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BRITAIN CAN MAKE IT
H. M. KING GEORGE VI at the Opening of the Exhibition of Industrial
Design, Victoria and Albert Museum
London, September 24, 1946. I feel it is right that the first Exhibition of
Industrial Design to be organized after the gravest crisis in our history
should be held in this building. In the Victoria Museum were housed some
of the finest products of that famous international exhibition held in Hyde
Park, under the presidency of my great-grandfather, the Prince Consort, in
the year 1851.
One of its main objects was the encouragement of improved design.
Ever since then there have been farsighted men, within industry and out-
side it, who have promoted the same cause. There is today, as perhaps
never before, the need and the opportunity to carry forward by a new effort
the work thus begun.
One reason for this is the need to invigorate our industry and trade. In
the oversea markets, upon which our prosperity, our solvency, and our
standard of life must depend in years to come, and also in our own home
markets, our manufacturers will have to compete with a steady improve-
ment in the design of foreign productions. Let us today set out to make
British design a hallmark of pre-eminence in the eyes of the world, as
British materials and workmanship have long been.
But that is-not the only reason why we should make this effort. We are
all agreed that the standard of living of our people must be raised. We are
resolved to aim at higher levels of social welfare, public education, health,
and planning of our urban and rural communities. In this great movement
for public betterment, let us remember how important it is to reach new
standards of craftsmanship and of beauty in all the things we use in our
daily lives. There is deep enjoyment to be found in the possession and use
of rightly designed, rightly made goods. We should spread this enjoyment
widely among our people. We should use the great power of modern
industry to make not only more and more goods but better ones.
The Council of Industrial Design is an expression of our national will
to improve both our commercial prospects and our personal standards of
living. It is right and proper that among the first activities of the council
should be this exhibition in which the Government and industry have
worked together to show to our own people and our friends from abroad
the newest and the best of our productions. The idea of the exhibition was
conceived within a few days of the armistice with Japan. That is little
more than a year ago, and as we look around us in this hall we can take
pride in the speed of our change-over from the grim tasks of war to the
creation of these many serviceable and attractive articles of peace. No
country was more completely given over to war than ours. Yet we are, I
believe, the first fighting country to create a peacetime exhibition of this
British Speeches of the Day [H. M. THE KxNG]
kind and scope. Much hard work has gone into the preparation of all that
we see around us; and I am proud to think that at a time when the diffi-
culties of the war have by no means vanished our manufacturers and work-
ers have so willingly made this effort to show what we can and hope to
achieve in the happier future before us.
I believe that the many visitors from abroad who visit this exhibition
will find in it much evidence of our power of recovery in the face of all
difficulties, and of our continued leadership in the arts of peace. I believe
that our own people, after the long years of strain and denial, will draw
encouragement from the sight of the things here which, from now on, will
become available to them in increasing numbers.
I have pleasure in declaring the exhibition open, and I wish it every
[The Times Text]
A LITTLE LIFTING OF THE CLOUDS
RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN at Wandsworth Town Hall
London, September 27, 1946. I think there has been a little lifting of
the clouds. Passions and prejudices have to be overcome if we are to make
the peace, and that has been my great objective. We have recently had
a statement from Russia that they do not anticipate that a further war is
likely at present. I do not think so either, and I do not know anybody who
is asking for war. There were misunderstandings but there is one kind of
war that, if we are to get peace among nations, must stop, and that is what
is called a "war of nerves," in which the press and radio, speeches and
everything that is going on has left some unfortunate countries in a- state
I shall look forward, when I go back to the Conference, to a new ap-
proach and a new attitude of mind. The acid test is not in speeches made
by statesmen, but it is the approach in the Conference room to the actual
problems we are discussing that matters. It will be there that we shall
discover whether or not the United Nations have the co-operation which
will make for the unity of mankind.
I feel I have to exercise great care because if I make a mistake or come
to a wrong judgement, and if the Government of which I am a member
makes a wrong decision in foreign affairs, it will not be the present genera-
tion that will suffer in the long run, but the generations yet unborn. I will
do my best, and when I pass off the stage as a member of the Government I
hope I shall have left nothing behind that will create further desires for
war or further wars.
THE WORLD REVOLUTION
FIELD MARSHAL SMUTS, Prime Minister of South Africa, at Aberdeen,
September 16, 1946 [Extracts]
I COME FROM PARIS, and perhaps you expect me very briefly to say a few
words on that great Conference which is proceeding in Paris. I know there
is great disappointment in the world over that Conference. I know it. The
world has been looking for some message which might bring hope. We are
at a most difficult passage in the history of our Western civilization, and
after what we have passed through, the sorrows, the losses, the agonies
which mankind has gone through in these years, we had looked forward to
peace at the end of it, to words of peace and solace. Well, people with
these ideas and longings in their minds must have been disappointed with
Paris. They have read of the interminable debates, they have heard of the
bickerings and quarrelings and snarlings that go on there and they find
that is not what they expected, and they are disappointed with the Paris
Conference. There are many reasons for this. I think people have expected
too much. You cannot expect immediately after a war and catastrophe such
as we have passed through that people's minds all over the world will be
attuned to the future we have been looking forward to. It is expecting too
much. Human nature does not respond so quickly.
THE DrmIFICLTIES IN PARIS
We are still in the aftermath of war. We have still much of the men-
tality which actuated us in the war. When I say "we," I mean all the
peoples. That has been a handicap-people have expected too much. You
must also remember we have these great difficulties at Paris. There is
extreme publicity. We are making an experiment in what our American
friends call "open diplomacy." You know that real business is never done
with open diplomacy. You shrewd business men in Aberdeen do not con-
duct your business with open diplomacy. You would never get anywhere
if you did so. We have submitted to rules of procedure which mean every-
thing at the Conference. Every sitting of every commission, of every com-
mittee, and of every sub-committee has the press there and is fully reported,
and what is reported very often is not the things that matter but the things
that have news value. You don't blame the press for that. It is their
business. . Under these difficulties you can imagine progress is very
difficult. The proceedings are reported out of perspective. You have to be
very careful what you say because you are not speaking to the Conference.
It is not the give-and-take of a business gathering. Every man there has to
speak to the world and to his own country, where his enemies may be lying
in wait for him. Under these conditions progress in business is almost im-
There is another difficulty, a very big disadvantage which I have felt
very much. I think a mistake was made initially when the Big Four, the
Foreign Ministers of the great Powers, settled the program and tried to
come to agreement on the main issues before us. If they had stopped there
British Speeches of the Day [FIELD MARSHAL SMUTS]
it would have been all to the good. It was right for the great Powers to
explore ways of agreement where there were so many sources of disagree-
ment. But they have gone further. They have already agreed that where
they had agreed they would stand by each other. You can understand that
under these circumstances, where the Conference is called to discuss these
very matters, and the people who really count-the great Powers-have
agreed to carry out their own decisions already taken, the Conference is
largely hamstrung. It becomes merely a debating society. I think this sense
of futility and frustration has been all the time over the Conference. The
representatives know that whatever they may say, whatever they may
agree to, the Big Powers have already agreed to stick to their agreement
and not to the agreement of the Conference. It is quite a new departure.
We did not even have it at San Francisco at the Conference of the United
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERCURRENTS
I hope, therefore, the disappointment which is felt will not be stressed
too much. We are working under very big handicaps. We are dealing, not
with the big questions which the world is looking to: we are dealing with
five minor peace treaties, from Finland to the Balkans. We have not come
to the main task yet. Therefore, there is not that intensity of interest and
devotion to the cause of peace which you would have expected. Even so, we
are doing our best. In these five treaties which we are trying to frame an
immensity of detail has to be thrashed out. These questions are being
discussed to the best of our ability in these agreements, so that it is necessary
work. It is good work, and it is work that has got to be done. We have got
to make peace in regard to these small peoples ....
Bear in mind, in a meeting like this of 21 nations talking to each other,
it is not the things on the surface that matter. It is the undercurrents that
you watch. Surface troubles, surface friction and surface disputes and dis-
agreements are probably not the things that matter, because people are
thinking, and underneath there are currents flowing which are much
deeper. I have this feeling that these discussions, which look rather paltry
in many ways, which are discouraging and disappointing, are indicative of
what is going on under the surface. These surface indications, these straws
that float on the surface-you watch for the currents deeper down. Watch-
ing as a spectator of this show at Paris, I can see, and I think many others
can see, what is moving under the surface-what are the undercurrents that
are flowing and that are going to shape the course of history in the future.
You cannot listen to these debates, futile as they may appear and disappoint-
ing as they may appear, without beginning to realize there are deeper things
moving in the world and beginning to see the trend of these currents. So
it is not all loss and disappointment and just friction. There are some
valuable deductions which one may draw and which the future will draw.
We are forewarned, we are awakened, and many illusions are being dis-
pelled, if people read carefully what is happening.
We have not come to the main problem yet-Central Europe. There
we shall be soon. There is no doubt things are moving: economic condi-
The World Revolution
tions, social conditions are developing in Germany and in Central Europe
which will settle the future destiny of this continent. We are moving up to
that point, and this year, next year, we shall be up against the main prob-
lem of peace, which will be much harder, much more difficult, and much
more responsible than the minor questions of the smaller peace treaties
with which we are dealing now at Paris.
We are in a very difficult situation. We have won the most colossal
victory in the world after the most colossal struggle that the human race has
ever been through. The world is left in a state of affairs now which almost
fills one with despair, and it is difficult to see what is going to happen., We
cannot allow things to drift very much longer. As you know, there has
been great disagreement among the great Powers. Original resolutions
taken at previous conferences are not being carried out, and in Germany
and other countries conditions are very bad, and if they are allowed to
develop much longer on the present lines then you may have a very serious
state of affairs.
Two things have to be kept in mind. The first is this-and I think the
world is agreed-that the political power, the military menace of Germany
must be broken, and broken for good. I think we are all agreed on that-
that every step should be taken and is being taken now to see that that
menace should not overhang our destiny, if we can avoid it, again.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
But the military menace is not the only one before us. You may have a
menace which is just as dangerous and just as fatal to the future, and that is
if Central Europe-Germany and the countries around her-drift into social
and economic conditions which may also spell the ruin of Europe. You
may have in the heart of Europe a center of infection which may spread
to the rest and may mean a lowering of standards all round, a breeding of
tempers which will work like poison in the heart of Europe. That is the
other menace we have to watch against, and, I think, when we come to the
main problem of peace with which we will have to deal in the months and
years to come, we shall have to watch this situation just as carefully, scrupu-
lously, and honestly and sincerely as we watch the military menace. We shall
have to work for conditions which will mean peace and restoration and
You know these matters are troubling people very much nowadays, and
they see conditions are developing, especially in Germany, judging from
recent reports, which will require very careful handling if we do not want
to see a lowering of standards of conditions of life, a breeding of tempers
which in the end may mean just as grave dangers as the military menace
Germany has sinned grievously, almost unpardonably, almost unforgiv-
ably against our Western civilization. We know that. We must prevent
its recurrence, but we must also watch the other danger: that in the punish-
ment that is inflicted we do not allow extremes to develop which again may
make the position in Europe one of extreme danger for the future. Certain
British Speeches of the Day [FIELD MARSHAL SMUTS]
elementary things we are all agreed on. The Germans must work; they
must have the opportunity to work; to use Mr. Churchill's classic phrase,
"They must work their passage." They must live. We must not tolerate
conditions which cannot be tolerated by any decent civilized community.
They must live, they must work, they must on wholesome lines be rein-
tegrated into our Western system, otherwise they are lost, otherwise a
vacuum is created in Europe which will be most dangerous. You never
know what devils might enter into that emptiness.
These are the problems that lie before us. We are face to face with a
large human problem, probably the largest human problem that has faced
us in the West for hundreds of years. It is both a military and a human
problem we must face. I have this feeling. There must be some hope of a
better life and better conditions. The German people must know that, re-
pentant, they can return, however much they have erred and sinned. I
think the light must be left in the window for the prodigal to return. It
is only on these human lines that we shall once more see a happy continent
once more taking her place and playing her part in Western civilization.
