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BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
AN AGENCY OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
OF THE DAY
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, October 13, 1943.
Political Unity in War; the Coal Situation.
HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary, October 6, 1943.
Clearing Away Some Misunderstandings.
LORD BEAVERBROOK, Lord Privy Seal, October 20, 1943.
SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS, Mfnisr f.A ijrt Poduction, October 8, 1943.
The Use of Power andr Leaddship in an' tsrtional Order.
L. S. AMERY, Secretary oi Stut fi i Nuvener 4, 1943.
The Famine in India. \ / :
ERNEST BEVIN, Minister of i ona service, September 29, 1943.
Women and the War Effort-...
J. J. LLEWELLIN, Minister Resident in Washington for Supply,
October 18, 1943.
Combined Planning-Combined Victory.
SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, Secretary of State for Air, Octo- 9' 1941
The Air Assault Upon Germany. F ? i
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, October 28, 1943. G 7 8 4
Parliamentary Democracy. .Y-* q-"
Number 9 Issued Nov.muer i943
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RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
House of Commons, October 13, 1943
I thought it might help if I reminded the House at the outset of this discus-
sion of the general foundations upon which we stand at the present time. We
have a National Coalition Government, which came together to try to pull the
nation out of the forlorn and sombre plight into which the action, or inaction, of
all political parties over a long period of years had landed it. This National
Coalition came together at a moment of very great peril and for that purpose, and
I think we have not been altogether unsuccessful in our task.
What is it that holds us together? What holds us together is the conduct of
the war, the prosecution of the war. No Socialist, or Liberal, or Labor man has
been in any way asked to give up his convictions. That would be indecent and
improper. We are held together by something outside, which rivets all our
attention. The principle that we work on is: "Everything for the war, whether
controversial or not, and nothing controversial that is not bona fide needed for
the war." That is our position.
We must also be careful that a pretext is not made of war needs to introduce
far-reaching social or political changes by a side wind. Take the question of
nationalizing the coal mines. Those words do not terrify me at all. I advocated
nationalization of the railways after the last war, but I am bound to say that I
was a bit affected by the experience of the national control of the railways after
the war, which led to the public getting a very bad service, to the shareholders
having very unsatisfactory returns, and to one of the most vicious and hazardous
strikes with which I have ever been concerned. However, as I say, the principle
of nationalization is accepted by all, provided proper compensation is paid. The
argument proceeds not on moral grounds but on whether in fact we could make
a better business of the whole thing for ourselves, a more fertile business for the
nation as a whole, by nationalization than by relying on private enterprise and
competition. It would raise a lot of argument, a lot of difference of opinion, and
it would be a tremendous business to nationalize the coal mines, and unless it could
be proved to the conviction of the House and of the country, and to the satisfaction
of the responsible Ministers, that that was the only way in which we could win the
war, we should not be justified in embarking upon it without a General Election.
It would be very difficult to have a General Election at the present time.
I do not say it would be impossible. It would certainly not be so difficult as
it would have been during the blitz, though perhaps the blitz might recommence,
which would add to the gaiety of the proceedings. But still it would be very
harmful to the war effort. Moreover such a policy would probably be preceded
by a break-up of the present Administration and a separation of parties into the
regular lines of political battle. I could not be responsible, as at present advised,
for undertaking any further great change, and certainly not a permanent great
change in the mining industry during the war, because that I think would require
to be ratified or preceded by a national mandate. Therefore, we must resist all
such proposals, and we must ask for the support of the House in so doing.
British Speeches of the Day
I must point out that Parliamentary democracy does not proceed only by
debate. It proceeds by debate and by division. It is only in this way that the
majority can express its views. The majority can dismiss an Administration at
any time, unless of course the Administration obtains a Dissolution from the Crown
and finds itself sustained by the people. That is the way the Constitution works-
and it is greatly admired in many countries-and it is a good thing always to keep
that position in mind. As soon as the war is ended, the soldiers will leave off
fighting and the politicians will begin. Perhaps that is rather a pity, but at any
rate it is not so bad'as what goes on in some countries, which I should not venture
to name, where the soldiers are fighting abroad and the politicians are fighting
at home with equal vigor and ferocity.
Let us see what will happen at the end of the war. It is very difficult indeed
to pierce the veil of the future. We do not know how far away the end of the
war is, or what condition or mood we shall be in at that time, or what bur position
will be in relation to the other great Powers. We cannot tell. However, in all
this mist, the following seems to stand out very plainly. Either there will be
agreement between the parties or there will be a General Election on party lines.
At the present time the latter looks more probable. At that General Election the
people will decide which set of gentlemen, which political party, will constitute
the majority in the House of Commons, and the Crown will commission someone
to form a Government accordingly. Now in time of war or great public stress
and danger a National Coalition, with all parties officially represented in it as
parties, not as individuals, gives great strength and unity to the country and has
given great strength and unity to our country. Anyone or any body of men who
succeeded in breaking it up in time of war would, I am sure, incur the censure
of the vast majority of the people. But in time of peace conditions are different.
Party government is not obnoxious to democracy. Indeed Parliamentary democracy
has flourished under party government. That is to say, it has flourished so long
as there is full freedom of speech, free elections and free institutions. So we
must beware of a tyranny of opinion which tries to make only one side of a
question the one which may be heard. Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly
a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they
are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.
I earnestly hope that it may be possible to preserve national unity after the
war, but I say quite frankly that I should not be at all alarmed for the future of
this country if we had to return to party government. We may have to do that.
But this I will say-and the House will pardon me, I am sure, for saying it-that
whatever bitternesses or differences and party fighting may have to take place
among us, each representing our constituencies and our convictions, whatever may
take place, things can never be quite the same again. Friendships have been
established, ties have been made between the two parties, minglings have taken
place, understandings have been established which, without any prejudice to men's
public duty, will undoubtedly have a mellowing effect on a great deal of our
relations in the future, and for my part I must say that I feel I owe a great debt
to the Labour Party, who were a most stalwart support to me at the time when I
first undertook the burdens which I am still being permitted to bear.
About what happens after the war, we must see how things go and how we
feel. However should unfortunately agreement fail and a party government be
returned after a free election, that will be the time for that Government to make
their proposals and to carry them out, and those who are in opposition, whoever
they may be-and who can forecast what the choice of the electors will be?-will
exercise their critical faculty, I trust with good temper and with the fullest freedom
of debate. That is how the matter lies and how our affairs will have to settle
Political Unity in War; the Coal Situation
themselves. And one need not be too much alarmed in Britain about these things,
because of the good sense of our people and because of our well-tried institutions,
which are meant to face all the shocks and difficulties which past years have brought
before us. Therefore I must say there is no question of far-reaching changes of
a controversial character being made by the present Government unless they are
proved indispensable to the war. Another Government might take a different
view, but not this one. We are making every kind of preparation and study,
including legislative preliminaries, so that those who are responsible after the war
will be able to deal with the many problems of that time under the best conditions.
This present House of Commons, which has so long exceeded its normal
constitutional life and will shortly be asking for a renewal of the lease-a matter
which does not rest entirely in our hands alone-has no right, except with a very
general measure of agreement, to step outside the one function by which its
continued existence is justified, naniely the prosecution of the war. It is only the
continuance of the war and the extraordinary conditions which it imposes and
forces upon us all that justifies us in remaining together as a Parliament. I
certainly could not take the responsibility of making far-reaching controversial
changes which I am not convinced are directly needed for the war effort without
a Parliament refreshed by contact with the electorate. .
Within the framework of these general observations, which I trust have been
conceived in a spirit of detachment and without desire in any way to cause undue
despondency or alarm or still less to raise tempers, let us come to the present coal
situation. What is the position? Fifteen months ago the House, without a
division, agreed to a scheme of reorganization which aimed at full control over
the operation of the mines and the organization of the industry on the basis of
national service. This organization was to continue, and is to continue, "pending
a final decision by Parliament on the future of the industry." It is barely a year
since this organization came into being. I must submit to the judgment of the
House as a whole that, taking it by and large, it has functioned very well. We
were assured this time last year that there would be a breakdown in the coal supply
for the winter. It is as much my duty' to form an opinion upon such matters as
it is about whether there will be enough shot and shell or enough shipping or
enough petrol. I have to try to do the best I can to form an opinion, and I have
various means of checking the facts and figures, and special means-a statistical
department of my own-by which I can test the various statements of Departments.
The Paymaster-General makes a ceaseless examination of all the figures that are
rolling out before us and is entirely free to bring them forward. On the informa-
tion which was presented to me, I took the opposite view. I thought we should
get through, and we certainly did. The prophets of woe-and, the House will
pardon me, the would-be profiteers of woe-were confounded by the event as
they have been in other spheres of activity quite a lot during the last 12 months.
In fact, we survived last winter. No single factory has had to stop through lack
of fuel, and our stocks of fuel, I am informed, are higher, not large but still
higher, now than they were this time last year. We owe this in a great part to
the patriotic co-operation of the" domestic consumers who responded so well to
the Minister's appeal for economy. We hope that the coming year will not induce
them to relax at all in their well-doing and self-restraint or to feel that their share
in this, as in other directions, goes unrecognized by Parliament and by the public.
We are told of the great unrest in the mining industry. I think that is a little
unjust to the miners. Only 750,000 tons of coal have been lost during the last
12 months out of upwards of 200,000,000 tons which have been produced. The
loss by strikes and stoppages has been no more than two-thirds of half of one
per cent. We have always to run a great risk in these matters-two-thirds of 0.5
British Speeches of the Day
per cent. . This loss by stoppages compares very favorably with the last
war. .. It must be remembered that we are in our fifth year of war. There
is a fifth-year-of-the-war mentality. We perhaps, living rapidly under the pressure
of events, all of us exerting ourselves above the normal life, do not realize the
changes that are taking place and the strains to which all of us are subjected. We
have entered the fifth year of this war, and our people must endeavor to attune
themselves to the mood prevailing in that year and endeavor to act harmoniously
in regard to all the circumstances which surround us.
I am told that there is a great deal of absenteeism and some scolding speeches
have been made on that. Well, there is no Department which gives so much
information of its working to the public as the Ministry of Fuel and Power, and
it is natural, and not unhealthy, that a great deal of public attention should be
focused "on its difficulties. We hear a great deal about the rate of absenteeism
among miners. The figure of wilful absenteeism, or voluntary absenteeism as
it is euphemistically called, is I am told at this time slightly under 5 per cent.
There is also a certain increase' in short absenteeism. Not only in the mining
trade but throughout the industries of the country there are small ailments which
I must say I think are not entirely dissociated from the dietary changes to which
we have subjected ourselves and the regime under which we live. It is said that
a disproportionate amount of this total is due to the younger men. Well it is
for their comrades in the industry and the Army to instill into them, by their
example as well as by precept, the duty which lies upon these young men to do
their utmost and to be worthy of all the wonderful effort and combination of
effort which is proceeding in the country. But even when you take absenteeism
through sickness or through accidents and add it to the absenteeism I have
mentioned, I am informed that there has been no loss of tonnage this year more
than was lost last year. A year of extra strain has been added, and many other
circumstances are at work which make more difficult the getting' of the coal, but
the loss, although increased by a slightly larger proportion of sickness, is not
greater in tonnage than it was the year before.
I am also told that a decay of discipline has set in. I have no doubt that my
right honorable and gallant Friend the Minister, when he spoke yesterday, was
right in pointing out that conditions are very different when every man is needed
to get coal and there is a great scarcity of miners, from what they were in the
periods through which weave passed, those unhappy periods when cruel unem-
ployment wracked the mining industry. I think that is rather a bad basis to rest
upon. I trust that after the war, or during the war, most careful consideration of
the problem by the Mine Workers' Federation and the Mining. Association, acting
together, may bring about conditions which will make the standard of discipline
independent of any fluctuations which may occur in the labor market and make
it stand on duty honestly and fairly done by all.
We are told of all these difficulties in the mining industry. I think this is a
very valuable two days' Debate, as almost everything stands on coal. It is vital
to our war-making capacity. All our refined manufactures of civilization in time
of peace go down to the footing of this intense labor underground by a compara-
tively small section of our people, the miners. We must not underrate the strain
upon the miners. Their average age has increased. Their food is less stimulating
and their diet is less varied. They do not get the holidays or leisure for which
their exceptionally arduous calling has called in the past during the summertime
when coal consumption was small. They are now pressed to work just as hard,
or harder, in the summertime in order to pile up for the winter and to make good
the needs of the war. These are very considerable factors, and no one should
underrate them or make them the basis of an indictment against the mining
Political Unity in War; the Coal Situation
population. Their rates of wages have advanced over 50 per cent as against an
increase in the cost of living of 30 per cent.
If allowance is made for the fact that not much overtime or Sunday labor is
worked in the pits, it is true to say I am advised that miners' earnings do not
compare unfavorably with the average 'in munition industries. You must remember
that these wages, whatever they may be' are appreciably discounted by the fact
that there is so little to buy. The. strain on the miners has been severe and I am
not here today to make complaints about them. We must rely upon them to. do
their best for the cause which they so warmly and sternly espouse.
Looking forward to next year, the miners will have the aid of the outcrop coal
produced by surface workers, which may well amount to anything from 10,000,000
to 15,000,000 tons. Therefore, I do not feel, provided everyone does his duty
to the utmost, that we are in any danger of a collapse in coal production in the
coming year. ..
