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Full Text




WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, January 18, 1945.
The War and Foreign Affairs.

ANTHONY EDEN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, January 19, 1945.
C. R. ATTLEE, Deputy Prime Minister, January 18, 1945.
British Action in Greece.

OLIVER STANLEY, Secretary of State for the Colonies, January 19, 1945.
The Colonial Empire.

LORD SWINTON, Minister of Civil Aviation, January 16, 1945.
The Chicago Conference.

LORD WOOLTON, Minister of Reconstruction, January 13, 1945.
The Scientist's Part in Reconstruction.

H. U. WILLINK, Minister of Health, January 17, 1945.
The Local Authorities.

ERNEST BEVIN, Minister of Labour and National Service g
The Wages Councils Bill. o ,


Vol. I, No. 2 r-ebruary H945

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Prime Minister
House of Commons, January 18, 1945

I gathered that it was the desire of the House that there should be a further
discussion of the war and foreign situations and policies at this time, before any
new important international conferences take place. I will try to survey the whole
-I cannot say the whole, but large and select portions--of this vast scene to the
best of my ability.. It has fallen to the hard lot of Britain to play a leading part
in the Mediterranean, and particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean. We have
great responsibilities, and we have made great exertions, there. In Italy the
British, or British-controlled, divisions under Field Marshal Alexander's com-
mand, and still more if the whole area of the Mediterranean is included, out-
number threefold those of the United States. There is battle along the whole
front in Italy, and behind the front, in the hard-stricken peninsula, are many
economic and political difficulties. The old structure, with its hateful rigors has
been destroyed,' and in its place we have had to raise a Government of impro-
visation. We have the Bonomi Government, which has been trying to do its
best under extraordinary difficulties, but which, of course, has no electoral au-
thority behind it. But now, at any time, perhaps in a few months, perhaps much
sooner-for no one can tell what is proceeding in the minds of the German war
leaders-the Germans will be driven out of Italy, or will perhaps withdraw;
and immediately the great populous districts of the North, the cities of Turin,
Milan, and other centers of industry and activity, and a large population of all
kinds of political views but containing great numbers of vehement, or violent
politicians, and in touch with brave men, who have been fighting, and maintaining
a guerrilla warfare in the Alps, all these will be thrown-probably at a time when
the Northern regions have been stripped bare-of food by the retreating Germans
-hungry, upon the fragile structure of the Italian Government in Rome, with
consequences which cannot be accurately foreseen, and certainly not measured.

One Principle for Liberated Europe
How necessary it is for Britain and the United States, who bear the chief re-
sponsibilities, to maintain the closest and most intimate contact in the solution of
all these new problems. Let me say once and for all that we have no political
combinations, in Europe or elsewhere, in respect of which we need Italy as a
party. We need Italy no more than we need Spain, because we have no designs
which require the support of such Powers. We must take care that all the blame
of things going wrong is not thrown on us. This, I have no doubt, can be pro-
vided against, and to some extent I am providing against it now.
We have one principle about the liberated countries, or the repentant satellite
countries, which we strive for according to the best of our ability and resources.
Here is the principle. I will state it in the broadest and most familiar terms:
Government of the people, by the people, for the people, set up on a basis of free
and universal suffrage election, with secrecy of the ballot and no intimidation.
That is and has always been the policy of this Government in all countries. That
is our only aim, our only interest, and our only care. It is to that goal that we
try to make our way across all the difficulties, obstacles and perils of the long road.
Trust the people, make sure they have a fair chance to decide their destiny without

British Speeches of the Day

being terrorized from either quarter or regimented. There is our policy for Italy,
for Yugoslavia and for Greece. What other interests have we than that? For
that we shall strive and for that alone.
The general principle which I have enunciated guides us in our relations with
Yugoslavia. We have no special interest in the political regime which prevails in
Yugoslavia. Few people in Britain, I imagine, are going to be more cheerful or
more downcast because of the future Constitution of Yugoslavia. However, be-
cause the King and the Royal Yugoslav Government took refuge with us at the
time of the German invasion we have acquired a certain duty towards the govern-
ment and peoples on the other side of the Adriatic which can only be discharged in
a correct and formal manner such as, for instance, would be provided by a
plebiscite. I am the earliest outside supporter of Marshal Tito. It is more than a
year since in this House I extolled his guerrilla virtues to the world. Some of my
best friends and the hon. and gallant Member for Preston (Major Churchill) is
there with him or his Forces now. I earnestly hope he may prove to be the
saviour and the unifier of his country, as he is undoubtedly at this time its un-
disputed master.

Joint Policy With U.S.S.R.
Recently Bulgaria and Rumania have passed under the control of the Soviet
military authorities and Russian-controlled armies are in direct contact with Yugo-
slavia. As we feared that there might be misunderstandings and contrary policies
between us and the Soviet Government about Yugoslavia, which can easily arise
when armies enter a country which is in great disorder, the Foreign Secretary and I
reached at Moscow an understanding with Marshal Stalin by which our two coun-
tries pursue a joint policy in these regions, after constant discussions. This agree-
ment raised no question of divisions of territory or spheres of interest after the
war. It arrived only at the avoidance, during*these critical days, of friction be-
tween the great Allies. In practice I exchanged telegrams on behalf of His
Majesty's Government personally with Marshal Stalin about the difficulties which
arise, and about what is the best thing to do. We keep President Roosevelt in-
formed constantly.
In pursuance of our joint policy, we encouraged the making of an agreement
between the Tito Government, which, with Russian assistance, has now installed
itself in Belgrade, and the Royal Government of Yugoslavia, which is seated in
London and recognized by us, as, I believe, by all the Powers of the United Na-
tions. Marshal Stalin and His Majesty's Government consider that agreement on the
whole to be wise. We believe that the arrangements of the Tito-Subasic agree-
ment are the best that can be made for the immediate future-of Yugoslavia. They
preserve the form and the theme of monarchy pending the taking of a fair and
free plebiscite as soon as conditions allow. King Peter II agrees in principle
with these arrangements, but he makes certain reservations. The nature and
effect of these are, I understand, at present under discussion. I should hesitate
to prophesy or to promise how all this will turn out, but in all the circumstances,
and having regard to the chaotic conditions arising out of this war, I do not
see what else except this Tito-Subasic agreement could be done by His Majesty's
Government and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics than to contribute what
they can to bringing about the widest possible measure of agreement among
Yugoslavs, and to ensure that these issues should not become a cause of friction
among Allies. It is a matter of days within which a decision must be reached
upon this matter, and if we were so unfortunate as not to be able to obtain the
consent of King Peter, the matter would have, in fact, to go ahead, his assent
being presumed. The King's point of view, as I understood it was that he was

The War and Foreign Affairs

anxious about becoming responsible, while he had no power, for any severities
or confiscations which might take place in his country before the plebiscite de-
cided whether it was to be a monarchy or a republic. Such scruples must be re-
spected, but cannot necessarily, in these times, indefinitely prevent the march of

Greek Situation Misrepresented
From the troubles of Italy and Yugoslavia, we come naturally to those of
Greece. Once again, we are guided by our simple policy: Victory against the
Germans; the establishment of and aid to the most coherent and substantial gov-
ernment machine that can be found; the delivery of such food as we and our
Allies can spare and our combined shipping afford; the maintenance of tolerable
conditions of law and order; and the holding of plebiscites or general elections
fairly and squarely-then, exit at the earliest practicable moment. We toil through
a mighty maze, but I can assure the Committee it is not without plan. The story
of events in Greece has been told so fully in the newspapers that I shall not at-
tempt a chronological or descriptive account-[Interruption]. I beg that I may not
be interrupted. Every two or three minutes the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr.
Gallacher) who receives exceptional courtesy in this House, thinks it necessary
to assert himself by making some half-inaudible and occasionally partially intelli-
gent interruption. I do not think that is in accordance with the wish of the
Committee or the conditions of our Debate.
I said that I should not attempt a long chronological account, but there is no
case in my experience, certainly not in my wartime experience, where a British
Government has been so maligned and its motives so traduced in our own country
by important organs of the Press or among our own people. That this should be
done amid the perils of this war, now at its climax, has filled me with surprise
and sorrow. It bodes ill for the future in which the life and strength of Britain
compared to other Powers will be tested to the full, not only in the war but in
the aftermath of war. How can we wonder at, still less how we can complain
of, the attitude of hostile or indifferent newspapers in the United States when we
have, in this country, witnessed such a melancholy exhibition as that provided by
some of our most time-honored and responsible journals-and other to which
such epithets would hardly apply. Only the solid and purposeful strength of the
National Coalition Government could have enabled us to pursue unflinching and
unyielding the course of policy and principle on which we were, and are resolved.
But our task, hard as it was, has been and is still being rendered vastly more
difficult by a spirit of gay, reckless, unbridled partianship which has been let
loose on the Greek question and has fallen upon those who have to bear the
burden of Government in times like these. I have never been connected with any
large enterprise or policy about which I was more sure in mind and conscience
of the rectitude of our motives, of the clarity of our principles and of the vigor,
precision and success of our action, than what we have done in Greece.

Distribution of Supplies Started
We went to Greece for the second time in this war. We went with the full ap-
proval of both our great Allies. We went on the invitation of a Greek Government
in which all parties, even the Communists, were represented, and as a result of a
military conference at which the generals of Elas and of Edes were equally
present. We came with good gifts in our hands, stability and assistance to the all-
party Greek Government who were formed and had to face the confusion left
ythe flight of the Germans. We brought food, clothing and supplies. We came
with a small force of troops. We took up our positions from no military point

100 British Speeches of the Day

of view, scattering and spreading our troops in a number of places on the coast
and at small points inland where we hoped to be able to pour in the largest
numbers of supplies as quickly as possible to a very hungry people. We were
received with flowers and cheers, and other expressions of rapture, and we British,
the wicked' British-so denounced by the American correspondents, whose names
have no doubt,, been noted by the House, and so hounded by some of our own-
busied themselves in the distribution of supplies throughout those parts of the
country to which we had access.
We had made Greece safe for Unrra before the outbreak took place. Mean-
while, for a period of six weeks or so, the Greek Government, representative of all
parties, were distracted by internal divisions and street demonstrations, and all the
time the Communist-directed forces were drawing down from the north and in-
filtrating into the city of Athens in which they had also a strong local faction.
We had furnished these men, for several years, with arms in considerable quan-
tities in the hope that they would fight against the Germans. They accepted the
arms, and they kept them and other arms they procured from the Italans and
the Germans in their retreat-captured or bought, or otherwise obtained-and
they kept them with a plan to seize the power of the Greek State in Athens once
the Germans cleared out and went away. [Interruption.] I cannot guarantee to
carry unanimous opinion with me at every stage in the discussion of what is
admittedly the most controversial matter of the hour in British policy.

ELAS Strategy
I must speak a little about these Greek Communists, among whom Macedonian
and Bulgarian elements are also found, possibly with territorial ideas of their
own. They are a very formidable people. They have a theme and a policy
which they pursue by merciless methods while all sorts of other people in these
regions have only been trying to keep body and soul together. I have been told
that I made a mistake in underrating the power of the Communist-directed Elas.
I must admit that I judged them on their form against the Germans. I do not
wish to do them any military injustice. Of course, it was not against the Germans
they were trying to fight to any great extent. They were simply taking our arms,
lying low and awaiting the moment when they could seize power in the capital
by force, or intrigue, and make Greece a Comuunist State with the totalitarian
liquidation of all opponents. I was misled by the little use they were against the
Germans, especially once the general victory of the Allies became probable, in
spite of the arms we gave to them. I certainly underrated them as a fighting force.
If I am accused of this mistake, I can only say with M. Clemenceau on a celebrated
occasion: "Perhaps I have made a number of other mistakes of which you have
not heard."
While the British were busy distributing the food and endeavoring to keep
things steady, the Eam and Communist ministers, who were eventually increased
to seven in the Papandreou Cabinet, were playing a different game. Throughout,
this has been a struggle for power. They were playing the game of the Elas
bands and of their Communist directors. While sitting in M. Papandreou's Cabi-
net they were working in the closest combination with the forces gathering to
destroy it and all that he and other colleagues represented in the everyday life
of Greece. Eam and Communist ministers threw sand in the wheels of the Gov-
ernment at every stage. They did their best to hamper the landing and distribu-
tion of food by provoking strikes on some occasions. In addition, they fought
over every officer in the Army which it was necessary for the poor State to raise
-you cannot have a State without some kind of national army; I am entirely
against private armies, and we are not going to have private armies. Every single

The War and Foreign Affairs

appointment was wrangled over in this time of crisis till the last minute, and
then, when the moment came, when the fierce mountaineers, who had been so tame
and idle against the Germans, had got well into the city of Athens-
[Mr. S. O. Davies (Merthyr) : That is not true.]
Well, I speak according to the best information I have. I have spared no
pains to try to learn what I believe are the facts. I consider myself far better
informed on this matter than I was a month or six weeks ago, but what I have
learned with great pains and patience has led me to a strengthening of my orig-
nal conclusions, and among them is undoubtedly the conclusion that the Elas
armed bands, at any rate for the last two years, played very little part against the
Germans. Now, I really cannot argue with my hon. Friend. No doubt he and
some of those who hold his views will have an opportunity of extolling their
glorious deeds. I, personally, am not prepared to pay them anything like the
tributes which are paid to the heroic French or Belgian Maquis, or to the men
in Italy who are in the mountains fighting their desperate battle. It seems to me
they took aid from us with their eyes on more important local matters after the
general war was over.

Massacre Prevented
Every single appointment was wrangled over, and when the fierce mountaineers
had got well into the city and joined up with their confederates inside, then all
those seven ministers of the Government resigned like clockwork, except one,
whom I told the House about before, who was a little late, but by running very
hard, under the threat of death, managed to keep his appointment. So far, the
Allies seemed very content with what had happened in Greece. Our minds rested
upon its liberation from the Germans. We expected a certain amount of local
ebullition while matters readjusted themselves and food could come in. After all,
there were other things going on at the same time. We rested on the pleasure
which our early reception in Athens and other Greek cities and islands had given
to all of us, especially to those who care deeply about Greece and her future.
Now we come to a new phase about which it was not possible to consult our
Allies, and upon which action had to be taken immediately. On the night of
4th-5th December I had before me a series of telegrams which showed that the
advancing Elas forces in Athens, the Communists and all they could gather with
them, were within about 1,000 yards of the center of Greek Government in the
H6tel Grande Bretagne, and also within the same distance, or even less, of the
British Embassy into which all our womenfolk of the cipher departments, and
others, had been gathered, and it seemed that the overrunning of these places, or
at any rate of the seat of .Government, by this ferocious and well-armed, well-
directed mob, or army if you like-
[Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West) : Brigands.]
-or army of brigands, if the hon. Member wishes-I shall have to tell the
Committee much worse about them than that before I have finished. This was
about to take place. Almost all the police stations in Athens and the Piraeus had
been occupied or stormed by Elas forces, some with the slaughter of every single
inmate. Firing was widespread throughout the city-it was growing, it was
approaching. General Scobie signalled:
"A general strike has been declared in Athens. All power and utility
services have ceased working. Unless full order can be restored the situa-
tion of the Government will be critical. All British troops, including the
Parachute Brigade, are being held here."

British Speeches of the Day

We were about to take some of our troops away when this happened. The Para-
chute Brigade was needed in Italy. The hour was late, or rather early-two
o'clock in the morning. Orders were sent to General Scobie to take over the
military command of Athens and restore and maintain order by whatever measures
were necessary. If I did wrong, I take the full responsibility, but my colleagues
are most desirous to share it with me. For three or four days, or more, it was
a struggle to prevent a hideous massacre in the center of Athens, in which all forms
of government would have been swept away and naked, triumphant Trotskyism
installed. I think "Trotskyists" is a better definition of these people and of
certain other sects, than the normal word, and it has the advantage of being equally
hated in Russia. However, by the skin of our teeth and thanks to the resolution
of the handful of British soldiers on the spot, the assailants were hurled back and
Athens, and, as I firmly believe, Greek freedom were saved.

Regent and New Government Set Up
On Christmas Day I thought it necessary to go to Athens with my right hon.
Friend the Foreign Secretary. There was a demand, from many quarters for the
Regency and for the Archbishop. I was anxious to test that on the spot: I was
anxious to see what could be done at the conference of all parties including, of
course, the representatives of Eam and the Communists, which I asked the Arch-
bishop to convene in Athens. At this conference those severed by mortal hatred
-mortal and living hatred-were seated around a table and found themselves
united upon the Regency, and in their minds at that time there was, obviously,
only one man who could fill it. So the Foreign Secretary and I, on our return
labored with the Greek King in order to procure his assent. We were successful,
and on December 31st Archbishop Damaskinos was invested with the Royal power
pending his Regency, and, I think, with more than the Royal power.
We did not seek to be consulted about his measures, nor did we interfere in
the choice of his Prime Minister, nor in the character and composition of his Gov-
ernment. I did not know when I left, with any assurance, who would be his
Prime Minister or what men would be chosen by that Prime Minister and ap-
proved by him to fill the Government. I gathered, however, that there was a
general desire to avoid merely getting the leaders of parties together, but rather
to pick strong and real representatives of those parties, the leaders of which are
very numerous and not always free from the dangers of being discredited. The
Archbishop struck me as being a very remarkable man, with his headgear, tower-
ing up, morally as well as physically, above the chaotic scene. I am sure he
would not have undertaken his responsibilities unless he had been free to exercise
his own judgment.
He called upon General Plastiras, who, under his close guidance, formed a
Government of the character I have described-Liberal, Socialist, Left Wing,
Democratic and Republican, in fact, as we are assured, with all the modern virtues,
but, undoubtedly, violently against the Communists. People here talk of mak-
ing a government of all parties and of every one being persuaded to fall upon
each other's necks, or, at any rate, to work together in a sensible manner. I
must admit that I had had some of these ideas when I flew to Athens on Christmas
Day, but the House must not suppose that, in these foreign lands, matters are
settled as they would be here in England. Even here it is hard enough to keep
a Coalition together, even between men who, although divided by party, have
a supreme object and so much else in common. But imagine what the difficulties
are in countries racked by civil war, past or impending, and where clusters of
petty parties have each their own set of appetites, misdeeds and revenges. If I
had driven the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister out to die in the snow, if

The War and Foreign Affairs

the Minister of Labour had kept the Foreign Secretary in exile for a great many
years, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had shot at and wounded the Secretary
of State for War, or the head of one or other of the great spending Departments,
if we, who sit here together, had back-bitten and double-crossed each other while
pretending to work together, and had all put our own group or party first and
the country nowhere, and had all set ideologies, slogans or labels in front of
comprehension, comradeship and duty, we should certainly, to put it at the mildest,
have come to a general election much sooner than is now likely.

Liberation of Attica
When men have wished very much to kill each other, and have feared very much
that they will be killed quite soon, it is not possible for them next day to work
together as friends with colleagues against whom they have nursed such intentions
or from whom they have derived such fears. We must recognize the difference
between our affairs and those which prevailed in Athens, especially while the
firing was continuous all around us. That cannot possibly be overlooked. We
should have been very glad to have seen a united Government set up. We left
them to it, with a strong urge and appeal to unite and save their country, no
exception being made of Communists or any one at that moment. All next day
they struggled. On several occasions, the entire Liberal Party left the room and
were with difficulty shepherded back into their places. It was absolutely certain
that no agreement to form a united front could be reached, and, since then, far
worse things have happened than had happened before.
The days passed. Our reinforcements rapidly and steadily arrived. They were
found, without altering the operations on the Italian front, by putting, I am sorry
to say, an extra effort on divisions which were resting and which would otherwise
have gone to rest camps. But the troops accepted these duties in the most loyal
and hearty spirit and have frequently expressed the opinion that the people they
were fighting were even dirtier than the Germans. Street by street, Athens was
cleared. Progress was very slow, because of the care taken to disentangle the
women and children and innocent civilians who were all intermingled with people
in plain clothes who were firing.
The assailants have fled; Attica is free; a truce has been signed, giving a
much larger area of peace and order around Athens and the Piraeus, which are
the heart of Greece and which have always been the dominant center of the life
of Greece. More than one-quarter of the entire population lives there and in
the region now liberated. I have not the slightest doubt that, in the opinions they
expressed and in the views they take, they represent at least four-fifths of the whole
Greek nation, if it could express its view with conditions of peace and normal
tranquility. Fighting has ceased now, except for skirmishes with parties of Elas
troops, who probably have not yet heard the news in this primitive country.
Now the Greek people can talk things over as they choose under the guidance
of Archbishop Damaskinos, who is also ready to receive, and has invited, the
representatives of Earn, or what is left of Eam in the political structure, and
Elas, to come to meet him.

British Policy In Greece
What do we seek in Greece? Do we want anything from Greece? What part
do they play in our so-called power politics? How much does it matter to us,
from a national point of view, what form their Government takes? I repeat: we
want nothing from Greece but her friendship, and, to earn that and deserve that,
we have to do our duty. We cannot disentangle ourselves from Greece imme-
diately after what has happened. We cannot do so until there can be either a

British Speeches of the Day

free vote, or a guarantee of a free vote, under the most stringent and impartial
supervision, a vote of all the Greek people, as to what they want in the future.
Whatever they decide, Monarchy or Republic, Left or Right, that shall be their
law, as far as we are concerned. When I see all the fury expended on this sub-
ject, and when we are abused, without one shadow of truth, as if we wanted some
islands or bases from Greece, as if we needed their aid to keep ourselves alive,
I feel added anxiety for the future, which with all its somber and infinitely com-
plicated problems, is closing rapidly upon us.
However, the "Cease fire" has sounded, and the rejoicings of the people
of Athens have once again acclaimed the liberating British troops, this time with
an intense, agonized fervor. At any rate, there is a region where about 1,500,000
men and women can earn their daily living without fear of pillage, or of being
killed in street fighting. Meanwhile, as a result of these events, and also of the
complete clearance of the city, which proceeded for several weeks with heavy
fighting night and day, various alphabetical groups like S.K.E. and E.L.D. have,
I am informed, -speaking by the best available leaders they have-for all is in
confusion-subtracted themselves from Eam, leaving now only K.K.E., the Com-
munists, in uncomfortable isolation, clinging to their hostages.

A Reign of Terror
Let me now read an extract from a despatch from our Ambassador, Mr.
Leeper, whom I have seen at close quarters in difficult and dangerous circumstances,
and who, I am bound to say, has grown in stature with the tests which have been
applied so severely and increasingly to him-a man now laboring with the utmost
earnestness for a peace on the broadest possible basis. This is what he says:
"Ever since the Germans left, the small but well-armed Communist
he wrote this in a despatch a day or two ago-
"-has been practising a reign of terror all over the country. Nobody can
estimate the number of people killed or arrested before the revolt in Athens
actually began, but, when the truth can be known, there will be terrible
stories to tell. When the fighting began in Athens, the brutalities increased
rapidly. Men, women and children were murdered here in large numbers,
and thousands of hostages were taken, dragged along the roads and many
left to die. Reports from Salonika show that much the same thing was
happening there."
[Mr. A. Bevan (Ebbw Vale): On a point of Order. I understand that the
right hon. Gentleman was quoting from a document sent to him by the British
Ambassador in Athens. May I be allowed to ask that the Papers be laid upon
the Table?]
I should be quite ready to lay the telegram which I quoted ... The whole
document,* subject to anything that may be excluded on the grounds of the
public interest. . There is a good deal more in it than I have read out. Some
of the news may not be any more palatable to the hon. Member. I am not ac-
cepting't at all as an absolute rule, that in time of war documents can be quoted
without the most careful survey by the Government. That is absolutely necessary.
In times when Blue Books were given to the House, even in peace, frequent
excisions were made and indicated by dots by Ministers responsible for the safety
of the country.

Cmd. 6592, available from British Information Services, New York, price 100.

The War and Foreign Affairs

There is another tale told by a British officer, Lieut.-Colonel H. G. Morrison,
the King's Royal Rifle Corps, who obtained his information by personal cross-
questioning of a large number of hostages whom he met at a field dressing station.
The Colonel said:
"On Christmas Day"-
I will lay this too-
"a column of hostages composed of men and women dragged from their
homes by the insurgents moved northwards from Athens. They were col-
lected in one suburb and after most had been relieved of their footwear and
many of their overcoats, they were driven in dead of winter along the
mountain roads covered with snow. Every day some died of exhaustion
and others were executed. For food these miserable, bare-footed hostages
were left entirely to their own resources. The inhabitants in villages from
whom they begged food were mostly too terrorized to do more than look
on in impotent sympathy. When their starvation became acute Elas pro-
posed to buy them food if they supplied the money. The equivalent of
about 100 was raised but all they received in return was one half loaf of
bread each. A favorite trick of the Elas guards was to assemble these be-
wildered people and inform them that after so many hours' march they
would find a billet, a hot meal and a bed. After several days of this they
fully realized they would be lucky if they found room on the floor of a
stable with no promise of food of any description.
Two characteristic details. A woman discovered to have money was de-
prived of it and shot. When other hostages protested the guards justified
themselves by asserting that she had been working for the British. One
man managed to extract a gold tooth from his mouth and barter it for a
little food. A few fortunate stragglers from this column were picked up
in the last stages of exhaustion, their bare feet in ribbons. Hitherto those
no longer able to walk had been executed; but their guards were in a hurry
and received warning that the British armed patrols were on their tail . ."