THE PEACE AFTER THE BOE WAR
I speak feelingly because I speak from experience. ThM best peace of
my experience was the peace that we made in South Africa. It is a peace
which has affected world history. Within 50 years it has produced enor-
mous, rich, beneficial fruits. It was a human peace, and you see the
results of it. You have seen what a human peace means. I think we shall
have to be guided to some extent, although conditions are different and
much more difficult, by these conditions of humanity, this breadth of
vision and wisdom which guided British policy at the end of the Boer War
and produced such wonderful results. We may still take a leaf out of that
book. Looking at the dangers ahead of us-enormous dangers, just as grave
as the danger of German militarism-I say let us think once more of what
we did before, and let us strive to establish a peace in this world, even
with those who have sinned grievously, on these lines which we have suc-
cessfully tried on a previous occasion.
I think we find it difficult today to understand what is happening in
the world. No such period of human history is on record as that which
we are passing through. I do believe we are living through the greatest
revolution in the history of the human race. We are thinking in terms of
two wars that have devastated the West, but we are forgetting that these two
wars are simply indications of something deeper, of deeper evils in the
world, of deeper forces that are moving in the world, and my feeling more
and more is, we have been going through and are still going through the
greatest revolution in human history. I think it started 50 years ago at
the Boer War, and there may be another 50 years before us. Nobody can
say. We may be just in the middle of it. We must be guided by the best
light. The most human light and the largest-hearted humanity, if our
Western peoples, those glorious peoples who have done so much for the
human race, are going to pull through.
The World Revolution
Vast changes have occurred already. I read a couple of. days ago of
some person in America accusing us of British militarism, of trying to
shape the world on lines of British militarism. That gentleman was bark-
ing up the wrong tree. British militarism is dead. It does not exist. It
died in the Boer War and has been non-existent since. What has happened
since then? You have seen Great Britain following a course which has
meant the rise of her old colonies into Dominions, into independent sover-
eign States. She has withdrawn all her power from them and given them
sovereign equality and liberty to run their own affairs. Does that look
like British militarism? And you see what is happening today in India,
you see what is happening in Egypt, you see what is happening in the
Colonial Empire everywhere. I see no trace of British imperialism. It is
a question whether we are not going too far in the other direction. Cer-
tainly there is no British militarism. On the contrary, I see other im-
perialisms arising, economic, ideological imperialisms. People who speak
of British imperialism simply don't understand the alphabet of the situation
before mankind today.
The mission of the British people has been to extend liberty and self-
government throughout the world, and doing it in such abundant measure
that some of her friends are becoming almost frightened at this move away
from the old standards.
THE FUNDAMENTAL REVOLUTION
There is no trace of British imperialism, but there are other dangers.
But they don't frighten me. Just as British imperialism has disappeared,
so the things that trouble us today will also disappear. People talk of
communism. Thirty years hence shall we still hear of it? Will it not go
the way of British imperialism? I think many of the catchwords and
slogans of today, many of the issues on which we are today fighting to
the uttermost will have disappeared when we have got through this funda-
mental revolution of mankind which is recasting our civilization. I think
most of these things, if not all, will have disappeared and you will not
hear of these isms, slogans and ideologies any more.
Events taking place in the world today are far more deep-reaching and
fundamental than people understand. Just as old evils disappear, so these
new evils will disappear from our path. I remain full of hope and faith.
I don't think that this human race divine is going to founder. I think
that where we have got through such crises as we have in previous history,
we shall continue to succeed, moving through ups and downs to the greater
goals that lie ahead of us. I think that much of these things that trouble
us now will disappear.
One duty rests on us today and will rest on us in this peacemaking,
and it rests on all of us in our international intercourse and in our deal-
ings with our own affairs and other people's. It is this-that we be watch-
ful. We are passing through very dangerous times. History is passing
through the rapids, things are moving very fast, and the movement may
take a fatal turn. We are called upon to be extremely vigilant, careful,
British Speeches of the Day [FmLD MARSHAL SMUTS]
and watchful. We may give away something today which you may bitterly
regret afterwards. We have human ideals, which have been achieved in
our British group and in the world generally, which ought to be main-
tained. We ought not to play fast and loose with fundamental human
interests, and we must be very careful and very watchful and very vigilant.
That is the main duty on us today: to be human and large-hearted, not to
be moved by undue prejudices, but at the same time to be extremely care-
ful, because we are custodians of something very great in the world.
Look at what treasure of the human spirit, human government, and
human progress has been entrusted to our care. Let us be careful, faith-
ful guardians of these things entrusted to our care. Don't become unduly
despondent. If we do not give away what should never be given away,
what should be defended to the utmost as we defended it in 1940-41, stand-
ing against all odds, then we need not speculate as to the future. If we
are faithful to ourselves and to the cause we stand for we shall pull through.
No ideology, no danger from East or West will worry us, and we shall
once more pull through and pull others through as we did in those fate-
ful years that lie behind us.
Be moderate, watchful; stand on guard; do not give way unnecessarily,
don't be disheartened and despondent but stand firm and strong in spirit.
If we do that, then I think we of the British people will continue to make
our contribution. And it may be that in the times ahead of us we may
be called on to render as great service to the human cause as we rendered
in these fateful years that lie behind us.
That is the spirit in which I approach this question of peacemaking
as it comes before us. Do not be disheartened by the Paris Peace Con-
ference. There are deeper things moving. We may be called upon to
play our part just as valiantly and as strongly and faithfully as in the war
behind us. When I look at your granite city and think of the granite
qualities of your people, and when I think of what they have done and
endured, I am full of faith. Therefore, we march forward full of courage,
full of faith, but determined to do our duty and not to surrender weakly,
or in a fit of absent-mindedness, things we should not surrender and which
we should defend to the uttermost.
[Glasgow Herald Text]
BRITAIN'S CLIMB BACK
RT. HON. SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS, President of the Board of Trade,
at the Prosperity Campaign Conference, Edinburgh, September 19, 1946
IT IS JUST OVER A YEAR since the war ended with the final defeat of Japan
and we were able in consequence to turn our attention to the things of
We had gone through six of the worst years in the history of this coun-
try and we had emerged victorious from what, at one time, looked like an
impossibly difficult situation. During those six years the people of the
Britain's Climb Back
country, whether in the fighting forces or working on the home front, had
built up in their minds a very definite hope, and indeed determination, of
improved conditions and standards in our own country after the war. We
all wanted and now want to make the sacrifices of the war the prelude to
happier, safer, and more prosperous times of peace.
You will remember that towards the end of the war, while the Coalition
Government was still in power, that Government announced in a famous
White Paper that the responsibility for full employment was one which
the Government of the country must accept. At the time it was realized
that in the change-over from war production to peace production there
might be a very great deal of unemployment unless the whole operation
were carried through in a controlled and planned way. The specter of
unemployment-the unemployment that followed the last war-was still
then, and even now remains prominently, in the workers' minds. They
feared that the violent fluctuations in prices and in availability of raw
materials and other conditions which affect production in an unplanned
economy, such as we had after the First World War, would bring about
a recurrence of the mass unemployment which was experienced especially
in certain areas mainly devoted to some particular industries such as coal
This was a very real fear and affected not only the workers in those
areas but everyone in the country. Steps were taken by the Government
to get the powers necessary to equip those areas with factory buildings
and industrial services, so that when munitions production ceased there
would be alternative occupations for the workers.. These so-called Devel-
opment Areas have again shown themselves to be the difficult spots, and
that very fact, which arises out of the inter-war years of unemployment,
has emphasized the fear of recurrence of the disastrous state of affairs
which was then allowed to persist.
I mention these matters to you, because they have been largely re-
sponsible for an approach to our problems of post-war production which
is mistaken and which is embarrassing us as a nation in our desire to raise
our living standards as rapidly as possible.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND LABOR SHORTAGE
Many people-and myself among them-tried to impress upon the coun-
try at the General Election, and even before, that our real problem would
not be lack of jobs but lack of people to fill the jobs. And so, of course,
it has turned out to be the case. We must not confuse local unemploy-
ment, due to special circumstances which we have not yet had time to put
right, with mass unemployment arising from a real surplus of labor.
I know only too well today, with my responsibility for the manufac-
ture of so many consumer goods, that there is an acute over-all shortage
of male and female labor which is preventing us either having for our-
selves the volume of consumer goods that we need or being able to sell
them in our export trade.
I want to make this distinction quite clear, if I can, because not un-
naturally people looking at, say, conditions in Lanarkshire are apt to think
British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CmIPPs]
that we must have more labor than we need. So we have in Lanarkshire,
and that labor is not and cannot be mobile over short periods of time; as
we discovered between the wars, when old industries decline, as coal and
steel have done in that district, then we must plan and organize the bring-
ing of newer industries to take their place. This is a local problem, and
we are tackling it by the building of new factories and inducing a new
lot of manufacturers to come and take them.
We haven't done so badly so far, considering the difficulties in the
building industry and the competition there is for all kinds of building
work. Up to the end of August, 285 new factories and extensions had
been approved in the Scottish Development Areas estimated to cost 11/4
million and planned to employ over 57,000 persons, half men and half
women. Building operations had been begun in 121 of these. I give you
these figures, not because we are satisfied with them-far from it: we shall
not be satisfied till all the local unemployment has disappeared-but to
point out that this is a local problem of unemployment which must be
cured by special local action.
In the wider field we are gravely undermanned and underwomanned
in most of our important consumer industries. In cotton, for instance,
there is a shortage of 100,000 and in wool of 57,000, as compared with
pre-war. There is a shortage in coal-mining, building, and in agriculture,
in fact practically everywhere if we take account of our over-all needs, and
especially in the heavier and less agreeable forms of manufacture.
This, as I said, is what I expected, and as long as we plan our produc-
tion vigorously and progressively it will persist.
THE DANGER OF A LOWERED LIVING STANDARD
The importance of these quite simple facts is that we must approach
the solution of our problem not from the point of view of the fear of un-
employment on a large scale, but rather from the fear that we shall de-
press our standard of living because we cannot produce enough. That is
the real danger today. In fact, that is what is happening now.
We cannot, of course, measure a standard of living in money-money
without goods to buy with it isn't much use to us. What is complained of
today is not the shortage of money but the shortage of goods-it's sheets
and pillowcases and clothes and shoes and prams that are wanted and not
1 or 10s. notes. And why haven't we got them? Simply and solely because
there are not enough people engaged in making those things to satisfy our
needs. If we were to be able to switch over more people to make those
particular articles, or if those working on them could produce more, we
could have a better supply. But to put more workers on these things would
only mean taking them away from somewhere else or some other occupa-
tion and so creating another shortage.
We, as a Government, by the various controls that we can exercise, at-
tempt to persuade labor into the most useful channels, and we know that
apart from the few local areas which we are dealing with, as I have men-
tioned, there is this acute shortage which is in fact depressing our standards
at the present time. By our controls we are able largely to prevent luxury
Britain's Climb Back
production except where it is required for exports, and the vast bulk of
our labor is therefore employed today upon making the goods required
by the ordinary people.
Apart from the consumer goods that we manufacture ourselves, there
are those commodities that we don't and can't grow or make in this coun-
try. The volume of imports today, largely consisting of food and raw
materials, is only about two-thirds of what it was pre-war. That means,
of course, that we have less choice of foodstuffs, difficulties with raw ma-
terials, and few or no imported manufactured goods.
And why is that? Simply because our post-war financial position makes
it impossible for us to import more unless we can also export more to
balance the payments. We have to export machinery and manufactured
goods to buy the fruit and food we want, so that exports are part of our
own domestic standard of living just as home production is. There is a
great "shortage" in exports too. That is to say, we could sell much more
if we could make it. But here we must be careful because the very great
demand overseas for goods of all kinds is largely the accumulation of
deficits during the war years. Before very long these deficits will have
been satisfied and there will be quite a new state of affairs in the export
markets. A very strong competition amongst exporters from different
countries will arise, and we shall need both high quality and reasonable
prices if we are to maintain a sufficiency of exports to obtain the imports
So far, I have been putting .before you the reasons why we must regard
our problems of production from the point of view of how can we get
enough people to fill the jobs rather than how can we get enough jobs for
the people. It isn't a question of going slow to prevent unemployment,
but of going fast to get the things we need for a decent standard of living.
Now that is the general setting in which our production drive is taking
place, and it is essential that we should firmly grasp these fundamental
facts if we are to realize the urgency of the need for more production. It is
the only way by which we can get all those things we have been so long
without-whether they come from our own farms, mines or factories, or in
exchange for the exports we send abroad.