Great efforts are being made to increase the labor supply in the mines and
to meet the annual wastage-nearly 20,000 a year. I am asked to release large
numbers of men from the Army overseas. No new men have been taken for the
Forces from mining for over two years. In fact, 11,000 have been returned. Now'
in the advent of the bloodiest fighting of the war, so far 'as our, people are
concerned, I am not prepared to weaken 'the field forces or the reserves of trained
manpower which lie behind them beyond the limited comb-out of older men which
was approved by the War Cabinet and which was announcediby my right honorable
and gallant Friend yesterday. Unless we are relieved by some altogether unexpected
collapse on the part of the enemy-which we should be absolute fools to count upon
-the worst fighting of the war, so far as the British people are concerned, lies ahead.
Our manpower is fully extended, and I believe it is applied to the best advantage.
WheA three months ago we had a series of War Cabinets and inter-Departmental
discussions on manpower, a most difficult and painful process began. Departments,
all keen on their plans of war and for the greatest effort, required 500,000 more
men than existed, and there is no means of repairing such a deficiency in time for
them to be of any use in the coming campaign. There was a struggle, and every-
one had to face the cutting of dearly loved plans, and wisely conceived plans, for
increasing our war effort. Manpower-and when I say that I include of course
womanpower-is at a 'pitch of intensity at the present time in this country which
was never reached before, not even in the last war and certainly not in this. I
believe our manpower is not only fully extended but applied on the whole to the
best advantage. I have a feeling that the community in this Island is running at
a veryhigh level, with a good rhythm, and that if we can only keep our momentum
-we cannot increase our pace-that very fact will enable us to outclass our
enemies and possibly even our friends.
I always assured the House that we should get through our shipping difficulties,
although I admit that I had some extremely uncomfortable moments. I cannot
see anything in the mining situation which makes me apprehend-that this will be
found to be the one gloomy failure in our national struggle. But of course in this
field much depends on good will and on zeal for the common cause. I hold the
opinion that there is nothing in the present coal situation which would justify a
violent overturn of our present system. Even if the overturn were well conceived,
which is improbable having regard to the hurried conditions in which it would be
born, it would cause more trouble than it was worth, and the reactions engendered
might be deeply harmful to our war effort and might well prolong the war. There-
fore I submit to the House for its judgment that the case for violent controversial
legislation or the reconstruction of the mining industry as an essential to win the
British Speefhes of the Day
war has not in any way been made out and is not sustained by the actual facts of
the situation as it exists.
However, it was promised when the White Paper was approved by Parliament
that its workings would be continually reviewed. This is being done by the
Minister and the War Cabinet, to whom the Minister has constant access on all
matters affecting his Department. We are not prohibited from making any
modifications or improvements which we think will yield beneficial results. My
right honorable and gallant Friend announced yesterday that he had already made
several changes and improvements, and this process is unceasing and will be
conducted, as everything has to be conducted, by consultations between the two
sides of this industry. ..
I have asked myself whether my right honorable and gallant Friend needs any
further powers. If he did, or if he does, he has only to ask for them, and if they
are thought to be indispensable for the war effort, then, however rough, they will
be given to him. If legislation were necessary, I should come without hesitation
to the House. We were told for instance that there were some owners who
obstructed the working of the best seasons in order to prolong the life of their
mines after the war. Well I may mention that in not one single case out of the
many investigated has .this charge been made good. But if it were made good,
or even if it were merely shown that there was inefficiency of a serious kind, there
is not the slightest reason why the Minister should not use his powers. He has
full powers to take over pits, or groups of pits, just in the same way as various
firms have been taker over by the Minister of Aircraft Production. The Minister
is perfectly free to make examples in any case where obstruction or incompetence
of management or of control has been proved. But this has to be proved, and it
has certainly not been proved yet.
I am told that the introduction of the new American machinery has in a few
cases been delayed by the difficulties of fixing wage rates. This is a complicated
question, because the machines are popular with those who use them. The question
is complicated, because not only those who use the machines are affected but those
working further back in the process of the industry. I think the Minister's powers
do not extend to the general question of the fixing of wages, which it has long
been the practice and custom to settle by agreement between the Mine Workers'
Federation and the Mining Association. Yet if it were shown that any such failure
'to reach agreement about the introduction of these machines stood in the way of
the fullest adoption of more modern methods, powers to appoint arbitrators
already exist in the hands of the Minister, and they will be used to the full: I
attach great importance from a long-term point of view to the increasing use of
machinery in the pits. There is no doubt at all that the steady conversion of an
ever larger proportion of the miners from human engines to handlers of machines-
the steady transition of an increasing proportion to be engineers-will give this
industry a much greater hold upon the future of our economic life. It may be
that the hard teachings of war are one of the occasions when these changes are
forced upon us ..
I must make t ese references to the miners, because I am told and can well
realize that anxiety exists among them about what is to happen to them and their
industry after the war. They had a very grim experience after the last war, which
went on biting away at them for a long period and greatly affected the whole
conception that they had of mining as a means of getting their living. I know
that there is anxiety. We can all lie awake thinking of the nightmares that we
are going to suffer after the war is over, and everyone has his perplexities and
anxieties about that time. But I, for one, being an optimist, do not think peace
Political Unity in War; the Coal Situation
is going to be so bad as war, and I hope we shall not try to make it as bad. After
the last war, which I lived through in a responsible position, nearly everyone
behaved as badly as they could, and the country was at times almost uncontrollable.
We have profited a great deal in this war by the experience of the last. We make
war much better than we did, owing to previous experience. We are also going
to try to profit to the full by the hard experience of what happened in the last
peace. I am casting no reflection on the Government of that day when I say that,
armed with their dear-bought experience, we shall make the transition from war
to peace in a more orderly and disciplined fashion than we did last time.
But the miners are worried about their future. Who is not? His Majesty's
Government give this assurance to them. It was made by my right hon.
and gallant Friend yesterday, but I do not know that it made the impression it
should have done. This assurance is that the present system of control, plus any
improvements that may be made to it, will be continued after the war until Parlia-
m6it shall decide upon the future structure of the industry. That means either
that there will be a settlement by agreement between the great parties or that there
will be a General Election at which the people will be free to choose between
political doctrines and political leaders. But anyhow until all that is over there
will be no decisive change in the present structure of the coal industry or any
removal of the many guarantees for the continuity of employment and wages and
limitation of profits which are embodied in it. I am so anxious that we should
all be together in this. Let us see how this will work out in point of time. It
will certainly take three or four months after the war to hold a General Election
and assemble a new Parliament.' It will then take that Parliament a considerable
time to deal with its many problems. In my opinion at least a year of stabilization,
probably a good deal more, under the present war-time White Paper conditions
can be counted on by the mining community. If it will give a further sense of
security to the miners, and if they would welcome this, I should be quite ready
to arrange for discussions to take place under the Minister of Fuel and Power in
order that the uncertainty and harassing fears shall be as far as possible allayed
and that the miners shall know that there will be full consideration by Parliament
and a definite period for reconstruction or transition after the war, and that they
need not imagine that the violent changes which followed the end of the last
struggle will be brought upon them then until they have had full time to organize
their political action and make sure that their case has been thoroughly examined
by the Irtperial Parliament. We will go into this matter with pleasure if it will
give any satisfaction.
These are the only points of detail on which I wish to touch on now, and the
House will well realize that I am not so well brushed up in the subject as I have
been at other times in my political life, but I thought it right that they should be
set in their proper framework. It is only in the proper framework that we can
take any decision that lies before us. The task is long, and the toil is heavy. The
fifth year of the war in which everyone has given the utmost in him weighs harsh
and heavy on our minds and on our shoulders. Do not let us add to our difficulties
by any lack of clarity of thinking or any restive wavering in resolve. Upon the
whole, with all our faults and the infirmities of which we are rightly conscious,
this Island is a model to the world in its unity and its perseverance towards'the
goal. However intense may be the strain of the fifth year upon us, it will be far
worse for our enemies, and we have to continue to show them what they are pow
beginning reluctantly to realize, that out flexible system of free democratic govern-
ment is capable alike of pursuing the most complex designs of modern war and
of bearing invincibly all the varied strains which come upon our soldiers on the
battlefields and upon all of us whose duty lies behind the fighting fronts.
8 British Speeches of the Day.
RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON
Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
Luncheon of the Anglo-American Press Association, October 6, 1943
Colonel Knox, America's Secretary for the Navy, made an appeal the other
day for more American interest in the European war and more British interest in
the Far Eastern war.- I think he did both countries a real service by his frankness
and directness. It seems to me an admirable innovation for a spokesman of one
country to say to the press of his own and another country: "Will you kindly do
a job of work to increase the sum of public knowledge in a particular matter-to
clear away misunderstanding and to keep the record straight?"
I know that the newspaper men to ihom Colonel Knox was speaking heard
his words with full sympathy and will do their part to comply with his request.
I myself in a moment will try to make my own contribution to better Anglo-
American understanding on this question of the relation between the European
and the Pacific wars. After that I propose to tread still further in Colonel Knox's
footsteps and to tell the British and American pressmen here assembled of one or
two other matters of high importance in which I believe their services as instructors
and educators can be employed to the lasting good of their own countries and of
The War in the Far East
I turn first to the Far Eastern war.
'The intentions of the British Government in this matter have been plainly
stated by the Prime Minister. The British Empire means to carry on with its full
forces until Japan has been finally defeated. Some-Americans, however, think that
thoAgh the attitude of the Government is clear, the point of view of the average
British citizen is less so. I don't myself share these doubts.
It is plain that the Far Eastern war does not at present loom as large in the
mind of the British people, as the war in Europe. But that fact has no long-term
meaning; it is a very natural state of affairs. After all, it wasn't the Japs who
bombed London. Europe is twenty miles away. It is where most of our own
troops from the home country are fighting-or soon will be. And I know you
will forgive me for mentioning that the war in Europe has been with us a little
longer than the other. Over us in Britain the Nazi threat has hung for ten years.
Germany directly menaced us: It was against German aggression that we gave our
pledge of help to Poland; Hitler's screaming speeches assailed our ears from more
and more Continental stations each year. It was against the Nazis and what they
stood for that the British people, of their own free and voluntary motion, went
to war four years ago. That explains why the German war while it lasts must be
War No. 1 for our people at home. But it is no reason at all for thinking that
when Germany is beaten the war will be virtually over for the British people. They
think the opposite-but they take it so much for granted that others may miss the
To begin with, a pledge has been given in their name. Nothing in the record
of the British people in modern times can throw any doubt on the effect of such
an undertaking. Given publicly in their name and in their hearing it becomes their
own pledge-and their pledges are acts. There are weighty reasons of British
policy which make the Far Eastern war a matter of the greatest moment to us;
ut I put them second. I put first the fact that we have given our word.
\ Clearing Away Some Misunderstandings
But there are other points that can well be borne in mind. There are two
British self-governing Dominions in the Pacific. To them the defeat and destruc-
tion of the Japanese menace is a matter of life and death. To them it has been
a nearer, sharper menace than to the shores of the United States itself. The
struggle for existence and freedom of these two Dominions is a matter of the
greatest moment to the people-the ordinary everyday people-of the United
Kingdom. Does anyone suppose that even if Hitler and all he stands for had
vanished from the face of the earth, the British people, whom conscience and a
sense of principle drove to var in 1939, could rest in the enjoyment of comparative
ease and leisure while their country was doing less than its absolute utmost for
Australia and New Zealand? These kinsmen and fellow citizens share with us
not merely bloao, speech, political tradition and common allegiance, but also the
bloodstained memories of four years' brotherhood in arms in four continents.
When Britain went to war the British Dominions, themselves as far from immediate
threat as any country anywhere, stood with her by their own free decision. The
deeds of Australian and New-Zealand troops in North Africa are part of the
heritage not merely of their own countries, but of Britain. This is not rhetoric.
It is plain fact. Even today when they are fighting fiercely almost on the doorstep
of their own country, Australians flock in numbers to the ranks that defend this
Island and attack the Nazi heart. You see these ranks of the Air Force, splendid
looking young men in dark blue uniforms with wings on them, all over London.
No Londoner misses the significance of their presence. Our war is theirs. Can
it be imagined that their war is anything less than ours, to the last ounce of our
effort? It is all one war, no matter where it's fought.
Another thing. The British war effort in the Far East is not something that
belongs to the future. Today, in New Guinea, which is for the time being the
most active of all Pacific fighting fronts, Australia is supplying the greater part
of the manpower and most of the equipment for her own soldiers. In the whole
vast Far Eastern theater, taking British, Australian and Indian troops, the Empire's
contribution in manpower is comparable to America's own. And manpower
counts-it is important to remember if one is interested in pledges of sincerity,
and signs of ultimate intention. No one overlooks the vast American deployment
of force in that half of the world-the myriads of aeroplanes, the. great fleets, the
flood of weapons. But even here there is another chapter in the story. Australia
has a munitions industry out of all proportion to her population. She has a steel
output one third of Japan's. She makes planes and tanks and guns. They go to
arm the troops in New Guinea: perhaps most of the weapons as well as most of
the men in that island are Australian.