[Mr. Gallacher: We have heard all those lies before.]
The hon. Member continues to presume. I am reading the facts and he does
not like the facts. I am telling him the truth and he fears the truth. These
facts reflect on those whom he has so thoughtlessly championed, and I will give
him further warning. There is a great deal more to come, and I think that
the Committee has a right to hear it. [Interruption.] When I quote from the
colonel of the King's Royal Rifle Corps and say he gathered his information from
the advanced dressing station, where he examined a number of these victims, the
hon. Gentleman opposite immediately tries to suggest it is all some fake propa-
ganda. He did not use those words, but the whole sense of his interruption was
to cast doubt on an officer who has not the slightest interest, political or-otherwise,
to do anything but collect, gather and convey the truth. Mr. Leeper adds:
"This is the story of one column of 800 hostages of whom about 200
were dead within 10 days. The total number seized runs into thousands
and includes many reputable men and women well known to the Greek
public. A good many survivors have now returned to Athens to tell a
similar tale."
The following is an eye-witness report by another British officer. I cannot give
his name. I have telegraphed for it, and I will lay it before the Committee
shortly afterwards. He says:
"Whilst at Peristeri (an Athens suburb) interrogating Elas prisoners, I was
informed by civilians and National Guards that a great many hostages had

British Speeches of the Day

been executed by Elas and buried in ditches on the outskirts. I proceeded
to the place where exhumation of bodies had begun and interrogated the
cemetery guardian. According to his statement batches of 15 to 20 hostages
were brought to the north-east corner of the cemetery every day by Elas and
murdered; their bodies were then buried in some disused trenches. This
system of trenches which covers some 200 yards is now filled with earth
but trial diggings have uncovered bodies along most of its length. Further
to the north and north-west are more trenches and pits, which, according
to the guardian, also contain bodies of hostages who were executed there. He
estimates that in all 1,200 to 1,500 people were executed, mostly with knives
or axes. The latter testimony was borne out by partially exhumed bodies
which I saw, which had deep wounds in the back of the head or neck,
probably inflicted by a heavy knife. Apparently they were hostages taken
in Athens during the early days of the fighting and who were systematically
exterminated up till the Elas withdrawal from Athens."
I am sorry to trespass on the Committee. This is one which only arrived this
morning. It is from Consul-General Rapp, who is at Salonika.
"Between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. yesterday, 16th January, 31 sick civilians, of
whom 17 to 20 were in a dying condition, were removed by Elas from the
Municipal Hospital at Salonika, loaded on to bullock carts in their pyjamas
(some had pyjama trousers only) and taken off to Verroia. Facts are veri-
fied by Mme. Riadis and M. Zannas of the Greek Red Cross who followed
the convoy in a car a few hours later and distributed blankets. It is probable
that several have already died from exposure. British military authorities
are taking all possible steps to secure their immediate return."
Three days ago the roads leading out of Salonika were crowded with long
columns of horse- and bullock-drawn vehicles which had been brought in from
the countryside and had left with much booty and loot, having stripped bare every
house, rich or poor, in which they could find anything worth carrying away. I
know perfectly well that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) would not
stand for anything of this kind. I know that he would not, but would rather throw
away the great advantages in an argument, that stand for one moment for inhuman-
ity. I am not trying to suggest that hon. Gentlemen opposite, even those who are
most excited, are in any way associating themselves with this sort of thing, and,
therefore, I am taking great pains to show what has been going on, and is going on,
in order that they may carefully watch their steps and choose their language in such
a way as to keep themselves clear of all taint of approbation.

No Proscription for Rebels
I give my warning to what I must call the Elasites in this country and else-
where. The prisoners are coming home and the truth is coming out. Two horrible
stultifications await them. First, the revelation and proof of the atrocities com-
mitted by those whom they have found it their duty to defend, and secondly, a
great surprise is going to come upon them in the vote which the Greek people
will give about these matters, when our purpose of free election has been achieved.
I would warn the Committee that, if we are going to tear ourselves asunder in this
island over all the feuds and passions of the Balkan countries which our arms and
those of our Allies have liberated, we shall be found quite incapable of making
our influence count in the great settlement which awaits the end of the war. It
is, I believe, the intention of the Regent and of General Plastiras to broaden the
Government continually but we really must leave this process to them and not try
to interfere with it from day to day.

The War and Foreign Affairs

It is only fair for me to tell the Committee that I do not believe that any of
the existing authorities in Athens will ever work as colleagues with the Communist
leaders who assailed the city and brought, as they think, all these miseries upon
Greece. There is a violent feeling throughout the liberated area that there should
be no amnesty. Even when we were there three weeks ago, and when we held
only a small part of the city, most of the roads were dangerous. There were bands
of men marching about, poorly clad men, with placards bearing the words "no am-
nesty." Passions there are tense and I am told that they tend to become more tense
because of questions and answers in this House. We try to allay those passions as
much as we can. The Government have been committed by me to the principle of
"no proscription." That means that no person, whether ringleader or otherwise,
shall be punished for his part in the recent rebellion unless he is found guilty by a
properly constituted court of personal breaches of the laws of war or of the private
crimes for which ordinary felons are punished. This principle has been accepted by
the Greek Government and all statements to the contrary are overridden. Any state-
ment which does not conform to it is overridden by the quite definite agreement which
I made on the spot in respect of these matters and which I have every reason to
believe will be maintained. It is quite possible that General Plastiras under tre-
mendous pressure of people, boiling with rage and bursting for revenge, may have
used some sentences which do not correspond or seem not to correspond with the
interpretation which I have placed upon it. But the position of His Majesty's
Government has been definitely taken up and our opinion is I am sure one which
will be treated with respect and consideration by the Greek Government, who are
so largely dependent upon our armed forces for their existence. ...
There is a great difference between putting people to death for the crime
of rebellion, or bringing them to penal processes, and making sure that your Gov-
ernment Departments are not full of people who are working for the other side.
I am dealing with the whole question of amnesty which relates to the penal
processes of law, such as imprisonment or sentences of death, and an amnesty
certainly does not mean that persons who are not trusted by the Government of
the day will immediately be made Cabinet Ministers, or that employees who were
found to have left their posts in the crisis and taken part in the fighting on the
opposite side to the Government of the day, should be reinstated or left in their
positions. No one can stand for that, and I want to be very careful not to lead
the hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale into any ideas that I am promising
something that goes beyond the actual words I have used.

Return of Hostages Demanded
As I say, this principle, which I have advised, has been accepted by the Greek
Government, and I have no doubt it will be observed while any of our Forces
remain in the country, but after that Greece will be completely free and sovereign
and I cannot tell at all by what terrible feuds the wrangle may be carried on.
here is, however, one further reservation which I must make. The promise of
"no proscription" or amnesty-whichever term you prefer-is dependent, as we
see it, upon the treatment and delivery of the hostages, and no amnesty could be
declared while hostages were held in the grip of Elas. We thought it better that
the fighting should stop. It is always a good thing for the firing to leave off in
a case like this, when you wish to reach a parley. We thought it better for the
fighting to stop, and that whatever parley took place about hostages would go on
more quickly after firing left off than before. But let there be no mistake, the
name of Britain and the honor of our country are deeply engaged in this matter
of hostages. We cannot let it be said that we made arrangements for all our
people to be saved and left anything from 5,000 to 10,000 Greeks, men, women
and children, to be carried off to the mountains by Elas, and its remaining asso-

British Speeches of the Day

ciates, to be used as a weapon of blackmail, not merely to procure their own
immunity from the crime of rebellion-for that, as I have said, is open to them
if they take the proper course-but to be used to procure for them political
I tell the House quite plainly that His Majesty's Government will discharge
their obligations, however painful, with complete integrity whether it is popular
or not to do so, and that we shall not hesitate to rescue these hostages and punish
their slaughter or maltreatment, if we are to continue to hold office under the
[The Chairman: The sitting will be suspended until 2:15 p.m.
Sitting suspended.
On resuming.]
I finished before lunch dealing with the Greek question, and I quoted a
statement by a British officer about the bodies which were being dug up. I had
not got his name then, but it has since arrived by telegraph and is Captain R.
F. G. Blackner of the Royal Artillery. He gave an eye-witness account.
U. S. Bore Brunt of Bulge Battles
Now I turn to a very different theme and story. I turn from the pink and ochre
panorama of Athens and the Piraeus, scintillating with delicious life and plumed
by the classic glories and endless miseries and triumphs of its history. This must
give way to the main battle-front of the war. In this, my chief contribution, will
be the recital of a number of facts and figures which may or may not be agree-
able in different quarters. I have seen it suggested that the terrific battle which has
been proceeding since December 16th on the American front is an Anglo-American
battle. In fact, however, the United States troops have done almost all the fight-
ing and have suffered almost all the losses. They have suffered losses almost
equal to those on both sides in the battle of Gettysburg. Only one British Army
Corps has been engaged in this action. All the rest of the 30 or more divisions,
which have been fighting continuously for the last month, are United States troops.
The Americans have engaged 30 or 40 men for every one we have engaged, and
they have lost 60 to 80 men for every one of ours. That is a point I wish to make.
Care must be taken in telling our proud tale not to claim for the British Army
an undue share of what is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war
and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever famous American victory.
I never hesitate, as the Committee, I think, will bear me witness, to stand up
for our own soldiers when their achievements have been cold-shouldered, or
neglected, or overshadowed as they sometimes are, but we must not forget that
it is to American homes that the telegrams of personal losses and anxiety have
been going during the past month, and that there has been a hard and severe
ordeal during these weeks for our brave and cherished Ally. This implies no
disparagement of our own exertions, for we ourselves, a month or two earlier, lost
40,000 men in opening the Scheldt. The bulk of our Army on this occasion, when
von Rundstedt attacked, was separated by scores of miles from the impact of
the new offensive. They could not possibly have been moved into battle in
large numbers without criss-crossing the lines of communication and creating utter
confusion. The British Army stood, and stands, in its northern position between
the enemy and Antwerp in a strategic attitude, capable of averting all possibility
of a major disaster. Our Armies are under the supreme command of General
Eisenhower, and we march with discipline wherever we are told to go.
Measures to,Meet German Counterattack
According to the professional advice which I have at my disposal what was
done to meet von Rundstedt's counterstroke was resolute, wise and militarily

The War and Foreign Affairs

correct. A gap was torn open as a gap can always be torn open in a line hun-
dreds of miles long. General Eisenhower at once gave the command to the north
of the gap to Field-Marshal Montgomery and to the south of it to General Omar
Bradley. Many other consequential movements were made, and rightly made,
and in the result both these highly skilled commanders handled the very large
forces at their disposal in a manner which I think I might say without exaggeration,
may become the model for military students in the future.
Field-Marshal Montgomery at the earliest moment, acting with extraordinary
promptitude, concentrated powerful British reserves at the decisive strategic point.
Having been placed in command, as he was by General Eisenhower, of American
Forces larger than those he holds from His Majesty's Government or from the
Canadians, larger than those he holds in the 21st Army Group, he fell unceasingly
on the enemy in the north and has fought the battle all the time from that part
of the assailed front. The United States First Army, which was one of the group
of Armies under General Omar Bradley, was severed by the inroad. It was rein-
forced with extraordinary military efficiency from the Metz area by General Pat-
ton's Army, who hurled themselves on the intruders from the south side of
Bastogne. But all the movements of the commanders would have been futile but
for the bravery of the troops. General Omar Bradley was commanding American
troops, and so was Field-Marshal Montgomery. All these troops fought in mag-
nificent fashion and General Eisenhower, balancing the situation between his two
commanders, gave them both the fairest opportunity to realize their full strength
and quality. Let no one lend himself to the chatter of mischief-makers when
issues of this most momentous consequence are being successfully decided by the

British Share in the Sacrifices
Lest it should be thought that the British Commonwealth and Empire are not
playing their part in the battle of the Continent, or in the general war, let me give
a few facts and figures. We are maintaining at the present time, in the field
and in our garrisons, the equivalent of upwards of 100 divisions, apart from the
vast Navy and Air Forces and all the workers in the munitions shops. Many,
of course, are not mobile but 67 of them are at the front, and in constant or fre-
quent contact with the enemy. We are fighting incessantly on three separate fronts,
in North-West Europe, in Italy and in Burma. Of all the troops landed in
France the losses sustained, in fighting, by the British Army and the United States
troops have been very level in proportion to the numbers engaged. Of course,
there are over twice as many American troops on the Western Front as there are
troops of the British Commonwealth. We, in fact, have -lost half as many as our
American Allies.
If you take killed only, British and Canadians have lost a larger proportion
than the United States, heavier though the United States losses are. We have
taken measures, which I announced some weeks ago, to keep our Armies up to
the full strength, whatever the losses may be, and also to reinforce our divisions-
I wish they were more numerous-by supplementary units, brigades and so forth,
to add to the strength of the foot who bear the brunt of two-thirds of the losses
of war. We therefore felt it necessary to make this demand, for movement towards
and into the battle of about 250,000 additional men, to be drawn from every
possible source in the next few months, not only men but women. However,
in the combatant sphere of the anti-aircraft batteries no woman will go but a
volunteer. They have practically all volunteered.
In the United States, also, extreme measures have been taken. Let the Ger-
mans dismiss from their minds any ideas that the losses or setbacks of the kind

British Speeches of the Day

we have witnessed will turn us from our purpose. We shall go on to the end,
however the storm may beat, and for myself I do not hesitate today to give
my own opinion, not dissented from by the experts with whom I live in constant
contact, that the decisive breaking of the terman offensive in the west is more
likely to shorten this war than to lengthen it.
German Hopes Frustrated
We must regard von Rundstedt's attack as an effort to dislocate and, if possible,
rupture the tremendous onslaught across the Rhine and Siegfried line, for which
the Anglo-American Armies have been preparing. The Germans no doubt hoped
to throw out of gear, before the on-fall of the Russian Armies from the east, this
main stroke from the west. They have certainly lost heavily in their efforts;
they have cast away a large proportion of the flower of their last armies; they
have made a slight and ineffectual dent on the long front. The question they will
be asking themselves is whether they have, at this heavy price, delayed appre-
ciably the general advance of the Armies of the west beyond the period when it
had been planned? That is the question which no doubt today the German head-
quarters are anxiously asking themselves.
I always hesitated, as the Committee will bear me witness, to speak at all about
the military future, but it is my hope and belief that by this violent attack, in
which they have lost perhaps double what they have inflicted, they have in no wise
delayed, or still less adverted, the doom that is closing in upon them from the
west. Harsh as it may seem to say, a terrible thing to say in dealing with our
own precious flesh and blood, it is our interest and the American interest that the
whole western front, and the air everywhere at all possible flying times should
be in continuous action against the enemy, burning and bleeding his strength away
at every opportunity and on all occasions if we are to bring this horror to an end.
I think it was not necessarily a bad thing, indeed it was a good thing, that large
parts of the Western front were thrown into counter battles in open country by
the enemy, counter battles in the forests, undulations and hills of the Ardennes,
rather than that all our troops should be compelled to advance at this season of
the year across great rivers and seas of mud against lines of concrete fortifications.
It suited the Allies that there should be as much fighting as possible in the open
country rather than that the whole front should be crashing up against pillboxes.
In short, as I see it, the Germans have made a violent and costly sortie which
has been repulsed with heavy slaughter and have expended in the endeavour
forces, which they cannot replace, against an enemy who has already more than
replaced every loss he has sustained. These German forces are needed now not
only to support the German front in the West but even more to fill the awful rents,
only now emerging upon our consciousness as the telegrams come in, which have
been torn in their Eastern line by the magnificent onslaught of the main Russian
armies along the entire front from the Baltic to Budapest. Marshal Stalin is
very punctual. He would rather be before his time than late in the combinations
of the Allies. I cannot attempt to set limits to the superb and titanic events which
we are now witnessing in the East, or to their reactions in every theatre. I can
only say it is certain that the whole of the Eastern and Western fronts, and the
long front in Italy, where 27 German divisions are still held by no more than
their own numbers, will henceforward be kept in constant flame until the final
climax is reached. The advance of the enormous forces of Soviet Russia across
Poland and elsewhere into Germany and German-held territory must produce con-
sequences of a character and degree about which the wisest strategists and the most
far-sighted prophets will reserve their opinion until the results are known,
Simultaneously with the battle of the Ardennes another battle, almost as great,
has been fought by the United States in the Philippines at the other side of the

The War and Foreign Affairs

world. The Philippines and the Ardennes-two vast military episodes-have been
proceeding simultaneously. When we think of the distances to be traversed in
the Pacific and the vast consumption of ships and war material entailed,- of the
mighty fleets and air forces engaged as well as the large armies convoyed and
supplied in every detail, we must marvel at the triumphant military strength of
the United States, now roused from its peaceful free-and-easy life, to become,
against its desire, the greatest military Power in the world. We can also marvel
at the folly of those treacherous schemers in Japan who so wantonly called out
against them this incredible manifestation of armed power. General MacArthur's
recovery of the Philippines, which is in full progress many months before it was
expected, is a fearful warning to the Japanese of their impending defeat and
ruin. We offer our congratulations to General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz
on the increasing success and speed of their mighty combined operations.

Lost Commanders
I cannot pass from this subject without mentioning the loss which we have
sustained, and which I personally have sustained, in the death in action of my
representative with General MacArthur, Lieut.-General Lumsden, one of our most
distinguished and accomplished officers, the man who at the very beginning of the
war, in the first contact with the enemy, brought the armored car back into popu-
larity. He was killed on the port side of the bridge of an American ship approach-
ing Luzon by a bomb which Admiral Fraser himself, the Commander-in-Chief
of our gathering Navy, who happened to be there as a spectator, only escaped by
the accident of a few seconds. There have been large losses among the high com-
manders in these campaigns. In Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory
and Admiral Bertram Ramsay we have lost two out of the three British com-
manders of the expedition across the Channel, General Montgomery being the sole
survivor of the three.
The Burmese Campaign
There is one other campaign on which we and India have extended immense
effort and where good fortune has attended us-the advance of the 14th Army
-not forgotten but watched carefully, their movements ever attended by our
thoughts. The advance of the 14th Army, in harmony with the Chinese on
its northern flank, has carried them in an attack against the Japanese army in
Burma at some points almost 200 miles forward from Imphal, Kohima and
Myitkyina. Now is the time when all the fierce fighting at these places last year
is reaping its reward. The stuffing was beaten out of the Japanese troops in these
terrible conflicts in which we had very heavy losses-40,000 British, Indians and
others at least-and in which a far larger toll was taken by disease. I had always
dreaded the new campaign in Burma this year on account of the heavy toll of
disease which the march through the jungle exacts not only from the British
but also from the Indians and the West and East African troops who have been
fighting there with great distinction. I dreaded it for that reason and also be-
cause of the unimaginable difficulties of supply through all these hundreds of miles
of gorges from India, where every bridge and culvert is swept away by torrential
rains, where rivers rise 20 or 30 feet in a few hours and ovet which all means
of communication are so primitive and scanty.
I had always dreaded the beginning of this new campaign in Burma which,
nevertheless, it was necessary to achieve in order that, having rid Burma of the
invader, the large forces there might acquire their mobility to act in the final
stages of the war. Moreover, the obstinate prolongation of the war in Europe
necessarily delayed the movement to the East of many reinforcements of all kinds.
Soldiers, aircraft, vessels of many different kinds used in amphibious operations

British Speeches of the Day

were all delayed, although Admiral Mountbatten had been led to count on them.
First things have to come first. But, in spite of these disappointments, he and
his dauntless army have made greater advances than were required or expected
of them up to the present by the Directives of the High Command, and they
may well be described as "On the Road to Mandalay," though I think from a
different direction. This reference to the 14th Army, moreover, takes no account
of the important capture of Akyab, on the coast, with its airfield, a place for which
alone a considerable expedition at one time seemed necessary. It has now been
picked up out of hand by the troops of the 14th Army.
I have covered as far as I propose to do today the different military theatres
of the war in which His Majesty's Forces, with all their elements drawn from every
part of the British Empire, are contending without a moment's surcease or
slackening of effort. So it will go on-great efforts pulsating through the heart
of this small island, arising again all over the vast scope of the Commonwealth
and the Empire and not dying away even with the long fatigues, monotonies and
wearisome trials which the war imposes not only on the men who are fighting but
on the men and women who stay at home and do all that is in them to back the
soldiers at the front.

Great Need for Unity
We have reached the 65th month of the war, and its weight hangs heavy upon
us. No one knows what stresses are wrought in these times by this long persistence
of strain, quite above the ordinary normal life of human society. Let us be of
good cheer. Both in the West and in the East overwhelming forces are ranged
on our side. Military victory may be distant, it will certainly be costly, but it is
no longer in doubt. The physical and scientific force which our foes hurled upon
us in the early years has changed sides and the British Commonwealth, the United
States and the Soviet Union undoubtedly possess the power to beat down to the
ground in dust and ashes the prodigious might of the war-making nations and the
conspiracies which assailed us. But, as the sense of mortal peril has passed from
our side to that of our cruel foes, they gain the stimulus of despair and we tend
to lose the bond of combined self-preservation, or are in danger of losing it.
There is, therefore, demanded of us a moral and intellectual impulse to unity
and a clear conception and definition of joint purpose sufficient to overbear the
fleeting reinforcement which our enemies will derive from the realization of their
forlorn condition. Can we produce that complete unity and that new impulse in
time to achieve decisive military victory with the least possible prolongation of
the world's misery, or must we fall into jabber, babel and discord while victory
is still unattained. It seems to me to be the supreme question alike of the hour
and of the age. This is no new problem in the history of mankind. Very often
have great combinations almost attained success and then, at the last moment,
cast it away. Very often, by the triumphs and sacrifices of armies, they have
reached the conference table only to cast away what has been gained. Very often
the eagles have been squalled down by the parrots. Very often, in particular,
the people of this island, indomitable in adversity, have tasted the hard-won
cup of success only to cast it away.
I, therefore, consider that this is a most grave moment to address the House
and it is one which affects the members of every party-and all parties have the
credit of our war effort; it is no monopoly to be flung from side to side in some
future party dispute-we are all in this for good or ill. We all come through it
together. Very often, I say, these troubles have arisen at a moment of success, at
a period when no one can doubt what the ultimate result will be, and it is the
duty of all parties to rouse themselves to their highest sense of their obligations
and of the services which this House has already rendered to the cause of freedom.

The War and Foreign Affairs

Unconditional Surrender
At a time like this it is necessary to concentrate with clarity and command
and mental perseverance upon the main, practical issues with which we are con-
fronted, and upon which we hope and believe we are in accord with our prin-
cipal Allies. What, for instance, should be our attitude towards the terrible foes
with whom we are grappling? Should it be unconditional surrender, or should we
make some accommodation with them through a negotiated peace, leaving them
free to regather their strength for a renewal of the struggle after a few uneasy
years? The principle of unconditional surrender was proclaimed by the Presi-
dent of the United States at Casablanca, and I endorsed it there and then on
behalf of this country. I am sure it was right at the time it was used, when many
things hung in the balance against us which are all decided in our favor now.
Should we then modify this declaration which was made in days of comparative
weakness and lack of success now that we have reached a period of mastery
and power?
I am clear that nothing should induce us to abandon the principle of uncondi-
tional surrender and enter into any form of negotiation with Germany or Japan,
under whatever guise such suggestions may present themselves, until the act of
unconditional surrender has been formally executed. But the President of the
United States and I, in your name, have repeatedly declared that the enforcement
of unconditional surrender upon the enemy in no way relieves the victorious
Powers of their obligations to humanity, or of their duties as civilized and
Christian nations. I read somewhere that when the ancient Athenians, on one
occasion, overpowered a tribe in the Peloponnesus which had wrought them great
injury by base, treacherous means, and when they had the hostile army herded
on a beach naked for slaughter, they forgave them and set them free, and they said:
"This was not done because they were men: it was done because of the
nature of Man."
Similarly in this temper we may now say to our foes, "We demand unconditional
surrender, but you well know how strict are the moral limits within which our
action is confined. We are no extirpators of nations, or butchers of peoples. We
make no bargain with you. We accord you nothing as a right. Abandon your
resistance unconditionally. We remain bound by our customs and our nature."

