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Full Text




H.M. KING GEORGE VI, August 15, 1945.
The Opening of the New Parliament
Debate on the Address From the Throne:
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Leader of the Opposition in the House of
Commons, August 16, 1945.
CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, August 16, 1945.
ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, August 20, 1945.
Foreign Policy.
ANTHONY EDEN, Conservative M.P., August 20, 1945.
Foreign Policy.
OLIVER LYTTELTON, Conservative M.P., August 21, 1945.
Industrial Reconversion.
HUGH DALTON, Chancellor of the Exchequer, August 21, 1945.
Government Policy on Reconversion.

CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, August 22, 1945.
United Nations Charter.
G. A. ISAACS, Minister of Labour and National Service, August 23, 1945.
Reallocation of Manpower.
CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, August 24, 1945.
Termination of Lend-Lease.
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Leader of the Oppositio H
Commons, August 24, 1945.
Termination of Lend-Lease. *
LORD WAVELL, Viceroy of India, July 14, 1945. G
Simla Conference.

Vol. III, Nos. 8-9 August-September, 1945

NEW YORK 20 . . 30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA . . Clrcle 6-5100
WASHINGTON 5, D. C. 1336 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W. Executive 8525

The Opening of the New Parliament
August 15, 1945
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
The surrender of Japan has brought to an end six years of warfare which have
caused untold loss and misery to the world. In this hour of deliverance, it is
fitting that we should give humble and solemn thanks to God by whose grace we
have been brought to final victory. My Armed Forces from every part of My
Commonwealth and Empire have fought with steady courage and endurance. To
them, as well as to all others who have borne their share in bringing about this
great victory and to all our Allies our gratitude is due. We remember especially
at this time those who have laid down their lives in the fight for freedom.

Future World Co-operation
It is the firm purpose of My Government to work in the closest co-operation
with the Governments of My Dominions and in concert with all peace-loving
peoples to attain a world of freedom, peace and social justice so that the sacrifices
of the war shall not have been in vain. To this end they are determined to pro-
mote throughout the world conditions under which all countries may face with
confidence the urgent tasks of reconstruction, and to carry out in this country
those policies which have received the approval of My people.
At Berlin My Ministers, in conference with the President of the United States
and Premier Stalin, have laid the foundations on which the peoples of Europe,
after the long nightmare of war, may restore their shattered lands. I welcome the
establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers which will shortly hold its first
meeting in London and will continue the work begun at Berlin in preparation for
a final peace settlement.
My Ministers will submit to you the Charter of the United Nations which has
now been signed without reservation by the representatives of all the fifty States
who took part in the Conference at San Francisco, and which expressed the de-
termination of the United Nations to maintain peace in accordance with justice
and respect for human rights and to promote the welfare of all peoples by inter-
national co-operation. The devastating new weapon which science has now placed
in the hands of humanity should bring home to all the lesson that the nations of
the world must abolish recourse to war or perish by mutual destruction.
It has given Me special pleasure to meet the President of the United States on
his brief visit to My country after the Conference at Berlin. I have also been glad
to express the gratitude of this country to the Supreme Commander of the Allied
Expeditionary Force for his inspiring leadership in the campaign for the liberation
of Europe.
My Forces in Europe continue to discharge the duties entailed in the occupation
of enemy countries and the repatriation of the many thousands of persons who
were deported from their homes by the enemy. My Navy, aided by the Navies of
My Allies, is clearing the seas of mines so that merchant ships and fishing fleets
may once more sail in safety.
In the .Far East My Ministers will make it their most immediate concern to
ensure that all prisoners in Japanese hands are cared for and returned to their
[449 ]