Then there are Burma and Malaya. There are Tientsin and Hongkong. The
peoples of the Commonwealth have some scores to settle there. They would be
feebler or weaker peoples than I am inclined to think them, if they were nbt bent
upon settling these accounts when the moment comes. The military record in
Burma and- Malaya is an unhappy one. Not that we ourselves accept many of the
criticisms of our unpreparedness; we know that the failure to train and arm the
native peoples, far from being a sign of imperialist sloth and negligence, was an
expression of the best Wilsonian principles. After the last war enlightened
people laid it down that the use of Colonial populations as troops*was a reactionary
and reprehensible thing. Our intention was to defend Burma and Malay with
our own military resources, but when the pinch came they, or the vast bulk of
them, were occupied elsewhere. So that makes us feel our responsibilities very
keenly: we regard it as a duty to ourselves, as well as to the people who were in
our care, to set matters fully to rights.the moment we can.
10 British Speeches of the Day
Again, it is a matter of profound concern to us as it is to our Allies that the
end of the war should see the establishment of a Chinese nation free to work out
in peace its tremendous destiny. But I hope I have said enough to make clear that
the course of Britain's war is set firmly towards an objective which includes the
crushing of militarist Japan as certainly as it includes the final overthrow of
Britain's War Effort
I come now to another matter on which a fuller knowledge of the facts would
be a .help to Anglo-American relations. The British people have an impression
of the size of America's war production which is, I believe, not less than the truth.
But I have been told that the actual extent of Britain's war effort behind the
fighting lines needs some publicity. It would be a pity to underrate it.
It does not do to believe that because a country's population is comparatively
small its war production is proportionate. .Nowadays, the decisive factors are
capital equipment and skill. America will readly understand this. She is herself
the most highly equipped industrial country in the world, and she has on her
northern frontier a neighbor and friend, a small nation, whose output of munitions
has become a major factor in the balance of this war. Australia too is a munitions
maker on a scale which is important even when measured by the standards of big
Britain herself before the war had the second largest national income in the
world. This comparatively small community had the means to produce wealth,
over and above the actual means of subsistence, on a scale larger than any other
country in the world except America. That fact is a good clue to her power as a
wartime producer when she is mobilized. And she is mobilized-fully. Sixty-
five per cent of British men and women of working age are directly engaged in
war activities. The rest must carry the civilian burdens.
By far the greater part of the equipment of the Empire's fighting forces come
from the Empire itself. We owe to America vitally important help in particular
classes of weapon, and we know that in the background there is an accumulating
reserve of American fighting equipment which will weigh tremendously in the
ultimate balance. On the other hand we know, too, that the Empire besides
equipping its own Forces, has sent vast supplies to Russia, has largely equipped
the Forces of her European allies-a very considerable body of exiled fighters-
and has made an important contribution to America's own war effort.
Lend-Lease: A Common Pool
That brings me to the interesting subject of Lend-lease. Lend-lease is not a
one-way traffic. There has been a very considerable British contribution both to
the United States and to other countries. By far the greatest part of the cost of
maintaining and training the American Army in Britain is borne on British account
under lease-lend. We expect to have supplied from 200,000 to 250,000 tons of
food to our Allies here during the year 1943. By the end of June last we had
provided air fields, barracks, hospitals, munition depots, repair depots and so on
to a total capital value of over 150,000,000. We settled all the inevitable civilian
claims for damage; we have supplied all the equipment, spares, technical material
and special supplies asked for by the United States Army Air Force. We meet all
the sterling disbursements incurred by American ships in United Kingdom and
Colonial ports. The R.A.F.'s air-sea rescue service does the job for the U.S.A.A.F.
Clearing Away So'me Misunderstandings
There are many more examples. But perhaps I can best sum the matter up by
saying that in the last war the United States Army in Great Britain and France
spent about 625,000,000 in a year and a half. This time in Great Britaih, in
the second half of 1942, American military purchases totalled less than a quarter
of a million pounds.
And our help to America is not all. The vast quantity of material we supply
to Russia, the ships we have used (and the ships we have lost) in getting it there,
are part of our contribution to the common pool. Of our supplies to our conti-
nental Allies and Empire forces I have spoken. The sum of Britain's contribution
to all her Allies and partners, if not as great as America's help to Britain herself,
is not so very far short of it. Now the last impression I want to create is that
we in Britain are concerned to put a money value on this help. We don't think
in those terms, any more than America thinks in money terms about what has been
one of her greatest and finest gestures to her Allies-the unreserved casting of
her immense shipping resources into the common pool to meet the common need.
We know very well where we should have been, where the cause of the United
Nations would have been, without the use of Americah shipping as an international
implement of victory. The spirit of that gesture was the spirit of the American
President in announcing the whole Lend-Lease idea. He wanted, he said, to take
the dollar sign out of these transactions.
We in Britain thought we understood not merely the practical wisdom but
the spiritual significance of his words. When many nations are allied together
to fight a bloody total war, there are so many things that cannot be put on interna-
tional account and valued. It was in that spirit that our own Prime Minister
spoke when he told us at the time of the Battle of Britain that never in the history
of human conflict had so much been owed by so many to so few. I should not
.myself like to put a figure on the debt we owe in Britain to the sovereign Dominions
of the British Commonwealth for their unhesitating comradeship and their un-
measured help. I should be embarrassed to have to put a price on the heads of
those magnificent American boys who fought on Bataan, at Midway and in the
Coral Sea; or on the debt we all of us owe to the uncounted heroes, living and
dead, in the front line and behind it, who have saved the world in Russia as we
ourselves 'were privileged to save it in our own year of solitary trial.
Such things, not to be measured in figures, are yet not the least important items
in our international pool of "toil and sweat and blood and tears."
The British Empire
Next I want to speak of the British Empire-the King Charles' Head of Anglo-
American intercourse, the permanent skeleton in the cupboard. On the part of
a considerable body of American opinion the existence of an Empire is regarded
as something for which we should be prepared to apologize. Nothing else could
explain why, when we say we mean to maintain our Empire-a merely defensive,
stabilizing war aim-so many people should behave as though we had proclaimed
a policy of barefaced expansion.
But I will not conceal from you that I understand this American psychology
very well. I am talking, of course, of the genuine critics, not of those tough and
unscrupulous tacticians who do not hesitate to make of Anglo-American relations,
and the hope of world peace, a mere pawn in some dark and devious industrial
or political game. The point of view of the genuine critics is very like that of
our own Liberals and Labour men thirty or forty years ago. I think of the anti-
imperialist tirades and exposures of John A. Hobson, of Henry Noel Brailsford,
or f6r that matter of David Lloyd George in the Boer War and afterwards. The
ideology, the high-minded emotion, the sympathetic recoil at the very mention
British Speeches of the Day
of words like Empire and Imperialism-these are things with which I grew up and
which to a considerable extent I shared. This helped me and. many other Labour
men who believe in the British Empire to understand our critics today. They think
that the very idea of an Empire is out of date. The only mild retort I would
make is that their idea of an Empire certainly is.
They are idealists, and they profoundly believe that their political ideas are
thirty or forty years in advance of the British Empire. I think their political
information is thirty or forty years behind it.
What has been happening to the British Empire in those years? I will take
the political field first because Americans and ourselves alike are encouraged by
our history and tradition to attach very great importance to the political form of
democracy. During the last thirty or forty years there have been some striking
instances of political progress. The shining example is South Africa itself, the
South Africa of the Boer War, where within half a dozen years of the signing of
peace the principle of self-government was applied to the new community, and
the two racial groups, so recently enemies, were left free to work out a common
destiny. This episode is one of those examples of bold political experimentation
of which the British Empire has supplied its full share to the modern history of
Then there is Southern Rhodesia, fully endowed with self-government, and
Ceylon brought to the very brink of it. Other communities, too, have progressed
in the same direction. Indeed, I believe that facts warrant the statement that every
community in the Empire capable of exercising self-government has had it.
If this process of political development has not gone further, whit is the
reason? It certainly is not lack of willingness on our part. The explanations are
complicated. One is political. In any land which is to form a free society in the
modern world there must be an underlying substratum of unity. You cannot have
self-government where there is no community. You cannot have it in any society
which is a mere aggregation of groups, of whom one, or more than one, would
fight rather than be voted down. Modern democracy is founded upon thi consent
of minorities. You cannot-yet-have self-government in Palestine; it is not
Britain who forbids, but Arab-Jewish differences. You cannot yet havee self-
government in India; it is not the Churchill Government which says 'No"-it
said "Yes" through the mouth of Sir Stafford Cripps last year-it is Congress and
the Moslem League.
But in other parts of the Empire the reason why political development is still
incomplete is a different one. You cannot have self-government except in a
community which is socially, educationally and economically ready to exercise it.
Unless a society is lifted far enough above the bare subsistence level to be able
to support the necessary web of social institutions it cannot have any adequate
system of self-government. And this brings me to what I feel is the most
important of the questions about the British Empire at this time-the question
of its economic progress.
Let us get the whole matter in perspective. I do not intend to suggest that
Britain's tropical Empire is a series of stagnant pools of misery. If you want to
find stagnation and misery among backward peoples you will find a good deal
S more of it outside the British Empire than in. I go further: I say that in some
parts of the Empire there has in recent years been an economic growth that is
truly astonishing. One instance is Malaya; another is the Gold Coast. Inhabitants
of both these countries shared in the benefits of a rise in the'communal wealth
which has been almost sensational. And this rise was not,achieved by milking the
foreigner either; Americans bought a lot of the produce of both countries--and
they paid just the same price as the citizens of Great Britain.
Clearing Away Some Misunderstandings
Do I then think that all is well? Are the ghosts that haunted Hobson and
Brailsford all laid? Indeed, no.
Reconstruction and Development
There are features of our Colonial Empire today about which I shall feel
happier when they are considerably different. If you ask me whether I approve
the policy of some great mining undertaking in this part of the Empire or some
great commercial corporation somewhere else, I will answer frankly, "No, no more
than I am satisfied with the activities of their opposite numbers in Britain, or for
that matter in any other capitalist country you like to think of." If you ask me
whether as a Britisher I take pride in the educational standard of Colony X or the
standard of living of Colony Y, I make rio bones about saying that I like them no
better than, as a citizen of the world, I like the standard of living in certain other
backward areas for which fortunately British authorities are not responsible. I
don't like exploitation whatever its form and wherever I find it. But as I look
about the world I see exploitation in many shapes and in many places. I find it
difficult on the evidence to persuade myself that it is necessary to administer
colonies in order to make handsome profits out of their people.
In our colonies we relied for a long time largely on private enterprise in the
economic sphere. Often the operations of private trade worked hardship on
backward people; often the trouble was that private enterprise in the colonies,
as elsewhere, was far from enterprising enough. In recent years public authority
has played an increasing part not merely in' softening the impact of western com-
merce on native societies but in the more constructive and long-term task of raising
the standard of living of those societies. There were small but not negligible
beginnings of this process even as far back as the day of Joseph Chamberlain.
But in recent years we have seen the assertion of a new principle. This work of
construction and development is now accepted as a positive obligation upon
government. It must be done quite apart from the budgetary position of any
given colony. If a colony cannot itself pay for the capital and developmental
works, the educational and technical improvements that it needs, the necessary
resources must so far as practicable be supplied from British funds. That is the
principle of the Colonial Development and Welfare Act-passed in 1940, the
darkest year of the war. Even under all the wartime difficulties in finding material
and staff, we have begun to get to work under this Act.
We have a long way to go. I myself hope that we shall find it possible before
long to raise the target we set ourselves in 1940, to think in terms of larger outlays
and to make bolder' essays in the use of public instruments of economic develop-
ment. But these are questions of degree; the essential thing is that the course is
set, and set in the right direction.
Of course, there are two ways of looking at this newly developed sense of
responsibility. One can say of British policies in relation to the colonies that they
obviously have a very long way to go; or one can draw comfort from the fact
that anyhow they are on their way. One can fasten one's eyes on the still remain-
ing abuses, or pn the fact that they are at least as well recognized in London as
anywhere else and that we. are tackling them. Personally I don't want to shut
.my eyes to either side of the picture and I don't want our critics in other countries
to take a one-sided view either.
These matters are not simple. We cannot wave them aside with a gesture by
saying that the whole colonial relationship is out of date. You might as well say
that the housing problem is out of date. The real question is how best to tackle
the situation that we find before us. That is the question that we in Britain have
asked ourselves and mean to answer.
British Speeches of the Day
I have spoken of political and economic development. There is another point
that I think may appeal to Americans. It is more than political; it is certainly more
than strategical; it has something of both.
We Want Less Exclusiveness
We live in a high-powered, closely integrated, rapidly developing modern
world. It becomes increasingly obvious that in the most tangible and concrete
sense we are all members one of another. This is no time to give the principle
of political separatism free rein-to multiply the numbers of h.alf-grown
autonomous states dotted about the world. What we want is surely to have less
exclusiveness, not more-to hold fast to every fragment of cohesion and unity in
the world, to build it up, to give it a fuller meaning and fit it into a wider pattern.
This is the real meaning of the British Empire today. Indeed, though we have
often fallen grievously short of our own ideas, this is what the Empire has always
stood for in the minds of the most enlightened of the people of Britain. It has
stood not for a principle of domination but for a principle of cohesion.
When most of us speak of the Empire-and it is still our common habit to
do so, for we do not always remember in practice the newer name Common-
wealth-we may be meaning something for which there is no need to apologize.
In other ears, perhaps, the word has. a ring of domination: not in ours. You can
best understand what it means to us if you remember its first use in our public
life. That was four hundred years ago in the reign of Edward VI, when Lord
Protector Somerset advocated the union of England with Scotland "in one Empire
with the sea for a wall and mutual love for a garrison."