What We Can Say to Germany
There is another reason why any abrogation of the principle of unconditional
surrender would be most improvident at the present time, and it is a reason by no
means inconsistent with, or contradictory to, that which I have just given. We
should have to discuss with the enemy, while they still remained with arms in
their hands, all the painful details of the settlement which their indescribable
crimes have made necessary for the future safety of Europe and of the world, and
these, when recited in detail, might well become a greater obstacle to the end of
the struggle than the broad generalization which the term "unconditional surrender"
The Germans know perfectly well how these matters stand in general. Several
countries have already surrendered unconditionally to the victorious Allies, to
Russia, to Britain and to the United States. Already there is a tolerable life
appointed for their peoples. Take Finland, take Italy: these peoples have not
all been massacred and enslaved. On the contrary, so far as Italy is concerned,
there are moments when one has almost wondered whether it was they who had
unconditionally surrendered to us, or whether we were about unconditionally to
surrender to them. This, at least, I can say on behalf of the United Nations to

114 British Speeches of the Day

Germany: "If you surrender now, nothing that you will have to endure after
the war will be comparable to what you are otherwise going to suffer during the
year 1945."
Peace, though based on unconditional surrender, will bring to Germany and
Japan an immense, immediate amelioration of the suffering and agony which now
lies before them. We, the Allies, are no monsters, but faithful men trying to carry
forward the light of the world, trying to raise from the bloody welter and con-
fusion in which mankind is now plunged, a structure of peace, of freedom,-of
justice and of law, which system shall be an abiding and lasting shelter for all.
That is how I venture to set before the Committee today the grave issue called
"unconditional surrender" which an hon. Gentleman opposite referred to-as he
was quite entitled to do-the other day at Question Time.

"What Are Power Politics?"
I now come to the second of the main questions which lie before us, namely,
to the principle which I have already dealt with in particular application to Greece,
Yugoslavia and Italy, the question what principle should guide us in regard to
countries which we and our Allies have liberated, and also in regard to that quite
different class, German satellite States which are, in one way or another, work-
ing their arduous passage home. Here, of course, I can only speak for Britain
and its special responsibility. The expression "power politics" has lately been
used in criticism against us in some quarters. I have anxiously asked the question,
"What are power politics?" I know some of our friends across the water so
well that I am sure I can always speak frankly without causing offense. Is having
a Navy twice as big as any other Navy in the world power politics? Is having
the largest Air Force in the world, with bases in every part of the world, power
politics? Is having all the gold in the world power politics? If so, we are
certainly not guilty of these offenses, I am sorry to say. They are luxuries that
have passed away from us.
I am, therefore, greatly indebted to my friend, the illustrious President of the
United States, four times summoned by the popular vote to the headship of the
most powerful community in the world, for his definition of "power politics."
With that marvelous gift which he has of bringing troublesome issues down to
earth and reducing them to the calm level of ordinary life, the President declared,
in his recent message to Congress, that power politics were "the misuse of power."
I am sure I can say, on behalf of all parties in the House, that we are absolutely
in agreement with the President. We go further; we define our position with
even more precision. We have sacrificed everything in this war. We shall emerge
from it, for the time being, more stricken and impoverished than any other victor-
ious country. The United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth are the -only
unbroken force which declared war on Germany of its own free will. We de-
clared war not for any ambition or material advantage, but for the sake of our
obligation to do our best for Poland against German aggression, in which aggres-
sion, there or elsewhere, it must also in fairness be stated our own self-preservation
was involved.

Calumnies and Aspersions
After the defeat of France in June, 1940, for more than a year we were alone.
We stood alone; we kept nothing back in blood, effort or treasure from what has
now become the common cause of more than 30 nations. We seek no territory;
we covet no oilfields; we demand no bases for the forces of the air or of the seas.
We are an ancient Commonwealth dwelling, and wishing to dwell, at peace within
our own habitations. We do not set ourselves up in rivalry of bigness or might
with any other community in the world. We stand on our own rights.

British Action in Greece

We are prepared to defend them, but we do not intrude for our own advantage
upon the rights of any friendly country in the world, great or small. We have
given, and shall continue to give, everything we have. We ask nothing in return
except that consideration and respect which is our due, and if that were denied
us we should still have a good conscience. Let none, therefore, in our own country
and Commonwealth or in the outside world misname us or traduce our motives.
Our actions are no doubt subject to human error, but our motives in small things
as in great are disinterested, lofty and true. I repulse those calumnies, wherever
they come from, that Britain and the British Empire is a selfish, power-greedy,
land-greedy, designing nation obsessed by dark schemes of European intrigue or
Colonial expansion. I repulse these aspersions whether they come from our best
friends or worst foes. Let us all march forward against the enemy, and, for the
rest, let all men here and in all countries search their hearts devoutly, as we shall
certainly continue to do.
I have tried as well as I could to cover, in a time which is unconscionably long
for a speech but ludicrously short for the subject, the more prominent features of
the world war. I will just add that we must keep our eye on jet-propelled fighter
aircraft, on the V-rockets, and, above all, on the renewed U-boat menace. No
doubt there are other dangers, but, taking the position as a whole, I have never at
any time been able to present a more confident statement to the House of the
ever-growing might and ascendency of the United Nations or of the military soli-
darity of the three great Allies. Political misunderstandings and difficulties of an
essentially minor rank undoubtedly confront us. That is why I was so glad to
hear that the President said in public on Tuesday that he was almost immedi-
ately starting to meet me and Marshal Stalin somewhere or other and quite soon.
The Foreign Secretary and I, with our military and technical advisers, will be
present without fail at the rendezvous and "when the roll is called up yonder,
we'll be there."
I have great hopes of this conference because it comes at a moment when a
good many moulds can be set out to receive a great deal of molten metal, and
also at a moment when direct advance may be made towards the larger problems
which will confront the victors and, above all, advance towards that world or-
ganization upon which, as we all know, the salvation of our harassed generation
and the immediate future of the world depend. We shall enter into all these dis-
cussions with your sympathy and with the confidence of your support. Whatever
happens, the British Nation and Commonwealth may rest assured that the Union
Jack of freedom will forever fly from the white cliffs of Dover.
[House of Commons Debates]

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, January 19, 1945
Much of this Debate has concerned itself with the affairs of South-Eastern
Europe, and the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has concentrated almost
exclusively on that sphere. Therefore, I propose to devote the greater part of
what I have to say also to these same topics. Before I come to South-Eastern
Europe, however, there are one or two other matters raised in the Debate to
which I want to refer.

British Speeches of the Day

In particular, I want to say something about two Allies of ours that are
suffering at the present time perhaps more than they have done at any time in
this war-Holland and Norway. These are two countries that.set, perhaps, some
of our Allies something of an example in political unity, two countries which
have contributed always to the fullest extent in their power to the Allied effort,
and I think that the Committee would wish that, in this time of their greatest
trial, a message from us should go to these people to tell them that everything
that it is within our power to do to alleviate their suffering will be done, and that
we shall not forget, either now or in future years, the glorious part that they
have played.

Liberated Europe's Problems
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North Newcastle (Lieut-Colonel
Sir C. Headlam) in opening his speech made the observation that, sometimes,
he was doubtful whether or not these Debates served a useful purpose. He will
not be surprised if I tell him that, from time to time, that thought also flits across
the mind of the Foreign Secretary when he listens to the Debates. It is not so
much always what is said; it is the difficulty in which the Government spokes-
men sometimes are in saying all that they would like to say in reply. But, about
this Debate, in the two days on which it has lasted, and, in particular, the speech
of the Prime Minister, I think the House will feel that it has done a real and
much needed national service. We must all have felt, in these last weeks-I
know I have-how much easier it is to imperil a grand Coalition than to fortify
it. Yet the problems which are now confronting us in liberated Europe have not
come altogether as a surprise. The advance of victorious Allied armies is going
to present us with many more such problems. I only pray that each one of them
is not going to arouse quite the intensity of passion which this Greek issue has
developed. If so, I frankly say that I shudder to think how we are going to
be able to play our part in the councils of Europe. There will be differences in
respect of policy in all these countries, differences in this House and differences
in the countries which have been under a foreign yoke for a period of years.
Man is a political animal and, therefore, he likes controversy, and does not al-
ways agree with his neighbor. And so it is in this House, and so it is going to be
in those countries. If we are to handle the situation, we shall need a measure of
patience and understanding, tolerance and goodwill between the great Allies.

Machinery for Allied Co-operation
We need something more. Several speeches in this Debate have referred to
the machinery of Allied co-operation for dealing with political issues. My right
hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha), in a very forceful
speech, asked whether we thought everything had been done about this situa-
tion, and whether we had any plan; the right hon. Baronet the Member for South-
West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) spoke in much the same strain and so did
other Members also. I must say-speaking I think for the Government in this-
that we are not fully satisfied with the existing machinery for international co-
operation on the political plane. We have been troubled about this for some time.
It was we who, more than a year ago, at the Moscow conference, first suggested
the need for some further machinery. We first proposed the setting up of what
has now become the European Advisory Commission to which the right hon.
Baronet referred. That Commission has done invaluable work.
The fruits of that work will be seen after the defeat of the enemy and of the
satellite countries, when these problems will have to be dealt with, but they have

British Action in Greece

neither the authority nor the representation sufficient to deal with many of the
other problems that confront us. It may be that we can improve on that machinery
and that there ought to be more frequent contacts, not necessarily between the
heads of Governments, who have heavy charges to bear and who cannot be con-
stantly meeting, but perhaps between the Foreign Secretaries. The contacts might
be very frequent, I do not know, but I can tell the House, in answer to the ques-
tions which have been put, that this issue of the machinery of our collaboration
will certainly be among those which will have to be examined at the meeting,
which rumor has it-I do not know-is to be held at some time or other some-
where or other. I would only add that, as far as our contribution is concerned
we are prepared bodily to place ourselves at disposal to any extent which may be
required in order that that machinery may function.
Before I turn to the Greek issue let me reply to some of the questions which
were put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. A. Green-
wood) yesterday. He showed some anxiety as to the part my right Hon. Friend
might play at this meeting of the heads of Governments and he said he thought
my right hon. Friend was in danger of appeasing some of his great Allies too
much. I do not know. It is always questionable how far it is wise in wartime
to express, on the public platform, or the Floor of this House, exactly what you
feel about the various political problems on which you are in controversy with
your Allies. It is a question of appreciation. Sometimes it is good and sometimes
it is not so good. I am bound to say that, though I have seen my right hon. Friend
in many roles, I have not so far seen him in the role of the timid fawn. I do not
think that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield need be too
anxious lest my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's known diffidence of ex-
pression should in any way hamper the case of His Majesty's Government at the
next meeting. We have many international anxieties but I admit frankly that that
is about the least of those which beset me.

EAM in Perspective
I come to the vexatious problem which has been the theme of almost all this
Debate-the problem of the situation in Greece. As I listened to the speeches
which have been made today, and to some of the speeches that were made earlier,
I was forced to the conclusion that some hon. Members of this Committee painted
themselves a picture of Earn that really bears no resemblance to reality. I want to
put the position of that organization in as fair a perspective as I can. Nobody
has suggested that this movement at its outset did not enlist under its banner
numbers of men who joined for purely patriotic motives. Of course that is so,
but it is no less dear that from the very early days of the movement the leaders
who control the Earn were not prepared to tolerate rivals in the political field of
resistance in Greece. It was that which first brought about our difficulties in the
guerrilla movement. General Sarafis himself at one time tried to lead another
rival guerrilla band and he was brought in by force to Ear and was a prisoner
for some time until he was good enough to be their general.
This rivalry between Edes and Elas cannot be explained on the ground that
Elas bands were purely democratic and Edes bands were purely reactionary. That
is not so. I have read the charter of the Edes. I should say that it was as near as
can be an attempt to describe a Socialist heaven, if such a conception can be ex-
pressed by anybody who is a member of the Tory Party. As near as might be
that seemed to be their program, and yet there was from the outset this rivalry-
a rivalry which, I believe, is largely based on the determination of some of Earn
leaders that no one was going to share with them the resistance movement in
Greece. ..

British Speeches of the Day

Before the German Withdrawal
There was another organization-a military band called Ekka-which was
another guerrilla organization. This is worth noting as an indication of devel-
opments which take place. In February of last year our officers in Greece, who
played a really magnificent part in trying to hold these warring guerrilla elements
together, secured a truce and all these various bands agreed to join together and
to think only about the Germans for the time being. What happened? A very
few weeks after that Elas broke this agreement and they attacked and destroyed
this guerrilla band of Ekka. They murdered its leader, one Colonel Psaros, against
whom, as far as I have been able to discover, no plausible charge has ever been
brought, even by Elas itself. So, I say, even before the German withdrawal there
were, it appeared to us, unmistakable signs that it was the ambition of Elas to
seize control of the country by force.
Here, let me add, His Majesty's Government have never been opposed to
Earn becoming the Government of Greece, but what we have said, and what we
do say is, that they have no right to that position except through the medium of
the ballot box, whereas their attempt has been, as we see it, to seize power with
the weapons provided for them to do battle against the Germans. . This
evidence of the tendency of Elas to seize power, rather than to be elected to power,
had its effect upon the organization itself. There were many in the ranks who
did not like it and who began to see the effect of that, even before the fighting
broke out in Athens, and after the fighting broke out all the more moderate ele-
ments of what is called the Eam organization flaked away. That was very notice-
able to me, who had been to Athens before, when I returned with the Prime
Minister at Christmas time, because when this Conference, which he summoned,
took place, to which the Elas representatives came, I thought that they would do
their best to show as broad a representation as possible, obviously in order to
impress us and the world of their representative character. It was not so. Their
representatives to the Conference were three Communists, led and dominated by
the secretary-general of the Communist Party-those were the men who came to
negotiate at this meeting. What I submit-and I have little doubt of it myself,
but I cannot prove it-is that in the progress of the fighting, all the elements
except the hard Communist core flaked away in disapproval of the policy which
the Communist leaders were adopting. . I will try to prove to the satisfac-
tion of the House that the policy we have pursued was the only policy open
to us, and was a just and correct policy. . Why do I say that there has been
this flaking away? I submit to the House that the Socialists, the Agrarians
and the Popular Democrats, all of whom formed part of Earn in the earlier stages,
have announced their decision to break away and have, in one form or another,
denounced the activities of their former associates. ...

The Socialist Party
I am going to take the Greek Socialist Party, which is the most important
of these parties, and one which I hope will appeal to the hon. Gentleman who
interrupted. It is the SKE. That party issued a manifesto and I shall trouble the
Committee by reading it because I think it important that we should try to
assess what is the true feeling of the organization, and the whole basis of iny con-
tention is that Eam, as such, does not exist any more and what is left is just a
hard Communist or, if you like, Trotskyite core.
The hon. Gentleman wants to hear what is the manifesto of the Gr ek Social-
ist Party and I will tell him. It says:
"The political bureau of the central committee of the Socialist Party in
Greece, after succeeding in restoring its organization, which it had not

British Action in Greece

succeeded in doing owing to the recent tragic events, assembled with almost
a ftill meeting and, with the co-operation of representatives of the party
organization in Macedonia and Thrace, examined the situation as trans-
formed by the rupture of the Government of National Unity, and after
detailed discussion by members of all the burning political questions of the
day, resolved as follows:-
"It utterly condemns the civil war and hostilities between Greeks and
Allies. These unhappy events took place in our country contrary to the
desires of the Ske which did all that it could to prevent them. It considers
that the civil war was organized solely by deadly enemies of our country
and is contrary to our national claims and the interests of the Greek working
people and to the common anti-Fascist goal of the United Nations. The
party adopts and approves the resolution of the regional party organization
of Macedonia and Thrace, which had the courage to take the initiative in
disapproving the civil war immediately after the outbreak of hostilities, in
view of the fact that the central leadership of the party was unable to meet.
It declares that it refused all responsibility for, and withdrew itself from
the Earn bloc as soon as it was informed of the armed breech which took
place without consultation with the Ske.
"It appealed to all kindred parties and organizations in the manual and
clerical working class to contribute to the cessation of civil war with a view
to the return of political peace in the country. .. ."
And so on in the same strain. . I will tell . who are the persons behind
this document, and I will leave it to the Committee to judge. I have been into
this matter with some trouble, because we do not want to give the Committee
incorrect information. What earthly advantage is it to the Government to do
that. Let the hon. Gentleman look back to the Debates of last December, and he
will be able to judge whether his information was correct or not. The Greek
Socialist Party is directed by a political bureau of eigft 'members . all but
one of whom are now in Athens-I know where the one who is not in Athens
is, but I do not propose to say-and by a central committee of twenty, all but
two of whom are also in Athens. Now it so happens that representation of this
party at the moment is especially full because there are also in Athens four dele-
gates from northern Greece who were all members of the central committee. I
will give their names so that they can be checked if anybody knows them. A
gentleman called Mr. Stavirides, Mr. Papanikolaou, Mr. Mylonas, and Mr. Dimi-
trakopoulos-my Greek is not very good-those four are all the representatives
who came down from Macedonia, and the manifesto to which I have just referred
was voted by all the members-that is 20 of the central committee in Athens-
and three of them went up to our Ambassador and handed it over to him.

Other Greek Parties
I admit that the conditions in Athens are disturbed. I admit the difficulty of
substantiating exactly what this or that section of political opinion feels in a
city which has been through' what Athens has been through, but I submit to the
Committee that the document I have read out, and the circumstances which I
have described of its presentation to us, is at least a strong prima-facie case that
it represents something of substance in Greek Socialist opinion.
[Mr. S. O. Davies: Can the Foreign Secretary explain why the names of
Professor Svolos and Professor Angelopoulos are not among the names he read
out because they are, and have been, accredited leaders of the Greek Socialist
Party ?)

British Speeches of the Day

I will say why those two names were not there. Professor Svolos was a mem-
ber of Earn, but I do not know his present whereabouts, and I cannot tell why
he was not a signatory to this document. All I can tell the Committee is that
this is the report which came to us through our Ambassador. There is no secret
about this. We ourselves asked Sir Walter Citrine and others to go to Athens
and see for themselves what was the position of the trade unions there. During
the last 24 hours we have suggested that the party of Members of Parliament
now in Italy should themselves go on to Greece. . We are anxious that hon.
Members should get information about the situation. Apart from the delegation
which, as I have already said, may go on from Italy to Greece we are ready as
opportunity offers for perhaps a further delegation to go from this House to
Greece. We have nothing to hide. If hon. Members here had seen what the
Prime Minister and I have seen I am sure that many of the speeches and criticisms
we have heard would never have been made. What I have said about the Greek
Socialist Party applies also to the Agrarian Party and to the Popular Democrats.
I believe that they, too, have flaked away from Eam. I cannot prove it; I have
not the documents to show it but I can tell the Committee that that is our belief,
which the House will find justified in the next few weeks. But what I do know
is that representatives of the Agrarian Party from Salonika have definitely broken
away from Eam, and have taken refuge in Athens. . .

The Disarmament Negotiations
Now I come to the events on which I have been challenged and the position
of the Government in the present situation. I must remind the Committee that,
for months before we went into Greece, we labored to bring about unity in the
Greek political parties. We got all the parties together, and we got a document
signed at Caserta, agreed by the rival commanders-in-chief. We have been chal-
lenged as to the course of events which brought about the breakup of the Govern-
ment. The hon. Baronet the Member for Barnstaple (Sir R. Acland), the hon. Mem-
ber for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks) and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan)
referred to that in the course of their speeches. I will again tell the Committee,
briefly, the events so far as we know them. It has been suggested that the arrival
of the Greek Brigade, the Rimini Brigade, was the cause of the trouble. So far
as I can test the evidence there is not a shadow of justification for that statement,
and I will show why. The Greek Brigade arrived in Athens on November 9th,
not November 19th as the hon. Member for Broxtowe stated in the Debate
yesterday. . Its arrival was universally applauded by all sections of the Greek
population. I know that because we were told in Athens that they were the only
people who had a bigger reception than the British troops, when they arrived
in Athens. After the arrival of this Brigade, the Greek Eam Ministers in the
Greek Government could have objected if they had wished. Nothing would have
been easier, but no objection was made. On the contrary, eight days afterwards
-on the 17th-agreement was reached with the Greek Government, to which
the Earn Ministers subscribed, that all guerrilla formations should be disarmed
and no mention was made at all of the Rimini Brigade. Later the- Eam Ministers
began to argue that if the guerrillas were to be disarmed the Rimini Brigade
ought to lay down their arms too. But the other members of the Greek Govern-
ment would not accept that, and I do not think that is very surprising, either in
the light of the record of the Brigade or in the light of the fact of how few
Greek troops there were under arms. Still, they wanted to reach agreement and
M. Papandreou asked the Eam Ministers, who were complaining of the existence
of this Brigade, to draft a decree for the demobilization of the guerrillas, in which
it was provided that a brigade of Elas should be retained under arms in order
to balance the Rimini Brigade. That compromise was offered; that draft was

British Action in Greece

produced by the Eam Ministers themselves. They drew it up, brought it to their
colleagues and it was accepted by all the other members of the Government on
November 27th. How is it possible to say that the Rimini Brigade was the cause
of the break?
Next day, the Earn Ministers went back on the draft which they themselves
had drawn up and demanded that all forces should be disarmed, including the
Rimini Brigade. The Government refused and matters reached a deadlock. But
it was not even this that brought about the final split in the Government. The
final split was this: that on December 1st the Eam civil police refused to hand
over their arms to the National Guard. It is worth looking at this, because the
decision that they should hand over their arms had been reached unanimously
by the Government, including Eam Ministers, as long ago as November 5th.
At this point the Earn police had not been an issue during the negotiations about
the disarmament of the guerrilla armies at all. It was also known that the same
morning Earn were going to call a general strike. It was faced with this, that
M. Papandreou circulated to all his colleagues a draft decree reaffirming the Gov-
ernment's decision that the Eam police should hand over their arms, a decision
nearly a month old. The Earn Ministers refused to ratify the decision and that
night resigned.

The Hostages
I want to say one more thing about the Earn police, because I want the Com-
mittee to note that it is my contention that it was over this issue of the Earn police
that the break occurred, and that -it was the police themselves who were largely
responsible for taking hostages and the methods of their custody. I must say
that during the long negotiations about a truce, when every effort was being
made to try to get agreement, the Elas representatives said that they could not
release their hostages because they could not answer for the actions of the Earn
police who had taken those hostages. . General Scobie's broadcast was made
on the afternoon of December 1st. The leaflet and the broadcast were the same.
They stated his desire to maintain law and order, and to assist in the distribution
of relief. Nothing in that leaflet could possibly have been construed as to inflame
passion, but it was a warning that, if it came to force, we should do our best
to maintain law and order. I do not know what else a general in that position
would be supposed to say. ..
Now I want to come to the present position, and to the matter of hostages,
and to General Plastiras's position. Some hon. Members do not seem quite to
understand why we spoke with such strength in condemnation of hostages. It
was even suggested that the Greek Government have themselves arrested a number
of people in Athens. I want to clear that up. As far as the arrests that we have
made are concerned, a decision has been taken as the result of agreement between
General Scobie and the Greek Government, that all civilians arrested by British
Forces for bearing arms against us should be released with the exception of those
who will be exchanged to fulfill the terms of the agreement reached with Eam.
As far as arrests by the Greek Government are concerned, it has already been
made clear that prosecutions will only be instituted against those who have violated
the penal code, or the rules of war, on charges such as murder, rape or looting.
In other words, the act of bearing arms against the State will not be regarded
as a crime in itself and will not be punished. I say this to make it plain that
there is no question of hostages being held either by the Greek Government or
by ourselves. We have not got one. I now demand, in the name of all parties
and all Members of the House, that Eam should release those hostages forthwith.

British Speeches of the Day

False Charges
I now come to deal with reports in the Press that warrants have been issued
in Athens for the arrest of prominent Eam and Elas leaders. This story first
appeared on January 8th and was contradicted by the Greek Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and by us at the Foreign Office. Subsequent investigation has shown that
a police interpreter was responsible for the report. The story was revived two or
three days ago. I have today received a telegram from His Majesty's Ambassador
in Athens which states that no such warrants have been issued. He has obtained
personal confirmation of this from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs. There
have also been references to a statement made by General Plastiras to Press cor-
respondents that he could not agree to an amnesty. I have stated that the de-
dared intention of the Greek Government is to take action only against those
guilty of crimes against the penal code or the rules of war. General Plastiras
yesterday confirmed this to our Ambassadbr. He said it was still the policy of
the Greek Government, and he specifically authorized me to tell that to the House
of Commons today. Therefore, the only rebels liable to prosecution are those
guilty of ordinary crimes against the criminal code. He repeated this instruction,
which is an instruction of the Greek Government, to the military governor of
Attica, to the head of the gendarmerie and the head of the police. He told them
that no political arrests are to be made. People charged on such charges as
murder, rape and looting are having their cases investigated immediately and, if
no prima-facie case exists, they are to be discharged. A panel of 75 judges or
magistrates is already at work to effect that. I have only one thing to add about
the various Plastiras reports. The report in the Press that General Gonatas is
appointed Governor of Macedonia is not accurate. I think I have covered all the
realm of charges. . The position could not be clearer and the hon. Member
has really no right to complain that I am not clear. He asks us to be objective
on this matter. I have never heard anyone import so much prejudice into the
subject of debate.
He threw taunt after taunt at General Plastiras. Who is this very wicked
man who is held up like that? He was the man who, after the collapse of Greece
in 1922, took over the Government, pulled his country together, arranged for
a general election, and retired after the election, which resulted in the return
of Venizelos. He was the man who was Prime Minister when Greece alone
among the European countries accepted refugees and hundreds of thousands of
Armenians, thus helping to relieve a problem which was haunting Europe. He
is the man, we are told now, who played about with the Germans in France.
He was in France in exile, and he was there approached by the S.S. who said,
"Come and be our quisling in Greece." He refused to have anything to do with it.
All these stories are brought to this Committee, to create prejudice. We are
told that we wanted to deny freedom in Greece. Why should this country wish to
deny freedom in Greece, this country which is fighting because it believes in just
those very things? When I hear the hon. Gentleman speak like that 1 say to
him. What do we in this country desire in Greece and in all these countries?
We desire a decision by the ballot box and I give the Committee this pledge.
Wherever Britain's authority can carry, the decision will be by the ballot box.
We cannot pledge ourselves that our power or authority will reach over every
land. Our authority is limited, but where it can be exerted the decision will be
by the ballot box, and not by the bullet or by attempts to seize power because
by fortuitous circumstances you have the arms at that moment.
Let me sum up. We have discussed this matter, we have debated it now three
times at great length. I have had some experience in my life of international

British Action in Greece

affairs, and I have never known an issue where I have been more absolutely
certain we are right. I am convinced that if hon. Members could have seen what
I saw in Athens last time, their reaction would be exactly the same as mine. I
am sure that it was our action, and only our action, unpopular and difficult as it
was, hard as it was to explain to our American friends, I admit, which prevented
a massacre in Athens. That is my absolute conviction, and I believe it is shared
by virtually everybody who saw the situation as it then was.

