BRITISH INFORMATION S ICES
AN AGENCY OF THE BRITISH GO6 M) ANT
OF THE DAY
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, May 19, 1943.
Speech to the House of Representatives, Washington.
LORD KEYNES, May 18, 1943.
International Clearing Union.
R. A. BUTLER, President of the Board of Education, May 27, 1943.
The Revival of Education in Europe.
WILLIAM MABANE, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food,
May 13, 1943.
Feeding Britain in Wartime.
HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary, May 9, 1943.
Post-War Planning-Some Fallacies.
W. S. MORRISON, Minister of Town and Country Planning, May 27, 1943.
Town Planning in Britain.
VISCOUNT CRANBORNE, Lord Privy Seal, April 15, 1943.
International Organizations After the War.
LORD HALIFAX, Ambassad () 5" y 29, 1943.
Religion and Education. G 7 ( -
Number 4 e Issued June 1943
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RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
House of Representatives, Washington, May 19, 1943
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives, 17 months have passed since I last had the honor to address the
Congress of the United States. For more than 500 days-every day a day-we
have toiled and suffered and dared shoulder to shoulder against the cruel and
mighty enemy. We have acted in close combination or concert in many parts of
the world-on land, on sea, and in the air. The fact that you have invited me to
come to the Congress again-a second time-now that we have settled down to
the job, and that you should welcome me in so generous a fashion, is certainly a
high mark in my life, and also shows that our partnership has not done so badly.
I am proud that you should have found us good allies, striving forward in com-
radeship to the accomplishment of our task without grudging or stinting either
life or treasure or indeed anything we have to give.
Last time I came at a moment when the United States was aflame with wrath
at the treacherous attack upon Pearl Harbor by Japan and at the subsequent declara-
tions of war upon the United States made by Germany and Italy. For my part I
say quite frankly that in those days after our long, and for a whole year lonely,
struggle I could not repress in my heart a sense of relief and comfort that we were
all bound together by common peril, by solemn faith and high purpose to see this
fearful quarrel through at all costs to the end. That was an hour of passionate
emotion, an hour most memorable in human records, an hour, as I believe, full
of hope and glory for the future.
The experiences of a long life and the promptings of my blood have wrought
in me the conviction that there is nothing more important for the future of the
world than the fraternal association of our two peoples in righteous work, both
in war and in peace. So, in January 1942, I had that feeling of comfort and I
therefore prepared myself in a confident and steadfast spirit to bear the terrible
blows which were evidently about to fall on British interests in the Far East,
which were bound to. fall upon us from the military strength of Japan during a
period when the American and British Fleets had lost for the time being the naval
command of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. One after another in swift succession
very heavy misfortunes fell upon us and upon our allies, the Dutch, in the Pacific
theater. The Japanese have seized the land and islands they so greedily coveted.
The Philippines are enslaved. The lustrous, luxuriant regions of the Dutch East
Indies have been overrun. In the Malay Peninsula and at Singapore we ourselves
suffered the greatest military disaster, or at any rate the largest military disaster,
in British history.
Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, all this has to be retrieved and all this and
much else will have to be repaid.
And here let me say this: Let no one suggest that we British have not at least
as great an interest as the United States in the unflinching and relentless waging
of war against Japan; and I am here to tell you that we will wage that war side
by side with you in accordance with the best strategic employment of our forces
while there is a breath in our bodies' and while blood flows in our veins.
2 British Speeches of the Day
Britain's Part in the War Against Japan
A notable part in the war against Japan must, of course, be played by the
large armies and by the air and naval forces now marshalled by Great Britain
on the eastern frontiers of India. In this quarter there lies one of the means of
bringing aid to hard-pressed and long-tormented China. I regard the bringing
of effective and immediate aid to China as one of the most urgent of our common
tasks. It may not have escaped your attention that I brought with me to this
country and to this conference Field Marshal Wavell and the other two com-
manders in chief from India. Now they have not traveled all this way simply to
concern themselves about improving the health and happiness of the Mikado of
Japan. I thought it would be good that all concerned in this theater should meet
together and thresh out in friendly candor and heart to heart all the points that
arise, and there are many. You may be sure that if all that was necessary was
for an order to be given to the great army standing ready in India to march toward
the Rising Sun and open the Burma Road that order would be given this after-
noon. The matter is however somewhat more complicated and all movements or
infiltration of troops into the mountains and jungles to the northeast of India is
very strictly governed by what your American military men call the science of
But, Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, I repudiate, I am sure with your sym-
pathy, the slightest suspicion that we should hold anything backthat can be use-
fully employed, or that I and the Government I represent are not as resolute to
employ every man, gun, and airplane that can be used in this business as we have
proved ourselves ready to do in other theaters of the war.
Division of Labors
In our conferences in January 1942, between the President and myself, and
between our high expert advisers, it was evident that while the defeat of Japan
would not mean the defeat of Germany, the defeat of Germany would inevitably
mean the ruin of Japan. The realization of this simple truth does not mean that
both tasks should not proceed together, and indeed the major part of the United
States forces is now deployed on the Pacific fronts. In the broad division which
we then made of our labors in January 1942, the United States undertook the
main responsibility for prosecuting the war against Japan and for aiding Australia
and New Zealand to defend themselves against the Japanese invasion, which then
seemed far more threatening than it does now. On the other hand, we took the
main burden on the Atlantic. This was only natural. Unless the ocean life line
which joins our two peoples can be kept unbroken, the British Isles and all the
very considerable forces which radiate therefrom would be paralyzed and doomed.
We have willingly done our full share of the sea work in the dangerous waters
of the Mediterranean and in the Arctic convoys to Russia, and we have sustained,
since our alliance began, more than double the losses in merchant tonnage that
have fallen upon the United States.
On the other hand, the prodigious output of new ships from the United States
building yards has for the six months past overtaken and now far surpasses the
losses of both allies, and if no effort is relaxed there is every reason to count upon
a ceaseless progressive expansion of Allied shipping available for the prosecution
of the war.
U-Boats and Air War
Our killings of U-boats, as the Secretary of the Navy will readily confirm,
have this year greatly exceeded all previous experience, and the last three months
and particularly the last three weeks have yielded record results. This, of course,
Speech to the House of Representatives 3
is to some extent due to the larger number of U-boats operating, but it is also due
to the marked improvement in the severity and the power of our measures against
them and of the new devices continually employed. While I rate the U-boat
danger as still the greatest we have to face, I have a good and sober confidence
that it will not only be met and contained but overcome. The increase of shipping
tonnage over sinkings provides, after the movements of vital supplies, food, and
munitions have been arranged, that margin which is the main measure of our
joint war effort.
We are also conducting from the British Isles the principal air offensive against
Germany, and in this we are powerfully aided by the United States Air Forces
in the United Kingdom, whose action is chiefly by day as ours is chiefly by night.
In this war numbers count more and more, both in night and day attacks. The
saturation of the enemy's flak, through the multiplicity of attacking planes, the
division and dispersion of his fighter protection by the launching of several simulta-
neous attacks, are rewards which will immediately be paid to the substantial
increases of British and American numbers which are now taking place. There is
no doubt that the Allies already vastly outnumber the hostile air forces of Ger-
many, Italy and Japan, and still more does their output of new planes surpass the
output of the enemy.
In this air war, by which both Germany and Japan fondly imagined they
would strike decisive and final blows and terrorize nations great and small into
submission to their will, in this air war it is that these guilty nations have already
begun to show their first real mortal weakness. The more continuous and severe
the air fighting becomes the better for us, because we can already replace casualties
and machines far more rapidly than the enemy, and we can replace them on a scale
which increases month by month.
Progress in this sphere is swift and sure, but it must be remembered that the
preparation and development of airfields and the movement of great masses of
ground personnel, on whom the efficiency of modern air squadrons depends, how-
ever earnestly pressed forward, is bound to take time.
Opinion, Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, is divided as to,whether the use of
air power could, by itself, bring about a collapse of Germany or Italy. The ex-
periment is well worth trying, so long as other measures are not excluded. There
is certainly no harm in finding out. But however that may be, anyhow we are all
agreed that the damage ddne to the enemy's war potential is enormous. The con-
dition to which the great centers of German war industry, and particularly the
Ruhr, are being reduced is one of unparalleled devastation. You have just read of
the destruction of the great dams which feed the canals and provide power to the
enemy munition works. That was a gallant operation, costing eight out of 19
Lancaster bombers employed, but it will play a very far-reaching part in German
It is our settled policy, the settled policy of our two staffs and war-making
authorities, to make it impossible to carry on any form of war industry on a large
or concentrated scale either in Germany, in Italy, or in the enemy-occupied coun-
tries. Wherever these centers exist or are developed, they will be destroyed and
the munitions population will be dispersed. If they do not like what is coming
to them, let them disperse beforehand on their own. The process will continue
ceaselessly, with ever-increasing weight and intensity, until the German and
Italian peoples abandon or destroy the monstrous tyrannies which they have incu-
bated and reared in their midst.
A Major Factor
Meanwhile, our air offensive is forcing Germany to withdraw an ever-larger
proportion of its war-making capacity from the fighting fronts in order to pro-
4 British Speeches of the Day
vide protection against air attack. Hundreds of fighter aircraft, thousands of
anti-aircraft cannon, and many hundreds of thousands of men, together with a
vast share in the output of the war factories have all been assigned to this purely
defensive function. All this is at the expense of the enemy's power of new aggres-
sion or of the enemy's power to resume the initiative. Surveying the whole aspect
of the air war, we cannot doubt that it is a major factor in the process of victory.
That, I think, is established as a solid fact. It is similarly all agreed between us
that we should at the earliest moment bring our joint air power to bear upon the
military targets in the, homelands of Japan. The cold-blooded execution of United
States airmen by the Japanese. Government is a proof not only of their barbarism
but of the dread with which they regard this possibility. It is the duty df those
charged with the direction of the war to overcome at the earliest moment, the
military, geographical, and political difficulties and begin the process, so necessary
and desirable, of laying the cities and other munition centers of Japan in ashes.
For in ashes they must surely lie before peace comes back to the world.
That this objective holds a high place in the present conference is obvious to
thinking men, but no public discussion would be useful upon the method or
sequence of events which should be pursued in order to achieve it. Let me make
it plain, however, that the British will participate in this air attack on Japan
in harmonious accord with the major strategy of the war. That is our desire.
And the cruelties of the Japanese enemy make our airmen all the more ready to
share the perils and sufferings of their American comrades.
The Present Problem
At the present time, speaking more generally, the prime problem which is
before the United States, and to a lesser extent before Great Britain, is not so
much the creation of armies or the vast output of munitions and aircraft. These
are already in full swing, and immense progress and prodigious results have been
achieved. The problem is rather the application of those forces to the enemy in
the teeth of U-boat resistance across the great ocean spaces, across the narrow seas,
or on land through the swamps, mountains, and jungles in various quarters of
the globe. That is our problem. All our war plans must, therefore, be inspired,
pervaded, and even dominated by the supreme object of coming to grips with the
enemy under favorable conditions, or at any rate tolerable conditions-we cannot
pick and choose too much-on the largest possible scale at the earliest possible
moment, and of engaging that enemy wherever it is profitable and, indeed I might
almost say wherever it is possible to do so. Thus in this way we shall make our
enemies in Europe and in Asia burn and consume their strength on land, on sea,
and in the air with the maximum rapidity.
Now, you will readily understand that the complex task of finding the maxi-
mum openings for the employment of our vast forces, the selection of the points at
which to strike with the greatest advantage to those forces, and the emphasis
and priority to be assigned to all the various enterprises which are desirable, that
is a task requiring the constant supervision and adjustment of our Combined
Staffs and of the heads of governments. This is a vast and complicated process,
especially when two countries are involved directly in council together, and when
the interests of so many other countries have to be considered, and the utmost good
will and readiness to think for the common cause of all the United Nations is
required from everyone participating in our conference. The intricate adjustments
and arrangements can only be made by discussion between men who know all the
facts, and who are and can be held accountable for success or failure. Lots of
people can make good plans for winning the war if they have not got to carry
them out. I dare say if I had not been in a responsible position, I should have
made a lot of excellent plans, and very likely should have brought them in one
Speech to the House of Representatives 5
way or another to the notice of the executive authorities. But it is not possible
to have full, open arguments about these matters. That is an additional hardship
to those in charge-that such questions cannot be argued out and debated in
public, except with enormous reticence and even then there is great danger that
the watching and listening enemy may derive some profit from what they hear.
In these circumstances, in my opinion, the American and British press and public
have treated their executives with a wise and indulgent consideration, and recent
events I think have vindicated their self-restraint. Mr. President and Mr. Speaker,
it is thus that we are able to meet here today in all faithfulness and sincerity and
Geography imposes insuperable obstacles to the continuous session of the Com-
bined Staffs and executive chiefs, but as the scene is constantly changing, and
lately I think I may say constantly changing for the better, repeated conferences
are indispensable if the sacrifices of the fighting troops are to be rendered fruit-
ful and if the curse of war which lies so heavily upon almost the whole world is
to be broken and swept away within the shortest possible time. I therefore thought
it my duty with the full authority of His Majesty's Government, to come here
again with our highest officers, in order that the Combined Staffs may work in
the closest contact with the Chief Executive power which the President derives
from his office, and in respect of which I am the accredited representative of the
Cabinet and His Majesty's Government.
Consultations Between Allies
The wisdom of the founders of the American Constitution led them to asso-
ciate the office of Commander in Chief with that of the Presidency of the United
States. In this they followed the precedents which were successful in the case
of George Washington. It is remarkable that after more than 150 years this com-
bination of political and military authority has been found necessary not only in
the United States, but in the case of Marshal Stalin in Russia, and of Generalissimo
Chiang Kai-shek in China. Even I, as majority leader in the House of Commons
in one branch of the Legislature, have been drawn from time to time-not perhaps
wholly against my will-into some participation in military affairs. Modern war is
total, and it is necessary foi its conduct that the technical and professional author-
ities should be sustained and if necessary directed by the heads of governments
who have knowledge which enables them to comprehend not only the military
but the political and economic affairs at work, and who have the power to focus
them all upon the goal. These are the reasons which compelled the President to
make his long journey to Casablanca, and these are the reasons which bring me
here. We, both of us, earnestly hope that at no distant date we may be able to
achieve what we have so long sought-namely, a meeting with Marshal Stalin
and if possible with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. But how, when, and where
this is to be accomplished is not a matter upon which I am able to shed any clear
ray of light at the present time, and if I were I should certainly not shed it. In
the meanwhile, we do our best to keep the closest association at every level be-
tween all the authorities of all the countries who are engaged in the active direc-
tion of the war, and it is my special duty to promote and preserve this intimacy
and concert between all parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, and espe-
cially with the great self-governing Dominions, like Canada, whose Prime Minister
is with us at this moment and whose contribution is so massive and invaluable.