In that phrase you will find something that goes further back in time and
deeper in our political tradition than 1776. It was overlaid for a time, but it
came again into power and practice, as the world has seen in the story of Canada,
of Australia, of New Zealand, South Africa and other communities. The world
will see the same thing again in tomorrow's tale of many another Empire country.
Fellowship is the heart of our political life. We have spread the truth of it
widely about the world-and we have not finished yet.
Lord Privy Seal
House of Lords, October 20, 1943
There are one or two subjects that I want to deal with with some care, but first
of all let me make a few observations about air development after the war as I
see it. There are many estimates of the extent to which civil aviation will be
developed after the war. One estimate is a thousand aeroplanes in Great Britain
engaged in civil aviation. Another estimate is 15,000 aeroplanes engaged in civil
aviation throughout the world. My own estimate is perhaps 2,000 aeroplanes
[in Great Britain], and of course it is only an estimate. .
We must remember that before the war there were less than five hundred
aeroplanes in the United States of America engaged in civil aviation, and the
United States was the foremost country in the world in the development of civil
aviation. I believe that great progress will have taken place during the war and
that civil aviation will be engaged in a much bigger way when the war is
Again I believe that newspapers will be carried after the war to an increasing
extent by aeroplane. Newspapers were in fact carried before the war to Paris,
to Ireland and the West Country by aeroplane. During the war the Times of
New York and The Times in Great Britain are both sending copies abroad by
means of the aeroplane. It is my belief that in this direction there will be a
development in civil aviation and that the carrying of mail will exceed even the
development in the number of passengers so that plainly civil aviation is likely
to grow very. fast. But it must be remembered that the figure of two thousand
that I have put down. . will not afford a solid basis for the production of
-aircraft after the war. We have to take into account in dealing with civil aviation
the fact that the inherent merits of civil aviation are not something that will enable
the civil aeroplane requirements to take up and occupy the slack in manufacturing
enterprises when the building of war planes comes to an end.
From these observations I want to pass at once to say what I believe we require
here at home. It seems to me that we have the immediate duty to equip ourselves
as soon as may be with civil aircraft and here it is our good fortune to benefit from
the wisdom of Lord Brabazon's Committee. . We have the good fortune to
have the benefit of the wisdom of Lord Brabazon's Committee which deals with
engines and aircraft for our post-war requirements-that is our post-war operations.
That Committee was set up to deal with that particular issue. It has met regularly
and its proceedings are before the Ministries concerned. I may say that Lord
Brabazon is the best informed of our technical men and he has a fund of ideas.
For my part I mean to follow the views of Lord Brabazon and his Committee so
far as I am required to reach decisions in these matters. I hope that is a perfectly
plain answer to the question that has been put to me.
Next I come to Empire air development. I have dealt with development as
a beginning very briefly because I have a number of remarks made by various noble
Lords to deal with and I want to get on as swiftly as possible. In Empire air
development we must collaborate with the Dominions and India and the Colonies.
In this immense project of Empire air development we will not develop a view
which would be exclusive of the interests of others or one that would be directed,
against them. Not at all. It is our desire that we should go forward as an Empire
having no differences between ourselves. That has been our policy in relation
to the Empire. A Conference has been held in London. Talks have been conducted
with representatives of the Dominions and India and the Colonies. The con-
versations were necessarily of an exploratory and informal character. They could
in no sense commit any of the Governments. The conclusions reached could only
be of a provisional nature. But when all these qualifications have been made,
the Conference reached a unanimous agreement on every issue presented to it.
The issues presented to it were adequate for testing immediate opinion in relation
to civil aviation. The Ministers who attended the Conference were Viscount
Cranborne, Sir Archibald Sinclair, Lord Leathers, Sir William Jowitt, Lord Cher-
well, Mr. Law, Captain Balfour, Mr. Assheton, the Duke of Devonshire and
myself. . .
Now I want to deal with the next stage in development. That will be to go
forward at once to an international conference. That is our expectation and inten-
tion, but it must wait on the United States of America and particularly on Russia,
for Russia is engaged on the battle front, and there may be on that account some
delay. But we are ready with our plan. If the Dominion Governments approve of
what transpired at the two and a half days' conference then we are ready with our
British Speeches of the Day
plan, an extensive plan and, if I may say so, a complete plan. We are ready. It is
all on paper. But you will not be surprised when I say that from planning to
achievement is a long leap, a very long leap. It all depends upon whether we can
make that leap. Last time we tried we failed completely. In 1930 we began to
talk about North Atlantic air services and in 1935 plans were laid for it. Not until
1939 did the passenger service get under way. That means nearly ten wasted years.
There was a plan, but there were no passengers and no successful attempt to turn
plans into the transport of passengers. That was the last time. This time there is
something to be said which makes the picture a bit brighter,
In the winter of 1940-41, we did launch a North Atlantic air service. Not only
did we launch that service, but we launched it in mid-winter. One of the Ministries
-I think it would be wrong to say which-launched a North Atlantic air service
and that service began on Armistice Day, 1940. Civil aeroplanes were flown over
to Britain. On the first occasion they landed in Ireland and then flew on to Scot-
land. After that planes flew straight from Newfoundland to Scotland all through
the winter. The number of aeroplanes crossing back and forth was very consid-
erable. I will not mention the figure. . We only lost one plane all through
the winter, though that, unhappily, had a valuable passenger aboard. The pilots
were recruited entirely from civil sources. In the first year, 1940, we
recruited one hundred pilots. They were recruited by Mr. MacConnell of Mon-
treal, some from Canada, some from the United States, and some from Great
Britain. In the first six months of 1941 we recruited another 200 pilots through
the same agency. That service, some time in the summer of 1941, was handed
over to the Air Ministry and has been operating most successfully ever since. That
is a brighter picture in relation to the North Atlantic traffic, and as the noble Lord,
Lord Brabazon, said, the North Atlantic traffic is the crux of the position.
As I have said there is a plan. I have tried to outline it in this way, and I hope
I have satisfied your Lordships that there is a policy and a plan, a policy which
began with the Imperial Conference and will go on to the international confer-
Next let me deal with the question of the chosen instrument. The chosen instru-
ment is for overseas traffic only. It has nothing to do with domestic traffic. It is
not even a monopoly in one sense, although in effect it is a monopoly. The chosen
instrument receives money for the carriage of mails, the only money payment from
the Government. In that sense it is a monopoly. It was set up in Parliament in
1939. The Bill came to this House on the first day of August, 1939, and it was
debated and passed into law without any dissent at all. There was very little dissent
-practically only one or two voices raised in qualifying sentences-in another place,
save only from that section which wanted to go further in the direction of Governs
ment monopoly. I have been asked what is the policy in relation to this chosen
instrument. I have seen no overwhelming demand for a change in policy that has
led me to believe that the present is the time to deal with that statutory benefit or
advantage or" obligation conferred upon the chosen instrument. The chosen instru-
ment is, of course, tied up with the whole question of private enterprise and ship-
ping interests. All this must wait upon the decisions that will be taken at the
Imperial Conference, and then, if the chosen instrument is to be abandoned, it will
be soon enough to talk of shipping companies and private enterprise in relation
to the overseas traffic.
There are other questions of high policy that arose at the Conference of the
Dominions and the Empire. One question that arose was the question of an inter-
national authority. . The Conference came to a unanimous decision. I point
out again that a decision waits upon the approval of the Governments concerned.
Those who attended the Conference were not in a position to pledge themselves
The Use of Power and Leadership in an International Order 17
beyond the right of Governments to revise the decisions of those at the Conference.
It was decided unanimously that the international air transport authority should
be intimately associated with and responsible to any United Nations' security organ-
ization which might be established, the air transport authority being, of course, the
authority which will be brought'into existence if the conference has a happy passage
with all the Governments of the Empire, which I believe will be the case.
RT. HON. SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS
Minister of Aircraft Production
National Council of Women, October 8, 1943
We are all of us most anxious that the future of the world should not be ruled
by \hat sinister conception which earned the name of Power Politics in previous
There is a genuine fear, especially I believe amongst Anglo-Saxon peoples, of
the dangers of power as a ruling factor in international policies-they reach out
naturally and rightly after some method by which reason can be substituted for
the use or threat of force. This civilized preference for the arbitrament of reason
leads them to regard power as something immoral and to be avoided.
But we are forced to deal with the world as it exists today and as it will exist
after the war, whatever our hopes may be.
One thing is certain and that is that physical power-the strength of armed
forces and of industrial power-must be almost potent factor in post-war inter-
national politics, and we shall only fail to recognize that fact at our peril. *
The Harnessing of Power for Public Safety
Our failure to recognize and appreciate the facts of po*er in the years between
the two wars contributed directly to this new tragedy through which the world is
passing. Many were blind to the growing power of the Nazis and the Fascists and
'of the purpose to which they intended to put that power.
A similar failure to recognize the fact of power after this war will inevitably
lead us into fresh catastrophes. But this does not mean that we must relapse
fatalistically into the same chaos as we allowed to overtake the world before the
present war broke upon it. It will be our task to try and harness the available
power for the safety of mankind.
Once Germany and Japan have been finally defeated, whenever that may be,
there will remain in the world four great nations with the power of the possibility
of embarking on a major war.
Modern warfare is based upon great resources of manpower utilized in large
industries and in the armed services. Total war involves all the people of the
country and the numbers, skill and equipment of those people is in the last resort
the decisive factor.
There will remain the British Commonwealth and. Empire, the United States
of America, the Soviet Union and, potentially as soon as she is industrialized, the
British Speeches of the Day
great republic of China with her hundreds of millions of population. Any break be-
tween these four countries will be the first step to the next war. Peace will depend
upon the four great Powers agreeing upon the absolute necessity of its maintenance
and their willingness to devote their power to policing the world against aggres-
sion. If once these four Powers really make up their minds there is not going to
be another war, nothing that any other nation, however aggressive in spirit, might
threaten would bring it about. If, on the other hand, no such agreement is reached
between these great Powers, then the best that can be hoped for is an uneasy and
unsettling balance of power for a time with all the international intrigues that ac-
company such a state of affairs. A great anxiety will beset the world with growing
competitive armaments and all our energies will be spent in preparing for the next
round of destruction instead of getting on with the job of constructing a better
and happier civilization.
A Durable Agreement Between the Four Powers
Our first and overriding aim must therefore be to achieve a durable agreement
between the British Commonwealth and Empire, the United States of America,
the Union of Soviet Republics, and the Republic of China, by which they pledge
themselves to common action to maintain the peace of the world, and also to remove
the underlying causes of war. This does not exclude the other countries of the
world from a participation in the task. It does not mean any dictatorship by the
four great Powers. But what it does mean is that the four largest power factors
in the world would be bound together in the common object of preserving the
peace of the world.
World wars are essentially fought between major powers-the smaller nations
are dragged into the melee, but they are not the instigators. Nothing would do
more for the safety of the smaller powers than such agreement between the major
powers. Broader based international arrangements and institutions will be re-
quired for world policing, economic co-operation and social development, in which
all countries must play their part. We want international as well as national
democracy. But the foundation of safety for all these institutions must be the
agreement of and support from the four great Powers.
No international arrangement based upon police measures alone can be lasting
in its effect. An international policing system has been shown to be necessary
by our experiences of two major wars in a generation, but we live in a dynamic
world and it is essential that we should not try to maintain it static by force.
Progress and change are of the essence of international as well as of national"
society. Our policing can only be successful if it allows for growth and change
at the same time as it demands order and justice. In other words, our use of
power must be to support, not selfish aims, but great moral principles such as
justice and freedom, applicable alike to all people.
Two Main Tasks
There will, therefore, be two main tasks for the leading nations of the world,
the one to see that order is maintained and the other to promote conditions
throughout the world which will enable men and women everywhere to lead
honorable, dignified and happy lives as free human beings.
This second function is the creative and dynamic side of our obligations, and
for that very reason is the more important of the two-though both are vital.
We have to bring to its accomplishment the same vigor, the same wholehearted
determination and the same willingness to co-operate as we have shown in the
destruction of Nazism and Japanese militarism.
The Use of Power and Leadership in an International Order
Men and women forced to live in poverty, insecurity and squalor can never
form the basis of a peace-loving world. So long as the selfish actions of irre-
sponsible and powerful economic combinations can rule the destiny of, millions
of people throughout the world the spirit of hatred and suspicion will not be
quenched. No system based on injustice as between one section of the people
of the world and another can possibly be a stable system. A desperate people
are bad judges of their leaders, they will turn as they have so often turned before
to wild remedies preached by self-seeking gangsters and so will upset the peace
of the world. It is essential therefore that some order must be produced out
of the chaos of competing poverty in the world. We must set up international
organizations which can introduce a measure of regulation into international
Already we have made a beginning with these things. A remarkably high
degree of military and economic co-operation between the United Nations has
been achieved for the immediate purpose of winning the war. The habits and
techniques of collaboration which are now being acquired, as well as the
administrative machinery which has been established, will-if we wish-serve
us in good stead when we turn over our energies to the great task of building the
world anew. In some directions we are already going further than wartime
At the recent Hot Springs Food Conference the diet of ordinary men and
women in every land was raised to the status of a major concern in international
Experts-are now engaged in working out an agreed plan to deal with these
difficult but vital problems of fluctuating currencies and ill-balanced international
obligations. But this is only a beginning; I look forward to more and more of
the principal disturbing elements in the world's economic and political life being
brought under conscious control by the United Nations.