Ammunition for Dr. Goebbels
I have something more to say to the Committee. The Government have been
criticized, they have been maligned, they have been taunted for the policy they
have pursued in Greece. In that matter, it has, admittedly, done us some injury
in other lands, where it is not easy, in all respects, to understand the issue. I
think that this afternoon I have for the Government the right to say to the Com-
mittee, "Have we your support or have we not?" I have set out our case as fully
and fairly as I can. I have made plain that the whole of our authority will be
used to see that there is nothing in the nature of proscription and no punish-
ment because these people in their folly, if you like, have taken arms against
the State. We will do our best to ensure that at the earliest moment there are
free elections in Greece, but, meanwhile, we must have an expression of the views
of this House. We are entitled to know whether, as a result of this discussion,
the world is to believe we are supported by the overwhelming majority of this
House or not. It is difficult sometimes when you read, as I have to, despatches
from abroad. I read reports that the Government's position is shaken on account
of its policy in Greece. We all know that that is not true. We know that the
more it is explained, the more it will be understood and the stronger our position
will be. But foreign countries do not know. It is all too easy for Goebbels and
company to make use of the reported state of public opinion here and of the
gossip of some journalist, in some column or other, which says that we are
tottering to our fall.
I ask the Committee this afternoon to pronounce whether or not the Govern-
ment are tottering to their fall, and to give us on the program I have outlined,
on the pledges I have given, and on my right hon. Friend's speech, a Vote of
Confidence, so that the nation as a whole may know where we stand, and so
that this policy which we have pursued throughout-let me say, with patience
and with only the one purpose, to bring freedom to Greece-may be finally
[House of Commons Debates]

Deputy Prime Minister
House of Commons, January 18, 1945

I want to make a short intervention in this Debate in reply to some of the
points that have been made, and try to make plain what, in my opinion, are the
broad facts of the situation. The whole of this Greek question has got involved
in an atmosphere of emotion. It is quite understandable but it is quite inimical
to our getting a clear view. We in the Government have to deal with these

British Speeches of the Day

foreign situations in the light of the facts as known to us. We take every oppor-
tunity we can to exercise our utmost vigilance, to try to arrive at these facts.

Facts Hard to Find
Let me say at once it is not always easy for anyone to get the whole of the
facts when dealing with a foreign country, a country which has only just been
cleared of a foreign invader, a country that was for a long time under a dic-
tatorship. It is not at all easy in such cases to get the exact facts about what
happened. It is not very easy to sum up the various personalities, particularly
when their names are often like each other and one is not always sure which is
which. It is not at all easy to judge the exact state of public opinion. . .
Let me say here, in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr.
Cocks) that the foreign policy of this Government is not a matter that is left to
the impulse of a Prime Minister or to the sole discretion of a Foreign Secretary.
These matters are debated and discussed very fully in Cabinet. I can assure him
we have endless discussions. Therefore we do try to arrive at an opinion on the
facts. ...
I know that my hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Cocks) is most sincere, and has also
tried to arrive at the truth. He and I were campaigners together for many years on
these foreign affairs matters. He and I are both, he would agree, devoted to de-
mocracy, and it may be that if we differ we act on different sets of what we think
are the facts. It is difficult for any of us to find the facts. I am a little surprised
sometimes at the ready acceptance by some people of statements which, I must say,
seem to be based on rather slight authority. . I sometimes think that the critical
faculty which is so alert with regard to one's own countrymen is sometimes a little
dulled when dealing with people from other countries.
I have been surprised by the positive assertions made. I listened with great
interest to the story told by my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe. . I can
tell him straight away that there are a great many instances on which he is com-
pletely mistaken. . We all tend to lend credence to something which seems to
support our own point of view. . In matters of foreign policy this habit is in-
creased by the practice of dividing the world up into Right and Left. To many
people everything that comes from the Left is suspect, and to others everything that
is done by the Left must be supported ... I know people who think that all
people who may disagree with them are Bolsheviks. I sometimes think that the
hon. Member for West Fife thinks that everyone who does not agree with him
is a Fascist. But, as a matter of fact, when one comes to Right and Left, people
of very different views are grouped together under these very wide umbrellas.
I think, as my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe pointed out so well, that
was the case with Eam. It is quite a mistake to think that Eam consisted of one
lot of people-of Communists. It consisted of Liberals, Socialists, and Com-
munists, people of varied political views.

The Real Reactionaries
The hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) was entirely wrong, when
he said that the Greek Government was a Government of the Right. It is not a
Government of what in any part of Europe is called the Right. Almost all its
members were in revolt against the dictatorship, many of them were in exile or
had been put in prison. They consist of Socialists, Liberals, followers of Venizelos,
and so on. There is always a danger in people who want to be very Left to shift
the application of Right until it includes a great many people who are more Left

Britishe Action in Greece

than some people who profess to be Left. I do not believe that the views of the
hon. Member for West Fife are Left Wing in the sense of being very advanced.
I think they are reactionary because they support a doctrine of force, and I am a
supporter of the doctrine of democracy. Therefore, I myself think that the hon.
Member for West Fife is something left over from the nineteenth century. . .
It is a mistake to try to lump people together like this, and to be deflected
,from principles by imagining that some people are all Right and some people
all Left, particularly in South-Eastern Europe. When you are dealing with people
like the Greeks, who are rather temperamental perhaps, and with countries which
like those of South-Eastern Europe, have had a very short experience of the work-
ing of democratic institutions, you should never try to judge them exactly on our
own basis. Therefore, you should try to get quite clear in your mind what your
principle is.
I do not believe in dictatorship of the Right or of the Left, or in seizure by
force by the Right or by the Left, whether a person calls himself a king or a
leader or anything else. We believe in democracy. I hold that the trouble here
has been that, while we had everything fixed up, with a Government ranging
right through the whole block of political parties, which was in due course going
to have a general election to decide where the majority lay, there was a forcible
attempt by a minority to seize power. Some people who call themselves Left
are not believers in democratic methods.

Broader Based Governments
It has been suggested, although it is not suggested so often now-although
again, I think, my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks) rather
suggested it-that we were specially interested in putting back the King of
Greece. We really are not.
With the situation in Europe we had to deal with a great many Governments
who, unfortunately, had been driven out of their own countries. Some were
monarchists, some were republicans; in some cases there was not a Government,
but only representatives. In any case, would it have been right for us, without
the will of the people, to change the Government from a monarchy to a republic,
or from a republic to a monarchy? We had to deal with things as they were.
We are entitled to stand on our record. In every instance we have endeavored
to broaden the basis of those Governments with whom we are dealing. In Italy
we had to deal first with the King of Italy and Badoglio, because they were the
people who would give orders to the troops. As soon as possible we got an all-
party Government. We have a Government there today which, I regret to say,
includes the Communists but not the Socialists-I do not know whether my hon.
Friend would call it Right or Left or middle.
Again, the original men who came out for the resistance of France outside
this country were, I think, on a rather narrow basis. We did our utmost, and
successfully, to bring into the Resistance Movement every side, until by the time
we came to the liberation of France we had a very representative body-as repre-
sentative as you could get without an election. We are entitled to be judged on that.
It was suggested that there was something very evil in our bringing to Athens,
amid the applause of the population, a body of troops who were the same Greeks
who fought the Italians, to the applause of everybody, and fought in North
Africa. Was it not natural that on deliverance the Greeks would like to have
these people brought in? There was no comment, when Paris was freed, at the
entry of General Leclerc's troops.

British Speeches of the Day

Which Leg the Boot Is On
But members, in this case, at once impute a wrong motive. That is not our
motive at all. The Greeks came into the war. They fought the Italians as a
monarchy. We have endeavored to widen the basis, but it is entirely a matter
for the Greek people whether they have a monarchy or a republic, and, when
they have an election, what color their Government shall be. But when we came
to Greece, and were setting up a Government, it was up to us to see that power
was not seized by the people to whom we gave arms, as against the rest.
I am sure that if the boot had been on the other leg, if there had been an
attempt to overthrow the Papandreou Government by force, by some general at
the head of reactionary troops, my hon. Friend the Member for.Broxtowe would
have been the first to say, "No you must protect the people, and not let their
liberties be snatched away." That is a principle, and principles are no good un-
less you are prepared to apply them all round. I know that my hon. Friend the
Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) feels that very strongly. When I thought of
this I was imagining-I cannot say it as vividly as he could-the ringing tones
in which he would have demanded whether all our sacrifices were made merely
to set up a reactionary Right-Wing Government in Athens. ...

A British Habit
Do not fall into the error of the hon. Member for West Fife, of thinking
that everybody who is Right-Wing is Fascist. They may be old-fashioned mon-
archists, Catholics and the like. Do not let Hitler get away with it by giving
him too many companions. Therefore, I say that we were right to see that the
Greeks get a fair chance with their own Government.
I would ask hon. Members to get away from that typical British habit of
dealing with the Balkans by falling in love with one party or one nationality.
It is very difficult to get knowledge of all the facts. I would say that, on the
record of this Government and on the known opinions of this Government, we
have the right to be trusted to carry out the principles in which we believe. I have
stuck a great deal- more closely to carrying out the principles of my party than
has the hon. Member opposite.
[-House of Commons Debates]

Secretary of State for the Colonies
Foreign Policy Association, New York, January 19, 1945

I felt it a great honor to receive your invitation, an invitation from a body
whose reputation has spread far outside your own country. It was an invitation I
had the greatest pleasure in accepting. In the first place, as I am afraid you will
find before the evening is over, I am one of those bores who is always glad to
talk about his own job. I find it of such absorbing interest and believe it to be of
such permanent importance that I am only too anxious for others to share the
But I was particularly glad to have an opportunity of talking about the British
Colonial Empire to an American audience. I am one of those, and I believe they
can now be numbered in legions on both sides of the Atlantic, who believe that
Anglo-American co-operation is the most important thing in the post-war world.

The Colonial Empire

It is not because of our common ancestry, that has worn a bit thin by now; not
because of our common language, that may only enable us to quarrel more in-
It is because of our common way of life. Whatever the differences, however
deep our disagreements, you and we agree on the fundamentals--on the rule of
law, on the liberty of thought, and on the dignity of the individual-funda-
mentals which after the war will be needed in this world. It is therefore the
greatest task of each one of us to do what we can to eliminate the causes of
difference between us; and I realize that at some times and among some people,
British Colonial policy, or what is believed to be British Colonial policy, is just
one of those differences.

Palestine Solution Hoped For
Now let me begin by defining the scope of my responsibilities as Colonial
Secretary, for that will also define the scope of my talk. I have nothing to do
with the great self-governing Dominions; our relations with them are the affair
of the Dominions Secretary. Nor have I anything to do with the semi-Dominions
of India and Burma, which are the affair of the Secretary of State for India.
I am responsible for what is known as the Colonial Empire, a collection of 63
million inhabitants, spread all over the world in more than 40 administrative units.
There is one of these units to which I would make special reference now.
It is an accident of administration that it should have become the responsibility
of my office; it does not share the general problems of the Colonial Empire; it
will not fit into the general picture I am going to draw. Yet I would not have
you think that I am shirking its problems or by my silence minimizing its im-
portance. The unit to which I refer is Palestine. In that unhappy country, feel-
ings today are tense on both sides, and an incautious word might cause an ex-
plosion which could only harm the war effort of the United Nations.
Yet I would have you realize that we in Great Britain share many of the
emotions that I know stir you so deeply over here. Our imagination, too, has
been struck by the terrible fate of the Jews in Hitler's Europe. Our sympathy
has been evoked by their suffering. We have been glad to see in Palestine a
sanctuary where some of these unhappy people may find safe refuge. On the
other hand, you, too, must see that we must recognize and respect the feelings
and the rights of that Arab population to whom for so many centuries Palestine
has been home. When the war is over, it is the earnest hope and the firm deter-
mination of all in Great Britain that a solution shall be found which will be
regarded as just and fair not only by Jew and Arab, but by the world as well.

The Colonial Empire
I will, if you will permit me, in order to give you some picture of the Colonial
Empire, adopt the well-worn device of asking myself questions and then at-
tempting to answer them. And the three questions I am going to ask are: (1)
What is the Colonial Empire? (2) What have we done for it in the past? and
(3) What do we hope to do for it in the future?
Now, for the first question, "What is the Colonial Empire?" The first thing
to realize about it is the immense diversity which exists between one Colony and
another; diversity in size, in climate, in resources, in history and in their asso-
ciation with others. Let me give you just a few examples. First as regards the
size. On the one hand we have Nigeria with 372,600 square miles and a popu-
lation of 20 million, and on the other hand St. Helena with 47. square miles and
a population of 4,000. Of course I have given extremes, but in between them

British Speeches of the Day

lies an infinite gradation. Even the four Colonies that I have been visiting in the
past few weeks range from a population of over a million to a population of
under 40,000.
Again, take the difference in resources. On the one hand you have Malaya
with a wealth of tin and rubber which produced for the Government of that
country in pre-war days a revenue of 18 million pounds. On the other hand
Gambia with no mineral resources of any kind and no production save that of

Problems of Diversity
The histories which lie behind these Colonies are as diversified as their size
or their resources. You have the West Indian Islands with their centuries of
association with Western influences; you have Ceylon with an ancient culture,
swamped, it is true, by periodic Indian invasions, but still leaving its mark behind.
On the other hand you have those great areas of Africa, in which incidentally
over two-thirds of our Colonial Empire lives, where life has gone on for cen-
turies outside the stream of world development and where only within the life-
time of man today have windows been opened to Western civilization, Western
culture and Western thought.
But it is not only this great diversity between one Colony and another. You
will find an equal diversity inside the Colony itself: differences in race and creed
and language. The problem is not essentially, indeed not mainly, a-problem of
European and native. In great areas of the Colonies such a problem does not
arise at all, but hardly anywhere will you find within a Colony a homogenous
mass. How many for instance will realize that in Malaya the Malays are in a
minority and that a mere counting of heads would give the Chinese and Indians
over the heads of the Malays the control of Malayan lands? How many realize
that in Fiji, Fijians are only 50 per cent of the population?
Let me take as another example the great territory of Nigeria which I recently
visited-the Housa, the Ibo and Yoruba, three groups which have nothing in
common, neither race, religion, language, customs or constitution; in fact, in
olden days the only connection between them was when they raided each other.
In fact, throughout the greater part of the Colonial Empire it is, for the present
at any rate, the British presence alone which prevents a disastrous disintegration,
and British withdrawal today would mean for millions a descent from nascent
nationhood into the turmoil of warring sects.

No General Solution
Now all'these things of which I have only given a few examples are facts,
facts which have to be known and appreciated if our difficulties and our objectives
are to be understood. It does not mean that those objectives are altered; it does
not mean that their attainment is postponed, but it does mean that there can be no
general solution and that the problem of each Colony must be regarded as different
and the solution for each Colony must be differently planned.
I know that there are many in this country who have a genuine and quite
understandable desire to see us produce for the Colonial Empire some kind of
charter which would give a universal blueprint and some kind of schedule which
would give a universal timetable. I should like to be able to do something of
the sort. We do do something of the kind when it is practicable. But it is not
practicable to find the lowest common denominator or the highest common factor
throughout territories varying so dramatically.

The Colonial Empire

What we can and do have instead of a universal charter or a universal sched-
ule is a universal objective-that is, the achievement of the fullest possible meas-
ure of self-government within the Empire. If you ask me when it will be achieved
I can only answer, as soon as practicable. Some are nearly there already, some
are still a long way back. To all we are trying to give impetus and help along
the road.

Neither Shame Nor Complacence
Now let me turn to the second question, "What have we done in the past
for the Colonial Empire?" I have not come here tonight to apologize f6r our
record in the Colonial Empire. I am not standing here tonight in a white sheet.
As I look back over the years I find much has been done, great services given,
great sacrifices made. But if I speak of our record entirely without shame I also
speak entirely without complacence. If I think that we have done much in the
past, I also feel that we have even more to do in the future. Where we have
done well, so much firmer will be the foundations on which to build. Where we
have made mistakes, it will be all the easier to learn from them in the future.
What then are the main achievements of our past record? You must realize
that in at least three-quarters of the areas I am describing our past is a com-
paratively short one and our connection with the areas is to be measured in terms
of years, not centuries. The first, of course, is to bring to many millions a security
of life and property which they had never known before in their history. Security,
the greatest of all boons, but one which when we enjoy it we soon take for
granted and one whose value we only realize when we have lost it. But to many
millions in the Colonial Empire this gain has been and still seems a reality.
Take Nigeria, not only the biggest of our Colonies but one where our ad-
ministration has been most recently established. There are men and women still
alive there who in their youth did not know the meaning of the word security,
whose lives were a long history of tribal forays, of slave raid incursions, and of
chiefly persecutions. When I got back from a recent trip there, a man in the
House of Commons asked me if I had visited a particular city. He was interested
to know what it was like now as when he entered it with the first British column
he marched into the city between hundreds of human sacrifices fixed to the trees
which bordered the road.
What happens today? You can travel the length and breadth of the country
with no more danger, in fact less danger, than you would walk through the
streets of a great city here or in Great Britain. And that security is now main-
tained largely by the people themselves. There were battalions of the Nigerian
Regiment, but most of them have gone off to fight in Burma. There is a Nigerian
Police, some of the officers of which are European, but their stations are usually
at least 100 miles apart; throughout the rest of this vast area law and order is
ensured by the police of the native administrations officered by Nigerians, manned
by Nigerians, controlled and directed by Nigerians.

No One Road
The second great thing that we have brought to these territories is the rule
of law. No longer are a man's life and property at the mercy at worst of violence,
at best of the capricious decision of a tribal chief. Law now is administered ac-
cording to rule, and administered often by the people themselves.
Next I feel we have given political development-in some places still in a
rudimentary form, in others more advanced. I will deal with this point in more
detail later, but I should like to make one general observation. I do not believe
that there is just one road to democratic government, the road that we ourselves

British Speeches of the Day

happened to travel and which has brought us our Parliament at Westminster.
That road was laid out for us by our own particular circumstances and our own
particular characteristics. Other people's characters, other people's traditions,
other people's instincts may lead them to the same goal by a wholly different
road. It is therefore our policy whenever possible to build upon existing institu-
tions and existing authorities, to mold them in modern thought, to give them
modern ideas, but to encourage them to develop uppn their own historic lines.
Finally, we have brought to these different peoples social de elopments,
schools, hospitals, communications, and indeed all the essential accessories of a
modern state. The extent to which we have done it varies enormously, varies ac-
cording to the wealth of the Colony concerned. In Malaya for instance, before
the war the richest of our Colonies, an advanced state of social services had already
been reached. Let me give two figures. There was a hospital bed for every 250
of the population; 75 per cent of Malay boys were receiving a proper elementary
education. They may not be very striking figures compared with ancient and
wealthy Western nations, but if you compare them with the figures for the
Philippines, say, I do not think you will find that Malaya comes out badly.
Now let me make a slight digression. I hate told you something of what we
have done. Let me just tell you one or two things that we have not done, but
which popular opinion attributes to us. In the first place, no Colony makes any
contribution to the British Treasury. No British taxpayer finds his burden re-
lieved to the extent of a single cent by the efforts of a Colonial population. On
the contrary, in the past we have always given grants from our National Treasury
to any Colony unable to maintain a minimum standard of government, and the
new development to which I will refer later will impose new and heavy burdens
on the British taxpayer.
In the second place, there has been no closed door to trade in the Colonial
Empire. Imperial preference may be a matter for argument; it is among some
a matter for criticism, but do not believe that its effect has been to shut out from
the Colonial Empire the trade of the world and to reserve it entirely for the mer-
chants of Great Britain. In fact, in the years before the war, the Colonies in
satisfying their own requirements took from Great Britain under 25 per cent of
their imports and over 75 per cent from the rest of the world, while in the dis-
posal of their produce they sent only 35 per cent to Great Britain and 65 per cent
went to the rest of the world.

Political Advance
Now let me turn to what to me is far the most interesting point. "What
are we going to do in the future?" As I have said, our objective is the advance
of these Colonies to the fullest possible measure of self-government. That, you
will realize, does not merely mean the devising of new constitutional machinery
It means also those social developments which are necessary to produce a re-
sponsible community. Unless we can do that we may in handing over our power
only hand it to a local oligarchy no more democratic and much less disinterested
than an alien bureaucracy. Unless it is to be government by the people, it had
better remain government by Britain.
And secondly, there is the economic development which is necessary to enable
territories so to develop their own resources that out of them they can meet the
reasonable claims for social standards. There can be no true self-go ernment
if it is allied with permanent financial dependence upon others.
Let me therefore deal with all three of these lines of advance-Political,
Social and Economic. First then with regard to political advance, an advance

The Colonial Empire

which is dynamic and not static, continuous and pot spasmodic, which in fact
throughout the Colonial Empire is constantly progressing. In the two years
in which I have been at the Colonial Office there is, I think, hardly a Colony in
which some political advance has not been made or is not under consideration.
These advances are not always dramatic. Sometimes they are only a slight ex-
tension of the elective principle, sometimes an increase in the number of inde-
pendent members of a legislative council, sometimes an extension of the powers
of a native administration.
But some are striking, dramatic and almost revolutionary. Let me give you
one instance. I have just come from Jamaica where I attended the opening of the
first Parliament elected under the new constitution. It is a Parliament elected
on the basis of complete adult suffrage, an adult suffrage not only in name but
also in practice where, in fact, everyone can and does vote. This House elected
by this adult suffrage has also elected five of its members to seats in the Executive
Council, half of the total number. Each member is associated with a group of
subjects. In other words, it is the beginning of a ministerial system. It is a great
experiment which like hll experiments has its risks, but I know that the people
of Jamaica mean to make it succeed and I believe that it will succeed.

Economic Assistance
On the side of social and economic developments, we have a new and potent
weapon. In 1940, at a time when our future seemed blackest, an Act, The
Colonial Development and Welfare Act, was passed. By this Act, Parliament
placed at the disposal of the Colonial Secretary a sum of 20 million dollars a year
for development and two million for research for a period of ten years. This
year, when victory seems assured, Parliament is to be asked to extend that period
and largely increase those sums. On the basis of that assistance, combined with
the resources of the Colonies themselves, I am asking each Colony to prepare a
ten-year plan for social and economic development.
This assistance is not intended to be a permanent dole. It is intended to pro-
vide those fundamentals which are the necessary preliminary for each Colony to
develop its own economic resources including the greatest of all economic assets,
the health, the industry and the skill of its people. There are many objects for
which this money will be required: education, health, water supplies, communi-
cations, development of agriculture and of secondary industries. It is difficult
indeed to accord priority among so many claims.
I, tonight, am only going to deal with one, the one which I myself regard
as the most important-education, for I believe education can be the foundation
of all the others. I want to see in the Colonial Empire a development of educa-
tion in all its aspects: higher education, primary education and the mass educa-
tion of illiterates. In regard to higher education I am expecting on my return the
report of two commissions: one to study the help which universities in Great
Britain can give to Colonial universities, a commission which incidentally has con-
sidered the provision of a university in the West Indies; the other a commission
concerned with provision of university facilities in West Africa.
As regards normal education, this is to be given a prominent place in all
the 10-year plans, an education which in accordance with modern educational
theory must be fitted to the environment, of the particular people. With regard
to mass education-a terribly difficult problem where government alone cannot
succeed, where the community itself must play its part-a comprehensive report
of suggestions and schemes has been sent to all Colonial governments.
Of course, all these things cannot be done at once. Indeed, under war con-
ditions, it is difficult to do anything at all. Shortages of imported material, a

British Speeches of the Day

shortage of labor and, above all, a shortage of technical staff must, of course,
delay the realization of these projects; but we can plan, and we are planning now
that we may be ready when the time comes.

