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Title: British speeches of the day
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Publication Date: January 1944
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Table of Contents
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    Index to British speeches of the day : Nos. 1-10 (March 1943-December 1943)
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    Back Cover
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Full Text




ANTHONY EDEN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, December 14, 1943.
Three Great Conferences.

LORD WOOLTON, Minister of Reconstruction, December 8, 1943.
OLIVER LYTTELTON, Minister of Production, November 30, 1943.
Reconstruction Plans.

ERNEST BEVIN, Minister of Labour, December 17, 1943.
A New Approach to Coal Mining.

LORD SIMON, Lord Chancellor, December 7, 1943.
War Criminals.

LORD SELBORNE, Minister of Economic Warfare, November 30, 1943.

i" .'- Minister of Labour, December 16, 1943.
S0 S lial Labour Organization.

o/, / I- January 1944

NEW YORK . . 30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA . . Circle 6-5100
WASHINGTON, D. C. . 1336 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W. . Executive 8525
CHICAGO .. . . 360 NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE . Andover 1733
yr a 1

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, December 14, 1943

My first sentence must be to express my warmest thanks to this House for their
generous treatment of me in so kindly rearranging Business as to enable this Debate
to take place in the last week before the Christmas Recess. I understand, of course,
that that rearrangement must have been inconvenient to many of my hon. Friends
in all parts of the House, and I am the more grateful to them. The fact is that it
would not have been possible for me to take part in these recent Turkish conver-
sations in Cairo and get back, despite the best efforts of the Royal Air Force, in
time for a Debate last Thursday. Again I express my thanks. Let me say also that
I only too well understand the disappointment that hon. Members must be feeling
that the Prime Minister is not able to be here himself to give a first-hand account
of these three Conferences in which he has played so leading a part. My right
hon. Friend asked me to express his regret to the House, but there is still important
work for him to do in the sphere where he now is, and he is sure the House would
wish him to see that work through to the end. So this poor substitute
"Struts and frets his hour upon the stage."
We have spent three very strenuous weeks. Into that short time have been com-
pressed three Conferences of world significance, any one of which in the ordinary
leisured times of diplomacy would have taken a full month. But, with the rapid
development of air communication, methods of consultation haye been transformed,
so it was possible within only a month of the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries
in Moscow to open the yet more authoritative Conferences of the heads of Govern-
ments in Teheran. These meetings between the three men who bear the chief
responsibility in their respective countries must be a rare event. Their value can
hardly be exaggerated. They impose a considerable additional burden on those
who travel or take part in them. It is not so much the intensity of the work that
has to be done as the wide range of subjects through which the mind has to move
from one to the other which adds so heavily to the burden. I do not believe even
my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, ardent as we know him to be for work,
has ever devoted more hours of the day and, alas, of the night to unremitting labor
than during these Conferences. I am glad to be able to report to the House that,
in spite of that, I left my right hon. Friend, though perhaps a little tired, in good
health, stout of heart and most confident in spirit.

The Three Conferences
Now let me describe our work. It fell into three main, easily defined chapters.
First, the first Cairo Conference for the prosecution of the war against Japan, next
the Teheran Conference for the prosecution of the war against Germany, and then
the second Cairo Conference for discussions with the President and the Foreign
Secretary of Turkey. I propose to say something about each, and also about a num-
ber of subsidiary and important matters which were discussed and dealtith in both
Cairo and Teheran. The greater part of the time of the first two Conferences in
Cairo about the Far East, and in Teheran about the war against Germany, were taken

British Speeches of the Day

up with military matters. It was possible for us to bring these matters to a state
o complete and collective preparation far exceeding anything that had hitherto
been realized in this war. The thought is, I think, quite well expressed in two
sentences of the Teheran communique, to which I draw the attention of the House
because they are, I think, the most important of all. It states:
"Our military staffs have joined in our round table discussions and we have
concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. We have
reached complete agreement as to the scope and timing of the operations
which will be undertaken from the East, West and South."
That is a message which it has never, as yet, been possible to give to the Allied
peoples in this war. The words must ring ominously in German ears and in those
of Germany's unhappy satellites. They could be applied textually to the earlier Con-
ference at Cairo in respect of the Far East. That Conference had certain special
features. It gave the Prime Minister, for instance, his first opportunity of meeting
the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

Meeting with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek
I think it was also the first time the President had met the Generalissimo. By
the luck of good weather I arrived in Cairo on the evening when the Prime Minister
was entertaining the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, this leader of
industructible China and his most gifted wife. It was a most memorable experience
when the Prime Minister took his guests and Admiral Mountbatten, who is Supreme
Allied Commander South East Asia Command, and who, of course, also came
to Cairo for the Conference, into his map room, where for some hours we dived
deep into war plans and projects.
If I may just strike one personal note, I would say that it is difficult not to be
deeply impressed by the Generalissimo, even at a first meeting. Some of my hon.
Friends have already met him. I had never met him before, and that impression
deepens as time goes on. Under the outward gentleness and gracefulness of this
remarkable personality there is a core of supple steel. His is a strength, you feel,
that cannot be broken; it can only be bent and then strike back with even greater
force. From what I have said, the House will understand how readily the Gen-
eralissimo and our Prime Minister understood each other. They speak just the
same language of determination, and all through that evening and many subsequent
discussions and meetings Madame Chiang Kai-shek was always there to help us
with her sagacious counsel, her unrivalled experience of East and West. and her
brilliant gifts as an interpreter. I am sure the House will not wish me to apologize
for giving just this personal impression of meeting these very remarkable person-
alities. As I have said, our Military Mission agreed in Cairo upon future military
operations against Japan, but we also thought it well to take this opportunity to set
out the political principles for which we are fighting, and we did so in these words:
"The three great Powers are fighting this war to resist and punish the aggres-
sion of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of
territorial expansion."
Such being our purpose, it is our determined intention that Japan shall be deprived
of opportunities for further mischief; that she shall be expelled from all the terri-
tories, to whomsoever they belong, which she has taken and that reparation shall
be made to China for the wrongs which have been done to her. We thought it
well, too, to take this opportunity to tell the people of Korea that we had not for-
gotten them and that their country would, in due course, become free and inde-
pendent again. The House may say and it is true, that there is, in all this, no new
declaration of British policy. The House will remember that even before Pearl

Three Great Conferences

Harbor, the Prime Minister warned Japan that if she attacked the United States we
would declare war within the hour. From that moment we have been committed
to the objectives which are set out now, for the first time, internationally, in the
Cairo Agreement. We are committed to them because we understand that to destroy
Germany and then make a compromise peace with Japan, would only sow the seeds
of a third world war.

Japan a Menace to the Commonwealth
Let me emphasize. The war with Japan is not one in which we in this country
are playing the part of benevolent assistants. Even if we are compelled, for the
time being, to devote the greater part of our human and material resources to the
task of defeating Germany, we are still principals in the Far Eastern war. Japan
is just as great a menace to the security of the British Commonwealth as she is to
the security of either the United States or China. Ask any one of the splendid
fighting men from Canada, Australia or New Zealand who are in this country,
whether they have any doubts on this score or whether they could contemplate any
future for their countries unless the power of Japan were broken. They and thou-
sands of their fellows came here in 1939 to help us in our defense here. Many of
them are still here, in spite of the dangers to their own countries and we should
be utterly unworthy of our heritage and traditions, if we did not, at the earliest
possible moment, deploy all our resources for the purpose of establishing their
security on a firm basis. For that we have to fight Japan to the bitter end whatever
the cost and however long it takes.
I have no doubt that this meeting between the leaders of the three great Powers,
upon whom rests the heaviest share in the conduct of the war against Japan, has
been of the greatest service to our cause in the political as well as in the military
sphere. I was able during these conversations to have some discussion with our
Chinese friends on another matter in which I know the House takes an interest-
post-war collaboration between our two countries both in policy and in commerce.
I told our Chinese friends that it was the desire of this country that that collabora-
tion should be as close and as cordial as possible. I found that to be their attitude
also, and I hope, in fact I feel sure that we are going to be able to make steady
progress in both those spheres.

Teheran: What the Conference Achieved
Now, I invite the House to leave Cairo and the Far Eastern Conference and, if
they will, to take their places with me again upon the magic carpet-in this instance
the good aircraft "York"-and fly across the.Dead Sea over Iraq and the Persian
Hills to Teheran. This long journey which many, like my noble Friend opposite,
have performed in the past, we performed in the incredible space of five-and-half
hours. The Teheran Conference lasted four full working days and they were
crowded days. We had, every afternoon, a plenary session of the heads of the
Governments and their principal diplomatic and military.advisers. All the mornings
were devoted to preparation and to those numerous consultations which have to
take place between delegations in the course of any successful conference. There
was a welcome absence of formality about all our meetings. Both lunches and
dinners served for the further prosecution of business, except, perhaps for the
Prime Minister's birthday celebrations. The party at these meals never totalled more
than eight, with the necessary addition of interpreters. In this way, it is fair to say
that all the waking hours and many hours normally devoted to sleep, were during
these four days and nights, devoted to discussions on any and every topic between
the leaders of these three countries.
When I came back to this House from Moscow I ventured to give the House

British Speeches of the Day

a message that I was confident that the foundation had been laid for endurirtg col-
laboration between this country, the United .States and the Soviet Union. I am
many times more'confident of this today. The work of Teheran began just where
the work of Moscow left off, but the Teheran Conference, being a conference of
leaders, carries a still more stirring message to the world. I would like to quote
just one extract about the Conference from the Soviet newspaper "Pravda," and
I quote it because it expresses exactly my own feelings at the end of this Confer-
ence. They say' this:
"Only a short time separates us from the Moscow Conference of the three
Foreign Ministers of the Allied Powers, the decisions of which not only
demonstrated the strengthening of friendly co-operation between Great Britain,
the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. in the war period, but laid the basis for fruitful
work together after the war. But what a tremendous step forward has now
been taken along this path?"
I am convinced that that is true. Let me try to sum up the results of the Teheran
meeting. The first result is-that the war will be shortened. The close co-ordination
of all our military plans which was reached at the Conference will ensure it. Clearly,
we can do better when there is a close interplay at every move, which we have-not
had until now. The Teheran Conference laid the plans to this end. All is now
agreed. Every plan is now agreed, and the timing is now agreed, and, in due course,
the decisions of the Teheran Conference will be unrolled on the fields of battle.
Even this is not all, because victory is a means to an end, and the end is a peace
that will last. More than once before allies have stood together in war and fallen
apart in peace. In the last year or so many hon. Members in all parts of the House
must have said to themselves: "Is this going to be our experience once again?"
Well, that will certainly be Germany's game. Let the House not doubt that. She
will play it with all she knows from the moment the last shot is fired-to sow con-
fusion, to sow doubt and division. That will be Germany's game, and thus to pre-
pare for the next war. This recurrent threat of war can only be met if there is an
international order firmer in strength and unity than any enemy that can seek to
challenge it. Is there or is there not the possibility of creating such an order? Do
the foundations exist?
Six months ago I could not have given any certain answer. It might have been
so; it might not have been so. But today I can give the answer. It is an emphatic
"Yes." The foundations do exist, and I am truly confident that there is a possibility,,
and more than a possibility, a desire, among the three Powers for continued co-
operation not only during the war, not only in reshaping Europe when the Armistice
comes, but also, thereafter, in maintaining in the world an orderly progress and
continuing peace. The foundations of that understanding were laid by us in Mos-
cow. They have been strengthened and confirmed in Teheran. We three worked
together. We have set our hands to the task, and heavy is our responsibility to ensure
that we do not fail.
I would like to give two illustrations of the beginning that has been made.
When I came back from Moscow a month ago I told the House that we had set up
there an Advisory Council for Italy, on which there would be representatives of
our country, the United States, Soviet Russia and France. That Committee-that
Council-has begun its work. Its members have had a number of meetings. They
have been to Italy and surveyed the position there. I had the opportunity when I
was away to see the representatives of all four of the countries, and each and all
told me that the work was proceeding smoothly and well. That is the first step.
And then there is the Advisory Commission for Europe, the Commission agreed
on in Moscow, which is to sit here in London. That has now been completed by
the nomination by the United States of the American Ambassador in London, Mr.

Three Great Conferences

John Winant, a most admirable choice. I understand I am not telling secrets about
another body which is to have its first preliminary informal meeting tomorrow.
That is the beginning. These two bodies were planned in Moscow, but the scope of
their work was greatly increased by the decisions taken at Teheran.

I will now pass to another matter-Turkey. It was decided in Teheran to invite
the President of the Turkish Republic to attend a Conference with the representa-
tives of the three Powers-the United States, Soviet Russia and ourselves-in Cairo,
on what was our homeward journey. The Turkish President accepted, and he was
accompanied by his Foreign Secretary and the Secretary-General of the Turkish
Foreign Office. The British, the American and the Soviet Ambassadors in Ankara
accompanied him. Unfortunately, Mr. Vyshinsky, who was to have been the
Russian representative to join us in that capacity, was away at the front in Italy,
and he could not.reach us until after the close of the talks, but I was able to see
him before I left Cairo, and I gave him a full account of all that had passed, and
discussed with him the outcome of our work. These conversations were in the
nature of a fuller and more complete development of the earlier meeting which I
had had with the Turkish Foreign Secretary in Cairo five weeks ago. I clearly
cannot at this stage give details of these confidential 'discussions-too many people
might be listening-but I can say that I have good hopes that they will be found
to have established a sound basis for future co-operation between the four countries
--ourselves, Soviet Russia, America and Turkey.
Since his return to Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Minister himself had made 4
statement which the House, perhaps, may not have noticed in which he said that
the conversations in Cairo were so intimate and far-reaching that he could now say
that Turkey's relations with the United States and the Soviet Union were almost
as cordial and as strong as with Great Britain. Those who know the past history
of this business will realize what an important statement that is. It augurs well, I
think, for the progressive development of future relations between us four, and
were it on account of this development alone I should feel justified in telling the
House that we regard the Cairo Conference No. 2 as encouraging. Further than
that I cannot go today.

Aspirations of the Arab World
While we were in Cairo my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I were
able to discuss the recent crisis in the Lebanon with my right hon. Friend the
Member for Stockton (Mr. Harold Macmillan) and with my hon. and gallant friend
the Member for Carlisle (Major-General Sir Edward Spears) who is our Minister
in Beirut, as well as with the Minister of State in the Middle East. The House
has already been informed of the development and of the conclusion of that crisis,
but, if the House will allow me, I want to take this, my first opportunity, to say
something about it. Our interest in this matter is twofold. We have sympathy,
deep sympathy, with the national aspirations of the Arab world.
We are the only country that has ever concluded a Treaty with and withdrawn
from an independent Arab State. Yet at the same time the preservation of order
and tranquility in the Lebanon is an Allied interest, for it closely affects the whole
of our war effort in the Middle East. I understand that General Catroux is going
back to Beirut on behalf of the French Committee of National Liberation, and he
is to conduct negotiations to try and bring about a modus vivendi in the Levant
States. No happier choice of representative, I think, could have been made by our
French friends, and I am sure the House will share the earnest hope, which we
have expressed already through diplomatic channels to the authorities concerned,

British Speeches of the Day

that these negotiations will be conducted in a conciliatory spirit on both sides and
that they will lead to early agreement. I am confident that all our Allies, all the
members of the United Nations, share that view.
It so happened that on my return journey one of the engines of our four-engined
aircraft became tired of operating, luckily when we were getting near the aero-
drome of Algiers, and so we were landed there and delayed. As a consequence I
had opportunities of meeting both M. Massigli and General Catroux himself and
of conversations with them about this situation. Here let me say just one word-
which I hope the House will endorse-to the people of France. We are at the heart
of the fifth winter of this war. The suffering of the French people has been harsh
and cruel. She has spent a long ordeal, which perhaps, but for the hazard of
geography, the British people might have had to share. We believe that this great
people, 40,000,000 strong, enriched by the moral and intellectual qualities that
have been theirs throughout history, will find the spirit to lift them up again from
the heavy blows which have been dealt them during the last four years. We believe
that in the Colonial and French Forces in Tunisia and in Libya, of which I have
heard from our own officers who served with them, and in the heroic and ever-
increasing resistance movement in France, some of whose representatives I have
met within the last few days-we believe that in those people we have the real soul
of France. So I say at this time that despite all the difficulties we extend to France
our sympathy and our confidence.