International Order to Ensure Individual Freedom
Paradoxical though it may seem at first sight, it is true that only by establishing
these international arrangements will it be possible for individual nations to develop
their characteristic social, religious and cultural life in freedom.
This is a job that must be undertaken seriously and courageously. The future
happiness of mankind will depend on our success or failure. We must not allow
the selfish nationalism of any nation or the sectional interests of any privileged
group or class to stand in the way of the creation of these safeguards for the future
It would be a tragedy too bitter for the disillusioned peoples of the world to
bear, if we were to allow all the agony and suffering of war to be made of no value
to the world through our lack of resolution in dealing with those who desire only
to preserve their own position at the price of preventing social reconstruction.
But there is another aspect of the problem. If we claim for our countries, as
we do, the right and the privilege of leadership, we must each of us be prepared
to show that we are worthy of it. The quality and the strength of that leadership
will depend to no small extent upon the way in which we conduct our own affairs
at home. If we make a reality of our democracy, if we bring justice and freedom
to our own people and those for whom' we are responsible, then indeed we shall
demonstrate our power and our right to lead in world affairs. What we claim and
assert internationally we must apply in our own nation arid empire. We cannot
have two standards, one for ourselves and another for other nations.
Our economic resources are still great-especially the skill and industry of our
workers and the inventive genius of our scientists and technicians. Though our
British Speeches of the Day
society has been marred by many blemishes, we have a fine heritage of political
freedom, of civic responsibility and of social progress. All these have proved a
great source of strength to our nation through the years of war. The world has
no doubt now-if ever it had-of the virility of our people. The testing time
of the blitz when we fought alone against great odds has proved our power, and
that our greatness as a people is not exhausted.
Leadership Demands Good Government at Home
But to be one of the leading nations in the years after the war we must show
that we have the same vitality, the same creativeness in the shaping of human
history in times of peace as we have shown in times of war. Our danger is that
when our hardships are over and the actual fighting at an end, we shall relax
in our efforts and we shall allow ourselves to be overrun by all the reactionary
forces that still exist and only await the opportunity of peace to emerge. If
Britain is to play the-same proud part in peace as she has played in the war, we
must beware of this danger, and must exert ourselves to maintain a purposeful
and creative course in our domestic affairs.
Good government, justice and freedom begin, like charity, at home If we
continue to allow mass unemployment, bad housing, disease and poverty in our
own country, we shall not be regarded as fit leaders for a progressive world. We
must be proud of our own institutions and standards if wE are to have the confi-
dence to take part in the general advance of humanity.
There were great evils in our country before the war. The war has cloaked
some of them, some it has abolished for the duration, others-above all the housing
problem-it has greatly accentuated. I do not believe that the people of this coun-
try will be satisfied to return to those evils which were normal in the pre-war
period. I am certain that those young men and women who have borne the brunt
of the war will not be prepared to tolerate them when the peace comes. It is not
for that that they have made their sacrifices. They are fighting to defeat Nazism
because they believe it threatens to destroy the happiness of men and women the
wide world over. They will not be content with a society which fritters away the
Opportunities which their victory will bring.
It cannot be emphasized too much that foreign policy and home policy are
ruled by the same principles and are closely interlinked. If we are to be truly
great in world affairs we must build a truly great society here at home, here in
Britain. If we are to take the lead in establishing justice and happiness among
the nations, we must arm ourselves with the moral authority which only an enlight-
ened and progressive policy at home can give.
RT. HON. L. S. AMERY
Secretary of State for India
House of Commons, November 4, 1943
Only the other day Lord Woolton told us that we are running into a world
shortage. Since then, Mr. Wallace, Vice-President of the United States, has declared
that food will be the dominating problem of 1944. Output will not begin to meet
the overwhelming demand for 1945, and proper organization to meet the coming
The Famine in India
world food-crisis beforehand is a question oT life and death for millions. The
breakdown of Nazi tyranny in Europe may well confront us with an appalling situa-
tion. This wider problem is rightly engaging the attention of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, we have our own more direct responsibilities. In the case of India we
undoubtedly have a constitutional responsibility of which we have not yet divested
ourselves, even though in large measure we have transferred legal powers, the actual
working of the powers, and the actual working of the machinery of government to
Indian hands. In any case we are concerned with suffering men and women, fellow
citizens of the Empire, whom it is our duty to help and succour to the best of our
ability in time of danger and distress. . This Bengal famine is something more
than an isolated incident. It is a danger signal warning us of long-range measures
which are needed as well as to meet the immediate need.
The vast majority of the population of India have always been and still are
subsistence cultivators. They wring a meager and precarious existence from their
small holdings and only the need for finding a little ready money for rent, for the
payment of debts, and for the purchase of the very minimum of necessities and petty
luxuries leads them to sell such narrow margins of surplus food as they can do
without. It is from these narrow and fluctuating margins from over fifty million
small holdings that urban and industrial India has to be fed.
In former times famine in India as in China was endemic, extending to smaller
or larger areas whenever failure of the monsoon, rains, floods, or cyclones led to a
local or to a general crop shortage. Under British rule the construction of forty
thousand miles of railway and vast irrigation projects and the everpresent availability
of shipping in peacetime enabled supplies to be rushed where needed. . With
the help of the highly efficient famine relief organization the Indian authorities have
been able to keep in check the everpresent menace of local famine. These measures,
coupled with other factors such as improved health conditions, only contributed
to that unexampled pressure of population against the ineans of subsistence, which is
the gravest long-range problem which India has to face. In the last twelve years the
population of India has grown by some sixty million. . The annual produc-
tion of rice per head in Bengal has gone down over the last thirty years from 384
pounds to 283 pounds, the result of the increase of population in that one vast
province alone of over one million per year in the last decade. Part of that
increase is explained, no doubt, by the growth of urban and industrial Bengal,
but the main increase has been in the agricultural districts. In some districts
the population runs to over two thousand per square mile, and is reflected in the
growing fragmentation of peasants' holdings which now average only three and
one half acres. . In India the gravest problem of the future will be to find
ways and means by improving agricultural methods, by industrialization, and by
education to outstrip the pressure of population which leaves so little margin
of surplus whether for the individual standard of life or for the financing of social
I will now ask the House to consider what the impact of war meant on so
precariously balanced a structure. India has played an immensely important part
in this war. She has raised nearly two million men for her army, all volunteers, and
I need not remind the House of the part which the Indian divisions have played,
first in saving and then in garrisoning the Middle East. Over and above that she
has furnished an enormous volume of military supplies and industrial raw materials
of all kinds to this country. . Vast sums have been spent in India with no
sufficient outlet in the shape of consumers goods whether imported or home-
produced to absorb them. It was really inevitable under those conditions that
British Speeches of the Day
prices should tend to rise. The Government of India made great efforts within
the compass of what is possible in the very difficult conditions in India to cope with
this problem. But no degree of taxation upon the very limited taxpaying class can
get away from the fact that vast sums were spent on workers, agriculturalists, and
others for whom there were no consumers goods to absorb. In any case for the first
two years the tendency to inflation was kept in check. It was not till late in the
summer of 1941 that, affected by adverse war news, the price of agricultural
products began to rise really seriously. Once prices began rising, accompanied
as that circumstance was by increasing general uncertainty and by actual fear of
invasion and, I must add, for several months in 1942 by widespread and unneces-
sary disturbances, the situation did deteriorate at an increasingly rapid rate. The
peasant finding he could meet his standing obligations by the sale of less produce,
and, unable to buy the goods he needed, naturally in many cases tended- and who
can blame him-to keep a little more for his own undernourished family. In
other cases he held his crop back in order to make sure that if his next crop failed,
he might not be forced to buy food at exorbitant prices as many in recent months
have been forced to do or starve. . If there was money there, the problem
would not be nearly as serious as it is today. At the same time small and large
merchants in villages, towns, and cities followed suit. The effect of all these fac-
tors operating on a relatively small scale on supplies and prices in the great urban
and industrial centers was, of course, wholly disproportionate.
It was with this increasingly anxious situation that the Government of India
was called upon to deal amid many other urgent preoccupations during 1942.
The problem before them has been throughout one of high prices and local
shortage, both essentially due to maldistribution rather than to an absolute overall
total shortage for the whole of India. The figures given in the White Paper show
that the total supplies of the principal food grains available for consumption in India
during this past crop year have been nearly two million tons above the average of the
two preceding years.
S It is true there has been a small export during the last crop year, much smaller
than the two previous years. Such export as there was has been for regions no
less distressed or in danger of distress than India itself, namely, Ceylon where
conditions are very similar to those in India and which suffered the loss of the
Burma rice crop, and to the coastal regions of the Persian Gulf. To difficulties
in the way of geographical distribution, we have also to add that of inducing a
rice-eating population to accustom themselves to a change of diet.
Central and Provincial Responsibilities
In connection with this problem of distribution we must keep in mind the
nature of the constitution set up by this House by the Government of India Act,
1935. It is very difficult for us who are accustomed to a centralized and all-
powerful Legislature and Executive to realize the working of a federal constitution
wherein the powers of the center and of the constituent units are strictly defined
and over a wide area mutually exclusive. Agriculture and food are in the provincial
field and for the Indian Government to invade the field of provincial responsibility
would in normal peace-time have been not only unconstitutional in the sense that
we use the word but actually illegal. It is perfectly true that under Section 102
of the Act, which was strengthened at the outbreak of the present war by a new
Section 126A, power to override the provinces both in the legislative and executive
fields is given to the center when the security of India is threatened by war.
But to invoke these Sections in the absence of any administrative machinery or
trained staff with which to enforce them was not an easy matter.
It was not want of thought or courage but ordinary commonsense which led the
The Famine in India
Indian Government to handle the problem from the outset by conference with
provincial and state governments who were primarily responsible for dealing with
the food problem, and by persuasion rather than by coercion. In doing so the Ceq-
tral Government, I think, came up against the particular interests of the different
provinces. To bring out the fact that these several and divergent interests have not
been altogether easy to reconcile is not an attempt to disparge Indian self-govern-
Steps Taken by the Government to Combat Famine Threat
I need not recapitulate the series of conferences to deal with this question
of food prices which the Indian Government convened from October, 1939
They show how continually alive the Government of India was from the very
first to the possible dangers of this situation. Among other measures within the
scope of the Central Government's powers it initiated and subsidized a "Grow
More Food" campaign early in 1942 under which some twelve million additional
acres have been brought under food crops. Towards the end of 1942, especially
as regards wheat but also in consequence of the loss of Burma, to which certain
parts of Southern India had been accustomed to look to supplement their rice
supplies, the situation looked so threatening not merely as regards prices but as re-
gards actual supplies in many Provinces, that the Government convened a general
All-India Food Conference with the Provincial and State Governments. At this it
was decided, first of all, to drop the price control on wheat which had been found to
keep wheat supplies off the market. Secondly, the Provinces all agreed to estimate
their supply position and inform the Central Government of their estimated
surplus or deficit. They even undertook to procure all surplus supplies and make
them available for distribution by the Centre to the Provinces where there were
deficits. On this foundation the Government of India's basic plan for feeding
deficit areas from surplus producing areas was drawn up. . These arrangements,
helped as they were by substantial emergency imports for which the Government of
India in good time asked this country and which this country supplied in spite of
shipping difficulties, and also helped a little later by a bumper wheat crop in the
Punjab-tided over by these windfalls and arrangements made by the Government
of India, in the main achieved their immediate purpose.
If we are to judge the situation as a whole and in proper perspective, we must
remember that what threatened India last year was widespread, possibly universal,
famine. If members will look at the note in Section 5 of the White Paper on the
position of other areas than Bengal they will realize the extent to which that menace
was averted or brought within narrow limits. For that, credit is duly given in the
note to the administrative action of the provinces and states concerned. . In
Bombay province where the danger at one time seemed greatest, the foresight shown
by Sir Roger Lumley in the early reinforcement of rationing in Bombay city and in
the general energy of his administration is deserving of recognition. In the states of
Travancore and Cochin only the most drastic measures have so far averted what
might have been a terrible calamity. Much good work indeed has been done all over
India to which it would be difficult to do justice in a brief summary.
Food Conference: Bengal's Attitude to Collective Action
At last December's Food Conference Mr. Fazlul Huq was not prepared to join
in any collective scheme and only wished Bengal to be allowed to manage its own
affairs. If it could not help others, it could at any rate manage to subsist on its
own rice. Mr. Fazlul Huq's attitude was no doubt influenced by the fact that the
main anxiety at that moment was about wheat and in a lesser degree about the
British Speeches of the Day
effect on Southern India of the loss of rice imports from Burma, upon which
Bengal had never depended to any serious extent. Unfortunately Mr. Fazlul Huq's
optimism about the actual Bengal situation proved unfounded. Within a few weeks
of that Conference it became dear that the main Bengal rice crop was seriously
short and presently it was realized that the total supply would be less than 7 million
tons, a deficit of over one million tons below normal.
This alarming revelation of an all-over shortage came on top of a situation
already gravely affected in several large areas of Bengal by local calamities. I need
only mention the devastating cyclone in Midnapore district last year and the floods
which followed a few months later. In other areas the military necessity of remov-
ing riverboats which might have facilitated a Japanese invasion added to the difficulty
of equalizing supplies. By May the situation had become so critical that the Govern-
ment of India withdrew from the Provinces in the Eastern Zone the powers by
which they had been able to prevent the inter-provincial movement of foodstuffs.
