add also that it will have its effect on the efficiency of industry. Obsolete methods
in industry often continue, although science finds out a better way, just because
there is not pressure to make the lazy and stupid employers come up to the level
of the intelligent. Experience shows that if an employer has to pay a man a full
week's wages he will soon find out the way to get a full week's work. There is
something else to remember. We are recognizing the status of the worker in
industry. He is ceasing to be considered as a mere instrument working for
I have mentioned these things only as illustrations because they have a very
great bearing on post-war problems. I doubt if anyone, in any country, has any-
thing like a full appreciation of what the condition of the world will be at the
end of the war. The loss of life and limb, the consumption of material wealth,
the dislocation of productive enterprise and the destruction of industrial plant and
equipment, the effects of the "scorched earth" policy, the uprooting and transplant-
ing of populations, the enforced migration of labor from their own homes to slave
for the German military machine, the pestilence, infectious diseases, the famine
and undernourishment that will be rife, not only in Europe but in other large areas
of the world will have created vast and urgent problems that will require im-
mediate measures of large-scale relief and make more insistent than ever before
the need for adopting long term constructive plans and policies. . .
One of the most difficult tasks with which the Government has had to deal
during the war has been the adjustment of money payments to different classes
of the community. During the last 30 years we have built up our social services,
which deal with the wants of particular classes-the aged, the children, the sick,
the widow, the unemployed, and the victims of industrial accident. The events
of the war add to these classes-the dependents of the men in the fighting services
and the victims of enemy air attack and tpany others; and nothing causes greater
irritation than the inequity of these payments, where there are people whose
requirements .are just the same living side by side, but receiving very different
treatment. We have, during the course of this war had to make many adjustments
and improvements, but we have all recognized the great desirability of bringing
together these various schemes into an orderly system.
Sir William Beveridge, in his Report, has surveyed the whole field and has
made proposals designed to build up a complete system of social security for all ....
He has done a great service to the community. The Government have welcomed
his scheme and have accepted its principles, and not only its principles, but the
greatest part of all of his actual proposals. We are now getting down to the
business of working out the detailed implementation of the scheme. This work
must take time and these proposals, which are an important part, but only a part,
of a complete system of social security, must be considered together with other
elements in the reconstruction programme, and in the light of the circumstances
which will be obtaining, so far as we can judge, at the end of the war.
There is nothing unreasonable in the Government desiring to look at these
problems as a whole. It is just what any prudent man would do in relation to
his private affairs. I should like to assure you that there is no desire on the part
of any members of the Government to delay or to evade the consequences of the
Government's acceptance of this scheme. For myself, I believe that the acceptance
by the Government and by the country of the principles of the Beveridge Report
makes a great step forward in our social life. It means that we are taking practical
steps in this country to make effective the principles of the Atlantic Charter. It
means the full acceptance of the principles of collective security. Just as in the
international sphere we believe that all must co-operate in order to bring freedom
from fear to all peoples of the earth, so in the social sphere we must co-operate
to secure to all our people freedom from want.
But remember that the Beveridge Report must be seen in its proper perspec-
tive. It is right to make provision for a money income for all our people, but we
must remember that we have to see to it that we so organize the economic life
of this country that we are able to provide the wealth out of which must come
the satisfaction of money claims. . .
RT. HON. L. S. AMERY
Secretary of State for India
Birmingham, March 12, 1943
The publication of the Beveridge Report and the prompt endorsement of its
main features by the British Government has done far more to promote social
reform in the world than would have been effected by a whole series of interna-
tional conferences. That Report rounds off a chapter in our social history of which
we have no reason to be ashamed, and should afford a solid groundwork for
further progress. Its main recommendations are, in their long term aspect, essen-
tially economies. It is a long term economy to simplify and co-ordinate our hap-
hazard system of social insurances. It is certainly, in the long run, an economy
to build up a healthy nation. It is even more of a far sighted economy to build
up a healthy and vigorous family life and to avert the imminent disaster of a
dwindling and ageing population which overhangs us. The same is true of other
social reforms which are part of the ideal aims embodied in the Atlantic Charter,
better housing, better town and country planning, better education. They will all
pay for themselves in the long run.