British Speeches of the Day

homes with all speed. The bringing of relief to those who have suffered under
Japanese tyranny and the disarmament and control of the enemy will continue to
impose heavy demands on My forces.
Members of the House of Commons:
You will be asked to make further financial provision, not, happily, for the
continuance of the war, but for expenditures on reconstruction and other essential
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
My Government will continue the orderly release of men and women from
the Armed Forces on the basis of the plans announced in the autumn of last year
and will take every step to secure that these plans are carried out with the greatest
speed consistent with our military commitments and fair treatment to serving men
and women. The arrangements already in operation for the resettlement in civil
life of men and women released from the Forces and from war work, including
those who have been disabled during their service, will be continued and, where
necessary, expanded.
The continuing shortages in the supply of many necessaries, especially houses,
food, clothing and fuel, will call for the same spirit of tolerance and understanding
which the nation has displayed during the past six years of war.
It will be the aim of My Ministers to see that the national resources in labor
and material are employed with the fullest efficiency in the interests of all and that
the standard of living is progressively improved. In the pursuit of this aim the
special problems of Scotland and Wales will have the attention of My.Ministers.
My Government will take up with energy the tasks of reconverting industry
from the purposes of war to those of peace, of expanding our export trade and of
securing by suitable control or by an extension of public ownership that our indus-
tries and services shall make their maximum contribution to the national well-
being. The orderly solution of these difficult problems will require from all My
people efforts comparable in intensity and public spirit to those which have brought
us victory in war.

In order to promote employment and national development machinery will be
set up to provide for the effective planning of investment and a measure will be
laid before you to bring the Bank of England under public ownership.
A Bill will also be laid before you to nationalize the coal-mining industry as
part of a concerted plan for the co-ordination of the fuel and power industries.
Legislation will be submitted to you to insure that during the period-.of transi-
tion from war to peace there are available such powers as are necessary to secure
the right ise of our commercial and industrial resources and the distribution at
fair prices of essential supplies and services.

An urgent and vital task of My Ministers will be to increase by all practicable
means the number of homes available both in town and country. Accordingly
they will organize the resources of the building and manufacturing industries in
the most effective way to meet the housing and other essential building require-
ments of the nation. They will also lay before you proposals to deal with the
problems of compensation and betterment in relation to town and country plan-

The Opening of the New Parliament

ning, to improve the procedure for the acquisition of land for public purposes,
and otherwise to promote the best use of land in the national interests.
Social Legislation
You will be asked to approve measures to provide a comprehensive scheme of
insurance against industrial injuries, to extend and improve the existing scheme
of social insurance and to establish a national health service. Legislation will be
introduced to repeal the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Acts.
Food Production
My Ministers will develop to the fullest possible extent the home production
of good food. To this end they will continue, with suitable adaptations, those war-
time policies under which food production has been organized and the efficiency
of agriculture improved, and will take all necessary steps to promote a healthy
fishing industry. The ravages of war have made world food supplies insufficient
to meet demands, but My Ministers will do all in their power to provide and dis-
tribute food to My peoples at prices which they can afford to pay; and they will
keep in being and extend the new food services for the workers and for mothers
and children which have been established during the war.
Air Transport
A measure will be laid before you for the reorganization of air transport.

It will be the aim of My Ministers to bring into practical effect at the earliest
possible date the educational reforms which have already been approved.
My Government will continue to work in close consultation with the other
Members of My Commonwealth on all matters of mutual concern.
India and the Colonies
In accordance with the promises already made to My Indian peoples, My
Government will do their utmost to promote in conjunction with the leaders of
Indian opinion, the early realization of full self-government in India.
They will also press on with the development .of My Colonial Empire and the
welfare of its peoples.
I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.
[House of Commons Debates]

Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
House of Commons, August 16, 1945

Our duty this afternoon is to congratulate His Majesty's Government on the
very great improvement in our prospects at home, which comes from the complete
victory gained over Japan and the establishment of peace throughout the world.
Only a month ago it was necessary to continue at full speed and at enormous cost
all preparations for a long and bloody campaign in the Far East. In the first days
of the Potsdam Conference President Truman and I approved the plans submitted
to us by the combined Chiefs of Staff for a series of great battles and landings in