There could be no better or more encouraging example of the fruits of our
consultations than the campaign in northwest Africa which has just ended so well.
One morning in June last, when I was here, the President handed me a slip of
paper which bore the utterly unexpected news of the fall of Tobruk and the sur-
render of its garrison of 25,000 men in unexplained circumstances. That, indeed,
6 British Speeches of the Day
was a dark and bitter hour for me. I shall never forget the kindness, the delicacy,
the true comradeship which our American friends showed me and those with me
in such adversity. Their only thought was to find the means of helping us to
restore the situation, and never for a moment did they question the resolution or
the fighting quality of our troops. Hundreds of Sherman tanks were taken from
the hands of American divisions and sent at the utmost speed around the Cape
of Good Hope and Egypt. When one ship'arrying 50 tanks was sunk by torpedo,
the United States Government replaced it and its precious vehicles before we
could even think of asking them to do so. The Sherman tank was the best tank
in the desert in the year 1942, and the presence of these weapons played an
appreciable part in the ruin of Rommel's army at the battle of Alamein and in the
long pursuit which chased,him back to Tunisia.
North African Campaign
At this time also, in June 1942, when I was here last, there lighted up those
trains of thought and study which produced the memorable American and
British descent upon French northwest Africa, the results of which are a cause
of general rejoicing today. We have certainly a most encouraging exan.ple here
of what can be achieved by British and Americans working together heart and
hand. In fact, one might almost feel that, if they could keep it up, there is hardly
anything they could not do, either in the field of war or in the not les. tangled
problems of peace. History will acclaim this great enterprise as a classic example
of the way to make war. We used the weapon of sea power, the weapon mn which
we were strongest, to attack the enemy at our chosen moment and at our chosen
point. In spite of the immense elaboration of the plan and the many hundreds,
thousands even, who had to be informed of its main outline, we maintained
secrecy and effective surprise. We confronted the enemy with a situation in which
he had either to lose invaluable strategic territories or to fight under conditions
most costly and wasteful to him. We recovered the initiative, which we still
retain. We rallied to our side French forces, which are already a brave-and will
presently become a powerful-army under the gallant General Giraud. We
secured bases from which violent attacks can and will be delivered by our air
power on the whole of Italy, with results which no one can measure, but which
most certainly will be highly beneficial to our affairs. We have made an econ-
omy in our strained and straitened shipping position worth several hundreds of
great ships, and one which will give us the advantage of far swifter passage
through the Mediterranean to the East, to the Middle East, and to the Far East.
We have struck the enemy a blow which is the equal of Stalingrad and most
stimulating to our heroic and heavily engaged Russian allies.
All this gives the lie to the Nazi and Fascist taunts that parliamentary de-
mocracies are incapable of waging effective war. Presently we will furnish them
with further examples.
Still I am free to admit that in North Africa we builded better than we knew.
The unexpected came to the aid of what was designed and multiplied the results.
For this we have to thank the military intuition of Corporal Hitler. We may
notice, as I predicted in the House of Commons three months ago, the touch of
the master hand. The same insensate obstinacy which doomed Field Marshal
von Paulus and his army to destruction at Stalingrad has brought this new catas-
trophe upon our enemies in Tunisia. We have destroyed or captured considerably
more than a quarter million of the enemy's best troops, together with vast masses
of material, all of which had been ferried across to Africa after paying heavy
toll to British submarines and to British and United States aircraft. No one could
count on such follies. They gave us, if I may use the language of finance, a hand-
some bonus after the full dividend had been earned and paid.
Speech to the House of Representatives 7
At the time when we planned this great joint African operation we hoped
to be masters of Tunisia even before the end of last year. But the injury we have
now inflicted upon the enemy, physical and psychological, the training our troops
have had in the hard .school of war, and the welding together of the Anglo-
American Staff machine-these are advantages which far exceed anything which
it was within our power to plan. The German lie-factory is volubly explaining
how valuable is the time which they bought by the loss of their great armies. Let
them not delude themselves. Other operations which will unfold in due course,
depending as they did upon the special instruction of large numbers of troops
and upon the provision of vast technical apparatus, these other operations have
not been in any way delayed by the obstinate fighting in northern Tunisia.
The Enemy's Losses
Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, the African war is over. Mussolini's African
Empire and Corporal Hitler's strategy are alike exploded. It is interesting to com-
pute what these performances have cost those two wicked men and those who
have been their tools or their dupes. The Emperor of Abyssinia sits again upon the
throne from which he was driven by Mussolini's poison gas. All the vast terri-
tories from Madagascar to Morocco, from Cairo to Casablanca, from Aden to
Dakar are under British, American, or French control. One continent, at least,
has been cleansed and purged forever from Fascist and Nazi tyranny.
The African excursions of the two dictators have cost their countries in killed
and captured 950,000 soldiers. In addition, nearly 2,400,000 gross tons of ship-
ping have been sunk and nearly 8,000 aircraft destroyed, both of these figures
being exclusive of large numbers of ships and aircraft damaged. There have also
been lost to the enemy 6,200 guns, 2,550 tanks, and 70,000 trucks, which is the
American name for lorry and which I understand has been adopted by the com-
bined staffs in northwest Africa in exchange for the use of the word "petrol"
in place of "gasoline." These are the losses of the enemy after three years of war.
At the end of it all what is there to show? The proud German Army has by its
sudden collapse, its crumbling, and breaking up-unexpected to all of us-the
proud German Army has once again proved the truth of the saying: "The Hun
is always at your throat or your feet."
That is a point which may have its bearing on the future. But for our part
at this milestone in the war we can say: "One continent redeemed."
The northwest African campaign, and particularly its Tunisian climax, is the
finest example of the cooperation of the troops of three different countries and of
the combination under one supreme commander of the use of sea, land, and air
forces which has yet been seen. In particular, the British and American staff
work, as I have said, has matched the comradeship of the soldiers of both our
countries striding forward side by side under the fire of the enemy. It was a
marvel of efficient organization which enabled the Second American Corps, or
rather Army, for that was its size, to be moved 300 miles from the southern sec-
tor, which had become obsolete through the retreat of the enemy, to the north-
ern coast, from which, beating down all opposition, they advanced and took the
fortress and harbor of Bizerte. In order to accomplish this march of 300 miles,
which was covered in 12 days, it was necessary for this very considerable army,
with its immense modern equipment, to traverse at right angles the communica-
tion of the British First Army, which was already engaged, or about to be engaged,
in heavy battle, and this was achieved without in any way disturbing the hour-to-
hour supply upon which that army depended. I am told that these British and
American officers work together without the slightest question of what country
8 British Speeches of the Day
they belong to, each doing his part in a military organization which must hence-
forward be regarded as a most powerful and efficient instrument of war. There
is honor, Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, for all; and I shall at the proper time
-and place pay my tribute to the British and American commanders by land and
sea who conducted or who were engaged in the battle. This only will I say now:
I do not think you could have chosen any man more capable than General Eisen-
hower of keeping his very large, heterogeneous force together through bad times
as well as good, and of creating the conditions of harmony and energy which
were the indispensable elements of victory.
Heavier Work Lies Ahead
I have dwelt in some detail, but I trust not at undue length, upon these famous
events, and I shall now return to the general war for a few minutes in which
they have their setting and proportion. It is a poor heart that never rejoices.
But our thanksgiving, however fervent, must be brief. Heavier work lies ahead,
not only in the European but, as I have indicated, in the Pacific and in the In-
dian spheres; and the President and I and the Combined Staffs are gathered
here in order that this work shall be, as far as lies within us, well conceived and
thrust forward without losing a day. Not for one moment must we forget that the
main burden of the war on land is still being borne by the Russian Armies. They
are holding at the present time no fewer than 190 German divisions and 28 satel-
lite divisions on their front. It is always wise, while doing justice to one's own
achievements, to preserve a proper sense of proportion, and I therefore mention
that these figures of the German forces opposite Russia compare with the equiva-
lent of about 15 divisions which we have destroyed in Tunisia after a campaign
which has cost us about 50,000 casualties. That gives some measure of the Russian
effort and of the debt which we owe to her. It may well be that a further trial
of strength between the German and Russian Armies is impending. Russia has
already inflicted injuries upon the German military organism which will, I be-
lieve, prove mortal. But there is little doubt that Hitler is reserving his supreme
gambler's throw for a third attempt to break the heart and spirit and destroy the
armed forces of the mighty nation which he has already twice assaulted in vain.
He will not succeed. But we must do everything in our power that is sensible and
practicable to take more of the weight.off Russia in 1943.
The New Danger
I do not intend to be responsible for any suggestion that the war is won or
will soon be over. That it will be won by us. I am sure. But how or when cannot
be foreseen, still less foretold. I was driving the other day not far from the field
of Gettysburg, which I know well, like most of your battlefields. It was the
decisive battle of the Civil War. No one after Gettysburg doubted which way
the dread balance of war would incline. Yet far more blood was shed after the
Union victory at Gettysburg than in all the fighting which went before. It be-
hooves us, therefore, to search our hearts and brace our sinews and to take :he most
earnest counsel one with another in order that the favorable position which has
already been reached, both against Japan and against Hilter and Mussolini in
Europe, shall not be let slip. If we wish to abridge the slaughter and ruin which
this war is spreading to so many lands and to which we must ourselves contribute
so grievous a measure 6f suffering and sacrifice, we cannot afford to relax a single
fiber of our being or to tolerate the slightest abatement of our effort. The enemy
is still proud and powerful. He is hard to get at. He still possesses enormous
armies, vast resources, and invaluable strategic territories. War is full of mysteries
and surprises. A false step, a wrong direction of strategic effort, discord, or lassi-
tude among the Allies might soon give the common enemy the power to confront
International Clearing Union 9
us with new and hideous facts. We have surmounted many serious dangers. But
there is one grave danger which will go along with us until the end. That danger
is the undue prolongation of the war. No one can tell what new complications
and perils might arise in four or five more years of war. And it 'is in the dragging
out of war at enormous expense till the democracies are tired, or bored, or split
that the main hopes of Germany and Japan must now reside.
We must destroy this hope, as we have destroyed so many others; and for that
purpose we must beware of every topic, however attractive, and every tendency,
however natural, which divert our minds or energies from the supreme objective
of the general victory of the United Nations. By singleness of purpose, by stead-
fastness of conduct, by tenacity and endurance, such as we have so far displayed,
by these, and only by these, can we discharge our duty to the future of the world
and to the destiny of man.
Member of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Consultative Council
House of Lords, May 18, 1943
My Lords, I do not address you for the first time with any less trepidation
because the subject of our discussion this afternoon is one with which I have
become very familiar in recent months. But I rely on your Lordships' sustaining
kindness to a newcomer. The proposals for an International Clearing Union
have been brought before Parliament at an early but not too early a stage of their
evolution. The procedure adopted is somewhat novel. I hope your Lordships
will approve it for, if it is an innovation, it appears to me to be a happy one.
This Paper has been the subject of long preparation. To associate it too closely
with particular names is, I venture to say, to do it an injustice. It has been the
subject of intensive criticism and progressive amendment and the final result is
the embodiment of the collective wisdom of Whitehall and of experts and offi-
cials throughout the Commonwealth. At the same time, it has been brought to
the judgment of Parliament and of the public opinion of the world before any
final crystallization of ideas.
A General "Consciousness of Consent"
It seems to me to be far better that our own Treasury and the Treasury of the
United States should have decided to seek wider counsels before concentrating
on the preparation of an actual plan-much better that they should take this
course than that, without open consultation with their Legislatures or with the
other United Nations, they should have attempted to reach finality. The economic
structure of the post-war world cannot be built in secret. Mrs. Sidney Webb,
whose recent loss we so greatly deplore, in my judgment the most remarkable
woman of our time and generation, once defined democracy to me as a form of
government the hall-mark of which was that it aimed to secure "the consciousness
of consent." So in the new democracy of nations which after this war will come
ipto existence, heaven helping, to conduct with amity'and good sense the common
concerns of mankind the instrumentalities we set up must first win for themselves
a general consciousness of consent.
The first of these instrumentalities to be considered is before your Lordships'
House this afternoon-at a season in our affairs on this day of national thanks-
giving when we can feel entitled, and indeed are required, to look forward to
what is to come after. It is, I hope, the first of several. Indeed, it cannot stand
10 British Speeches of the Day
by itself. For it attempts to deal with one aspect only of the economic problem.
Your Lordships will, I take it, this afternoon be concerned chiefly with the broad
purpose and method of these proposals and not with technical details. The prin-
cipal object can be explained in a single sentence: to provide that mon y earned
by selling goods to one country can be spent on purchasing the products of any
other country. In jargon, a system of multilateral clearing. In Englis a uni-
versal currency valid for trade transactions in all the world. Everything else in
the plan is ancillary to that. Serious tariff obstacles, though we may tr) to abate
them, are likely to persist. But we may hope to get rid of the varied ind com-
plicated devices for blocking currencies and diverting or restricting tra e which
before the war were forced on many countries as a superimposed obstacle to com-
merce and prosperity.
Money Apportioned to the Scale of Trade
Now this universal currency is essential to the healthy trade of an) country,
and not least to our own, for it is characteristic of our trade that the be;t market
for-our goods are often different from our best sources of supply. We c annot
hope to balance our trading account if the surpluses we earn in one count y cannott
be applied to meet our requirements in another country. We shall ha\ ea hard
enough task to develop a sufficient volume of exports, but we shall have no hope
of success if we cannot freely apply what we do earn from our exports wherever
we may be selling them, to pay for whatever we buy wherever we may buy it.
This plan provides for that facility without qualification. That is the main pur-
pose. If, however, general facilities on these lines are to survive success. fully for
any length of time, it will be a necessary condition that there should be a supply
of the new money proportioned to the scale of the international trade wh.ch it has
to carry; and, also, that every country in the world should stand posse ccd of a
reasonable share of that currency proportioned to its needs. The Bri;sh plan
proposes a formula intended to give effect to both those objects. There may be
a better one, and we should keep an open mind, but the aim is clear.