Let us now have a look at the magnitude of the job we are trying to
do in these immediate post-war years. The basic need for satisfying all
our requirements is coal-not merely to keep us warm, to light our houses
and factories, but above all to supply the essential power factor in the
manufacturing industries, in railway transport, and in shipping. Produc-
tion of all kinds may easily be held up this winter if we do not increase
our coal output above the existing level. But, assuming we can get the
necessary supplies of power, what have we to use that and our labor re-
First comes the immense task of supplying all the buildings we require
-not merely houses, which are of course vital, but also factories, which,
especially in the Development Areas, are as high a priority as houses them-
British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CRnPs]
selves. We must not only house our people but we must also supply them
with decent employment in good conditions.
One of the difficulties today in the less attractive and older industries
is the lack of amenities of all kinds in the factories. There is a great back-
log of such work-canteens, lavatories, rest rooms, good lighting, and so
forth that needs to be done which the war has held up-and much new
work of a similar nature that is essential to improve the conditions in in:
dustry. The old industries need to be brought up to the standards of the
new-standards which were incorporated in the Government factories built
during the war, most of which have now been turned over to civilian man-
ufacture. All this requires an immense amount of labor and materials.
Then there are the repairs of bomb damage still far from completion, and
all the accumulated demands for repair and maintenance which could
not be carried out during the war. In the same way the machinery of our
peacetime production needs renewal on a large scale, and new types of
machinery must be installed in many of our industries if they are to be
efficient suppliers of our own needs or effective competitors in the inter-
national markets. Next we must replenish our stocks of all kinds of con-
sumer goods, and achieve a greater variety. The shelves are empty, and a
great quantity of goods are required to fill them in addition to those needed
for current consumption.
During the war we have had to sacrifice in the cause of victory half
the income from our foreign investments which was used before the war
to purchase the necessary imports from abroad. Now instead of getting
those imports by way of annual interest on our savings we must pay for
them with exports manufactured here-that is now the only way in which
we can get them.
We have lost, too, half our shipping by enemy action during the war,
the earnings of which are another source of wealth that enable us to get
imports from abroad. Again, we have to make up for that loss by exports
of our own manufactures.
That is why we must increase exports to 75 per cent in volume above
pre-war if we are to maintain the same volume of imports as we had before
the war. We shall, in fact, want more imports and not less if we are to
maintain our standards, because we must import more raw materials to
enable us to export 75 per cent more manufactured goods.
Even that is not all, because during the war we have incurred very
large sterling debts as well as the dollar loans we have been obliged to get
from America and Canada. These require interest to be paid upon them
and eventually they must be paid off, and that again can only be done by
goods that we export.
Over and above all this we want to devote more of our productive
effort to improved social services of all kinds for the health, education and
happiness of our people, and also to raise their standards of living by sup-
plying them with more consumer goods.
It is to these tremendous tasks that we are now devoting the manpower
and materials that for six years have been used for war purposes. The
Britain's Climb Back
transition has been remarkably smooth and efficient. Managements and
workers have between them overcome all the difficulties of the readjust-
ment with extraordinarily little upset. But we have not yet anything like
reached our objective.
Taking the side of imports first, which are such a vital and essential
part of our standard of living: at present our imports are not more than
two-thirds of pre-war, nor have we yet succeeded in exporting sufficient
goods to balance those imports. We haven't done badly: we got back to
our pre-war level of exports and in some months we have exceeded it, but
there is still a gap of some 25-30 million a month which we must make
up as soon as we can. We need many more exports, but how are we to
Before the war our export trade was one-fifth of that of the whole
world-20 per cent. If we are to increase it by 75 per cent, as we must, that
would mean 35 per cent of total world exports on the pre-war basis. Such
a percentage is obviously not a possibility, so that our only way out is to
do our utmost to encourage the growth of the total export trade of the
world. If that could be increased by 75 per cent, then our pre-war share
would give us the volume of exports we need. That is why it is so essen-
tial for us as a great exporting country to do all we can to free world trade
from impediments and to increase its volume.
But we have to remember that it is not only total volume that matters.
The kind of goods that we can export also varies. Coal was at one time
one of our chief exports, today the quantity exported is extremely small
and is not likely to increase, anyway for a long time to come. There are
other exports upon which it is not possible to get the required 75 per cent
increase. So it follows that in other goods we must achieve a much greater
increase than 75 per cent.
This is not only possible but it has in fact been accomplished. Let me
give you one or two examples. Agricultural machinery has gone up four
times-400 per cent; cranes and hoists, three times; locomotives, six times;
marine internal combustion engines, four times; cars have more than
doubled; and radio sets have increased five times. These are outstanding
examples. Other industries will have to achieve similarly good records.
THE NEED FOR GOODS OF HIGH QUALITY
This is not, of course, a merely temporary need. We must not only
attain but we must also maintain these increases. And, as time goes on, that
maintenance will become more and more difficult in the face of growing
competition. For the next year or two the world will still be short of all
kinds of commodities-the result of the war years-but after that the pres-
ent sellers' market-in which it is easy to sell anything-will change to a
buyers' market in which good quality in workmanship and design will be
needed and reasonable prices, if we are to maintain the volume of our
That is the reason why last year we decided to launch the great exhibi-
tion on design, which will be opened in London on September 24 by the
King, under the name of "Britain Can Make It."
British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CRIPPS]
It will be no easy task for British industry to keep up the flow of ex-
ports at the level essential to enable us to obtain all the imports we need
both of food and raw materials-the wheat, meat, butter, sugar, tea, fruit,
tobacco, cotton, wool, timber, oil, and so forth. Industry must fit itself
for this national task by the best market research, industrial design, and
salesmanship that is possible. We must maintain and increase our repu-
tation for quality and value. Anyone who now takes advantage of the
sellers' market to palm off inferior goods on our overseas customers is doing
a grave disservice to the nation.
In the domestic market, too, we must increase our production. We
need every kind of consumer goods in greater volume for our own people.
We have, side by side with increases in exports, ensured increases in con-
sumer goods in the home market. Let me give you a few examples of what
we have done, taking the second quarter of this year 1946 in comparison
with the second quarter of 1945-or the nearest appropriate period-and
expressing the production in both as a percentage of the production in 1935
-a typical pre-war year.
Footwear ................................. 57 75
Cloth for clothing
W ool ........................ 50 72
Non-W ool ........................ 38 55
W ool blankets ............................ 53 77
Bedding .................................. 52 107
Utility furniture ........ ................ 17 59
Prams and push chairs .:.................. 87 171
Tobacco .................................. 121 135
Radio sets ................................ 13 40
These are typical figures, and they show two things. First, that we
have made good progress; and, second, that we have a long way yet to go
both to make good wartime deficits and to get back to 1935 standards upon
which, of course, we want to improve.
What I have said so far will give you, I hope, a picture of the immensity
of the job that we as a nation are tackling, and it will also, I think, make
you realize the need for an all-out production drive if we are to be able
in the years ahead of us to maintain our standards, despite the losses of
the war, or, as we hope, to improve upon them.
How THE JOB MUST BE TACKLED
How, then, are we to accomplish this vast task?
First, I think we must approach it with the right outlook. It is no use
expecting a decent standard of working conditions and of living unless
between us somehow or other we can produce the goods. Money, wages
and salaries, shorter hours and better conditions, holidays with pay, and
all such matters are dependent upon what we can produce. It is no
good wages going up if prices rise with them: we are no better off. That
means .to say that by and large for more costs in wages and salaries we
must get more production, not in the form of sweated production but by
means of a higher efficiency of output.
Britain's Climb Back
Let me give a simple example of what I mean. We can't get more
houses and factories-built by putting up wages in the building trade un-
less it leads to greater production. We can only afford a certain limited
amount of labor for building; there is no inexhaustible reservoir to draw
upon. The only way we can increase our production of buildings is by
more efficient techniques and by each individual doing more in the course
of the year, either by working fuller hours-not more hours but con-
sistently all the working hours; no absenteeism-or by doing more work
per day. If a bricklayer lays say 500 instead of 400 bricks a day, then
production goes up by 25 per cent. There is no other way of getting the
extra production we need. That must be our general approach to the
problem. It is a question of what each man and woman produces within
There are, of course, still difficulties with some raw materials, and any-
way the greatest economy is necessary in their use since they all have to
be bought with exports or with our own labor in their preparation. We
are doing our best to get all the raw materials we can, but of some there
is such a world shortage, as in timber and leather for instance, that they
are not obtainable in the quantity we need. We must use the utmost in-
genuity in making our supplies go as far as possible, in avoiding waste
and in making any substitution that we can. That is one way to help.
In the same way, we must be as careful in salvage as we were during the
war, especially in supplies of paper, of which we are still acutely short and
shall continue to be short for some time to come. We can't afford to throw
away any material that is useful, we must be as economical as we can in
our homes and in our factories.
SOME FIGURES ON THE LABOR SHORTAGE
Perhaps in order to reinforce that argument, that we have no appreciable
reservoir of manpower except in a few special districts like the Develop-
ment Areas, I might give you a few figures of the latest position.
It was calculated that at the end of this year we should have 20 million
persons available for employment altogether, compared with over 211/
million in June, 1945, and 19% million in June, 1939. Against this the
demands for the Services, for building, for industry, for distribution, the
professions, and all the rest show a very considerable excess of jobs over
Unfortunately the state of the world demands more Service man- and
woman-power than before the war if we are to discharge our international
obligations as one of the first-class Powers, so that, at the end of this year,
it is calculated that 1,200,000 will still be in the Services compared to
5,100,000 in June, 1945, and in industry, working for the Services, 500,000
against nearly 4 million in June, 1945. Altogether there has been a change-
over of 61/4 million people from the Services and munitions to civilian life
between June, 1945, and June, 1946. But this still leaves a grave shortage
in many industries both of skilled and unskilled workers, and, owing to
the difficulties of housing, the mobility of labor has been reduced.
So far as factory premises are concerned, which had to be so largely
British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CmPs]
requisitioned for Service purposes during the war, out of 150 million
square feet so requisitioned, 103 million had actually been released by the
end of August this year and another 26 million were in process of being
released. So the major portion of that difficulty has been overcome, and
by the end of the year substantially all the requisitioned space should be
back in civilian occupation.
How ALL CAN HELP
There is not, therefore, much more that can be done either by way of
increasing the availability of labor or of manufacturing premises. What
remains to be done will be substantially finished by the end of the year.
You will notice from these figures that the total labor force at the end of
this year will be 1Y/ million less than in June, 1945. That is accounted
for by the women and older workers who will have left industry.
One way in which we can help to maintain the volume of production
is for these people in those districts where there is an acute shortage of
labor to stay on for some time to come or to return to industrial produc-
tion; we badly need their services. That will be a real help. This does
not, of course, apply to the areas like the Development Areas, where there
are still men and women seeking employment and for whom there is not
yet adequate opportunity owing to the lack of factory space, which we are
building now but which unfortunately cannot be built as fast as we would
like. This is all part of the plan to take industry to the workers, and the
Government have already spent and have approved the expenditure of 21
million upon this work in Great Britain.
There is another factor in this labor shortage to which we must also
pay attention. When such a shortage exists there is a natural tendency
for labor to go to the more attractive and easier industries, and to neglect
those industries which are perhaps more essential but in which the con-
ditions are more trying to the operatives. Various suggestions have been
made as to how this situation should be dealt with; many of these will
be found in the various Working Party Reports which are now being
published. The fundamental factor is to realize that we cannot force labor
into undesirable occupations. If we want employees in these trades we
must make their conditions more attractive, so that they can successfully
compete for labor in the shortage that exists.
One other factor we must bear in mind. Today there are many hun-
dreds of thousands of prisoners of war working in this country; they are
now starting to be repatriated in large numbers, and the essential work
they are now doing-often heavy and unpleasant work-will have to be
done by our own people or by foreigners willingly residing here when they
have gone. That will be a still further strain upon our labor resources.
Our only hope, then, is to make our present labor force more productive.
We must use every device of ingenuity and invention by organization,
mechanization, improved layout, and more skilled and scientific manage-
ment to increase the capacity of our industries without putting a greater
load upon our workers.