That does not mean that they will pay immediately. On the contrary their
cumulative effect on our costs of production may very directly affect our economic
position. That is no sufficient reason for abandoning or even unduly postponing
reforms desirable in themselves. The answer lies in making our economic policy
fit our social policy. Only a planned and controlled trade and industrial policy
can sustain a planned social system in a highly competitive world. The economic
stability and progress upon which depends all future progress in social reform
cannot be left to the chances of unaided individual enterprise in a ,world of
promiscuous international competition. National policy must step in to secure for
our producers a reasonable prospect of success, whether in supplying the needs of
a balanced economic life at home, or in developing our export trade.
We are no longer what we once were, the overwhelmingly greatest and
consequently cheapest producers in the world. That place is now occupied by
the United States. On the other hand our'standard of living and costs of pro-
duction are far higher than those of many others who today are as fully equipped
technically as we are. It is for the nation to use its powers of direction and
guidance, of direct assistance, of the bargaining power of our rich home market,
to secure favorable conditions from those who for economic and political reasons
are most willing to co-operate with us and who most need our co-operation. Where
can we look for that co-operation with better hope or response and of increasing
expansion than in dealing with the nations of our own family? The progressive
industrialization of the Dominions and of India is no obstacle to such a develop-
ment. On the contrary, in so far as it enhances the total purchasing power of their
markets, it increases our opportunities, providing always that we realize chat we
must sell to them what they want and not what we have been accustomed to sell.
The greater their latent possibilities of expansion the greater our opportunity and
the greater our interest in promoting that expansion. In the world as it is today
trade cannot be considered apart from defense, or defense from trade. .
Every one of the Dominions has raised, equipped and paid for its own pow-
erful forces on land, on sea and in the air. Canada alone in addition to all the
forces she has raised, the munitions she has supplied, the ships she has built, the
world's greatest air training scheme which she has organized, has made to this
country a free gift of a thousand million dollars-the whole cost of the South
African War. The sons of the men who fought us in that war, led and inspired
by one of our most daring and elusive opponents then, today in the forefront
of the statesmen of this world war, Field Marshal Smuts, have played their decisive
part in the overthrow of Mussolini's African Empire. India has raised a million
and a half volunteers. Her divisions showed themselves second to none on all
the hard fought battlefields of the Middle East. She has already played the part
of a main arsenal of the Middle Eastern campaigns and is now preparing to play
an even greater part in the supply and equipment of the forces destined to relieve
China and bring Japan's ephemeral conquests tottering to the ground. I believe
that when history comes to be written the part played by the Dominions and
India in this war will be regarded as its most significant feature, significant politi-
cally as evidence of the cohesive power of a Commonwealth based on freedom,
significant militarily because if the Middle East had gone in 1940 the whole
situation would have been irretrievable. It would have been too late for America
to intervene. The forces that could then have been flung against Russia would
have been too much even for her heroic defenders.
If the working out of British freedom in the Commonwealth and the eco-
nomic development of its members have produced so marvelous a transformation
in little more than a generation what can we not justifiably expect from the further
growth of freedom and prosperity in the generation before us? Is it an idle
dream to hope that India at peace within her own borders and as free to control her
own destiny as any country in the world, may in the days to come prove a bulwark
of our common peace and a link of understanding with Asia as Canada is with
America? . .
RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON
Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
Nottingham, February 13, 1943
You remember how the aftermath of war was coped with last time. The
people of Britain and their rulers were so heartily sick of war conditions that they
wanted nothing but to be rid of everything to do with the war. War had been a
time of rather slowly developing rationing and controls. "Very well", we said,
"let us get rid of rationing and controls. Let us have supply and demand. Let
people spend the accumulated savings of the war as they will,' let industry loose
to meet their impatient demands as best it can."
Well, it looked very nice for a time. Savings were spent, prices rose, goods
were turned out, people got jobs and there was a fine old boom-for about 18
months. At the end of that time the country had a bad slump, lasting another 18
months in its extreme form, and lasting to some degree for many years. ..
... This time, we want to switch over from war economy to peace economy
as quickly as we can, but sensibly, knowing what we are doing, and without a
hangover, without a morning after the night before.
