BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
AN AGENCY OF THE BRITISH G O E,,NMENT
OF THE DAY l
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, November 9, 1943.
A Year of Victory.
HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security,
November 14, 1943.
Freedom versus Slavery,
SIR JOHN ANDERSON, Chancellor of the Exchequer, November 11, 1943.
SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS, Minister of Aircraft Production, October 27, 1943.
LORD HALIFAX, British Ambassador to the United States,
November 10, 1943.
Patriotism Is Not Enough.
LORD CRANBORNE, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs,
November 2, 1943.
Collaboration in the Commonwealth.
ERNEST BEVIN, Minister of Labour, November 12, 1943.
A Call to Youth for the Coal M
DINGLE FOOT, Parliamentar
November 10, 194
S Relief to Occupi
RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
Lord Mayor's Luncheon, November 9, 1943
I thank you whole-heartedly for your kindness, for the warmth of your welcome,,
and for all the complimentary terms in which you, my Lord Mayor, have com-
mended His Majesty's Government to the good will of the City of London. This
is the fourth of your annual festivals which I have attended since the war began,
and I confess that it seems to me they have all been milestones on our journey.
In November, 1940, when we were quite alone in the midst of the blitz, I had
occasion to repeat to all the nations that were overrun by the Germans our British
pledge and guarantee that we would never abandon the struggle until every one of
them had been liberated from the Nazi yoke. I see no reason to modify that state-
ment today. When I came here in 1941 I gave a solemn warning to the Japanese
Government that if they went to war with the United States we should immediately
declare war on them. Well, there was nothing wrong with that. Last year, in 1942,
I thought it right to say that I did not consider it any part of my duties to liquidate
the British Empire. I do not conceal from you that I hold the same opinion today.
Since we were last gathered here we and our Allies have had a year of
almost unbroken victory in every theater and on every front. British, Dominion,
and United States armies have cleared Africa of the enemy. Together the British
and United States forces have conquered Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and one-third of
Italy. We have broken the back of the U-boat war, which at one time had seemed
our greatest peril. We have inflicted shattering damage, and we are inflicting
shattering damage, upon the German cities which are the centers of munitions pro-
duction, and this has caused an injury to the German war effort and to the German
morale which, combined with other blows, may well be the precursor of decisive
events in the European struggle.
Salute to Soviet Armies
In all these operations, on land, on sea, and in the air, Great Britain has had
the honor to bear the greatest part and to pay the heaviest price. In the Pacific,
where the main forces of the United States have been deployed, and where Ameri-
cans, Australians, and New Zealanders are fighting together under the inspiring
leadership of General MacArthur, many brilliant actions have been recorded, and
the strength of Japan has been steadily and remorselessly worn down. But I gladly
admit, and indeed proclaim, that the outstanding event of this famous year has
been the victorious advance of the Russian armies from the Volga westward across
the Dnieper, thus liberating, as Marshal Stalin has told us, two-thirds of the occu-'
pied Russian soil from the foul invader. In this process the Russian Soviet armies
have inflicted deep and dire injury upon the whole life and structure of the German
military power. That monstrous juggernaut engine of German might and tyranny
has been beaten and broken, outfought and outmaneuvered by Russian valor, gen-
eralship, and science, and it has been beaten to an extent which may well prove
We and our American Allies have done, and are doing, our utmost to bring our
forces across the seas and oceans into action against the enemy, and I rate the
Anglo-American air attack on Germany as one of the prime-causes of the impend-
ing ruin of the Hitler regime. But it must never be forgotten that there was nothing
British Speeches of the Day
in the whole world, nor could there have been created for several years, any military
organism which could ever have given the blows which Russia has given, or survived
the losses which Russia has borne. Here, from this City of London at our time-
honored gathering, we salute the Soviet armies and Marshal Stalin.
The Moscow Mission
We have all been cheered by the results of the Moscow conference and we look
forward to welcoming back in the next week or so our Foreign Secretary from his
*most successful mission. There is no doubt that the full and frank discussions
between the three Foreign Ministers, M. Molotov, Mr. Eden, and that gallant old
eagle, Mr. Hull, who flew far on a strong wing, have had the effect of making our
Russian friends feel as they have never felt before that it is the heartfelt wish of
the British and American nations to fight the war out with them in loyal alliance,
and afterwards to work with them on the basis of mutual respect and faithful com-
radeship in the resettlement and rebuilding of this distracted and tormented world.
I have not abandoned the hope that some time or other it may be possible for the
heads of the three Governments to meet together, because all my experience in this
war shows that friendly and trustful personal contacts between the responsible lead-
ers are the best foundations for all plans, whether for war or for peace.
In our Grand Alliance of thirty-three States or Governments constituting the
United Nations we try all we can by correspondence and consultation to preserve
harmony and intimacy and to procure concerted action. As you may well imagine,
it is not possible to consult with every member about the details of all military
movements or plans. These must be confined to as few circles or persons as possible.
The high aims we set before ourselves were first outlined in the Atlantic Charter,
and now we have published in Moscow the all-important Four-Power Agreement,
which looks to the future foundations of world peace after these storms are over.
There are many nations in our thoughts today. We hope that France will rise again
to her true greatness, and will play a worthy part in shaping the progress of Europe
and of the world. I rejoice in every increase of unity and consolidation that I notice
in the French National Committee at Algiers, and I also rejoice at the growing
power of the French armies which are being recreated and rearmed in North Africa,
and which will presently take their share in the liberation of the soil of France
from the most hateful form of human bondage. The French National Committee
are not the owners but the trustees of the title deeds of France. These must be
restored to the French nation when freedom is achieved, for it is only on the will
of the people, freely expressed under conditions of reasonable tranquillity that, in
France, as in other enslaved countries, any permanent structure can be raised.
No Time to Relax
A great many people speak as if the end of the war in Europe were near. I
hope, indeed, that they may prove right, for certainly every month that this devas-
tating struggle continues carries human society into deeper depth, and adds to the
toil, the length and the burden of recovery. We should, however, be foolish and
blameworthy if we allowed our plans and actions to be based on the prospect of an
early collapse in Germany. There is danger in anything which diverts the thoughts
and efforts of any of the Allied Nations from'the supreme task which lies before
them-namely, that of beating down into dust and ruin the deadly foes and tyrants
who so nearly subjugated the entire world to their domination. I am myself pro-
ceeding on the assumption that the campaign of 1944 in Europe will be the most
severe and, to the Western Allies, the most costly in life of any we have yet fought,
and we must all brace ourselves for that task and strain every nerve for its success-
A Year of Victory
This is no time for relaxation or soft thoughts on the joys of peace and victory.
Hitler still has four hundred divisions under his command or control. He has. a
party police force which gives him a grip upon the agonized and regimented people
of Germany, incomparably stronger than anything which was at the disposal of the
late Kaiser. Under this odious Nazi system the children still betray to their teachers,
and thus to the police, any incautious remarks that their fathers and mothers may
have used in their presence. Hitler and his guilty confederates know that their lives
are at stake, and that they at any rate run no extra risks in making other people
fight on to the bitter end. The German troops, wherever we have met them, have
been found fighting with their veteran skill. The hazards of great land battles lie
New Forms of Attack?
We cannot, however, exclude the possibility of new forms of attack upon this
island. We have been vigilantly watching for. many months past every sign of
preparation for such attacks. Whatever happens they will not be of a nature to
affect the final course of the war. But, should they come, they will certainly call
for the utmost efficiency and devotion in our fire watchers and Home Guard, and
also for a further display of the firmness and fortitude for which the British nation
has won renown. This is no time to relax any of our precautions or discourage
our splendid auxiliary services. This is no time to divide the unity of the nation
by raising fierce party political issues. This is no time for persons who have prac-
tical war work to do to dream easy dreams of brave new worlds. We must keep
our sense of proportion, even when discussing the incidents of procedure in some
of our juvenile courts.
We must not lose for a moment the sense and consciousness of urgency and
crisis which must continue to drive us, even though we are in the fifth year of war.
We must go forward with unrelenting and unwearying efforts through every living
minute that is granted to us. I am the head of a national coalition of all the three
British parties, whose leaders are represented here today at your board. This Gov-
erment came together with the sole policy of making war until the victory is won.
We cannot today exclude from our minds, nor need we do so, the conviction that
victory will certainly be won, and that not only Germany, but Japan, with whom
the British Commonwealth and Empire have an inexpiable quarrel, will be forced
into unconditional surrender.
Food, Work, and Homes
We have no need to exclude that from our minds. But that does not mean
that our war task is done. Another tremendous and practical duty is involved in
what is called winning the war. Just as in time of peace plans for war and measures
of defense ought to be in readiness for any sudden emergency, so in time of war
we must make sure that confusion and chaos do not follow the victories of the
armies or stultify the surrender unexpectedly early by the enemy. I regard it as a
definite part of the duty and responsibility of this National Government to have
its plans perfected in a vast and practical scheme to make sure that in the years
immediately following the war food, work, and homes are found for all. No airy
visions, no party doctrines, no party prejudices, no political appetites, no vested
interests, must stand in the way of the simple duty of providing beforehand for
food, work, and homes. They must be prepared now during the war. These plans
must be prepared, and they must come into action just like, when war breaks out,
general mobilization is declared. They must come into action as soon as the victory
On this far-reaching work His Majesty's Government are now concentrating all
British Speeches of the Day
the energies that can be spared from the actual struggle with the enemy. The policy
of waging war until victory would be incomplete and indeed spoiled, if it were not
accompanied by a policy of food, work, and homes in the period following the
victory for the men and women who fought and won.
Britain and America
I regard this hour as one more hopeful and more stirring than any through
which we have passed. It is a reasonable assumption that, unless we make some
grave mistakes in strategy, the year 1944 will see the climax of the European war.
Unless some happy event occurs on which we have no right to count, and the hand
of Providence is stretched forth in some crowning mercy, 1944 will see the greatest
sacrifice of life by the British and American armies, and battles far larger and
more costly than Waterloo or Gettysburg will be fought. Sorrow will come to
many homes in the United Kingdom and throughout the great Republic. British
and American manhood-true brothers in arms-will attack and grapple with the
deadly foe. This year, 1944, is also election year in the United States-a strange
coincidence, but I am sure I speak for all those on both sides of the Atlantic who
mean the same thing-and they are numbered by scores of millions-when I say
that the supreme duty of all of us-British and Americans alike-is to preserve
that good will that now exists throughout the English-speaking world, and
thus aid our armies in their grim and heavy task. Even if things are said in one
country or the other which are provocative, which are clumsy, which are indiscreet,
or even malicious and untrue, there should be no angry rejoinder. If facts have to
be stated, let them be stated without heat or bitterness. We have to give our men
in the field the best chance. That is the thought which must dominate all speech
and action. Not only the fortunes of this fearful war, but also the happiness of
future generations, depend upon the fraternal association of Great Britain and the
United States within and without prejudice to the larger world structure that will
be erected to secure the peace and freedom of mankind.
RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON
Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
Burnley, November 14, 1943
I have been in Lancashire for three days, have met many people and spoken on
various problems of home and Lancashire affairs-about social security and full
employment, about the cotton industry and the export trade. Tonight. I want to
consider some wider aspects of the war in which we are engaged and which must
until it is won be our main preoccupation.
Day by day before our eyes the war is shaping up towards its climax. What-
ever trials and losses may be before us, and the trials may be grievous ani the losses
heavy, we know now that the die is cast and, if we keep firm and vigorous, victory
Pattern of the Conflict
Looking back we can see a strange, almost an awe-inspiring pattern in the course
of the conflict.
The German military machine of 1940 was by far the greatest aggregation of
efficient armed might that the world has ever seen. Keyed up, trained up, equipped
Freedom versus Slavery
to the last button, full of complete self-confidence, it was animated by the single
purpose of world domination and by a certain conviction of its power to achieve it.
It overran Europe, now here, now there; first west, then southeast, then east,
in a succession of irresistible thrusts.
Yet we know now that this seeming exhibition of overwhelming fighting power
and unbroken success was in fact but the first stage in a process of failure and
As it overran Europe, the Nazi might overreached itself. The inevitable inner
compulsion which drove it forward was driving it to its own destruction. It went
too far, it attempted too much. It could not help going too far and attempting
First in this island, then later in Russia, men said aloud that word of conquering
defiance-spoken so finely for us by Winston Churchill and for the Russians by
Joseph Stalin-that sounded the knell of triumphant tyranny.
How hollow today sound all those fearful boastings and shattering forecasts
of world victory which we heard in 1940 and 1941. As we see the day of the fall
of Nazidom approaching nearer and nearer, let us remember what it means not
only to us who have had to endure and struggle against it without ever being under
its heel, but to the enslaved peoples of Europe. Their lives have for three or four
years past been lived in a black night of misery and oppression, unrelieved by any-
thing except the courage of their own citizens and the hope of the day which they
and we now see approaching.
Reconstruction Lies Ahead
The spokesman of an occupied country, France, has very recently reminded us
how almost impossible it is for a country which has been spared the horrors of
Nazi rule, kindly and well-disposed though it may be, to understand the mind of
a country under the yoke. That we can accept, yet we know enough to be able to
rejoice with our subjugated Allies at the hope that, in the not distant future, the
children can be fed and free to play again, the women can watch them and think
of them without dread of the future, the men can begin to live their lives in peace
and freedom. Even so we must not forget that vast and difficult problems of recon-
struction will face liberated Europe for a long time.
What we know of the horrors and sufferings of the occupied Continent must
make us rejoice in the knowledge that now at last the end of the worst, the chance
of better things, is in sight. Let us remember this aspect of the present phase of
the struggle, let us think of it and of Europe, with some sober pride in our own
part in the achievement, but with human sympathy and gratitude for deliverance
as we can see it progressively taking place-now in the east and south, soon in the
west and north.
This will help us to brace ourselves for the final effort of will and endurance
that the war will still demand of us. In terms of sheer obvious human value-
human suffering to be ended, human life and freedom to be preserved-never
surely was there such a cause as this.
"Challenge of a Slave Society"
But we can nerve ourselves also by refreshing our remembrance of what the
war is being fought for-a thing we know well but have begun perhaps to take
for granted, to allow to sink into the background of our minds as the struggle
has unfolded its long course week after week and month after month.
British Speeches of the Day
The German challenge was never merely a challenge of a power-drunk clique
and a herrenvolk bent upon world aomination-though it was that.
It was also the challenge of a slave society which boasted its slavery, dignified
its barbaric creed with the title of New Order (we haven't heard so much of the
New Order lately, by the way, have we?), and sought to foist not only its power
but its philosophy of rigid, over-organized, over-efficient regimentation on all
And the menace was not only a German one. The creed of slavery and reaction
was no mere national manifestation. All over the world it found its adherents and
sympathizers, more in some countries than in others-happily not many among us,
though even one was too many. And Hitler and Mussolini had their yes-men here.
These were men misguided enough to believe in the virtues and values of the
slave state and to wish to see it established in our own borders.
Keep in mind the recollection of this issue: the idea of slave organization will
not necessarily be quite dead in the world even when the Nazis and the Fascists
are only a nightmare memory.
"The Free Society"
Let us remember today what we had to oppose to this arrogant barbarism.
We had an idea, too, a far older idea with far deeper roots, though we were
less good at trumpeting it abroad. It was the idea of the free human spirit-the
This idea has been struggling into existence gradually in the course of man-
kind's story upon the earth; it has reached its best expression so far-a very im-
perfect best it may be, but still the best so far-in our modern democratic societies,
the distinguishing mark of which is their knowledge that the spirit of man is the
most precious thing in society, the thing for which society exists.
And how has this creed borne its test in the fire of battle?
I do not know whether we can yet claim to have surpassed the German best in
sheer military organization, efficiency, thought and skill. Certainly we have gone
a long way. But I am quite sure that we have surpassed them in the firm stead-
fastness of the national will and in the genuine happy unity which, despite surface
differences from time to time, has freely animated our nation at war. I am satisfied
too that for all their boastings we in this island have surpassed them in the power
of organization, if the test of organization is the completeness and effectiveness
with which it can harness the liberated energies of a civilian people and the results
it can enable those energies to produce.
I believe that when historians look back on the tale of British achievement in
this war they will rank alongside the tremendous spirit achievement of 1940, the
equality, the steadiness and the completeness of the effort with which it was fol-
lowed up. I believe that if we do not fall short of it in later years it will certainly
strike the eye of future generations and centuries as the vindication of democracy
in its first and perhaps greatest test.
Civil Defence Services
There is one aspect of this comparison between the free achievement of Bitain
and the slave achievement of Germany which strikes me with especial force. am
thinking of the achievement of the Civil Defence Services whose task it has been
to protect civilian populations from the ravages of air attack in the first total war
of modern history.
The differences are so typical of the fundamental differences between the two
societies. German Civil Defence was, like everything else under the Nazis, built
on the leadership principle, all authority at the top, everything below a matter of
orders and regimentation.
The British system was built upon the principle of freedom, the voluntary
principle, the worth of the individual, the virtue of the man on the spot. It was
underpinned by the resources and capacities of local government.
The one was and is an organization of dragooned officials, the other an organ-
ization of free citizens-not less so in the later period when service by citizens has
I know which organization I would rather be connected with, and I know which
organization I think has done the better job. Ours.
In civilian defense the preservation of human values is of paramount importance
even from the point of view of sheer efficiency. The free, neighborly human spirit
which has always animated our services, combined with the achievement of local
authority organization at its best, has been a model from which ahy society any-
where has something to learn, as have we ourselves perhaps in other spheres of
our national life.
Let us not lose that spirit, and let us recall all this as we stand today at the
beginning of the last road to victory. Let us remember the meaning of the struggle
and the triumph, and let us carry forward into the peace all that we can of the
courage, will and fine public purpose which will have achieved it.
SIR JOHN ANDERSON
Chancellor of the Exchequer
House of Commons, November 11, 1943
"A Report on Mutual Aid"
I have today laid in the Vote Office, "A Report on Mutual Aid," and, with
the permission of the House, I shall make a brief statement on that paper. The
outstanding act of statesmanship of the President of the United States in the con-
ception of Lend-Lease is known to all the world. Two and a half years ago, before
the United States had entered the war, this aid began to flow towards us. At that
time we stood alone, the sole fortress of democracy, and I think we may claim that
the use we made of the help from the democratic arsenal in the West fulfilled one
purpose of the Lend-Lease Act, whose official title was an "Act to Promote the
Defense of the United States."
Since then the British Commonwealth has been joined by a great alliance;
Russia has joined us, the United States has joined us, the French Forces in North
Africa have joined us, and the countries under the invader's tyranny have rallied
their spirit and are contributing every day to the common war. With this help we
have been able increasingly, as time went on, to follow the memorable example
set by the United States and to develop the pooling of resources among all the
Allies. Lend-Lease, therefore, has ceased to flow in one direction only; it has be-
come a system of mutual aid. We ourselves are now furnishing huge supplies
without payment, and indeed without calculation, to the United States, to Russia
and to our European Allies. I believe that the vast extent of the mutual aid which
we are furnishing is not understood in this country, far less abroad.
British Speeches of the Day
Some months ago, therefore, my predecessor decided that, just as the President
of the United States presents a report to Congress on Lend-Lease, a White Paper
should be presented to Parliament on Mutual Aid. As I have said, we furnish
this aid without payment, and indeed without calculation. You will be able to see
from the White Paper that accurate and comprehensive calculation, even had we
wished it, is not possible for us without a gross misuse of manpower. A large part
of our mutual aid is furnished, so to speak, in retail quantities to the American
Forces under training and in the field in many areas. In other cases we are "servic-
ing" their Forces. In the case of Russia we are sending large quantities of essential
war equipment of which the value can be reasonably measured, though no one can
attach a value to the hazardous task of bringing those supplies safely to Russia.
Figures Cannot Tell Whole Story
Complete figures cannot therefore be given, but I thought it right to see how
far the paper which Sir Kingsley Wood had put in hand could be elaborated, so
that at least partial figures up to the end of June should be available. The White
Paper shows at the same time that not the least valuable part of our mutual aid is
of a kind to which no specific cost of production can be readily assigned. We
learned much while we were fighting alone and the price was heavy. Those lessons
and that experience have been, as of course they should be, freely at the disposal
of our Allies. But I cannot put a budgetary figure on help of that kind.
Therefore, it is only in a very limited sense that this White Paper introduces
the money symbol and to those, if there are any, who wish to judge these matters
as a business deal, the effect is to underestimate the real material cost that falls
upon us. I should have preferred not to have introduced the money symbol even
partially into this record. But experience has shown that it is almost impossible
to convey the order of magnitude of what we are doing without recourse to figures.
In using these figures the House will, however, remember that, for the reasons
given, the various indications of cost which are found in the White Paper, if they
are added up, will not tell the whole story.
When my predecessor was working on the White Paper he decided, with the
full approval of the Government, that it was our duty, and consistent with the
conception of the pooling of resources, that we should offer to the United States
as mutual aid, without payment, essential raw materials, foodstuffs and the asso-
ciated shipping services, supplied by the United Kingdom and the Colonies to the
United States Government. The details of this offer have been under discussion
in the meantime, and some particulars concerning it are now made public in the
White Paper. This House will appreciate that this brings a whole new category
of goods within the field of mutual aid. It means inevitably that our net external
indebtedness will be, as a result, correspondingly increased.