We have set up at the Board of Trade a Production Efficiency Branch
Britain's Climb Back
which we hope may help in this direction. I know from my own experi-
ence in the Ministry of Aircraft Production during the war how much such
an organization can help, especially the smaller manufacturers who repre-
sent the great bulk of our industrial population, and we hope the fullest
use will be made of the services of our experts. Indeed, that hope is being
already realized almost to their utmost capacity.
We are hoping, too, through the new British Institute of Management,
which the Government has promised to help, that much may be done to
bring up the general standards of management technique to those already
in evidence in some of the best factories in the country.
TRADE UNIONS AND MANAGEMENT
But perhaps the most essential item of all is good team work in fac-
tories. This can only come about if the workers are taken fully into con-
sultation and are treated as intelligent partners rather than as brainless
robots, as they have so often been treated in the past.
We are living in the post-war era in which the men and women who
were good enough to save us from defeat and to win us victory must also
be accepted as good enough to partake in the intelligent appreciation of
industrial problems. This puts a heavy burden of responsibility upon the
Trade Unions, which must be regarded no longer as merely charged with
the task of protecting the workers' wage standards and conditions but as
sharing with the employers in the planning of industry. That is why in all
the Working Parties that I have set up I have appointed an equal number
of Trade Unionists and of employers; and the reports which are already
published fully justify the value of the tripartite composition of those
parties. The third equal element is, of course, the independents who bring
valuable technical knowledge and also represent the general consuming
All sorts of theories have been put forward to account for the alleged
reduction of production per man-hour in our factories compared to war-
time or to pre-war.
It must be borne in mind, however, that it is not fair to make such a
comparison while all the disturbances of a colossal change-over from war-
time to peacetime manufacture are taking place. After six years of war
there must also be some letup and some relaxation, but at the same time
we must remember the fundamental fact that we cannot enjoy more than
we can ourselves produce or get in exchange for our own production.
I have, I am afraid, wearied you with a long story; my excuse if ex-
cuse is needed is the urgency and importance of the task that our country is
faced with at the present time. We must make good the devastation and
deficiencies of six years of war. We must pay our way internationally or
descend into bankruptcy; we must maintain and if possible increase the
standard of services and of living for our people; we must maintain the
necessary Forces in a troubled world to discharge our obligations as a
great Power and to protect ourselves, if the need should arise. But we have
not the manpower to do all these things unless we can improve the tempo
of our production by the use of every modern device of science and engi-
British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CBIPPS]
neering, and by the most intelligent and co-operative team work between
managements, technicians, and workers in every production unit in the
Those who, like myself, saw the colossal efforts made in the war, when
destruction was our object, know that this new task is by no means im-
possible. We are now building up a new and better civilization, some-
thing truly worth our efforts and something which no old-fashioned ideas
or antiquated techniques must be allowed to hinder or to deny to us.
But we shall not achieve it if we merely think selfishly of our own indi-
vidual interests, of what we can ourselves make out of it, or how we can
improve our position at the cost of others. If we try to snatch a greater
share of the nation's production than our own effort warrants, we shall
merely make others lose and so lose ourselves as well.
It was not in that spirit that we sacrificed and suffered through the war.
Then we realized the spirit of true comradeship, we felt the inspiration
of self-sacrifice, we knew that there was a deeper and greater power for
good in the world which we must and we did serve. So, too, now in this
period of rebuilding the torn and shattered economy of the world we must
work for the common good of our people and of humanity; we must recog-
nize our duty to others as we would have them recognize their duty to us.
It is not on base and sordid motives that we shall build a Britain worthy
of her traditions and her people, but rather in the recognition of those
high ideals of Christian brotherhood which have long been our proud
boast as a nation, and which nowhere have been more strongly fostered
than in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland.
If it is with such a purpose that we go forward to meet the challenge
of the coming years, then however great the difficulties may be we shall
overcome them, and win that victory in peace which was, I am sure, the
dying vision of so many of our bravest and best sons and daughters who
fell in the war.
THE NEW INTERIM GOVERNMENT
Broadcast by VISCouNT WAVELL, Viceroy of India
New Delhi, August 24, 1946. You will have heard the announcement of
the names of the members of the new Interim Government which will
come into office very shortly. You will, I am sure, realize that a very mo-
mentous step forward has been taken on India's road to freedom. Some
of you who listened to me may feel, however, that the step should not have
been taken in this way or at this time. It is to these that I want princi-
pally to address myself tonight.
You who are opposed to the formation of the new Government are not,
I assume, opposed to the main policy of His Majesty's Government, namely,
to fulfill their pledges by making India free to follow her own destiny.
You will also, I think, all agree that we need at once a government of
Government of India
Indians as representative as possible of political opinion in the country.
This is what I set out to secure: but though five seats out of fourteen were
offered to the Muslim League, though assurances were given that the scheme
of constitution-making would be worked in accordance with the procedure
laid down, and though the new Interim Government is to operate under
the existing constitution, it has not been possible at present to secure a
coalition. No one could be more sorry about this failure than I am. No
one could be more sure that it is a coalition government in which both the
main parties are represented that is needed at this moment in the interests
of all parties and communities in India. This is the view which I know
the President of the Congress, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and his colleagues
hold as strongly as I do. His efforts, like mine, will still be directed to-
wards persuading the League to join the Government.
THE OFFER TO THE MUSLIM LEAGUE
Let me state clearly the offer which has been made and is still open to
the Muslim League. They can propose to me five names for places in a
government of fourteen, of which six will be the nominees of the Con-
gress, and three will be representatives of the minorities. Provided that
these names are acceptable to me and approved by His Majesty, they will
be included in the Government which will at once be re-formed. The
Muslim League need have no fear of being out-voted on any essential issue;
a coalition government can only exist and function on the condition that
both the main parties to it are satisfied. I shall see that the most impor-
tant portfolios are equitably shared. I sincerely trust that the League will
reconsider their policy and decide to participate in the Government.
Meanwhile, however, the administration of India has to go on, and there
are large issues which must be decided. I am glad that representatives of
a very large body of public opinion in the country will be my colleagues
in carrying on the government. I welcome them to my Council. I am
also glad that the Sikhs have now decided to participate in the Constitu-
ent Assembly and in the Interim Government. I have no doubt that their
decision is a wise one.
As I have already made clear, I shall implement fully His Majesty's
Government's policy in giving the new Government the maximum free-
dom in the day-to-day administration of the country. In the field of pro-
vincial autonomy, of course, the Provincial Governments have a very wide
sphere of authority in which the Central Government cannot intervene.
My new Government will not have any power or, indeed, any desire to
trespass on the field of provincial administration.
The recent terrible occurrences in Calcutta have been a sobering re-
minder that a much greater measure of toleration is essential if India is
to survive the transition to freedom. I appeal most earnestly, not only to
sober citizens, but to the young and the discontented to recognize that no
conceivable good either to themselves, or to their community, or to India
can come either from violent words or from violent deeds. It is essential
British Speeches of the Day [VIScouNT WAVELL]
that in all the Provinces law and order is maintained, and the protection
of the ordinary peaceable citizen is assured with a firm but impartial hand,
and that no community is oppressed. The Army had to be called at Cal-
cutta to restore order, and rightly so. But I must remind you that to sup-
press civil disturbances is not a normal duty of the Army, but that of the
Provincial Governments. Use of the Army is the last resource only. A
general recognition of this basic principle is essential, both from the point
of view of the civil population and of the Army itself. I have heard much
praise of the discipline and efficiency of the troops employed in Calcutta,
and will add here my own tribute of admiration to my own Service for
their behavior in a duty which is the most exacting and unpleasant on which
troops can be employed.
The War Member in the new Government will be an Indian, and this
is a change which both the Commander-in-Chief and I warmly welcome.
But the constitutional position of the Armed Forces is in no way changed.
They still owe allegiance, in accordance with their oath, to the King-Em-
peror, to whom and to the Parliament I am still responsible.
In spite of all immediate appearances, I believe that there is yet a chance
of agreement between the two principal parties. I am quite sure that there
is a very large body of opinion in both parties, and of non-party men, who
would welcome such an agreement, and I hope they will all work for it.
I would appeal also to the press to use its very great influence on the side
of moderation and compromise. Remember that the Interim Government
can be re-formed tomorrow if the League decide to come in. Meanwhile it
will administer in the interests of the country as a whole, and not of any
party or creed.
THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
It is desirable, also, that the work of the Constituent Assembly should
begin as early as possible. I can assure the Muslim League that the pro-
cedure laid down in the Statement of May 16 regarding the framing of the
provincial and group constitutions will be faithfully adhered to; that there
can be no question of any change in the fundamental principles proposed
for the Constituent Assembly in Paragraph 15 of the Cabinet Mission's
Statement of May 16, or of a decision on a main communal issue without a
majority of both the major communities; and that the Congress are ready
to agree that any dispute on interpretation may be referred to the Federal
Court. I sincerely trust that the Muslim League will reconsider their de-
cision not to take part in a plan which promises to give them so wide a field
wherein to protect the interests and decide the future of the Muslims of
We have come to another critical and solemn issue in the affairs of India.
Never were tolerance and soberness in thought and action more necessary;
never were the wild speaking and rash deeds of a few fraught with greater
danger for so many millions. Now is the time for all Indians in any author-
ity, with any influence, to show by their good sense and restraint that they
are worthy of their country, and that their country is worthy of the freedom
it is to receive.
RT. HON. CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, at the First Plenary Session
London, September 10,1946. It gives me the greatest pleasure to welcome
to this Conference the Representatives of the Arab countries of the Middle
East. For a quarter of a century now successive British Governments have
watched with close and sympathetic interest the progress of the Arab
national revival. I am sure you will agree that the revival must have pro-
ceeded far more slowly if Ottoman Dominion in the Arab parts of Asia
had not been broken by British Armies during the war of 1914-18. At the
end of that war Great Britain assumed responsibility for the political de-
velopment of Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan. We interpreted that respon-
sibility as obliging us first to see that the foundations of stable and pro-
gressive administration were firmly established and then to remove all
restrictions on self-government as rapidly as seemed to us practicable. In
accordance with this policy Iraq became a fully independent sovereign state
in 1930, and Transjordan has now acquired the same status. It is not for
want of British support that Transjordan's first application for membership
of the United Nations has encountered obstacles. On the other hand, I
think we may fairly claim that the presence of the Syrian and Lebanese
Republics among the member States of the United Nations is due to British
encouragement and assistance. Only in Palestine, for reasons which we shall
examine together round this table, has there been a conflict in principle
between British policy and Arab aspirations. What I have just said is illus-
trated by the difference between the composition of this Conference and of
that which met for a similar purpose at St. James's Palace in 1939. I should
like to say an additional word of welcome to the Delegations of those States
which were not represented in 1939-Lebanon and Syria-and to the Secre-
tary-General of the Arab League.
One word more by way of introduction. A national revival is not com-
pleted by the attainment of political independence. I believe that the
Arab States now have the opportunity of inaugurating important economic
developments from which the common people of their countries would
greatly benefit and which would increase their strength and stability. I am
happy to see that co-operation in such developments is one of the purposes
of the Arab League. I can assure you that His Majesty's Government
will, in so far as you ask for their help, do everything in their power to
help you in promoting economic expansion and social progress.
THE PURPOSE OF THE CONFERENCE
I turn now to the subject which has brought us together. It has, as
you know, always been the intention of His Majesty's Government to call
the Governments of the Arab countries into consultation before arriving
at any final conclusion as to the future of Palestine. We consequently ac-
cepted readily the proposal made by the States Members of the Arab
League that we should enter into negotiations with them on the subject.
It is my earnest hope that as the result of the Conference which begins
British Speeches of the Day [Mi. ATTLEE)
today the way may be cleared towards some acceptable solution of this
intractable problem. I much regret that the Arabs of Palestine have de-
cided not to send representatives to the Conference. But knowing how
near this question of Palestine is to the hearts of the neighboring Arab
countries, I feel fully satisfied that even if there are no Palestinian Delegates
the Arab point of view is adequately and effectively represented by the
present gathering. I need hardly tell you how much His Majesty's Gov-
ernment deplore the state of unrest and disturbance into which Palestine
has been plunged to the detriment of the interests and happiness of every
community and indeed of every individual there. It is a state which cannot
be permitted to continue, and it is incumbent upon us all to make every
effort to promote such a settlement of the underlying issues as will estab-
lish peace and prosperity in the land.