It is not necessary in order to attain these ends that we should dispos ess gold
from its traditional use. It is enough to supplement and regulate the tot; I supply
of gold and of the new money taken together. The new money musT not be
freely convertible into gold, for that would require that gold reserves should be
held against it, and we should be back where we were, but there is n) reason
why the new money should not be purchasable for gold. By such mean, we can
avoid the many obvious difficulties and disadvantages of proposing that the old
money, gold, should be demonetized. The plan proposes therefore what is con-
veniently described as a one-way convertibility. What shall we call he new
money? Bancor? Unitas? Both of them in my opinion are rotten bad names
but we racked our brains without success to find a better. A lover of compromise
would suggest unitor, I suppose. Some of your Lordships are masters of language.
I hope some noble Lord will have a better inspiration. What would your Lord-
ships say to dolphin? A dolphin swims, like trade, from shore to shore. But the
handsome beast also, I am afraid, goes up and down, fluctuates, and that
is not at all what we require. Or bezant? The name, as the Financial Secretary
to the Treasury recently recalled in another place, of the last international coin
we had-the gold unit of Byzantium. In the same line of thought Professor
Brogan has recently suggested talent, named after a place which perhaps we shall
soon be in a position to regard as at our service. So far every bright idea in turn
has been turned down. I fancy that our Prime Minister and President Roosevelt
could between them do better than most of us at this game, as in most other games,
if they had the time to turn their minds to writing a new dictionary as well as a
International Clearing Union 11
The plan, as I have said, allots to every country an initial reserve. That is a
once-for-all endowment. There is, therefore, a risk that the arrangements will
*break down because some improvident country runs through its stock of bancor
and gold and has none left to meet its engagements. To provide against that
is a very delicate matter, for it may seem to involve interference with a country's
domestic policy. The plan provides in such case for consultation and advice.
The country may be required to take certain specific measures. There remains in
the background, if eventually unavoidable, the severe penalty of depriving the
improvident country of any further facilities, which, after all, is the only effective
remedy the private banker has, unless his client is actually fraudulent. It is most
important to understand that the initial reserve provided by the Clearing Union
is not intended as a means by which a country can regularly live beyond its income
and which it can use up to import capital goods for which it cannot otherwise
pay. Nor will it be advisable to exhaust this provision in meeting the relief
and rehabilitation of countries devastated by war, thus diverting it from its real,
permanent purpose. These requirements must be met by special remedies and
The margin of resources provided by the Clearing Union must be substantial,
not so much for actual use as to relieve anxiety and the deflationary pressure which
results from anxiety. This margin, though substantial, must be regarded solely
as a reserve with which to meet temporary emergencies and to allow a breathing
space. But the world's trading difficulties in the past have not always been due
to the improvidence of debtor countries. They may be caused in a most acute
form if a creditor country is constantly withdrawing international money from
speculation and hoarding it, instead of putting it back again into circulation, thus
refusing to spend its income from abroad either on goods for home consumption
or on investment overseas. We have lately come to understand more clearly
than before how employment and the creation of new incomes out of new
production can only be maintained through the expenditure on goods and services
of the income previously earned. This is equally true of home trade and of foreign
trade. A foreign country equally can be the ultimate cause of unemployment by
hoarding beyond the reasonable requirements of precaution. Our plan, 'therefore,
must address itself to this problem also-and it is an even more delicate task since
a creditor country is likely to be even more unwilling than a debtor country to
suffer gladly outside interference or advice. In attempting to tackle this problem
the British plan breaks new ground. Perhaps its approach may be open to criti-
cism for being too tentative and mild; but this, I am afraid, may be inevitable
until these things are better understood.
Circulation of Deposits
But at this point I draw your Lordships' attention to a striking feature of
the proposals. Under the former gold standard, gold absorbed by a creditor coun-
try was wholly withdrawn from circulation. The present proposals avoid this by
profiting from the experience of domestic banking. If an individual hoards his
income, not in the shape of gold coins in his pockets or in his safe, but by keep-
ing a bank deposit, this bank deposit is not withdrawn from circulation but pro-
vides his banker with the means of making loans to those who need them. Thus
every act of hoarding, if it takes this form, itself provides the offsetting facilities
for some other party, so that production and trade can continue. This technique
will not prevent excessive hoarding from doing harm in the long run, since this
may cause other countries to suffer the anxiety of a growing debit account which
would eventually reach its permitted maximum. But a country which tends to hoard
bancor beyond all reason will at any rate be exhibited before itself and before the
12 British Speeches of the Day
whole world as the make-mischief of the piece; and will be under every motive
of reason and of benevolence and of self-interest to take corrective measures. Nor,
I fancy, will the hoarding of bancor prove as attractive or as plausible as the
burying of gold seems to have been, if recent experience is a guide.
I turn now to an aspect of these proposals which has rightly caused consider-
able anxiety to well-judging critics. We set up a universal money; we make sure
that its quantity shall be adequate; we share it out between the countries of the
world in equitable amounts; we take what precaution we can against improvidence
on the one hand and hoarding on the other. It is obvious that in this way we
establish an immensely strong influence to expand the trade and wealth of the
world, and to remove certain disastrous causes of inhibition and distress. But an
obvious question arises. Are we doing this at the cost of returning, in effect, to the
rigidity of the old gold standard, which fixed the external value of our national
currency beyond our own control, perhaps at a figure which was out of proper
relation to our wage policy and to our social policies generally?
The exchange value of sterling cannot remain constant, in terms of other
currencies, unless our efficiency-wages, and these other costs of production which
depend on our social policy, are keeping strictly in step with the corresponding
costs in other countries. And, obviously, to that we cannot pledge ourselves. I
hope your Lordships will believe me when I say that there are few people less
likely than I not to be on the lookout against this danger. The British proposals
nowhere envisage exchange rigidity. They provide that changes of more than a
certain amount must not be made unless the actual state of trade demonstrates that
they are required, and they provide further that changes, when made, must be made
by agreement. Exchange rates necessarily affect two parties equally. Changes,
therefore, should not be made by unilateral action. We do indeed commit our-
selves to the assumption that the Governing Board of the Union will act reasonably
in the general interest, and will adopt those courses which best preserve and re-
store the equilibrium of each country with the rest of the world. That is the least
we can do, if any form of agreed international order is to be given a chance. But
if, in the event, our trust should prove to be misplaced and our hopes mistaken,
we can, nevertheless, escape from all obligations and recover our full freedom with
a year's notice. I do not think that we can reasonably ask any complete safe-
guards than that.
There is another question which can very reasonably be asked: Are we winning
one freedom at the cost of another? Shall we have to submit to exchange controls
on individual transactions which would be unnecessary otherwise? In this re-
spect the plan leaves each country to act as it thinks best in its own interests, and
imposes nothing. Or, rather, the only condition which is imposed is that there
shall be absolute freedom of exchange remittance for current trade transactions. In
the control of capital movements, which is quite another matter, each country is
left to be its own judge whether it deems this necessary. In our own case, I do
not see how we can hope to avoid it. It is not merely a question of curbing ex-
change speculations and movements of hot money, or even of avoiding flights of
capital due to political motives; though all these it is necessary to control. The
need, in my judgment, is more fundamental. Unless the aggregate of the new
investments which individuals are free to make overseas is kept within the amount
which our favorable trade balance is capable of looking after, we lose control
over the domestic rate of interest.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made it very clear that the maintenance
of a low rate of interest for gilt-edged loans is to be a vital part of our policy
after the war as it has been during the war. For example, it is only if the rate of
International Clearing Union 13
interest is kept down that the new housing we intend can be financed without ex-
cessive subsidy. But we cannot hope to control rates of interest at home if move-
ments of capital moneys out of the country are unrestricted. If another country
Stakes a different view of the necessities of the situation, it is free to do otherwise.
The plan leaves each country to be the judge of its own needs. Those who are
experienced in these matters advise that adequate control of capital movements
should be possible without a postal censorship. I mention this to relieve a natural
anxiety. Few of your Lordships, I expect, would stand for so gross an infringe-
ment on personal rights as a postal censorship in times of peace.
Not a Relief Scheme
There is one important respect in which the British proposals seem to be
gravely misunderstood in some quarters in the United States. There is no founda-
tion whatever for the idea that the object of the proposals is to make the United
States the milch cow of the world in general and of this country in particular.
In fact the best hope for the lasting success of the plan is the precise contrary.
The plan does not require the United States, or any other country, to put up a
single dollar which they themselves choose or prefer to employ in any other way
whatever. The essence of it is that if a country has a balance in its favor which it
does not choose to use in buying goods or services or making overseas investments,
this balance shall remain available to the Union-not permanently, but only for
just so long as the country owning it chooses to leave it unemployed. That is
not a burden on the creditor country. It is an extra facility to it, for it allows it
to carry on its trade with the rest of the world unimpeded, whenever a time lag
between earning and spending happens to suit its own convenience.
I cannot emphasize this too strongly. This is not a Red Cross philanthropic
relief scheme, by which the rich countries come to the rescue of the poor. It is
a piece of highly necessary business mechanism, which is at least as useful to
the creditor as to the debtor. A man does not refuse to keep a banking account
because his deposits will be employed by the banker to make advances to another
person, provided always that he knows that his deposit is liquid, and that he can
spend it himself whenever he wants to do so. Nor does he regard himself as a
dispenser of charity whenever, to suit his own convenience, he refrains from
drawing on his own bank balance. The United States of America, in my humble
judgment, will have no excessive balance with the Clearing Union unless she has
failed to solve her own problems by other means, and in this event the facilities
of the Clearing Union will give her time to find other means, and meanwhile to
carry on her export trade unhindered.
There are really only two contingencies, in my opinion, which might lead the
United States to accumulate a large balance of bancor-failure to maintain good
employment at home, or a collapse of the enterprise and initiative required to in-
vest her surplus resources abroad. Recent past history shows that in times of
good employment in the United States her needs for imports is so large, and her
surplus of available exports so much reduced compared with other times, that a
surplus in her favor does not develop; it is only if she ceases to require imports
and is pressing her exports on the world that that situation arises. Why should
our American friends start off by assuming so disastrous a breakdown of the
economy of the United States? Moreover, if there are temporary difficulties which
take time to solve, no one will gain more than a creditor if this maladjustment
is prevented from starting a general slump, which eventually reaches, by repercus-
sion, the creditor himself. I repeat that no one is asked to put up a single shilling
except for so long as he has no other use for it. There is a significant difference,
I suggest, between a liquid bank deposit which can be withdrawn at any time and
a subscription to an institution's permanent capital.
14 British Speeches of the Day
United States Treasury Scheme
The Motion relates to the proposals of the United States Treasury as well as
to the British White Paper. Your Lordships will not expect me, no: would it
be in place, to examine or criticize these proposals at any length, but there are a
few remarks which I should like to make. The whole world owes to Mr. Mor-
genthau and his chief assistant, Dr. Harry White, a deep debt of gratitude for the
initiative which they have taken. Public opinion on the other side of tle Atlantic
is not, I fancy, as well prepared as it is here for bold proposals of this kind, but
that has not prevented the United States Treasury from putting forward proposals
of great novelty and far-reaching importance. Most critics, in my judgment, have
overstated the differences between the two plans, plans which are born of the
same climate of opinion and which have identical purposes. It may be said with
justice that the United States Treasury has tried to pour its new wine into what
looks like an old bottle, whereas our bottle and its label are as contemporary as
the contents; but the new wine is there all the same.
Some play, I notice, has been made with the idea that the voting power in
the British proposal has been arranged in our own interest. Nothing, I can assure
your Lordships, was further from our thoughts. The Chancellor of the Exchequer
explained last week in the House of Commons that there is no reason to expect
that the American formula, when it has been fully explained, will be unacceptable
to us. Certainly to arrive at voting predominance by the use of a particular formula
was neither an intention nor an essential part of our proposals. Again, the re-
quirement in the American plan for a four-fifths majority will be found, if the
paper is read carefully, to relate not to all matters by any means, but only to a
few major issues. Whether on second thought any one would wish to allow a
negative veto to any small group remains to be seen. For example, the American
proposals might allow the gold-producing countries to prevent thie Unied States
from increasing the gold value of the dollar, even in circumstances where the
deluge of gold was obviously becoming excessive; and in some ways, by reason of
their greater rigidity, the American proposals would involve a somewhat greater
surrender of national sovereignty than do our own.
A Possible Synthesis
The American plan requires the member States to provide so-calledl security
against their overdrafts, a requirement which could certainly be met if it is
thought useful; but the security in question only to a very small exten: consists
in an outside security in the shape of gold. It consists mainly of an I.O.U. en-
graved on superior notepaper, better than would be the case, perhaps, under our
own scheme. I have said that, if that is thought useful and worth while, it does
not involve any particular problem. The American scheme, again, sets a maximum
to the liability of a creditor member to hold a credit balance, and there again
that is a provision which is equally possible, if it is helpful, on either plan. But
what happens when a creditor reaches his maximum is, in the American paper,
somewhat obscure. I have not the slightest doubt in my own mind that a syn-
thesis of the two schemes should be possible; but it does not seem ad isable to
attempt it until there has been time and opportunity to discover what tlhe expert
opinion of other nations and of all the world finds difficult or unacceptable in
either scheme, and what it finds sensible and good. In the light of that opinion,
the synthesis in due course should and must be attempted. I trust that your Lord-
ships will wish the two Treasuries God-speed in their high enterprise. So ill did
we fare in the years between the two wars for lack of such an instrument of
international government as this that the resulting waste and dissipation of wealth
was scarcely less than the economic cost of the wars themselves; whilst the
frustration of men's efforts and the distortion of their life pattern have played
The Revival of Education in Europe 15
no small part in preparing the soiled atmosphere in which the Nazis could
These Papers do not present a whole story, but only the first chapter. They
do, however, make a start in framing a structure without which other measures
cannot be well designed or fitted in. I would also suggest to those of your Lord-
ships-and there are many-who have for years taken a particular interest in the
evolution of international forms of government, that we here offer an essay of
some importance in the new modes of international government in economic
affairs, by means of which the future may be better ordered than the past. Neither
plan conceals a selfish motive. The Treasuries of our two great nations have come
before the world in these two Papers with a common purpose and with high
hopes of a common plan. Here is a field where some sound thinking may do
something useful to ease the material burdens of the children of men.
MR. R. A. BUTLER
President of the Board of Education
May 27, 1943
Education has great responsibilities, both at home and abroad.
I have the honor to preside over a Conference of the Allied Ministers of Edu-
cation together with representatives of the U. S. A. and U. S. S. R. Let me deal with
three particular directions in which we can use our legitimate influence for the
good of Europe.
'First we should play our part in restoring some of the terrible devastation
caused in the educational life of the occupied countries.
Then we should use our influence to prepare a well-tilled seed bed for the
growth of European civilization into so complete a pattern of freedom that it
presents a real unity not easily to be sundered.