The object was to attract to Bengal by the ordinary law of supply and demand
supplies from other producing provinces. This undoubtedly afforded some imme-
diate relief but the rise of prices which resulted in the neighboring Provinces was
so sharp that the Provincial authorities protested strongly and vehemently in the
interests of their own people, and the free trade experiment had to be abandoned.
I might add that the subsequent report of a very representative Food Grains Policy
Committee did indeed reject the policy of inter-provincial free trade as only
calculated to raise prices.
In the last three months every effort has been made to get food through to
Bengal from the rest of India. There has been no failing in the transport system
which is the Central Government's responsibility. Deliveries have increased from an
average of one thousand tons a day for July and August to 3,700 tons a day
for September and October. In the six months since last April some 375,000
tons of rice and other grains have been delivered to Bengal on Government account
in addition to 100,000 tons imported commercially during the free trade period.
At the present moment a further 300,000 tons from various sources, sufficient to
see Bengal through the next three months to the main rice harvest, would seem
to be assured and the most acute problem now is that of distribution within Bengal
to the districts most seriously affected. It is largely from those districts that great
numbers of destitute villagers, landless laborers, and professional beggars drifted
to Calcutta, often in the last stages of weakness and it is their immigration that
has been mainly responsible for the heartrending scenes of suffering which have
so deeply touched and disquieted us.
The present Bengal Ministry has been doing all in its power to cope with the
desperate situation both in Calcutta and in outlying districts. They are at this mo-
ment distributing food from 5,500 free kitchens subsidized or maintained by the
Government. In one way or another over 2,000,000 persons are receiving daily
free issues of food. Every effort has been made to make price control effective-a
far more difficult problem in India than here. That effort is beginning to show
some signs of success. A rationing scheme for Calcutta has been worked out and
should be in operation in the course of the next few weeks. . Even now that
sufficient outside supplies for the province seem assured there will be for some time
no diminution in the loss of life until the organization of distribution has effectively
covered the whole ground.
Lord Wavell: The Army Cooperates
In this deplorable situation Lord Wavell as the first act of his viceroyalty
The Famine in India
has intervened with striking results. Like another great soldier before him, he
came, he saw for himself, and he took action. The Bengal Government is taking
steps to move all destitutes from Calcutta to relief camps where they can be fed and
medically reconditioned till they are fit to return to their own homes. A senior
military officer with an adequate staff has been lent to the Bengal Government to
supervise the movement of grain into districts out of the Calcutta bottleneck . .
The Army which on General Auchinleck's initiative had already placed a consider-
able quantity of stores, particularly milk products, at the disposal of the civil author-
ities, has been encouraged to use its resources to the utmost extent to help tide
over the situation till the next harvest. Troops are being sent to all the worst
affected districts in order to help the civil authorities with the transport and free
distribution of food, and additional troops are being moved into Bengal for this
purpose. Field ambulances and clearing stations and medical staffs are being made
available for the establishment of a large number of small local hospitals.
Aid From Britain and Its Dominions
What the House now would wish to know further is what we in this country
have been able to do or are doing to help. The problem there is entirely one of
shipping. Wheat is available in Australia and elsewhere in sufficient supply if
only ships could be spared to lift it. I need not remind the House of the vast
quantities of shipping required not only to feed the munition industries and popu-
lations, but great armies accumulated here, in the Mediterranean, and elsewhere.
For every serious military operation enormous quantities of shipping have to be
concentrated . We have managed to find the ships to deliver a considerable
tonnage of grain to India between this and the end of the year. The first few
ships have already unloaded and arrivals will continue steadily during the next
few weeks, and for as long as may be required. I must repeat that the task before
the'War Cabinet is not an easy one. Every ship released for this purpose is a
diversion from the war effort.
It is only in that way we shall relieve the strain of war on India which has led
to the present distress and which will continue to give cause for anxiety till victory
is won. Meanwhile every effort will be made to expedite despatch of such less
bulky and strengthening foodstuffs as can be conveyed to India one way or another.
We have already some weeks ago released from this country 500 tons of dried
milk for which shipping was provided. South Africa has generously offered to
put at India's disposal from her own resources a considerable quantity of milk
products as well as a cargo of maize . The Minister of Food [Lord Woolton]
has provided for India a quantity of capsules containing vitamin A-a consign-
ment of these is already on its way by air-for use in treating starvation cases in
hospital. The Army are also releasing from their stocks a quantity of their own
standard vitamin capsules.
Is there then, the House might ask, any effective way by which the sympathy
of our own general public can be shown for the victims? Certainly. Over and
above direct provision of food by the Governments there is a great deal of valuable
work to be done in helping to organize distribution, in looking after women and
children, in providing clothes and other after-care and later on in looking after'
orphans, for which private generosity has been enlisted in India and to which
private generosity in this country I trust will contribute. Lord Wavell has already
set up a relief fund from which to supplement local relief funds in Bengal and
elsewhere, and the High Commissioner here, in conjunction with the Lord Mayor
and myself, has appealed for contributions to Lord Wavell's fund to be sent to
him at India House. Other funds have, I know, also been initiated for the same
good purpose. I have no doubt our public will not be behindhand in showing their
practical sympathy for the distress of India. They will not have forgotten the
British Speeches 'of the Day
generous spirit in which Indians showed their practical sympathy to those who
suffered the enemy's attack here two years ago. ..
The Government of India at the conference held last month decided to tighten
up and strengthen the, whole basic plan for the procurement and distribution of
foodstuffs. They have decided on the introduction by the Provincial Governments
at the earliest possible moment of rationing in all towns with a population of over
100,000. In the event of any failure or delay in the execution of these measures
they have made it clear that they will not hesitate to use to the full the war emer-
gency powers. Meanwhile the provinces are everywhere improving their own
organizations. Some form of price control is now in force in every province and
in many states too urban rationing is in hand . .During the last six months
the level of prices has been stabilized.
A Problem for Any Future Government of India
We can feel a reasonable confidence that in this and in other ways the Governments
in India both Central and Provincial, will by their cooperation enable India's economic
life'to stand up to the strain which war has imposed upon it without the recurrence of
such a calamity as that of which we are now witnesses in Bengal. But the House will
have realized from the account I have given the nature of some of the problems con-
fronting India not only in war but also in peace. Those problems will continue to
confront India whatever the future form of her Government. The realization of
that can not affect in any way the desire of this House or of the people of this
country to see India advance as rapidly as possible to the full control of her own
destinies as an equal partner in the British Commonwealth and an equal member of
the society of free nations, nor can it in any way impair the pledges we have given.
But it does emphasize one aspect, namely, the immense importance to India's
future of a system of government based on agreement and cooperation. Only
on that foundation can India live secure from external danger and from internal
economic breakdown, and attain the greatness and prosperity to which her natural
resources and the gifts of her people justly entitle her.
[House of Commons Debates]
RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN
Minister of Labour and National Service
National Conference of Women, September 29, 1943
This gathering may well prove to be historic. As far as I am aware I do not
think there has ever been such a representative, meeting of women in the history
of the country.
Today you will not only hear addresses from members of the Government who
are in attendance, but in addition to those who will be speaking the various
Departments of State are represented.
In the first place, we desire to pay our tribute and express our gratitude to
the women of the country for the magnificent contribution they have made to the
war effort in practically all fields of social, political and economic life.
Women and the War Effort
Further, we desire to take this opportunity of explaining a good many of the
reasons why we have had to take the steps we have in curtailing the life of the
community and its comforts in order to carry this country through this last four
fateful years. We want also to convey to you the reasons why we must, at this
critical stage, when the sun of victory is rising on the horizon, ask for even greater
effort and the continuation of the inconveniences for a still further period so that
the intensity of our effort may be increased and the end of this struggle brought
Women Have Advanced Their Economic Status
The political status of women has already been won. We have in this country
universal suffrage. I .well remember the prophecies of gloom and doom that
were made if.ever the vote were extended to women. But that has all been con-
founded by the facts and now, in this struggle, the work that has been done by
you and your sisters in the workshops, the Services and every branch of public life
has advanced your economic status. The response, the discipline and the output
of the women of Britain has surprised the world.
More Than Tipping the Scale
I have several times used the phrase that "women tipped the scale between
defeat and victory", but it is something more than just tipping the scale. The
response of our women when the nation needed them permitted of the most
orderly, consistent and efficient mobilization of manpower that has ever been seen.
I am convinced that what we have been able to do has gone beyond the most
optimistic ideas of any one who had ever studied the problem.
What the Nation Was Called Upon To Do
Now what was it, that the nation was called upon to do, especially when we
were left entirely alone without an ally in 1940?
We had to build an army, which could properly be described as a continental
army, to play its part on the battlefields of India, Burma, the Desert and the
Middle East, and then go on to tace the great and final conquest of the continent
There had to be an air force which should not only be superior in equipment
but in numbers, weight of bombs, power of the planes and fighting capacity and
which would have overwhelming superiority in each theater of war.
A navy which must keep the seven seas open and protect the lines of com--
munication so that we might have the raw materials for production and food to
keep up the morale of the people and maintain the efficiency of pur industry.
A civil defense service standing by for raids, and a fire guard ready night
after night to fight fires and other attacks of the enemy.
Hospital services had to be ready for casualties, and the nursing and 'medical
services in a high state of preparedness; and at the same time [we had to] maintain
in the very highest possible state of organization our field hospital services to
minimize the effect of casualties and secure the most up-to-date treatment of our
Behind all this there had to\be a munitions industry which is now employing
two and one-haf million more people than it did at the end of the last war.
British Speeches of the Day
The Response That Women Have Made "
We must acknowledge with grateful thanks that all this could not have been
accomplished if it had not been for the ungrudging willingness of all our women,
not only to release the men to join the fighting services by taking their places in
the workshop but also by doing so much in looking after the children and main-
taining the home life at the same time.
What an amazing study it is. It has meant that out of 33 million people
between the ages of 14 and 64, 22,750,000 are now engaged in paid service, either
in the Forces, in the factories or carrying on the necessary civilian life of the
country; that more than a million over the age of 65 continue to be employed;
that over seven and three-quarter million women between 14 and 64 are working
in national service in one capacity or another; and that over a further million are
working in voluntary service, giving of their time in some efficient capacity; that
there are thousands of mothers who, in addition to running their own homes, are
taking in evacuees and billetees and thus contributing to the national effort.
Then there are the nurses about whom more will be heard later in the day
and all the work that is being done for the care of the rising generation.
In all these fields women have shown a capacity and understanding and have
given willing service in a manner that has confounded our enemies, shortened the
struggle and. brought victory nearer.
I never think of the battlefield without my mind turning to how the equip-
ment for our Forces has been produced. Behind it all is the voluntary submission
to discipline of a whole people. It is true that there are sanctions in the back-
ground but in the main you have responded because you felt the nation's need and
have looked upon directions as determining where you should go rather than
being the means of forcing you to go. The Government has really had very little
difficulty and trouble to overcome in this field.
It is true that for our part we have tried to see that there is provision for
welfare in the factories and outside that there shall be nurseries, canteens and
proper feeding arrangements; we have tried through an equitable rationing system
to be fair between all classes of the community so that we might emerge from this
struggle with the glorious feeling that in this great community there has been a
united effort in which everybody had tried and had been willing to play their part.
The Services You Were Asked to Perform
What is it that we have asked you to do?
Some of you have gone into the factories; others into the Services, many have
helped in the W.V.S., in the fire service, the civil defense services, nursing or
midwifery, in the savings organizations to get the wherewithal to keep this great
effort going, in minding children where nurseries did not exist. But one of the
greatest services we have had has been the co-operative effort between families in
feeding one another and helping with the domestic requirements.
When we speak of "total war" it is as well to remember that it is not only the
big things-and the fighting-but the little things as well that contribute to the
defeat of the enemy. However great or small the part you have been able to play,
it has been of vital importance in battling against the tremendous power of our
enemies. And think of what had to be done. ,
Women and the War Effort
Achievement of the Last Three and a Half Years
Here we were-a nation of 46 million-which just three and one-half years
ago stood alone against an enemy controlling over 200 million people. It did look
a formidable task. It gave us great anxiety as to how we would ever find the
ways and means to overcome him.
Looking back we can see several outstanding things that enabled us to come
through. There is the way that our people stood the blitz despite the destruction
of their homes and the loss of their friends. I know of nothing that brought
Great Britain more friends and allies and won for us the respect of the world
more than the amazing courage and tireless effort of our people through that
Many of you had to endure long and tedious daily journeys or to move into
less congenial surroundings; from large, airy workshops into the little garages.
You had difficulty in getting food and in doing your shopping. But you took it
all in your stride and never lost heart and gradually we were able to minimize
the effect of air attack.
The statesmen have played their part in bringing about the United Nations and
the harnessing of the efforts of liberty-loving people. But their work would have
been in vain, if it had not been for British character and courage and the respect
which they earned. In other words, we could not have stood where we do'today
if every citizen had not played his or her part.
Britain Not Dead
The woman who drove the cranes or worked in the steel plant or helped to
build an aerodrome or a tank-landing craft or aeroplane, or worked in the cotton
mills/or nursed in the hospital or looked after the children or went into the
Services soon began to find that her toil and courage were producing results which
would affect the whole history of mankind. We were showing the world that
Britain was not dead and that all the old character and virility was in our blood
and that we were determined not to be destroyed but to survive and retain our
Reaching the Most Intense Period of the War
It is not, therefore, empty thanks we convey to you. It is rather thanks born
of admiration and of a great pride in our people.