In short, we must have rationing in appropriate forms for the sake of fairness
at home, and for the sake of keeping the ship of State on an even keel. We must
have raw material controls too because it will be as necessary then as it is now to
make certain that first things come first, that our export trade gets what it needs
and that at home various commodities go where they will do most good in getting
back to a sound peace basis. We shall also want price control, without which there
would certainly be astronomical rises in price with all the dangers of inflation at a
time when everyone will be rushing to buy and we shall be suffering severely from
Quite recently the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Kingsley Wood) in his
notable speech in the House of Commons, has told the country clearly that this is
the policy which we must adopt after the war. I am certain it will be accepted.
We have managed our war-time rationing and controls infinitely better than last
time-it is quite reasonable to expect that we shall show a very much improved
record after the war as well.
Moreover, we shall have good prospects to look forward to. The progress of
scientific knowledge is always going on. Very likely, as a result of the tremendous
boost which war gives to scientific work, it will go on afterwards more readily than
ever. We shall have new substances to work with, new industries growing up to
handle them. We shall find Nature more submissive to man's will than ever before
in human history.
We have certainly learned some of the lessons of past mistakes; we have
learned much better how to make our money system our servant instead of the
cruel taskmaster which has exacted so many unnecessary sacrifices from us in the
past. We aren't likely to let a deflationary financial policy throttle our constructive
energies in the interest of some mystical mumbo-jumbo about pre-war exchange
parities or gold values. We have learned a great deal about how to control our
unemployment-at least I am hopeful that we have learned. Certainly there is now
a great measure-a surprising measure-of agreement among economists and
experts of many different schools about the steps which the State can take to avoid
the extremes of boom and slump and to keep within manageable bounds thle volume
of unemployment. In short, we have at our hand all the technical means to
ensure prosperity. We shall know enough to be able to work and plan for more
production, and when we get it to make it yield a higher standard of living, instead
of yielding for millions of people only unemployment and want. If we can deal
firmly with the forces of selfishness and sectionalism, wherever they are found,
which seek for their own narrow and misguided purposes to come between us and
our future, we can look to that future full of hope.
But of course when we look beyond our own borders, the issue is not solely
in our hands. Yet the international economic issue is one upon which our own fate
and future entirely, depend. When we look to the future we must get accustomed
to certain simple, fundamental facts. I will set them out like a kindergarten lesson.
Indeed, that is what they are, our kindergarten lesson in post-war foreign trade.
First, if we want to keep up our standard of life, let alone to increase it, we
shall have to go on importing, on much the same scale as before, although we
must make up our minds to keep our' home agricultural production at as high a
level as is consistent with sound economic practice.
Second, we shall have much less interest from foreign investments because
most of those investments will have been realized to beat Hitler, and we shall have
to reconstruct them.
Third, it is doubtful whether our shipping and financial services will bring us
in the income they did-we certainly cannot count upon it.
Fourth and last, it therefore follows that we shall have to increase our export
of goods, probably by several hundreds of millions of pounds-and it isn't too
soon to be aware of the problem and to apply our minds to its solution.
The old way of tackling it would be to say: "There is only so much world
trade to be done, and if the other fellow gets our share we shall have to go without.
So let us fight, let us make arrangements to keep the other fellow out of as many
markets as we can; let use cut our prices, and cut his throat, in the markets where
.we do have to face him. And if a country isn't buying from us as much as we
think it ought to, let us refuse to buy its goods. Then it will be poorer still and
will, buy still less, whether from us or from anybody else."
I do not wish to stir up old controversies about Free Trade v. Protection;
there was perhaps a fair amount of unreality about both sides of that argument.
But I do say that that old method, the method of Beggar-my-Neighbor, is
wrong and doomed to failure, as it has always failed. It is economic war, no
matter how polite the names we give it. It will lead, as it always has led, to
It is based on the utterly false assumption that there is a fixed amount of
world trade to be done, and that, if somebody else does it, we won't. The truth
is that there lies before all nations the possibility of a tremendous expansion in
world trade, as in industry at home. Industrial growth has taken place in many
countries overseas. This is fine for us-don't think of it as making competitors,
think of it as making markets. If we pin our faith too exclusively to our export
industries in their old forms, built up to supply the needs of backward countries,
we will suffer as other countries become richer and less backward. But if we are
ready to take care of the newer needs of industrially developing countries, if we
are lively in our thinking and planning, our making and selling, then every increase
in the riches of China or India or our own Colonies, or anywhere else, can add to
our own export opportunities and our own prosperity.