Let us solemnly remember the terrible devastation of the educational life of
the occupied countries to which the recent Reports of the Joint Commission of
the London International Assembly and of the Council for Education in World
Citizenship have drawn attention. Let us pause for a moment to think of some
of the facts!
Devastation of Educational Life on the Continent
In Belgium there is the tragic loss for the second time of the Louvain Uni-
versity containing over 600,000 volumes and illuminated manuscripts. The Libra-
ries and archives at Ostend, Tournai and Nivelles were also destroyed. Numerous
schools have been requisitioned by the Germans for use as barracks and such like
purposes. Brussels University was closed in August 1942, when the Council of
Administration and the professors refused to ban Jewish professors and free-
masons and refused to accept the nomination of German professors and supporters
of the New Order.
In Czechoslovakia all Czech universities and other high schools of university
rank were closed down in 1939. Many scientific institutions, libraries and museums
were closed and pillaged.
In France, apart from the schools destroyed during the military campaign many
have been taken over as barracks by the Germans; many students have 'been ar-
16 British Speeches of the Day
rested and executed; all public and private libraries in Alsace-Lorraine have been
emptied of their French books.
In Luxembourg the German administration have taken over all the libraries and
museums; have confiscated text-books, and dismissed or executed many pro-
fessors and teachers.
In the Netherlands there is the same story of closure of universities, the de-
struction of schools or their requisitioning, and the imprisonment or execution
of students and teachers.
In Norway fifteen professors and about 2,000 teachers have been put into
In Poland almost all the famous libraries have been destroyed and artistic
treasures stolen. One hundred professors have been executed or have died in
concentration camps, or have been killed by enemy action.
In Greece there is a deliberate effort to exterminate all the Greek culture of
In Yugoslavia, Belgrade University has been damaged and its libraries and
installations destroyed. It is estimated that many hundreds of school teachers and
between 3,000 and 4,000 students and pupils have been killed.
Need I here dwell upon the massive destruction in Russia and China? . .
We are making what plans we can to repair the devastation.
Preparation to Revive Education in Europe
Working in collaboration with the British Council and its odyssean Chairman
Sir Malcolm Robertson, we have thus decided to deal with the very first needs
of the schools and colleges which will have to be restarted in the occupied coun-
tries. We are concentrating our attention on such questions as the provision of
equipment and are taking steps to seek out and train prospective teachers.
It is proposed to hold a Course for British and Allied Teachers during'the
summer holidays, where common experience and problems can he discussed.
Having in mind the ultimate goal of achieving some fusion of European civili-
zation, we have studied the possibility of developing a series of cultural conven-
tions or "treaties of understanding," as I should like to call them, between the
Allied Nations. These instruments should be bilateral or between two parties and
are destined to be made in the immediate post-war period. And we have some
past experience to draw upon.
Various Governments in pre-war days entered upon such Conventions. It has
been the aim of the most successful among them to bring interested States together
in the fields of science, letters, the arts, and especially education.
With this task, rejoicing in your liberty, you can help us much better than
if, as in the case with bastard Axis-so called-Kultur Conventions, the Press is
treated as the pawn of the Propaganda Ministers and as a blunt instrument of
Material to study, or as you say "copy," must be available. We have set another
commission hard at work upon such questions as the restoration of libraries and
the provision of school books. It is not perhaps too much to hope that, while we
have representative teachers and scholars from the allied countries here, a begin-
ning may be made with the task of producing in collaboration with them a history
of our common European civilization. Such a production would, as I conceive it,
emphasize the essential unity of European history and the common foundations
upon which our civilization has been built. If in our schools and universities we
can in futureteach the history of this civilization so as to secure the recognition
The Revival of Education in Europe 17
of this essential unity, we shall have achieved something which will surely help
mutual understanding and peace.
Who knows whether a pursuance of these lines of study may not lead us
to the establishment of even more practical machinery? . .
Any new international machinery whether for education or anything else must
have two features; it must respond to the two tests of "universality" and of itself
Under the head of universality, which we have recognized as being necessary
in the handling of our own internal insurance problems, and which I shall not
forget in planning the provision of a universal primary and secondary education
for this country, I would say that it will be essential in future that no great nations
shall stay outside any machinery that is set up. Without the great nations
there is no true balance. And in this connection I should like to say that the suc-
cess of any small efforts we may be making on the Conference of Allied Ministers
of Education will depend upon the collaboration, which is already assured, of the
representatives of the United States of America, of the Soviet Union, of the
Dominions and of China.
In fact some of these representatives have already attended our meeting this
week and are in a position, as observers, to give us the benefit of their advice
and encouragement. Without their help, influence and advice our small beginnings
can lead nowhere.
When I say that a feature of international machinery should be that it is con-
tributory, I mean that every nation should play its part and that none should
stand aside. There must be contributions from all sides.
We in London are determined to give our contribution. Proud of our tradi-
tion and our war wounds, we shall hope to be in the future the center for a
great entrepot trade of ideas. We do not wish to convert other nations and peoples
to our own exact form of politics of government. We wish to be a great exchange
and mart, where, from being a Nation of Shopkeepers we can become Merchants
of international understanding.
That is why I am desirous of planning the future by degrees and starting on
the educational level with a series of bilateral treaties of understanding. Later
we may be able to tie these into a central knot. By adopting this process we should
learn what we never seemed to learn at Geneva that an international organization
has no particular merit simply because it is international and has high ideas. It
must have roots in each country and be based on the practical interests of each
participant, not on the undigested intellectual aspirations of the whole.
Re-education of Germany .
When we come to consider education in the enemy countries I prefer not to
talk in terms of imposing an educational regime from the outside.
I do not wish to give any final opinion today as to what our methods should be.
All I will say is that whatever steps may be taken to control and suppress the
outward manifestation of Nazism and Fascism, the restoration of the German
mind, its recovery from the philosophy which has for so many years debauched it,
is evidently the responsibility of the Germans themselves. It can come about
only by an internal process-perhaps by a slow process; and it will only come about
as the result of an overwhelming military defeat.
The beginning of the process of re-education must be the recognition on the
part of the enemy of the fact that there are some things which he can not do. This
demonstration must be so complete as to leave no chance that future propaganda
can be based on the claim that Germany was never defeated in war. The Germans
18 British Speeches of the Day
need to be educated into a realization that war does not pay, and the more they
feel the evils of war, the more they will tend to reverse the false education and
false ideals on which they have been brought up over the last several generations.
First then let us teach that war does not pay.
Then will come the time for understanding and for tying all the knots of
Europe together so that all can learn to take their part in the European comi:y and
be worthy and contributory members of the same.
Thus we should so order things that our enemies see the tragic error of their
policies and bring up their younger generation not as Herrenvolk but Is young
It is only in this way that Europe will find a future for her civilization, and it
is only in this way that we may hope to make some progress towards th.lt which
Immanuel Kant called for-"a long and intensive education of the spirk for all
citizens in every country."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food
House of Commons, May 13, 1943
There would be more cause for alarm if my Department were attack ed, not
because of the way in which it manages the distribution of the food we h we got,
but because we had not got enough food to distribute. I imagine, therefi -e, that
hon. Members and their constituents do comprehend that the major work of the
Ministry of Food is carried on out of the public gaze and is concerned will long-
term, global planning-planning which enables us in this fourth year of the
war to offer a balanced dietary and to be able to look forward to the filth year
with a reasonable degree of calm confidence. Therefore, I do not propose p marily
to devote myself to such exciting questions as why we have succeeded in once
again performing our celebrated disappearing trick with lobsters, but to diaw at-
tention for a while to what I may call the basic strategy of food. My rea on for
desiring to do so is that during the last year there have been significant and im-
portant developments in the management of the world's food stocks, d:velop-
ments undertaken primarily for the purpose of the war but with undoubtedly an
important bearing on post-war problems.
"Watch the Stocks"
First I would just like to say a word-I hope a reassuring word-aboi t food
stocks. Since 1939 our food stocks have been greatly strengthened. A c rdinal
injunction of my Noble Friend [The Minister of Food] is, "Watch the s ocks."
Additional warehouses have been built; cold storage accommodation ha; been
greatly increased. Only by having these substantial reserves has distribution been
maintained on a reasonably even level during the past 12 months. These stored
supplies enable us to overcome the difficulties of uncertain and delayed arrivals.
Earlier in the war we acquired more food than we released for consumption. Thus
our stocks were raised very high above peace-time levels. That position cannot
continue, and there is no reason why it should continue. I want to assure hon.
Members that provided, as I confidently believe, home agriculture continues to
Feeding Britain in Wartime 19
produce as large a proportion of our food during this year as last, the country
can be confident that the national larder will continue to be well stocked during
the next 12 months. I do not need to say that the food we get does not arrive
here by accident, but I sometimes wonder whether the country realizes the extent
to which design has taken the place of accident, not merely by comparison with
the last war, but by comparison with peace-time. Certainly we began earlier. It
is difficult to over-estimate the importance of the work done before the war
by the Food (Defence Plans) Department. That work enabled the Department
immediately to exercise a degree of control not reached even in November, 1918.
Since then control, particularly in the matters of production, procurement and
allocation, has steadily become more extensive and complete. The purpose of that
control is to secure that an adequate, sufficient and varied dietary shall be available
for all for whom we have responsibility. These include, not merely the civilian
population of this country, but the members of the Services wherever they may be,
with some contingent liability for those occupied areas which we shall liberate.
Further, we have willingly undertaken to make substantial provision for the
American Forces in the European theatre. Beyond that, our requirements have to
be set in accord with those of the rest of the Empire and of the other members of
the Grand Alliance of the United Nations. To achieve harmony and balance in
that is no small task. It has been made easier by the remarkable development in
recent years of the science of nutrition. Shakespeare put into the mouth of Julius
Caesar words which might seem appropriate to my Noble Friend:
"Let me have men about me that are fat."
Yet, accurately to represent my Noble Friend's mind, one- letter needs to be
changed. It should be made:
"Let me have men about me that are fit."
And our scientists can now properly relate food and fitness; we are able to pro-
duce and import, not merely food but food values, not merely filling but nourish-
ment. When, then, the scientists have prepared their plan in terms of calories,
vitamins and the like, that plan must be transformed into terms of actual food-
stuffs. Plans for production here at home and overseas must be prepared and
arrangements made for procurement, for transport, for storage and for distribu-
tion. This is a long-term business. The main concern of the Ministry of Food to-
day is not with what people will eat to-morrow; it is with what people will eat
in 1944 and 1945. Equally, the food we have to-day is the fruit of plans made
and completed 18 months ago. These plans have, inevitably, to be flexible. They
are made in a changing world. The fluctuations of war, the exigencies of shipping
and many other factors conspire daily to make our plans "gang agley." But the
tea ration has been maintained, notwithstanding the loss of some of our im-
portant tea-producing areas. For months before Pearl Harbor, our tea stocks
were built up to a point sufficient to enable us to carry over the period until the
greatly increased production, immediately arranged in India and Ceylon, could
become available. We lost almost the whole of our rice supply, yet at no period
has rice been to any degree short of demand, either for civilians or for the Services,
because we called in the New World to redress the balance of the Old. We
turned to the West to provide what the East could no longer provide. We found
succour in Brazil and the United States. Here were areas capable of producing
rice, and our requests that they should be employed for that purpose were met.
Conserving Shipping Space
No less has production to be related to shipping. Throughout the war my
Department has been concerned, all the time, to reduce the ratio of volume to
20 British Speeches of the Day
value, and we can truly say now that never has so much been carried in so little.
Some examples may interest hon. Members. The dried egg-popular, I assure
hon. Members, as a food no less than as a joke-is something quite new. The
process was discovered and production arranged well over a year before the first
shipments reached this country from the United States. Shell eggs are bulky and
have a rooted objection to long journeys. Dried egg enables us to bring to this
country the equivalent of shell eggs in a fifth of the tonnage. Scarcely less strik-
ing are the advances made in the preparation of meat. Carcasses are boned and
telescoped so that we can stow in 75 cubic feet what previously needed 100 cubic
feet. The saving in meat is considerably more than that, because of course, we
do not bring the bone. Take cheese and butter. Shortage of refrigerated tonnage
prevented us bringing all the butter available but we did not abandon the food
values. We arranged for the erection of plants for cheese manufacture, and instead
of bringing butter we brought cheese. But the greatest economy of all lies in
the process in which very many hon. Members have expressed an interest, and
with which one hon. Member at least, has expressed verbal disgust-dehydration.
Dried foods are not new, but, in the past, drying has dried out vitamin content.
The new process retains the vitamins. At home and abroad the process is develop-
ing. Its product is being used in ever-increasing degrees for the Services. Here
in this.country we are concentrating on vegetables, and it is a nutritional revolution
to be able to provide fresh greens, with full food value, for the sailor in the
Arctic or for the soldier in the desert. As a measure of the economy, I may
say that 1,000 tons of raw cabbage, which occupied 140,000 cubic feet, is reduced
by dehydration to 40 tons, occupying only 15,000 cubic feet. I am sure that hon.
Members will agree that this development has within it remarkable opportunities
for the future.
Shipping, indeed, is graven on the hearts of the commodity officers of the Min-
istry of Food. It is no obsession. We know that military needs are paramount.
We know that, at any moment, we may be called upon to sacrifice ships to a
military purpose. Now that we have the glad news that Tunisia is taken, I can
say that for three months after the landing in North Africa the total shipping
available for my Department was barely sufficient to bring in even the gaain we
needed for use during that period. Now, too, perhaps hon. Members will appre-
ciate why my Noble Friend was so anxious during the winter that we should eat
potatoes and not bread.
An Allied Food Strategy
I want to ask hon. Members, however, to contemplate an even wider canvas-
a world picture. The strategy of food is not a domestic affair. It concerns all
the United Nations. It would be disastrous if the procurement of supplies became
a scramble among them. It is not. There are a combined staff and a common
strategy. Nothing during the last year has been more important or more signifi-
cant than the establishment of the machinery of that common strategy. In June,
1942, by a joint directive of the President and the Prime Minister, a Combined
Food Board was established "to complete the organization needed for the most
effective use of the combined resources of the United States and the United
Kingdom for the prosecution of the war."
That Board has as its members the Secretary for Agriculture of the United States
and the head of the British Food Mission in Washington. It is concerned with
the allocation of foodstuffs, and the world is its parish. As a pendant to the
Combined Food Board, the London Food Committee was set up, and of that body
I have the honor to be chairman. On the London Food Committee are repr sented
all the Dominions-with the exception of Canada and Eire-India, and, indirectly,
all the Colonies and all our European Allies. The. purpose of that Committee is
Feeding Britain in Wartime 21
to prepare a programme of the essential needs of all the countries with which it is
concerned, to relate those needs to the supplies available, and, finally, to present
an agreed programme to the Combined Food Board for approval and submission
to their Governments.