During this war we have made many appeals to you; we have spoken to you
on the wireless telling you of our decisions and we know that you have accepted
them with confidence. But we thought that we would like to meet you in a
representative gathering and tell you something of the difficulties that we have
to face in trying to bring our people to victory.
For you and your friends whom you have left at home it has been a weary
journey, the march has been a long one, the goal must often have seemed a long
way off. But you feel now that you are getting nearer to it every day andI can
assure you that it is now the last great effort that has to be made.
Work of the Ministry of Labour
If I may, I want to say a word about my own department.
It is my duty to try to allocate manpower in such a way that the strategy of
the war will not fail at any point but may be carried out successfully.
British Speeches of the Day
I have already told you the numbers that we have had to mobilize and direct.
Now the turn of events has made it necessary to alter our programs.
The great work 6f the Navy and the Air Force has led to the sinking of many
U-boats and of making our communications safer for the time being. This has
given us more raw material and so enabled us to restore our aircraft program,
and we want to increase the number of bombers and fighters. Every time we can
increase them we put greater weight on Germany and of course this reduces the
casualties of our own Forces. The Cabinet has decided, therefore, that I must
get many, many thousands more people for aircraft work. At the same time we
shall be slowing down some of the other types of munitions of which we now
have large stocks, and the people employed in those occupations must go to air-
craft. I know that means a new start once again and I can understand a feeling
of irritation of those affected, but I want you to help us with the women of the
country right throughout your clubs, churches, trade unions and everywhere you
come into contact with them. Impress upon them the necessity of going willingly
yet once again, for the quicker they respond the more they will contribute to a
quicker ending and to saving their brothers who, right from the days of the Battle
of Britain have been doing so much to defend us all.
Then cotton--cotton is vital to our war effort as well as to our civilian require-
ments and I have to ask women right up to 55 years of age with experience of
the cotton trade to go back and help. I know that they will do it. And there
are other industries-too many to mention individually-which the turn in the
strategy of the war makes of more vital importance than ever.
If my officers have to ask them to go, I know that the women will respond, but
you can help us in this.
Then I, know that you have had to stand about in queues for transport. We
have had great difficulty with the bus services. The needs of our great tank forces
made heavy demands on our supplies of petrol for a time. The loss of Malaya
and the East shortened our rubber supplies and all this has meant that the home
front must go short although we have tried to make the best use of what we had.
Now things are a little easier. Our oil supplies are better; we can begin to see
daylight, with rubber supplies and we are going to try to put more buses on the
road. But we must have more conductresses and more drivers and more cotton
workers who can make the fabric for the tires.
Every woman who takes up work as a conductress relieves the strain on all
those who have been carrying on so gallantly. I know it is a tiring job but they
have done it well, and you can help them too. When you talk to your friends and
as you go about, do ask them not to be irritable with the girls on the buses; for
they have a difficult job. We must all do what we can to ease their work. It is
not much trouble to offer the correct fares, but it is a great help when there are
fifty or sixty people on a bus and only one girl struggling to collect the fares as
well as starting and stopping and looking after the safety of the passengers. It is
a bit tough. ..
Finally it will be a tough go during this winter and early spring. We cannot
reveal to you all that lies in store during that period, but it does represent possibly
Combined Planning-Combined Victory
the greatest task that Britain has ever had to face, and we believed that if we gave
you as much information as we could, you would be able to go back to your various
organizations, societies, churches and your homes and be able to help us in this
final great effort. . .
In the end you will have the satisfaction of knowing that not only have you
earned the gratitude of all the liberty-loving people of the world but that in the
final struggle against aggression, Hitlerism and Fascism you played your part right
to the end in the defeat of these monsters and the enthronement of right and justice.
RT. HON. JOHN JESTYN LLEWELLIN
British Minister Resident in Washin#ton for Supply and
Chairman of the British Supply Council in North America
Luncheon Meeting of the Economic Club of Detroit, October 18, 1943
I have chosen the title "Combined Planning-Combined Victory" because I
believe that not nearly enough is known of how much has been done to pool the
resources of our two countries-to pool our forces, whether naval or military;
to pool our production effort; to pool our store of finished munitions; to pool
the raw materials and food of that part of the world to which we have access. We
have done this as good partners should.
On the naval side, we lent you an aircraft carrier to serve with your Pacific
Fleet when you were temporarily short. When it was decided that our Navy should
take the main burden connected with the attacks on Sicily and Italy, as it is doing,
some of your ships were attached to our Iome Fleet and, as you know, that fleet
has gone out and assisted by one of your carriers has delivered a most successful
attack on German shipping off Norway.
In the same way our armies work together. It is General Eisenhower who,
after consultation with General Alexander, the theater commander, decided which
troops shall go into Italy. That attack is just as much a joint show, although it
happens that British and Canadians together are in the proportion of 8 to 5 to
our American comrades.
Our airforces have throughout acted completely together, both in the Medi-
terranean and from Great Britain. British fighters, both from carriers and from
bases in Sicily, supported the Salerno landings. American bombers blasted the
communications and*airfields which were supporting the German front.
From Britain qur bombing offensives are completely interrelated the one with
the other: American Fortresses bombing an industrial center by day, and the
R.A.F. following up at night, or of course vice versa, the R.A.F. arriving at the
target one night and the American flyers following up on the next day. Our
fighters more often than not provide escort for your American planes, and together
we are doing an immense amount of damage to German production. We are
doing a great deal to undermine their morale.
It so happens thit our differing types-of bombers are in fact complementary
the one to the other. Yours can go rather farther; ours can carry a much heavier
load. Ours can work over enemy territory by night; yours carry more guns and
are better able to defend themselves by day.
32 \ British Speeches of the Day
The strategic plans for all operations in which United States and the British
Commonwealth are jointly engaged (and that includes the Pacific and Indian
Ocean theaters of war as well as the Mediterranean and North Sea areas) are
made by the Combined Chiefs of Staff of our two countries. Marshall and Brooke,
Cunningham and King, Arnold and Portal, are in continuous communication with
one another and with Field Marshal Dill, acting in this country for the Chiefs
of Staff in England.
The dividing up of the munitions production for its most needed purposes is
done by the Combined Munitions Assignment Board sitting in Washington with
its counterpart in London.
The most important of these two boards is, of course, that in Washington.
Your production of munitions is very great, and it is truly a marvel to see'what
has been done in so short a time. I have had some experience in the United
Kingdom through my service on the production side-first at the Admiralty, then
at the Ministry of Supply, and finally as Minister of Aircraft Production. I have
visited many of the factories in this great country and, in fact, previously to this
have paid two visits to this neighborhood. On each occasion I spent two very full
-and busy days and have visited some 20 factories in and around this city. What
they are doing, and the speed with which they have done it, is a great tribute to
the automobile industry.
Our automobile industry has been harnessed to the war effort to an equal'
extent. And what we should have done without Rolls Royce, the Morris and
Austin factories, the Rootes firm, Standards, Rovers, and our British side of
Fords, I do not know. They have played a very full part, especially in our
It may interest you to know that Great Britain, with its smaller population, is
producing more aircraft than Germany is, and that we are in fact producing
more weight of aircraft per head of the population than any country in the world.
Despite this fact, you, of course, over the whole field, are producing more
munitions than we. Your population is about three times ours. That is why the
Munitions Assignment Board in Washington is the more important.
Shipping: The Oil Supply
To go next to shipping. The Combined Shipping Adjustment Board sitting
in two parts, one in Washington and one in London, decides on the best employ-
ment of the ships controlled by our two countries. It was these bodies that decided,
meeting jointly at Casablanca, or in Washington last April, how many American
merchant ships and how many British should be used in connection with the
operations now taking, place in the Mediterranean. It is these bodies who decide
where best supplies can come from so that shipping is used to its best advantage.
Incidentally, the oil supplies problem was so decided. Aviation spirit and
ordinary gasoline had to be transported for aircraft, tanks, and trucks for use by
our Forces in North Africa and in Great Britain. Before the Mediterranean was
open, the same tanker could take either 10,000 tons in a given period from Abadan,
or 25,000 tons from the Caribbean in the same period. Between us we only had
just enough tankers to do the job-at one time the U-boats had accounted for
many of them. Was the effort to be slowed down? Were your airmen and ours,
your troops and our own to go short of the essential spirit? No! So of course
the decision was to take the gasoline froln the nearest source of supply.
Combined Planning-Combined Victory
This would have been done, whether that supply was British or American.
And in fact, it has not all been coming from American sources. The British oil
fields in Trinidad have been worked to 140 per cent of their rated capacity.
Apart from this, the taking of hardly any but high octane spirit from Abadan
has been inconvenient and unfortunate from the point of view of that field. We
have had to pump back into the ground very large quantities of the heavier oils.
We do not know whether we shall ever get this oil out again, or what effect it
will have on the oil fields. At any rate, had there been tankers available, we
should much sooner have had it taken away. We pressed that that should be
done, but there were not enough tankers to do it. And when one considers that
American companies also have large interests at Bahrein and in Saudi Arabia, do
not let us get this highly volatile spirit inflaming relations between our two
countries. Let us look to facts rather than to fancies.
As shipping is adjusted and munitions allocated, so are food and raw materials.
In the days when you had more meat than you needed, we, at your request, and
to save shipping, took more of our meat from here and less from Australia. Now
we have got partially to revert back again-shipping is less scarce and meat is
scarcer here than it was then. One of our difficulties in getting as much meat
as we require is that your troops are eating immense quantities given them in
Australia and New Zealand under Mutual Aid. The aid from Australia is going
to reach about $350,000,000 this year, and most of it is food.
We in Great Britain have a very dull diet. We are now producing in that
country 70 per cent of all we eat. Before the war we were only producing 40
per cent. The food we take from here is a very small percentage of what we eat,
and a far smaller percentage of your food supplies. But it makes just that dif-
ference to us which enables us to carry on our full production and our full war
The Combined Food Board sitting in Washington with its counterpart in
London decides what is to gd to each of two categories: first, to the Armed Forces,
which must of course be given complete priority; secondly, to the civil population
of those countries, which are actively carrying on the war. And to these two
categories will shortly, we hope, be added the populations of those countries
which our joint forces will have liberated from the oppression and the disgusting
tyranny of the Axis forces.
There is also in this country a Combined Raw Materials Board, with one
American and one British member. The duty of this Board is to plan the best
and speediest development, expansion and use of all raw materials and resources
available to the British Commonwealth or to the United States, and to find what
each can contribute to the needs of the other.
First of all, they devoted their attention to seeing what could be done to make
up the deficiencies in those materials, the sources of which had been so suddenly
cut off by the Japanese successes in the Malay Peninsula and the Dutch East Indies
and in other parts of the world, which were so rich in certain raw materials. Next,
they dealt with those materials for which there is an unprecedented demand be-
cause of the war-materials such as aluminum, called "aluminium" in the United
Kingdom. I have learned how to pronounce that word since I came over here.
Then there are copper and materials of that sort.
British Speeches of the Day
Unless we had this combined machinery, we would find ourselves competing
for materials in those parts of the world which are still outside the power of the
Axis. The Board functions in such a way that we are not buying one against
another. The United Kingdom buys in one country, and the United States in
When the materials have been bought, and when the supply has been expanded,
the Board allocates between the needs of the different countries-to the United
States a part, to Russia a part, to the United Kingdom and British Dominions a
part. Divided in such a way, there may not be surpluses in one country while there
are deficiencies in another, and production in all may go ahead.
There are only, two other links in the chain of combined planning. One is
provided by the Combined Production and Resources Board. This Board has on
it representatives of three countries, the United States, the United Kingdom and
Canada. Its function is to see that the production of these three countries is
properly integrated and that the best use is made of the production resources of
the three countries.
The Board has come to realize that its first function is to insure that the long-
term needs, both military and civil, are planned as far ahead as is possible. They
go into the long-term planning rather than the short, but they deal with short-
term planning by special studies of individual items in which it is clear there
will be some bottleneck develop if action is not taken.
The Background for Mutual Aid
The .other link in the chain is the operation of Lend-Lease, or as we prefer
to call it, Mutual Aid-for mutual aid it is. The right background for mutual
aid is that there should first be self-help. No one who knows the picture in
England can say that we are not putting our full weight into this immense
struggle. The best test of this is to see how many of the people of the country
are engaged on essential work for the war effort.
Between the ages of 14 and 64, we have a population of 33,000,000. Of these
22,750,000 are either in the Forces or are engaged in vital war work. Any man
between the ages of 18 and 65 can be directed to any work to which the Govern-
ment thinks fit to direct him.
To take the case of women alone-there are over 2,500,000 in our Forces-
W.R.N.S., A.T.S. or W.A.A.F. There are 5,250,000 women in paid employ-
ment. These include 1,510,000 married women. When it is realized that there
are 9,000,000 young children also to look after, it will be realized that the people
of Great Britain are fully playing their part. No less than 1,000,000 men and
women over the age of 65 are working full time in war industries in Great
It is against this background of what our people are doing at home that I
want you to look at the effect of supplying us with Lend-Lease goods. The pro-
vision of them has been equivalent to adding 13/4 million effective workmen
to the population of Great Britain. It is sound sense to get part of our supplies
from this country, where machine tools cannot be bombed, factories remain
intact, production can roll on uninterrupted. If you were not supplying these
munitions, these goods-we should have to provide them ourselves. We should
then be able to man less ships at sea; we should not be able to support so large
an airforce; we should be unable to put so many soldiers in the field. More of
the strain of battle would fall on your troops. A greater number of casualties
would be suffered by them.