It is for this purpose that the present Conference has been convened.
I do not believe that it is, as is sometimes stated, a problem to which no
solution is possible. Given a spirit of realism and understanding, I am
convinced that a solution can be found. But the discovery of such a solu-
tion will be a high test of statesmanship, and I can conceive of no better
augury for success than the attendance here of so many distinguished rep-
resentatives ready to devote themselves to grappling with the difficulties
which we all know will be inherent in any plan which can be devised.
This is not the occasion for the discussion of details, and I do not
propose to attempt to enumerate or to dilate upon the difficulties to which
I have referred. His Majesty's Government have themselves put forward
a plan which seems to them to be well worthy of consideration. Discus-
sion of this plan will be the first item on the Conference Agenda. But
I wish to make it quite clear that we have not made up our minds in
advance of our discussions with you. Our plan is not a decision to which
we are committed, but a proposal which we ask you to consider. It is
open to any delegation either to suggest amendments to it or to put for-
ward proposals for a settlement on different lines. Our great desire is
that the discussions shall be as full, as frank and as free as possible. It is
from an interchange of views on such lines that an acceptable solution is
most likely to emerge.
I have, of course, no intention whatever of attempting to dictate how
these deliberations should be conducted, but there are three matters which
I would earnestly ask you to bear in mind. First, I would suggest that
too much time should not be devoted to the discussion of past history. We
live in an ever-changing world and must face facts as they exist today. No
plan, however firmly rooted in the past, which fails to give due weight
to the existing situation is likely to provide a solution of our difficulties.
Secondly, I would urge the importance throughout our proceedings of
recognizing that no settlement is possible in Palestine unless each com-
munity is prepared to take account of the other's interests and to make
the concessions necessary for peace. You as statesmen know that no con-
ference can achieve anything if those attending it have made up their
minds in advance and are determined to adhere to pre-conceived opinions.
In a matter of this kind where a great clash of interests is involved there
must be give-and-take. It is only along the path of negotiation where all
views are respected, weighed and taken into consideration that we can hope
to emerge into the daylight.
Finally, we must all remember that the Palestine problem cannot be
treated in isolation but must be regarded against the wider background
of world policy. Palestine is a tiny country but everything that happens
in it has reactions in a far wider sphere. To plan for Palestine while
ignoring these reactions would be to shut one's eyes to the realities of the
case: the structure might seem worthy but the foundations would be on
sand. It is fitting that the whole of this broad background should be sur-
veyed in a spirit of friendship at this conference table. For anything that
affects the Arab peoples is a matter of interest to the British people, and
in the same way the destiny of Britain is I believe a matter of importance
to the Arabs. We associated in a natural partnership. Sometimes it has
seemed that the harmony of this partnership is threatened by the impact
upon it of events in Palestine.
A NEW CHAPTER
It is my earnest hope that we shall succeed in removing that danger
by frankly explaining our difficulties to one another, and searching to-
gether for a solution to which you and we can honorably agree. You are
to consider a problem of the utmost complexity; a heavy weight of respon-
sibility rests upon you in dealing with it. But a way must be found, and
I am confident that you will approach the task of finding it with wisdom,
and with a full realization of the benefits both in the Middle East and
elsewhere which would flow from a just and lasting settlement of the
I regret that it will not be possible for me personally to take part in
your deliberations; the pressure of a Prime Minister's duties is so heavy
that I must leave it to my colleagues in the United Kingdom Delegation
to conduct the discussions. But I shall follow their course with the keenest
interest and do all that I can to promote their success. I pray that the
opening of this Conference may be also the opening of new and happier
chapters in the history of Palestine. I anticipate great results from the
personal contacts which are here being established. The fact that we are
thus met together shows you the extent to which His Majesty's Govern-
ment recognizes that Palestine is a subject of legitimate interest and con-
cern to all the Arab peoples. And the fact that you have come here to
meet us is, I hope, yet further evidence of the bonds of friendship which
unite you and your peoples with us and with the people of the British
THE ECONOMICS OF FOOD
RT. HON. JOHN STRACHEY, Minister of Food, at the Food and Agricultural
Organization Meeting [Extracts]
Copenhagen, September 4, 1946. Our Director-General has . put
before us the first outline of a plan. The object of his plan is, I take it,
to prevent the world slipping back into the tragedy of its pre-war situation.
That tragedy is epitomized by the now hackneyed phrase, but one which
must never be forgotten, of poverty in the midst of plenty ....
It may seem strange to concern ourselves with this problem today when
we are still all facing the acute crisis of wartime shortages. But it is not
too early to begin the consideration of the longer term problem. More-'
over, the problems are not wholly unrelated. How can we expect the
farmers of the world to work wholeheartedly to overcome this shortage
unless we give them some assurance that in doing so they are not prepar-
ing their own ruin in a new glut!
It is that specter of poverty in the midst of plenty, at least in its food
growing and food consuming aspects, that our Director-General summons
us to lay forever. He summons us to ensure that whatever else happens
in this world that situation will never occur-the situation which is per-
haps best summed up in the Canadian rhyme of many versions about
Farmer Pete. I only know perhaps the simplest of all its versions, which
runs, you will remember:
"Here lies the body of Farmer Pete,
Who starved from growing too much wheat."
That little rhyme seems to me to state our problem far better than tomes
of economic exposition.
But if we want to prevent, we must first understand. The rhyme says
that Farmer Pete starved because he grew too much wheat. But is that
right? Too much wheat in what sense? What killed Farmer Pete? Was
it that he obstinately went on producing wheat when all the peoples of
the world had plenty of bread and so had no need of his product? It
was not so. We have only to look at the figures present to us at this Con-
ference in the report entitled "Proposals for a World Food Board." When
Farmer Pete starved from growing too much wheat, 1,000 million people
-nearly half the population of the globe-were consuming under two and
a quarter thousand calories-much less than the British people, under
severe rationing, are consuming today. And if we shift the emphasis from
mere calories, we are told authoritatively that, even in the wealthiest coun-
tries in pre-war days, between 20 and 30 per cent of the population had
much too little of those foods which really make life worth living. And
Farmer Pete's wheat could, after all, easily have been turned into these
more expensive animal products.
No, the verdict on Farmer Pete's death is wrong. What killed Farmer
Pete was not too much wheat growing but too little bread eating. It was
not over-production by the primary producers, but enforced under-con-
The Economics of Food
sumption by the masses of the world. In the language of the economists,
the failure was on the demand side.
It is vital to emphasize at the outset this simple point, or we may be
in danger of beginning at the wrong end. We may begin-it is very easy-
to restrict supply instead of to increase demand. That, after all, was a
well-beaten path all through the pre-war period. Repeated, and in many
cases very successful, efforts were made to restrict supply. Let us from
the very start guard against returning to those false remedies in a new
form. But if we are to begin at the right end, at the demand end, we
must know what it was that caused the demand to fail long before the
most elementary of human needs, the needs for food, were satisfied. Until
we can answer that question, at any rate in broad outline, we cannot pos-
sibly find the true remedies.
STHE ROOT OF THE TROUBLE
Let there be no doubt as to what is the root cause of the trouble. There
is the inherent and formidable tendency of an unplanned, economic sys-
tem to keep the masses of the population down to as near a subsistence
level as it can. Be they wage earners or small, individual primary pro-
ducers, the inherent and enormously powerful bias of any competitive
economy must be to hold the masses at as near the subsistence level as
they will tolerate.
How could an unplanned system work in any other way? After all, the
incomes of the masses are at the same time the costs of their employers.
And any freely competitive system-and this, of course, in another aspect
is its chief merit-must by its very nature be driving ceaselessly, ruthlessly,
and blindly towards a reduction in costs.
During the period of the building up of the capital resources of the
world, such a system, for all its ruthlessness, has many things to be said
for it. At any rate it works. But once that stage is over, the blind drive
to reduce costs and consequently to reduce the incomes of the vast major-
ity of the population of the world becomes not only ruthless but actually
self-defeating. For it is the sum of all costs, be they the wages of indus-
trial workers or the prices received by independent primary producers,
which are the only sums of money with which the masses can buy the
ultimate products of the whole economic system. When that time comes,
this secret that total costs are total incomes becomes apparent. To put it
more exactly, the incomes of the masses are the costs of their employers.
.. .I am convinced that this is the key economic factor of our times, and
that all successful remedial action must be carried out in its light.
All this, of course, is far from being any discovery of mine. Many
economists have seen that this was the essential aspect of the present eco-
nomic system. Here in Scandinavia-in Sweden especially-they saw it per-
haps first of all. In Britain it received by far its most adequate statement
by the genius of the late Lord Keynes, and in America orthodox economists
have perhaps most widely popularized it.
But what, you may ask, is the practical point of this economic theoriz-
ing? The practical point is this. It is this blind bias of the system; it is
British Speeches of the Day [MB. STRACHEY]
its blind urge to hold down the purchasing power of the masses; it is this
that must be interfered with. All those who believe in planning are some-
times accused of wishing to interfere for interference sake. It is not so.
We interfere because we have found by bitter, horrible experience, by ex-
perience which has already almost destroyed the world, what happens
when the system is allowed to work itself out according to its own laws.
We interfere precisely in order to bolster the purchasing power of the
masses of the population in every possible way. That is one way of de-
scribing the very essence of the economic program on which His Majesty's
Government is intensively engaged in Great Britain. By a many-sided
program of economic and social reforms we are engaged in putting a solid
floor under the purchasing power of the British people. We are doing so
not merely for their sake, not merely because it is just, right and humane
to do so, but also because only so can the economic system be prevented
from once more wrecking itself, and all of us with it. We are doing it-
to return to our rhyme-in order that in future Farmer Pete's wheat shall
always find an effective market.
DANGERS INHERENT IN THE PROPOSALS
Now, as I see them, our Director-General's proposals for a World Food
Board are one method by which we may attack this central problem. They
are an attempt to protect the incomes of one section, and that a great one,
of the masses. They are an attempt to protect the incomes of the primary
agricultural producers. They are, in a sense, an attempt to do for the
primary agricultural producers of the world what minimum wage laws,
social services, redistributory taxation attempt to do for the industrial
wage earners. As such they must have, and have, the full support in prin-
ciple of His Majesty's Government. But that does not mean that we think
that the object which our Director-General has set us in these proposals
is easy of fulfillment. Nor does it mean that proposals of these kinds are,
in our view, free from certain risks and dangers. These proposals, wholly
beneficent as they are in intention, could be twisted and perverted so that
they would have in actual fact the very opposite effect to that intended.
I have already referred to the obvious danger that any scheme for the
organization of the marketing of the world's great primary agricultural
products could be twisted and perverted into the old restriction schemes
of the 1930's-only this time on a far larger scale. What an overwhelming
tragedy it would be if that happened; if all the skill and power of the
Governments represented here were used, not to bring food to the masses
of the population, but to prevent forever the fertility of the earth being
exploited to the full And yet it could easily happen. Such proposals as
these could, if wrongly used, stabilize the situation indeed-but stabilize
it at the level of scarcity and want. They could protect the incomes of
the primary producers, or worse still of a few of the highest cost primary
producers, but at the expense of the whole of the rest of the world. Surely
our experience of the unregulated restriction schemes of the 1930's should
warn us that these are not wholly groundless fears?
But even if this gross perversion is avoided, there is another danger
The Economics of Food
which must be faced. I have suggested that this scheme is an attempt to
protect the incomes of the primary producers in a way analogous to the
protection given to the incomes of the industrial wage earners by minimum
wage laws, social services, and the like. So, if the scheme was applied
one-sidedly, those primary producers, or some of them, even without re-
stricting their output, might give themselves an unfair advantage against
their industrial comrades. That, too, would be a tragedy.
We of the United Kingdom delegation do not hesitate to put forward
these warnings, because they are warnings against dangers which, it is
obvious, are specially serious for us, as the greatest importer and consumer
of agricultural products. Just because of that fact we feel that it is nat-
ural for us to speak for the huge body of importers and consumers all
over the world, and to see to it that their claims and their interests are
given their full weight.
FUNCTIONS OF BUFFER STOCKS
In fact, successive British Governments have for some years now been
profoundly concerned with the problem which our Director-General's pro-
posal for a World Food Board has brought to a head. Our experts have
given long and serious consideration to proposals for the creation of world
buffer stocks for the primary agricultural products, and as a matter of fact
for some of the primary mineral products also. It would be quite inap-
propriate, of course, if I attempted to discuss the details of these proposals.