Mandates and Regional Commissions
So far I have spoken only of the relations of the Colonial Empire to Great
Britain. I want to close with a few words about its relations to the world. We
had in the Permanent Mandates Commission after the last war one experiment of
such relations. It was on a limited scale, but within its scope no doubt it did
good work. But it suffered from one fundamental defect. It could tell you you
must not do the wrong thing, but it could not help you to do the right thing. It
was a conception which belonged more to the old theory of Colonial trusteeship
than to the modern conception of Colonial partnership; more to the passive era of
Colonial administration than to the present dynamic age.
We have, therefore, recently proposed another method, another experiment,
which we believe should be tried out: that of regional commissions.
We believe that all Colonial powers in any given region and other countries
who have a particular interest in the region should meet together in order to dis-
cuss their common problems, and to help each other to find their common solu-
tions. So many problems today-economic, health and transportation--transcend
the frontiers of individual units, and can only successfully be dealt with on a
regional basis.
Our belief in some system of this kind is not based merely on theory. We
have a practical example before our eyes in the Anglo-American-Caribbean Com-
mission, an outstanding instance of Anglo-American co-operation. That Com-
mission, in the short years of its life, has already achieved practical results which
are felt by the ordinary man and woman in their daily lives. For its success we
owe much to the interest and enthusiasm of my friend Mr. Taussig (Mr. Charles
W. Taussig, American Co-Chairman of the Anglo-American-Caribbean Commis-
sion), to meet whom was the primary object of my visit to America. We want
to see that practical example repeated in the future on a wider basis and in
further areas.

Criticism Should Be Informed
We cannot share with others the administrative responsibilities which are ours
alone. We believe that to attempt to do so would be impracticable, inefficient
and undesirable. But in discharging those responsibilities we do want from others
co-operation, we do want advice and we do want and shall welcome criticism, if
that criticism is constructive and informed. Informed, that is the secret! It is our
duty to keep the world informed of what we are doing, to make full, accurate
and unbiased reports of the way we discharge our responsibilities. But there is a
duty, too, on the other side, a duty that the information, when available, should
be studied and used. For the old slogan of "No taxation without representation,"
one might well substitute the new slogan of: "No criticism without study."
I apologize for the length of this address. I warned you when I started that
when I began on a subject so near my heart, I found it difficult to stop, and it is
near my heart. I suppose all of us, however busy, have dreams of the future.
I have one. It is a dream to which I can only make a transient contribution. It is
a dream, the complete fulfillment of which I may never live to see, but it is a
dream that in the end I know will come true.
It is a dream of a British Commonwealth of Nations in which these Colonial
peoples will have their rightful place; a Commonwealth which in time of peace

The Chicago Conference 133

will enshrine the fundamentals of life on which you and we agree, and which
in time of crises will give its whole resources of men and material to a world
organization for the defense of right.
But it is not merely a dream of empires, it is a dream also of human beings
and 60,000,000 of them from all continents and of all creeds, rich and poor,
strong and weak, marching along a straight highroad, starting it may be at dif-
ferent places, moving it may be at different rates, but all certain to reach their
journey's end-dignity and contentment and security.
[Official Release]

Minister of Civil Aviation
House of Lords, January 16, 1945

My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Marquess for affording me the
first possible opportunity to give Parliament some account of the long Conference
at Chicago and of the Commonwealth conversations which followed on that Con-
ference both in Montreal and in London. It is perhaps fortunate that owing to
the Recess I am able at this first opportunity to deal with Chicago and the
Commonwealth conversations at the same time, because not only did the Com-
monwealth conversations follow closely, but so far as the Commonwealth and
Empire are concerned they are all part of the story. I am very grateful to the
noble Marquess also for the kind words he has said about me. He has given me
much help in every office I have held and I look forward to getting a great deal
more from him as long as I shall be fortunate enough to hold any office under
the Crown. A contest always excites more interest than a concord. Divorces are
still seduously reported while millions of happy marriages that last us all our
lives pass unnoticed and unsung. So perhaps it is natural that those issues on
which there was disagreement, which we failed to bridge, and which are vitally
important absorbed far more attention than the wide range of so-called technical
subjects, that also are of great importance, on which 52 nations succeeded for the
first time in reaching a very large measure of agreement. Indeed they do mini-
mize the differences which still separate us in the field of air transport, and I
would go so far as to say, that if at Chicago those achievements in the field of air
navigation stood alone, and we had not attempted to deal with air transport, the
Conference would have been pronounced a success.
I propose to try to cover the whole of the ground we covered in many weeks at
the Conference but in doing so I shall not attempt to put to your Lordships
every proposal and project and counter-proposal that was produced and can-
vassed, withdrawn, amended and supplemented. I should exhaust even the
generous patience of your Lordships' House if I did that, and I doubt if at the
end I should have presented a very clear picture. But I would say this. The very
variety of the suggestions which were made from many quarters were evidence
of the keen desire there was and the general attempt to reach agreement. They
certainly had this result, that at the end of seven weeks of conference every delega-
tion had learnt a very great deal about the problems and their practical as well
as their political difficulties, and we all understood one another's point of view a
great deal better. That in itself is valuable. There was another advantage of
meeting in this Conference, and you would not have got this in any other way.
The men who now and in the immediate future are going to deal with civil avi-
ation have got to know one another intimately. That in itself is a great gain.

British Speeches of the Day

The Five Freedoms
I shall try therefore to present a broad picture. Where we agreed, as in air
navigation and certain other more general subjects, I would show what we achieved
and the hfachinery which we established for continued work, for so many of these
subjects are not static but move with the march of time and you must have an
organization which moves as fast as the progress itself. Where we failed to agree,
.as on the commercial side, the air transport side, I will try to show the point of
view and the principles of the different schools of thought, something of the
attempts which were made to reconcile those conflicting points of view. Then I
would like in some detail to explain to your Lordships the final British plan.
I think most of your Lordships are familiar with the terminology which has
grown up in the matter of civil aviation-not always I think very felicitous
any more than I am greatly enamored of the expression "chosen-instrument." The
problems of international air transport revolve around the exercise of what have
been familiarly called "the Five Freedoms," though they would be more ac-
curately termed, and indeed are called in the documents which were drawn up
in Chicago "privileges." If I may, I will in a sentence or two remind your
Lordships of them. The first privilege is to fly across the territory of another
country. The second privilege is the freedom to land for non-traffic purposes;
for instance, to come down and refuel but not to take on passengers. The third
privilege is the privilege to set down passengers and mail and freight provided
these were embarked in the country of origin of the aircraft. The fourth privi-
lege, which is the converse of that, is the right to take on passengers and freight
and mail for the country of origin of the aircraft. The fifth privilege is the right
to take on and set down passengers, the right to take up and set down intermediate
traffic. The policy of the United Kingdom is clearly set out, though briefly, in
the White Paper,* which was published last October, and it was more fully ex-
panded in the proposals which I made at Chicago on behalf of His Majesty's

U. K. Proposals
I would say at once to my noble Friend that in all the preparations and in the
work of the Conference I had the constant co-operation of the Secretary of State and
the Foreign Office, and I am deeply indebted to the admirable staff from the
Foreign Office who were with me throughout the whole of the Conference. Co-
operation, I can assure my noble Friend, was absolutely complete, as it should be
and must be in a matter which, as he rightly says, covers every foreign field.
The United Kingdom proposed a multilateral convention which would cover
freedoms one, two, three and four, provided always that such a convention con-
tained effective provisions to ensure what I may call in a single phrase order in the
air. We proposed that the fifth freedom should be the subject of bilateral nego-
tiations between the countries concerned along a route. In the view of the United
Kingdom Government any such convention giving general multilateral rights to
the four freedoms must contain the following provisions. First of all, we must
define the international air routes over which these privileges would be exercised.
Then we must do all we can to eliminate uneconomic competition. Reasonable
competition is all to the good, but wasteful unlimited competition is a breeding
ground of waste and ill will, and the best breeding ground of subsidies you can
In order to eliminate wasteful competition it was our view that we must have
the following conditions. First, there must be a determination of what are called
frequencies. In common language that means the total number of services and
Cmd. 6561, available gratis from British Information Services, New York.

The Chicago Conference

the capacity of those services to be run by all the countries operating along a
route. Then you must have in our view an equitable distribution of those fre-
quencies or services between the countries concerned, what is often called the
national quota to which each country would be entitled. We suggested that the
fairest way of dividing them between the countries was on the basis of traffic in-
volved so that each country's share would depend on the amount of traffic embarked
in its own country. Indeed I think that no one has been able to suggest a fairer
test than that. Then again we felt there must be a reasonable fixing of freight
rates along the route. Finally, and this in our view was essential, there must be an
international authority with power to see that these provisions were fairly observed.
I do not think that anyone in this House would differ or dissent from those

U. S.. Policy and Practice
As your Lordships will know, the United States policy-held with equal
sincerity-differed fundamentally. They agreed that routes should be scheduled,
but the contention of the American representatives was that there should be prac-
tically unlimited competition, unrestricted competition, on every route. They were
prepared to have an international organization provided it was merely of a
consultative kind. They made some advance from that, but their main con-
tention, at the beginning at any rate, was that any international organization should
be purely consultative, although, as I shall show later, the United States Govern-
ment themselves have found it both desirable and necessary to have an effective
control of the internal services operating in the United States, and an effective
authority, a national authority it is true, arbitrating on and allotting these routes.
I am not sure that it is universally understood that nobody is at liberty to fly a line
where they will in the United States. Before any operator can start up an air service
anywhere in the United States, he has got to apply to the Civil Aeronautics
Board which holds an inquiry and grants or refuses a license to operate the pro-
posed line. We felt, as I have indicated, that such unlimited competition would be
wasteful and unfair, that it would be a constant source of friction, and that it
would increase subsidies paid by any country-and there were many such-
which was determined to maintain its own services. And, obviously, these difficulties
would be greatly increased if, as the United States proposed, there should not
only be an unlimited right to the four freedoms, but also to the fifth freedom,
a practically unlimited right to pick up and set down traffic all along the routes
in other people's countries.
Here I should say a word about security. The feelings entertained with regard
to security may have been imponderable, but they were very real, and, in my
opinion, entirely rational. Certainly they were instinctively felt by many. It was
contended that a security argument was irrelevant because the bomber and the
civil airplane are not very much alike, and that, with the progress which will surely
be'made, they will, in time, become more and more different. That is practically
true, but it really is not the basis on which countries reason or feel about security.
It is not the fear that civil aircraft may become bombers that weighs. A country
of resolute people will stand up to any amount of bombing, as we know. It
was not the bomber that invaded countries in the early part of this war. It was
not the bombing of Rotterdam that defeated the Dutch and gave the Germans
control of Holland. It was the airborne troops who were conveyed in the ordinary
civil machines-machines of the old Ju.52 type I think they were-and landed
in such enormous numbers on the ground of Holland. These machines landed
men by parachutes and from gliders towed from behind the aeroplanes them-
selves. Other troops were landed from the machines themselves. These were

British Speeches of the Day

the machines that conveyed the troops that got control of the country. Con-
versely, we have all seen what a tremendous part the Airborne Divisions of
the Allies have played. Those Divisions were carried in the civil aircraft of to-
day. Therefore it was this feeling about the possible use of civil aircraft which
I am sure is at the root of what many countries feel-namely, that civil avia-
tion and security are matters which are very intimately bound up together. I
would venture to submit that that feeling, whether it is considered rational or
not, is so real that you must certainly take great notice of it. I maintain that it
is not irrational but that it is based on reason as well as on instinct.

Dominions Proposals
A number of proposals, representing various points of view, were submitted
to the Conference. There was, for example, the proposal most eloquently advo-
cated by the Ministers from Australia and New Zealand for an all-embracing
international company or corporation which would own and operate all the civil
aircraft of the world. That conception, that proposal, was based on a desire,
more than anything else, to meet this question of security. There was general
sympathy, or perhaps I should say sympathy in many quarters with this object
of meeting security, but the Conference did not support the plan. It was not a
matter of whether a particular company run by a country should be nationalized
or should be free-the Conference took the view that it was entirely a matter
for any country itself whether it should run nationally-owned companies or to
leave the ownership to private enterprise. But the proposal went much further
than that. The essence of the plan was that the whole of the civil aircraft of
the world should be owned and operated by one enormous international organi-
zation. Anxious as people were to meet the security question, it was very plain,
and was indeed agreed, that that particular way of meeting it could not find
sufficient supporters among the fifty-two countries.
[Lord Addison: May I interrupt for a moment? Did the proposal to which
the Minister has just referred, include internal aircraft, aircraft operating within
a country's own confines?]
No, it referred I think to anything operating on an international air route,
that is to say, anything which crosses the borders of a country. You would be
able to keep the services inside a country-I think that I am right in saying that.
It applied to aircraft on trunk routes which crossed the borders of another country.
There was no such measure of agreement, however, as made that likely to be
possible, and thereupon these delegations, with their able leaders, devoted them-
selves to other plans which seemed more likely to gain more general acceptance,
and they made throughout the Conference a most valuable contribution to our
common discussions.
Then there was the Canadian Draft Convention, with a great part of which
we and all the Commonwealth countries agreed. This was intended to provide
for the grant of the first four freedoms, and covered many of the points to which
I have referred and which we regarded as being essential in any general Con-
vention. The United States of America tabled their counter-proposals, giving effect
to their general policy, the lines of which I have also indicated, and included in it
a general grant of the fifth freedom. The fifth freedom was introduced not merely
as incidental to the services which would be run in any case, or which it was
reasonable and necessary to run in order to carry the traffic coming from the
country of origin along the route which was being operated, but went further
and included a general right to pick up fifth-freedom intermediate traffic in any
country along the route.

The Chicago Conference

The Fifth Freedom
A great deal of discussion ranged round the character and extent of the fifth
freedom. Various attempts were made to devise mathematical formulae which
would enable a through service to pick up and set down on a route either a
fixed or a varying amount of intermediate traffic; but the more these formulae
were discussed the clearer it became that it really was quite impossible to devise
any mathematical formula which would meet the infinite variety of cases. Let
me give your Lordships two examples to make plain what I mean. Take an air
line operating from the United States to Chile or the Argentine, with no compe-
tition at all and no alternative through line in existence, and perhaps no short-
range line running between one South American State and another. It might
be that at quite an early stage on the route an aircraft on that line might deposit
50 to 75 per cent of its passengers who had embarked in New York or Chicago
or wherever it might be in the United States, and there would be passengers along
the route anxious to travel to a more southerly destination. Obviously it would be
most right and proper that that aircraft should fill itself up, and that if necessary
additional aircraft should be run to carry the whole of the traffic, and even an
80 per cent allowance of fifth-freedom traffic might have been inadequate on such
a noncompetitive route. Compare that with the case of Europe, with the great
trunk services which are flying to Europe and across Europe to Asia, Africa and
Oceania. There you have the great trunk lines of many countries crossing. You
will also have a vast network, after peace comes, of internal services-services
within the different countries and short-range services connecting, one adjacent
country with another. It is impossible to find a mathematical formula which will
meet the first case and have the faintest bearing on the second.
We therefore put forward, in our final proposal, quite a different method. We
maintained the principle of relating the number of services to the amount of
traffic which was likely to offer, so as to get a fair equilibrium. We provided
that there should be a rapid increase in the number of services if the traffic had
been underestimated. These things must be elastic and work quickly, but that
was provided for. We provided also for the principle of a fair division of the
services between the countries on the basis of traffic embarked. We also adopted
a proposal which had been made, which seemed to us a good and workable one,
that we should divide these very long routes into divisions which would be con-
venient from an operational point of view. Let me give a practical example.
Suppose you have a service running from New York to Australia, through Europe.
You might divide that into four divisions: America to England, England to Egypt,
Egypt to India, and India to Australia. We then proposed that the international
authority, in consultation with the operators, should fix the capacity of the services
which each State should be entitled to operate in each division.

Four Working Rules
In making that decision we laid down four working rules for the authority
to follow. First of all, the capacity which a State would be entitled to have in
order to carry its share of through traffic from the country of origin. A certain
amount of through traffic is coming out of America for the places along the route:
what should be the frequencies in order to deal with that traffic? Then we wanted
to meet the rest of the trade, and so the second test was: What were the needs of
the division for air transport judged in relation to public convenience and necessity?
Those words are very like those which are to be found in the United States rules.
How many people and things are there going to be offering along the route?
As the obvious corollary of that, there is the third test: what regional and local
air transport is there in these different countries? You must obviously take into

British Speeches of the Day

account local services inside a country which exist or are likely to exist, and
what they can cope with, and what short-range services there are between one
country and another. The fourth test to be applied was what we called the
economy of through air line operation. That means this. In order to carry traffic
along the route you cannot always be changing the size of the aircraft at different
stopping places. You want an aircraft, to make it economical, always to be carry-
ing a reasonable constant load-say a 60 per cent load factor. If it has set down
some passengers half way along the route and cannot take up any more, it will
be operating uneconomically to its next point. It is fair to take into consideration
how much extra traffic you should allow it to make that liner an economically
sound proposition and not a losing proposition, but obviously you must consider
that not in isolation, but taking into account what traffic there is which needs to be
picked up along the route and what the individual country and the serx ices between
adjacent countries along the route are capable of doing.
We proposed that those four tests should be applied together. They are very
close to the tests which the Civil Aeronautics Board of the United States applies
in deciding whether or not an additional air-line operator should be entitled to run
on one of the internal services of the United States. We spoke very plainly to
each other, and it was a very good thing that we should do so. Speaking plainly
does not mean speaking offensively, and nothing is gained by trying to muffle up
points in polite formulae. Americans do not much like these formulae which may
mean several different things, and they are inclined to think that you are trying to
"put a fast one over" on them if you use them. It is much better between friends
to be perfectly frank.

The Escalator Clause
I said frankly there, and I say here, that I do not think that in the United
States it is necessary or desirable to have this kind of control of their own internal
services, which only the United States can run. Nobody can "muscle in"-I beg
pardon for the expression-nobody can enter and compete in their internal services.
If they have control of their internal routes, surely it is not unreasonable to have
it on the much more competitive routes of the Eastern hemisphere. It was said,
"if you have this kind of control the aeroplane will pot fly"; my friend Mr. La
Guardia said they will all stay in their hangars. That really was not very good
sense. He boasted, quite rightly, that they had had to build airfields which would
take one aeroplane every three minutes and the air liners of the United States
are indeed the admiration of the world; and I told him that if those air lines
are able to run in those numbers under such a system of control, then it really
cannot be contended with any reason that a similar system of control applied
internationally in Europe or Asia will stop aeroplanes flying.
The British plan also contained, as previous proposals have done, what was
called an escalator clause. And I should like to put the whole of this plan to your
Lordships if you will bear with me, because I really think it was, a; so many
countries felt, such a reasonable and practicable proposition, and probably there
were some Americans who thought so too. That escalator clause meant that a
successful operator could have a chance of increasing his services. That was, I
do not say putting the carrot in front of the donkey's nose, but a reasonable
incentive to efficiency. We proposed that if for a period of twelve months-you
must have a reasonable period for making your test; you must not take success over
a selected period but the rough with the smooth-if for a period of twelve months
an operator had increased his load factor, which I think was 60 or 65 per cent,
an agreed factor, then he would be entitled to increase the number of his services.
But that carried the corollary with it that unless-again over a fair perio--he was

The Chicago Conference

able to maintain this increase in his services, he would have to come down again
to where he started from.

The United Nations Clause
Then there was a final provision to which I must refer, which was a proposal
we had made at an earlier stage called the United Nations Clause. That meant
that those countries, the Allies who had suffered and given everything for the war
and thereby been prevented, as we have been here and as our Allies on the con-
tinent of Europe have been, from maintaining or promoting our civil aviation
because of our war effort, should have a three years' period of grace, and that
during that three years' period of grace, if other countries had come in on the
routes, they should be able to call upon those countries to reduce their national
quotas below what they had been entitled to during the period of grace. The
proposals were accepted in principle, though the details were never agreed. We
proposed that that period of grace in Europe should be three years from the end
of hostilities with Germany, and for the Allied countries in Asia and in Oceania
it should be three years from the end of hostilities with Japan.
The United States were unable to accept this proposal of ours, and they drew
up and tabled a counter proposal for a general and unconditional period of five
years. This forms the subject of a collateral document entitled "An International
Air Transport Agreement." It was open for signature at the end of the Con-
ference and it remains open for signature. In addition to the United States, so
far as I am aware, the countries which have signed this agreement up to the present
are I think ten Latin American States (not including Brazil), Sweden, China,
Afghanistan, Liberia, Lebanon ad referendum, and Turkey with some considerable
Freedoms 3, 4 and 5 are essentially commercial privileges. Freedoms 1 and 2
-the right of innocent passage and the right of non-traffic stop are of quite a
different character. Having failed to reach a multilateral agreement on the five
freedoms the United States then-but this only arose at the end of the Conference,
because we had been trying so hard to get a multilateral convention-raised the
question of treating Freedoms 1 and 2 separately. I at once made it plain on
behalf of the United Kingdom Government that so far as we were concerned
we should be prepared unconditionally to grant Freedoms 1 and 2 if other countries
would do the same. This resulted in the International Air Services Transit Agree-
ment which was signed at Chicago by a large number of countries-I think
twenty-eight-and which remains open for signature. ....

The International Air Services Transit Agreement
These two collateral Agreements are contemporaneous in time and place
to the Conveyance and Interim Agreement but are absolutely separate documents
and they are not to be read into either the one or the other.
I ought to add a word about a reservation I made on behalf of Newfoundland,
which gave rise to some misunderstanding. At Chicago the British delegation
technically represented Newfoundland and as part of the delegation there were
two members of the Commission of Government from Newfoundland; but, con-
sistently with the policy we have always maintained in dealing with the Commis-
sion of Government during the interim period, the Commission of Government
had the full right to take its own decisions. As the separate treatment of Free-
doms 1 and 2 was only raised right at the end the two Newfoundland members
of my delegation quite rightly felt that they could not take a decision without
full consultation with their Commission of Government and they therefore asked,
and the Commission of Government asked, that there should be a formal reserva-

British Speeches of the Day

tion, a temporary reservation, made until they had had time to consider it, and
accordingly I reserved the position of Newfoundland. They have since had full
time to consider Freedoms 1 and 2 and their bearing upon Newfoundland, and
the Newfoundland Commission of Government have decided that they desire
to adhere to the two freedoms, and have published a statement I understand in
the last day or two to that effect and have asked His Majesty's Government here
to withdraw the reservation which was made.
That of course left these questions of the whole commercial side of the trans-
port issues unresolved except between those countries-and they have not been
very many-who signed the five freedoms document. It was unanimously resolved
-the proposal was made by myself, as head of the British delegation, and
seconded by Mr. Berle, as the head of the United States delegation, and unani-
mously agreed to by the Conference-that all these outstanding matters on
which we had failed to agree should be referred to the Interim Council of the
International Organization which we set up, for continued study and for report
and recommendation to the Governments concerned. They will form the subject
of the closest study and I hope our positions will approximate more closely.

Technological Asipects
I apologize for the length of my speech, but there is such a lot of ground to
cover and I think I ought to try and cover it all. I now turn to the subject of air
navigation. In the field of applied science and technology, a very great deal was
accomplished. The war has brought a wealth of new experience in these matters
which must be harnessed to the aviation of peace. Before the Chicago Conference,
a great deal of work had been done on this in collaboration between the experts
of the United States, the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth nations,
and so the ground was partly prepared. But our oldest and our deepest debt in
this matter is to those who framed and administered the old Paris Convention.
They were the pioneers. That Convention was at once the prototype and the
solid basis on which we built. At Chicago we set up a co-ordinating committee
and a number of sub-committees to deal with the various subjects. It is a tre-
mendously wide field and we made a considerable advance towards common
standards and practice. The results are set out in a volume of twelve Technical
Annexes which form chapters in a comprehensive code of air navigation. That
modest volume, a copy of which I have placed in the library, is the result of
their labors, and if anybody says nobody did anything at Chicago I venture to
cast this monumental volume in his teeth. I am certainly not going to read it
to you-those are not the notes of my speech-but I will try very shortly to
summarize what is in that large volume.
First of all, we deal with airways systems. We provide for the standardiza-
tion of equipment and methods to be used on air routes. The aim of that is to
ensure that airports everywhere will be marked in the same way, and that the
same system of radio and other aids to navigation will be met with everywhere.
It also provides that there shall be universal publication of the details of every
airport to be used internationally and of the air navigation facilities in all parts
of the world. That will make sure that wherever a pilot may fly on the routes
of the world he may know exactly what to expect to help him to arrive safely at
his destination. The next chapter lays down the rule of the air which the pilot
must himself obey. The old-established maritime rules with which the noble Lord
(Lord Strabolgi) is so familiar that he could probably rhyme them to us still,
have long been adapted to the use of the air. But of course in the air there is still
more in it. There are the conditions under which a pilot may fly in the clouds,
on busy air routes and over towns and cities-analogous indeed to the rules of the

The Chicago Conference

sea, but especially adapted and applied to the air. These rules also lay down the
way in which the pilot must co-operate with the air traffic control organization.
Then, logically and practically, there follows a chapter dealing with air traffic
control practices, which lays down the international standards for the operation
of air traffic control. The air traffic control officer is the pilot's guide, and the
aim that we are after is to see that the way in which the traffic is guided in,
brought in and sent off by the traffic control officer will be the same on every
airfield in the world. Then there is another chapter which bears the rather terrify-
ing title of "Meteorological Protection of International Aeronautics." That in
simple language means that we have standardized the method in which that vital
weather information, which every airman must have when he starts and when he
is on his route, shall be collected and distributed by all countries.