"We Are Seeking to Liberate..."
What I have said, and said deliberately, applies not only to France but to all
those nations now under German occupation. What we are seeking, what we are
working for, when we approach these matters in harmony with the United States
and Russia is not to impose a three-Power will upon Europe. We are seeking to
liberate those countries so that each and all can take their place in the European
family again. There could not be anything exclusive in the arrangements between
the three Powers. We want to restore the liberty of these nations of Europe, great
and small, so that they can play their part in Europe. I am one who believes that
Europe has still perhaps the greatest contribution of all to maketo the future of
Having said that, I must come to one or two of our troubles, for it would not
be fair to ignore our troubles. There are two countries in the Balkans about which
I must say a word or two-Yugoslavia and Greece. It is, perhaps, inevitable that
after three years of enemy occupation and guerilla fighting there is not a little
internal confusion and chaos. It must be remembered that German propaganda,
day and night, is trying to increase that confusion, trying to spread false reports
of our intentions, trying to divide us from our Allies and play one off against the
other. So I hope I may say to the House that in approaching these matters in public
discussion we should use all possible restraint and above all, if I may add it, resist
the temptation of fighting our own elections in all these Balkans lands. I laid
down some time ago, with the assent of the Cabinet, of course, three rules to try.
to guide us in this state of affairs, and I will give them to the House. First, to give
all the practical help in our power to those elements in these countries which are
actively resisting the enemy. Second, to make clear that so far as we can exert any
authority it shall be used to ensure that these countries shall be free to choose their
own Governments when they are liberated. Third, to work in the closest possible
concert with our Allies.
Having said so much, may we, on the basis of these rules, look at Yugoslavia?
For many months past the head and front of resistance to the enemy in Yugoslavia

Three Great Conferences 7

have 6een the partisans under their Commander-in-Chief, General Tito. From all
the reports which we have received it is clear that these partisans are containing
and engaging a large number of German divisions. We are doing all we can to
supply them with munitions and to support them in every possible way. Our action
in this respect has, of course, been endorsed by our Allies.
[Mr. Bellenger: By whom has it been endorsed?]
Mr. Eden: By the Soviet Government and the United States Government
several times over, at various conferences. Now if I may I would like to go back
a little into past history. I want to show the House the development in this matter.
As a result of information which we had we decided as long as the spring of this
year that we should ask General Tito to receive a British Military Mission. He
replied, "Yes," and British officers have been with him ever since.. Our Mission
has been and, as it happens, is under the leadership of a Member of this House,
my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lancaster (Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean),
who has established most excellent relations with General Tito. As the House will
have seen from the newspapers today, the Soviet Government have decided also
to send a Military Mission to the partisan Commander-in-Chief. I want to make
it quite plain where we stand in this. Mr. Molotov was good enough to discuss
this project with me, both when I was in Moscow and more recently in Teheran.
He said, "You have a Mission with them, and we think of,sending a Mission, too."
We, of course, endorsed this proposal-the Prime Minister and I-and Mr. Molotov
and I agreed that our two Missions shall work together in the closest collaboration
when the Soviet Mipsion reaches the country. That is the position.
Now for another development since I left Teheran. As the House is aware, a
Supreme Legislative Committee and an Executive National Committee of Liberation
have recently been set up under the auspices of the Commander-in-Chief of the
partisan Forces. So far as I am aware, this National Committee does not claim
authority outside the borders of the area in which it operates. It has certainly not
claimed any form of recognition from His Majesty's Government. As I understand
the position and as it has been reported to me by our officers, the partisans emphasize
the provisional nature of this administration, and they hold that it is for the Yugd-
slav people, as soon as their country is liberated, freely to choose the form of Gov-
ernment they prefer. If that is the position, this, too, is the view of His Majesty's
Government. It is also, as I know, because he has told us so, the desire of King
Peter himself and the policy of .his Government. They have publicly declared it as
their policy. We must be fair in all this. A public statement was made by the Gov-
ernment that the moment the war was over they would lay down their portfolios
and the country would choose what Government they preferred. ...
I am not trying to say that the Government in Cairo agree on all points with
the partisans. Clearly that is not so. I am trying to make a fair approach to this
very difficult question, and what I am saying is that all, including the Government
in Cairo, have declared that the moment their country is liberated they will lay
down their offices and it will be for the country to choose its Government. That
is a point on which all are agreed-the King, General Tito and the Yugoslav Gov-
ernment. I feel myself the greatest sympathy for this young King. He came to his
responsibilities at a most critical hour in his country's history. He did his best to
rally his country to the Allied cause, and he is now faced with the most difficult
problems that any young monarch could be faced with. I repeat that we must try
to be fair, and, if I may use the word, not too partisan in our actions in the literal
and not the military sense of the word. Finally on that subject, let me tell the
House this. We are in consultation with other Allied Governments on this policy,
and the Prime Minister and I devoted no little time to it while we were in Cairo.
We are now at work in conjunction with our Allies to bring all those in Yugo-

British Speeches of the Day

slavia or out of it together who want to fight the common German enemy. 1 hope
that the contributions of this House will be made to that end.
One word about Greece. The position there is not on all fours with the posi-
tion in Yugoslavia. There there are warring bands, all of them in different degrees
hostile to the Germans. There are also political controversies which cut right across
the matter. It is our aim there to try and unite all these bands, or almost all of them,
in common action against the enemy. We have some hope that we may have a
measure of success in that. The recently published letter of the King of the Hel-
lenes, which, he had written last November to his Cabinet, shows clearly that the
King is anxious to make his contribution so that his position shall not be a matter
of controversy or get in the way of unity. I am not without hope that we may see
some progress in the near future, though I do not pretend that the task is par-
ticularly easy.

The Italian Campaign
I want to say something about the progress of the fighting in Italy, because it
is wrong that we should adjourn for Christmas without the House being informed
of the latest information that the Government have. We must admit, first of all,
that the advance of the Allied Armies in Italy during the third and fourth months
of the campaign has not covered quite the spectacular distances we achieved in the
first two months. That, of course, is not due to lack of initiative on the part of our
Armies. The truth is that we have now reached what is the narrowest part of the
Italian Peninsula. The Apennines stretch almost from coast to coast, and where the
Apennines stop the swollen rivers take over. That is the position which confronts
us. These natural facilities afford exceptional opportunities for skillful defense,
and the Germans, as they are forced relentlessly back, are making good use of these
advantages. Add to this heavy persistent rains which swell every river and turn
every approach into a sea of mud, and we have a fair picture of the background
against which the Italian events should be reviewed. On 8th November, after a
surprise sea-borne attack on Termoli, the Eighth Army pressed on and secured a
bridgehead over the river Trigno while inland their left flank, was moving up
through the Apennines. Meanwhile, on the west General Clark's Anglo-American
Fifth Army crossed the Volturno and fought their way to the next river obstacle.
By the 8th, by a lightening thrust most characteristic of him, General Montgomery
swept the Germans back across the Sangro River. The whole of the rest of his line
moved forward at the same time while the Fifth Army kept pace in the Western
Apennines. It was then when, as I know, our commanders felt the campaign to be
developing as they wished that we had another deluge and steadily worsening
weather conditions which called a halt along'the whole group of armies. Tha- time
was spent building up stocks, preparing rivers and roads and getting ready for the
next offensive, General Montgomery waiting for a spell of fine weather.
At last it came and on the night of 27th November the Eighth Army, further
strengthened by the arrival of the Second New Zealand Division, that most gallant
veteran Division, was able to launch its main assault. It was preceded, as has be-
come almost the custom now, by a familiar and shattering bombardment and the
full support of the Royal Air Force. The 78th and 18th Divisions, both of them
also veterans in fighting, advanced and secured Fossa Cesia Ridge. Down came the
rain -again and still our troops fought grimly on, as they are doing now to the line
of the Moro and beyond. Far on the left Canadians have now relieved the 78th
Division and they are pressing on towards Ortona. Inland the New Zealand Divi-
sion is trying to gain the high ground which will help the Canadians further in
their advance. Meanwhile, on the, west the Anglo-American Fifth Army began the

Reconstruction Plans

battle for the Mignano Gap. There was a struggle to secure this mountain feature
and the enemy had plenty of time to prepare formidable defenses. But thanks to
the gallantry of the Allied infantry all the more important of the hill features are
now in our hands and it seems that the Germans may be forced to withdraw
further. It would be unjust to make these references to the fighting in Italy without
paying tribute to the Royal Engineers and the administrative services. Theirs has
been an immense task to keep communications open and to reconstruct them where
they are destroyed, and yet throughout this fighting the Army has never lacked for
a moment a shell or food or supplies of any kind. It is my duty to give the House
the casualties from the moment of the landing on the mainland to 23rd November.
The British casualties were 3,212 killed, 9,709 wounded and 3,153 missing. Total
16,074. The American casualties were to 25th November: 1,603 killed, 6,361
wounded, 2,685 missing. Total 10,649. Up to the most recent counting the German
prisoners taken by the Allies total just over 6,000.
Let me sum up my impressions of these three weeks. My right hon. Friend
and I were greatly encouraged by the outcome of our three conferences. So I
believe were all our Allied colleagues. To that extent I bring the House a message
of good cheer. These events, of course, give no cause for easy optimism-far from
it. If I were to do that I would give my message falsely. The truth, on the con-
trary, is that the very magnitude of the plans to which we have set our hands, to
which the heads of other Governments have given their approval, will call for an
immense effort in the coming months from each and all of the United Nations.
Plans, however good, can only yield results if the force of the citizens in all the
lands is behind them. We have set ourselves a hard task in our determination to
achieve victory at the earliest possible date. Great battles are impending. For this
effort we shall need all our strength, all our courage, all our unity in greater
measure perhaps than ever before. I ask this House to give the pledge that for our
part that effort will be forthcoming.
[House of Commons Debates]

Minister of Reconstruction
House of Lords, December 8, 1943
I have been both encouraged and fortified by the unhesitating assurance that
has been given to me of the unqualified support of all my colleagues and of all the
several Parties that constitute this National Government. I realize the limitations
of my personal capacity and knowledge, and I can only assure your Lordships that
I will devote such capacity as I have to this task without stint. But there is one
thing I will not do. Whatever may be the pressure of Parliament or of the country
for us to get on quickly, I am not going to make any promises until I know that
they can be fulfilled. I am not going tp arouse hopes that are doomed to be dis-
sipated in disappointment, however eloquent the phrase that trips off the tongue
and encourages one to make those promises. And I hope that this war will not
produce the lineal descendant of "Homes for heroes to dwell in"; at least it will
not be produced until such time as those responsible Ministers who make the
promises can be absolutely certain that the homes will be there for the heroes to
live in.

10 British Speeches of the Day

"No Speeches Should Be Founded on Hope"
Your Lordships perhaps will be good enough to allow me to remind you that
we had one unbreakable rule at the Ministry of Food, and that was that no speeches
should be founded on hope. Until we had the goods in the shops for the people
to go and test our promises no one was allowed to make any. I shall adhere to that
same principle as Minister of Reconstruction. It is inevitable that in the course of
this debate noble Lords will regret that His Majesty's Government have not prom-
ised legislation on large numbers of subjects which appear to them to be vital to
the reconstitution of Britain. . During the course of the last fourteen days
since I came into this office I have had many letters from people who have been
good enough to express great confidence that the appointment of a Minister of
Reconstruction would make all sorts of things happen very quickly-each selecting
according to his taste. There have been some who reminded me that in my early
youth I was courageous enough-brazen enough-to assume that I could find a cure
for poverty, and therefore they think that I might now be able to do it. There are
others who take a less favorable view of me and have regarded me as one of those
hard-boiled business men, and so they are quite sure that in these circumstances I
shall be able to deal with all the speculators and the rest. And thee are even some
who have reminded me of my hobbies, and have said that now that they have got
a Governor of the Royal College of Art as Minister of Reconstruction we are quite
sure to have our new England built on the basis of beauty.

Reconstruction Reports
Well, it is difficult to live up to all these things and to live up to them all at
once. The Government have throughout the war sought well in advance to inform
themselves on matters of fact and opinion, and so, as your Lordships know, many
Commissions have sat and Reports have been presented and there now is a mass of
information in front of us-Uthwatt, Barlow, Scott, Beveridge; and to all these
gentlemen and to those who sat with them I think the country is greatly obligated.
These Reports have been very detailed and some of them have been very persuasive.
But the Government cannot contract out of their responsibilities by appointing Com-
missions. It is the duty of Commissions to collect evidence and to present the facts,
but however erudite the Commissioners may be, they can but present the facts
within the restricted orbit of their terms of reference.
SThe Government would be failing in their duty if they merely swallowed these
Reports whole. I make no apology for the fact that the Government have,not
decided, at the present time, on legislation on all these various Reports. If I may
take the most highly publicized of these Reports-that which is associated with
the name of Sir William Beveridge-your Lordships will remember that he, in his
wisdom, stated that the proposals he made were dependent upon full employment.
Sir William undertook the task that Mr. Greenwood gave to him and defined for
him. He was not asked to report on full employment and, being as he is, a very
sound economist, he presented us with his observations on what could be done
towards social security if we had full employment.