For instance, one scheme suggested a General Council for Commodity
Controls, and that, under this general council, a Commodity Control
should be set up for each of certain selected primary products; this Com-
modity Control should from time to time fix a basic price, and should
undertake to buy the commodity in question whenever its market price
fell 10 per cent below that basic price and to sell whenever the market
price went 10 per cent above that basic price. Most careful safeguards
were introduced for the adequate representation of the importing and con-
suming nations both in the General Council and on its Commodity Cen-
trols, and extremely careful provisions were made against an abuse of any
powers for the restriction of production, which might be vested in the
General Council. In general this scheme was fully consonant with the
proposals now made by our Director-General, as I understand them.
Of course, the British Government is nbt committed to this or any
other specific plan. But in our view any such buffer stocks plan shall have
two distinct but related objectives. The one is to smooth out, by means
of the price-fixing mechanism I have just mentioned, the short term fluc-
tuations which have always hitherto taken place, within the course of a
single year, in the prices of nearly all important primary products. These
fluctuations, it is notorious, have been a most disturbing thing for the
primary producers. It is hardly too much to say that they have transformed
the farmyard into a casino-that they have made success for the agricul-
turist dependent not on good husbandry but on the luck of the plunger.
But they should have a second, and to my mind even more important,
objective, and that is to act as a counterpoise to the great cyclical depres-
British Speeches of the Day [MR. STBACHEY]
sions which are the curse of the world today. Under any such scheme for
the creation of buffer stocks, the Commodity Control or World Food Board
-call it what you will-would be buying as world prices fell towards the
trough of a depression and selling as they rose towards the peak of a
recovery. In order to act at all effectively, the control or board would have
to operate with very large funds indeed, and the expenditure of these
funds on the down-swing and their reaccumulation on the up-swing would,
I believe, have a most important effect upon the prevention of the ravages
of the cyclical depressions. They would do in this field what Public Works
and other such expenditure attempt to do within each nation.
I take it that our deliberations at this conference are likely to end in
the submission of our Director-General's plan and, as he himself provides
in his report, of other similar plans, to some expert body for further work-
ing out. If so, His Majesty's Government would wish to have the oppor-
tunity to put the results of its own careful consideration of these matters
to any body which may be set up, as well as our Director-General's present
VARIOUS PROPOSALS CONSIDERED
I now come to the immediate and vital question of how we are to deal
with the proposals which our Director-General has laid before us. Ob-
viously, I repeat, they must be referred to some highly competent body for
further elaboration. I have heard three suggestions as to the nature of
First, I have heard it suggested that the question of the creation of a
World Food Board should be referred to the International Trade Organi-
zation, if and when such an organization is set up. There is, of course,
much to be said for this suggestion. There is really no logical boundary
between international trade in the great basic foodstuffs and international
trade in the other primary products, or indeed in other types of products.
In fact, the U. S. Government in their proposals for consideration by the
forthcoming international conference on trade and employment-proposals
which His Majesty's Government support-has specifically referred in Chap-
ter 5 to a Commodity Commission which, I quote, "Would investigate
commodity problems, including the problem of an international buffer
stock organization." Surely there should be no conflict between these ob-
jectives? Nevertheless I feel that there is one serious objection to referring
the World Food Board proposal to the International Trade Organization.
It is that of delay. After all, the International Trade Organization is yet
to be set up. It could hardly handle so great a problem as this for many
months after it had come into being. Action along the lines indicated by
our Director-General will, in any case, be sufficiently difficult of achieve-
ment and long in coming. That is surely a reason why we cannot afford
to wait anything up to a year to eighteen months before we even begin
to give it consideration.
Next, I have heard it suggested that the World Food Board proposals
should be referred to another committee set up by this Conference. This
proposal certainly gets over the objection as to delay, but I feel that there
might be serious objections to it also. There is a danger that such an
The Economics of Food
ad hoc committee might become isolated from the general international
economic structure which we are seeking to rear upon the basis of the
United Nations. If so, it could not for that very reason be fully represent-
ative even of some of the major powers which are not present at this Con-
ference, for instance of the Soviet Union.
The third suggestion which has been put forward is that the World
Food Board proposal should be referred immediately by this Conference
to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations who, one an-
ticipates, might place it before its Economic and Employment Commission
as that body's first and urgent task.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S RECOMMENDATIONS
I. In the first place no delay is involved. The Economic and Social
Council is meeting at this moment. If this Conference decides to refer
the World Food Board proposal to it, it can take the matter under its
consideration with scarcely a day's delay.
II. It is true that the Economic and Employment Commission has not
yet been set up or manned, but is not this perhaps an advantage? For it
means that, as the Commission will have the World Food Board as its
first business, we can all appoint to it the very best and most suitable men
at our disposal. And in doing so we shall economize in precious man-
power, for first-rate men would necessarily have to be appointed to this
body in any case. To refer the World Food Board plans to them would
give them a great and inspiring task to do from the outset.
III. Finally, reference to the Economic and Social Council of U.N.O.
would put the World Food Board proposal squarely on the international
map. It would bring it into direct relation with the whole international
economic structure which we are attempting to rear. It would bring it
into an indispensable relation with the Bank of International Settlements
and the Monetary Fund, and it would bring it before the representatives,
not only of those Powers which are members of this Conference, but of
every member of the United Nations, including the Soviet Union, and I
attach great importance to that.
But perhaps there is a way of reconciling these two latter suggestions.
Perhaps a special ad hoc committee might be appointed by the Conference
to consider the World Food Board proposal. Such a committee will no
doubt be carefully composed so as to be fully representative of exporting
and of importing countries and of those countries with special nutritional
difficulties. But might not such a specially appointed committee, which
shall be composed of the fully responsible representatives of government,
report to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Or-
ganization, thus ensuring that its work becomes part of the new interna-
tional economic structure? And might not some such arrangement as this
combine many of the advantages of both suggestions?
Let us have no doubt about it. These proposals of our Director-Gen-
eral's take us to the heart of the economic problem as it will face the
post-war world. They take us straight towards a decisive effort to control
the trade cycle. They summon us to the struggle to prevent the obscene
British Speeches of the Day [MR. STRACHEY]
paradox of starvation in the midst of potential plenty from ever recurring
upon this earth. They summon us to meet that challenge not by a restric-
tion of supply, which would merely end the potential plenty, but by an
increase in demand which will end the starvation. In a word, these pro-
posals for a World Food Board lead us towards the attempt to direct and
to control our world economy lest it control and destroy us.
All this, let us face it, presupposes a much greater degree of interna-
tional co-operation than the world has hitherto attained. But for what
other purpose are we seeking to build our international economic struc-
ture-the Bank, the Fund, the International Trade Organization-than to
secure that higher degree of co-operation? And those proposals must be
woven into that fabric of international organizations.
The prize at stake is immense, nor are the difficulties so overwhelming
as they are sometimes represented as being. The gluts which ruined the
world before the war were quantitatively often surprisingly small. Only
a tiny increase in effective demand of the masses of the world is neces-
sary to prevent them from recurring. We of the United Kingdom Delega-
tion firmly believe that it is possible to devise economic machinery which
will bring the hunger of the world into effective contact with the skill
of the farmer and the bounty of the soil. That is our task.
A PROGRESS REPORT ON BRITAIN
Broadcast by the RT. HON. HUGH DALTON, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Washington, D. C., September 28, 1946. I am very delighted to have
been given this opportunity of talking to you tonight. I want to give you
a short report of what we are doing in Britain, and how our actions may
affect the workers in the factories of Detroit and Cincinnati, the cotton
growers of the Deep South, the steel producers of Pittsburgh, the tobacco
farmers of the Carolinas, the men and women who make your films over
on the West Coast.
As one of your great Americans has said, we are all one world now.
We in the United Kingdom are still your largest single foreign buyer of
tobacco, cotton and films. Indeed, we buy more United States products
in the aggregate than any other country on earth. So you will want to
know what we are doing, both in our home affairs and in our trade rela-
tions with you and the rest of the world.
I am visiting your great country, which I have always admired, after
an absence of 12 years. What tremendous changes have come about during
that period! What tragedies and what triumphs mankind has experienced
How great a part in all this has been played by so many of you who are
listening to me!
I hold the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, that is to say, I am the
Minister in charge of the National Finances of the United Kingdom. Fol-
lowing our elections last year, we now have a Labor Party administration
supported by a large parliamentary majority, among whom are many fine
A Progress Report
young men who came straight from the Forces to contest their first elec-
tion as Labor Candidates. Many of these young men fought in Europe
and in North Africa alongside your own boys. You knew them, as they
knew you, as gallant comrades in arms. Now, having helped to win the
war, they are going to help to win the peace, and build a better world on
the foundations of nation-wide prosperity and social justice. We are plan-
ning our way towards prosperity for all. We are trying, and we think
successfully, to combine individual freedom and the democratic way of life,
with intelligent national planning, industrial efficiency, and social im-
EMPLOYMENT; NATIONAL OWNERSHIP
Our Government was put in power to face and solve some big prob-
lems, and to overcome the difficulties of the change-over from war to peace.
So far in this first year we can show good progress. All sections of our
people have co-operated with the Government and with each other in the
common effort. We have had no big strikes. That will interest you. At
the present time more than 97 per cent of our industrial population are
at work. We have achieved full employment, and we intend to maintain
this good state of affairs.
We have brought the Bank of England into public ownership. Just as,
since 1914, the members of your Federal Reserve Board have been ap-
pointed by the President of the United States, so now the Governor and
the Board of the Bank of England are appointed by the Crown on the
advice of the Government.
We have also taken over the British coal mines, which under their
previous owners had failed to make the grade. They are badly in need
of up-to-date equipment, and we are already importing some of your ex-
cellent American mining machinery in order to raise our output. So, you
see, we are injecting a shot of public enterprise to make up for the weak-
ness of private enterprise in this particular industry. We are going to run
it by a National Coal Board which includes among its members some of
our best mining engineers.
TAXATION; NATIONAL CREDIT
You may like to know that I have been able to make some large re-
ductions in taxation. I have cut the income tax, particularly on the small
men. I have also abolished the wartime Excess Profits Tax, as an encour-
agement to our industrialists. But, all the same, we are still the most
heavily taxed people in the world. War costs were a grievous burden and
must continue to be reflected in our taxation for many years. Neverthe-
less, I am doing my best to build up the purchasing power of our people.
We passed laws last session giving improved social security with larger
benefits for the aged and the widows, the sick, the victims of industrial
accident, and the unemployed. We are also giving family allowances to
mothers with two or more children, and establishing a new National
Health Service to provide free medical treatment for all. And, in spite
of tax reductions and increased expenditure on these social purposes, we
are now within measurable distance of a balanced Budget.
British Speeches of the Day [Mi. DALTON]
Our national credit stands high and the price of Government Bonds
has been steadily rising. Our Government can now borrow at a half of
one per cent on short term and at 2V2.per cent on long term loans. Our
stock markets have shown remarkable steadiness in the past twelve months.
Nonetheless, we in the United Kingdom have difficulties, quite differ-
ent from yours, due to the special impact of the war upon our island home.
Over there we were in the front line through all the six years of the war.
All that time we were within range of the German bombers which, for-
tunately for you, you were not. One out of every three of our homes in
Britain was either totally destroyed or damaged by air attack. Take a look
down your own street tomorrow and try to imagine what this would mean
to you. We have to make good all this war damage and, on top of this,
we, like you, have to catch up with six years when we did no new building.
And this is not the end of the story, for a great number of our industrial
plants were either leveled or burnt out by bombs, and we have to make
good all that as well.
REVIVAL OF TRADE
You may like to hear what we have been doing to revive our trade,
for this has a direct effect on your economy. As part of the common plan
for winning the war, which we agreed with you, we shut down most of
our export trade. We turned over manpower and industrial capacity, which
otherwise would have gone into exports, to manning and equipping the
Armed Forces. The end of the war, therefore, saw our export trade
shrunken to less than one-third of its pre-war volume. In the past year
we have launched an export drive which has already taken the volume of
our exports well above the pre-war figures, and they are still rising. We
shall soon be able to pay for all we buy from abroad by selling our own
goods to foreign countries. But for another year or so we shall still need,
as any of you do when you are restarting a business or restocking a farm,
some temporary credit arrangements.