British Speeches of the Day

Malaya, in the Netherlands East Indies and in the homeland of Japan itself. These
operations involved an effort not surpassed in Europe, and no one could measure
the cost in British and American life and treasure they would require. Still less
could it be known how long the stamping out of the resistance of Japan in many
territories she had conquered, and especially in her homeland, would last. All
the while the whole process of turning the world from war to peace would be
hampered and delayed. Every form of peace activity was half strangled by the
overriding priorities of war. No clear-cut decisions could be taken in the presence
of this harsh dominating uncertainty.
During the last three months an element of baffling dualism has complicated
every problem of policy and administration. We had to plan for peace and war
at the same time. Immense armies were being demobilized; another powerful
army was being prepared and despatched to the other side of the globe. All the
personal stresses among millions of men eager to return to civil life, and hundreds
of thousands of men who would have to be sent to new and severe campaigns in
the Far East, presented themselves with growing tension. This dualism affected
also every aspect of our economic and financial life. How to set people free to
use their activities in reviving the life of Britain, and at the same time to meet the
stern demands of the war against Japan, constituted one of the most perplexing
and distressing puzzles that in a long life-time of experience I have,ever faced.
I confess it was with great anxiety that I surveyed this prospect a month ago.
Since then I have been relieved of the burden. At the same time that burden,
heavy though it still remains, has been immeasurably lightened.

Success of Atomic Bomb
On July 17th there came to us at Potsdam the eagerly awaited news
of the trial of the atomic bomb in the Mexican desert. Success beyond all dreams
crowned this somber, magnificent venture of our American Allies. The detailed
reports of the Mexican desert experiment, which were brought to us a few days
later by air, could leave no doubt in the minds of the very few who were informed,
that we were in the presence of a new factor in human affairs, and possessed of
powers which were irresistible. Great Britain had a right to be consulted in
accordance with Anglo-American agreements. The decision to use the atomic
bomb was taken by President Truman and myself at Potsdam and we approved
the military plans to unchain the dread, pent-up forces.
From that moment our outlook on the future was transformed. In prepara-
tion for the results of this experiment, the statements of the President and of Mr.
Stimson and my own statement, which by the courtesy of the Prime Minister was
subsequently read out on the broadcast, were framed in common agreement.
Marshal Stalin was informed by President Truman that we contemplated using an
explosive of incomparable power against Japan, and action proceeded in the way
we all now know. It is to this atomic bomb more than to any other factor that
we may ascribe the sudden and speedy ending of the war against Japan.
Before using it, it was necessary first of all to send a message in the form of
an ultimatum to the Japanese which would apprise them of what unconditional
surrender meant. This document was published on July 26th, the same day that
another event, differently viewed on each side of the House, occurred. The assur-
ances given to Japan about her future after her unconditional surrender had been
made, were generous to a point. When we remember the cruel and treacherous
nature of the utterly unprovoked attack made by the Japanese war lords upon the
United States and Great Britain, these assurances must be considered magnanimous
in a high degree. In a nutshell, they implied "Japan for the Japanese," and even
access to raw materials apart from their control, was not denied to their densely-