Nevertheless, the Lend-Lease system is now so comprehensive in its scope that
His Majesty's Government have felt they should offer this further extension of our
mutual aid; and we offer it without reluctance to mark our whole-hearted acceptance
of the principle of a general pooling of resources, so far as it is practicable.
From Tunis to Burma: Local Expenses
I have also taken the opportunity of this report to give some particulars of
another aspect of our external financial burden, the vast scale of which is liable to
be overlooked. Over the whole area from Tunis to the frontiers of Burma, we
are mainly responsible for very large cash outgoings to cover the various local
expenses of the war, which cannot be met by imported goods. Most of this we
have to borrow and carry forward as a heavy burden into the times of peace. This
is not of the same character as the mutual aid, which is furnished in terms of current
goods and services. But it is, of course, a much greater prospective burden, pre-
cisely because it cannot be covered by current effort. For this means that we have
to borrow the .equivalent cost, thus incurring a liability, which hangs over our
economic recovery and must, therefore, be taken into account in considering the
scale of our external financial effort as a whole and our ability to shoulder any
We have not weighed what we can afford to give to our Allies. I think that the
House would wish this to be our policy, strained though our resources have been
by the long years of war. But the House and the public should not misunderstand
what it means for us. I hope that the House will approve the principles of the
paper and that public opinion will be enabled through its publication to do justice
to the extent of our contribution.
[House of Commons Debates]
SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS
Minister of Aircraft Production
Foreign Press Association, October 27, 1943
I very much regretted that I was unable to address your Association when you
invited me last year owing to my having to go to India. Since that date a great deal
has happened and almost everything that has been done has improved the position
of the United Nations.
Though there is still a hard struggle before us, victory is now on the horizon,
and more and more people are interesting themselves in the future of the world
after the war.
I suppose that at the moment most of us have our eyes turned to Moscow
where a great three-power conference is now working to cement still closer the
relations between the leaders of the United Nations. The picture is vastly different
to when I first went to Russia just about three and a quarter years ago. The changes
since then have been almost miraculous. Every one of us who has the future inter-
ests of mankind at heart must wish well to M. Molotov, Mr. Hull and Mr. Eden
in the great task that they are performing. Never was the opportunity greater and
from what we read in the press they are making the most excellent use of that
opportunity. They are not only planning to end the war in a speedy and over-
whelming victory but they are exploring a firm foundation for the future peace
of the world.
We must, I think, all of us recognize both the importance and the usefulness
of these exchanges of views and plans between the three greatest nations who are
fighting the Nazis, both as a means of shortening the war and to ensure that when
military victory has been won, it is not robbed of its value by disagreements or
lack of cooperation amongst the main protagonists.
But our view of the world's future is not based upon a sort of glorified dictator-
ship of the great Powers. We have, I am sure, a more soundly democratic view of
the future of the world than that.
10 British Speeches of the Day
Applying Democracy All Around
We have often asserted in the course of this war that we are fighting for the
freedom and liberties of democratic Government, and we do not limit that to
national democracy. Our international relations and controls must in their essence
be democratic too, that is, they must be ruled by the same principles which we
would apply to our national Government and organization.
Nationally, as democrats, we claim the right for the individual to assert and
propagate his views, to have freedom of speech and culture and to play his part
in the decisions of the national policy. But at the same time we recognize that the
individual cannot always have his own way and that in certain things he must for
the good of the general community be restrained and controlled in his freedom
That is part of his social contract from which he and all his fellow citizens
It is this balance between individual desire and public interest which we believe
marks out democracy as the best form of human Government.
There are, of course, a very great variety of ways in which these principles can
be given actual form. Some of them better than others, none of them perfect but
all of them preferable to totalitarian methods.
They all recognize the essential dignity and worth of the human being and
they do not relegate men and women to the position of robots in the service of the
State, as do the Nazi and Fascist creeds. This is the conception for which we-
the peoples of the United Nations-are fighting and they must be applied inter-
nationally as well as nationally.
The forms required will of course be different for we shall be dealing with
nations as units and not individuals, but that is no reason why we should not apply
the same principles.
The foundation for international democracy must be effective forms of national
democracy, for it is the voices of the peoples that we want to be heard and not
that of self-imposed Fuehrers or Duces.
The particular forms of democracy in different countries will vary but this need
not concern us provided that we can be sure that those who speak for the peoples
in the councils of the Nations do really represent the true feelings of their people.
In international democracy there are two important principles, first that all
nations, however small, should have a voice, and second that all nations, however
great, should recognize the obligations of democracy, that is to submit to such
measure of control by the international community as is essential to the welfare
of that community.
While accepting these fundamental principles we must also recognize the facts
of the situation. Some great nations have much more at risk in the world than
some small ones. Nothing can ever make (say) Monaco equal to the Soviet Union
in the world community. The Soviet Union like the British Commonwealth and
Empire, the United States of America and China must by their size and population
carry a greater burden of responsibility in world affairs. Their military and indus-
trial strength marks them out as the main pillars of any structure of peace.
To put it in another way, however much the other nations may agree or may
wish for an effective organization of world peace, it cannot be obtained unless
the four great nations I have mentioned are prepared to work together for that
end. Their agreement is an essential prerequisite for a future world understanding.
In these senses they occupy a special position.
But this does not mean that the other nations have no part to play. They are
essential and most valuable elements in world democracy.
We have seen how much they can contribute in war; they can make an equal
or greater contribution in peace.
Their airmen, soldiers and sailors have given a magnificent account of them-
selves in the common struggle to destroy Nazi aggression, and the courage and
determination of their citizens waiting in a long agony of resistance under the
Nazi yoke is beyond all praise.
Not only do the principles of democracy call for their participation in the
building and working out of the peace but their heroic conduct has earned it
The Machinery of International Democracy
When however we come to the form and machinery of international democracy
in a world of large and small states we do encounter a number of practical
It would be ridiculous to imagine that world affairs could be governed by means
of a huge committee on which was represented every nation of the world. Such
a body would be a parliament and not a government. The League of Nations
tried to get over this difficulty by having an assembly of which all were members,
and a Council consisting of a number of permanent members-the larger member-
states-with an elected membership from the smaller member-states who served
for a period only.
In the light of experience, it will probably be wiser to delegate general political
matters to more widely representative regional councils which will be responsible
to a World Council and Assembly. But the real day-to-day work of international
cooperation is more likely to succeed if it is organized upon a functional basis.
We are already moving in this direction with such organizations as the United
Nations Relief Association and the Food Committee set up after the Hot Springs
conference. It looks as if the problems of finance and commodity control might
be dealt with in the same way, and civil aviation too.
This regional and functional approach may be found to be one method by
which the difficult problem of giving practical effect to the theory of legal equality
between states of widely different size and importance can be solved. We can by
such methods establish a practical working equality over a wide range of specialized
functions df international importance.
For instance if we are concerned, say, with the economic development of the
SDanube basin to assist Southeastern Europe, only a limited number of countries
would be specially concerned and they alone need participate. Some of these
states, on the other hand, would not regard it as an infringement of their equality
of status if they had no place on, say, a Caribbean Commission.
Military security, or world policing, which it is now generally agreed will
be essential to a post-war peaceful settlement, must be the primary concern of the
major powers who have the bases and the forces at their disposal. If this security
is organized on a regional basis, as will be most practical, then within each region
the smaller states will be able to play their part and discharge their responsibilities.
British Speeches of the Day
All states however small will have to play some part in helping to maintain
and direct this regional security.
Causes and Effects
Military security is vitally important, but I believe it is essential that we should
not envisage our post-war task merely as one of keeping the peace of the world
by force. No such system can by itself ultimately succeed. It is of the essence
of any democratic idea that the consent of the governed should be freely obtained.
We have, it is true, in our national democracies methods of maintaining law and
order by force, but we rely upon the public opinion and common sense of the
people as our main support in this regard. This, of course, implies that the people
are given a fair deal and a real chance of living useful and happy lives.
In the same way internationally peace is not possible as a permanence unless
we are prepared to tackle all those disturbing factors which unsettled the world
and which make the jealousies, frictions and hatreds that are so easily manu-
factured when unfair and unjust conditions prevail.
These disturbing factors may be economic, social or psychological. So long
as people live in squalor, poverty, insecurity and ignorance in any part of the
world there is a potential danger of war. If the lives and destinies of the ordinary
people rare at the mercy of irresponsible economic power or of political gangsters
such as Hitler, there can be no assurance of peace. Persons such as these are always
ready to profit by a world depression or the misfortunes of their neighbors.
Unless we are prepared to right world conditions by slow and carefully planned
organization we can have no permanent solution of our problem.
It is for this reason that it becomes a major concern of the United Nations and
any other peace-loving nations in the world, to bring some order and justice into
the economic life of the world and to foster the growth of democratic government.
We have seen in the years between the two wars the chaos that can be produced
by largely unrestricted nationalism and selfish private enterprise.
Any recurrence of this state of affairs we must avoid if we are to reap the
fruits of our victory. Our only way to avoid it is to set up some responsible
international cooperation based upon our democratic ideals.
These are matters which must be worked out and devised by technicians or
politicians, but the motive force behind them, the spirit which will bring success
or permit of failure, must come from the ordinary people of the world-the source
of the motive-power of social progress within democracy.
"Simple Faith and Common Hope"
We do not want to look back into the past except to study its mistakes and
learn its lessons. Today our eyes turn to the future with all its hopes and its
responsibilities to us as individuals.
We have in the United Nations developed a drive and a hardihood through
our wartime association and efforts that will before long bring us victory. That
effort has been engendered largely by our dangers 'and our determination not to
be defeated, but partly too by our desire to create something new and better in
Shall we be able, when the war is over, to maintain that spirit of forceful
cooperation amongst us? There is a danger-as there always is after periods of
great strain and activity-that we may relax and tire of our effort. Where then
are we to find in these post-war years the dynamic energy called for by the vast tasks
that will then confront us? Or shall we fail to find it altogether and relapse into
Patriotism Is Not Enough
the petty quarrels and bitternesses which made a fresh war an ultimate certainty
after the last great war?
I have, and always have had, great faith in the common people of the world.
Once we can free them from tyranny and fear and repair the ravages of disease,
hunger and weariness of heart, giving them new opportunities of living full and
happy lives, we need have no fear that the creative urge upon which progress
depends will not be renewed in vigor.
In the ultimate analysis it is upon the simple faith and common hope and
effort of the ordinary people of the world that we must build our structure of
peace. Without those solid foundations we shall build only on the shifting
sands of balanced rival groupings, a balance that may at any time shift with
disastrous results to our building.