That is why your Government and ours entered into the recent Loan
Agreement. This, as you know, provides for a line of credit for us up to
$3,750,000,000. This credit will be of great advantage to you as well as
to us. Without it we should have had to cut very heavily our purchases
from you of tobacco, cotton, food, and industrial equipment. And we
might no longer have been able to admit your films.
Even without this credit, we should have fought our way through, as
we did when we stood alone for more than a year during the war, but
we could only have paid our way by reducing the standards of our own
people to miserably low levels, buying from you and others only the bare
necessities of life. As it is, this line of credit will help to boost your trade
Our two Governments are both pledged to increased international trade
in the years to come and to the reduction, by international agreement, of
trade barriers of all kinds everywhere. As every businessman among you
knows, no one can buy more unless he sells more. If we are all to prosper,
we must all buy more from one another. Trade between nations must
be multilateral, and no nation can expect to export for long unless it is
A Progress Report
prepared to import from others. One-way traffic may be good in busy
streets, but not in international trade.
In Washington now we are taking another big step towards healthy inter-
national trade and healthy international finance. We are here to make
the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank into prac-
tical working realities.
These two new international institutions arose out of the Bretton
Woods Conference. The purpose of the Fund is to get us out of the jungle
of disorderly international exchange rates which made trading between
nations so hazardous in pre-war days. A large scale and continuous ex-
change of goods must be based on relatively firm exchange values, so that
the exporter can know in advance what he will be paid, and the importer
will know what he must pay. The International Fund will, we hope, give
The International Bank has been set up to help to reconstruct countries
whose trade and industry have been shattered by the war, and to help
to develop countries whose financial resources are too small to enable them
to make the most of their potential riches.
I hope, and believe, that, all meeting and taking counsel together in a
spirit of constructive co-operation and goodwill, we can do great things
for the peoples of the world, and bring greater security and better living
to every home. If this short report of what we in Britain are doing has
shown you that we are playing our full part in this great endeavor to meet
the challenge of our time, I will feel happy to have added something to
the warm and enduring friendship and understanding between your people
and my own.
RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Foreign Secretary, to the World Federation of
Paris, September 1, 1946. As a British trade unionist for over forty
years, I can say that it has never been the policy of the British Labor and
Trade Union Movement to encourage the workers in a nationalistic out-
look. Great Britain was, in fact, the first country to try and establish an
organization transcending national frontiers; they inspired the foundation
of the International Working Men's Association which was, in fact, the
forerunner of the World Federation of Trade Unions. I confess I am
worried about the present international position and the nationalistic out-
look which seems to predominate so widely.
In the Marxist teaching which I absorbed in my youth, I was told
that the workers of the world must be prepared to unite and must not be
too dependent upon their governments. The Marxist teaching was that
British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN]
there was a common working-class view on many matters on which the
peoples of the world could unite, whatever the policies of the different Gov-
ernments. The working people in all lands toiled and spun with a com-
mon aim: to raise the standard of life everywhere irrespective of religion,
race or color.
I have not forsaken this creed yet. Nor can I, now that I am Foreign
Secretary, separate myself from the tradition which I absorbed, that trade
unions should be free to criticize the policies of governments and express
themselves in the openest possible way. I hope that the World Federation
of Trade Unions will develop a common proletarian conception of what
they wish to achieve. This should be done irrespective of the views of gov-
ernments. I wish well to the World Federation of Trade Unions: we have
done our best to help them in the past, and we will go on doing so in the
No one can forget, looking back to 1919, how hard Mr. Barnes worked
here in Paris at that time to further a policy transcending narrow national
limits. No one can attend this present Paris Conference without wishing for
more of the same ideal today. I personally will strive after this. I do not,
of course, overlook the great contribution to civilization that nationhood
can make in the spheres of art and culture.
"A COMMON LANGUAGE"
The world today has become so close-knit by reason of scientific dis-
coveries that a wrong word here may set the whole earth aflame. It is im-
portant that labor and trade unions leaders should preach the need for
steadiness of judgment. They must try and stop people being the victim of
sudden and violent propaganda. I am very strong on this. I used to tell
my members, "Never believe what the press says today; they will say some-
thing different tomorrow." I tried to inculcate my members with the ca-
pacity for reserving their judgment. As a corollary, the people should be
taught to keep questioning and to ask themselves constantly: "I wonder
whether this or that measure is right."
I feel it deeply in my heart that it is not who causes war that matters
so much as the fact that it is inevitably the people of all countries who
have to bear its horrors and deprivations. I can never forget this.
M. Jouhaux said that while the trade unions could not take the place of
governments, he hoped that the World Federation of Trade Unions would
be able to make some contribution to the deliberations of U.N.O. I agree
with this. We must get the relationship between the World Federation of
Trade Unions and U.N.O. defined as soon as possible.
I would like to tell you of an experience I had in 1919 when, after much
difficulty and wrangling, international collaboration was achieved on the
basis of the common trade of the workers in different countries. I went to
Amsterdam at that time to attend a conference which was called to rebuild
the International Transport Workers. National antitheses seemed insur-
mountable. At last I had an idea and drafted a constitution, which still
exists, based on occupations. The foundation of this constitution was the
grouping of people according to their trades; dockers, railway workers, sea-
men, etc., were put together irrespective of their nationality. The constitu-
tion thus drawn up was agreed to after two hours' discussion, while we had
argued for a week without finding any basis for agreement.
I agree entirely with the remark recently made by M. Molotov that
we must try and find "a common language." It is no use relying on the
present basis of separate nationalities.
I cannot now, at this stage of my life, make any further contribution to
trade union organization, but if I did have the opportunity to go on with
my trade union work, my efforts would be directed towards bringing
together working peoples of the world, grouped in their different occupa-
I do not want to do anything-God forbid that the thought should
ever enter my head-that might set man against man for national purposes
or for power politics. We are going through a difficult evolution; but I
still have a hope that the governments and the peoples of the globe will find
a way to closer harmony. Towards this end the World Federation of Trade
Unions can make a unique and great contribution.
GREECE AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL
SIR ALEXANDER CADOGAN, United Kingdom Delegate to the Security Council
Lake Success, September 5, 1946. The Representative of the Ukrainian
Soviet Socialist Republic has raised this question, and has been able to
exercise his right to be called to the Council table by invoking Article 34
of the Charter of the United Nations.
That means that he calls our attention, in the words of the Charter,
to a "situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to
a dispute in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or
situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and
The "international friction," arises from the fact that, in his words,
"Greek armed units, with the connivance and encouragement of the Greek
authorities" are causing "numerous border incidents on the Greek-Albanian
frontier." Is this a retort to detailed Greek complaints of Albanian raids
across the frontier, which he may think had some influence on the decision
of the Security Council not to admit Albania, at present, to membership in
the United Nations?
In these cases of charges and counter-charges, it is, of course, difficult
to determine who is right and who is wrong. I can only say that I cannot
accept the doctrine of Mr. Manuilsky's infallibility. I do not, of course,
know the sources of his information. As I think his Government is not in
diplomatic relations with Greece, I cannot think they are as good as ours.
He includes in his paper unmeasured denunciations of Greek treat-
ment of minorities. Now, rightly or wrongly, the peace settlement-so far
as it has gone after this last war of 1959-45-has not provided for any sys-
tem of protection of minorities. After the 1914-18 war there were certain
British Speeches of the Day [Sm A. CADOCAN]
obligations laid on certain States prescribing conditions that must be ob-
served in the treatment of minorities and laying on the League of Nations
certain responsibilities in connection therewith. After a long and painful
experience, I think the conclusion was reached that, on balance, this was
disadvantageous. While it might do some good, it notoriously did a cer-
tain amount of harm in encouraging irridentism and dissdent elements.
Minorities are often to be pitied. But they are minorities, and if, as is the
case in the particular region for which Mr. Manuilsky shows such concern,
they maintain a dogged determination not to live in peace under the Gov-
ernment to which they find themselves subjected, and allow themselves to
be made the focus not only of internal dissent, but of the advocacy of foreign
aggression, they must forfeit some of our sympathy.
What does Mr. Manuilsky know of the treatment of minorities in
Greece? What can he hear but the stories of refugees over the frontier?
What do we know of their activities before they found it healthy to transfer
their domicile over the frontier line? He writes about "fanning national
hatred." That is what I fear is being done by those who cross the frontier.
I would not deny that there may be cases where extreme persecution
of a minority might produce a dangerous international situation. All I
do maintain is that Mr. Manuilsky has failed to produce the shadow of a
proof that such a case does exist in Albania. But even if he had, is that a
matter for the Security Council? The Security Council has no direct
responsibilities for minorities. The General Assembly, I think, has, and the
respect of "human rights" is, I believe, in their province, and perhaps pri-
marily in that of the Economic and Social Council.
Then, Mr. Manuilsky goes on to deal with "the unbridled propaganda
of Greek Monarchist extremists" who put forward demands for Albanian
territory. What is "unbridled propaganda"? The Greek Government is pre-
pared to submit claims, backed by evidence and argument.
Actually, I understand, a decision has been taken in the Paris Con-
ference to refer the Albanian-Greek frontier question to the Council of
Foreign Ministers. That does not, I suppose, debar this Council from con-
sidering it, though Article 33 of the Charter seems to lay on the Security
Council the obligation to give a chance to other methods of settlement.
Now these Greek claims are no new claims, trumped up at the eleventh
hour as Mr. Manuilsky would seem to suggest, to justify a policy of pro-
vocation and aggression. To use Mr. Manuilsky's own phrase, "the whole
world knows" that the Greeks have had these claims for decades, and I do
not see why the Greek Government's desire that these claims should be
heard by a responsible tribunal should be regarded as "sinister repetition"
and proof of aggressive designs. If it is so reprehensible and sinister to
claim territory from one's neighbors, whether they were former enemies or
former allies, then I am afraid there have been a number of reprehensible
and sinister precedents, of which "all the world," including Mr. Manuilsky,
will be aware.
But if Mr. Manuilsky speaks of unbridled propaganda in this connec-
tion, he must not resent my using the same phrase to characterize his docu-
ment and his statement. There are certain characteristics by which one has
Greece and the Security Council
grown accustomed, during recent years, to recognize propaganda when he
comes across it. One of these is the constant repetition of slogans or catch-
words, the object of which is to drum into the ears of one's hearers the im-
pression that the slogan represents the truth without the need of any further
proof or evidence. In this case we heard repeatedly of the "falsified plebis-
cite," the "so-called" plebiscite, of the faked plebiscite, and with equal in-
sistence Mr. Manuilsky spoke again and again of "aggressive Monarchists."
I can assure him that the two words "aggressive Monarchists" are not
Now this sort of thing may be all very well if you are addressing an
audience unaccustomed to think for itself; but frankly, it is not, alone,
enough for those of us who have had rather more experience. It should
not be enough for the Security Council.
And here I come to the principal point of my remarks. Mr. Manuilsky
says "the principal factor conducive to the situation in the Balkans, as
created by this policy of the present Greek Government, is the presence of
British troops in Greece and the direct intervention of British military
representatives into the internal affairs of this Allied country on behalf
of aggressive Monarchist elements, especially in the preparation of the
referendum set for September 1st, 1946, which is to determine the form
of government in Greece. The holding of the referendum under such con-
ditions when there are foreign troops in the country is contrary to the war
aims proclaimed by the Allied Powers both during the war and after its
termination, as well as to the aims and principles of the United Nations
Charter, in particular to Paragraph 2, Article I of this Charter."
So here you have it: His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom
are responsible, not only for all that may have gone wrong in Greece. They
are responsible for the oppression of minorities; they are inciting Greece
to attack her much more powerful neighbors; they have just "faked" a
plebiscite. They have violated the Charter of the United Nations.
That is Mr. Manuilsky's original charge.
EXPRESSIONS OF OPINION
Since it was put in, we were treated to a discourse by the Representative
of the Soviet Union. I beg Mr. Gromyko to believe me when I say that
it is an elementary error to overstate one's case. He implied, as I pointed
out the day before yesterday, that Mr. Bevin was employing the British
Army to extirpate Greek Trade Unions. How anyone who can have made
such an implication can expect that his other allegations can be taken
seriously, I cannot imagine.