I say that this machinery is important and significant. It is important. It pre-
vents any competitive buying of foodstuffs that are in short supply. Further, it
removes any sense of grievance on the grounds that this or that country is
going short while there is a surplus somewhere else. It is significant. Already
it is evident that after the war many foodstuffs will be in short supply for some
time. The way to inflation is competitive buying among the nations of the world.
For some time, perhaps for longer than we think, sane statesmanship will, I
believe, demand the maintenance of machinery, to which Governments will, I hope,
give their consent, to screen the needs of the people of the world, to be con-
cerned with the organization of production to meet those needs, to relate those
needs to the supplies available, and, finally, to procure and to allocate those sup-
plies. For that reason I think this machinery which has come into being in the
last year has a particular significance now that we are thinking of post-war prob-
lems. The grand strategy of food in wartime, if I may use the phrase without
seeming pompous, has, it seems to me, its lessons for the period of disturbance
that will inevitably follow the collapse of the Axis.
Before leaving this matter, I cannot forbear to remind hon. Members of the
vital part played by home agriculture. The Ministry. of Food is the customer of
the agricultural departments. We tell them what we want. We pitch our re-
quirements high. We ask them what a very short time ago would have been
thought unattainable. They do not flinch; they set about meeting the demand. I
should feel it curmudgeonly if I did not take the opportunity to thank my right
hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture and the Secretary of State for Scotland,
and all our farmers and all the men and women workers on the land, for what
they have done to enable our expectations to be so near in practical performance
to the paper programme ..
The work of the Ministry of Food divides easily into four parts: deciding
what we want, getting it, distributing it, using it. I have spoken about the first
two parts, and I think hon. Members will expect me to render some account of
our stewardship in regard to the other two parts of the work, the parts, moreover,
which intimately concern us in our daily life.
Stable Food Prices
Before embarking on details in regard to food policy, there is one element
of universal importance to which I should like to refer-price stabilization. In no
respect has food control in this war shown so sharp a contrast with experience in
the last. Prices have never been allowed to get out of hand. In September, 1939,
there were no panic purchases. Later a major Government decision was taken to
stabilize the cost of living. Food prices have remained steady, not accidentally, but
as a result of deliberate action with my Departnent as the instrument, and as a
result in the average home to-day no less than 95 per cent. of the expenditure on
food goes upon foodstuffs which are subject to some form of price control. Ac-
tually, during the last two years the increase has fallen from 23 per cent. above
pre-war to 20 per cent., the figure of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer re-
minded the House the other day.
In the spring of 1918 the equivalent rise in food prices was 108 per cent.
This steadiness in food prices has two causes. The first is the establishment of
something like a buying monopoly which has prevented the rise of world prices,
and the second the contributions from the Exchequer by way of subsidy to food-
22 British Speeches of the Day
stuffs, paid through the Ministry of Food. The Ministry of Food account falls
into two categories, first, those accounts which relate to foods for which no
subsidy is required and which in general show a small profit, and second, those
which, like wheat and meat, are deliberately run at a loss. To that policy Parlia-
ment has given, and I think rightly given, its consent, and it is misleading to
speak of the sums necessarily disbursed to maintain a steady level of prices as lost.
During the year to 31st March, 1942, the amount spent in subsidies was ap-
proximately 145,000,000-spent to maintain level prices for the staple foodstuffs.
I think hon. Members will be interested to know, as indeed they are entitled to
known, how this sum was distributed among the principal subsidized foodstuffs.
Here are the figures, which I shall give in millions of pounds: Bread, flour and
oatmeal, 35,000,000; meat, 23,000,000; potatoes, 23,000,000; milk, 11,000,-
000; eggs, 13,000,000; sugar, 16,000,000; national milk and milk-in-schools
schemes, 17,000,000; tea, milk products, bacon and other small items, 12,000,-
000. Hon. Members may object to some of these figures in detail; we have heard
criticisms, for example, of the egg subsidy, but in general I am confident :hat hon.
Members do not regret having authorized this policy, both to avoid inflation and
to ensure the maintenance of an adequate, nutritional standard.
Having provided for essential foodstuffs to be within the purchasing power of
all, the next problem is to secure that they are available for people to purchase.
So far as foodstuffs on the straight ration are concerned, I think there are in
general no complaints. The essence of straight rationing is that the coupon shall
have a fixed value and that the coupon shall be met. To me it is a permanent
wonder that each week at the almost innumerable distributing points there is
enough meat, enough butter, enough sugar to meet the coupons of the consumers,
but there it is. The system works, and it works thanks to the co-operation of the
trade and the public. To me, I must say, it is something of a weekly miracle.
The Rationing System 0
In this country we have deliberately chosen an equal ration for all as the basis
of our policy. Other countries adopt a system of differential rationing. Certainly,
needs vary, but to assess the difference between the needs of different classes is
a most acrimonious business, and we have endeavored to meet those variable
needs in other ways, to which I shall refer later. Straight rationing is only a part,
albeit a vital part, of the machinery of rationing and control. Last year, mv prede-
cessor referred to the points scheme, which had then been in operation for, I
think, about three months. Since then the points scheme has become one of the
most popular elements in the whole distributive process. It has indeed created a
new currency. The housewife says to the shopkeeper not "What is that in money?"
but "How many points is it?" and when she is told she may say that she cannot
afford it because it costs too many points. During the year, five more foodstuffs
have been added to the points scheme-condensed milk, breakfast cereal, syrup
and treacle, biscuits, and, to the distress of the Scots, oatflakes, yet, in view of the
frequent injunctions to put this or that commodity on points, it is important to
remember the background of the points scheme. It covers foodstuffs not in uni-
versal demand but not in sufficient supply individually. Also, it does not include
foodstuffs that are perishable. To overload the scheme would be dangerous, and
to include within it perishable foodstuffs would possibly be fatal. It enables all,
by using their points entitlement, to come by those little extras which add variety
and palatability to the diet, and which I saw, before the introduction of the
scheme, were tending to go far too much to far too limited hands. It represents
the effort of the Ministry of Food to put into practice the doctrine of th.lt pro-
found philosopher, Marie Lloyd, who said, "A little of what you fancy does
Feeding Britain in Wartime 23
Let me interpose one word about a matter which has often appeared to me
to be a subject of concern in this House, the small man. Many suppose that the
practice of registration with particular suppliers for rationed commodities operates
against the small man. Statistics do not support that view. I have figures-I have
got the figures out with some trouble-for sugar, butter and bacon. While at the
re-registration in 1941 independent shopkeepers increased their registrations by
5 per cent. and in 1942 by 3 per cent., on the other hand the multiples in
1941 lost 5 per cent. and in 1942 lost 3 per cent.
The success of straight rationing and points is, I think we can claim, the
foundation of such good will as the Ministry of Food has. Our troubles lie else-
where. They are provoked by foodstuffs permanently in short supply or perishable,
or worse than all, when both those horrid qualities are present, as in the case of
fish. For u;, a little foodstuff is a dangerous thing. We have no trouble with
bananas, and nobody worries. People do not worry very much because they have
not got something, but only because somebody else has. Game, poultry, meat
offals, rabbits, fish and eggs, of which the available supplies do not and cannot, so
long as the war lasts, anything like meet the public demand, are permanent head-
aches. Leaxe them aldne and the price goes to the ceiling. Control them, and they
tend to disappear unless we have a most rigid system of control from the point
of production to the point of consumption, as in the case of eggs. In theory,
such control is not difficult, but the expenditure of man-power and effort is
very considerable, and the rewards of evasion are great.
Still, much has been attempted, and I think with success, to secure to the public
an even flow at reasonable prices of many of those intractable commodities. I
would instance fresh fruit and vegetables. In the last year, an effort has been made
to regulate the prices of green onions, leeks, swedes, cucumbers, tomatoes, soft
fruits, plums, cherries, apples, pears and rhubarb. In the case of tomatoes with
the great assistance of the trade, a scheme of distribution was successfully operated
last summer, notwithstanding the most gloomy forebodings. Fruits, it has been
decided, can be most equitably distributed by way of jam, and consequently both
last year and again this year fruits have been pre-empted in order that they shall
be used in the form of jam. We laid our hands on green vegetables later, and
it is not possible to say how our scheme would work in normal conditions. We
made our plans for a normal winter, but we counted without my right hon. and
gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power. I am very glad that the sun shone
on him with unaccustomed vigor, but the result for us was a glut of vegetables
and a series of administrative problems much different from those we expected
when we introduced this scheme. Nevertheless, because we had contracted to buy
certain acreages, we were able, by directing supplies to markets where supplies
were short or prices high, to bring down prices to reasonable levels.
While I am dealing with our difficulties, hon. Members may expect me to men-
tion fish. They will understand if I say that there have been many times in the
last few months when I never wanted to hear the word "fish" again. Here is a
food highly perishable and in' permanently short supply. It is unrationable. It
has been in short supply since the outbreak of war. Its distribution was wasteful
of transport. Last year, to economize in transport and clear the lines for the guns,
we introduced a scheme for more rational distribution. That scheme did not
have any effect on the supply of fish. Supply was short before, particularly
in the winter months. The main difference is that this year fish
has had more publicity. The public were told that there was no fish, and in
consequence they observed more acutely the deficiency. The observation of the
public is shrewd, however, and far from attacking the Ministry of Food they
24 British Speeches of the Day
have tended to turn their attention to the fish trade. It is interesting that 95 per
cent. of the letters received in my Department from the public on this subject are
complaints not about the Department, but about the fish trade. I am. glad to be
able to say that the Fish Industry Joint Council deplores as much as I do the
atmosphere of hysteria which appears on occasion to have developed on this sub-
ject. This responsible body is now working in close harmony with the Ministry
of Food. I have had an opportunity recently of a conference with its members
and I have every reason to believe that, so far as it lies in the power of that body
and the Department such fish as we can get will be distributed as equitably and
as well as may be.
Saving Transport and Manpower
The country must recognize that, at a time when the demand for fish, owing
to the shortage of meat, is greater than ever before, we are reduced to approxi-
mately 25 per cent. of our pre-war fishing fleet, and for that the reason is obvious.
Both vessels and men are engaged in seeking more dangerous catches. Let me
emphasize that the purpose of fish zoning had nothing to do with better distribu-
tion of fish. Its purpose was really to save transport. It illustrates a complication
in the work of the Department which has become particularly acute during the
last year. It has made the work at times much more like an obstacle race. I refer
to the ever-increasing demands made upon the Ministry of Food by the Ministry
of Labour to save man-power, by the Ministry of War Transport to save transport,
and by the Board of Trade to save space. These are perfectly proper demands and
the Ministry of Food has done its best to meet them loyally, while at the same
time avoiding unnecessary burdens on the public. Concentrations of production,
delimitations of areas of distribution, rationalization of retail deliveries few, if
any of those are food schemes, yet my Department and the food trades are glad
if they can, by accepting and developing those schemes, add something to the
total effort of the war. I hope that hon. Members will remember this and will
exercise due leniency in their criticisms and that they will not condemn a scheme
on the ground that it does not assist in the better distribution of food when,
in fact, that was never its intention. Our contribution has been substantial. Fish
zoning is saving about 7,000 train-miles a week; the scheme for moving seed
potatoes from Scotland this year saved- the railways 250,000 tons of traffic; the
rationalization of the retail milk deliveries, by no means yet complete, shows a
saving of petrol at the rate of 35 per cent. Soft drink concentration has enabled
1,000 vehicles to be taken off the road. Last year the food trades released very
large numbers of men and women for the Ministry of Labour, and in the current
six months plan to release proportionately still more.
National Restaurants and Canteens
Notwithstanding these obstacles, it may be claimed that the people of this
country, and in particular the working population, are better fed now than a year
ago. Earlier I said that we had deliberately rejected the system of differential
rations. Instead, we have sought to provide for the special needs of the workers
by feeding them on the job or near the job. The past year has seen a remarkable "
development of industrial canteens and of British Restaurants. Exact estimates are
difficult, but as near as I can say 180,000,000 meals a week are taken in catering
establishments, including British Restaurants and industrial canteens. Approxi-
mately 10 per cent. of our total civilian supplies are used in this way, and 90
per cent. are used in the home. Some argue that this system is inequitable. Meals
out, they say, should be rationed. It is certain, however, that if the surrender of
coupons were demanded for meals taken out by those whose work prevents them
eating at home-and such cases account for all but a small fraction of meals taken
out-there would at once be a demand for an increase in the domestic entitlement
Feeding Britain in Wartime 25
of many classes of workers, a proper demand too. No substantial increase in the
general domestic ration could possibly result from any system of coupons for meals.
Nevertheless, new periods of stringency may come upon us, and it may be that we
shall have to exercise a more severe control of catering establishments. If that time
comes, then our plans are complete and will be put into operation almost over-
But coupons or no coupons, the British Restaurants have proved themselves
to be one of the most popular war-time institutions. There are now 2,058. They
are increasing at the rate of about 10 a week. Local authorities are being pressed
by their constituents to establish British Restaurants, and the degree of success
they attain is a measure of the enterprise and efficiency of the local authority con-
cerned. I heard the other day an example of that enterprise. Regrettably, in some
parts of the country, the rate of disappearance of cutlery in British Restaurants is
high. I hope that the public will amend their habits in this respect. One British
Restaurant hit upon the plan of demanding a deposit of 2s. 6d. on going in for
the knife and fork, to be returned on their surrender. All appeared to be going
well. There were no complaints, but at the end of the week it was found that
the stock of knives and forks had increased.
The "National Loaf"
So far I have been concerned with the distribution of foodstuffs which are
subject to some form of rationing or control. Let me now turn to the pride and
joy of the Ministry of Food, our main unrationed foodstuffs, the staff of life,
the National Loaf. Not merely for the departmental prestige do we attempt to
maintain the only unrationed loaf in Europe. In this 4e have so far succeeded.
Let us hope we can so carry on to the end, but if we were compelled to ration
bread, an equal ration for all is out of the question, so different are the degrees
of consumption. Bread rationing would lead us straight into the thorny path of
differential rations. We claim that our loaf is the best bread in Europe. Since
the Debate a year ago the National Loaf has been introduced, and has received a
remarkable favorable reception. The white loaf has gone and our flour is milled at
an 85 per cent. extraction rate. Now other grains, home-grown barley and oats,
are added in small proportions. Hon. Members will, I think, agree with me that
throughout the world-Europe at any rate-there is no cheaper food than the
National Loaf at 21/d. a lb. We are at pains to keep the standard high. Samples
are taken in each Food Division every week. Bakers are given advice and com-
petitions are organized to encourage their efforts.