The People's World
At this stage I make no observations on the various provisions that he has com-
mended for social security. I have referred to his Report merely in order that I
might illustrate my fundamental attitude to all these questions of reform. We must
put first things first, and the things that the people of this country want most
urgently were quite clearly expressed by the Prime Minister when he spoke of work,
homes and food. Sir William Beveridge is right in saying that full employment
is the foundation of social security. To ensure work for the nation-that is where

Reconstruction Plans

reconstruction starts. We must work to live and if this country is to rebuild its
commercial life and be able to afford social security to its people, it will need to
work very hard. British people, fortunately, have plenty of common sense, and
we shall plan more surely for the future if we place before them the whole of the
facts-the obligations as well as the rewards. If we do that I am quite certain we
shall earn their co-operation. During this war the Government have had to take
control of our lives and most of our material resources, byt do not let us assume
that during the transition period between war and peace, all initiative and all action
are going to depend on what the Government are going to do. It is not the Gov-
ernment's "new world" that we are going to build; it is the people's world. They
will build it; they are the people who are going to work for it and benefit from it.
Government can direct, they can advise, they can encourage, they can control where
necessary in the general public interest, and they can provide from public funds
such help as Parliament, representing the public, approves. But the enterprise and
the scientific and industrial capacity of the whole nation will need to be harnessed,
and not only harnessed, but indeed enthused to the task of reconstructing our
At the outset, therefore, I appeal to the practical common sense and the united
effort of the whole nation, so that we may all work together in industrial harmony
in this task of moving, when the time is ripe, from war to peace, from the destruc-
tion of our enemies to the construction of our domestic life and our international
trade. Plans must be prepared, but action will have to wait on events. Let us keep
our eyes firmly fixed on the war, however hopeful we may be about the way things
are moving in our favor. Not one item of production that is needed for war must
be sacrificed in order to ease the movement of industry from war to peace. We are
committed to finish this war in the East as well as in the West, and in all our
thinking and in all our deeds that must remain the predominant consideration, until
it is finished as we want it to be finished.
I have had to say that, but it does not mean that we must not be making our
plans ahead. There is nothing new about planning. The phrase has come into
popular use, but every wise business man makes his plans two, three, four or five
years ahead of his current practice. It is part of ordinary business and I hope that
the industrialists of this country are doing it now. I hope that they are going to
say what they need from Government during this transition period. I hope they will
make very carefully considered proposals as to what controls should go and what
controls should stay during this period of transition, when there will be great short-
age of labor and even greater shortage of material. If we are to have work for all
our people we shall want great enterprise among the industrialists and traders and a
willingness to take risks once again among our commercial men in a spirit of co-
operation and fair dealing as between employer and employee.
Because I have had such a long association with them in the days before the
war, I am going to venture in the first speech I make as Minister of Reconstruction
to appeal to the industrialists and to the workpeople of this country to bring to
the period of reconstruction that same sense of national devotion and subjugation
of self interest tliat they have shown so magnificently in the period when the
country was in danger. The country is still in danger. The danger to its physical
life has not passed, unfortunately, and its commercial life will remain in danger for
some years to come. We shall need all the commercial wisdom and foresight in the
immediate post-war years if we are to rebuild our national prosperity. From the
commercial danger of the nation, let there be no mistake about it, there follows the
danger to all those hopes for a better world that depend on the solvency of our
national finance.

12 British Speeches of the Day

"The Task Is Not Beyond Us"
May I remind your Lordships that we have vastly increased our internal debt
on which interest must be paid? In carrying out this war we have sold or pledged
much of our investment overseas, on the interest of which we depended so much
for our imports. Our wealth has been destroyed, our ships have been sunk, our
towns have been burnt and broken, and for some years to come we shall be a nation
poor in wealth, though we shall be rich beyond any dreams of the past in repu-
tation. But however strained our Excheqqer may be, there yet remains, undi-
minished in the minds of our people, the faith that we can rebuild our enterprise,
replan-and indeed beautify--our cities, provide adequate homes for our people,
and by the proper use of our land at home and by the development of our export
trade abroad, purchase the food that is necessary to keep our people at least as well
fed in thq days of peace as they have been in the days of war. I believe that this
great faith is justified. It is, my Lords, a great commitment, but during these last
four years we have demonstrated our national capacity for greatness, and this task
that lies before us is not beyond us.
I have occupied your Lordships' time today because I thought it probably would
be your will that I might indicate to you the approach that I make to this new
office with which I am entrusted. The fire of idealism will brighten our minds
and warm our hearts. The task which faces us, however, is not that of formulating
phrases or making speeches, but of hard constructive work dealing first with the
fundamental requirements of the people of this country-dealing with them in
their proper order of importance and having strict regard to the cost of the pro-
posals that commend themselves to our rising hopes.

Switching Over of Industry
So much for the general aspect. Now let us look at the steps we must take.
.Firstly-but only firstly in point of time-there will be the remobilization of our
civilian- forces and the switching over of industry from war to peace. Let us
frankly face the fact that this cannot be done without interruption of employment.
You cannot take a factory that has been making tanks and, because hostilities have
ceased-however carefully you may plan-you cannot the next day, or the next
week, be ready to go over to employing all these people on civilian production. It
is bound to be a gradual process. The Ministers of Production and Labour are
already devoting their attention to the means to be adopted in reducing the volume
of munitions production so that, industry by industry, factory, by factory, and
locality by locality, this may be done as the demands for the production of the
Services decline. In doing this they will take into account the situation as regards
the resumption of civilian production, and in each locality as regards the need for
the diversity of industry-a matter which the Barlow Report very properly empha-
sized. The House may rest assured that by administrative action we shall pay full
regard to this factor of the diversity of industry in the country. My noble friend
Lord Portal and I spent many years before this war trying to remedy, in the de-
pressed areas of this country, some of the doleful results of the lack of this diversity
of industry in places that were unhappily dependent primarily op coal mining and
ship building.
The plans for the demobilization of the Forces have been the concern of a Com-
mittee of His Majesty's Government for some months. I have seen these plans.
One thing I can assure the House is that there will be no favor for anyone. De-
mobilization will generally be ordered, above all else, so that it will be fair all
round. The Minister of Labour is responsible for putting people back into industry,
and he can be relied upon to do it with the same orderly fairness that he has shown
in taking them out of industry and putting them into the Army.


Nos. 1-10 (March 1943-December 1943)



No. and Page

ALEXANDER, A. V. .................. No.
AMERY, L. S. ...................... No.
ANDERSON, SIR JOHN ................ No.
ASSHETON, RALPH ................... No.
ATTLEt, C. R .................. ...... No.
BALFOUR, HAROLD .......... ........... No.
BEAVERBROOK, LORD .... .............. No.
BEVIN, ERNEST ...................... No.
BROWN, ERNEST ..................... No.
BUTLER, R. A. ......................No.
CHERWELL, LORD ..................... No.
CHURCHILL, WINSTON ................ No.
CRANBORNE, LORD .................... No.
CRIPPS, SIR STAFFORD ................ No.
EDEN, ANTHONY ..................... No.
FOOT, DINGLE ......................... No.
GREENE, LORD ....................... No.
HALIFAX, LORD ...................... No.
JOHNSTONE, W. HARCOURT ........... No.
JOWITT, SIR WILLIAM ................No.
KEYNES, LORD ............... ......... No.

8, p. 43
2, p. 15
3, p. 11
7, p. 9
9, p. 20
10, p. 7
3, p. 10
2, p. 13
8, p. 38
5, p. 22
9, p. 14
5, p. 23
8, p. 26
9, p. 26
10, p. 22
3, p. 24
4, p. 15
6, p. 29
7, p. 18
2, p. 1
4, p. 1
5, p. 1
5, p. 8
6, p. 1
7, p. 22
7, p. 1
8, p. 1
9, p. 1
9, p. 39
10, p. 1
3, p. 28
4, p. 32
5, p. 17
10, p. 18
1, p. 18
3, p. 22
3, p. 14
5, p. 18
7, p. 13
9, p. 17
10, p. 9
1, p. 5
2, p. 11
3, p. 1
6, p. 14
8, p. 23
6, p. 4
10, p. 24
3, p. 16
4, p. 35
10, p. 13
6, p. 36
5, p. 15
4, p. 9

September 16, 1943
March 12, 1943
March 30, 1943
August 9, 1943
November 4, 1943
November 11, 1943
April 13, 1943
February 28, 1943
September 3, 1943
June 19, 1943
October 20, 1943
June 6, 1943
September 23, 1943
September 29, 1943
November 12, 1943
March 26, 1943
May 27, 1943
July 29, 1943
July 20, 1943
March 21, 1943
May 19, 1943
June 8, 1943
June 30, 1943
July 27, 1943
August 31, 1943
September 6, 1943
September 21, 1943
October 13, 1943
October 28, 1943
November 9, 1943
March 25, 1943
April 15, 1943
June 3, 1943
November 2, 1943
February 6, 1943
April 17, 1943
April 20, 1943
June 4, 1943
August 9, 1943
October 8, 1943
October 27, 1943
December" 2, 1942
April 1, 1943
April 8, 1943
July 6, 1943
September 22, 1943
July 8, 1943
November 10, 1943
April 2, 1943
May 29, 1943
November 10, 1943
July 27, 1943
June 17, 1943
May 18. 1943

2 Index to Speakers
Speaker. No. and Page
LAW, RICHARD ....................... No. 6, p. 11
No. 10, p. 30
LLEWELLN, J. J. .................... No. 9, p. 31
LYTTELTON, OLIVER ................... No. 3, p. 18
No. 5, p. 30,
No. 8, p. 37
No. 8, p. 30
MABANE, WILLIAM ................... No. 4, p. 18
MORRISON, HERBERT .................. No. 1, p. 1
No. 2, p. 17
No. 4, p. 27
No. 7, p. 16
No. 9, p. 8
No. 10, p. 4
MORRISON, W. S. .................... No. 4, p. 31
No. 5, p. 26
No. 6, p. 15
SINCLAIR, SIR ARCHIBALD ............. No. 9, p. 36
STANLEY, OLIVER ..................... No. 1, p. 14
No. 6, p. 18
SWINTON, LORD ...................... No. 7, p. 5
WAVELL, LORD ....................... No. 8, p. 34
WOOD, SIR KINGSLEY ................. No. 1, p. 8
No. 3, p. 6
WOOLTON, LORD ...................... No. 8, p. 47

July 19,
November 24,
October 18,
April 2,
July 4,
August 18,
August 30,
May 13,
February 24,
February 13,
May 9,
August 15,
October 6,
November 14,
May 27,
June 6,
July 14,
October 10,
March 7,
July 13,
August 13,
September 16,
February 2,
April 12,
August 27,

Subject Speaker No. and Page
AGRICULTURE ........................Winston Churchill .......No. 2, p. 6
AIRCRAFT PRODUCTION ................ Ernest Bevin ........... No. 8, p. 29
(See also War Production) Sir Stafford Cripps .....No. 3, p. 14
ALLIED GOVERNMENTS, RESTORATION OF. Lord Cranborne .........No. 5, p. 17
ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT ....... Anthony Eden .......... No. 8, p. 23
ATLANTIC CHARTER .................. Sir Kingsley Wood ..... No. 1, p. 12
AVIATION ............................ Lord Beaverbrook .......No. 9, p. 14
BASIC ENGLISH ......................Winston Churchill .......No. 7, p. 3
BEVERIDGE REPORT ................... L. S. Amery ...........No. 2, p. 15
C. R. Attlee ...........No. 2, p. 15
Winston Churchill .......No. 2, p. 5
BLOCKADE .............. ..............
(See Economic Warfare)
BOMBING OF GERMANY ............... Dingle Foot ............. No. 6, p. 6
Sir Archibald Sinclair ...No. 9, p. 36
BRITISH EMPIRE .................... L. S. Amery ............No. 7, p. 9
(See also Canada; Colonies; C. R. Attlee ............ No. 8, p. 38
Dominions; West Africa Winston Churchill ....... No. 5, p. 8
Sir Stafford Cripps .....No. 7, p. 13
Lord Halifax ...........No. 10, p. 15
Herbert Morrison .......No. 9, p. 11
CANADA ............................ .Winston Churchill .......No. 7, p. 22
Anthony Eden .......... No. 3. p. 6
CHRISTIANITY ....................... Lord Halifax ...........No. 4, p. 35
National Conciliation Scheme ....... Lord Greene ............ No. 3, p. 16
Output and Manpower .............Ernest Bevin ...........No. 8, p. 29
Ernest Bevin ...........No. 10, p. 22
Winston Churchill .......No. 9, p. 3
Research ......................... Lord Cherwell ..........No. 7, p. 18


Index to Subjects 3
Subject Speaker No. and Page
COLONIES ............. ............... C. R. Attlee .......... No. 8, p. 40
Herbert Morrison .......No. 9, p. 11
Colonial Government and Planning .Oliver Stanley ..........No. 1, p. 14
Oliver Stanley ..........No. 6, p. 18
COMBINED PLANNING .................J. J. Llewellin ..........No. 9, p. 31
DEMOBILIZATION ....................Sir W. Jowitt ..........No. 5, p. 15
DEMOCRACY ..........................Sir Stafford Cripps .... No. 1, p. 18
Sir Stafford Cripps ..... No. 10, p. 9
Parliamentary .....................Winston Churchill .......No. 9, p. 39
DOMINIONS ......................... L. S. Amery ............ No. 2, p. 16
Lord Cranborne .........No. 10, p. 18
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS ............... L. S. Amery ............ No. 2, p. 15
C. R. Attlee ........... .No. 2, p. 13
W. Harcourt Johnstone...No. 6, p. 39
Richard Law ............No. 10, p. 30
Oliver Lyttelton .........No. 8, p. 37
Herbert Morrison .......No. 1, p. 2
Herbert Morrison .......No. 2, p. 17
Herbert Morrison ....... No. 4, p. 27
Sir Kingsley Wood ......No. 1, p. 8
ECONOMIC WARFARE .................. Dingle Foot .............No. 6, p. 4
Effect on Occupied Europe ......... Dingle Foot ............. No. 10, p. 24
EDUCATION ..........................R. A. Butler ............No. 4, p. 15
R. A. Butler ............ No. 6, p. 29
Winston Churchill .......No. 2, p. 7
Herbert Morrison .......No. 7, p. 16
EXPORT TRADE ...................... W. Harcourt Johnstone...No. 6, p. 36
(See also Economic Conditions)
FASCISM .............................Herbert Morrison .......No. 7, p. 28
FINANCE ............................ Ralph Assheton .........No. 3, p. 10
(See also Economic Conditions) Lord Keynes ...........No. 4, p. 9
Oliver Lyttelton ........No. 8, p. 37
Sir Kingsley Wood ...... No. 1, p. 8
Sir Kingsley Wood ...... No. 3, p. 8
FOOD AND NUTRITION ................ William Mabane ........ No. 4, p. 18
(See also Relief) Lord Woolton ...........No. 8, p. 47
Food Conference (Hot Springs) ..... Anthony Eden ..........No. 6, p. 14
Richard Law ............ No. 6, p. 11
FRANCE ............................ Winston Churchill .......No. 8, p. 20
Winston Churchill .......No. 10, p. 2
GERMANY .........................Anthony Eden ..........No. 2, p. 12
(See also Bombing of Germany; Herbert Morrison .......No. 10, p. 4
War, Progress of, passim)
HEALTH AND WELFARE ............... Ernest Brown ...........No. 3, p. 24
INDIA ............................. L. S. Amery ............No. 3, p. 11
Lord Wavell ...........No. 8, p. 34
Famine .......................... L. S. Amery ............ No. 9, p. 20
INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ................ Lord Cherwell .......... No. 7, p. 18
INDUSTRY ...........................Winston Churchill .......No. 2, p. 10
Sir William Jowitt ...... No. 5, p. 16
Oliver Lyttelton ......... No. 3, p. 22
Herbert Morrison ......No. 2,, p. 17
Herbert Morrison ....... No. 4, p. 27
INTERNATIONAL CLEARING UNION ...... Lord Keynes ............ No. 4, p. 9
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ...... .. Harold Balfour ......... No. 5, p. 22
Winston Churchill ....... No. 2, p. 3
Sir Stafford Cripps ..... No. 3, p. 22
Sir Stafford Cripps .....No. 9, p. 17
Sir Stafford Cripps ..... No. 10, p. 11
Anthony Eden .........No. 1, p. 5
Herbert Morrison ....... No. 1, p. 1