Leader of the Opposition

populated homeland. We felt that in view of the new and fearful agencies of
war-power about to be employed, every inducement to surrender, compatible with
our declared policy, should be set before them. This we owed to our consciences
before using this awful weapon.
Secondly, by repeated warnings, emphasized by heavy bombing attacks, an
endeavor was made to procure the general exodus of the civil population from the
threatened cities. Thus everything in human power, short of using the atomic
bomb, was done to spare the civil population of Japan, though there are voices
which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate
myself with such ideas. Six years of total war have convinced most people that
had the Germans or Japanese discovered this new weapon, they would have used
it upon us to our complete destruction with the utmost alacrity. I am surprised
that very worthy people, but people who in most cases had no intention of pro-
ceeding to the Japanese front themselves, should adopt the position that rather
than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American, and a quar-
ter of a million British lives in the desperate battles and massacres-of an invasion of
Japan. Future generations will judge these dire decisions, and I believe that if they
find themselves dwelling in a happier world from which war has been banished,
and where freedom reigns, they will not condemn those who struggled for their
benefit amid the horrors and miseries of this gruesome and ferocious epoch.
The bomb brought peace, but men alone can keep that peace, and hence-
forward they will keep it under penalties which threaten the survival, not only of
civilization but of humanity itself. I may 'say that I am in entire agreement with
the President that the secrets of the atomic bomb shall so far as possible not be
imparted at the present time to any other country in the world. This is in no
design or wish for arbitrary power but for the common safety of the world. Noth-
ing can stop the progress of research and experiment in every country, but although
research will no doubt proceed in many places, the construction of the immense
plants necessary to transform theory into action cannot be improvised in any
For this and many other reasons the United States stand at this moment at the
summit of the world. I rejoice that this should be so. Let them act up to the
level of their power and their responsibility, not for themselves but for others, for
all men in all lands, and then a brighter day may dawn upon human history. So
far. as we know, there are at least three and perhaps four years before the concrete
progress made in the United States can be overtaken. In these three years we
must remold the relationships of all men, wherever they dwell, in all the nations.
We must remold them in such a way that these men do not wish or dare to fall
upon each other for the sake of vulgar and out-dated ambitions or for passionate
differences in ideology, and that international bodies of supreme authority may
give peace on earth and decree justice among men. Our pilgrimage has brought
us to a sublime moment in the history of the world. From the least to the greatest,
all must strive to be worthy of these supreme opportunities. There is not an hour
to be wasted; there is-not a day to be lost.
It would in my opinion be a mistake to suggest that the Russian declaration
of war upon Japan was hastened by the use of the atomic bomb. My understand-
ing with Marshal Stalin in the talks which I had with him had been for a con-
siderable time past, that Russia would declare war upon Japan within three months
of the surrender of the German armies. The reason for the delay of three months
was, of course, the need to move over the trans-Siberian Railway the large rein-
forcements necessary to convert the Russian-Manchurian army from a defensive to
an offensive strength. Three months was the time mentioned, and the fact that
the German armies surrendered on May 8th and the Russians declared war on

British Speeches of the Day

Japan on August 8th, is no mere coincidence but another example of the fidelity
and punctuality with which Marshal Stalin and his valiant armies always keep
their military engagements . .

Results of Potsdam
I now turn to the results of the Potsdam Conference so far as they have been
made public in the agreed communique and in President Truman's very remark-
able speech of a little more than a week ago. There has been general approval
of the arrangements proposed for the administration of Germany by the Allied
Control Commission during the provisional period of military government. This
regime is both transitional and indefinite. The character of Hitler's Nazi party
was such as to destroy almost all independent elements in the German people.
The struggle was fought to the bitter end. The mass of the people were forced to
drain the cup of defeat to the dregs. A headless Germany has fallen into the
hands of the conquerors. It may be many years before any structure of German
national life will be possible, and there will be plenty of time for the victors to
consider how the interests of world peace are affected thereby.
In the meanwhile, it is in my view of the utmost importance that responsibility
should be effectively assumed by German local bodies for carrying on under Allied
supervision all the processes of production and of administration necessary to
maintain the life of a vast population. It is not possible for the Allies to bear
responsibility by themselves. We cannot have the German masses lying down
upon our hands and expecting to be .fed, organized and educated over a period
of years, by the Allies. We must do our best to help to avert the tragedy of
famine. But it would be in vain for us in our small island, which still needs
to import half its food, to imagine that we can make any further appreciable con-
tribution in that respect. The rationing of this country cannot be made more
severe, without endangering the life and physical strength of our people, all of
which will be needed for the immense tasks we have to do. I, therefore, most
strongly advise the encouragement of the assumption of responsibility by trust-
worthy German local bodies in proportion as they can be brought into existence.
The Council which was set up at Potsdam of the Foreign Secretaries of the
three, four or five Powers, meeting in various combinations as occasion served,
affords a new and flexible machinery for the continuous further study of the
immense problems that lie before us in Europe and Asia. I am very glad that the
request that I made to the Conference, and which my right hon. Friend-I may
perhaps be allowed so to refer to him on this comparatively innocuous occasion-
supported at the Conference, that the seat of the Council's permanent Secretariat
should be London, was granted. I must say that my right hon. Friend the late
Foreign Secretary, who has, over a long period, gained an increasing measure of
confidence from the Foreign Secretaries of Russia and the United States, and who
through the European Advisory Committee which is located in London has always
gained the feeling that things could be settled in a friendly and easy way, deserves
some of the credit for the fact that these great Powers willingly accorded us the
seat in London for the permanent Secretariat. It is high time that the place of
London, one of the controlling centers of international world affairs, should at
last be recognized. It is the oldest, the largest, the most battered capital, the capi-
tal which was first in the war, and the time is certainly overdue when we should
have our recognition.
I am glad also that a beginning is to be made with the evacuation of Persia by
the British and Russian Armed Forces, in accordance with the triple treaty which
we made with each other and with Persia in 1941. Although it does not appear in
the communique, we have since seen it announced that the first stage in the process,