Maps and Charts
There is another annex on "Communications, Procedures and Systems," the
object of that being that we should have common standards on the operating
characteristics of radio communications system. Then there are the maps and
the charts which the pilot has to use. Your Lordships are familiar with the
infinite variety of maps which you get in one country and another. Not only are
they printed in different languages, which I suppose is necessary, but all the signs
on them are different. One symbol means a "pub" in one language and a church
in another, and that must be very inconvenient for those who want to find one or
the other. And there are other examples. The object of this is that eventually
we shall get every map that a pilot uses drawn in the same way. He will be able
to buy a map anywhere he goes. It will look the same; it will be to the same
scale; the symbols on it will mean the same things. We were fortunate in finding
a magnificent job of work done by the United States in the great system of charts
which they have got and which we have taken as the basis of this international
work. Of course, we shall have in addition air navigation charts for long flights,
air route charts in strip or book form and local large-scale charts of special areas.
Those are chapters which cover a vast amount of space in this volume but only
a few minutes, I am glad to say, in my enumeration. They are things which are
designed to help pilots to fly in safety. We also cover the help to be given to the
pilot when he is in trouble. There is a chapter dealing with "Search and Rescue
and Investigation of Accidents." That will ensure that if a pilot gets into trouble
and comes down, an immediate search will be made for him wherever he may be,
and in addition to that an investigation of the accident, as to why he crashed, will
be conducted by agreement in the same way everywhere. That is very important.
The country frofn which the aircraft came will always have the right to take part
in the accident investigation. We shall have the best individual investigation
and then, of course, we shall have the pooling of the knowledge which flows
from such an investigation. Then there are the standardized measures for ensuring
that the aircraft and their crew, both on the ground and in the air, will be them-
selves safe and efficient. There is an annex bn the air worthiness of aircraft.
There we are trying to lay down minimum standards which should be adopted
throughout the world to ensure that all aircraft engaged in international flight
will be safe machines.

The Air Worthiness Problem
But it is not enough to make a code such as this and to enshrine it in a
convention and leave it there. I said earlier that these things are not static. They
are always on the move. It is necessary to keep abreast of progress and to this

British Speeches of the Day

end it was recommended at Chicago-and I have no doubt that this will be done
-that there should be established as part of an international organization an Air
Worthiness Council composed of representatives of the various countries and an
International Air Worthiness Bureau of full time experts. This will enable the
code to be kept constantly up to date. It will also, and this is very important,
permit those countries which are in the forefront of aeronautical development
and construction to depart from that code on their own responsibility when the
Bureau is satisfied that the new inventions and ideas which are built into aircraft
construction justify a departure. But any country doing this must also notify
the international authority of the departure it is making and the justification for
departing from the standard. That I think will be a happy provision which will
keep the regulations abreast of the development of the industry and one in which
developments in the industry will themselves have a place.
Then we dealt with the licensing of operating and mechanical personnel.
There are set out provisional international standards for the licensing of all
pilots, engineers, wireless operators, navigators, air traffic control officers-all the
people who are responsible for safe flight.. We have dealt also with log-book
requirements. We tried to deal with Customs procedures and manifests. It is
very important to .simplify these as well as to get standardization of Customs
procedures. Aircraft lose money on the ground. That is the time when air lines
lose their money, not when the aircraft is in the air, and if we can simply the
Customs procedures we shall do something to make flying not only easier but
cheaper. Finally, we dealt with aircraft registration and identification marks.
That was rather a Tower of Babel and we did not get quite as far with that as
we did with the other things.
It was impossible in seven weeks to complete so monumental a work, but the
work will be carried on by the interim organization which we have set up and
which will have an Air Navigation Committee of experts in all subjects. The
headquarters of this will be during the interim period in Canada. The inter-
national organization will receive the comments of all countries and their experts
upon this document which they have already received and in the drawing up of
which they took a great part. They have been asked to send in any comments and
suggestions as quickly as possible. These will be worked on and they will be
resubmitted in final form to the different nations. Then, if they are agreed, they
will find their place in the final annexes to the Convention. It is our aim and
intention that that work shall be completed within this year, if possible.

What Chicago Achieved
I think I am justified in saying that we did achieve a great deal besides dis-
agreement at Chicago. For the first time we shall have a universal charter or code
of air navigation to which all the nations will conform and which is an essential
counterpart of world-wide aviation. Then, very briefly, there are a number of other
general provisions which we agreed that we would all adopt. We reaffirmed the
doctrine of the sovereignty of the air space above national territory. We reaffirmed
the right of each country to its own internal traffic, the right of cabotage-that
is, traffic both originating and terminating in its national territory. National terri-
tory was universally defined and the definition was accepted as including the
Colonies and Protectorates and Mandated Territories. Each country reserves its
freedom of action in the event of war or a state of national emergency. Then
there are other provisions for the prevention of the spread of disease, provisions
for the designation of airports on the international routes, and provisions for the
fees to be charged at these airports. The fees are to be reasonable and everybody

The Chicago Conference

must be charged the same, including the nationals of your own country engaged
on international service. All must be treated alike and pay the same fees.
We also adopted the principle of non-discrimination to be observed in all
agreements. You must not make an agreement which discriminates. We agreed
that fuel, lubricating oil and spare parts for use on aircraft should enjoy national
and most-favored-nation treatment in regard to Customs duties. We also agreed,
and of this I am sure your Lordships will approve, that all agreements should be
registered with the international authority so that we shall know what the agree-
ments are that we have entered into. Then we provided for the collection and
dissemination of that kind of statistical information which has always been wanted
about the air and has never been forthcoming. The Council is to record the
volume of international air traffic and the facilities for arrivals and to collect
information about subsidies, tariffs and costs of operation and the organization of
international services. For the first time, and we have all agreed to provide it,
we shall have this information authoritatively collected and given to the countries
of the world.
All these matters are covered in the Convention and in the Interim Agree-
ment which as far as practicable comprises the same terms as the Convention
and will cover the period until the Convention comes into force. There is pro-
vision for the establishment of an International Organization with an Assembly
and Council. The Council will be composed of all States members of the
Assembly. The Council will consist of twenty-one members and is to be elected
on the fairest representational basis we can achieve giving representation to the
States who are of chief importance in air transport. There will also be repre-
sentation given to States who provide landing facilities on a large scale. These
will be given representation taking into account the two categories. Fair geo-
graphical representation will be given to all the areas of the world. We wanted
to get on with the business and so it was agreed that we would not wait for .any
meeting of the Assembly but would appoint the first Council at Chicago. We
had an election for a Council of twenty-one. The Commonwealth is represented
by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India. The European countries,
in addition to the United' Kingdom, are France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the
Netherlands and Norway.

Generosity of Norway and Cuba
I should mention one incident that occurred in regard to that election which
was by ballot. When the result of the ballot came out it was seen that India
had not secured a seat. It would have been a grave injustice both by reason
of her geographical position and the great facilities which India will give for
aviation if India had not been given a place on that Council, to which she was
certainly entitled. We owe much to Norway and the spirit of Norway, and the
Norwegian Ambassador who led the Norwegian delegation, when he knew the
result of the ballot, proposed that Norway which had got her place on the Council
should give up that place to India. It was a generous gesture which we certainly
will never forget and very characteristic of that gallant country. But if Norway
had given up her place that would have reduced the European representation from
six to five, whereas the Latin American countries had got seven places. The Cuban
delegation then sportingly entered the lists and volunteered to give up Cuba's
place, leaving Norway on the Council. That meant that Europe and Latin
America would each have the same representation. That proposal was most
readily accepted as a very fair one, and while the original election had given
ground for some disquiet the final event was warmly welcomed and I think
is a happy augury for co-operation in the future.

British Speeches of the Day

Montreal and London Conversations
That ends the story of Chicago, and if your Lordships will bear with me a
little while longer I want to pass to the Commonwealth conversations and move
across the border to Montreal. Your Lordships will remember, and we are most
grateful to the Canadian Government for having given us the opportunity, that
the Chicago Conference was preceded by a Commonwealth meeting at Montreal
on the official level. At Chicago, of course, we had a conference attended by
Ministers, and it was felt that it would be a tremendous advantage if those who
had worked so closely together at Chicago, each representing his own point of
view but finding their points of view on so many matters closely approximating,
could have the opportunity of meeting together again for more conversations
in the light of what had taken place at Chicago. We therefore most thankfully
accepted the invitation extended to us by Mr. Howe, on behalf of the Canadian
Government, to meet at Montreal. We made excellent progress at Montreal also,
and as some matters required further study and reference to Governments and
as all delegations except that of Canada were coming on to London it was decided
to continue the conversations here. In the short time available it was only possible
to arrange for Canada to be represented by a senior official from the High
Commissioner's office.
I think it will be convenient therefore if I summarize the results of the
Montreal and London conversations as a whole. First of all, we agreed to establish,
and we have established, a Commonwealth Air Transport Council of a consultative
character to discuss matters affecting civil aviation which are of common concern.
That Council will have a permanent secretariat, but for the time being the Com-
monwealth countries have asked that the Civil Aviation Department in London
should act as the secretariat and we gladly agreed to that. It will have attached
to it liaison officers from each of the High Commissioner's offices. It is the
intention that the Council shall meet as required in different parts of the Com-
monwealth. I think that is very important. We do not want all the meetings
to be held in London. The first meeting will be held in London within the next
few months, but the date is not definitely fixed. We originally intended that the
meeting should be in March, but we covered so much ground in Montreal and
in London at Christmas that a later date was found to be more convenient. The
United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India. Southern
Rhodesia, Newfoundland and the Colonial Empire will all be represented on
the Council.
Among the matters discussed, further work on which the Council and its
secretariat will have to undertake, were the various Commonwealth air routes.
We made a thorough survey of all these routes and their problems. We covered
the route United Kingdom to South Africa via Egypt, East Africa and Rhodesia;
the United Kingdom to India route; the United Kingdom route through India
to Australia and New Zealand; the United Kingdom-Canada route across the
Atlantic, and the Pacific route from Australia and New Zealand via Fiji to
Canada. We made full plans for the operation of all these routes as soon as
opportunity offers. Then there was the question of the application of radio
to civil aviation. A great deal of good work has been done by the Common-
wealth and Empire Conference on radio for civil aviation which is calld shortly
C.E.R.C.A. Sir Robert Watson Watt gave the Conference a very full account
of the work done and discussed the program of future work, and on the
proposal of the Ministry of Aircraft Production which is responsible for this highly
technical work in this country it was agreed that now that we had a Common-
wealth and Empire Air Council it would be right to bring the whole of the work
of C.E.R.C.A. under the aegis of that Council. Then we had a great deal of

The Chicago Conference

discussion on how to start the committees of the Council of International Air
Organization. Your Lordships will remember that I went through these annexes
upon which so much work has still to be.done by the international organization
during the next year.

Some Goals Scored
The Interim Council will have to have an adequate staff of its own, but we
agreed that we could get the best Commonwealth representation on these subjects
by sending over to Canada our ablest experts as and when their subjects came up
for discussion. That led us to consider how we could best provide these experts,
because we are short staffed and many of these learned men are doing tremendous
war work from which they cannot be spared or can only be spared for a short
time. Probably every one of them in addition to his civil work is engaged in
important war work, and indeed the two things interlock. We agreed on the
practical expedient of parcelling out the work between us, and experts drawn
from different parts of the Commonwealth will respectively undertake particular
subjects. That seems to me a very practical and valuable form of Empire co-
operation, a real sharing in a great scientific field. My noble Friend Lord Brabazon
was called in to join our discussions and he gave us a very full account of both
the interim and final types of aircraft which are now under construction. These
are some of the matters about which we have engaged in conversations and they
will be followed up in the work of the Council. I think I have said enough
to show your Lordships that not only have we the satisfaction of having established
a Commonwealth Air Council but that there will be a great deal of very useful
work for it to do.
Such is the story. If we did not convert all our tries, we certainly scored some
goals. On the Commonwealth side we can record a number of positive accom-
plishments and a continuing co-operation of the most practical kind. For that we
are largely indebted to the wisdom, experience and breadth of view of the leaders
of the Dominion and Indian Delegations, who contributed enormously to the
work of the Conference, and made a profound impression on their colleagues
from all over the world. Over the wide field of air navigation, which covers all
forms of civil flying, we can record solid and comprehensive work, vital to civil
aviation. And this work will continue in an atmosphere of unprejudiced and
practical co-operation. On the transport side, the privileges of innocent passage
and non-traffic stop have been freely given and accepted by a large number of
countries. On the most difficult transport questions we have failed to agree for
the time being, but we have arranged for our continued study of these matters.
Meanwhile, the full and frank discussion of these problems and of our re-
spective points of view has, I believe, been all to the good. Time and experience
will teach us more. Chicago is a first chapter. The other chapters will be written.
After all, our objectives are not so far apart. We all want the fullest development
of civil aviation as soon as the conditions of war permit. But the needs of victory
are paramount, and must be paramount. We all want to reduce, and ultimately
to get rid of, subsidies. There is, I think, a growing recognition that excessive
competition breeds waste, subsidies and ill will. We all want nations great or
small to have a fair chance. We all realize how deep is the feeling for security.
For my part I remain more convinced than ever that the fundamental prerequisite
of those objectives is order in the air.
[House of Lords Debates)

British Speeches of the Day

Minister of Reconstruction
To the British Association for the Advancement of Science,
January 13, 1945

Within a few weeks of my taking office in April, 1940, we were faced with
a drop in our food imports of 50 per cent. We were saved from starvation
by the application of scientific knowledge to the problem of securing the right
foods, not to satisfy our appetites but to give us nutrition.
This approach met with the approval and support of the public: it commended
itself as a factual approach based on knowledge. With the aid of this science
it was possible to lay down and carry out a nutritional policy which aimed at
distributing food on the basis of its nutritional value, so that the vulnerable
classes-mothers, expectant mothers, infants and children-should have full pro-
tection and the rest of the population should have a physiologically adequate diet.

Science in Nutrition and Agriculture
Your Association must take credit for what you did to prepare the public
mind for this approach. Year after year, beginning with the presidency of the
father of the science of nutrition, Sir Gowland Hopkins, at Leicester in 1933,
and followed by the discussions on the social implications of nutrition in 1934
at Norwich and the great debate on its relation to agriculture and human needs
at Aberdeen in 1935, the British Association hammered home the facts. People
were made to realize that nutrition, far from being a fad, was the plainest of
common sense.
Thus the Ministry of Food was doing something the public understood and
accepted when it applied to the problems of the nation's food the knowledge
and standards which science had made available. Let me repeat. It not only
encouraged science; it applied it, to the advantage of the whole nation. It made
direct use of the scientist; it profited from advances which scientific research had
made in the handling of food, such as dehydration, which had a double value
in that it saved shipping space as well as preserving food.
At the same time scientific research applied to agriculture was making it
possible for Britain's farmers to increase the yield of the land beyond the most
hopeful public expectations. Now, in the sixth winter of the war, the great
"Combined Operation" which the food front represents, and in which the scientist
has played such a conspicuous part, finds our standards of health well maintained,
and in many ways actually improved, in spite of the stresses and hazards of war,
and finds British agriculture serving a great national purpose.
I do not merely hope, but say it is essential, that the measures taken in this
war in the stress of emergency and with such beneficial results should be carried
on in the days of peace. The steps taken to increase the consumption of milk,
to encourage the eating of selected vegetables, to provide certain classes with
orange juice, cod liver oil, vitamins and calcium tablets, to develop communal feed-
ing and meals in factories, and to expand the meals in schools scheme-these
are not steps along the blind alley of war, they are and must remain an ordered
march along the open highway to the health of the future.

The Scientist's Part in Reconstruction

Science and Victory
But it is not only in terms of feeding and of health that the scientist has
rendered conspicuous service to the nation at war. From the first this has been
a scientific war. In the earlier stages science, used defensively, helped to stave
off defeat; now, in the offensive phase, it is making victory possible for the
Allies. War acts as a forced draught upon inventive genius, and it is not without
pride that we can claim that British research workers have maintained their great
reputation for ingenuity and enterprise and knowledge.
Some thrilling chapters of the story of the success of science in arms have
been given you by the authors themselves at this conference. They will be
amplified when the censor is able to relax his vigilance. What I can do is to
point the lesson for the future which is provided by these brilliant achievements.
Even more significant to the theme I am developing has been the application
of the scientific method to the operational field. Eminent scientists are to be found
at the right hand of our military, naval'and air strategists, applying to combat
the same scientific methods which they use in their peacetime research. Taken
out of their laboratories, out of physics, chemistry and biology, they have been
at work on problems of civil defense, of combined operations, of defeating the
U-boats and even of operations on the battlefield. These men of peace, working
in an unaccustomed field, have given us great hopes of what planned operations
may achieve in other fields of labor.

Science and the Work of Reconstruction
In the early hours of June 6, D-Day, no one knew what was to be the outcome
of the fateful crossing of the Channel. No one knows what will be the outcome
of the great experiment in reconstruction on which we are to be launched when
the war is over. One thing, however, is sure. The part the scientist can play
in the operations that lie ahead of us in peace will be as great as the role he has
performed in the military operations which have taken and are still taking place.
We shall look to the scientists to make their contribution not only by their re-
searches and by their ingenuity in evolving new materials and new techniques,
but by their application of the scientific method to our social and industrial prob-
lems as they have done to large-scale operations of war. Housing, food, health.
trade and industry, and the effective use of manpower are subjects full of oppor-
tunity for the contributions of science. We cannot afford to lose what we have
gained amidst the disasters of war.
On the food front our wartime experience of feeding and nutrition has pro-
vided us with many practical examples of what must survive in the post-war
world. We have acquired an understanding of the social importance of food
and its scientific use. We know now what we need to rear a nation, strong at
birth and using food to develop vigor and maintain health. If we so use it
in peace we shall save not only human suffering but millions of pounds a year
that have previously been wasted in physical ill-health and consequent industrial
incompetence. In the post-war years we shall be too poor to be able to afford
the extravagance of preventible ill-health.
Scientific knowledge to ensure positive health must be extended and spread
throughout the land, among all classes and the young.and the old. I hope this
Association will continue its work of education. Don't allow us to return to
starchy satisfaction and forget that food is the fuel of human health. I want to
see in the curriculum of every school a short and compulsory course of instruction
on this subject, and I should like to think of the doctors of this country taking

British Speeches of the Day

a more active part than they have done in teaching the laws of health through
the laws of nutrition. That is work which must begin with the teachers in the
medical schools.

The Field of Housing
Now what about housing? That is the problem which most interests the public
at the present time. I am in full agreement with those who are now demanding
that post-war reconstruction must begin with housing. All I ask is that in so far
as the housebuilders are now in the Armed Forces they shall finish off the enemy
abroad before they tackle the enemy of bad housing at home. The problems
of the scientist on housing are twofold. Firstly, to determine the standard of
housing that will enable people to live healthy lives. I think you have done
that. The next problem is to apply scientific knowledge to the design and con-
struction of houses: to use scientific method to make the home a better place to
live in. Science must come into the home as well as into the kitchen. Ventilation
without draughts: windows that keep out the cold but let in the vital rays of
the sun: fire grates that give the cheerfulness of a good coal fire to a room, but
use the heat that goes up the flue to warm the rooms on an upper floor-and
fires that don't destroy the amenities of the neighborhood by a pall of smoke.
There's a problem for the applied scientist-to combine efficiency and cheerfulness
in the domestic grate. I am much impressed by the scientific work that has been
done on building research and I believe that when we get the men back from
the war we shall, as a result of wartime planning, make a contribution within
three years to the housing problem of this country such as we have never seen
in any previous decade. Not only will houses be built, but they will be homes
in which the scientist will have helped greatly both to eliminate much unnecessary
drudgery for the housewife, and to improve the health of the people who live
in them.
Social Medicine
In terms of health, the nation's fitness has been maintained with a gratifying
and almost unbelievable success and valuable lessons have been learned for the
future. The Fighting Services, with their millions of men and women under
controlled conditions, have provided a wealth of experience of social medicine
which must be translated into peacetime civil practice. There have been great
advances in research-in therapeutics, surgery, the rehabilitation ofAthe injured,
maternity and child welfare, and in psychology and psychiatry. The mass in-
fections which in past wars have accounted for more casualties than the fighting
itself have been conspicuously absent in this war. Even in the impossible con-
ditions of the jungle, which defy description and almost defy the imagination,
doctors have accomplished wonders. The research work on penicillin which has
with Government help been done in this war would have taken very many years
in times of peace. Yet human life is as valuable in peace as it is in war.
The achievements of war are a challenge to peace. In the future the advances
in medical and surgical science must be made available to everyone, not only
when they become cases for the doctor, the dentist or the hospital, but in pre-
venting them from becoming such cases. A national health scheme is a part
of the social reform program of the Government's reconstruction plans. It will
pay its way.
Trade and Industry
The importance to the success of this program of an expansion of trade and
industry cannot be overemphasized. Here the scientist must figure as prominently
in the peacetime factories as he has done in the war industry of this country. We

The Scientist's Part in Reconstruction

must mobilize and utilize scientific research in ever-increasing measure if British
industry is to recover and retain a pre-eminent position in world markets. We
cannot rest on our past. Our reputation for quality must be preserved but we
must see to it that we lead in technical advances. Our peacetime products must
embody that scientific ingenuity of which the world has been given plenty of
evidence of our capacity during the past five years. The skill of our craftsmen
must go hand in hand with the efficiency of industrial methods. Moreover, our
goods will be judged by their appearance as much as by their quality; more atten-
tion must be paid to design in industry. We must marry art to technology;
designers must be trained not only in the principles of their art but in the
technical processes of industry.
The field of fuel technology affords an example of the scope of the research
worker for benefiting the nation as a whole as well as a particular industry. The
possibilities of research into the development of a better use of coal are enormous.
In 1913 only 15 per cent of the available energy in every ton of coal was tapped;
by 1938 this percentage had been doubled. It has been estimated that, if this 30
per cent could be increased to 45 per cent, it would be worth 60,000,000 a year.
Sixty million pounds a year, for an expenditure on research of perhaps 1,000,000!
Does research pay! I need hardly point the moral.
For trade and industry as a whole an expansionist policy has been outlined
by the Government, who have for the first time accepted their share of responsi-
bility for maintaining a high and stable level of employment. If we are to
succeed with this program, it must be our concern to see that new industries,
which modern science has made possible, are encouraged and developed in this
country. In the twentieth century we must not repeat the story of Perkins's
discovery of the aniline dyes thrown to the German dye-stuff industry for ex-
ploitation. In the future peace, as we have done in the war, we shall need to
borrow heavily on the resources of science. For the best uses to be made of these
resources a number of conditions must be observed and fulfilled. In the first place,
there must be a closer contact between scientists in industry and those in uni-
versities, between the theoretical and the practical, the pure and the applied.
There must be more integration between research and development. Lastly, there
must be more pooling of information about new developments. War has forced
us to adopt the principle of the "common fund." Scientific knowledge must be
common knowledge. And those who possess it must place it above personal or
sectional interest, and show that this principle can exist and thrive when the
danger from the enemy is no longer a driving force.

Importance of Research
Research costs money. The State and industry must see that this money is
forthcoming. It must not be possible in the future to say that only one-tenth
of one per cent of our national income is spent on science. Scientific research
must not be left to live, as it has been in the past, from hand to mouth. Re-
search must be well and securely endowed, and the results of research must not
be left like foundlings to the tender mercies of the casual commercial passer-by.
In war we have seen the value of endowing development, of nursing new
ideas and techniques through the difficult period of infancy and teething troubles.
Someone must take care of the infant idea: it may be an invaluable national
asset. You will recall Faraday's retort to the question, "What is the use of this
new discovery?" "Sir, what is the use of a new-born baby?" he replied. The
State must shoulder a share of this responsibility. And in industry the smaller
firms, as well as the larger, must contribute to research associations and participate
in group research. Let industrial research, that great co-operative enterprise be-
tween State and industry, be extended to the utmost limit after this war.

British Speeches of the Day

I would like to see sufficient funds put at the disposal of the trustees of
science, funds which would ensure that fundamental research, as much as applied
science, would be well financed. And I should like this to apply to medical and
agricultural research as well as to industrial research.
Nor must the horizons of the scientist himself be limited. The laborer is
worthy of his hire. If the nation is to profit from science-nay, if it is to
acknowledge and repay the debt that it already owes it-it must see to it that
science and scientific men have the reward which their contribution to human
well-being demands and justifies.
Let us tell the tale of the progress of science and let us applaud it. In this field
your Association has done great work. In this war every soldier, sailor and
airman is in constant, daily contact with the "gadgets" of science, the achieve-
ments of the scientists, and this familiarity in its turn is breeding an understanding
of what science can and must do in peace.
We can look to the future with great hopes. We don't want a brand new
world, but a better world; a world that arises from the roots of the past and has
been refreshed by the access of much new knowledge and an aroused public con-
science. It must be a world that we want, not one that is imposed on us. The
omens are propitious. When I look on the vast armament of scientific knowledge
which is at our hand I feel justified in my faith in the future of Britain. We
will build a society that will match our endurance in war and the bravery of the
men who made a future possible for this country. It will be a society free to
choose its own destiny but firmly resolved to remove from its midst much of the
misery that has come in the past in the train of poverty, of sickness, and of a
failure to bring human understanding to industrial practice.
[Official Release]

Minister of Health
Urban District Councils Association, January 17, 1945

The Urban District Councils have played an important part in the drive
for more and better houses in pursuit of the ideal of a real home for every
family, in which they can become full members of a true community. Yours was
a notable achievement and, as I said just now, I am confident that as soon as
circumstances make it possible you will achieve further great successes in this field.
You have the knowledge of local conditions and, now, the experience to make
that certain.
I should like here to say one word of reassurance about your future as housing
authorities-if indeed you need any such reassurance. The Government have no
intention at all of lessening the responsibilities of Urban District Councils for
housing-it will be for you to carry out the housing programs and you may go
ahead confidently on that basis.