4 Index to Subjects
Subject Speaker No. and Page
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ............ Winston Churchill ....... No. 7, p. 3
Sir Stafford Cripps .....No. 5, p. 18
Anthony Eden .......... No. 1, p. 5
Herbert Morrison .......No. 1, p. 4
Herbert Morrison .......No. 4, p. 30
ITALY, INVASION AND SURRENDER ...... Winston Churchill .......No. 6, p. 1
Winston Churchill .......No. 8, p. 8
Anthony Eden ..........No. 8, p. 23
(See Mutual Aid)
MANPOWER ...........................Ernest Bevin ...........No. 5, p. 23
(See also Women) Ernest Bevin ...........No. 8, p. 26
Oliver Lyttelton ......... No. 5, p. 30
MEDITERRANEAN COMMISSION .......... Winston Churchill ....... No. 8, p. 19
MEDITERRANEAN NAVAL CAMPAIGN ..... A. V. Alexander ........ No. 8, p. 43
MUTUAL AID ........................ Sir John Anderson ...... No. 10, p. 7
J. J. Llewellin ..........No. 9, p. 31
Herbert Morrison ....... No. 9, p. 10
Sir Kingsley Wood ......No. 3, p. 6
PALESTINE ........................ ...Lord Cranborne ......... No. 3, p. 29
SPOLITICAL UNITY .................... Winston Churchill ....... No. 9, p. 1
POST-WAR CONDITIONS AND PROPOSALS..Winston Churchill .......No. 2, p. 1
(See also Agriculture; Allied Gov-
ernments, Restoration of; Avia-
tion; Economic Conditions; Edu-
cation; Industry; International
Clearing Union; International
Organization; International Re-
lations; Relief; Town Planning
and Building)
QUEBEC CONFERENCE ................. Winston Churchill ....... No. 8, pp. 1-22
REFUGEES ..........................Lord Cranborne ........No. 3, p. 28
RELIEF ................ ........... Lord Woolton ........... No. 3, p. 32
(See also Food)
RUSSIA .............................Anthony Eden ..........No. 8, p. 25
(See also International Relations;
War, Progress of)
TOWN PLANNING AND BUILDING ...... W. S. Morrison .........No. 4, p. 31
W. S. Morrison .........No. 5, p. 26
London Plan ..................... W. S. Morrison ........No. 6, p. 15
UNITED STATES ................... .. .Winston Churchill ....... No. 4, p. I
(See also International Relations; Winston Churchill ......No. 5, p. 10
War, Progress of) Winston Churchill .......No. 7, p. 1
Winston Churchill ....... No. 10, p. 4
Lord Halifax ...........No. 10, p. 13
Oliver Lyttelton .........No. 8, p. 37
Herbert Morrison .......No. 9, p. 8
VICHY GOVERNMENT .................. Anthony Eden ..........No. 3, p. 2
WAR, PROGRESS OF .................. .Winston Churchill .......No. 4, p. 1
Winston Churchill .......No. 5, p. 1
Winston Churchill .......No. 5, p. 11
Winston Churchill ....... No. 6, p. 1
Winston Churchill .......No. 7, p. 24
Winston Churchill ....... No. 8, p. 1
Winston Churchill ....... No. 10, p. 1
Far Eastern War .................. Herbert Morrison .......No. 9, p. 8
WAR PRODUCTION .................... Oliver Lyttelton .........No. 3, p. 18
(See also Aircraft Production) Oliver Lyttelton ..........No. 8, p. 30
Oliver Lyttelton .........No. 10, p. 29
WEST AFRICA ........................ Lord Swinton ...........No. 7, p. 5
W OMEN .............................Ernest Bevin ...........No. 9, p. 26
Ellen Wilkinson .........No. 9, p. 38

Reconstruction Plans

Next to work comes food. We have made plans which will secure our major
supplies of food for some time to come. We shall contirine this policy and, with
it, I hope we shall retain much of the care and provision that we have exercised
for the health of children and their mothers during the past at a cost to the nation
that has really been very small compared with the national benefit that we have
received from it. In the stress of war we have established in this country a national
concern for nutrition. We have used the knowledge of the science of food to
preserve national health-indeed to promote national health-and on that, after
all, depends our capacity for hard work as well as our personal happiness.

Then comes housing. A program of four million houses, as Lord Addison said,
has already been mentioned as an objective-indeed, 'as the requirement of the
country. I am not promising four million houses, but I can tell you that we are
planning to expand the building industry so as to try to cope with a program of this
quite colossal magnitude. This means a labor force of 1,250,000 men from an
industry that has had to make a very heavy contribution towards 'the provision of
our war needs, and it is bound to be some time before industry can be expanded
sufficiently to meet all the claims for building in the post-war years. Our immediate
objective will be to see that the resources of this industry, as they expand, are
applied to the most urgent needs, among which, clearly, housing takes the foremost
place. For this rehousing of the people, it is platitudinous to say, we shall need
labor and materials and a suitable level of building costs. The noble Lord, Lord
Addison, can be quite sure that my most excellent business colleague, Lord Portal,
who has spent the greater part of his life looking at costs of one kind or another,
is not going to be unmindful of the question of building costs. A great deal of
preparatory work has already been done. Local authorities, on whom must fall a
substantial part of the housing work in the early years after the war, already hold
enough land for over 100,000 houses, and sites for as many again are in process
of being acquired. The next step is to advise local authorities what kind of houses
they should build so, that they can get further ahead with their detailed plans. I
can promise local authorities that they will have the best advice on this matter that
the Central Government are able to give them, and they will have that very quickly.
Meanwhile, my noble friend the Minister of Works is arranging to erect a number
of experimental houses built with various sorts of materials, which will be available
as a demonstration to local authorities and to the public of what can be done and
at what cost it can be done. The needs of the war will determine when house-
building can start. In the meantime, we are seeing that all the preparations are
made -so that we can get off to a flying start as soon as possible.
I' know that many of your Lordships will want to know when the plans of the
Minister of Town and Country Planning are going to be produced. I can tell you
this, that he was the first Minister with whom I had consultations regarding recon-
struction, for we must settle land policy without any delay at all. The Minister has
done an immense amount of work already towards clarifying this matter, on which,
as your Lordships know, there are widely differing opinions and, in fact, it is a
matter.that for many peaceful years has been the subject of the most violent poli-
tical controversy. In the temper of today, when all Parties in the State are de-
termined, on this matter at any rate, to put the State before Party, we have very
high hopes of a permanent settlement that will be fair to everyone, even although it
may fail completely to meet the ideals of the old controversialists. Of one thing
your Lordships may rest assured. The proper development of the land shall not be
prevented or delayed either by motives of personal gain or other selfish reasons.

14 British Speeches of the Day

Our proposals on this matter which affect the groundwork of all sound planning
will be laid before Parliament at a very early date, so that local authorities can
make preparations to meet the responsibility that will fall upon them. I do not
want to delay your Lordships too long, but I am trying to cover a somewhat wide
field. Quite clearly we are all interested in, and I am sure are looking forward to
seeing, the Bill which my right honorable friend the President of the Board of
Education will very presently introduce. This is really reconstruction in its essence,
because here we are going to improve the chances of our young people to prepare
themselves for the hard task with which their generation will be confronted. This
is a fundamental step towards the reconstruction of the country after the war.

Social Security
Many Ministers and many Departments are concerned with the problem of social
insurance and security. My right honorable friend the Minister Without Portfolio,
on this and on many of the problems with which we are today concerned, has
brought to bear the high quality of his mind in clarifying the issues that this prob-
lem of social security presents.
May I make this personal observation? It is a thankless task to prepare plans
for the future, plans for the rebuilding of a country, when the whole of the country
has its mind fixed on war and when nobody will take much notice of those plans.
I myself have been guilty in the past of saying that I was not interested in plans,
that I was interested only in doing what I could to win the war. My right honorable
friend the Minister Without Portfolio has had a very difficult time. Let me here
pay tribute to the vast amount of work that he has done and the great spirit he has
shown in welcoming a colleague to share his labors. He has a vast amount of
material, classified material that has passed through the sieve of his very clear and
analytical mind and is ready now, when the time has come for action to be taken,
to inform those of us in the Government on whom such responsibility rests. I
promise, my Lords, that there shall be no delay in informing the country of our
specific proposals, particularly on the subject of social insurance.
No "Ministry of Reconstruction"
I think I have said enough. Perhaps your Lordships may think I have said too
much. I have been trying to illustrate the task of reconstruction that is before me.
The noble Lord, Lord Addison, was concerned lest I should not have the staff
I require. In my last job I had a staff of 52,000 people. I have no ambition
to have a large staff. These plans of reconstruction are not going to be carried out
by me. They are going to be carried out by a number of Ministers and Government
Departments. The primary responsibility for formulating plans, and the responsi-
bility for executing them, must continue to rest with the Departments concerned,
working under the direction of their Ministerial chiefs. That is why there is not
going to be any Ministry of Reconstruction. The execution of plans must be the
responsibility of the Ministers in charge of the Departments. The preparation of
plans, the first preparation, in the language, I believe, of my right honorable friend
the Prime Minister, the primary responsibility for formulating the plans rests with
the Ministers in charge of the Departments. You do not want a new Minister
coming in taking no notice of everything done in the past. It is in the Depart-
ments that knowledge exists of these things. Therefore it is the business of those
Ministers to formulate the plans. That is why I say there is going to be no Ministry
of Reconstruction with a large staff attached to it. I am not taking over from the
Departmental Ministers the responsibility for all their post-war plans. If I did, I
should have to bring under one control large expert staffs from all Departments.
I certainly should have to get them from the Departments, and as the noble Lord,
Lord Addison, says, new Ministries do not tend to get the pick of the staffs. It

Reconstruction Plans

would clearly not be possible for any single Minister, or any single staff, to take
over the whole of this work. Moreover, it would involve waste and friction between
the Departments. What I have to try to do is to see the reconstruction plan as a
whole, to lay out the various parts which have to be worked out by the Depart-
ments, to bring the plans of the various Departments in relation with one another,
and to make sure that there are no gaps, no overlapping, no conflict-in a word, to
see that the whole range of preparations is brought into one single coherent whole
and that work on these plans proceeds apace.
The responsibility therefore of the Minister of Reconstruction is quite clearly
defined. It is his business, with his colleagues, to see that all these plans come
into one orderly whole, and that nothing is left undone by his colleagues that ought
in the opinion of the War Cabinet to be done. In doing so I shall be helped by
a very strong Committee of the War Cabinet, over which I shall preside, and I
have the assurance of my colleagues of their willing co-operation. I see some
noble Lords opposite are not quite clear whether I have got enough powers or
not. I am grateful to them for their concern, but I have not in the past been back-
ward'in coming forward when I have thought that my powers were being curtailed.
I am grateful to their Lordships for their solicitude on this matter, but I ask them
to believe me when I say they need have no concern because if I have not sufficient
powers to do the job then I shall not attempt to do it. I have the unqualified
assurance of the Prime Minister-and I am quite content with that-of his sup-
port in this matter. Therefore I say to those of your Lordships who may be a
little inclined to think they would feel happier if there were a large building with
the word "Reconstruction" on it, and a large staff of people who were guiding
me, that I think they would be more of a nuisance than they were worth.
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Production
House of Commons, November 30, 1943
The Debate has ranged over a very wide field, but I think it would be true to
say that in the main hon. Members have concentrated on the second part of the
Gracious Speech, that is to say, that part which dealt with post-war problems and
with problems of reconstruction. I think this is significant. I think that this fact
will bring little satisfaction or comfort to the enemy, but I think it is also impor-
tant that the public should know that this trend of our discussion, this emphasis
on the post-war problems, does not mean that we shall be content with anything
less than the greatest possible impact upon the enemy in the coming months. All
that it means is that the British are in confident humor and that this House regards
victory as certain and, indeed, imminent, but it would, at the same time, be idle,
and indeed, unseemly, to prophesy, to say what we mean by imminent. When is
it coming? That we do not know. One or two years in the life of a nation is a
small thing, but in the life of an individual it may be very grievous. We do not
know. All that we do know is that the Nazi structure is being shaken to its founda-
tions. We can see the cracks in that great, crazy edifice, and it will surely come-
down in ruins and in ashes before long. But when? That, we cannot tell.

British Speeches of the Day

Our preoccupation with post-war problems means just this-that we know
the victory is certain, and we think it is imminent, but we are not expressing an
opinion in point of time ....
Three Post-War Demands
On the subject of post-war reconstruction matters I think I had better address
myself to three subjects, and I hope and believe that these are the ones in which
the House is most interested. They are, first, housing and town and country plan-
ning; second, social security; and, third, war production in reverse, the process by
which our production of munitions of war is to be turned into production for
peaceful purposes. I think that of all these things housing would be accorded
by everybody first place as the most practical problem and one which can be most
easily segregated, examined and the cure determined. Here is a field in which no
international agreements are necessary. This is a matter within our own capabili-
ties of organization. But before I go into this subject I hope the House will forgive
me if I stray for a moment into the subject of post-war economics. This subject
has been more than touched on by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for
Newark (Mr. Shephard). As soon as the war is over, I think we may be quite
certain that we shall be faced by three insistent demands. First, there will be a
demand for consumer goods, in particular for textiles, for clothing, boots and
shoes and for household textiles, carpets and household linen. Never, I suppose,
in the history of business have stocks been so depleted as they are in this field all
over Europe. There is no stock of any of these things from one end of Europe
to another; every garment and carpet made goes straight from the factory today,
into consumption. There is an enormous lag to be made up. The next demand
will be for one of the forms of capital goods, namely, houses. This is a demand
which cannot be resisted and must be met at once and as quickly as we can do it.
It is unthinkable that we should condemn the demobilized soldier to celibacy because
we cannot find a place for him to live in. To these two demands, I think we
must add a third, namely, arrears of essential maintenance. We are living to some
extent upon our capital and building up, day by day, arrears of maintenance which
have to be met. I think it is also rather a sobering fact that if we are to meet these
three demands for consumer goods, housing and essential maintenance, the national
savings, as far as we can calculate them, may not support any further substantial
program of capital reconstruction immediately after the war. . The reason is
that if you spend substantially more than the national savings then you are, getting
into an inflationary position which will be as disastrous for one side of industry
as it will be for the other.
It may be necessary to hold back the demands for capital reconstruction some-
what while we meet these three insistent demands. While we are meeting these
demands we must be careful to perfect and work out very closely exactly those
schemes of capital reconstruction which we are to bring to bear as soon as the
demand for consumer goods begins to flag. No one in any part of the House
would deny for a moment that there is a great field for capital expenditure in
improving and reconstituting the capital assets of the country. "Public works" is
a phrase that has a very unfortunate tinge. It means to the common man making
a hole and then filling it in again. But it really means nothing of the kind. I mean
that whether by private capital or through the State itself we have in this country
an immense field for improving our capital equipment in three directions-trans-
portation, power and the further utilization by scientific means of our greatest and
almost our only national raw material, coal.
I must return to housing. The Government have felt that a new definition of
responsibility and simplification was called for and this has been reached. The

Reconstruction Plans

Ministry of Works will be the Government authority to which the Ministry of
Health and the Scottish Office will look on all matters concerning-and I will read
them out carefully:
"Plans, designs, specifications, materials and the technique of construction
and costs of houses."
The local authorities will, on the other side, have to look solely to the Ministry
of Health and the Scottish Office. [An HON. MEMBER: "For what?") For all
matters concerning housing. I am now meeting the point that there are too many
Government Departments concerned with this subject. This is our attempt to sim-
plify the business. I think it is important that the Ministry of Works will really be
the technical Department to which housing authorities will look as regards the list
I have mentioned.
I must discuss housing in two parts. First of all there is to be a long-term
program. The White Paper on the building industry envisages the employment
of a labor force with a ceiling of 1,250,000 for 12 years. Two factors in reaching
this labor force of 1,250;000 have been carefully balanced. They are the demand
for building, not only for houses but also buildings which will become necessary for
example under the Education Act. That is one thing that has to be balanced up
against this force of 1,250,000. The other is the amount of the national savings
which can be devoted in the national field to this problem, and that bears on the
general remarks that I have made about the volume of national savings. No further
steps with regard to the long-term building program are now practicable until the
necessary finality has been given to our demobilization schemes, and they are under
discussion and are not yet in the final state. There are two matters connected
with building to which I must refer. First of all, all the brickworks which have
been shut down as the result of the war have been kept on a care and maintenance
basis. I am prepared to say that there will be no lack of cement or of any build-
ing material. I am anxious about the timber position, and I am doing my best,
with the help of my Noble Friend the Minister of Works in his capacity as Chair-
man of the Materials Committee, to increase our imports of timber during 1944.
We are certainly short, of that essential requisite of building. In all these matters
we must open our minds to every new idea and make use of all the knowl-
edge and resource that we are able to display. We have nothing to be ashamed
of in what we have done in war production in the matter of ingenuity and inven-
tion, and we must apply it to houses. The Minister of Works is now constructing
eight or nine demonstration houses. They will be completed in three or four
months. They will show a number of new ideas in construction, both in form and
also in the materials used, and of course we hope that hon. Members will inspect
them and judge of their suitability. We are going to do our best to have new
ideas in houses and to put them on experimental sites so that their advantages
can be seen.