And his other allegations-for they were simply that, statements un-
supported by any facts-were not made more impressive by being intro-
duced by such phrases as "the whole world knows," etc.
Quotations from Greek newspapers- and we have had some from Mr.
Manuilsky also-do not impress me unduly. Accustomed as I am in my
country to a free press, I am not surprised to find expressions of very vary-
ing opinion. Mr. Gromyko may find this an unusual phenomenon, but
I think that all my colleagues whose countries enjoy freedom of the press
British Speeches of the Day [Sm A. CADOGAN]
would not think very much of the argument that bases itself on the opinion
of a selected journal.
Mr. Gromyko also quoted from statements made by British Members
of Parliament. It is well known that in truly democratic countries the
Parliament includes men of all parties, who are at liberty to speak their
minds freely. They may belong to an opposition party. They may even
be members of the party in power. But in either case they are not muzzled.
But if they are quoted, it is only fair to quote also the replies made to
them. And in the course of a debate in the British Parliament on June
4th last, full replies were made by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of
State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hector McNeil, to the points raised by the
three Members to whom Mr. Gromyko referred. I had meant to read to
the Council this reply of Mr. McNeil, but the Council heard it already
Mr. Gromyko's trump card seemed to be that the plebiscite had been
held in Greece while that country was under the occupation of foreign
troops; and that if that did not constitute foreign intervention, he didn't
know what did. But is Greece the only country in which elections or a
plebiscite have been held while foreign troops were on its soil? I seem to
have heard of other cases.
Mr. Manuilsky also made great play with this argument. In fact he
was so impatient to use it that, writing on September 1st, he spoke of
the "terror" under which the plebiscite had been "implemented." Mr.
Manuilsky has a very rapid intelligence service, and for that reason seems
to reach hasty conclusions.
REPLIES TO FORMER RUSSIAN CHARGES
Now the charge, as far as my Government is concerned, is that all that is
wrong in Greece is due to the policy of His Majesty's Government and the
action of British troops. As regards the policy of His Majesty's Govern-
ment, that has been explained more than once to the Soviet Government
whenever we have had the opportunity of discussing it with them-at
Yalta, Potsdam, and on the last occasion in Moscow in December, 1945. On
none of these occasions did the Soviet Government have any proposal to
make or objection to raise. And yet, at this Council, the Soviet Represent-
ative gives his fullest support to the unsubstantiated allegations of the
Most of these charges were brought against us by the Soviet Govern-
ment in London early this year. Let me quote Mr. Bevin on the occasion
of the conclusion of the discussion of these charges: "But Mr. Vishinsky
says that we are endangering peace. If I heard him aright, he talked about
attack on neighboring countries. I would like to ask him what neighbor-
ing countries Greece is going to attack. When there were incidents on
the frontier, I proposed a four-power commission; but I had no response
from the Soviet Government saying that they would join that commission
I continue with Mr. Bevin's statement, which I know represents just
as exactly what he feels today. In regard to charges leveled by the So-
Greece and the Security Council
viet and Ukrainian Delegates, he said: "I have great difficulty in believing,
and I am in the habit of being fairly frank, that this is brought forward
because of what we are doing in Greece. I cannot help feeling that there
is a deeper reason for it than that, which can only be known to the
Soviet Government. It is difficult to understand why there is this propa-
ganda and incitement, with regard to a country that is trying to re-estab-
lish itself, going on all over the world day by day. The danger to the
peace of the world has been the incessant propaganda from Moscow against
the British Commonwealth and the incessant utilization of the Communist
Parties in every country in the world as a means to attack the British people
and the British Government, as if no friendship between us existed. This
is the danger to the peace of the world which sets us one against another.
It is this suspicion which causes misunderstanding and makes one wonder
what is the motive behind it."
There are Mr. Bevin's words. The case now brought by Mr. Manuilsky
is simply a rehash of the case brought in London by the Soviet Represent-
ative. Towards the end of the hearing of that case Mr. Bevin said: "I
am glad to note from the statement we have listened to that the original
demands of the Soviet Delegation are no longer insisted upon. And since
the Representatives of the United States, Australia, France, China, Poland,
Egypt, Brazil and The Netherlands have declared their view that the pres-
ence of-British troops in Greece does not constitute a situation likely to en-
danger the maintenance of international peace and security, I am content
for my part, in a similar gesture of conciliation, not to insist upon any
formal resolution in regard to the matter."
BRITISH TROOPS IN GREECE
Now a word about British troops in Greece. These troops have an
honorable-indeed a glorious-record. They went into that country first,
and they sacrificed a number of lives and a quantity of material, in an
attempt to defend Greece against the Fascist Hitlerite hordes, some months
before the Soviet Union, or the Ukraine for that matter, was forced in-
to the war at all. At that time the Ukraine and the Soviet Union were
in friendly relations with the main enemies of those who were bearing the
brunt alone in the fight against the Fascist Hitlerite hordes. That inter-
vention of ours in Greece almost certainly postponed the Hitlerite attack
on the Soviet Union.
Our heroic attempt failed, but later, in happier days, we returned. What
was the history of that return?
A Greek Government of all Greek parties was formed as a result of
a conference in the Levant in the Autumn of 1944. This included E.A.M.
E.A.M. later left the Government. But the Government containing E.A.M.
had been appointed by the King. The King subsequently appointed a
Regent, so that the Regent later appointed other Governments. After
leaving the Government, E.A.M. organized a revolt causing civil war. The
present Government is the legitimate successor of the all-party Govern-
ment I have already referred to, since it won the elections and therefore
replaced the Government in power before the elections-which, as shown
British Speeches of the Day [Sm A. CADOGAN)
above, was the legitimate successor of the all-party Government. E.A.M.
boycotted the elections. That is no one's fault but their own. We asked
the Russians to join in supervising the elections. They refused, and they
thus put themselves out of court. They have no right to criticize from
But it is this legitimate Greek Government, and all successive Gov-
ernments, that have begged us to remain in Greece.
Mr. Manuilsky has appealed to Paragraph 7 of Article 2 of the
Charter. It must be a long time since he has read it carefully. He said,
I think, that it denied to any State the right to intervene in the interna-
tional affairs of another State. What it actually says is that "nothing con-
tained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to in-
tervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction
of any State. . ." It does not say that no member of the United Nations
may maintain troops in the territory of another member at the request
of the latter. If it did say that, what, may I ask, were Soviet troops doing
in Iran by virtue of the Anglo-Soviet-Iranian treaty, even before March 2nd
of this year, let alone after the expiry of the treaty rights on that date?
Then there is the "faked" plebiscite. All those who lose plebiscites
always qualify them as a "swindle." The elections were called a swindle.
We did our best to provide that they should not be. In that we had the
assistance of the United States and French Governments. We invited the
Soviet Government to join us in this task. They refused, as I have already
said. I think the report of the Allied Commissions has already been pub-
lished. There are no secrets; we did our best. We have done our best
also in connection with the plebiscite. Most of the gloomy prophecies
have not been justified. And I simply don't accept wild allegations of
"terror." They cannot be, and have not been, substantiated.
I listened carefully to Mr. Manuilsky to hear whether he had any sub-
stantiation of his charges. He began by referring to and, in fact, reading
out of the text of a secret order and showing according to him that the
Greek extremist Monarchists, with the help of British authorities, are
setting up Monarchist bands which terrorized the whole population. He
gave the text of the order, which he said came from the Fourth British
Indian Division. I have just been able to obtain a report on this, from
which it appears that this distribution of arms was in fact made. This
was done in May, 1945, by the Seventh Indian Brigade at Kavalla, at the
request of the Greek General Melissinos, commanding the Fifteenth and
Sixteenth Brigades at the time when the gendarmerie was not functioning,
and villages in eastern Macedonia and Thrace were being attacked by
Right-Wing bands. Arms were restricted to six weapons per village and
were issued against receipt. When the stage of emergency was over an
order was issued on the 16th of June, 1946, for the recovery of the arms
and all were in fact recovered.
He produced a case of an alleged Mr. George, described as political
adviser to a "Monarchist group" who were guilty of murders and other
Greece and the Security Council
forms of violence. Mr. George was said, I think, to have tortured and
shot a well-known Greek journalist. Mr. Manuilsky said he had docu-
ments to prove this to me, but he did not produce them. If he will do so,
I am sure that my Government will cause an enquiry to be made.
He produced a story of the advice given by the British economic ad-
viser on Greek labor legislation. That may have been very disgraceful,
but I couldn't make out why.
He seemed to imply that we directed "punitive expeditions" in prepara-
tion for the plebiscite. With a great flourish he produced a photograph,
the exact significance of which I failed to grasp. I don't know whether my
colleagues understood the full significance of that photograph. To me, it
appeared to represent a party of rather disagreeable, mean-looking indi-
viduals, with, in the foreground, what might be taken to be a British offi-
cer. In the photograph the British officer appeared to have his hands tied
behind his back, but that may not have been the case, and one of the
lesser agreeable figures in the background seemed to be covering him with
a tommygun. I don't know what that means.
He referred to a declaration of August 6th by the Deputy Chief of
the British Military Mission. He did not give the text of it.
He quoted Mr. Warbe. Mr. Warbe is always quoted. He quoted the
American paper PM.
On this flimsy foundation he tries to build up a case that His Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom are backing Monarchist extremists,
are conniving at the ill-treatment of minorities and are inciting Greece
to attack her much more powerful neighbors at a time when, in the hope
that the end of our task may be in sight, we are looking forward to the
day when we may be able to withdraw our troops.
I submit that the Ukrainian Delegate has failed entirely to make a case.
THE PRESENT SITUATION IN GREECE
As regards the situation in Greece, I do not claim that all is perfect
and tranquil in Greece. Certainly all is not perfect by Soviet standards.
All is not perfect even by British democratic standards. My Government
never claimed that it is. But two facts I do claim-one is that conditions
in Greece are not nearly in such a sorry plight as in certain other European
countries whose situations have not as yet been investigated by this Coun-
cil; and the second is that conditions in Greece would be better than they
are if it were not for Communist pressure and propaganda inside her ter-
ritory and along her borders.
What Greece now needs is to be left alone. Her record during the war
is second to none; and if the records of all the countries formerly under
enemy occupation are to be searched, there are several statesmen now in
power in countries near Greece whose past would contrast unfavorably with
that of any member of the Greek Government. But recrimination of this
kind serves no useful purpose. The Greeks by the elections in March and
by the plebiscite on September 1st, both conducted in a manner which
impartial witnesses of weight have described as fair, have shown clearly
what regime the majority of the Greek people desire to have. The internal
British Speeches of the Day [Sm A. CADOCAN]
politics of this regime may or may not command the sympathy of other
Members of the United Nations, but that is no affair of the Security Coun-
cil or indeed of anyone except the Greek people themselves. While Greece
is exposed to incessant attacks from the press and radio of her northern
neighbors and from Moscow, and while former enemy States are encour-
aged to make baseless claims for Greek territory, Greece cannot enjoy "free-
dom from fear."
I have spoken hitherto, Mr. Chairman, in rebuttal of the charges light-
heartedly brought against the Government of the United Kingdom. I
should like to add, in conclusion, one or two words in my capacity as a
member of this Council. The proceedings which are now in course, like
a' number of others that have preceded them, do not, it seems to me, come
properly before this august body. This is not the way to use the Security
Council. It was always intended that if difficulties, or differences of opinion,
were to arise between certain Members of the United Nations, such Mem-
bers should seek to settle them in the first instance directly between them-
selves or by an agreed procedure. No attempt has been made to do that,
and what happens now is that a Member of the United Nations suddenly,
and without warning, and I would add, without due cause, flings down an
accusation on the table of the Council. He, if he is not a Member of the
Council, is given all facilities for availing himself, temporarily, of such
membership. He makes inflammatory speeches (which receive all the pub-
licity afforded by the United Nations organization), he produces bits and
pieces of evidence, and spares no effort to trap and trip up the Delegates
of those Member States against which his accusations are directed. That
is what I mean when I speak of propaganda.
That is not how it was hoped that the United Nations would work.
And if this procedure is followed further, I repeat what I have already
said-the Security Council will be brought into disrepute and the purpose
of the Charter of the United Nations will be defeated.
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