This is what we really mean when we say that we are fighting for democracy;
our struggle is not for this or that form of government, but arises out of a deep
sense that we can only preserve our civilization if the people of the world have
a determining voice in our policies.
This is no new conception. It is the essential idea of the Christian religion, and
of the sense of brotherhood under a wise and good God which inspires the teaching
of the New Testament. It is the fundamental conception of political democracy
whether national or international. It is the very opposite of all that Nazism and
Fascism has been fighting to impose upon us.
We must be vigilant and more than vigilant to see that during the period after
the war, when we are fostering the reviving spirit of democracy, we do not allow
that spirit to be crushed in the peoples of the world in the interests of so-called
expediency or exterminated by the cynicism of a disillusioned generation.
Great hope must be matched by a vigorous determination to achieve in fact
some part of those longed-for improvements the prospect of which helped to
sustain us in the darkest hour of our trials.
British Ambassador to the United States
Academy of Political Science, November 10, 1943
It is a real privilege to be here tonight, in this learned and distinguished
company, concerned-as by your title and purpose you are bound to be-with
studies which have never been of more vital import to the world than they are today.
The proceedings in your current sessions are devoted naturally-indeed, almost
inevitably-to some of the issues presented by the phenomenon of total war; and
it is fitting and valuable that on such an occasion we should be given the oppor-
tunity of listening to speeches from your President, Mr. Lewis Douglas, and from
Brigadier General Hunter, who in their different spheres are making such notable
contributions to victory. General Hunter, with the special knowledge and authority
which he can command, has spoken of the war itself; and the President has force-
fully reminded us of some of the outstanding events of recent years.
Certainly, we can never hope to understand any political situation unless we
know something of the history by which it has been created. When Edmund
Burke said that people will not look forward to posterity who never look backward
14 British Speeches of the Day
to their ancestors, he was expressing a profound truth. So, in the few minutes
that I have tonight, I would like to go back over some pages of the past that seem
to me to have their bearing upon the situation in which you in the United States
and we in the British Commonwealth find ourselves today.
A Century of Expansion
When in 1776 our two countries parted company, the American people were
on the threshold of a century of westward expansion. Of the details of that
amazing story you have greater knowledge than I: but the main outline is there
for all to see. The Lousiana Purchase, master stroke of the genius of Jefferson;
the "Ohio fever"; the Mexican war; the Forty-Niners; the trek to Utah; and the
innumerable unrecorded journeys of inconspicuous men and women.
So it went on, a great story of adventure, perseverance and dauntless daring;
until those myriad human streams, trickling through valley, forest, and prairie,
at last reached the waters of the Pacific.
After 1776 we too entered upon a century of expansion. For us it was not
a matter of crossing mountains and fording rivers. Your fathers lived on the
fringe of an uncharted continent, ours in a small island. So when that same call
of adventure came to us, as it came to you, making pilgrims of both of our peoples,
it led us overseas-to Canada, Australia, Africa, India, New Zealand-to almost
every quarter of the globe.
There is a strong family likeness between these two movements. Both were,
in the main, peaceful. They were not, as we know, 'accomplished without some
fighting. You had the war with Mexico and the wars with the Indians. We
too, throughout the 19th century, had our lesser wars in various parts of the world.
But more important than any of these campaigns was the long, almost uninterrupted
process of peaceful expansion.
In neither case, again, was this expansion planned. I suggest, subject to cor-
rection, that there was never a moment in American history when Congress, or
the Federal authority, or any one else, sat down and plotted out a program of
westward expansion, as business executives sit down to plan the expansion of a
plant. It just happened. At one time a great many people-in New England in
particular-did not want it to happen. But it went on all the same because destiny
is stronger than men or any government.
"It Just Happened"
And so it was with us. I can recall no occasion in all the 19th century when
the rulers of Britain met in Westminster to discuss ways and means of enlarging
the British Empire. The opposite was much nearer the truth. Canada? There
was a moment-rather earlier, it is true, than the time of which I am speaking-
when the British Government of the day seriously considered exchanging Canada
for Guadaloupe, a vast territory for a tiny island. South Africa started off with
a single port at which eastbound ships could load fresh vegetables.
India? The records of the old East India Company are full of injuctions from
the men in London to the men on the spot to keep clear of the country and its
entangling quarrels and to mind their own business, which was trade. In different
circumstances so it was in Australia, New Zealand, in what are now the Colonies
of Africa, in Malaya, and everywhere else. The Government proposed, destiny
In the middle years of the last century, many influential people were always
,urging that Britain should clear out of her overseas possessions. With the passing
of the old colonial system and its monopoly of trade, colonies, as these outlying
Patriotism Is Not Enough
parts of the Empire were then all termed, were held by many to be unprofitable
investments. They were judged a burden, an expense, a dangerous encumbrance.
But once again destiny was too strong.
Nor does that point of resemblance stand alone: there is a sense in which
every one of your pioneers carried in his pack or his covered wagon a copy of
the Declaration of Independence. By that I mean that, however far he travelled
and in whatever loneliness he made his last camp, he held fast to a certain concept
of man, and of what by God's grace man's life should be, and could be, in the
great spaces of North America. And so he made his camp, his village, his town,
his territory, and ultimately his state; each squarely founded upon that concept
inherited from the Fathers of the Revolution.
But it was older than those Fathers. In early Colonial history it is recorded,
I think of Massachusetts, that an elected assembly "broke out." It was not granted
or decreed; it just appeared, because it had to appear with that kind of people with
that kind of background. Wherever they went, they began at once to reproduce, as
though in obedience to a natural law, the things they had left behind them on the
Eastern side of the Atlantic-the Common Law of England, Magna Carta, Habeas
Corpus, the jury system, the Parliamentary tradition and the spirit of representative
institutions. All these things, and much more, belong to you by right of birth as
fully as they do to us
On the British side of the picture, the same design stands out.
Through the 19th century, the British Dominions were growing slowly into
nationhood, until in 1931, the Statute of Westminster recorded in law that inde-
pendence which they had long enjoyed in fact. It is worth observing that because
that great Declaration of Independence was not the result of a war, or three or
four separate wars, and because the Dominions had not to fight for it, as you
had to fight for it, but secured it by agreement, the. world has not always taken
full note of it. But the Statute of Westminster was no sudden thought; it was
the climax to more than a century of political development and the logical end
of a continuous process.
I have described it as a Declaration of Independence; but it was also a Declara-
tion of Interdependence. And there may lie the germ of a new kind of relationship.
Today it is scarcely necessary to argue about the dangers of unchecked nationalism,
or, for that matter, of unqualified isolationism-for you, for us, or for any one else.
For good or ill, we all live in a world that grows smaller every day. Nothing that
happens in one part of it can fail to affect every other; and one of the morals we
must surely draw from these days is that we live in one of the great formative times
of human history, when. the age of independence is yielding to the new conception
of interdependence. If this be so, the value of this British experiment, however
limited in its application, is obvious enough.
Democracy at Work
Limited though its application may have been, today we can hardly measure
its consequences. In years to come it will surely seem a vital circumstance of
history that the four great Dominions of the British Commonwealth, enjoying
absolute independence, should have entered without delay or hesitation into a
quarrel which some, unschooled in the idea of interdependence, might have thought
remote from their shores and alien to their interests.
It is an event of history that in those dark days, when Europe shook with
the rumble of Hitler's tanks and the tramp of German feet, from those four free
corners of the world there should have instantaneously come that great and heart-
ening reinforcement, of fighting men in all their vigor and valor, of food, of
supplies, of help of every kind.
British Speeches of the Day
But let me carry my thought a little further. The democratic idea originated
as we all know, with the Greeks. On to it was grafted the characteristically
Anglo-Saxon institution of representative government. On that again you grafted
the American conception of federalism, from which our Dominions have borrowed
so freely and to such good purpose. From these two graftings, democratic govern-
ment, which originally seemed only workable within the limits of a single city,
became possible first in the small and composite nation-state, and then in far larger
or more heterogenous groups like the United States or Canada or, as we hope,
It may therefore be that this later method of association, which we call the
British Empire and Commonwealth, this method of combining complete freedom
with the requisite unity in action, is the beginning of yet another grafting on the
Or we might look at it in another way. The British Commonwealth resembles
a crowd of widely assorted persons, linked together in one society, and all making
the same journey. They started on it at different times. Some of them--Britain
herself and the Dominions-have already reached the end of the journey; complete
self-government. Others, like India, Burma and Ceylon, have nearly reached it, so
nearly that there is only one more difficult stream to cross. Others have not got
so far. But they are all moving, and all moving in the same direction.
The road is not always smooth, and great stretches, as all know who have
travelled it, are exposed to bleak winds and storms that test all the traveller's faith.
But two things will help men to their destination, however rough may be the
world's weather in the time ahead. One is that they should appreciate the value
of what lies at the road's end, which is freedom, and that they should so appre-
ciate it as to recognize the dangers of short cuts, which might easily result in their
losing the road altogether.
And the other is, that they should feel themselves members of a great and
goodly company, who do value the same things and who mean to hold fast their
essential comradeship for the building of a better future for the human race.
When I hear criticisms of the British Empire or Commonwealth, they nearly
always seem to be criticisms of the past rather than of the present. We all know
that Queen Anne is dead. It is equally true that George III is dead. And if you
will believe an Englishman who has tried to serve the Colonies and India, no ghost
of George III any longer haunts the Colonial Office or the India Office.
I am not suggesting that our record is a pattern of perfection. It is not. We
have made plenty of mistakes. To few human beings is it given to avoid them.
But I have no hesitation in asserting that during at least the last half-century, we
have tried always to apply two guiding principles in colonial government. The
first is the principle of trusteeship; that we are where we are, not for our own
profit, but for the good of the governed. The second-perhaps slightly younger
in point of time-is the principle of progressive education in the business of self-
government. I believe it also to be true of our application of both these principles
that, as frequently happens in political experiments, more limelight is flashed on
cases of success delayed than on those, here more numerous, of success achieved.
Such seems to me some of the grounds on which it is permissible to speak
of the parallel development of the United States and the British Commonwealth
during the 19th century.
And it is significant that that development was almost entirely free from foreign
interference. That this was so was due above all else to two forces, themselves
Patriotism Is Not Enough 17
not unconnected, the Monroe Doctrine and the British Fleet. Neither of these was
an exclusive possession. The Monroe Doctrine was received as cordially in Britain
as it was here. All students of history know that it originated in a suggestion
made by George Canning, our Foreign Minister, to John Quincy Adams, Monroe's
Secretary of State; and in those early days, at any rate, it had behind it, as an
additional sanction, the unwritten guarantee of Britain-not, let me hasten to add,
out of pure philanthropy, because, while the British were anxious to thwart any
enterprise which might extend the frontiers of reaction, the Doctrine, by securing
the independence of South America, was also advantageous to British trade.