Emergency Housing
That is long-term. Whatever the housing program of the Government is, it
cannot suffice for our immediate short-term needs. We have also. been considering
schemes of an emergency, temporary character, designed to relieve the immediate
pressure which will come upon us when there is any substantial demobilization,
whether industrial or military. Many experiments have been conducted in this
field, and within three months the House will be able to inspect some of these
dwellings made, by the Ministry of Works, and we should very much welcome the
criticisms of hon. Members upon them.

18 British Speeches of the Day

Building Materials
SThey are within easy reach of the House. Before I leave the subject of housing
there are certain measures in the war itself to which I must refer. Recently the
first call on immobile labor subject to urgent war priorities has been given for
house repair, conversion and completion of unfinished houses. This subject was
raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson), and I would
assure him that as soon as war necessities permit -and there is some substantial
diminution in the Government building program, which is largely concerned with
aerodromes and so forth, we intend to make more materials available for house
building and to try and use immobile labor which could not otherwise be employed
for increasing the immediate supply of houses. We are immediately governed by
the stringencies of the Government building program and of certain materials.
Lastly, we are now examining, and hope to be able to implement it, a scheme for
assisting local authorities to clear the sites for housing schemes. Again I must
make the very natural reservation that these things are governed by war priority.
I only want the House to know that as soon as these war necessities begin to
diminish here is one of the first places in which we intend to employ any surplus.
We are fully aware that at the present moment the civil population, especially in
this matter, is living under the greatest strain. We are fully aware of that fact
and we are imposing it deliberately. It cannot be imposed beyond a certain point,
and I ask the House to believe that it is being done with only one object, the
object of increasing the impact during the months immediately in front of us,
that is, impact in point of place or shortening the war if you like to express it in
point of time ...
In the eight or nine demonstration houses which the Minister of Works will
put up there will be several new ideas in construction, and such things as pre-
fabrication and houses with the roof put on first are included. I am not sug-
gesting that the roof will be suspended in space.
[MR. KIRKWOOD: Are you not going to make any pre-fabricated or temporary
houses for those who are in desperate need of houses until the war is over?]
I think my hon. Friend has missed the purport of my remarks, which were
under three headings: First, the long-term scheme; secondly, emergency and tem-
porary accommodation to relieve the pressure immediately after the war; and,
thirdly, what we can do while the war is on.

Town Planning
In the short time at my disposal I want to turn to town and country planning.
The Government have given a pledge-I would remind the House of it-that
they will introduce a Bill this Session to deal with the reconstruction areas. Those
areas are ones which require replanning and reconstruction from two aspects, and
I do not think the second aspect has yet received nearly the attention which it
deserves. The two aspects .are: Damage by bombing and, in the official jargon,
obsolescence. My hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University and myself
were, I think, the first to call them areas which are out of date, but nevertheless
we have to accept obsolescence. That is a very significant thing. The extent to
which the Government accept the Uthwatt Report on this particular matter will be
clear from the Bill which we are going to introduce. I think we may divide the
Uthwatt Report into two parts. The first relates to the procedure by which a public
authority is facilitated in acquiring land for these purposes. It proposes, as every-
one knows, a number of easements in the procedure designed to make the purchase
by local authorities of areas for reconstruction more speedy than it is today. As I
say, in the main the Government accept the Uthwatt Report upon this procedure.
The second part is concerned with the acquisition of development sites and the

Reconstruction Plans

periodic levy on increases in site value. On this matter the Government have not
made up their mind-and they are not in the least ashamed to say so....
I wish to make it clear that the Government have not accepted or rejected the
Uthwatt Report on this particular aspect. It feels that the whole field is such a
very important one that it must examine the whole problem; and that is where we
stand today. I cannot in the time I have at my disposal go into the details of the
scheme, and I must deal with the matter in broad outline. I have said with great
frankness that the two pledges which the Government gave stand, and secondly,
we have not made up our minds on the second part of the Uthwatt Report.

Scott Report
SI must deal next with the Scott Report. The Minister of Town and Country
Planning has issued a written reply to a Question which was addressed to him
today and which will be available to hon. Members in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
I must cut my remarks very short on this subject, and the most succinct way of
dealing with it will be to say that the planning aspects 'of the Scott Report are in
the main accepted by the Government. There are 108 recommendations, some of
which are confined to stating objectives rather than to a means of reaching them.
Some of those points involve many other Ministers besides the Minister of Town
and Country Planning and we shall have to ask hon. Members to obtain further
information by addressing Questions to the Ministers concerned.

Social Security
A further matter I wish to touch upon is the social security scheme. I quite
understand that the House may be impatient on the subject, and I confess I should
have been so myself if I had not been a member of a Ministerial Committee which
has to deal with this question. The complexity of it has to be seen to be believed.
Take any part of it, say workmen's compensation or the comprehensive medical
service, and you've become involved in administrative problems of the very greatest
difficulty requiring not only an encyclopaedic knowledge of the background but
very great administrative experience in solving present problems. Again I must
be short. The bulk of the problem has been tackled. The White Paper is now
being drafted. I am giving no promise when it will be laid because when the draft
is completed it must come again before Ministers.
I think I should say the White Paper will show that the Government have very
definite proposals over a large part of the field, but I will be equally candid and
say that there are some subjects upon which we are undecided and upon which we
wish to take the opinion of hon. Members and to make soundings. I see nothing
reprehensible in that. I think the Chinese have a proverb in which they say that
to be uncertain is to be uncomfortable but to be certain is to be ridiculous. #n
one or two of these subjects I prefer to be uncomfortable at this Box rather than
to place myself in the other posture. [An HON. MEMBER: "The right hon. Gen-
tleman is a bit uncomfortable."] When the hon. Member sees the work that
has been put into this matter, any discomfort I feel now in being candid-whlich I
think nobody should be ashamed of-will be more than removed when he sees the
monument of industry in front of him. Take a matter like the comprehensive
medical service. What is there unusual in saying 'that, if we have had a great deal
of work to do upon it? Does anybody realize that it involves altering the numbers
of those entitled to a comprehensive medical service from 18,000,000, the present
insured population, to the whole population of 44,250,000? And to those who
think that there is not a very large-one of the very large administrative problems-
involved in that, I would say that this facile business of saying "Why are the
Government so slow, the period of gestation so long?" is useless. The fact remains

20 British Speeches of the Day

that the child that is to be produced is one that will affect the lives and future of
the whole of the population.

Change-Over to Peace Production
In the short time that remains to me I want to address myself to the third sub-
ject, which is the change-over from war production to peace production. First of
all, let me say that I do not think the problem poses itself in such a simple way.
It is idle to guess, but I think the probabilities are that the war with Germany will
finish before the war with Japan, and that therefore we shall have a period when
war production will still absorb an important part of our productive capacity. I
may say that my Ministry has been for three or four months making a very careful
survey of what is required for the war with Japan. It depends first of all on our
ability to deploy Forces, because whatever we can deploy we are going to deploy in
full. That is a very difficult step, and, unfortunately, when you have determined
the deployment against Japan you have only dealt with part of the problem. We
have to determine what is the size and what is the equipment required for Armies
of Occupation, and even when these two are determined there is a third question
which has to be resolved: What equipment can we rely on from the United States?
These are really the three things the Government have to decide: the size of our
equipment for warlike purposes when Germany is beaten, the question of our
deployment against Japan, which includes the manufacture of special weapons,
particularly those transported by air, the extent of help from America, and the
size of our Armies of Occupation.
We think this will be a definite transitional period and that we will get probably
a partial demobilization. I have had some discussions recently with my Noble
Friend the Minister of Reconstruction ....
We were discussing how this matter is to be handled. The Minister of Labour
and I have a considerable experience of demobilization of capacity and labor, for
large numbers of men have been taken out of the Ministry of Supply and the
production of ground weapons during the last 12 months and put on to the pro-
duction of aircraft and naval vessels, so that on a small scale we have j considerable
experience and we have worked so closely together that it may perhaps be described
as collusion in many parts of the field. That transfer of many tens of thousands
of men has on the whole been done very smoothly, so that a problem which will
face us if Germany is beaten first is on a larger scale very much the same as that
we have been tackling for the last 12 months. We intend to approach it on a
strictly practical basis. The time to talk about the reallocation of industry is when
the men who are now fighting have been brought back and as far as possible put
to work in the industries in which they are trained and skilled. We must begin
by approaching the thing industry by industry. It is my duty, for example, to
release industrial capacity, so as to meet the wishes of the Minister of Reconstruc-
tion and, above all, of the President of the Board of Trade. I wish to release
industrial capacity for him so that he may turn it over, first of all to goods for
civilian consumption in this country and, secondly, for goods for export, and
thirdly, in order to make what contribution we can towards the problem of relief
in the liberated territories. In all this very careful co-ordination is necessary. Let
me say again that I agree very much that during the first year or two our problems
will not be essentially those of employment but of transfer and of fitting in our
labor supply and the supply of capacity to meet a very insistent demand.
I have had to cover a very wide field rather hurriedly. I would like to say
that the Government are entirely confident about their ability to handle this period.
That confidence is not only in themselves as a Government, but it springs from a
much more important source, from our unbounded confidence in the people of this

A New Approach to Coal Mining 21

country. The record which they have written during the last four years is imperish-
able. Our confidence springs from a profound belief-and I think it was a very
moving thing to hear the hon. Member for Seaham expressing the same point of
view-that we are going to emerge successful out of these peace-time problems.
Our plans for all these matters are well advanced. The decision itself does not
take time. What takes time is the collection of the information, its analysis, the
fitting of it into this intricate mosaic, and, finally, seeing that no part of it sets up
a stress which breaks the others.
I would like, in the last moment available, to refer to the position of the Service-
men who are fighting for us now. The poet said,
"It is a sweet and seemly thing to die for your country."
But, believe me, if you have fought and survived there is nothing more bitter or
more unseemly than that you should have'to live in poverty pnd unemployment.
There is the task. We are addressing ourselves to it with zest, and those who can
make a contribution can be sure that they have not lived through these days in vain.
[House of Commons Debates]

Minister of Labour and National Service
House of Comm6ns, December 17, 1943


First of all, may I express the thanks of the Government at the way in which
everybody has been wholeheartedly willing to co-operate in making this scheme
a success? I never doubted that these lads would have no difficulty at all in
the mining villages and that there would be a welcome for them, because they will
not 'be competing with the miners after the war. One great thing which I have
had in mind all through the war is to avoid the situation which arose at the end
of the last war, when too many people were left in the mining areas with nothing
to do....
We m'ay have to conscript people for the mines today, but before the war is
over the same situation might arise as in the last war, and people will be going
to these districts without conscription. I say that very advisedly. There were
mines which, without any regulation or control, were regarded during the.last war
as a desirable alternative to the very much worse fate than awaited a good many
people. I am sure that with this orderly way there will be a welcome and that
the scheme can be turned to good account. We were asked about the Forster
Report. This Report and its implementation are in the hands of the Minister of
Fuel and Power. The matter has been before the industry, and one of the troubles
of myself and of the Government with this industry is that in adopting proposals
for change it is a bit too slow. If something is put up, there is protracted discus-
sion, which is too long. These proposals ought to have been adopted and imple-
mented, and I can only say to the House that I undertake to take it up with my
right hon."and gallant Friend, who is not here at present, and also with my col-
leagues in the Cabinet. I really believe that this valuable Report ought to have
been adopted with alacrity and ought to have been in operation by now. I am will-
ing to see where the stumbling block may be. I do not know where it is.

British Speeches of the Day

Education For New Recruits to the Pits
A further question' which has been raised concerns education for these lads
and giving them similar treatment to that which is to be given to the men in the
Services. We are going rather further than that and will not limit it to these boys.
My right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power, the President
of the Board of Education and myself have had consultations and have appointed
an.Inter-Departmental Committee to examine and make provision for educational
classes, technical, scientific or cultural, not only for these boys, but for their com-
rades in the mining villages as well. I do not want-to segregate these boys as
having special facilities in the educational field as against the boys who are already
there. While we shall ask for the co-operation of these mining educational institu-
tions, which are available, we are anxious that the local authorities and the
education authorities shall play their part in this work so as to keep it on the
broadest possible basis with the widest possible facilities, so that the opportunities
for the lads will not be cramped or destroyed . .
The Government are looking ahead, and it is no secret to say that the Govern-
ment cannot leave the coal industry where it is after the war. I do not know
what final solution in organization and the rest will emerge, but we cannot leave
the coal industry as it is and expect it to survive. I see that my right hon. and
gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power has just come in, and I think I
speak for him and for everyone else who has ever considered this job. Take a
lad who goes into the coal pit: as long as the coal. industry stops at the pit-head
in all its conception, you will never get the broader idea of progress and promotion
and of satisfactory wage systems. I hope I have examined it objectively as an old
trade unionist who has had to deal with these things. The whole wage system in
this industry limits the possibility of expansion, development and science, the open-
ing to heavy chemicals, and to other branches. It limits everything to a narrow
sphere. Plastics and all the rest were mentioned.
Take a boy coming from the university that I direct to the mines as a result of
the ballot. He goes to the mine, and he sees there are possibilities, but the industry
stops at the pit-head. Every device and financial- arrangement is encouraged to
form subsidiaries on and on and on, and the boy, therefore, says, "Yes, I stayed
in the technical school, but where does it lead me? 'To the pit-head, to a cul-de-sac,
and there I stop as long as I remain in this industry." Therefore, I suggest that
when hon. Members ask the Government to look at this on a broader and more
expansive basis, I might ask them not to raise the question of nationalization or
as to what form of management there should be. When I first met the late
Lord Leverhulme in conference, if I may draw this illustration, soap was a prime
product. Today it is practically a by-product, and the people in that great com-
bine have had the benefit of the constant evolution and scientific development, and
I want to develop the by-product side of coal so that I can attract into the industry
this mental capacity so that it can expand. If it takes its raw materials and sees
a chance of development, let the results of its brains and ability come back to where
the hardest work is and make the job better all round.
That is my conception of the education that has got to be introduced into this
industry. . We want to know where we are in this matter after the war. No
one wants to know that more than the Government, from the point of view of
settled conditions. I know that all of us-and again I am not giving away any
secret-are ready to examine anything which will give to the miner a sense of
security, a decent standard of wages and a proper organization of his industry,
provided we can get the industry so organized on the commercial, on the manage-
ment and on the scientific side, that it can expand in order to earn its income and
to maintain the people in it under decent conditions.