Uncertain Future
Now let us look at the task which lies immediately before us and consider
what we can and should do now. As you know, we estimate that there is an im-
mediate need for one million additional houses. The Government have carefully

The Local Authorities

examined all the relevant factors-in particular the labor which is likely to be
available-and they have adopted a short-term program for England, Wales and
Scotland of 100,000 houses of permanent construction to be built or in course of
building at the end of the first year after the defeat of Germany, and a further
200,000 houses to be built or building at the end of the second year. This is, of
course, less than half of the immediate need for separate homes and the program
will therefore in the first year or two be supplemented by the provision of tem-
porary houses for the production of which the Government have taken responsi-
bility themselves.
These, we calculate, will give the largest return from the labor and materials
available, but even these, I am afraid, can be produced only in very small num-
bers until after the end of the fighting in Europe. I am afraid, too, that we can-
not give any guarantee in advance on what particular types of temporary house
will be available at particular times and in particular places, and I hope therefore
that you will not express too rigid a preference for any one type or too great a disap-
pointment if you do not get it.
I cannot yet say when we shall be able to make a start on the building of the
permanent houses and I do not propose to enroll myself among the prophets.
This, however, I can say-that the Government are agreed that the provision of
new houses of good standards and permanent character is of paramount importance
and that the work shall be put in hand at the earliest possible moment permitted
by the overriding necessities of the war.
My friend, the Minister of Works, is planning to build up the labor force of
the building industry after the war, and we want to encourage local authorities
to build the maximum number of houses of traditional construction. But we are
not going to be bound to tradition, and the Minister of Works is working on the
development of the technique of prefabrication and standardization. The aim here
is to use to the utmost different types of factory capacity as they become available
in order to economize in site labor, and to use to the fullest possible extent either
new materials or materials that have not been used much for housing before,
leaving at the same time the greatest possible scope for variety to suit individual
tastes and local conditions.

Preliminaries to Building
Before that time comes, however, there is a lot to be done and our aim must
be to be ready to start on the actual building of houses as soon as the signal is
given. We must "stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start."
The first job is the preparation of programs. Here we have made a good
start; local authorities were asked nearly two years ago to review their needs and
draw up programs of building for the period immediately after the defeat of
Germany. 1,446 out of a total of 1,468 housing authorities in England and Wales
have done so and their programs cover over a quarter of a million houses. The
Urban District Councils are honorably represented in these figures-566 out of
a total of 572 have sent in programs for 67,000 houses.
Next come the sites. Sites must be selected and acquired, levels must be taken
and layout plans prepared. All this takes time .and requires careful considera-
tion. If this preliminary work is delayed pending settlement of this or that ques-
tion which may-or may not-arise at a later stage, there is a real risk that this
important part of the work which, we must remember, will have its effect for
as long as the houses stand, may have to be hurried through at the last minute.
However, we are well under way with sites. 24,000 acres are now in the posses-

British Speeches of the Day

sion of the housing authorities with a further 29,000 to be acquired. Orban Dis-
trict Councils own 5,300 acres with a further 8,000 to be acquired. I would urge
you to go merrily to the attack on those 8,000 acres.
Then comes the preparation of the sites, the construction of roads and sewers
and provisions for services. Unless the site is a small one and the work can be
carried out conveniently and quickly in conjunction with the actual building of
the houses-and even then the site preparation should be planned in detail well
in advance-I do urge on you most strongly-any of you who have not yet put
this work in hand-to make every possible effort to get your contracts placed
and the work started as soon as possible. This will mean that you will be able
to make a flying start with the actual building as soon as the time comes; and,
what is more, it will show your people that something is really being done to
achieve our target and to meet their need.

A Magnificent Opportunity
Finally we come to the building of the houses. You have the experience of
the past with its successes and-let us be frank-its mistakes, and you have in
addition the reports and other documents giving the latest information we have
and guidance on all sorts of technical questions on the construction of houses
and their place in relation to the community and the neighborhood. Once more
there is everything to be gained by making an early start-houses which are to
be the homes of this and other generations to come, houses which will make
or mar the place of which they will form part must have the most careful and
thorough consideration at the siting and planning stages.
We have a magnificent opportunity and great responsibilities. I -egard it as
essential-and no one will disagree-that we should avail ourselves of the best
technical advice and assistance we can get on the layout of the sites and the plan-
ning of the houses. Every local authority should employ a competent architect
on its housing schemes. The functions of an architect are twofold: he can and
should give advice and initiate suggestions; and he is the expert to interpret
and carry out the ideas of his employers or to convince them, if that has to be
done, that some of their ideas are perhaps not wholly good or not practical.
What we all of us want is good houses of a character well suited to their
environment; and we can get them at no greater cost than the characterless build-
ings dumped without proper planning on any land that happened to be available,
which, alas, disfigure many towns and villages. We must face the fact that "coun-
cil houses" has often been used-and used occasionally with some justification
-as a term of disparagement. But there is no reason why all council houses should
not be models of their type in every respect and a source of pride to the town or
village of which they form part, a source of interest and pleasure to those who
visit them. It is part of your achievement that this is already so in many parts of
the country and I hope that the future will show an even higher standard than
the past.
This can be achieved if housing is given, as it should be, a primary place and
if all the preliminary planning and work is done before the time comes for the
actual building. This will have to be carried out with the utmost vigor and the
greatest possible economy of labor. That in turn can be secured only by a care-
fully thought out scheme well prepared, well in advance. The architect must,
therefore-I repeat must-be brought into the picture at a very early stage so
that he may study the sites in relation both to the houses which are to be built and
to their environment, and prepare his layout plans and his housing designs as
one homogenous whole.

The Local Authorities 153

Internal Fitments
I have, so far, been talking mainly about the fabric of the houses and their
place in the landscape, and I should like to say a word or two now about internal
fitments. The Ministry of Works has been applying the principles of prefabri-
cation and standardization to these and has already gone some way in this direc-
tion. There seems to have been a certain amount of misapprehension over a cir-
cular I issued a little while ago indicating that it would be a condition of my
approval of post-war housing plans that they should conform to the standards
of materials and incorporate the standards of equipment prepared by the British
Standards Institution at the request of the Minister of Works. This does not mean
that we are trying to force local authorities to build a standard type of house identi-
cal throughout the length and breadth of the country. Our Housing Manual, 1944,
is surely sufficient evidence of this. The standardization of equipment and com-
ponents about which I am talking is quite a different thing. I am sure that I need
not stress the tremendous difficulties we shall have to face in getting production
back to a peacetime basis and, above all, in ensuring a sufficient supply of essen-
tial equipment and materials during the early years. And no one, I think, can
reasonably say that it is fettering local originality and initiative if there are only
five types of baths, sinks or chimney-pots available after the war instead of the
scores of different types there were before tthe war. But it will make an enormous
difference to the number of baths, sinks and chimney-pots which can be produced.
We recognize that, in special circumstances or conditions, or for extensions and
repairs-and for the more expensive class of house-building-old existing stand-
ards or non-standard items will be wanted and will have to be provided, although
their cost will be materially higher. It may also take time for individual works
to come into line in producing the standardized items, and during that interim
period we are not going to ban the old types. Where no standard has been es-
tablished the choice of the local authority is, of course, unlimited. I hope, there-
fore, that you will look at this matter as a practical one and not feel that you
are being unreasonably restricted. As I have said there has been a certain amount
of misunderstanding and I intend to issue another circular explaining the Gov-
ernment's intentions on the lines I have just given you.
Before I leave the subject of housing, let me assure you once more of my real
desire to give you all the help I can in carrying out this great undertaking in
which we are partners. Discussions between Local Authorities' architects and my
own technical people are of great value-certainly to me, and I think to you too
-if they are undertaken at an early stage, and they save a great deal of time and
labor later on. There are many difficulties for both you and me, not least the
difficulties that will from the absence of staff on war service-a matter in which
I shall do my utmost to help you-but as the Prime Minister has said, "the diffi-
culties will argue for themselves." What we have to do is to press forward with
faith and enthusiasm to the program we have set before ourselves.

White Paper on Local Government*
There has, I know, been a good deal of anxiety over the past year and more
on what were to be the Government's proposals for the future of Local Govern-
ment. I have tried to reassure you from time to time-many of you will remember
the reply I gave in the House to Mr. Geoffrey Hutchinson early in August when
I made it clear that these proposals were not going to be so very terrible; and
I hope that the White Paper, now it is out, will have been something not of a relief
co you, and not only a relief-an encouragement.
Cmd. 6579, available from the Sales Department, British Information Services, New
York, price 100.

British Speeches of the Day

Local Authorities-and Urban District Councils not least-have a staggering
program of work before them as soon as Germany is defeated. This was the funda-
mental fact the Government had before them in framing their proposals. Inci-
dentally, if you look at that program, you will see that it contains in itself the
answer to those who cry "centralization". Housing, now the most urgent, though
certainly not the only important, service administered by Local Authorities;
health; education, for some of you; the environmental services-all these and
more besides make a program such as our Local Government system has never
had to tackle in its life before. The functions that have been taken away and
those which may perhaps be transferred to the Government in the future are,
in comparison, negligible.
To carry through this program we must obviously have the best possible
administrative and executive machine. No one, I think, would say that the struc-
ture of our present Local Government system was perfect-it is good, but it
might be even better. There are several lines on which the Government might
have worked to bring about an improvement-I am not saying, of course, that
all or any of these have been considered as practical possibilities or even as de-
sirable. The first might have been a thorough-going policy of nationalization.
This I have already mentioned and the White Paper gives a categorical assurance
that "the Government are opposed to any general policy of centralizing services
hitherto regarded as essentially local."
A second might have been regionalization. For some reason I have never
been quite able to understand, the Local Government world has seemed to have
convinced itself that the system of Regional Commissioners was to continue.
As you all know, they are to go. Then there are advocates of a Regional system
of Local Government quite apart from the wartime system of Civil Defence
Regions and their Commissioners, but so far as I can tell these regional sugges-
tions are almost universally unpopular with those they most closely affect. At
any rate the Government has definitely rejected them.
Then again, proposals have been made for a one-tier system of Local Gov-
ernment throughout the country-in effect to turn the whole country into a
collection of County Boroughs. Whatever merits such a system might or might
not have, one thing at least is certain, that it would to a great extent sacrifice
the local interest, knowledge and enthusiasm upon which the quality and, there-
fore, the efficiency of our Local Government system depend.

Machinery for Adjustments Proposed
We therefore decided to put forward, for discussion by Parliament, proposals
which leave the existing system unchanged in its essentials, but would, we think,
improve the present machinery for adjustments. I think everyone will agree that
there is a good deal of room for improvement here. Before an audience like
yourselves there is no need for me to go into the details of the existing procedure.
It is enough to remind you of the duality of that procedure-by way of county-
review under the Local Government Act, 1933, and by way of Bill. You know
the theory of those two procedures at least as well as I, and how they work out
in practice a great deal better than I; and you know too the hampering uncer-
tainty which is bound to arise from the co-existence of the two procedures.
It is principally in order to get rid of this uncertainty that the White Paper
proposes the appointment of a Boundary Commission working under general
directions-which would be statutory-from myself or my successors. I do not
want to waste time this afternoon in going into details of the Commission's pro-
cedure-there is at the moment very little I could tell you beyond what is set

The Wages Councils Bill

out for you to read in the White Paper. Indeed, it is not really possible to go
into greater detail than the White Paper gives until after it has been debated
in the House-which I hope will be quite soon-for work on the Bill which will
be required, certainly will not begin until after the Debate.
It is difficult, too, to judge yet what are the reactions to the White Paper
proposals on the part of those most qualified to speak, but I myself am confi-
dent that machinery for adjustment on the lines set out in the White Paper
would work and would produce a stability and confidence which has not always
been present in the past. This would enable Local Authorities to frame not only
short term but long term plans for the work that they have to do. The whole
thing will, of course, have to be debated-first on the White Paper, and then
again on the ensuing Bill. But I hope very much that it will prove acceptable and
that I shall have your support and that of the other Local Authorities in working
it out.
[Official Release]

Minister of Labour and National Service
House of Commons, January 16, 1945

The first purpose of the Bill* is to bring the Trade Boards Acts up to date
and to rename the trade boards "wages councils." Many people might ask what
is in a name, but as the purpose of the Bill is unfolded it will be seen that the
change in the name not only widens trade boards legislation, but is a declaration
by Parliament that the conception of what was known as sweated industry is past.
The Bill also proposes to provide additional powers for establishing the Councils
where voluntary machinery is inadequate or is likely to become inadequate, and
reasonable standards of remuneration are not being, or are not likely to be, main-
tained. A third proposal in the Bill is to continue the provisions of Part III of
Order 1305 for a limited period to tide over the transition from war to peace. I
would ask hon. Members to refer to the Third Schedule to the Bill in order that
they may see quite clearly what Part III of Order 1305 does.
Part I of the Bill, which is the first proposal, brings trade boards into line with
later legislation. In this connection I considered whether I should proceed with
legislation by reference. The intention could have been accomplished by propos-
ing certain Amendments; but, after reviewing the situation, I thought it better
to make a clean Bill, in order that the whole purposes in view might be clear to
the House and to the country. Legislation by reference would have involved a
series of complicated amendments to the two Acts of Parliament of 1909 and 1918.
I thought the House would probably prefer a new Bill in which it could see all
the proposals brought together. In saying that, I ought to add that the underlying
principles of the Trade Boards Acts remain and that many of the provisions are not
substantially changed. I will deal in outline in my statement and in referring to the
Clauses, with such changes as are involved.

To Provide Stability
The great change is in Part II of the Bill which introduces a new principle in
legislation of this kind. I felt that this was imperative if we were to prepare for
the transition from war to peace and to provide stability afterwards. I would
emphasize the word "stability." Those of us who had to handle industrial problems
The Wages Councils Bill.

British Speeches of the Day

from 1918 to 1926 will value the introduction of any Measure which will give
stability in this field during the very grave difficulty of transition. The rapid
inflation which operated and, what was worse, the terrible deflation, made it almost
impossible in those days for any negotiators in any branch of industry to adjust
their conditions to meet the violent changes which were entirely out of their con-
trol. Therefore, if we prevent-and I would also emphasize this point-the
temptation to imagine that we can get quick, unmeasured and violent changes in
the wage system, we shall provide a great brake, and will force economic considera-
tions upon those who handle finances and industry at that very critical moment.
The third proposal is directed to the immediate post-war period and is intended
to prevent strikes breaking out where non-federated firms, thinking they are free
from moral obligations that others have entered into-
[Dr. Russell Thomas (Southampton): Why "moral"?]
All voluntary industrial agreements that parties enter into are moral obligations,
and they rest entirely on honor to be put into effect. Perhaps somebody may think
he can gain an advantage over his opposite number in industry by taking advantage
of the labor market to get a competitive advantage. Let him compete by all means
on a basis of efficiency, quality and production, but not on the basic standard of
wages agreed to between parties as being that on which the industry shall run. At
the end of the last war we tried to cover the point with a Wages Regulation Act,
which broke down. We came to the conclusion that this House by its declaration,
and by the very simple procedure which I will explain later, could succeed in
holding the position and helping to maintain the most priceless thing in this
country, something which has carried us through the war without loss of our
liberties, the great voluntary system of negotiation in the industries of this country.

The Origin of Trade Boards
Perhaps I may deal for a moment with the history of the trade boards system.
It was introduced in 1909 by the present Prime Minister. Of all the things he has
done I know of none better for the down-trodden masses of the country than the
basic legislation then introduced. That Act was the sequel to a prolonged agitation
and the reports of several Committees of both Houses of Parliament. It was de-
signed to combat the evil of sweated wages. It was accompanied, in the speeches
of opposition at that time, with gloomy prophecies of disaster to the industries
concerned, but in the process of time it has been shown that all the industries
brought under the trade boards have been far more prosperous afterwards, in con-
sequence of the very organizations that ensued on both sides, than they were under
the old laissez-faire conditions that preceded the legislation.
The principle involved in this trade boards legislation was very important.
Autonomous boards were introduced, representative of both sides of the industries
concerned. The plan has proved completely workable and avoided State-or per-
haps I should say Parliamentary-regulation of wages. I cannot believe, and I do
not think that many hon. Members in this House believe, that Parliament could
ever satisfactorily adjust the actual wages to be paid to the people in respective
industries, in view of the change in conditions that continually takes place in those
industries. Therefore the legislation took a middle course. It adopted the principle
of legal enforcement, together with the creation of autonomous boards to say what
the wages which were to be enforced should be. It is interesting to quote what the
present Prime Minister said in his speech in introducing the Bill:
"The House will not only be dealing with a grave social evil but will also
take another step upon that path of social organization on which we have be-
latedly entered and along which the Parliaments of this generation, of whatever
complexion, willingly or unwillingly, will have to march."

The Wages Councils Bill

Previous Extensions of Scope
In the first instance it had a very limited application. Tailoring, paper-box
making, lace finishing, and chain-making were the first trades dealt with. It was the
first step taken to answer Thomas Hood in his Song of the Shirt. Provisions were,
however, made for other trades to be added by the Board of Trade, which was
then responsible for this Act. Before 1913, prior to the last war, three more trades
were added. The original boards had power only to fix general minimum rates of
wages for time work and piece work; they could not fix overtime rates, nor could
they fix remuneration. Looking back, it is interesting to note their first proceedings.
In the main the rate fixed was 6d. an hour for men and 23/4d. to 31/d. an hour for
women. Happily we have proceeded some distance since then. After a long period
of prosperity in the nineteenth century, with all the wealth then accumulated, to
find that 2/4d. was the legal minimum wage for a woman makes one wonder
what conceptions of life people really had.
During the last war trade boards were largely superseded. There was introduced
the Wages Order of the then Ministry of Munitions, which covered such a wide
range of production that it cut right across trade board machinery. The Reconstruc-
tion Committee of that time had to consider what should follow, and recommended
that the trade boards machinery should be used mainly to protect the wages of
women workers after the war. But coincident with that, or just following it, came
the Whitley Committee, which gave a rather wider and deeper consideration to the
problem and recommended that the trade boards legislation should be applied to all
trades not sufficiently organized to enable joint industrial councils to operate effec-
tively. A second recommendation they made was very valuable. It was that trade
boards should be given extended powers to enable them to deal with matters other
than wages which were commonly dealt with by collective bargaining and to pro-
vide for any voluntary industrial agreements.

The Work of the Boards
In 1918 the Trade Boards Act was amended with the intention of giving effect
to the recommendations of the Whitley Committee. The power of trade boards to
fix rates of wages was widened in certain respects, but the Act did not give the wide
extensions recommended by the Whitley Committee. It did, however, provide for
powers to fix overtime rates, special basic time rates for piece workers and guar-
anteed time rates for piece workers.
There was a great development immediately following the War. In 1919 and
1920, 30 new trade boards were set up. Then came the great depression, but not-
withstanding this and notwithstanding the slowing up in the work, and a violent
controversy in this House about the slowness of the trade boards in reducing wages,
the trade boards weathered the storm and, if I may say so with all respect to the
economists of the time, did a great service to the nation in holding the foundation
and stopping a worse debacle than actually occurred. The advantage of the trade
boards has been that they have settled matters in the light of the special circum-
stances and conditions of particular trades, and within their limited scope have used
their powers successfully.
The next extension of the powers of trade boards came in the Holidays with
Pay Act, 1938. That extension gave them power to fix a week's holiday with pay-
six working days. They have done their job well within the powers which Parlia-
ment gave them. Out of 52 trade boards 48 have exercised these powers. Of the
four boards which have not done so, two are largely in home working trades, which
made it very difficult to fix arrangements, and the other two-and this is important
-have built up voluntary agreements and have not thought it necessary to have
statutory provisions. Following the Act of 1918 special Acts were introduced

British Speeches of the Day

based on the principle of the regulation of wages by law. In 1924 the Agricultural
Wages Act was passed, in 1938 the Road Haulage Wages Act, and in 1943 the
Catering Wages Act, of happy memory. There is another very important power in
the use of which I want to encourage trade boards, and I am instructing the depart-
ment concerned in my Ministry with a view to stimulating them and making them
more efficient. They can and do consider matters referred to them by the Govern-
ment or by Government Departments, and give advice on questions of training,
the resettlement of disabled persons, and the recruitment of young people. Further,
an interesting experiment is going on with the cutlery trade board. They are
inquiring into working conditions and methods in the cutlery industry, in conjunc-
tion with the factory department. I hope they will do their work so thoroughly
that they will be able to tender advice which will help to put that important
industry on a proper footing and make it of more value to the country. These
functions, however, have not been exercised to the extent which I should have liked
and which was intended and felt to be necessary when the present Prime Minister
introduced the original Act in 1909. He said at that time:
"The trade boards set up under this Bill will exercise other functions
besides their particular statutory functions of fixing a minimum rate of wages.
They will be a center of information and I hope they will become the foci of
organization. As centers of information they may, as time goes on, be charged
with some other aspects of the administration of the work of the :rades, with
the question of the training of the workers, and they will also be able to offer
information upon the subject of unemployment. They will generally be not
merely boards for the purpose of fixing the minimum rate of wages, for that is
their primary purpose, but boards designed to nourish as far as possible the
interests of the workers, the health and the state of each particular trade in
which they operate."
That really depends upon the administration behind the trade boards, and I am
determined to put this Department on such a footing that that part of the work
will become effective as soon as I can get the staff. It is vital that these boards
should not only deal with the question of fixing wages but should be encouraged
to advise on all the problems associated with their industries. That will become
more vital as time goes on. I should mention that under a decision of the Govern-
ment dealing with the manpower budget they will in future be the collectors of
information affecting their industries, in order to afford the Government a review
of the prospects. I intend as far as I can to make that side of their work far more
effective than it has been hitherto.

A New Name for a New Purpose
Let me now turn to a further point in connection with the purposes of Part I
of the Bill, which is to bring the legislation up to date and in line with modern
requirements. We have renamed the boards Wages Councils, and they will be given
a general power to fix remuneration, and remuneration includes the fixing of a
guaranteed weekly wage. I am sure that no one will now object to their having
that power. The restriction hitherto placed upon them as to the number of holidays
they can give will be removed; they will be able to deal with that question on
its merits. The change of name will, I think, remove the stigma of being associated
with sweated trades, so that by the passing of this Bill we can turn our backs upon
that bit of our industrial history.
The situation will differ considerably from that at the end of the last war.
Then the slogan was "Business as usual." Now, concentration has played a big
part in all the domestic industries. Then, controls either of labor or of raw materials

The Wages Councils Bill

were not extensive. Today, we are dealing with a nation completely mobilized to
fight a totalitarian war. Then, it was a case of release from the Forces as quickly
as possible. Today, another war has to be finished after the one in Europe. Then,
the war industries had been largely carried on in their home districts. Now families
have been divided; people have been compelled to leave their homes; evacuation,
housing and all kinds of problems exist, all of which will affect industrial stability
fundamentally. Where such great changes in order to get back to peacetime condi-
tions are involved, regulation of wages and conditions will be of primary
What the Bill provides is power to fix a guaranteed wage. The boards will have
power to do that whereas at present they can only fix a minimum hourly rate ....
They can fix the conditions too. Stability is also needed for the men returning
from the Forces, and must be of such a character as will give them confidence in
getting a fair deal when they enter civilian employment. As I have said in this
House before, our great trouble at the end of the last war was not so much with
the people who have been home working in the factories, but with the men who
came lack from the war and were completely disillusioned with what they found
when they got home. The turmoil that arose out of that and the inability to settle
were responsible for the enormous upheavals at that time.