In the same way, it was in no narrow or national sense that the British Fleet
interpreted its duties. Apart from being a visible discouragement of overseas
adventures, it did much quiet police work which only appears in the footnotes of
history books, if at all. Between 1815 and 1914 there were many wars, but they
were not world wars. And it was by no chance that the first world war since the
days of Napoleon occurred when a continental power set itself, for the first time
in more than 100 years, seriously to challenge the naval supremacy of Britain.
The Monroe Doctrine and the British Navy? Where do these guarantees of
world peace stand today? Superficially their old connection might seem less direct.
For behind the Monroe Doctrine is now plainly marshalled the whole strength
of your great nation, organized, mobilized, and intellectually alert to these gfeat
world issues as never before; and the American continent can feel the more secure
in that assurance.
As to the British Navy, no one could have a higher admiration for it than I.
Without it this war would have been lost as soon as it had begun Yet none
will question that in 1940 the British Navy could not, by itself, have saved our
Island from invasion and conquest.
And that is surely one answer to my question. The air is transforming policy
and stratgy in every field, and as I have said the world grows smaller. If there-
fore we are serious in our determination to secure a lasting peace, we must satisfy
ourselves that we have to our hand new guarantees that will secure it under the
new conditions, not less effectively than we were, on the whole, able to do through
the 19th century.
That is a large question, on which, if I may, I would leave two thoughts only
The first-and, as you have probably guessed, it arises out of the whole of my
argument tonight-is that whatever the nations which want peace may together
decide to do after the war in order to secure it, an indispensable part of any such
larger plan must be the discovery of a firm basis for Anglo-American cooperation.
And that, I venture to think, is as important for you as it is for us. During
this past century, we have worked together more often than the world realized;
more often perhaps than we have always realized ourselves. But that largely
unconscious cooperation must, I have little doubt, now give place to something
more definite and deliberate.
And because I believe that fundamentally we want the same things-and that
the things we both want are good things-we ought not to find that cooperation
My second thought is this. You remember how Edith Cavell, when she was
going out to face a German firing-party, said that patriotism was not enough. We
had to have another war before we discovered the full truth of those words.
Patriotism is a noble quality, but it is not enough. Independence is a generous
British Speeches of the Day
ideal, but it is not enough. We may believe Empire or Commonwealth to be
a beneficent force, but it is not enough.
We are going to fail again, as we failed in 1918, if, as citizens of a tormented
and war-wrecked world, we do not bring to its problems a new eye, a new mind,
and a new heart-an eye to see, a mind to understand, and a heart to claim kinship
with all men in all lands.
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
House of Lords, November 2, 1943
"Cabinet of Cabinets"
The British Commonwealth and Empire, as it has now come to be called, is
not static but dynamic in character. It follows from that that the machinery of
collaboration between the various parts of the Commonwealth, if the continuance
of the Empire is to be assured, must be, not rigid and unalterable, but capable of
constant change to meet changing circumstances. . There is, in fact, constant
consultation between the United Kingdom and the Dominions. In fact, in the
view of Mr. Mackenzie King, if I may quote a phrase which he used, the present
structure of international collaboration is "a Cabinet of Cabinets," and he has
said publicly that he prefers it to any other system.
I have already quoted in this House-a year or two ago now, when I first
came here-some words that Mr. Mackenzie King used in this connection, and
I hope you will allow me to quote them again today because they are very pertinent
to today's discussion. They show what one Dominion Prime Minister, at any rate,
feels about the present arrangement. This is what Mr. Mackenzie King said:
"I doubt indeed if a more efficient arrangement could possibly be made.
The real and invisible Imperial Council made possible by this constant and
instantaneous conference has one all-important advantage over an Imperial
War Council sitting in London or, indeed, anywhere else. It affords the Prime
Minister of each of the Dominions the opportunity of discussing immediately
with his colleagues in his own Cabinet all aspects of every question raised.
His expression of view is not his alone; it is the expression of view of the
Cabinet of which he is the head. It is an expression of view given by the
Cabinet in the light of its responsibility to Parliament. It is, moreover, an
expression of view given in the atmosphere not of London but of a Dominion
That is an extremely lucid account of how the present system works. Of
course, I do not want anyone to be under any misapprehension. In wartime,
inevitably, there are occasions when immediate decisions have to be taken by His
Majesty's Government here, and there is not adequate time for consultation with
the Dominions. It is unavoidable that that should occur every now and then in
wartime. But these occasions are extremely rare, and it is the object of the Domin-
ions Secretary and the Dominions Office that they occur as rarely as is practically
S possible. I should like to give you some account of the machinery of consultation
which at present exists because, as I say, I have been a little shocked by the
impression I have detected today . that this machinery is not effective. .
Collaboration in the Commonwealth
Empire Network System
The machinery has greatly developed in recent years, and even since the begin-
ning of the war, and it is now a very elaborate network. There are no less than
six channels of communication between the different Governments of the Empire.
There is first the normal communication between Government and Government
through the Dominions Offices here and the Departments of External Affairs in
the Dominions overseas. Through that channel shoals of telegrams go out every
single day on all passing events, mostly, now of course concerned with the war
and the international situation.
Secondly, there are communications to the Dominion Governments and the
Dominion Prime Ministers personally through the United Kingdom High Com-
missioners in the Dominions, and in the reverse direction communications to His
Majesty's Government here through the Dominion High Commissioners in London.
These two last channels are mainly used when matters can more conveniently be
discussed orally and when the more official and rigid method of cable and telegraph
is not so suitable.
Thirdly, there is the system, which was introduced by ... the Foreign Secretary
when he was at the Dominions Office, of daily meetings between the Dominions
Secretary and the Dominion High Commissioners. Personally I attach . the very
highest importance to these meetings. I believe they are in many ways the crown
of the structure that has been built up. They ensure that there shall be close, cordial
and continuous relations between the Dominions Secretary and the Dominions'
representatives. These meetings take place every afternoon. If we had not been
having this debate today I should have been at such a meeting at the present
moment. I am present at these meetings as Secretary of State, with the Under-
Secretary and the Permanent Under-Secretary and the four High Commissioners.
The meetings are quite informal. There is no fixed agenda. I give to those present
all the latest information in my possession as to events in th international sphere
and, especially at the present time, with regard to the conduct of the war. I also
let them know what has passed at the Cabinet on matters of interest to the
Dominions and particularly in the field of foreign affairs, with the object of
ensuring that the Dominions, who control their own foreign policy, should be
kept aware of all developments in ours so as to ensure, so far as we can, perfect
I emphasized that because I think Lord Elibank said, with great truth, and I
think it valuable that he should have said it, that there is no sphere where it is
more important that there should be complete unanimity between the nations of
the British Commonwealth than in the sphere of foreign affairs. It is for that
reason there is also present at these meetings, as Lord Bennett, I think, mentioned,
a high official of the Foreign Office. This addition I introduced when I was last
at the Dominions Office. His presence ensures that the Foreign Secretary should
S be immediately acquainted with the views of the High Commissioners on matters
which they wish to bring to the notice of the Foreign Office. The High Com-
missioners, on their part, raise any points which they consider require special
consideration from the Dominions angle. I believe I should have the agreement
of all the High Commissioners, indeed I am sure I should, in saying that this is
an extremely effective piece of Imperial machinery. In addition, Mr. Bruce also
attends meetings of the War Cabinet on the basis agreed with the Australian
Government in 1942, as their accredited representative. The other Dominion High
Commissioners do not do that because, when the same facilities were offered to
the other Dominion Governments, they expressed themselves as satisfied with the
Finally, in addition to what I may call standing machinery of collaboration,
British Speeches of the Day
there are of course ad hoc visits by Dominion Ministers to this country and of
United Kingdom Ministers to the Dominions. The most important of these are
no doubt the visits of Dominion Prime Ministers. We have had the advantage
of visits of Prime Ministers from all the Dominions since the beginning of the war.
We have had the visit of Mr. Menzies from Australia, of Mr. Fraser from New
Zealand, and of Mr. Mackenzie King from Canada. We had had two visits by
Field Marshal Smuts from South Africa and we are very happy to have him with
us today. I am quite certain all my colleagues would agree with me in saying that
the visit of this great soldier-statesman hias already been of inestimable value in
the counsels of the Cabinet. In addition, our own Prime Minister... has also found
it possible to pay two visits to Canada. Further, there is a constant flow of other
Dominion Ministers to the United Kingdom.
It would be extremely difficult to overestimate the value of these Ministerial
visits. They make it possible to straighten out, very often in a few hours, some-
times almost in a few minutes, problems which might have occupied weeks of
correspondence by means of cable or letter. It is of course far easier for Canada
than for any other Dominion to carry out that part of inter-imperial collaboration
under modern conditions of air travel, about which we have heard so much recently.
. In these days, a Minister can go from this country to Canada in a very few
hours, and full advantage has been taken of these new improvements in travel.
But whenever these Dominion Ministers come and wherever they come from, they
are very welcome in this country.
What I have said up to now relates to channels of communication on the
higher levels of policy. On the lower and technical level also there are many
channels of collaboration. Thus many of the Ministers of great Departments of
State, for instance the Ministry of Food, the Ministry of Supply, the Air Ministry
and the Ministry of War Transport, have their own wartime missions or repre-
sentatives in the various Dominions. Equally the Dominions have their own
liaison officers here in many fields-military, naval, air, supply, and so on. There
are also numerous interchanges by means of ad hoc visits of officials and experts,
similar to the visits of Ministers to which I have already referred. All this com-
plex inter-communication provides a closely interwoven machinery for keeping the
various parts of the Empire in close touch with each other.
SSuch is the existing machinery of Imperial collaboration. I have described it
at some considerable length as I feel that even now it is not realized how complete
that system is. I believe it has proved satisfactory to the Dominions and has met
most of the needs-of wartime conditions. No doubt much of this machinery will
continue after the war. But I do not wish you to think that I am complacent about
the situation or to give the impression that His Majesty's Government regard the
present machinery as perfect or necessarily the best that could be devised to meet
peace-time conditions. We are always ready to consider amendments and improve-
ments for more regular meetings between the representatives of the Governments
of the Commonwealth, such as have been suggested, I think, by Lord Elibank, and
any other suggestions of the same kind. At the present time, all over this country,
and I have no doubt in the Dominions too, there are many minds who are working
on this particular question and seeking how we can amplify and perfect the
Federal Parliament Proposal
We have had today some extremely valuable and thoughtful contributions from
those who have taken part in the debate. Those contributions certainly deserve
careful consideration both by His Majesty's Government here and the Governments
in the Dominions, and I can assure you that so far as His Majesty's Government
here are concerned they will receive that consideration. You will not expect me
Collaboration in the Commonwealth
today to express a detailed opinion on the proposals they have put forward and the
suggestions they have made. I should like to study them 'first. There are, in
addition, other proposals which have been made outside this House. Some of
them have been ventilated in the Press. There are numbers of these proposals
which go very far indeed-perhaps further than most of us would be willing to go.