A New Approach to Coal Mining

A New Approach to the Mining Problem
The raising of this issue today has meant the approach to the problem-I think
almost for the first time since I have been in this House and almost for the first
time, I believe, for many years-without bitterness and without recrimination across
the Floor. I think that is very welcome. Let it not be said that we are segregating
the workmen from the management. In this industry, as in every other industry,
you have some very brilliant people on the managerial side. You have also, on
the workmen's side, people with legitimate ambitions. But is there the same
opportunity for development in the coal industry as exists in the more modernized
industries? If there is not, show me a Communist, show me a so-called Red, or
anybody else of that kind in this country with our temperament, and I will take
you back to the beginning of frustration and thwarted ambition in his earlier days.
We devised this scheme of selecting these lads because we thought it was fair.
I have been asked, "Why have you not brought more men back?" I did not
bring more men back because I believe young men are needed in this industry.
It is a little hard to say to a man who has been driven out of the industry, who
has learnt a new trade and has built a new home, "Go back." I.do not see why
the newer generation should not undertake the job, a generation which is not
fixed and which is not settled. It is a very hard job to go back 15 years and make
people break up their homes in order to go back to an industry which discarded
them. It is not a pleasant job at all. I had to do it, but I feel much happier in
doing this than I did in doing that at the time I had to do it. I will tell hon.
Members why. Somehow, in my very bones, I believe I am doing something for
the industry as well as saving the output at the moment by this Act, and I think
it is coming, after all, at an opportune moment when a changed mental outlook
and a change in our conception of national life is on the way. I think the time
is just coming when we ought to take advantage of it.

A Medical Examination
I welcome very much the acceptance of the idea of the medical examination. I
can say... that no one knows niore than I do of the dangers involved in it. This
medical examination must be a Governmental examination. One of the great
things about medical examinations is to carry them out in such a way that the
person examined, if there is a slight defect, is not depressed and does not feel that
the world is at an end for him because he has not passed some physical examination.
The employer should not know the result of the examination. It should be a
matter between the Board, the State and the person concerned. It should be
perfectly impartial, but I think it would be quite wrong, if it is discovered that
there is a proneness to lung trouble, to let a boy go into a pit. That would be just
asking for it. It would be better to put such a lad into another job rather than
into the pit. I am subject to correction by those who are experts, because I
have one great advantage over many of my labor colleagues: I am not an expert
at anything, and that has helped me no end in trying to settle problems. Some-
times if you are trying to settle problems you are handicapped by being an expert.
In any case, I have never pretended to be one. Looking at it, therefore, in the light
of what has gone on in the last 20 or 30 years, it has always struck me that there
has not been quite enough research in the mining industry as to what really ought
to be looked for when there is a medical examination. If you exclude the lungs
and things of that kind, you have not got very much to go on in the case of silicosis
and the rest.
I think the starting medical examination, if handled correctly, can probably
help the industry, not to check the numbers, but I think the mother or father would
feel much happier if they knew that it was not endangering the health of their

British Speeches of the Day

boy through putting him into a particular industry. We find that in the chemical
trades are certain processes which, if you let people with certain tendencies go into
them, mean ill-health, and, what is worse, a great economic loss, because you have
trained those people for no purpose at all, just as would be the case if persons
were wrongly put into the Services. I do not want to regimentalize this thing, but
I think it will mean a stepping-up of medical science and medical knowledge as
a result of bringing them into close contact. In the case of persons going into the
Services, one is looking in the examination for certain physical reactions. Obviously
there has to be protection in the case of those going into particular types of jobs
and into certain districts that are affected against certain other reactions that do
not arise in connection with going into the Services.
"We Will Try to Learn out of This Experiment"
This compulsion as it is to be applied now is after all a straightforward com-
pulsion. .. I do not like compulsion, but there is no one more than him and
his kind who have suffered all their lives and have not known it, because they have
been compelled to go there or the alternative was not a medical board or even a
hardship committee-it was a purely economic one. I do not know what hon.
Members of this House think, but there are two things I have never liked, and I
hope to see them both abolished. One is the idea at the back of the employer's
mind that he gets his way because of his power to use the economic weapon over
another. I do not think it is good for him to have that in his mind. I do not
think it gets a right response from the personnel employed. Those great businesses
and public authorities which have developed rights of appeal and examination and
all the rest of it and have cut discharges and sickness and hiring and firing right
down to the minimum are the people who have got the best discipline in their
industry. On the other hand, I have never liked the fact that my choice in life
has been limited by the alternative probably of poverty for myself or poverty for
my family. I do not think that is giving the best chance.
I do not know whether we may not be moving forward to a not undemocratic
principle of proper opportunity, proper examination, and whether out of it we
shall not make our industrial life not only more prosperous but more contented
and its development more assured. At all events the outcome of this war does
demonstrate the fact that everybody has to alter his or her pre-1939 conceptions
in dealing with these persons, and of handling manpower and in handling these
problems in the future. I can only conclude by saying that we regard this as an
experiment. We will exercise the greatest possible care. We will try to learn out
of this as we have done in connection with the Services and in industry. We have
compiled an enormous amount of information to guide our successors, and I hope
to guide this House, to achieve a better civilization than we have hitherto known.
[House of Commons Debates]

Lord Chancellor
House of Lords, December 7, 1943
My Lords, your Lordships will, I think, all agree that the debate which my noble
friend Lord Vansittart has initiated today has produced some notable speeches
which are will worthy of the most careful attention of the House. I intervene at
this moment because I wish to state what is the position of the Government in this
matter, but not with any idea that the discussion is necessarily to be terminated.

War Criminals 25

I first must thank my noble friend Lord Vansittart for having consented to put off
the raising of this question until today. I hope he feels that some, at least, of the
intervening events-for example the appeal that was made to neutral Powers-have
to some extent justified that postponement. Certainly his own speech, eloquent,
brilliant and full of deep feeling, could at no moment in the history of the war
have been listened to with more attention. Indeed, I regard the question which he
has raised not only as extremely important but also as being very timely. It is all
the more timely, as I will try to point out, not only because of the declaration at
Moscow but also because of a passage in the declaration, that remarkable declara-
tion made as the result of the conference of the three great men at Teheran which
.we read in the newspapers this morning.
As often happens in this House, though the framework of my noble friend's
question is limited to warnings to neutrals and methods for securing, if ,we can,
that the principal criminals in this matter do not escape, both the speech of Lord
Vansittart and the speeches which have followed have ranged wider than that, and
I will if I may say first a word upon the wider aspect. As the House knows, we
had this subject before us and considered it in a full debate a little more than a
year ago-I think it was on October 7 of last year-I had then to make a statement
on behalf of His Majesty's Government, and, at the same time, the United States
of America received in Washingtor a corresponding and very emphatic statement
from President Roosevelt himself. A good deal has been done since then, and I
think that the House would wish briefly to hear what has, in fact, been done in
this matter.

Distinction Between Political Leaders and Their Agents
By way of preface I would urge upon the House two considerations. The
first is that in discussing this matter it is very important to keep clearly in mind the
distinction between that inner ring of political leaders who must take full responsi-
bility for the awful barbarities of this war, and, secondly, the large number of
people who have been their agents, though in many cases they have no doubt, acted
themselves with the greatest possible brutality. It is useful to keep that distinction in
mind, because I think I can satisfy the House that treatment which might be appro-
priate in one case would not be appropriate in the other. The other matter I
would venture to urge most respectfully on the House, on all who take part in the
debate and on all who have given consideration to this matter, is this. From our
point of view, the British point of view, we must never fail, however deeply we
are tried, and however fundamentally we are moved by the sufferings of others, to
do justice according to justice. There must be ng mass execution of great numbers
of nameless people merely because there have been frightful mass executions on
the other side. We shall never do any good to our own standards, to our own
reputation and to the ultimate reform of the world if what we do is not reasonably
consistent with justice. Justice, indeed, calls for very severe measures, and I go
the whole way with my noble friend in what he said on that subject; but, whatever
happens, do not let us depart from the principle that war criminals shall be dealt
with because they are proved to be criminals, and not because they belong to a race
led by a maniac and a murderer who has brought this frightful evil upon the world.
What Has Already Been Done
Briefly, then, what is it that we have already done? There was announced,
as I have indicated, in October of last year the intention of the United States of
America and of His Majesty's Government here to set up what was called a United
Nations Commission for the investigation of war crimes. President Roosevelt, as
I have said, issued a contemporaneous statement strongly supporting that course.
The first matter of which I wish to inform your Lordships as a matter of fact is

26 British Speeches of the Day

that this Commission has been set up, that it has been decided that its center shall
be here in London, and that its president shall be that well-known international
authority Sir Cecil Hurst, who for many years served on the Permanent Court of
International Justice at The Hague. Only within the last day or two I have had
the pleasure of welcoming His Excellency Mr. Pell, who has been nominated by
President Roosevelt to be the representative of the United States on that Com-

Necessity for Identifying the Criminals
There have been meetings at the Foreign Office which I have attended, and at
some of which I have presided in the absence of the Foreign Secretary, to which
great numbers of the Allied Nations have sent their representatives-meetings, I
should think, of thirty or so. The work has been parcelled out, methods of pro-
cedure have been discussed and decided upon, and all this is addressed to the
essential purpose-so easily omitted in speeches made on this subject--not only
of recording the evidence but of identifying the criminal. My noble friend Lord
Vansittart, in his most moving address, spoke of his own knowledge of many of
these shocking events. I wonder in how many of the cases known to him he can
say at this moment that he knows the name of the man and can identify the
German officer responsible for some shocking piece of brutality? Believe me, you
can never do any good in the'business of punishing the ordinary war criminal-I
put Hitler and Himmler and Mussolini and the other leaders on one side for the
moment-unless you can identify him, and unless you can produce the evidence
which proves that it is he who perpetrated the crime. Any general talk about
inflicting the penalty of death upon many thousands of people is, with great
respect, not to the point unless you are prepared to prove the identity of the people
who are really responsible for these crimes.
I have therefore felt from the beginning that the work which this Commission
was called upon to do-the work of receiving and recording the evidence that
should be given, in many cases in affidavit form, knowing who the witnesses were,
when and where the thing happened, and, above all, who is the guilty, wicked
villain who must be held principally responsible for such hideous action on the
spot, is very much more to the point in dealing with the subject of war criminals
than any general rhetoric or declamation. In point of fact, a large number of the
United Nations have already collected a great mass of material. I believe that our
friends the Russians have done so, and I know that the Poles, the Norwegians and
others have done so. All this material is being collected in order to be sifted, and
the whole purpose of this organization set up by the authority of President Roose-
velt and'of His Majesty's Government here, and supported by so many other Gov-
ernments, is that we may have in good time information which will enable us to
know who it is who is wanted for this or that piece of brutality and, if he is
secured, how the evidence against him can be produced. I do most earnestly appeal
to your Lordships to believe that in taking what may seem to be a rather lower
line and a rather more humdrum attitude about this, it is not for want of any full
share of intense and furious indignation, and it is not for want of any genuine
sympathy; it is simply because this is the only way in which our British traditions
and-and here I agree with the most reverend Prelate-our British people will
ever in the end stand for the punishment of ordinary war criminals at all.

Getting Hold of the Accused
The second difficulty, which was also pointed out in the debate a year ago, and
which is an extremely serious one, is that of getting hold of the accused. At this
distance of time we are accustomed all to agree that there was a great deal which

War Criminals

was very much mismanaged in connection with this matter at the end of the last
war. Perhaps that shows how difficult a matter it is. One of the things which
was entirely wrong at that time was to wait until the official treaty of peace was
drawn up and signed before we stipulated for the surrender of any criminals at all.
I think that Geheral Smuts, whose observations on the subject are now published,
observed the other day that he was not sure that there ever would be a treaty of
peace this time at all. At any rate do not let us wait until the treaty of peace
is solemnly drawn up and engrossed and signed and sealed before insisting on the
surrender of those whom we wish to accuse of war crimes. That is the reason why,
in the debate a year ago, His Majesty's Government, through me, put forward
the proposal that this must be part of the terms of any armistice, and that we
should say that these men must be handed over as a condition of there being any
armistice at all. The same proposal and method of procedure is, as your Lordships
will have noticed, included in the terms of the Moscow announcement made the
other day.
If first of all, therefore, you can get the evidence against the individual whom
you mean to charge, and secondly get hold of the individual who is to be charged,
you may be in a position to deal with very considerable numbers of those who in
the last four years have perpetrated these villainies. . My noble and learned
friend argued, I felt with great force, that in the case of the ordinary German
soldier, whatever else he is dbing, he is shooting under orders as a member of
the firing squad. It might well be difficult to think that you could really devise
a system of trial and punishment which would govern such a case. I think-there
is great force in that; and while I am sure neither my noble friend nor I would
suggest for a moment that superior orders are an excuse for any actions of mani-
fest barbarity and villainy-never would I agree to such a proposition: it is not a
true proposition-at the same time the thing that really matters most is not the
man who carries out the order, but the man who gives it, the man who directs
that these shocking barbarities should be perpetrated. And I am sure I share
the feeling of my noble friend Lord Vansittart when he referred just now to that
Inter-Allied Information Committee's report of a few days ago. I heard it in my
own home on the wireless, and indeed you must be lost to all feelings of human
tragedy if you do not declare that wickedness like that calls to Heaven for punish-

Need of Special Methods When Dealing With Leaders
That is what I have to say about what I may call the more ordinary criminal.
But I do urge on the House that it is really very necessary to take a rather different
view of what I have described as the inner ring of principal political leaders who
must take a general responsibility for the barbarities of the war. I do not say
exactly where the line should be drawn. But I think it would be intolerable that
the Allies should be making arrangements for indicting and punishing and exe-
cuting men of lower grade, and yet that those who are the principal criminals of
the lot should go scathless. I do not believe that the British people would ever
accept that as a just and reasonable apportionment of our powers of punishment.
On the other hand, speaking for the moment purely for myself, I question very
much whether the ordinary process and formalities of a trial are equally appropriate
for the German officer who must be proved to have authorized a particular crime
and for those who from beginning to end are known to all the world, by their
own declarations and by their own policy, to have been pursuing this depth of
wickedness as part of their ambition. I think it may well be that the methods by
which the Allies would wish to deal in the last resort with what I have described
as the inner ring of political leaders, are not the same as the methods which are