The Five-Year Period
It is vital to the country, however, that the fabric of voluntary agreement and
joint organization, which have been of inestimable value during the war, should be
maintained. On the unions' side they will have to face a period of reorganization
of industry. On the employers' side many adaptations will have to be introduced,
and the State might not be able to carry through these matters without the
assistance of the joint industrial relations machinery. Therefore, we cannot afford
to let anarchy creep in and weaken these joint arrangements.
The House may be interested to know the difference between the number of
wages arbitration awards during the last war and during this war, which, I think,
is the best indication of the enormous growth between the two wars of this joint
industrial relations machinery. In 1914-18 there were nearly 8,000 wages awards
made by the Committee on Production, independent arbitrators and ad hoc courts
of arbitration. During this war the number of awards given by the National
Arbitration Tribunal has been less than 700. In the last war the majority of
awards were not incorporated in the industrial agreements. In this war they have
been dealt with in relation to the agreements which makes the change-over much
easier. Therefore, the Bill provides for a period of five years during which
employers will be under an obligation to observe no less favorable terms of employ-
ment than those settled by agreements between organizations and trade unions. In
other words, for five years there will be, under this Bill, a complete national fair
wages clause in order to maintain stability. That is really what it amounts to. ....
After the last war the time of resettlement and the great industrial upheavals
ranged from 1918 to 1926, and I cannot imagine that we shall be through our
difficulties after this war under five years. In fact, if I may say so, I think the
creation of the psychology of five years' stability is very important to the country,
and I have selected that period because I think it is vital that any Government-
I do not care who is elected by the country-must have five years' reasonable
stability after the war if they are to settle the job decently. That is my opinion,
and I hope the House will support me in it because, as I have said, it is of absolute
importance. ...

British Speeches of the Day

To Prevent Deterioration
Clauses 1 to 3 set out the circumstances in which wages councils may be estab-
lished. In Clause 1 the Minister retains the power granted to him under the trade
boards legislation to set up statutory wages machinery where he is of opinion that
no adequate voluntary negotiating machinery exists and where, having regard to
the standard of remuneration, it is expedient that such machinery should be set up.
That is the basis of the existing power that the Minister has.
I have already explained that the reference to remuneration is wider than that
to rates of wages because it has a different legal meaning and gives wider powers
to the board. In Clauses 2 and 3 there is a very important principle which I hope
the House will accept unanimously. Hitherto, the State has not intervened to pre-
vent joint voluntary machinery from breaking up, even though it was clear that the
results would be that wage standards would become unduly depressed and that
intervention would eventually be necessary. The State has had to stand aside and
allow organization to break up and conditions to deteriorate to a low level before
action could be taken. I want to emphasize the very important point that no one
industry can break up and its conditions be depressed without inevitably dragging
others with it, and I regard this as the most important preventive part of the Bill.
Therefore, it gives the Minister power, where he sees that happening, to intervene
and to set up a wages council, but only after there has been an independent commis-
sion of inquiry. The commission can recommend a wages council only if it reaches
the opinion, after full inquiry, that voluntary machinery is inadequate, or will be-
come inadequate, and that a reasonable standard of remuneration is not being, or
will not be, maintained ....
What I want to do-I will make this point quite clear-is to make the industrial
relations machinery work in such a way that the good employer can lead the
industry and not be held up by the slowest and bad employer. I think that is
absolutely right. If the Minister sees any cracking or breaking up, and no one
will make a joint application, can he afford to let not only that particular industry
go down, but others to be dragged with it? Under this provision he can intervene
and cause an inquiry to be made ....

During this war over 40 industrial councils have been established. They have
been made effective largely because the industries have been under control. The
State has virtually been in control of the distributive trade, and trades like
that, but I do not know whether control will go on or not. That is not in my hands.
It may be that control will go, and when the crisis comes shall those councils be
allowed to break up? I have provided two alternatives. They can make application
jointly, or, alternatively, if the Minister sees it breaking up he can intervene. I
think it would be a tragedy if what happened at the end of the last war occurred
at the end of this. At the end of the last war all this great work was broken up
almost in an hour. And remember that in many of these industries there are
thousands of women. One of the great difficulties in maintaining joint industrial
machinery with women is, as everybody who organizes women knows, that mar-
riage, which involves leaving the industry, makes it necessary virtually to reorganize
every three or four years. They have no permanent occupation in industry, and
though you may build up these conditions there is the danger of them breaking up
and falling away to the detriment of the good employer. I have had many strong
representations from these councils on these lines with the object of giving their
industries a foundation upon which to operate after the war. The Essential Work
Order has assisted them during the war, but that is entirely inappropriate for peace-
time conditions.

The Wages Councils Bill

I have already explained that in all these cases a commission of inquiry would
have to be set up, and I propose that it should be constituted by three independent
members, two persons representing employers and two persons representing work-
ers. These commissions will be ad hoc commissions and, in this respect the pro-
visions differ from the Catering Wages Act which relates to one industry, and
therefore dealt with a permanent body. I propose in this Measure to establish ad
hoc commissions as and when they are required. Commissions of inquiry will not
deal with wage rates. All they will deal with is the point I have mentioned where
the machinery is inadequate. They will deal with the matter when there is danger
of existing machinery breaking up, or where the Minister ought to be advised to
establish a wages council, and where, if existing machinery is allowed to break up,
the standard of remuneration would be endangered.
One other power is important; that is, I propose that the Commission may
recommend the setting up of a central co-ordinating committee where co-ordination
of the work of two or more wages councils seems to be desirable. This was im-
pressed on me in the distributive trades particularly, where there are particular
conditions that must be worked out in various forms of remuneration. I thought
it was necessary, when there were nearly 2,000,000 people involved, and where
such things as wages and hours and so on operate over the whole field, that I
should take power to set up a co-ordinating committee over a general range of
industries to deal with the common things which were applicable all through, apart
from the actual grades of wages and so on that may be affected. Then there is the
usual procedure. They will have to publish notice of matters referred to them,
consider written objections within a prescribed period and so on, all of which is
in keeping with the present machinery. The laying of orders before the House for
40 days is exactly the same as now applies in the trade boards legislation. I have
also provided that where an industry develops to such a point that it feels that it
does not want any legal protection it can apply for the abolition of the wages
council and proceed on a voluntary basis, if it so desires. There is one other
important point in Clause 7. All the powers will be related to the workers instead
of to a particular trade. That is intended to be more embracing, to be wider than
dealing with a particular trade. In this I have followed the Road Haulage Wages
Act and the Catering Wages Act which the House has already adopted.

Civil Servants and Local Government Officials
I have been asked by the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. J. Brown) about
Government servants. The policy of the Government is that they will follow, in
practice, what is laid down, as they do now. But the Bill does not apply to
Crown servants, and in that respect they will be in the same category as those under
the Catering Wages Act and the Road Haulage Act.
Most local government servants are covered by voluntary machinery now.
Under Part III where they are operating with other trades then they accept Part III
and the district or whatever are the trade rates of wages are applied.
[Mr. W. 1. Brown: I understand the position of the Crown servant under
Clause 10 but I am rather concerned about his position under Clause 2. That is to
say, if he is not covered by it may we take it that the Government, as a matter of
policy, will apply the five years' stabilization period to the Crown servant which
the Bill imposes?]
Yes, the Government accept that. They will follow that, they have guaran-
teed it.
The powers set out for the Wages Regulations Orders are the powers which
have been usually followed in regard to the publication of notices, objections, the

British Speeches of the Day

time period and the rest. I have provided in this Bill for a wages council to be
able to determine a cash value for such matters as board and lodging provided by
the employer, which are referred to in the Bill as specific benefits or advantages.
This provision is new to trade boards. It follows the Catering Wages Act, 1943,
where the value of those benefits or advantages is authorized to be taken into
account by the council when assessing remuneration to be paid to the worker. The
procedure for making proposals however is on the same lines as the Tr~de Boards
Acts and the Catering Wages Act. I have put this in this Bill deliberately. If the
Minister is to make wages councils universal I cannot limit my conception purely
to certain factors. There is a wide range in which these special conditions have to
be met and I do not want any of my successors to have to come back to Parliament
for an amending Act, or on the other hand for them to be hamstrung in the
application of a wages council because this provision had not been made.

Wages Not to Be Pegged
The temporary conditions I have already referred to. I saw in some papers that
I was pegging wages for five years. I can only imagine that the journalist who
wrote that had a substantial war bonus and was hoping that I was seeing that it
was fixed for five years. What we are really doing is allowing the voluntary
machinery to operate unhindered either up or down during that five years. I am
absolutely opposed to any attempt to lay down a fixity of wages. The value of
money changes, circumstances change, and there must be a free operation of the
voluntary machinery under Part III. But then, when the agreement is honorably
made, no employer-is allowed to break it or destroy it during the five years. That
is the whole principle. I repeat what I said earlier, that it is really a national fair
wages clause for five years. Under Part III there will be no State inspection or
legal penalties. That is not intended. The trade unions must do their job. I do
not want to take their job on. They must look after their members and the em-
ployers' federations must also co-operate to see that these agreements are honorably
kept. Therefore there are two steps to be taken. One is to establish that the
agreement is bona fide. That means going to the Industrial Court. The Minister
cannot take on the job of saying that a particular agreement is bona fide. If the
court says it is an agreement that ought to be honored then it becomes a part of
the contract of service, and the money can be sued for in the ordinary court, as can
be done now under a contract of service.
There is no costly litigation before the industrial court; it is the simplest process.
One goes to the industrial court to establish an agreement. That is a perfectly
simple process. Then, when the agreement is established and a firm does not pay,
that is where the litigation comes in. Therefore one sues for the money, but the
actual determination of the agreement is done by the court. I have referred this to
the Industrial Court instead of the National Arbitration Tribunal because the tri-
bunal is a wartime institution and the Industrial Court is covered by the Industrial
Court Act, 1919, and is a permanent institution.

.-National Development
There is one other point I would like to make, regarding the numbers affected.
In 1939 there were settled by joint collective agreements wages and conditions
covering about 10,000,000 workers. They did not all pay their contributions, I
am sorry to say, but the actual agreements covered about that number. These
figures include the national and local government servants. I have already said
that there have been 40 joint industrial councils set up during the war, including
seven industrial councils for the distributive trade. I assume that in peacetime
there would be about 2,000,000 to 2,500,000 workers covered by those councils.

Question Time in the House of Commons

Then there are the numbers covered by the present legal machinery, which brings
the total to just over 15,000,000. I felt that if industrial wage machinery was
provided, either by the Minister because the conditions warranted his action, or by
the joint application of the parties, or by the Minister if he saw that voluntary
machinery was breaking down, we could reasonably say we had made provision
for the protection of the overwhelming majority of our people. Therefore I
commend this step to the House. Beginning as it did as far back as 1909, I think
this is a natural development that ought to flow from the end of this war, and
create that feeling of confidence and stability for the re-creation of our industries
following the terrible trial through which they have gone.
[House ,of Commons Debates]

The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is devoted to
answering questions which Members of Parliament put to Ministers. A selection
from some of the questions asked during January, 1945, is included below, together
with the Ministers' answers, with the intention of illustrating the scope and purpose
of this part of Parliamentary business.

Mr. Pritt (Socialist) asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware
that Army Council Instruction No. 1527 of 1944, which asserts that it is an offense
against King's Regulations for all ranks to permit their names to be published for
political purposes or to sign public petitions, circulars and appeals dealing with
political matters, has no justification in law; and whether he will have this mis-
representation of the legal position withdrawn.
Sir J. Grigg: The A.C.I. referred to does not make the assertion mentioned in
the first part of the hon. and learned Member's Question. It says in effect that an
officer or soldier who permits his name or opinion on a Service matter to be pub-
lished for political purposes or adds, or allows his name to be added to a public
petition, circular or appeal dealing with political matters, may be held to have
contravened the King's Regulations. The question whether in a particular instance
there has been a contravention of those regulations is one for determination by the
responsible military authority. The second part of the Question, therefore, does
not arise.
Mr. Pritt: Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is almost impossible
for any intelligent lawyer to suggest that the matters suggested in the first part of
the Army Council Instruction could be offenses at all; and is it not just a black-
mailing threat?
Sir J. Grigg: It is not in the least a threat; it is a warning.
Mr. Shinwell (Labour): Does the prohibition of the expression of political
opinions by Army officers apply to General Scobie, who recently expressed opinions
about minorities in Greece?
Sir J. Grigg: If the hon. Member wants to ask a question about General Scobie
in a particular instance, he should put it down.
[January 16, 1945]

British Speeches of the Day

Mr. Rhys Davies (Labour) asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of
recent complications in international affairs, His Majesty's Government in con-
junction with their Allies have reconsidered their policy of unconditional surrender
against the Axis Powers and the proposal to transfer from their homes by force
millions of people in Central Europe in favor, as a beginning, of the encourage-
ment of a new and democratic regime in Germany in which the United Nations
could have faith, so as to bring the present conflict in Europe to a close on the
basis of the Atlantic Charter.
The Prime Minister: No, Sir.
Mr. Davies: Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that these constant
threats against the Axis Powers have a tendency to stiffen the people of Germany
behind their Nazi leaders and to prolong the war. Will he not reconsider his
policy and see whether he cannot employ his unrivalled powers to bring this misery
to an end?
The Prime Minister: We do not take that view at all and I think the House
would be overwhelmingly against us attempting to make peace by negotiation. At
any rate, our Allies would be violently opposed to such a course. It is quite impos-
sible to discuss these things at Question Time, but opportunities may occur in the
course of debate. I am not of opinion that a demand for unconditional surrender
would prolong the war. Anyhow, the war will be prolonged until unconditional
surrender has been obtained.
Mr. Riley (Labour): While the right hon. Gentleman does not approve of
any suggestion of peace by negotiation, does he not appreciate that the slogan of
unconditional surrender has great political value for Hitler and his associates?
The Prime Minister: I do not think that is so.
[January 16, 1945]

Mr. Rhys Davies (Labour) asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the
fact that the recent statement of President Roosevelt has cast doubt'on the genuine-
ness of the Atlantic Charter, he will make a statement on the subject.
The Prime Minister: Far from any doubt having been cast on the genuineness
of the Atlantic Charter, I note that President Roosevelt is reported to have declared
on December 22 last that its objectives "are just as valid today as they were in
1941." However, he then went on to indicate that all the objectives of the Charter
were not likely to be attained immediately. I am in agreement with these statements.
Mr. Davies: Is there not a different interpretation put on the provisions of the
Atlantic Charter in America from the one that the right hon. Gentleman has put
on it in this country, that it does not apply to one-half the human race?
The Prime Minister: Immediately on returning, I made a statement about the
application of the Atlantic Charter to the British Empire and India, which was the
result of very careful Cabinet discussion and which has in no way been departed
from, to the effect that the object and purpose and the principles of the Atlantic
Charter were already being achieved by the process of extending self-government,
which has long been in operation.
Mr. Martin (Labour): Will the right hon. Gentleman take an early oppor-
tunity of telling the House what parts of the Charter are valid immediately?

Question Time in the House of Commons

The Prime Minister: I really do not think there is any need to go into that.
It has been very well described by the President as a standard of aims and an
indication of the direction in which we are proceeding. It is not a law.
[January 16, 1945]

Mr. Sorensen (Labour) asked the Minister of Health how many temporary
houses or hutments have been and are being erected in the London area; and
approximately the total number of applications made for accommodation. by those
who have lost their homes in the Metropolitan police area, and the number of
houses in this area that have been vacated by the Army or the R.A.F. but that are
not being used for civilian accommodation.
Mr. Willink: Three thousand Ave hundred hutments have been supplied, of
which 365 have been completed and 1,636 are in hand. The number of applica-
tions made for accommodation of all kinds by homeless families is about 23,000.
The answer to the last part of the Question is twelve.
Mr. Sorensen: Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman really contend that
only twelve houses have been vacated by the military and are available for civilian
occupation? Would he take my assurance that I can give him scores of other cases?
Mr. Willink: The hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension as to the exact
terms of his Question, which referred to the number vacated and not being used
for civilian accommodation. The number taken over by the Service Departments
is 879, and of these twelve are unsuitable for civilian occupation at the moment
and are being used for storage.
Mr. Sorensen: Is the Minister aware that many houses were vacated by the
military authorities months ago, and are still unoccupied in areas where accommo-
dation is urgently needed?
Mr. Willink: That is not my information, but if the hon. Member will bring
any particular case to my notice I will look into it.
[January 18, 19451

Mr. Craven-Ellis (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer
whether the Government will take steps which will result in a reduction of the pres-
ent high rate of interest, 8 per cent, now chargeable upon the Greek External National
Debt, as this might be a contributing factor to the present disunity in Greece.
Sir J. Anderson: I think my hon. Friend's Question must be based on a mis-
conception, since it is not the case that a rate of interest of 8 per cent is chargeable
upon the Greek External Debt. I should perhaps remind the hon. Member that in
January, 1940, as a result, of negotiations between the Greek Government on the
one hand and the Council of Foreign Bondholders and the League Loans Committee
on the other hand, the Greek Government undertook to pay over a proportion
of. the interest on its external debt for the period from April 1, 1940, until the
end of the war, a moratorium being granted in respect of the remaining amounts
due. As a result of the occupation of Greece by the enemy, the Greek Government
was forced, to suspend the service of its external debt in April, 1941; but in
March, 1942, the Greek Government informed the Council of Foreign Bondholders
and the League Loans Committee that it would carefully re-examine the question
with them as soon as possible after the liberation of Greece and the establishment
of a measure of recovery in-her economic life, in order to reach a just and equitable
settlement. It has not been possible for such re-examination to take place.

British Speeches of the Day

Mr. Craven-Ellis: While the rate may not be exactly 8 per cent, it is a very
excessive rate. Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that these heavy rates of
interest are likely to cause discontent in the minds of the Greek people?
Mr. Edgar Granville (Independent): Can the'Chancellor say whether the
Treasury expert who is at the present time in Greece dealing with questions of
currency and so on has discussed with members of the present Greek Government
the question of converting Greek loans to a lower rate of interest?
Sir J. Anderson: It is fruitless to go on discussing this on a basis of complete
misapprehension. There are numerous outstanding loans ranging from 21/2 per
cent to 7 per cent, which is the highest. The over-all figure is far below that of
8 per cent.
[January 23, 1945)

Mr. Hewlett (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what
amounts have so far been lent by this country to any of our Allies or to the
resistance movements in any country, respectively, since the start of the war.
Sir J. Anderson: The total advanced by His Majesty's Government to our
Allies since the war started, and outstanding as at December 31, 1944, is 307,-
694,000. Under the terms of the Mutual Aid Agreements which were concluded
with some of our Allies during 1944, the cash charge in respect of military equip-
ment and stores which had already been supplied on credit terms will be cancelled
as soon as the necessary detailed figures have been obtained and agreed with the
Allied Governments concerned. Thus the figure which I have given will even-
tually be considerably reduced.
The hon. Member will recollect that an estimate of Mutual Aid to our Allies
(as opposed to cash advances) was given on page 7 of the Second Report on
Mutual Aid (Cmd. Paper 6570.) As stated in paragraph 18 of that White Paper,
mutual aid was sent to resistance movements in many parts of Europe. No cash
advances were made to resistance movements otherwise than through the Allied
Governments concerned.
Mr. Shinwell (Labour): Have any of the foreign monarchs in this country,
whether King Peter or King George, received any financial assistance from His
Majesty's Government?
Sir J. Anderson: Any question on that subject should be put on the Paper.
[January 23, 1945]

Mr. De la Bere (Conservative) asked the President of the Board of Trade
whether he can now make some announcement as to the steps to be taken to protect
ex-Servicemen who contemplate acquiring small shop as a means of livelihood
from unscrupulous sellers who have seldom carried on legitimate business for any
length of time; and whether he will give an assurance that official advice is always
available to ex-Servicemen and others who apply for it.
Mr. Dalton: I have asked local licensing committees not to grant licenses on
a change of ownership, unless they are satisfied that there is a genuine goodwill
attaching to the business. This will, I hope, go far to protect ex-Servicemen from
being exploited in the manner suggested by my hon. Friend. I am anxious to do
everything possible to assist ex-Servicemen and, although the question of whether
or not the purchase of a particular business is a sound commercial proposition is a
Available gratis from British Information Services, New York.

Question Time in the House of Commons

matter for trade or professional, rather than official, advice, I am in touch on this
question with my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Labour, who is specially con-
cerned with the resettlement of ex-Servicemen in civilian life.
Mr. De la Bere: Will the right. hon. Gentleman see that the Press give full
publicity to the matter, as it will undoubtedly prevent a number of these undesirable
transactions ?
Mr. Dalton: I will do my best to give the fullest publicity to all that we are
doing to endeavor to prevent people who have been defending the country over-
seas being fleeced.
Mr. Shinwell (Labour): In view of the large number of serving men who have
been writing to Members and seem inclined to set up in business for themselves
after the war, would my right hon. Friend, in addition to what he has promised
in conjunction with the Minister of Labour, advise serving men by whatever
publicity is available to him that the Board of Trade will offer what guidance they
Mr. Dalton: I repeat that I will do my best, but the Board of Trade cannot
fulfill the functions of solicitor and business adviser to people. It would be wrong
for us to try to do so. We are not equipped for that work, but we will do our
best. With the further object of assisting serving men, I have invited the British
Legion to put a representative on each of the local licensing committees that are
dealing with these matters.
Vice-Admiral Taylor (Conservative): Will special consideration be given to
the wives of serving men who desire to re-establish their small businesses?
Mr. Dalton: Certainly, we will do our best.
Mr. Gallacher (Communist): Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that,
while we continue to tolerate capitalism, the ex-Serviceman will be robbed ?
[January 23, 1945]

Sir A. Southby (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
whether it is the policy of His Majesty's Government that Italy shall retain her
pre-war possessions in Libya and Tripoli.
Mr. Eden: The future of Italy's pre-war possessions in Libya and Tripoli must
await consideration by the United Nations at the conclusion of peace.
Sir A. Southby: May I ask my right hon. Friend which Italian possessions he
had in mind when he made the statement on July 28, 1944, that it was not the
intention of the Allied Governments to return to Italy all of her North African
possessions ?
Mr. Eden: It seems to me that that was a pretty good statement, and I can
assure my right hon. and gallant Friend that it is still our position.
Sir A. Southby: Will my right hon. Friend say what possessions he had in
mind when he made it? That is what is really important.
Mr. Eden: I think the position is really clear. If my hon. gallant Friend
will look at the statement I made on October 4, he will see quite clearly what the
position was said to be. It is that the Italian Government have no right to the
return of any one of their colonies. What is done about the colonies is a matter,
in some part, for discussion in the future.
Commander Locker-Lampson (Conservative): Will Germany be allowed
to keep either the Kiel Canal or Heligoland ?
[January 17, 1945]

British Speeches of the Day

Mr. Driberg: (Independent) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if
he will make a statement on the policy and work of the United Nations War Crimes
Commission, and, in particular, on the reasons for the resignation of Sir Cecil
Mr. Eden: The United Nations War Crimes Commission was established in
October, 1943. With the exception of the U.S.S.R., all the European Allies to-
gether with the Governments of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India,
China and the United States are represented on it. The purpose of the Commission
is to investigate all cases referred to it by any of the Allied Governments of
atrocities committed by, or by order of, the nationals of any of the countries at
war with any of the United Nations against nationals of the United Nations; to
record and assess all available evidence upon such atrocities, and particularly on
atrocities organized and committed in accordance with deliberate policy; and to
report to the Governments of the United Nations cases in which the Commission
is satisfied that an atrocity has been committed, naming, where possible, those
whom they consider responsible.
The Commission has recently presented its first lists to the Governments
represented on it. Since its establishment it has also produced a number of
recommendations which have been forwarded to His Majesty's Government and
the other Governments represented on the Commission. In some cases action
has already been taken with a view to giving effect to these recommendations,
but in general they relate to action which would have to be taken jointly by
the military authorities of the Allies, and their consideration has therefore involved
full consultation with the Government of the United States in the first instance.
The recommendations put forward by the Commission include proposals as to
method of trial of war criminals, which was dealt with in the Declaration on
German Atrocities published at Moscow on November 1, 1943. The members
of the Commission have recently been informed of the steps which have been
taken, so far as His Majesty's Government are concerned, in regard to the more
important recommendations which they have made. His Majesty's Government are
anxious to facilitate in every possible way the work of the Commission, the
importance and value of which they fully recognize.
As regards the latter part of the Question, Sir C. Hurst resigned for medical
reasons and on his doctor's orders. As has already been announced, his place
has now been taken by Lord Findlay.
[January 17, 1945]

Mr. Sorensen (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will
state the results of the recent Jamaica elections, the main policies of the Parties,
approximately the total number of votes cast for each party and the percentage of
the electorate who voted; and whether all offices have now been filled.
Mr. Emrys-Evans: The election results are as follows: Jamaica Labour Party,
23 members; Independent, 5 members. Four members of the former Legislative
Council were returned (one Labour, one People's National Party and two Inde-
pendent). Fifty-five per cent of the registered electors recorded their votes. Pend-
ing the receipt of the Governor's full report it is not possible to say what were
the election programs, nor the votes cast for each Party, nor whether all offices
have been filled.
[January 17, 1945]



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Labor and Industry in Britain. Monthly. Free on appli-
Information papers on wartime Britain covering Taxation,
Education, Rationing, Women's Work, Industry, etc., may
be obtained free on application.

Britain Looks Ahead (Official Statements).
Post-War Planning (Unofficial Statements).
Wartime Planning for Physical Reconstruction.
The British Commonwealth and Empire.
The British Constitution.
50 Facts about India (illustrated).
John Britain (illustrated).
Britain versus Japan (illustrated).
50 Facts About Britain's War Effort.

(All available free on application.)

For catalogue of Films available, terms of hire, etc., apply
to any office of British Information Services.

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