You have probably seen a letter which was written to The Times by Mr. Lionel
Curtis. I think reference has been made to it in the House this afternoon. Mr.
Curtis is a man for whom we all have great respect. He has given the greater part
of his life to the study of Empire questions and all he says will be read with
the attention it deserves. But on this occasion I must confess, if he will forgive
me saying so, that I think he slightly overreached himself. It seems to me his
proposition is rather that of an academic thinker than of a practical man of affairs.
As I understand him, he proposes-I can put it in very few words-the setting
up of a Federal Parliament for the Empire and a Federal Government, with execu-
tive powers overriding and superseding in some matters the powers of the Gov-
ernments here and in the Dominions. Such a proposal as that may be very
admirable in theory, but there is one thing which is quite certain. As Lord Lang
has already said in the profound speech he made, it is utterly impracticable in
practice, at any rate at the present stage of development of the British Common-
wealth. Neither the Governments nor the peoples of the United Kingdom and
the Dominions would look at it. If we remember the insuperable difficulties which
arose in respect of a far more limited proposal for an Imperial War Cabinet, I
think you will realize how out of touch with realities is the proposal of Mr. Curtis.
I agree with what was said by Lord Lang. The Dominions overseas are sovereign
nations. Their Governments are responsible to their own peoples. The peoples
of the Dominions, or for that matter of the United Kingdom, would not consider
for one moment transferring that responsibility to some superior body which
trenched upon their sovereignty. They will insist upon retaining their control of
their own destiny and they will not consider any proposal which infringes that.
Mr. Curtin's proposal, on which this debate arose, is very different and far
more realistic in character. He has in mind, as I understand his remarks, something
more in the nature of a consultative body. Lord Elibank quoted in his Motion
words in Mr. Curtin's speech to the effect "that the Mother Country could not
manage the Empire on the basis of a Government sitting in London." He was
quite right from his point of view, because that was what was reported in the
newspapers. But it is not exactly what Mr..Curtin said. Mr. Curtin's words were:
"I do not believe that the Mother Country can manage the Empire merely
on the basis of pure Government sittings in London."
I emphasize the word "merely." As I understand Mr. Curtin, he clearly does
not object to the present machinery, but he would like to see it amplified by a
standing Empire Consultative Council with its own secretariat. That is an ex-
tremely interesting proposal. I do not myself, propose to comment on it now
because, as you will have seen, the Prime Minister said in another place on Sep-
tember 22nd, in answer to a question on this particular proposal:
"Such spacious issues would be appropriate for an Imperial Conference or
for a meeting of Dominion Prime Ministers whenever either of these becomes
It would clearly be improper for me to attempt to anticipate those discussions.
Premature attempts by me to embroider the theme might do a good deal of harm
and could not possibly do any good.
Dominion Prime Migisters to Meet
If I am asked when a meeting of Dominion Prime Ministers can take place-
British Speeches of the Day
that is a very natural question-I would quote again what was said by the Prime
Minister on the same occasion:
"I have been trying for the last two years to get a meeting of Prime
And I can tell you that another attempt has been made within recent weeks.
Field-Marshal Smuts was already here and it seemed an appropriate moment to
try and bring other Dominion Prime Ministers together. Soundings were accordingly
taken. But unfortunately Mr. Fraser was unable to come owing to a temporary
illness. All those who know Mr. Fraser, and admire him as I do, will hope that
he will soon be recovered, but that temporary illness makes it impossible for him
to be here at the present juncture. Moreover, it now turns out to be impossible
for Mr. Curtin himself to make the journey here at the present time. No one
who knows the complexities of a Prime Minister's life will fail to sympathize with
Mr. Curtin in his difficulties. We can only regret that his other unavoidable pre-
occupations render his presence here impossible.
I only explain these facts in order to make it cear that it is not His Majesty's
Government here who are putting hindrances in the way of such a meeting. On
the contrary, we ardently desire a meeting of Prime Ministers at the present stage
of the war. We believe it could achieve very useful results both for the present
and the future, and we can only hope another opportunity will soon occur. In
the meantime, let me assure you that the only desire of His Majesty's Government
is to perfect the, machinery of Imperial collaboration and to achieve coordination
both in the sphere of defense to which Lord Mottistone so rightly drew attention,
and in the sphere of foreign affairs. Such coordination is obviously equally essen-
tial with regard to other cognate questions, social and economic, to which Lord
Craigmyle drew attention as being vital to the prosperity of the British Common-
wealth and the world.
But I would emphasize this: it is not for us alone, for the United Kingdom,
to decide what new machinery should be devised. We are only one of five. There
is the United Kingdom, which is the Metropolitan Dominion of His Majesty the
King, and there are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, which are
the overseas Dominions of His Majesty the King. All five, as Lord Bennett has
pointed out, have absolute equality under the Statute of Westminster, and all have
an equal right to decide what machinery should be set up. But I can say this: what-
ever improvements to the structure of Imperial collaboration are found generally
acceptable, His Majesty's Government here will certainly consider them most
sympathetically. For we recognize fully, as you have recognized in this debate, that
it is only if the British Commonwealth is of one mind about the many problems
which will face the world after this war, and only if we can work closely and
confidently together, that we shall be able to play that great part to which our long
traditions and our wide interests entitle us.
[House of Lords Debates]
RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN
Minister of Labour and National Service
Broadcast to Sixth Form Boys (Public and Secondary Schools)
November 12, 1943
I am glad to have an opportunity of addressing you older boys because I have
got to ask you to do something for the nation that is very important and which
will have a very big effect on the duration of this war and victory itself.
A Call to Youth for the Coal Mines
Total War and Coal
The real point of this talk is to get your interest and willingness to serve in
I am sure that everybody realizes that if we are to run this war efficiently
and defeat Hitler and the Japanese at the earliest moment we must keep production
in step with the needs of the Armed Forces, for in these days of mechanical warfare,
production is an essential part of the fighting machine. The Government must,
therefore, always be watching to see that everything necessary for victory is available.
All through the Battle of Britain, the blitzes,- the U-boat and North African,
Sicilian and Italian campaigns the Government has had to keep production, shipping
and transport in step with the needs of the Forces and of the people who produce
for them so that everything is provided at the right time.
That is what total war means. It involves food production, transport, including
shipping, arqd manpower-everything. But all these things depend so largely
This country is fortunate in having this vital raw material under its own soil,
but it must be won from the bowels of the earth before it can be used.
The wealth of this country for many years has depended to a very great
extent on coal. In peace-time your food from overseas was bought with coal;
indeed to maintain forty-six million people in this small island and give them
employment with a decent standard of living would not have been possible
We must be thankful, therefore, that we have got the coal. But what about
the people whd have won it for us-the miners of whom we hear so much?
They have had a hard time and I am afraid their services have not always been
appreciated as they should have been. In this war we have done a good deal
to put this right. -
But now we have reached the point at which there are not enough miners
to produce the amount of coal needed to keep the war effort going. We need
720,000 men continuously employed in this industry.
Now the miner, like everybody else, is growing older. He has done a grand
job in this war. It is true that when there is a dispute or any trouble the news-
papers are rather full of him, but losses from this cause have been small. During
four years of war the number of miners has been shrinking and now in the fifth
year the position is difficult.
"Will You Go in the Mines?"
This is where you boys come in. Each one of you, I am sure, is full of enthusi-
asm to win this war. You are looking forward to the day when you can play your
part with your friends and brothers who are in the Navy, the Army, the Air Force
or the Merchant Navy, and who have done such a wonderful job already. But
believe me, our fighting men will not be -able to achieve their purpose unless we
can get an adequate supply of coal, and I want you to know that there is a grand
job to be done for the nation in the mines, one that is just as vital to victory as
service in the Armed Forces. So when you go to register and the question is put
to you "Will you go in the mines?" let your answer be, "Yes, I will go anywhere
to help to win this war."
Of course you will ask "How will this affect my future?" Well you won't
be made to stay in the industry after the war and you will be eligible for the
Government's further education scheme just as if you had served in the Forces.
British Speeches of the Day
Some of you, I think, may like to stay because the industry offers great oppor-
tunities for the future. The mining industry is undergoing a great revolution with
the development of mechanization and the application of scientific methods. This
means that many more technicians are going to be needed. And let me assure
you that coal mining is not a dying industry but one which we must maintain
and develop if the wealth of this country is to be restored at the end of the war.
If, therefore, you go into coal mining you will not only be helping the war
effort but you will be widening your knowledge for you should know something
of what this great industry is and of the life of the people who work in it. Believe
me you can find a great comradeship with them-just as there is a comradeship in
the Forces. And moreover, the mines have produced many people who have made
their contribution to the life and culture of our country-philosophers, preachers,
economists, scientists, Members of Parliament-all kinds and types have come out
of the mining community.
Let me repeat my appeal to you to come forward now-you can render a
great service, and one which you will be able to look back upon witl pride. But
equally what ypu learn will enable you to play your part in the post-war solution
of some of our vexed problems, and remember that it is upon our young men that
the Government and the management and the conduct of this great nation will
so largely rest in the future.
Volunteer or Call-Up
Now what will happen if you volunteer? And you can of course apply before
your call-up to the Juvenile Branch of your Employment Exchange or to the
Juvenile Employment Bureau.
First of all we shall see that you are fit for the job physically, just as if you
were going into the Services. We shall give you proper training. We shall take
steps to provide billets as far as possible with the miners themselves. Where
housing is difficult we shall make other arrangements.
Talk it over in your schools. It would be nice if groups of you joined together
to go in the mines-some of you I expect would like to be with your friends.
Talk it over with your parents. But I do not doubt what your decision will
be. None of you would funk a fight with the enemy and I do not believe it will
be said of any of you boys that you failed -to respond to the call for coal upon
which victory so much depends.
MR. DINGLE FOOT
Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Economic Warfare
House of Commons, November 10, 1943
The Blockade and Occupied Europe
I should like as shortly as possible to answer at any rate the main points which
have been made in this Debate and also some of the appeals that have been made.