British Speeches of the Day

appropriate for a person who, it may be with some difficulty, is identified as a
particular war criminal for a particular act at a particular place.
Warning to Neutral. Countries
Thus arises the question which my noble friend Lord Vansittart expressly puts
upon the Paper today. We see the war advancing with inevitable strides to its
predestined, ultimate end, and the day may come when some of these principal
villains will endeavor to retreat to some place of greater safety than their own
country or the country of their allies. Anticipating that, what is it which the Allied
Nations have done? A short account of it was given in the debate, but I think
a slightly more amplified version would be useful. It was towards the end of
July that His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom consulted the United
States and the Soviet Government on this question. The significance of the date
will not escape your Lordships, of course. This was connected with the collapse
of Italy. We consulted Soviet Russia and the United States with a view to issuing
a warning to certain neutral countries against providing shelter or protection for
prominent war criminals, and we had in mind names right at the top of the list.
We thought, as others have thought, that there might be an attempt by some of
these to seek asylum in neutral territory, and it was as the result of that consulta-
tion between ourselves and the United States and Soviet Russia that His Majesty's
representatives made a communication, which I will read to the House, to a num-
ber of neutral capitals. I will read the list. Instructions were given to make the
communication at Ankara, Berne, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Madrid, Stockholm and
the Vatican.
This was the communication:
"In view of developments in Italy and the possibility that Mussolini and other
prominent Fascists and persons guilty of war crimes may attempt to take refuge in
neutral territory, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom feel obliged
to call upon all neutral countries to refuse asylum to any such persons and to
declare that they would regard any shelter, assistance or protection given to such
persons as a violation of the principles for which the United Nations are fighting,
and which they are determined to carry into effect by every means in their power."
The Government of the United States simultaneously instructed their repre-
sentatives in neutral countries to give a similar official notice, and the Soviet Gov-
ernment instructed their representatives at Stockholm and Ankara, which as far
as they were concerned were the principal places, to make a similar, parallel com-
munication. I think it was my noble and learned friend Lord Maugham who
observed that this communication was not in every respect welcomed. As a matter
of fact it did not require any reply at all: it was not couched in a form to ask for
a reply. And it is true that some of those to whom it was addressed were con-
cerned, and very naturally concerned, to insist that they, too, were sovereign States.
But I think it is fair to say, and it is certainly the view of the Foreign Office, that
so far as we did receive replies from these neutral States they were replies which,
while reserving of course all the rights which a. neutral State would have, thor-
oughly appreciated the motives which His Majesty's Government had in mind in
making their representations.
What has followed from that? As we have been reminded already, that
notice, which in itself was primarily addressed to the question of Italian refugees,,
of course is now extended, and is well understood to be extended, to the even
more important case of German refugees, and the declaration on German atroci-
ties which has been issued as the result of the Moscow Conference is addressed
in the same way to warn neutral States that we who are carrying the burden of
the war and are determined that it shall end in the re-establishment of decent rights

War Criminals 29

for all free men, must call upon these neutrals to recognize that they, too, have
some responsibility and should not receive such refugees. I observed when I began
that the communication issued this morning from Teheran bears also on this point.
I am not sure that this has been very generally noticed. Allow me to read one
sentence, and one -sentence only, from the document over the names of Roosevelt,
Stalin, and Churchill which we see in our newspapers this morning. This is the
"We shall seek the co-operation and the active participation of all nations,
large and small, whose peoples in heart and mind are dedicated, as are our own
peoples, to the elimination of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance."
I take that to be addressed, not through diplomatic representatives but by this
modern scientific invention which passes such a procalamtion over the whole world,
amongst others to the neutral States. It is right that it should be so.

International Law Regarding Asylum
How does the matter really stand? I shall detain your Lordships for a few
moments longer to say, and I think I can state it in terms which no competent
international lawyer or diplomat would challenge. There is no such thing in
International Law as right of asylum attaching to an individual. It is part undoubt-
edly of the sovereignty of any State to admit within its borders such foreigners
as seek to enter if the State so chooses, but that does not give to the refugee who
is admitted any right at all to say, "Here I am and here I stay." Even though
the State has admitted him, the State is perfectly at liberty to eject him, although
there is no absolute treaty obligation to eject unless some treaty of extradition
It so happens that I remember in my own experience-it must be thirty years
ago now-an instance which illustrates this very neatly. I have never seen it
referred to since, but I am very clear about the facts, and probably my noble friend
Lord Tyrrel is in a position to correct me if I am wrong. When I was a Law Officer
of the Crown a man called Savarkah, an Indian, was arrested in this. country as
a fugitive offender, and he was to be returned to India to be tried there on a
criminal charge. He was put in custody on a P. and 0. boat going, no doubt, from
the Thames to Bombay. These ships, as your Lordships know, called at Marseilles,
and when this vessel was in Marseilles harbor Savarkah succeeded in escaping
through a porthole-a very remarkable thing to do. He swam ashore, eluded those
who were guarding the port, and made his way into the interior of France. There
was a hue and cry, in which the French police joined, and he was ultimately seized
at Lyons, handed back to the ship, and in due course taken to India for trial.
Thereupon a claim arose by the French Government against the British Govern-
men in which they said in effect: "You had no right to take this man from French
soil, put him back in your British ship, and take him to India." Indeed, if those
had been the true facts, we should have had no right. But what I remember very
clearly as our answer, for which the Law, Officers were responsible-which suc-
ceeded-was this: "We did not take him. It was your own police who arrested
him. It was your own police who brought him back to Marseilles. It was your own
police who handed him over to our ship., And having done that, you have no right
to assert that your sovereignty has been violated, for it was your own action which
handed him over, and he has no right to claim that he, as an individual, has any
right of asylum." We went to arbitration at The Hague I think-at any rate,
before a distinguished foreign arbitrator-and, for once in a while, the British
Government won.
Therefore you see quite clearly there is no right of asylum attaching to Hitler,
Himmler, Mussolini, or anyone else. It is a question for the neutral States, if

30 British Speeches of the Day

any of these people try to enter, as to what they should do. I must say I take
this view: whatever may be the formal right of sovereignty of a neutral State, if it,
in the language of this communique from Teheran, is one seeking to co-operate,
as small State or large State, "in heart and mind dedicated to the elimination of
tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance," I should certainly expect that
that neutral State would neither receive him nor keep such a man. That is the
immediate answer to the question put down on the Paper by my noble friend Lord
Vansittart. -,
I have tried with candor to state what is the attitude of the British Govern-
ment in the matter, and would only say this in conclusion. It is very characteristic
of the British temper that we ourselves, even in the face of these frightful bar-
barities, should keep a measure of coolness, should not allow our circulation to be
too much quickened, or our blood pressure to be too much raised; but this brutality
is eating into the very heart and vitals of other people who are our Allies in this
struggle. I have met many times on this matter representatives of the small nations
of Europe. I know that to them the possibility of this great and powerful country
declaring boldly for the punishment of war criminals appears to offer some relief
some hope, when they get news of the maltreatment and massacre of their own
kith and kin. We have to think of others besides ourselves in this matter, but in
doing so let us stick to it, whatever be the temptations to go further, that the only
punishment which Britain should ever authorize is punishment based on justice.
That means punishment which is not administered wholesale by way of mass
execution, but is administered to an individual because the case against him is
proved. This World War has developed with its inevitable strides, like the unfold-
ing of a Greek tragic drama. It moves to its appointed end, bringing at last
relief to those who have been so sorely tried, but bringing upon the guilty authors
of this savagery an unmistakable doom-that fate of which the Roman poet spoke
when he said:
"Its step may halt-but seldom leaves
The guilty wretch whose track it hounds."
We have with our immense tradition of British justice an all-important part to play
in the most difficult circumstances. Let no one imagine that we do not burn
with the same indignation as any other man feels or expresses. Let us strain to do
all that we can to punish crime where we find it but, first and last, let us be
sure that the actual individual is proved to be guilty of the crime with which he is
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Economic Warfare
House of Lords, November 30, 1943

The Council of U.N.R.R.A. is at this moment in session in Atlantic City, .. This
organization is a great international experiment, possibly the greatest -international
experiment that has been attempted since the League of Nations, and it aims at
achieving co-operative action in the provision of relief. Each of the forty-four
Governments that have signed the agreement pledges its full support, subject to
the terms of its Constitution, and I need hardly say that His Majesty's Government
give their full support to the agreement. It is indeed, our belief that only a con-

U.N.R.R.A. 31

certed effort will make it possible to deal with the aftermath of enemy occupation.
The first duty of the organization is the provision of relief for victims and deal-
ing with refugees in many areas brought under the control of the United Nations.
The noble Lord seemed to think that the organization would haye no right of
planning. I can assure him that he is mistaken in that. Planning and the giving
of advice to member Governments and the co-ordination of national policy relating
to relief are certainly among the most important duties of the organization. I
agree with him that none of this work could proceed except upon a planned basis,
and the principal object in setting up the organization is to create machinery which
will be capable of evolving plans. The organization is framed with a view to
ensuring full representation of the interested Governments and nations and, at
the same time, providing concentration of executive authority.

Organization of U.N.R.R.A.
Noble Lords will see that in dealing with an emergency of this nature rapid
executive action may in many cases be necessary. The way this is provided is
by the Council and its regional committees. Although the Central Committee only
consists of the four biggest nations, noble Lords will remember that any Govern-
ment concerned has a right to attend the Central Committee when questions affect-
ing it are under discussion. Speedy executive action will be very necessary, and for
this purpose wide powers have been vested in the Director-General. I should
like on behalf of His Majesty's Government to echo what the noble Lord said in
extending a welcome to Mr. Lehman as the first Director-General. No man is
more qualified to occupy that very onerous and responsible post . .
There is no doubt that there will be very serious world shortages of supplies
in food and other commodities, and the idea that peace will immediately bring
plenty is entirely fallacious. The Supplies Committee of the U.N.R.R.A. . con-
sists of the principal supplying nations as well as of the great 'Powers. The
Director-General will work in the closest collaboration with the supply authorities
of the United Nations. The task of meeting the requirements for relief supplies
must rest with the existing Government supply allocation agencies. By that I mean
that there are combined Boards in Washington, and we have our own Ministries
in this country dealing with supplies, while other nations have similar organizations.
This must be the organization that produces the supplies, that makes the supplies
available, which knows how much is available, and which will be able to report
to the U.N.R.R.A. Council or to the Director-General. Therefore, the actual
handling of the supplies must necessarily be through these agencies. That places
a special responsibility on the British and American Governments which have con-
trol of these raw materials and shipping so largely in their hands.
The problem ... is not going to be an easy one. It is going to be a very serious
problem indeed, because not only is there this world shortage of supplies and
shortage of shipping but if, as we anticipate, peace comes in more stages than one,
so that peace may be established in Europe while war is still raging in Asia, the
work of relief in Europe and in such other parts of the world as is possible will
have to be carried out pari passu with waging war to the greatest extent of our
powers on the other side of the world. That is necessarily going to complicate
the problem very much. The noble Lord pointed out that the agreement provides
for two Regional Committees, one for Europe, one for the Far East, and seemed
to criticize the fact that they would only have advisory powers. .If the matter is
considered it will be seen that, as a matter of management and organization, the
executive function must beside in the Director-General and the Central Commit-
tee, and that the Regional Committees and other Committees to which the noble
Lord referred necessarily have to be of an advisory character.

British Speeches of the Day

A Great International Experiment
May I say this to noble Lords? This agreement must not be treated like the
constitution of a nation which has beeA worked out as theresult of years of dis-
cussion and adjustment. This agreement is of a tentative character, and I have
no doubt that, as the organization continues, so it will evolve in the directions
found to be most suitable. If the agreement is read, it will be found that in certain
places the i's are not dotted and the t's are not crossed. Noble Lords will agree
that it is right that this should be so. We are efnbarking, as I have said, on a
great international experiment, and the nations of the world will have to feel
their way towards a solution of these tremendous problems on a basis of co-opera-
tion and planning. Therefore I think it would be a mistake to assume that func-
tions in all respects are fixed forever. The organization provides a framework
round which perhaps something more elaborate can be built in years to come.
The discussions in Atlantic City will enable all the problems that the noble Lord
so eloquently referred to to be discussed by men with expert knowledge and by
men intimately concerned. I think those discussions themselves will be most
informative to all of us and will assist us to see the problem in truer perspective
when we get the full reports.
The noble Lord asked me a question about the neutrals. I agree with him
that it is desirable that neutrals should if possible be associated with this organiza-
tion. That is one of the points which will probably be considered in Atlantic City
and therefore I cannot at this moment give him an answer to his question. We
must agree with the noble Lord that a new chapter may be opening which will
be of great moment for international co-operation. The problems that will con-
front us in peace will be hardly smaller than. the problems that confront us in
war. In this organization we are taking time by the forelock. We are preparing
for the peace and we are preparing for it in a spirit of co-operation, a spirit of
search for a solution on which the future of the whole world will greatly depend.
Therefore we can send to those men of all nations now represented at Atlantic City
our best wishes that they may be guided and inspired to find a solution of prob-
lems so difficult.
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Labour and National Service
91st Session of the Governing Body of the International Labour
Organization, December 16, 1943
I extend to you on behalf of the Government and the people of Britain a very
hearty welcome and I trust that this meeting will be a historic one.
It is two years since the Governing Body last met, and in that time fundamental
changes have taken place in the world situation. Then we were struggling for
existence. Today, the military position is very different, so that without letting
up in the fight for complete victory over the enemies of democracy, we can find
some moments to look ahead to. reconstruction and the course which humanity
must follow. This is so necessary, for the journey ahead of us lies through
uncharted economic seas with hidden rocks which will require very careful navi-
gation by those responsible for the ships of state and there will be many unsuspected
storms, the riding of which will call for sound judgment, cool brains and great
courage. Therefore, while the strategists work out their plans for war and the

The International Labour Ofice

soldiers, the sailors, the airmen and the men of the Mercantile Marine fight for
victory, it is for us to be engaged in planning the reconstruction that must follow
Many things have happened since we last met, and it is unnecessary for me
to recount them in detail. But the fact that Japan has been held, that Russia is
driving the enemy from her soil, that North Africa has been cleared, the Mediter-
ranean opened, and the mastery of the air been established, together with the
battle now raging in Italy is an augury of what is to come in the freeing of the
occupied countries from tyranny and oppression.
We are all deeply thankful for the courage of the fighting men, the amazing
will to victory of our peoples, and the undying faith of those who have been
oppressed that liberty will be restored to them.
It is in this atmosphere of courage and faith that your Governing Body, with
its splendid past and such great potentialities 'for the future, meets. The transition
from war to peace is going on while the actual battles are being fought. The
meetings which have already taken place between the leading statements, culminat-
ing in the Conferences in Cairo and Persia, are evidence that not only are plans
for the completion of the struggle being made but that friendship and understand-
ing between the nations are being forged and the ground being cleared for the
laying of the foundation of the new world that must follow.