Another commodity outside the general rationing scheme is milk. The quan-
tities available vary substantially with the seasons, and variations are accordingly
made in the entitlement which is determined for the adult population. But for
those who need milk--children, expectant and nursing mothers, and invalids-
a prior claim is recognized and met throughout the course of the year. Let us
remember that the National Milk Scheme and the development of the Milk in
Schools Scheme have increased the' consumption of liquid milk far above the
peace-time level, and that were.consumption on the same level as before the war,
there would be no need to limit the entitlements of anyone throughout the whole
year. The claim of children and expectant mothers on milk supplies comes first.
That is not their only priority. Whatever they need, not merely for an adequate
diet, but for a full diet, my Noble Friend is determined to supply. Ever since
he has been in office their needs have come first. Whoever may have to go short,
the children, he has said, shall not. I believe that his attitude has the full support
of Parliament. The raw material of the race is too valuable to put at risk.
26 British Speeches of the Day
Educating the Public
So I come to the end of my domestic story. I would like to say mi ch about
the fourth of the main divisions of our work, the usage of food, but I have not
time to enter at length into that. Let me say, however, that stringency demands
that we should squeeze the last calorie and the ultimate vitamin out of the food
we have. It i:; a sorry end of food brought at great risk from the ends of the
earth to have its valuable food content burned out of it or boiled out of it and
poured down the drain. On the one hand plenty, on the other hand bad housing,
have conspired to limit our culinary talents. The Ministry attaches great im-
portance to its efforts to revive and develop the art of cooking. By advert segments,
by leaflets, by the establishment of Food Advice Centres, this work is da ly being
pursued. We have already established 33 Food Advice Centres, but if we were
able to double or quadruple the number, we should not have met the demand we
get from all parts of the country for the establishment of Food Advice Centres.
As time passes the full usage of food becomes ever more important. I hope the
coming year may see great development in this branch of our work.
The foundation of this vast structure of food control is, I regret to sa -, a vast
amount of paper-Defence Regulations, Statutory Rules and Orders, directions, and
so on. Wherever possible we proceed by voluntary arrangements with ihe food
trade. The scheme for the rationalization of retail milk deliveries, for exi nple, is
based on voluntary agreements. That is all to the good, But, willy-nilly a legal
process is involved in most of our actions. That legal process creates offences.
Enforcement is a major problem of my Department. Offences are of two distinct
kinds. There are technical offences, as it were, driving at more than 30 miles an
hour in built-up areas, and offences that are deliberate attempts to defeat tlie food
regulations for purposes of private gain, in other words, the black market uffcnces,
properly so called. My Noble Friend takes a very different attitude to tfiese two
classes of offences. In respect of the first, his direction is to avoid a pro section
if a warning will do. In respect of the second, his direction is to pui-ue the
offenders with the utmost rigor of the law. In the result the general 1,ody of
public and traders do not feel themselves harried, while the true black market
operators become a diminishing and dispirited band. We have now go t aem,
so to speak, in the Tunisian tip. Unfortunately we have not yet got the n, like
von Arnim, in the bag. .
If food distribution has succeeded in this country it is because of the willing
and whole-hearted co-operation of the food trades and of the public. without t
that co-operation no system could have worked. The law-abiding habit of tie peo-
ple of this country has been the Department's greatest asset. Indeed, the iranner
in which the British people have, by their own efforts, stamped out black-narket
activities is the amazement and wonder of every visitor to this country from ; broad.
To buy on the black market in this country to-day is not merely an offenc-, ;t is
worse-it is bad form. In the matter of enforcement the whole population has
voluntarily constituted itself the Home Guard of the Food Front. For that co-
operation my Noble Friend has consistently sought. People in this coun ry do
not take kindly to too much paternalism in Government, but in some stranl:e way
my Noble Friend has contrived to develop what I would call avuncular g vern-
ment, and I think that it is as a kind of universal uncle that he is accept d. In
many ways the Ministry of Food is an unusual Department. It certainly do-s not
conform to the orthodox pattern. It has many executive and trading functions in
addition, to its administrative function. Its staff reflects that diversity. Within its
walls the lion lies down with the lamb, civil servants mingle with business execu-
tives-it would not be for me to distinguish between the lion and the laml,. In-
Post-War Planning-Some Fallacies 27
deed, for my own private purposes, I divide the Department into bureaucrats
and magnates. I hope I can say that without offence to my colleagues in the
Let me say seriously that I could not imagine a happier or more devoted team
than has been produced by this combination of able adAinistrative experts and
the most highly-skilled business executives. When the history is written the coun-
try will recognize that it has reason to be grateful to those very many leaders of
the food trades who gladly left their desks in their private businesses to devote
themselves and their talents to the national effort. This country was indeed for-
tunate that, by reason of its predominant position as a food importer, it possessed
men in every branch of the food trades, who were literally supreme in their sphere
in the world. If my Department's record has not been unsatisfactory, might it
not be because we have brought the experts on to the stage, rather than let them
remain in the auditorium as possibly critical spectators?
RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON
Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
West Bromwich, May 9, 1943
When we look forward to the world after the war what do we see? I have
noticed two different and indeed opposite fallacies in the thinking and talking,
private and public, that goes on about this all-important subject.
It is worth while considering these two fallacies because each of them in its
way is extremely dangerous.
There is, to begin with, the idea that after the war we can look forward to
enormous improvements all round which some Government is going to produce
for us by waving a wand or passing an Act or pronouncing some magic spell.
I am not a pessimist about the future-far from it; but I do take a gloomy view of
the idea that things are likely to get very much better automatically and without
a great deal of hard thinking, hard work, patience and self-discipline. Wars don't
of themselves make anything better. The most they do is to show up the weakness
and falsity of many old habits, ideas and institutions; to teach people lessons; to
give them an opportunity of profiting from bitter experience.'
No Short Cuts
But it is up to people themselves to learn the lesson and to take the action.
One of the lessons I hope they will have learned is that there are no short cuts
and no easy solutions. Nothing is made better by pronouncing curses on the
older generation or the Government, or any other cheap and easy scapegoat. The
place to begin any necessary over-haul is in our minds-ideas we have about our
own interests and the interests of other people, the feeling we entertain towards
other people, other groups and other countries.
In the war we have on the whole risen to very great heights of unselfish unity.
All of us in all classes have shown readiness to accept sacrifices and hardships in
the interest of our country, and of a cause wider than our country in which we all
profoundly believe. If we can keep up to that standard when peace comes, there
28 British Speeches of the Day
is good hope of the better world to which we all look forward. If we can't, then
we shall get ourselves into trouble through our own folly, short-sightedness and
selfishness just as men have so often done in the past.
This is the first fallacy. Don't let us look for any free and easy Utopias;
don't let us expect that heaven on earth will come all of itself if only the bad
old men or the stupid Government or some other villain of the piece will let it.
In short, don't be lazy.
The second and opposite fallacy is to expect to get back as quickly as possible
-to the kind of world that existed before the war. Now you may say that I am
putting up an Aunt Sally simply to knock it down-that no one expects or wants
to get back to the world as it was before the war. Don't be too sure about that.
A lot of people want it. If you're not careful you may surprise yourself very much
when the time comes by finding that you want it too.
Misuse of the Word "Freedom"
After the war there will be plenty of people coming to parade before you the
old ideas dressed up as attractively as possible. There will be people who misuse
the word freedom. They will tell you that we have fought the war for freedom
and that the irksome restrictions and regulations and control that the war has
brought should be completely done away with the moment the war is over. There
will be talk about interference with our lives and our privacy-there will be talk
about bureaucracy and about too much government. Quite a campaign will be
worked up maybe to persuade us that the thing to do is to get rid of controls
of every kind.
It's a crazy idea when you come to think of it. If what we want is to get back
to the world before the war, what we are really doing is to get back to a world in
which the causes of war are bred, just as they were this last time. After the last
war the country set about getting back to normal as fast as possible. People turned
their backs on everything the war had brought with it. All Government controls
were taken off. The result was a great boom and then a great slump, a wild dis-
orderly time which ruined millions of people and left us with a mass of unem-
ployment from which we never recovered until very recent years.
It is of the greatest importance that we should all realize one thing clearly.
The end of the war, whenever and however it comes, will not be the end of
abnormal conditions. On the day after the last of our enemies is finally beaten we
shall move on into a world in which many of the problems will be very like those
of war-time. Some other problems will vanish with the end of the actual fighting,
but their place will be taken by new ones. For a period of time which no man
to-day can estimate-one year, perhaps, or two, or three, or even longer, depend-
ikg upon many things that cannot now be foreseen-we shall be living in a
world of strains and stresses, shortages and bottlenecks. Ministers of that peace-
time who were Ministers in war-time may well wish they were back following
"the straight and simple task of running a war."
Post-war Shortage and Demand
Let me take some concrete examples. The world will be short of almost
everything men need-food, clothing, metals, timber, bricks and mortar, and many
more. The only things of which we shall have enough will be things of which
there will be a lot too many-guns and tanks and aeroplanes.
Side by side with this shortage of every peace-time need there will be the most
tremendous demand. All the world will want more food and, we know well,
there will be parts of the world where the need of it will be very much greater
than our own, though we ourselves will need it too. You and I will want more
Post-War Planning-Some Fallacies 29
clothes. We shall want to make up all arrears of buying that the war has imposed
on us. Everybody at once will want to get the house painted and the roof mended
and the new carpet and crockery. All the women will want new dresses and
all the men new suits. A lot of people will start thinking about motorcars and
vacuum cleaners and radio sets.
At the same time industry will be clamoring for all the new machinery and
buildings it will need after so many years of patching up and making do. The
Government, we all hope, will be wanting to get on with replacing war damage,.
launching a great housing programme, building new schools and hospitals, and a
lot of other things.
Now if money could produce all these things there'd be no trouble at all.
After the war there'll be money about. 'Haven't we all been saving for years-
war loan and savings certificates and deferred income tax credits and all the rest
of it? So there we'shall be with our shortages and our money to make them good.
Now what do you think would happen if we took off all the controls, let
all the men and women out of the Army as fast as we could, and left everybody
free to make good their shortages the best way they could? There would be a mad
scramble, with everyone competing against everyone else for a quantity of goods
less than people's requirements. Prices would go sky-rocketing up, the man with
the long purse would do the best for himself, the rich man would get his motor-
car before the poor housewife got her Aew pots and pans, the millionaire would
get his mansion before the bombed-out docker got his new house, some of the
key requirements of government and industry would be delayed far longer than
they ought to be. Instead of taking deliberate steps to give the necessary priority
to our export trades so that we could pay for the goods we need from abroad, we
would let the export trades take their turn in the queue, and miss our chance in
many overseas markets.
This is a perfectly fantastic picture. Nothing of the sort is going to happen-
when the time comes we won't let it. But stopping it means that the Government
will for some time be running the country on lines very like those of war. In
wartime the Government says that certain needs must come first-aeroplanes
are more important than hair curlers. In the first years of peace the Government
may have to say, for instance, that the export trade is more important than cer-
tain things at home. If there are not enough machine tools, raw materials and
other things to go round-and for some purposes there will certainly not be-
then export may have to come first. In the same way the Government will have to
pick and choose among home needs. If we are short of timber the needs of the
national housing programme must come before those of, say, amusement parks or
luxury buildings. There will have to be control of prices and supplies jjst as
there is in wartime. That is going to mean a good deal of Government regulation,
a good deal of what some people will recklessly call red tape and bureaucracy.
Control has helped to get maximum production in war. It has helped us to solve
problems of prices and wages in a way which is the envy of some other countries.
It will have to help solve many of the very similar problems that will face us after
the war. The choice will be between control and chaos. There is no escape from
How long it will be before those abnormal post-war years come to an end
no one can say. What sort of problems they in their turn will leave on our hands
cannot yet be foreseen. All that we can say for certain now is that anyone who
seriously expects or leads others to expect, that we can get back to pre-war ways
30 British Speeches of the Day
soon after the end of the war is either a fool or a knave. We've just got to
make a good job of the post-war transition.
This is a point that we are all of us perhaps a little readier to see when it
applies to the other fellow than when it applies to ourselves. Yet it applies irt
practice to every single one of us,-yes, even to politicians. I don't know what
the political situation will be at the end of the war and afterwards. Let the
dogmatists burn their fingers with sweeping premature assertions if the) will-I
will not. But I do know that whatever plans and decisions we politicians make
have got to be made in the light of a situation as difficult and dangerous to our
country and to the world as war itself. I am not trying to suggest any particular
course of action or to insinuate that some particular answer is the right one. I
have said before now that it's too early to make up our minds about the right thing
to do. My Party has declared its entire freedom of action to make its own
decision when the time comes-a declaration in which I fully concur. All that I
want to do to-day is to make sure that in thinking about the problems that will
face us at the end of the war we shall be thinking about realities and not about
some dream world of our own which is a mixture of pre-war recollections and
wishful thinking about the future.
Not only will we have to give up so many of our old ideas about home ques-
tions; we will also have to adjust our minds to a new kind of international rela-
tions. We and others will have to get rid of the idea that we have a right to be
judges in our own cause. In matters of political relationships and in trade and
commerce we shall have to get used to working with other countries far more
closely than before. We shall often have to subordinate our judgment or our
wishes to those of others in ways that would no doubt have shocked the high and
mighty diplomacy of the Victorian Age. And they will have to subordinate theirs.
A New Kind of Loyalty
If we want peace, if we intend that international solidarity shall be something
more than a nice after-dinner phrase, we and the rest will have to accept the judg-
ment of the general body of nations, in some cases where it conflicts with our own
judgment and even with our immediate interests. This is much easier to talk about
than it will be to do. Just as some irresponsible people will have an easy time
running raging campaigns to get rid of all controls at home, so it will be easy
enough to make tub-thumping speeches and write tub-thumping articles about
putting the interests of our country first and the folly of misguided international
co-operation. But if we have really learned from this war we shall turn a deaf ear
to that sort of talk. We shall cultivate a new kind of loyalty-a double lo alty to
our country and to the world as a whole. On our hope of doing that will depend
in last resort the successful working of those various international schemes in
politics and economies which we shall no doubt set up.