SThis presents to us in Britain the task of ensuring that our export industries
are as efficient and active as possible. Personal enterprise built up these industries
in the very different circumstances of the past, but after the war that initiative will
need to be supported and indeed I would say guided by the State.
I always try to approach such questions, not in the light of preconceived
dogmas but in the light of genuine national interest. I am quite satisfied that the
State has the absolute right to take a strong and useful hand in the solution of the
export problem, because it affects the vital welfare of the nation and its standard
of life. The State, at the very least, must set the targets and ensure that nothing
is left undone to reach them. I was glad to hear the President of the Board of
Trade (Mr. Hugh Dalton) tell Parliament last week, in his lively and stimulating
speech, how export industry and the State are beginning to get together now to
plan for efficiency.
In my opinion we shall need to broaden the whole conception of public
policy in relation to the export trades after the war-we shall need to work upon
the basis of a much closer partnership between the State and industry in which
each has rights but each also has. important obligations to the other. My own
programme for export could be summed up under five headings:
To begin with, a factual examination, industry by industry, of resources aind
weaknesses, assets and difficulties, potential foreign markets and the means to
Secondly, a greatly improved consular service equipped with the means not
only to analyze markets abroad for the information of industry at home, but ready
also to work in close and constructive collaboration with the representatives of our
industries and their customers on the spot. Some of the changes announced in the
recent Foreign Office White Paper point in this direction.
Thirdly, an extensive programme of commercial and technical education, car-
ried out under the stimulus and supervision of the State, aiming to raise to new
levels the quality of recruits who will come forward for the work of research,
management, production and marketing.
Fourth, a right on the part of the State to examine the situation and circum-
stances of any export industry which is in difficulties or not showing satisfactory
results or in need of help, either in its own estimation or in the estimation of the
Government; and a readiness on the part of the State to give help in meeting the
need whatever it is, whether capital, re-equipment or a better standard of labor-
provided that the home market, equally with the export market, shall benefit from
such friendly help and that the State shall have the means to satisfy itself that the
help is used in the national interest.
Fifth, the relation thus envisaged between the State and industry should be a
partnership, a two-way affair, in which each party has something to teach the
other. To that end we shall need large elements in the Civil Service trained not
exclusively in administration but in the methods and outlook of industry and com-
merce, so that they can work harmoniously with the business world and be regarded
by it not as interfering busybodies but as friends and helpers. Such a system of
partnership with due recognition of mutual obligation would avoid the errors of
unbridled individualism or restrictive monopoly on the one hand, and of burden-
some, interfering bureaucracy on the other. Whatever later developments may be,
this seems a fair and practical solution to a pressing national'problem. ...
I ask nothing more of Britain than that she should face and deal with the
problems of the post-war world in the spirit of 1940. That is no mere rhetorical
turn of phrase. For what was the spirit of 1940? It was not the spirit which
said: "The Germans have the guns, the troops, the planes; our allies are struck
down; we have no tanks or artillery; we must be prudent; we must face the
facts; we must avoid Utopian idealism and wishful thinking; arithmetic is too
much for us; we must surrender." That, happily, was not the spirit of 1940. The
British spirit of 1940 was the fine, brave spirit of Winston Churchill who declared,
in that menacing situation, "We shall fight on the beaches ... we shall fight in the
streets .. we shall never surrender." Let that be the spirit in which we face the
economic problems of the post-war world. Let us not say: "Our imports are high;
our exports are low; our wealth is reduced; we cannot expect to change the world;
we must be prudent; arithmetic is too much for us; we must surrender-reduce
our standard of living, turn our backs on social progress, cut our wages, and try
to keep our heads above water by treading the other fellow down."
Let us rather say in the true spirit of 1940 that we know and understand the
right course to pursue-the course of courage and enlightened foresight: that we
intend to strike out upon a path of glorious and constructive adventure with every
,ounce of our strength and determination, trusting that the rightness and wisdom
of our policy, and the conviction bred of our example, will raise up companions in
courage and wisdom by our side.
Composed and Printed in the U.S.A.
by Union Labor at New York City.