Combined Planning-Combined Victory
So the effect of Lend-Lease is that you provide more manpower on the factory
front and enable us to put more manpower into the fighting fronts. To get the
combined victory for which we all are working, we must continue this pooling
of resources, this combined planning.
The war is far from being won, either in Europe or in the Far East. The
Germans have, of course, had many setbacks. They thought they could down our
airforce; they thought they could invade Britain; they were in fact unable to do
the former; they were prevented from doing the latter. They thought that in
one short campaign they could eliminate Russia: they got to the gates of Moscow,
but there they were stayed. They almost got the oil of the Caucasus; they almost
broke all north and south communications in Russia west of the Urals-but Stalin-
grad'held, and they were frustrated for the second time.
Both the defense of Moscow and the defense-of Stalingrad were very great
achievements of the Russian armies. But the present retirement back from the
Russian armies and the Russian winter does not by any means indicate a broken
or defeated army.
The vigor and determination shown by, the German troops, both at Catania
in Sicily against the 8th Army and at Salerno in Italy against the 5th Army,. show
that the German Army is still a first-class fighting machine.
The Japs too are very tough fighting men, as your men, ours and the Australians
well know. There will be many great sacrifices yet to be made-of lives, of com-
forts, and of giving up for a time some of our former way of life. Do not let
us shrink from carrying our great crusade through to the end.
There are many little imperfections we may see in ourselves or in other of
our Allies. Let us try and get them put right through the good combined
machinery that we have.
The JBig Decision
The German high-ups almost certainly know that they cannot win. What is
their one chance of not being beaten? Their one chance is that before that hour
comes the Americans may have fallen out with the British, or either or 'both of
us may have fallen out with the Russians.
Let us not encourage them, in the hope that that chance may come-encouraged
in it they may fight on longer than they otherwise would, and more of your boys,
more of our boys, will return to their homes no more. Let us rather therefore
continue together as friends along the road, pooling our manpower, pooling our
ships, pooling all the resources each of us have. And when victory, both in
Europe and in the East, shall have been ours, we can then see whether it is in
America's interest, whether in the interest of Britain to continue to work together.
I hope that then the decision may be one that is in the interest of the whole
world and one that may ensure that the young babies, British and American, now
being born, will not, in twenty-five years' time, be going through the hellfagain
that so many of us went through twenty-five years ago and that so many of the
best of our two nations are going through at this very moment.
May we all be guided this time to take the wide view, the big decision, so
that it may be said of the Americans and Britishers now alive that they served
their time and generation well.
British Speeches of the Day
SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
Secretary of State for Air
Constitutional Club, London, October 10, 1943
Today I want to concentrate on one theme-the outstanding importance of
the offensive conducted-with the support and co-operation of Fighter Command
and the Tactical Air Force by the British and American Bomber Commands. This
offensive is rocking German military power to its foundations. People talk of a
second front: there is no front that the German people and the German High
Command fear more than the air front, from which the bombs are hurled into the
heart of German war industries and on the nerve-centres of German war transport,
Essen, Dusseldorf, Dortmund; Cologne, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Hanover; Regenz-
.berg, Anklan, "Marienberg-make no doubt about it these wounds will prove
There can be no ,doubt about the estimate which the German High Command
places upon the importance of the bomber offensive. Their armies are being driven
back along a wide front by the heroic armies of Russia. In close support of the
Russian armies is a powerful and bravely manned Russian air force. Yet the Ger-
man High Command, facing on the one hand the British and American bomber
offensive, and, on the other hand, that of the powerful Russian armies and air
forces, finds it necessary to concentrate more than two-thirds of its force of single-
engined and twin-engined fighters against our bomber offensive. Nor does
Germany yet know the worst. We are not near the culmination of the offensive.
The Ruhr-A Decisive Battle of History
For very many months to come the process of expansion of both the British
and American Bomber Commands will continue; the range and weight of their
hammer-blows will increase. The Battle of the Ruhr will rank as one of the
decisive battles of history-six or seven thousand gallant airmen flying through
the night to Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Wupperthal, Bochum, Krefeld or
Remschied with hundreds of thousands of Germans below them manning the guns,
the searchlights, the A.R.P. and fire-fighting services, and the great night-fighter
organization, the strength of which the Germans have more than doubled during
the past year. Over each of these towns, as over Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart,
Hamburg and Berlin-and many other towns-great battles have been fought
night after night. But among all the centers of German war industry Essen rightly
holds pride of place. There was Krupps-the greatest armament combine in
Europe, spreading over an acreage larger than that covered by the City of London;
there was the main source of Germany's heavy armament. In a tremendous series
of attacks-two in March, two in April, and a fifth in May (in that fifth attack
Essen received nearly four times the weight of bombs dropped in the heaviest raid
on London) and in a sixth in July-Essen and Krupps with it, were shattered.
Bomber Command may have to return to Essen again to check any attempts at
partial reconstruction, but the results of those attacks were catastrophic. The huge
defenses of Essen failed, not because they were weak or inefficient but because of
the almost superhuman courage and determination of the bomber crews who broke
through them time after time to reach their objectives.
"Won't the Germans Build It Up Again?"
Sometimes people say to me after a great armament plant has been seriously
damaged, "Won't the Germans build it up again?" To that question there are
The Air Assault Upon Germany
many answers, but I will select two. In the first place, if a munition plant produces
a hundred tanks or a hundred aircraft a month, and if that plant is only put out
of action for one month, a hundred tanks or a hundred aircraft are as much lost
to the enemy for the rest of the war as if they had been destroyed in battle. Indeed
the same result may be achieved by knocking out not the factory in which the
tanks or the aircraft are assembled, but one in which some essential components
are being produced. And my second answer is this. When the German blitz was
visited upon this country we had many resources which Germany no longer
possesses: we had ample labor at our disposal for clearance and reconstruction; our
vital aircraft industry was rapidly dispersed into hundreds of garages and small
plants all over the country by the ruthless energy of Lord Beaverbrook. Germany
now has no reserves of labor; she is stretched to the utmost to provide for the
needs of her armies and of her civilian population. Therefore, by far the larger
part of the devastation now being wrought in the munitions industries of Germany,
and the surrounding built-up areas by the bomber offensive is, for the practical
purposes of this war, irreparable.
The cost in casualties is not light. Yet in the last few months of intense fighting
against enormously strengthened German defenses, the casualty rate has been less
than a year ago-a miracle of scientific achievement, sound training and resourceful
tactics. Bear always freshly in your minds and hearts those gallant bomber crews
who go out night after night against the most heavily-manned and thickly-gunned
defenses in the world. But where in the world and with what other weapons can
fewer than ten thousand men strike such deadly blows against our enemies?
Remember the first day of the Battle of the Somme, with its 60,000 casualties!
The Prime Minister and General Smuts in recent speeches have warned us that
the next year of this war is likely to be the bloodiest. Every airman who lays
down his life in these great enterprises against the enemy is destroying weapons
and the means of making weapons which would otherwise have levied a heavy
toll of life on our armies and on those of our Allies. A special tribute of admira-
tion is due to the American Bomber Command, whose daylight bomber offensive
grows in strength from month to month ....
Anglo-American Cooperation in the Air
I doubt if, in any Service in any country in the world, you will find a younger
body of leaders with minds fresher and less encrusted by preconceptions and
conventions than the British Air Marshals. Nor, I believe, will you find 'anywhere
between tke leaders of any two Services closer relations of intimate understanding
and friendship than you will find between our Air Marshals and the Generals of
the United States Army Air Corps. I can testify from close personal knowledge
over the past 18 months that the Generals of the United States Army Air Corps
have had no more loyal and no more enthusiastic allies in the development of their
daylight offensive than the British Air Marshals-and if you doubt me, ask the
The truth is that the American daylight offensive is the perfect, complement
of the British night offensive. Occasionally a British heavy bomber force will
carry out a daring daylight enterprise, such as those which you will remember on
the Le Creuset works and at Augsburg: possibly the Americans may wish at some
time or another to send somd of their crews to gain experience with us in our
night operations. But each of these offensives-the daylight offensive and the
night offensive-requires a huge ground organization, each of the varied parts
of which must be trained to the highest standards; each requires special tactics,
weapons and equipment, and every member of every aircraft must be highly
trained in their employment.
British Speeches of the Day
"Germany Has No Longer Any Hope of Winning the War"
Therefore the use of the American bomber force on day attacks and the British
bomber force on night attacks is the right division of labor: let the British rule
the skies over Germany by night and the Americans by day. We do not gloat over
the destruction of German cities. War is not a habit which grows upon the British
-or indeed upon the American people. But half-measures are cruel in war; they
prolong the agony, and by prolonging it, waste life. Germany has no longer any
hope of winning the war. Only Hitler is prolonging it. The time will come when
German people will be asking, "Why should we die for Hitler and the Nazis and
the Junkers?" Remember then, the men who fought the Battle of the Ruhr, the
Battle of Hamburg and the Battle of Berlin.
From India, Australia and the conquests of Japan, from Africa, Italy and
Germany, from hunting the U-boats across the Seven Seas odr airmen will return-
young men with their lives to make. They have fought a good fight. They have
never failed us. We must no fail them. In war this old country and Empire has
revealed such resources of youth and strength as to dismay our enemies and
surprise even our friends. We and the peoples of Europe and America know
from hard experiences that peace has its defeats no less disgraceful than those of
war. This time let us rise to the challenge of peace with as much courage, energy
and will and in the same spirit of service and sacrifice as we are facing and
passing the hard test of war.
We have had to ask women doing a full-time job in a factory, managing
the housekeeping and shopping that even a bachelor woman has to do (and
many were married women)-we have had to ask you to do part-time civil
defense on the top of all this or else to help as a Fire Guard.
Thousands of women doing 50 hours a week in a factory, and keeping a
home together have given us one night a week for Fire Guard. It is a mag-
nificent gesture, the challenge of British women to the fascist-cowed nations.
Even Hitler has appreciated what all this means in Britain's war effort.
The niost inspiring call the Nazi leaders could think of for their own women
was to ask them to imitate the women of Britain.
ELLEN WILKINSON, Parliamentary Secretary,
Ministry of Home Security, September 28, 1943
RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
House of Commons, October 28, 1943
We attach immense importance to the survival of Parliamentary democracy. In
this country this is one of our war aims. We wish to see our Parliament a strong,
easy, flexible instrument of free Debate. For this purpose a small Chamber and
a sense of intimacy are indispensable. It is notable that the Parliaments of the
British Commonwealth have to a very large extent reproduced our Parliamentary
institutions in their, form as well as in their spirit, even to the Chair in which the
Speakers of the different Assemblies sit. We do not seek to impose our ideas on
others; we make no invidious criticisms of other nations. All the same we hold,
none the less, tenaciously to them ourselves. The vitality and the authority of the
House of Commons and its hold upon an electorate, based upon universal suffrage,
depends to no small extent upon its episodes and great moments, even upon its
scenes and rows, which as everyone will agree, are better conducted at close quarters.
Destroy that hold which Parliament has upon the public mind and has preserved
through all these changing, turbulent times and the living organism of the House
of Commons would be greatly impaired. You may have a machine, but the House
of Commons is much more than a machine; it has earned and captured and held
through long generations the imagination and respect of the British nation. It is
not free from shortcomings; they mark all human institutions. Neverthless, I sub-
mit to what is probably not an unfriendly audience on that subject that our House
has proved itself capable of adapting itself to every change which the swift pace
of modern life'has brought upon us. It has a collective personality which enjoys
the regard of the public and which imposes itself upon the conduct not only of
individual Members but of parties. It has a code of its own which everyone knows,
and it has means of its own of enforcing those manners and habits which have
grown up and have been found to be an essential part of our Parliamentary life.
The House of Commons has lifted our affairs above the mechanical sphere into
the human sphere. It thrives on criticism, it is perfectly impervious to newspaper
abuse or taunts from any quarter, and it is capable of digesting almost anything
or almost any body of gentlemen, whatever be the views with which they arrive.
There is no situation to which it cannot address itself with vigour and ingenuity.
It is the citadel of British liberty; it is the foundation of our laws; its traditions
and its privileges are as lively today as when it broke the arbitrary powQbof the
Crown and substituted that Constitutional Monarchy under which we have enjoyed
so many blessings. In this war the House of Commons has proved itself to be a
rock upon which an Administration, without losing the confidence of the House,
has been able to confront the most terrible emergencies. The House has shown
itself able to face the possibility of national destruction with classical composure.
It can, change Governments, and has changed them by heat of passion. It can
sustain Governments in long, adverse, disappointing struggles through many dark,
gray months and even years until the sun comes out again. I do not know how
else this country can be governed other than by the House of Commons'playing its
part in all its broad freedom in British public life. We have learned-with these
so recently confirmed facts around us and before us-not to alter improvidently
the physical structures which have enabled so remarkable an organism to carry on
its work of banning dictatorships within this Island and pursuing and beating into
ruin all dictators who have molested us from outside.
Available in January 1944
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