The Transition from War to Peace
Every inch .of territory that. is cleared and every group of people that is freed
make it imperative that there should be the opportunity for ordered civil govern-
ment to develop, and for confidence and stability to be restored as quickly as
possible. The International Labour Office is, therefore, performing a great service
in carrying on its work and preparing to assist the liberated'peoples to return to
their democratic way of life, bringing to them as the moment arrives succor and
advice and using its influence so that the needs of the common man who has suf-
fered so much shall be met.
There is a second stage, however, in the transition from war to peace. As I
said when we met in this country nearly two years ago, we were so much immersed
in the immediate necessities of the struggle that it was difficult to visualize peace;
we had not passed io the offensive, and the whole of our energies were being
devoted to the struggle without any other thought.
But tirfe moves so quickly. As our Forces press on and the dawn of victory
rises steadily on the horizon, we must take steps to meet the needs of the
transitional period between victory and the settled conditions of peace. But all
we do in the period of transition must contribute towards a lasting peace.
This war has been a people's struggle. On the one side masses have been
struggling for the preservation of their souls and the rights of man. On the other
the tyrant has sought to dominate, to enslave and to crush; from the homes of the
common people over wide areas of the world the sons of liberty have marched
into battle, They have suffered frustration and reverses and the odds seemed over-
whelming. But today they are gradually strengthening their grip on the monster
that would have destroyed them.
I have said it is a people's war-total war. It has meant the utilization
of every ounce of energy that the manpower of the nations could pour out-it has
meant privation and sacrifice. Victory when it comes will be a victory won by
all the people; and the peace that is made must be a peace for the peoples-one
which has predominantly in mind the needs and hopes of the masses.

British Speeches of the Day

In the past the mainspring of policy in the Western World, as could be seen
from their budgets, has been finance. Our prosperity has been measured by
accumulation of wealth in terms of money without due regard to the real wealth
of a nation-the well-being of the whole of its people.
Unemployment has fallen upon us, not because we have not had the ability to
produce-that exists as never before and commodities, which are another and
better form of wealth, can now be turned out like water. It is in the sphere of
distribution that we fail. Humanity has been caught up in a vortex of specu-
lation and mal-distribution so that the efforts and ability of the producer have
not been turned into happiness and well-being for the consumer.
I believe that the essential need for the future is not a financial budget but
a human one.

"Governments Should Study Prospective Demand"
Year by year the Governments should study prospective demand-taking into
account failures of harvests, and anything that can be foreseen, which would dis-
locate the world-with this an ordered economy could be planned so that if the
trade of individual countries contracted at home it could expand abroad or if it
contracted abroad capital development colld be turned on at home and so keep
the measure of consumption stable.
It is nof impossible to deal with cycles of boom and depression if Govern-
ments have the facts before them in advance, just as they have had the financial
facts'in front of them hitherto. In other words, we must make our statistical
forecasts in the form of the right use of manpower and not only of money. This
may be difficult in areas with large peasant populations, but if the more highly
developed countries do this then they are bound to take into account what is hap-
pening among primary producers. In other words, information will flow from
the ends of the earth and Governments should be in possession of it and be able
to shape their policy accordingly to help to lift the backward and maintain stability
among themselves.
I am aware that the I.L.O. has conducted many inquiries in the past, but if
the I.L.O. is to be effective, inquiries and knowledge must be collected at the
source and forwarded to a central organization so that a world picture can be
I want to congratulate the I.L.O. on continuing to issue the excellent Inter-
national Labour Review, the Legislative Series which has been an indispensable
source of information-and the valuable studies and reports. I am glad you have
continued to issue these publications and the work you have undertaken in research
will now enable you to play a very active part in post-war reconstruction.

British Government and Labor Legislation
May I be permitted to refer to our own country?
I am glad to be able to say that the British Government have decided to ratify
the Maritime Convention relating to sickness insurance (No. 56), while in our
collective agreements we have more than given effect to all the other decisions
of Geneva in 1936. Also the application of draft conventions, Nos. 50 (Recruiting
of indigenous workers) and 65 (Penal Sanctions, indigenous workers) has been
The British Government has recently done a great deal to improve labor
conditions in the British Empire. In many colonies there is at present no real
organization amongst the workers and the Government recognizes that it must act

The International Labour Office

as trustee for the people concerned until they have the necessary experience and
organization in the industrial field to look after themselves. In the meantime,
the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in consultation with my Department and
the Trades Union Congress has appointed labor officers to assist in this work in
the various colonies. Some I am glad to say have come from the Trade Unions
and some from my own Department.
To come nearer home. In this war we are talking not of "Homes for Heroes"
but of "Food, Work and Homes for All". I have little use for high-sounding
phrases which are mere slogans-what is needed is something real which can be
translated into action.
On the whole I think we are making much better preparation for peace in
Great Britain than in the last war, and we are profiting from our experience then.

Provisions Being Made for Post-War Period in Britain
One of the things I would put foremost, if we are to build a right peace,
is the maintenance of stability when the war ends so that the Government can
reach sound decisions for the economic life of the nation. And what applies to
us applies equally to other nations.
Of course, I am aware that the desire for profit is very great, and that there
is a cry for the removal of controls, sometimes I am afraid from those who want
to take advantage of our people. On the other hand, the nation is determined
that there shall be an orderly transition from war to peace and the people will not
easily be deceived by mischievous slogans. Because of this our. policy is being
devised on a practical basis; and although this is an international body, I may
perhaps be forgiven for enumerating some of the provisions we are making.
The men who have fought this war will not be content with unemployment
after it; one of the fundamentals must be the maintenance of full employment,
and everything-whether it is exchanges, currency or economic organization-must
be designed to that end: the British people will be satisfied with nothing less.
Statesmen will not, on this occasion, as they did on the last, succeed in deluding
the people 'with fine words which they fail to translate into the economic system
afterwards. We are dealing with an entirely different generation, and if order and
stability are to be maintained, both Parliament and the Government must be honest
and straightforward in what they promise.
Of course, there are great opportunities. In agriculture we are determined
to maintain a high standard. Already we are highly mechanized. Consideration
has been given to hours of labor and an improved standard of living has been
achieved. This must be maintained, for the rural worker in this country has made
a great contribution tqwards victory.
We shall have to rebuild all our damaged cities. But not only must we replace
what has been only damaged by the enemy but we must wipe out the terrible legacy
of the nineteenth century-the mean streets and the slum dwellings which have
done so much damage to our citizens. You cannot get a demand for the better
quality goods which industry can provide unless you build homes in which people
can enjoy and appreciate them.

Mining too is an industry which must be reorganized. It has been striking
recently to see the general recognition of the danger which the miner faces now
that it is no longer limited to the miner himself. The need for coal has caused
us to place the obligation of winning it on all classes, no one who has heard the

British Speeches of the Day

controversy that has gone on in this country can doubt that almost every home
now has some realization of the conditions of the miner's work. The mines are
now the concern of every class and the importance of coal to the nation is realized
as never before. If, as I believe, the miner with his risky and arduous work is
now better understood than ever before we may hope for some solution of a most
difficult problem.
It is striking that some of the greatest scientific successes of this war, which
have put us in advance of the enemy, have come from industries which cater for
our leisure and amenities. In the light of this the organization of leisure and
the improvement of our amenities is not a loss but a gain. It stimulates invention
and scientific research and indeed it might be said that every advance in leisure
produces almost a new industry.
Reinstatement of Disabled and Demobilized
We shall no longer be able to afford not to employ our disabled people.
People handicapped by accident, whether in war or industry, who are not allowed
to w$rk are a liability. It is vital that they should be allowed to produce to the
limit of their capacity. In fact, however, with proper training and with the great
developments that have taken place in artificial limbs, rehabilitation and medical
treatment, the majority of such people can be restored to 1004 capacity.
A Bill is now before Parliament which will make it an obligation on employers
to employ disabled persons.
Then, too, we are thinking about the men who are serving in the Armed
Forces and we propose to amend the law to facilitate their reinstatement in civil
employment. The question of social security for these men is very vital; for if
they have fought for us they have an undeniable claim that we should look after
Education and Health
We have been impressed with the need for reconstruction in our national
system of education-both in the cultural and in the technical field. Much has
been done in these fields in the last hundred years but we have not done nearly
enough to care for the adolescent. We intend in future to look upon the adoles-
cent not so much as an employee but as a charge of the State, who is allowed to
work for an employer only if there is proper provision for his training and devel-
We have accepted the principle that there shall be a comprehensive national
health service, from which everyone in the State will be entitled to the very best
medical treatment than can be obtained. We believe that health is a great asset
that must not be allowed to deteriorate.
In fact, these things are to be our new national assets. We have lost foreign
investments, but these need not concern us if we have a strong, virile nation, with
great creative impulses and opportunities. Nature is bounteous in her provision
of raw material and her harvests and it only needs the application of a healthy,
virile nation to these gifts to turn them into real wealth for the benefit of the
We are determined to redevelop those areas which have become overcrowded
through enemy action-and to develop them on a planned basis. It used to be
said that we had an Empire on which the sun never set: but unfortunately there
were far too many homes into which it never shone. That has now to be remedied,
and if war, with all its hideousness, has turned the nation's mind along the right
lines, that is some compensation. But to do this we must be guided by what is

The International Labour Office

right for the people, who will impose their own discipline. Laissez-faire will not
do, nor must vested interests stand in the way.
Preconceived notions of economic doctrine cannot be allowed to hamper
us--the needs of the present age cannot be met with nineteenth century economics.
Help for the Freed Territories
Of course, these needs are not limited to Great Britain. If civil war and
more bloodshed are to be avoided in those countries that have suffered invasion
during this war it is imperative that the United Nations should take resolute action
and assist in the establishment of a good social foundation for the people as
speedily as possible. I am glad to know that the United Nations Relief and
Rehabilitation Administration has now been set up. It will pay us to use it to
the full.
I am glad that the International Labour Organization was invited to send
observers to the meeting at Atlantic City, and thus place at the disposal of the
organization for relief its wide experience and knowledge of migration and
standards of living. I cannot, of course, visualize what the final settlement of
Europe and the other occupied countries will be, but I am certain that some move-
ment of populations will be necessary, and no one can lend greater assistance in
this task than the International Labour Organization.
I am sure that we are all grateful to the Office for giving its services to the
S Interim Food Commission, and I can speak on behalf of the whole of my col-
leagues in His Majesty's Government when I say that we desire to be associated
with the I.L.O. wherever possible for post-war reconstruction work.
But while I attach great importance to securing the association of the Inter-
national Labour Organization with all the bodies set up by the United Nations to
deal with all these problems, I attach even greater importance to what the I.L.O.
itself must do in the field where it is primarily responsible.
I look upon it as the body which will be charged with the duty of assisting
Governments through its advice to give effect to Article 5 of the Atlantic Charter.
The constitution of the I.L.O. lends itself to this purpose. After all the I.L.O.
sprang largely from the brain of a workman-our great and now departed friend
George Barnes. He saw in such a body the chance to bring the great occupational
groups of the world together and through their association to make a useful con-
tribution to the peace of the world. In other words by their association in indus-
trial relations, labor legislation and social security measures, to constitute a moral
force behind international law itself.
International Law as we have known it hitherto has rested upon a very narrow
basis. It can be said to have been the code of Heads of States, soldiers, sailors and
diplomats. It is perfectly true that it has been a vital code in international con-
duct, but it was limited. Today, however, if the moral law behind international
law is to be strengthened it must become the concern of the ordinary citizen and
it must rest upon sound knowledge and the acceptance of responsibility for it
by the peoples as a whole.
Diplomacy has often been secret. It has been handled by a very narrow circle
and even members of governments have very often not been fully aware of what
has been done in their name.
"Occupational. Groups"
The world is changing; communication and travel have made this planet so
small that the whole people have been brought into the discussion regarding rela-

British Speeches of the Day

tionships with other peoples. A greater responsibility now rests, therefore, on the
individual voter and the citizen in his democratic capacity than has ever rested
I am a great believer in what I call the value of the occupational groups."
Let miners meet, whatever their race or language, and they will be bound together
by coal and their common interests; let railwaymen meet, or seamen; textile workers
or workers in the metal trades, or any of the great occupational groups that enter
into international trade. Once they are brought together in a room and have dis-
cussed common problems the racial distinction sinks into the background and the
common interest rises uppermost. With the world so small as it is and the devel-
opment of the conception of the United Nations I would urge the I.L.O. to give,
through the Governing Body, the most serious consideration to bringing together
those great occupational or technical groups in order that they may not only discuss
comparison between their wages, conditions, output and things of that kind, but
other matters of wide common interest, so that their trades may be so organized
as to supply the peoples with their requirements without commercial rivalry or war.
In this the I.L.O. will need the advice of experts. In the field of National
Government I am a great believer in the value of advisory committees or boards
composed of experts and representatives of the employers and the Trade Unions.
Since I took office as Minister of Labour and National Service I have set up many
committees and boards and I have found their collective advice of the greatest value.
I am of course aware that the I.L.O. made considerable use before the war of the
advice of bodies of experts, but I hope it will greatly develop this side of its work.
When I welcomed the Emergency Committee in London over eighteen months
ago it was a great satisfaction to all the friends of social progress throughout the
world that the I.L.O. had succeeded in surviving the disruption of a world war.
The mere fact that it was alive was a matter for rejoicing. But why was it alive?
For the very reason I mentioned just now. Because it represents an occupational
combination and is bound together by matters of common interest and the.desire
for social progress. Even the war, therefore, has been unable to kill it. I am
glad to find it has not merely been kept alive but that it has taken advantage of
the opportunities for activity open to it and has gone further and made more
The I.L.O. Must Be International in Outlook
The I.L.O. can never be a servant of any party or any individual Government.
It must be international in its outlook; progressive in its approach to world prob-
lems of labor and sociology; independent in its approach, but clear in its decisions
so that its work will tend to bring nations together on a common platform and
in a common endeavor to raise the standard of life.
Unparalleled opportunities are now opening out before the I.L.O. A clear
social objective has been formulated in the Atlantic Charter which I have already
referred to. Let me read Article 5 of that Charter again. The words are familiar
to you but they are so important that they bear repetition:
"They desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in
the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards,
economic adjustment and social security."
What does this mean? It means that the way to peace is advancement in the
economic field, the raising of standards of living for everybody and the placing
of social security on a universal basis.
I claim that such a declaration as this reveals an outlook very different from
that which prevailed in the last war. The main consideration then was the political

The International Labour Ofice 39

aspects of the future: power politics. Now labor and industrial aspects assume
their rightful place. This at once constitutes an opportunity but equally a responsi-
bility for the International Labour Organization.
This meeting of the Governing Body is both a symptom and a symbol.
It is a symptom of the growing desire that the I.L.O. should bring together
Governments, employers and workers to plan for the future; that it should give
tangible evidence to the world that it is conscious of its responsibility and confi-
dent in its power.
It is a symbol of the co-ordinated and co-operative action that will be necessary
in the labor and industrial sphere to ensure that after the war has been won the
peace shall be really won. We are winning the people's war and we must make
sure of winning the people's peace.
[Oficial Release]

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