One final point. It is my conviction that we cannot possibly wait until the end
of the war to consider many of these problems, and indeed to reach decisions about
them. There are great international questions of currency, supply, and trade; there
are great questions at home of the re-organization of industry and the impro\ ement
of every aspect of our social life. If we were content with merely thinking about
those matters, if we left the finding of practical solutions until the war itself is
over-or if we were content with canvassing a number of different solutions and
shirked the task of reaching agreed decisions about them-then we should be
burdening the post-war future with impossible tasks. We should be allowing our
country to drift unprepared or half-prepared into what will be without doubt the
most difficult peace-time era in all its history. To do so would be an appalling
failure of government. If we were guilty of it we would be guilty of a grave
dereliction of duty, almost of treachery to the State.
Town Planning in Britain
RT. HON. W. S. MORRISON
Minister of Town and Country Planning
May 27, 1943
My duty has been defined by Parliament as that of "securing consistency and
continuity in the framing and execution of a national policy with respect to the
use and development of land throughout England and Wales." The creation of
this new Ministry embodies the decision of Parliament that, in future, national
considerations should govern more directly and more actively than hitherto the task
of making the best use of our 37 million acres..
Partnership in Planning
If planning is to be efficient there must be active collaboration between three
partners-the public, the local planning authorities and the Ministry. Behind these
partners stand the specialists-the planners, the surveyors, the architects and the
engineers. The activities of these partners must be geared together in a single
The essential part the people have -to play is sometimes overlooked. There
has been talk of the danger of their being "more planned against than planning."
But they must help in the planning themselves. Planned use of the land can only
be successful if it faithfully interprets the needs of the people for homes, working
places, meeting places, holiday places and all the other purposes which go to
create a ri-h and varied social life. These needs can only be planned for and
met as people in country and village, town and city, think out for themselves and
make known what their true needs are.
Men and women whom the war has taken from their homes can take their
share in this task. They see their home places from a distance with fresh eyes;
they bring to that scrutiny new experience of other places. Teachers can also do a
great service by training children to look about them with instructed eyes .
Another duty of the public is to show their local planning authorities that they
are interested in planning and will support the authority in wise expenditure in-
curred in the execution of a well-conceived plan. Nothing is more certain than
that good planning pays .
Problems to be Faced
You can get a glimpse of the variety of the problems to which the Ministry has
had to direct active research work designed to issue an effective action, if you travel
in the spirit of a weekend Cobbett-your journey must nowadays be in imagina-
tion-one of the roads leading from this Square to, say, the South Coast. Almost
before you have crossed the river, you meet the difficulties of congested traffic,
with the problem of the Thames bridges as one of its components. You see houses,
shops and factories destroyed by enemy action. You come to distended suburbs,
sprawling out into the country and putting yet another barrier between the city
and the green fields. You pass through ranks of badly designed houses, stretched
by ribbon building along the road and very likely absorbing land designed by
nature and its site for good market gardens*; through land "ripe for develop-
ment," as the saying is, that the farmer has ceased to farm but on which the
builder has not yet built. You come to an ugly petrol filling station without a
convenient draw-in for cars. You are affronted by badly lettered advertisements
and invitations to refreshment, and ill-designed posters in places where no ad-
32 British Speeches of the Day
vertisement should be. You see excavations with their machinery-for sand, gravel
or clay-where was once and sometimes still should be, good grazing land.
Then for a while you will travel through a good agricultural belt-arable,
grazing, orchards, hopgardens, spoiled only in its finest view points by colonies of
jerry-builtt bungalows or shacks. Your road to the sea is finally barred by an
entanglement of unplanned and unworthy building that not on this coast alone
keeps Englishmen and Welshmen from enjoying their cliff edges and sandy beaches
as effectively as better planned defences prevent the enemy from landing on them.
I have deliberately stressed the problems and said nothing of the achieve-
ments-a fine highway, soundly built houses, decently planned estates-which you
would also discover on that journey. Behind every one of those problems lies at
least one subject needing basic investigation, whether by this Ministry or by out-
side bodies working in cooperation with it. Each of those problems demands the
collation of facts already recorded but not assembled, or new and original re-
search. The Ministry is already hard at work on a research program directed to
prompt action. It embraces such subjects as the reconstruction of blitzed cities,
national parks, the protection of the coastline, the extraction of surface minerals,
the regulation of advertisement displays, the layout and seemliness of petrol sta-
Plans for the Future
The Councils of blitzed cities have been asked to plan for redevelopment and
improvement of their cities on bold lines. This will mean a loosening process and
an overspilll" of population. The Councils are therefore studying, in consultation
with adjoining planning authorities, the planning of the wider areas affected. ...
We must plan for the rebuilding-the fine rebuilding-of our war-damaged
towns. We must see to it that all our towns become pleasant, healthy and con-
venient places in which to live and,work. Not least of the lessons we have learned
from this war is Britain's need of a prosperous agricultural system. For that also
we must plan-plan too for better living conditions in rural areas, remembering
there are slums in the country as well as in the towns. We must not forget that
those who live and work on the land are justly entitled to enjoy, equally with the
townsmen, every social service which the community can provide. Finally we must
recognize that healthy and rapidly growing enthusiasm of townspeople for the
pleasures of the country. That will mean planning for adequate protection of
natural beauty and for provision of access to National Parks, the coast and other
parts of the country.
That, briefly, is the vision, and it will be the duty of the three partners-the
public, the local authorities and the Ministry-to see that it does not remain a
vision. Meanwhile there is a great amount of preparatory work to be done, many
difficulties to be overcome, innumerable details to be worked into an ordered
scheme and much legislation to be drafted so that when at last we turn from war
to peace we may begin the building at once.
The Lord Privy Seal
House of Lords, April 15, 1943
If it be true that in peace we must be prepared for war, it is surely equally true
that in war we must be prepared for peace. We must be making, if I may use what
has become a fashionable political term, "blueprints" of the new international struc-
t Cheap, insubstantial.
International Organizations After the War 33
ture which we aim to set up when peace comes. Very likely these blueprints will
require substantial alteration in the light of circumstances which are not yet known.
It is no good at the present stage attempting to go into very great detail, but at any
rate we can clarify our minds as to the general plan and-this is important-see
that we do not incorporate features which past experience has shown to be faulty.
The first point, it seems to me, on which we must make up our minds is this: Is
an international organization necessary at all for the future prosperity of the world?
The answer to that first and very simple question is, I imagine, not in any doubt.
It has already been given in this debate. We have had contributions from noble
Lords of very different political views; but on this particular point they were abso-
lutely united. The need for some system to regulate the relationships of states was
universally recognized. As the most reverend noble Lord, Lord Lang, said in his
speech, referring to the League before the war, and paying tribute to the framers
of the Covenant, the goal which they were seeking is the one which is still before
us at the present time. The first League of Nations may well have failed to achieve
all that some of us hoped, but the spirit which inspired its creators, one may be
certain, burns more brightly than ever. Those framers of the Covenant, of whom
Lord Cecil was himself one of the most eminent, sought, to quote the words of the
Preamble of the Covenant, "to promote international co-operation and achieve
international peace and security." Who can doubt that on the successful achieve-
ment of that aim depends the whole future of civilization?
Immediately, it seems to me, we come up against a fundamental question. The
League was an association of sovereign States. How far can an association of
sovereign States achieve the objects which we all have in view? This is a very
difficult question; it is no good pretending it is not. To-day we are fighting a
war for freedom and the rights of man. The Foreign Secretary the other day at
Maryland, spoke of the United Nations as "a close-knit framework of free nations-
free, as we in Britain and as you here understand the word. We believe that it is
only within such a framework as this that the individual can rise to the full height
of his powers and call his soul his own." If that conception is correct-and I
think it cannot be doubted that it is correct-it must seem illogical to seek to
impose on free nations, against their will, the dictation of an arbitrary International
Authority. Indeed, I believe such an attempt would be bound to fail. As Lord Cecil
said in his speech yesterday, one of the strongest passions to-day is the desire of
nationalities for independence and that they should not be under the control of any
other nationality; nor, he added-and this is equally to the point-was there any
likelihood that nations would be willing to hand over the whole control of their
foreign policy, their defence, or their finance to any outside authority, whether it
be national or international. The great majority of us would agree with that and,
if so, it seems to me our object must be to obtain respect for the decisions of the
new International Authority not by compulsion but by consent. We ourselves in
this country, as the noble Earl, Lord Lytton, pointed out yesterday, of our own free
will, subordinate our individual interests to the interests of the community as a
whole. We must seek to extend that conception to the community of nations. I do
not pretend that it will be easy. This question of sovereignty in my view-I put it
with all deference-is probably the hardest one the nations will have to face after
the war. But there is no way of avoiding it; it has got to be faced. I do not propose
to dogmatize about it to-day. I would only suggest that the new structure is more
likely to endure if it is based on voluntary agreement than if it is based on dictation,
artificially or arbitrarily imposed.
I come next to the second question which I think we should ask ourselves: Must
the new international organization be universal? That surely is the second main
point. The failure of the League has often been ascribed to the fact that it was not
universal, and no doubt the decision of the United States of America not to join the
34 British Speeches of the Day
League did strike it at the outset a very severe blow from which it never crntirely re-
covered. Equally, I suggest the failure to bring in the Union of Soviet Sc cialist Re-
publics in the earlier and more important years of the League must now be regarded
as very unfortunate. But it is not necessary from those reflections to draw the con-
clusions that any international peace system to be effective must be absolutely uni-
versal. What I suggest is essential is that it should be more powerful than any
potential aggressor, and that it should contain all those nations who are inspired by
the principles fo? which it stands. In particular-this is perhaps a mor,. practical
point-it should contain those nations who control the raw materials with aut which
modern war is not possible. In other words to quote the Foreign Secret iry in his
speech in the House of Commons on the 2nd December last, it should be "fully
representative of the Powers that mean to keep the peace." It must contain, for in-
stance, the British Commonwealth of Nations. Here I would say how wronglyy I
agree with the noble Viscount, Lord Maugham, who pointed out the important part
which the Dominions play. People are apt sometimes to talk of Great Brit; in alone;
but our power in the world depends on the close connection, on an absolut: basis of
equality, of this country and the Dominions oversea. It should, then, c( ntain the
United States of America; it should contain the Union of Soviet Socialist Fepublics;
and it should contain China. All those great countries should obviously be mem-
bers. Their policies are founded upon those principles which the Foreign Secretary
enunciated in the speech which I quoted just now. On the other hand, I suggest to
your Lordships that Germany, Italy and Japan should clearly not be mem )er, until
they have shown by deeds, and not merely by words, that they are animat d by the
principles of freedom and justice and not by a crude lust for domination. ;F the ob-
ject of the future world organization is to prevent a repetition of war, it is clearly of
no use to attempt to admit States which do not believe in the observance o interna-
tional agreement. There may come a time, we hope there will come a time, when
there will be a change of heart in those countries, but until they have shown tl at such a
change has taken place not only by their words but by their actions, I believe that
it will be the view of the House as a whole that they should be rigorously ( excluded.
The third essential requisite for a successful international peace system i, I sug-
gest, is that there must be behind it, as the most reverend Lord Lang ;aid, the
backing of an overwhelmingly strong armed force. That is the final sat action of
law and order in international as in domestic spheres. The fact must be f..ced that
it was here, above all, that the League failed. It was, I know, hoped by many
people, many high-minded, excellent people, that economic sanctions woLld be in
themselves enough to defeat aggression. But the lesson of the last twenty years
surely is that it is no use embarking upon economic sanctions unless you are pre-
pared to proceed to military action.
Whatever the exact form of these forces, every member of the new Le igue, or
the new organization must clearly make its contribution. As my right honorable
friend the Foreign Secretary said in his Maryland speech, the defence of oine is the
defence of all and security and peace have no frontiers. Every nation, greatt or
small, in its own interest, must show itself ready to put all its resources nto the
common pool and fulfil the obligations that are laid upon it under the new system.
My experience is that efficient organization always tends to make for economy and
it may well be that once an effective system is in operation the individual con-
tributions of States will not be so heavy as seems now probable, especially as under
the Atlantic Charter we know that the Axis Powers are to be kept disarmed. But
it is much better that that force should be too large than it should be too small.
During the present war the Allied Nations have not hesitated to pool their resources
to a degree never known before in the history of the world. If they are ready to do
this to win a war, how much more ought they to be willing to do it to preserve
peace? The principle of pooling resources, of granting mutual facilities for de-
Religion and Education 35
fence, must I believe, form the basis for the post-war security system. Lastly, there
is one other point which I would like to emphasize. It seems to me there must be
provision under this system to enable members to consult together at the earliest
moment on any development in the international situation that is likely, in future,
to lead to a breach of the peace. In this respect I am afraid the Covenant was
defective-or if the Covenant was not defective, the Members of the League were
defective. As your Lordships know, Article 2 of the Covenant-I do not want to
quote the whole article-says, in the second paragraph:
"It is also declared to be the friendly right of each Member of the League to
bring to the attention of the Assembly or of the Council any circumstances whatever
affecting international relations which threatens to disturb international peace or the
good understanding between nations upon which peace depends." It may well be
thought that ought to have provided an adequate safeguard: but it is always
embarrassing, as the noble Earl, Lord Perth, pointed out yesterday, for a nation,
and especially a small nation to attribute aggressive intentions to a neighboring
country with whom it is ostensibly in friendly relations. Consequently the
tendency as he knows well, was for States members of the League only to raise
a question of this kind when the situation was already so acute that there was
no way of averting armed conflict.
Speaking personally I suggest that it will be necessary in the new organization,
that the chief permanent official of the new organization, who will be an interna-
tional official and therefore not open to the same embarrassment as the Ministers of
individual States-should be empowered to bring before its members, on his own
initiative, any potentially dangerous development at an early stage before the aggres-
sor has had time to gird himself for war. Unless there is some provision of that kind
it will, I believe, be impossible this time, as it was the last time, to keep the situation
under control. If the noble Earl, Lord Perth, had enjoyed this power as Secretary-Gen-
eral of the League, the history of the League might have been a very different one.
Ambassador to the United States
Laval University, May 29, 1943
Everyone who has imagination or loves history will always be happy if kindly
fortune brings him to Quebec. For here, more than 300 years ago, by the side of
this great river, much that was finest and best in France was planted. Here it took
root and flowered; and here it still lives as one of the glories of this great
But much as I have welcomed other occasions which have brought me to
Quebec, I particularly value this visit for the honor I have today received at the
hands of the Rector of this University.
I appreciate highly the privilege of being enrolled as a member of your
Society; I recognize that the distinction so accorded is a tribute to the British
people, for whom in the capacity of His Majesty's representative I am proud to
speak in the United States; and as Chancellor of Oxford, I thank you for the
token of friendship that this degree will signify between your University and my
owned. I am glad to think that only a few months ago Oxford did honor to itself by
bestowing a similar degree upon His Eminence the late Cardinal Hinsley, who gave
to his fellow countrymen so notable an example of the highest leadership.