There was the appeal that was made by the Member for the Combined English
Universities (Mr. E. Harvey) when he drew a moving analogy with the priest and
the Levite. I wish he had carried his analogy a little further and -told us what the
Good Samaritan would have done in similar circumstances. One wonders whether
even the Good Samaritan would have been quite so ready to pay out his twopence
for the maintenance of the victim if he had known that a penny or three-halfpence
Relief'to Occupied Europe
was to be paid directly for the benefit of the thieves. I make no complaint at all
that this matter should be raised again after a comparatively short interval, but I
must remind the House that this issue was fully debated on 8th July, and on that
occasion I explained, I am afraid at considerable length, the reasons for the Gov-
ernment's policy, and I must make it quite clear that nothing has happened to
cause the Government to change the view which I then expressed.
I fully understand, of course, the anxiety which many people both inside and
outside this House feel when they contemplate conditions in the occupied countries
under German rule. I have no doubt-I am not speaking about Members who
have taken part in this Debate-that most of those who conduct the agitation
outside for relaxing the blockade do so for the most worthy humanitarian reasons.
But that does not alter the fact that the propaganda which is so freely disseminated
on this subject throughout the country conveys a wholly distorted picture of what
the conditions are. No one denies for a single moment the fact that there are
great hardships in the occupied countries. It is perfectly true that in the urban
districts there are very distinct shortages, particularly of meat and of fats. But
the impression which is so sedulously created that practically the whole of occupied
Europe is in a condition of famine at this moment is entirely misleading. The
explanation why it is not so is, of course, perfectly simple. It is that as a general
rule it does not suit the Germans to create starvation in countries which they have
to garrison and from which they want production and labor.
Conditions in Belgium
We have had a number of references particularly to one or two countries. It
did strike me as a little odd that not a single speaker so far has given us a single
figure as to what the actual rations are. Let me take the present case in Belgium.
That has been the country most frequently referred to. The actual rations of the
normal consumer in Belgium, that is to say, the lowest category of consumer-
as the House knows, there are supplementary rations for heavy workers and miners
and other particular classes at the present time, and these rations are now generally
available-the weekly rations for a normal consumer in Belgium include sixty-two
ounces of bread, five ounces of meat, three and a half ounces of fats and over
one hundred ounces of potatoes. There are higher rations for other classes of
consumers, and children under three and nursing and expectant mothers receive nine
pints of milk a week. That also is generally available . .
There are shortages for children of school age and the milk rations are not
always available for them. These figures however do not represent a starvation
diet, and there is certainly no comparison between the standard they represent and
the state of affairs which prevailed in Greece when the present relief scheme was
first instituted there.
The hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. H. Nicholson) referred to the vital
statistics in Belgium. I was a little puzzled why he did not quote them, because
statistics, particularly of infantile mortality, have been given in the House on more
than one occasion. Let me take the number of deaths in Belgium for the last four
years. In 1939 they numbered 110,000, in 1940, 125,000-I am giving the round
figures-in 1941, 120,000, and in 1942, 121,000. I do not say that the years 1939
and 1942 are exactly comparable, because of course there were considerable changes
in the size of the population. All I am saying is that these figures convey an
impression which is considerably different from that which is frequently given in
this country about conditions in occupied territories. '. .
There has been a fall in the population, and therefore I am not trying to
make an exact comparison. I give these figures, not because I want for one moment
to minimize the hardships being suffered in occupied territories, but to show how
misleading are many statements now being widely made on the conditions in
British Speeches of the Day
occupied Europe. I am bound to say that I cannot see what useful purpose is
being served by this constant presentation of a wholly distorted picture.
The Hoover Plans of World Wars I and II
I come to the speech of the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes), and perhaps
I might take his points in historical order. He started off by referring to the
Hoover scheme in the last war. I am not going to dwell on that for more than a
moment, because, as the hon. Member for West Leicester said, it is not generally
proposed that we should repeat that experiment. But at any rate it gives us some
guidance today because it was suggested that if anything ever went wrong with
the relief scheme we would at once know and we could stop the relief. That
was not the experience of the last war. When the United States came into the
last war and the Hoover Committee had to retire from Belgium and Northern
France they had to hand over their work to a Dutch-Spanish Committee. That
Committee found very considerable evasion of the conditions of the scheme which
had been going on during the time the Hoover Committee was there, entirely
undetected by that Committee. .
I am perfectly willing at any time to give the facts on that, either in answer
to a question or in any other way. I have myself studied the records of that
scheme, which were kindly made available to me by the Foreign Office. I do not
think anybody who studies them and sees how the scheme worked day by day can
have the slightest doubt that it was of the greatest assistance to the Germans,
enabling them to lay their hands on far larger quantities of native produce than
they could otherwise have obtained, and that it relieved them of the obligation
they have had to discharge in this war to make available cereals and other food-
stuffs from their own supplies. ...
As my hon. Friend referred to the scheme in the last war, it seemed to me that
there was some guidance to be drawn from the experience of that scheme, which
is almost the only complete experience on which we are able to draw. On this
occasion we refused to relieve the Germans of their obligations, whether legal or
moral. The enemy has had to send in hundreds of thousand tons of grain from
his own stocks. If we had repeated the experience of the last war, can anyone
seriously doubt that that grain would now be forming part of the German reserves?
My hon. Friend asked about the Hoover scheme in this war. I do not want to
dwell on that matter. It is true that a representative of Mr. Hoover's organization
went to Berlin in February, 1941, and put a relief scheme before the German Gov-
ernment. It has been suggested that, in substance at any rate, the German Govern-
ment accepted that scheme. I must make it clear that our attitude would not have
been altered whatever the German Government's reply might have been, but I ask
hon. Members to read very carefully the document, which I quoted in full in the last
Debate, which was handed by the German Government to the League of Red Cross
Societies. It will be seen that the German reply fell very far short of a complete
or unequivocal acceptance.
"Blockade and the Civil Population"
My hon. Friend went on to refer to the views on blockade and the position of
food in the contraband list expressed by the Soviet Government at the beginning of
this war, and asked whether we had any reason to suppose that their views had
changed. As I informed the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) a few days ago, we
have not received any further communication on this subject from the Soviet Gov-
ernment since Soviet Russia. became a belligerent. But it has been our experience,
both in the last war and in this, that when a country ceases to be a neural and
becomes a belligerent its views on these matters undergo some sensible modification.
I have not the time to deal with all these complicated issues, but if the Members
wish to see a complete answer put forward on the question of food and the contra-
Relief to Occupied Europe 27
band list they will see it admirably set out in a pamphlet, "Blockade and the Civil
Population," by Sir William Beveridge, a document which I think deserves as close
a study as Sir William Beveridge's other publications. I pass over some of the other
points raised. My hon. Friend referred to the legal position. I can only refer him
to a reply which I gave in the House a .few days ago ....
The Hague Convention
It is clear from the answer I gave that we are not basing ourselves wholly in
this matter on the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention carries with it a
negative obligation, that the occupying troops shall not loot available supplies and
that in any requisitions they make they shall have regard to the needs of the native
population. Both obligations have been wholly ignored by the German occupying
authorities and by the occupying forces. The German occupation has gone very
much farther than a mere military occupation. It has involved in every case the
most complete and detailed control over the national life of each country concerned.
In each case the Germans have harnessed the factories, the mines, the transport and
the manpower to the German war machine. It follows that they should be prepared
to assume corresponding obligations for the maintenance of the people whom they
are using in their war effort.
I pass to the point made by the Member for West Leicester. He told us that it
was the German policy to impose malnutrition in nearly every occupied country,
and he urged us to take steps to defeat that policy. Frankly, I was surprised to hear
an argument of that kind. . .It must be apparent that nothing can go into any
occupied country except with the permission of the German Government. Is it
really conceivable that the German Government would allow supplies of food to
pass through. the blockade and reach those people if it were clear that the effect
would be to defeat their own deliberate policy?
Why Relief Sent to Greece
I come to the Greek scheme. As the House knows, we have the advantage of
a Swedish-Swiss Commission in Athens. We have met most of the requests which
have been made to us by that Commission. There have been one or two requests
which it has not been possible to meet, for supply reasons. When the ships were
sailing the particular commodities were not available. All I can say is that we
have had the advantage of, meeting Mr. Exintaris, and also of having in London
recently Mr. Mohn, one of the Swedish representatives on the Commission ..
I have discussed with both the present conditions in Greece. It may be possible-
I will not put it higher, because I do not want to create disappointment-to meet
some of the requests. The neutral Commission has done most admirable work, and,
as has been stated on more than one occasion, the imported foodstuffs have, as
far as we know, been distributed by the Commission without interference from the
occupying authorities. But, although my statements to that effect have been fre-
quently quoted in public speeches and in the Press not very much emphasis is
generally laid on the other statements that I have generally made at the same time
in this House, that we are not satisfied with the working of the safeguards for
Greek domestic produce. I gave this answer only the other day to the Member
"In the late summer, of this year Greek crops were. requisitioned or de-'
stroyed in certain areas, allegedly as a reprisal for guerilla activities. The
authorities in charge of the relief scheme who protested against these proceed-
ings were informed that steps would be taken to avoid such incidents being
repeated. I must, however, make it clear that any repetition would be regarded
by His Majesty's Government as being in effect a breach of the conditions of
British Speeches of the Day
The House knows that we did make this special exception in the case of Greece,
but no one should believe on that account that the, enemy derives no advantage
from the scheme. He most certainly does. After the defeat of Rommel the German
attitude towards Greece, at any rate in economic matters, tended to undergo a
change. Greece became once more a possible theater of military operations, with
the result that much more than before, the enemy found need for Greek labor.
To some extent that labor was available to him because of the food that we had
allowed to pass through the blockade. I do not for one moment regret that we did
it, but it is an illustration of what I am certain is true in all these matters, that, if
you relax the' blockade, you are bound to bring some degree of benefit, direct or
indirect, to the enemy. There is no such thing in these matters, certainly where
you have an army of occupation, as a completely watertight scheme and the ques-
tion that has to be decided in each case is whether the possible advantage to our
friends outweighs the certain advantage to the enemy. In the case of Greece, and
Greece alone, we decided that it did.
Blockade vs. Military Operations
I come to the point which was made by the Member for Rugby (Mr. W.
Brown). He raised the general issue as to the place of the blockade in our present
strategy. He asked whether I regard it in any way as a substitute for military
operations on the Eastern front or for possible operations in the West. I do not
suggest, and no one connected with my Department has ever suggested, that the
blockade is a substitute for defeating the enemy in the field. What we say-and
we are reinforced by the experience of the last war-is that it is an essential part
of total war. If you had had an unblockaded Germany, able to import freely from
overseas, then it would have been a Germany which would have been much more
formidable in the military sense. It is true that the German food situation is better
than it was in 1918; it is a good deal worse than ours, but it is still better than it
was in 1918. It is relevant to this subject to consider just how that has been
achieved. It has been achieved because the German Government, in Germany alone,
have placed 1,000,000 extra workers on the land since 1939. That is one of the main
reasons for the present manpower crisis in Germany. Those 1,000,000 workers are
in effect manning Germany's economic defenses, and in this war, you can reduce
almost every modern problem into terms of manpower.