The True Purpose of a University
Such bonds are indeed the outward expression of that essential unity of pur-
pose which must govern and inspire the work of every true university. That work
36 British Speeches of the Day
may be carried on by means of many and diverse instruments, but the purpose
never changes, and can never be less than the training of the human mind to search
out and to know the truth.
No service is more necessary; there is none that demands greater devotion from
its servants. They must have patience, perseverence, and, above all, integrity, proof
against all temptations which might distract them from their pledged task. For
those who serve truth serve a mistress who will brook no rival. Truth must always
be a goal in itself, and he who seeks truth must follow wherever the search
In theology, in science, in history, in sociology, in every department of learning,
he must pursue truth with single-minded .and intense resolve, and guard with
jealous care any fraction of the whole that he may apprehend. And all this, because
he believes truth to be the ultimate foundation of all life.
Yes: the pursuit of truth makes tremendous demands upon human capacity
and thought. Because the demands are high, those who accept them must be pre-
pared for a hard pilgrimage. Nor may they hope that honesty of purpose will
secure them from misconception and attack. Opposition will come not merely from
those who dislike truth because it is inconvenient to their interests, but also from
those who dislike it, because it is inconvenient to their ideas.
History has shown repeatedly how easily men assume not only that their par-
ticular approach to the basic problems of life is the best, but that there is no other.
They are not content to have a key; they must have the world acknowledge it as
the only key. And the world, which longs to see the door of life's mysteries
unlocked, turns to them for a time in hope, and then away from them in
In the 18th century the French encyclopaedists taught that reason, pure and
untrammelled, was the sure solvent of all human ills. By reason, and by reason
alone, they argued, would men reach the truth. And so for a while in France the
Revolution worshipped reason, enthroning that cold deity on its empty altars.
Similarly, the 19th century saw the attempt to restrict truth within the limits
of what was susceptible of scientific proof. Once more it was not enough merely
to make a claim: it was necessary also to exclude. Thus many men of science
found themselves perforce in controversy with those who felt that human approach
to truth could not be so confined.
Religion and Science
Yet, as we now see, the conflict between science and religion lacked reality,
since it was waged between a conception of science which modern scientists would
not acknowledge and a religious attitude which was not based on true theological
interpretation. For it is one of the first principles of religion to welcome careful
search for truth, and a cardinal rule of science to despise or neglect no facts,
however difficult or inconvenient.
If, therefore, that conflict has been happily resolved, it is partly because the
assertions of Christian theology are better understood, and partly because, matter
having acquired a new significance, science has ceased in the old sense to be
materialist. The physicist's study of the nature of the universe in terms of higher
mathematics has at least discouraged him from making dogmatic pronouncements
about its origin. He may not accept all the reasoning and the conclusions of
theology, but at least he admits that there is such a science and that it is entitled
to be heard.
The effects of this change in attitude have been only gradually apparent. The
arguments and discoveries of learning take time to penetrate the crust of accepted
thought ahd to become part of the common stock of knowledge; but once there
Religion and Education 37
they are not easily dislodged. "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the
children's teeth are set on edge."
Moreover, slow as such processes may be, we realize more readily today that
religion and science are concerned to answer different questions. Religion answers
"why" and science answers "how"; and these questions are complementary, and
not in opposition, to each other.
There is also increasing appreciation of the fact that intellectual reactions,
important though they be, are not the sole or the ultimate determinants of spiritual
truth-in other words, that reason and science are not the only avenues by which
truth may be approached. Men reach many of their most profound perceptions
through the vehicle of poetry, art or music.
We may explore the mechanics of the instrument employed without thereby
arriving at any explanation of the secret. A man may master the technique'of
Shakespeare or Milton, but will still be totally incapable of writing "Hamlet" or
"Paradise Lost." He may be able to analyse all the pigments of a painting, but is
no nearer for that to explaining why one picture is a masterpiece and the other
remains a daub. Robert Browning, in his great poem, "Abt Vogler," develops the
same idea when he describes how the musician is enabled "out of three sounds to
frame, not a fourth sound, but a star."
Science and logic are of course indispensable, but they have little share in
determining many of the most important of men's actions. No test-tube or retort
can teach a man how and with whom to fall in love. No laborious mental process
brings him to the rescue of a companion on the point of drowning. It is from
no syllogism that he draws the inspiration to self-sacrifice on the field of battle.
Here are mysteries which we must acknowledge, but cannot explain. They are
mysteries which will always baffle human attempts to claim for science or logic
a monopoly of truth, as they baffled the encyclopaedists of the 18th century and
the scientists of the 19th.
And, which is" the greatest thing of all, it remains true that beyond the explora-
tions of science or the speculations of philosophy, the human instinct still humbly
or blindly gropes its way towards a God, and is unsatisfied when it cannot find Him.
There has never yet been a movement to destroy Christianity, which, sooner or
later, has not found itself obliged to face the necessity of trying to find something
to replace it. Just as the revolutionaries in 1789 tried to install the Goddess of
Reason in the place of God, the advocates of Communism have attempted to meet
the needs of men by an unsatisfying abstraction of "social collectivity."
That longer, if less violent, and less visible, attrition of Christian belief during
the last 100 years has been attended by similar results. The destroyers themselves
are puzzled. They have taken something away, but they then realize that they have
to fill its place, and that they have nothing with which to fill it. The more thought-
ful of them begin to view their handiwork with anxiety, if not as yet with complete
understanding. It is as though a child had removed the mainspring from a watch
and wondered why the watch no longer goes.
No Christian indeed can contemplate the present disorders of the world without
feeling how largely they are the outcome of the continuous erosion to which the
Christian traditions of society-in art, culture, laws, literature, and family life-
have been subjected. This is not the place to analyze the symptoms or the stages
of this change; but the cumulative effect of this mass movement of thought away
from old anchorages has been very great.
Not least upon man's conception of himself; for truly has it been said that
wherever we find a false idea about men, its origin lies in a false idea of God.
38 British Speeches of the Day
That is certainly the case with the Nazi philosophy, the culmination of this
destructive process. Nazism asserts, in the words of Hitler himself, "the saving
doctrine of the nothingness and insignificance of the individual human being."
But this doctrine, with all its catastrophic implications, is only the corollary of the
Nazi deification of the State. For where the State is everything, the individual is
and can be nothing. In this latest and most formidable challenge to Christian
philosophy, the State becomes the final repository of truth and moral law; a usurpa-
tion that no Christian may accept.
With rare courage the Bishop of Berlin reviewed these grave matters last
Christmas in a pastoral letter to the faithful of his diocese. "The moment man-
kind," he wrote, "-whether as individuals, as larger communities, or as nations-
no longer feels bound by an immutable, eternal law, the results can only be strife
and discord, hatred and disunion, disorder and chaos." Conversely, he added, "The
acknowledgment of the sovereign rights of God vouchsafes to the individual, to
the family and to the State the right to which each is entitled."
Religion in Education
The whole of this argument, which I have ventured briefly to develop, seems
relevant to the work of a university such as this. The year 1852, when your Royal
Charter was signed by Queen Victoria, was that in which John Henry Newman
published his essay on "The Idea of a University." He discussed his subject of
course in terms of his own time; yet so deep did he penetrate beneath the surface
of things that, writing in 1852, he seems alive today; a redoubtable champion of
Christian principles against contemporary evils.
Today we see in retrospect what 100 years ago was only a foreboding-the
disastrous consequences in many countries of education unsupported by, and even
forcibly divorced from, religion. Newman was at pains to convince his generation
that such a system was not only. futile but fraught with grave danger to society.
Acutely aware of that peril to western civilization which accompanied the rapid
increase and consequent specialization of knowledge, he foresaw that the human
mind would be plunged in chaos if it were unhappily deprived of some general
principle of interpretation.
This, he insisted, theology alone could give. And he argued that theology, so
far from restricting knowledge or limiting our horizon, was the true inspiration of
all our learning. Now, with slow and halting steps, the world returns to the wisdom
of Newman-that "religious truth is not only a presentation, but a condition of
There is ground for hope that the importance of religion in education is now
winning a greater measure of recognition. In a recent article on "Religion in
National Life" which aroused widespread interest, the London Times said:
"The truth is, that religion must form the very basis of any education worth the
name, and that education with religion omitted is not real education at all. . For
many years we have been living on spiritual capital, on traditions inherited from
the past, instead of providing for the future. Christianity cannot be imbibed from
the air. It is not a philosophy, but a historic religion which must dwindle unless
the facts upon which it is founded are taught, and such teaching made the center of
our educational system. .. ."
For if Christianity be true at all, it is the most vital and important thing in the
whole world, and its dominion, for those who accept it, must be universal. They
must work to make their own lives, however'dimly, a reflection of the life and
teaching of Our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, and they must constantly seek to
fashion the kingdoms of this world more and more in the likeness of the Kingdom
Religion and Education 39
It is this which gives importance to the joint letter signed by the late Cardinal
Hinsley, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Moderator of the Free
Church Council at the end of 1940, enumerating the principles on which a lasting
peace could be established and emphasizing afresh the necessity for all countries of
a just foundation for their social life.
It would seem to follow that in the domestic field of a country, which wishes to
keep its civilization Christian, there is no more urgent task in these days than to
restore Christian education to the place it ought never to have lost. So only can it
hope to make its contribution to the securing of the application of what are essen-
tially Christian principles both at home and in the larger world without.
To a greater extent than is commonly remembered, the social order of Great
Britain, like that of other Western-nations, is the child of Christian thought and
of a desire to make that thought effective. It carries many marks of its Christian
origin. The story of social progress that my people experienced in the last century
is one of wide change, which it is easy enough to take for granted, forgetting the
forces that produced it.
Inspiration and Consolation
Yet it was plainly Christianity which inspired the work of such a man as Lord
Shaftesbury, who spent his long life fighting some of the more cruel results of the
industrial revolution, translating the spirit of social justice into legislative form.
And it was the violation of Christian principles which stirred the soul of Charles
Dickens into writing books that burnt the shame of social evils into men's hearts
as the reports of a hundred Royal Commissions could never have done.
All this has meant, and still means, much. But no nation, any more than any
individual, can live indefinitely upon capital of which he has been fortunate enough
to be the heir. That is what most of'us have been trying to do, and in making
the attempt have been denying ourselves and others access to the essential source of
strength and health. The world today is full of tragedy. But perhaps one of its
greatest tragedies often goes unnoticed and unmarked.
This is the unconscious hunger and thirst of millions for something which they
could be totally incapable of putting into words, but which they passionately need.
Or, if they could give words to their hunger, as Mr. Alfred Noyes has reminded
us, they might indeed say with the women at the sepulchre: "They have taken away
Our Lord . and we know not where they have laid Him." If man's awareness
of his own insufficiency were thus made articulate, he would understand that his
real need was a knowledge how to open his heart to God in prayer.
Prayer, through which at all times and in all places men may speak to God,
with complete assurance of perfect understanding. Prayer, by which men may feel
their own weakness made strong by the support of God's sovereign power.
Prayer, by which all human fears, failures, anxieties, sorrows can be brought
to the foot of the Cross, and made one with the great redemptive act that the Cross
commemorates. Prayer, by which man's fondest hopes for the future of a tormented
world may be joined to God's perfect wisdom. Prayer, by which those at home may
feel near to those far away, with whom they know they are knit close in the all-
embracing love of God. Prayer, in which day by day we commend the souls of
brave men who have died for their country-into the hands of an all-knowing and
Small wonder if men and women everywhere are unsatisfied and ill at ease,
since in their hour of greatest need they have lost that which was indeed their
birthright-the knowledge of how to pray.
Yet, amid all the sorrow and darkness of these times there is consolation. The
example alone of heroism, not merely as an abstract idea, but as it appears in
40 British Speeches of the Day
thousands of lives, brings with it the certainty that man has renounced the phil-
osophy which paralyzed so much literature and art in the pre-war world. Truly, as
day by day we see acts of willing self-sacrifice and self-surrender, we can make new
application of those jesting words: "He saved others, himself he cannot save."
Our minds it is true, are now fixed upon the disastrous results of an evil choice.
None the less it is the freedom of man's will which is being vindicated, and the
manifold sufferings that we endure to prevent the domination of evil are a dramatic
repudiation of ignoble creeds. We can, therefore, turn with firm confidence from
the temporary triumphs of the evil-doer to the unshaken faith and hope with which
the saints have enriched our world.
Just as the stars seem brightest in the blackest night, so in the darkest periods
of history the examples of the saints stand out more plainly for our guidance.
In contrast to those who have brought such misery upon the world, e rightly
revere such a man as he in whose honor this University was founded. Abandoning
no mean worldly position at the most magnificent period of French history, he held
fast to his vocation, and from 1655-58 prepared himself for his life's work in
solitude at the Hermitage of Caen. Appointed Vicar Apostolic of New France in
1658, he spent his long life in work, boundless charity to the poor, and personal
mortification and penance.
Certainly the venerable Francois de Montmorency Laval, First Bishop of Quebec,
is worthy to be called the Apostle of French Canada. He, .and such as he, are not
creatures of chance. They are indeed set in this world by the hand of God for the
enlightening of His people. By their light we discern in true perspective the little-
ness of those who now bend all their efforts to blot out Christian civilization, and
can see how transitory are those triumphs, that might seem to human judgment
And in that light, through all perils and perplexities, if we humbly consecrate
all we have to give and try to do to the service of God's will, we may feel complete
assurance that those men, who have so sorely scourged the world shall pass like
an evil dream.
"I myself have seen the ungodly in great power: . .
I went by, and lo, he was gone: I sought him,
but his place could nowhere be found.
Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right:
For that shall bring a man peace at the last."
A Feat Unequalled
Our Eastern pincer has come three thousand miles in this great struggle
from Kismayu in the southern point of Italian Somaliland, through all that
.great country, through Abyssinia, through Eritrea, through Egypt, where the
enemy had penetrated to within a hundred and fifty miles of the capital-all
through Libya, through Tripolitania, through Southern Tunisia-a feat
unequalled in all military history, and supplied over a distance varying from
ten to fourteen thousand miles, from this home base of England, whence
every man, tank, vehicle and shell has risked incessant air or submarine
attack, or over great distances from the United States or Dominions.
Never before in all the great stories of war have armies fought to victory
over such a vast span of ocean and land communications.
LORD CROFT, opening the
Army Exhibition on May 8, 1943.
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