In this matter it is not possible for us to draw a valid distinction between Ger-
many and the occupied territories. The political differences remain, but in the
economic sense the occupied territories are all part of German Europe and are
contributing in precisely the same way to the German war effort. In this country we
have had one piece of singular good fortune. We receive lend-lease supplies for
which we do not need to send exports in exchange. If we had to produce those.
supplies from our own resources or our own soil, or if we had to manufacture
goods to send in exchange, then our own war effort would be considerably less
than it is at the present time. If you are going to let in, in substantial quantities,
all relief foodstuffs, to German-occupied Europe at this time it is going to be a
form of ledd-lease to the enemy.
Already we have to face very great commitments indeed. Not only have we to
meet the needs of our Russian Allies, and not only have we had to meet the re-
quirements of North Africa-and these have been, considerable-but there are
likely to be very considerable needs in any area which is liberated from German
domination. We may be faced in many cases with a scorched earth policy, and in
such cases the needs of those areas may prove even greater than those of the present
occupied territories. We shall have to meet a very large commitment, and I do not
think at this moment we can possibly add to it a vast, unspecified commitment of
the type which has been proposed here today. ..
Relief to Occupied Europe
All these supplies will have to come from precisely the same sources-the
sources which are available to the-United Nations. We shall be told that that is
not what is contemplated and that all that is wanted is that comparatively small
quantities should be allowed to go in. The Member for West Leicester remarked
rightly that I represent what is a Ministry of denial. We have had three years'
experience in running the blockade, and constantly, in fact almost every day of
our lives in relation to food or to some other commodity which it is desired to pass
inward or pass outward, we are asked to make a concession on the grounds that
the quantity is so small that it could make no real difference to the position of the
enemy. We have this from experience, and it was also the experience of the last
war, that you cannot admit one claim if you intend to refuse a great many others
which are equally valid.
It is suggested that we should make some token shipments to particular areas.
Then we should need to adopt a test of special need and to say that the particular
token supplies should go to this area or to that area where the need happened to
be particularly acute. We would be saying in effect that we would relax the
blockade in any case where people were particularly necessitous or particularly
hungry. I cannot imagine a greater disservice to the people in German-occupied
countries than to adopt, either expressly or by implication, a principle of that-kind.
It means that we would be providing the enemy with a direct and a very powerful
inducement to create extreme shortage over much wider areas. We 'know from
experience that he would not hesitate to do it, and therefore we do not propose
to lay ourselves open to this particular form of German blackmail.
[House of Commons Debates]
Production over the whole United Kingdom is good. The munitions
output is now about the highest level ever reached and that is fifty per
cent above the first quarter of 1942. The ouput of aircraft in October
is the highest ever reached in our history. In that month twice as many
heavy bombers were produced as in December 1942 and naval shipbuild-
ing is still expanding. In 1943 the completion of major vessels, from
battleships to corvettes, totalled no fewer than 170. Over 2,000 naval
vessels of all types will be completed. We are now devoting a large part
of our time to the intensive study of specialized forms of equipment and
transportation which are necessary to bring the maximum impact to bear
upon the Japanese Empire.
We have now reached the stage where we have grasped the initiative
and must held it. Now is the time to get after the Germans, and over-
whelm them by the sheer weight of material. Every extra weapon and
new piece of equipment that is turned out by the war factories adds to
the pressure we can keep up. Our plan is to hound and harry the German
army already dangerously weakened by disasters in Russia. I say to the
workers of the United Kingdom that the moment for supreme effort has
come. Now is the time to put in the finish which will carry us to victory.
RT. HON. OLIVER LYTTELTON,
Minister of War Production, November 20, 1943
British Speeches of the Day
MR. RICHARD LAW
Minister of State
Foreign Press Association, November 24, 1943
The nation that seeks to advance its own interests by blackmail, by building
huge armies and air forces to terrify its neighbors into submission to its will, raises
against itself forces that bring it down, in the end, to war and to defeat. The nation
that seeks to ensure its own material well-being by erecting huge tariff walls-we
have all, in our time, been guilty of it-gets for its reward not social security but
breadlines. There are limits beyond which a man should not go in his effort to
enrich himself at the expense of his neighbors. I am not at all sure that these limits
are not even more narrowly drawn in the case of nations. The consequences of
greed, of narrow selfishness, multiply more rapidly, are visible more quickly, become
magnified out of all proportion in the field of international affairs.
Interdependence of Nations
All this, of course, is a truism. And there can be very few people in this
country, or indeed in any other, who are not becoming conscious of the inter-
dependence of nations, small nations as well as great, in the international society-
just as they have for long been conscious of the interdependence of men and
women in their municipal societies. There is a general awareness that it is no
longer possible to advance the interests of one's own national group at the expense
of other national groups. It is only possible to advance our own interests in
cooperation with other groups. It is only possible to advance particular interests by
making them confirm to the general interest. .
All that is generally recognized. That is why the results of the Moscow Con-
ference were so widely welcomed all over the world. It was not because the three
great Powers were getting together in an exclusive alliance for particular purposes.
They were not. There was nothing exclusive about the Moscow Conference. The
great Powers were not making any plans at Moscow for the domination of the
smaller nations. The Moscow Conference was welcomed because it was a practical
recognition of the interdependence of national groups, not only for war purposes
but for all purposes. It was the first step, and only the first step, towards an
articulated international society which should conform to the new facts--harsh as
they may seem, new as they certainly are-of the national existence of each one of
We are making great progress in the political field and, I think, in the field
of military security. There is general understanding, and genuine understanding,
of the fact that political and military security can only be reached through common
action; that it will never be reached through competitive action. I wish that I
could feel as sure that the same understanding covered the whole field of inter-
national relationships. I wish that I could feel as sure that we all of us, govern-
ments and peoples alike, understood the interconnection which most certainly exists
between economic relationships and political and military security.
I have recent first hand experience of only two countries, this country and the
United States of America. "And I have an uneasy feeling that on both sides of the
Atlantic, here as well as in the United States, people who are fundamentally
convinced of the need for political collaboration are by no means convinced of the
The Meaning of Post-War Planning
need for economic collaboration. I am speaking now only of these two countries
of which, as I have said, I have had recent, first hand experience; but I have no
doubt at all that the same considerations apply to each and all of our international
relationships. How often, in this country, does one hear people speaking with
horror of something that they call American Economic Imperialism-speaking of
it without realizing at all that it is not imperialism but only the obverse of
American intervention in world affairs; that it is only the other side of the coin-
speaking of it as though it were something that would have to be fought only less
fiercely than we fight Germans or Japanese during the war. And how often have
I heard people in the United States speak of British trade as men used to speak
of Hitler's spring offensive.
What nonsense it all is; and what dangerous nonsense, this picture that so many
of us have in our minds, of a man grasping his friend and ally firmly with one
hand while he kicks him around with both feet. You cannot build the temple of
peace upon the foundations of economic war. Somehow or other we have got to do
better than that.
The Easy Way or ...
It is going to be difficult to do better-for any of us. When this war comes
to an end we shall all of us be faced with the same problems, problems of the most
appalling complexity. In every belligerent country there will be the same problem
of demobilization, demobilization of men and demobilization of industry. Many
among our Allies will be faced with the problems of reconstruction after the enemy,
having looted and pillaged for three or four years, has gone back to his own
borders, leaving a desert behind him.
Everywhere men and women will be crying out for the things that they have
lost during the war years. Everywhere they will remember the experiences of the
years between the wars, and they will be afraid-afraid for their jobs, afraid for
their homes, afraid for their future and for the future of their children. And the
way of salvation will seem so easy. It will seem so easy for them. It will be so
easy-altogether too easy-for their leaders. The easy way will be so very easy. The
easy way will be to scramble for supplies, and to scramble for markets; to build up
tariff walls, which give at first" so great a feeling of security-it is only later that
one comes to understand that it is life that they are protecting you from; to invoke
the name of patriotism in order to export your unemployment, and to export your
falling standards of life. That is the easy way. That is the way that will cut across
whatever hopes you may have of getting some kind of order and security into
international affairs. That is the way back to the jungle. That is the way to the
Natural History Museum where European man, Western man, will take his silent
place, in the dust and the shadows, beside the Dinosaur.
There is a better way than this. It is more difficult, but it is better. I am glad
to think that we began to tread it at Hot Springs this summer, at the Food Confer-
ence; and that we are making a little more progress along it at the Relief Confer-
ence at Atlantic City.
We began to understand, the representatives of the forty-four nations who were
at Hot Springs, two things at least. We began to understand that when the war
is over there will be a period, a very dangerous period, of economic maladjustment
and of acute shortage. It will be a dangerous period because unless we are able
to show an unusual degree of restraint, and an unusual degree of far-sightedness,
we shall start again the vicious spiral of boom and slump. If we allow ourselves
the simple luxury of a scramble for a limited, a very limited supply of goods and
British Speeches of the Day
services, there is no power on earth that can prevent prices rocketing. There is no
power on earth that will be able to control the boom. And there is no power on
earth that will be able to arrest the inevitable slump. We shall be straight back
in 1920, and the path that we take will be the same (only it will be very much
steeper and very much stonier) as the path we took then.
That is one of the things that we learned at Hot Springs-the need for dis-
cipline and restraint in the immediate post-war period. But there was something
else that we learned there. It was this-if we are able to get through that first,
difficult period without abandoning ourselves to the pleasures of anarchy, and
without having recourse to the expedients of protection and restrictionism, then
there will be no limit, no horizon to the prospect which will open itself before us.
If we are able, by international agreement to avoid the blunders that left the
pre-war world with tens of millions of unemployed; if we can secure stable
exchanges; if we are able to create conditions of orderly international investment;
if we are able to iron out the short-term fluctuations in commodity prices without,
at the same time, sterilizing technical development; if we are able to ensure that
goods and services flow across frontiers vith the minimum of impediment; if we are
able to do these things, then there is room for us all. If we are able to do these
things-and all of them are possible, though each of them is difficult-we, in
Europe, will be able to welcome the economic expansion of America for what it is-
a great contribution towards the development of the wealth and resources of the
world. And our friends in the United States will be able to regard the competition
of Europe in the same realistic light, as a contribution to their wealth and resources
-not as something to be fought as men fight Fascism or the plague. . .
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