Leader of the Opposition

namely the withdrawal of Russian and British troops from Teheran, has already
begun or-is about to begin. There are various other matters arising out of this
Conference which should be noted as satisfactory. We should not, however, delude
ourselves into supposing that the results of this first Conference of the victors
were free from disappointment or anxiety, or that the most serious questions before
us were brought to good solutions. Those which proved incapable of agreement
at the Conference have been relegated to the Foreign Secretaries' Council which,
though most capable of relieving difficulties, is essentially one gifted with less far-
reaching powers. Other grave questions are left for the final peace settlement, by
which time many of them may have settled themselves, not necessarily in the best
The Polish Frontiers
It would b at once wrong and impossible to conceal the divergencies of view
which exist inevitably between the victors about the state of affairs in Eastern and
Middle Europe. I do not at all blame the Prime Minister or the new Foreign
Secretary, whose task it was to finish up the discussions which we had begun. I am
sure they did their best. We have to realize that no one of the three leading Powers
can impose its solutions upon others and that the only solutions possible are those
which are in the nature of compromise.' We British have had very early and
increasingly to recognize the limitations of our own power and influence, great
though it be, in the gaunt world arising from the ruins of this hideous war. It
is not in the power of any British Government to bring home solutions which
would be regarded as perfect by the great majority of Members of this House,
wherever they may sit. I must put on record my own opinion that the provisional
Western Frontier agreed upon for Poland, running from Stettin on the Baltic,
along the Oder and its tributary, the Western Neisse, comprising as it does one
quarter of the arable land of all Germany, is not a good augury for the future
map of Europe. We always had in the Coalition Government a desire that Poland
should receive ample compensation in the West for the territory ceded to Russia
east of the Curzon Line. But here I think a mistake has been made, in which the
Provisional Government of Poland have been an ardent partner, by going far
beyond what necessity or equity required. There are few virtues that the Poles
do not possess-and there are few mistakes they have ever avoided.
I am particularly concerned, at this moment, with the reports reaching us of
the conditions under which the expulsion and exodus of Germans from the new
Poland are being carried out. Between 8,000,000 and 9,000,000 persons dwelt in
those regions before the war. The Polish Government say that there are still
1,500,000 of these not yet expelled within their new frontiers. Other millions
must have taken refuge behind the British and American lines, thus increasing the
food stringency in our sector. But enormous numbers are utterly unaccounted for.
Where are they gone, and what has been their fate? The same conditions may
reproduce themselves in a more modified form in the expulsion of great numbers
of Sudeten and other Germans from Czechoslovakia. Sparse and guarded accounts
of what has happened and is happening have filtered through, but it is not impos-
sible that tragedy on a prodigous scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain
which at the moment divides Europe in twain. I should welcome any statement
which the Prime Minister can make which would relieve, or at least inform us
upon this very anxious and grievous matter.
Dictatorships in the Balkans
There is another sphere of anxiety. I remember that a fortnight or so before
the last war, the Kaiser's friend Herr Ballen, the great shipping magnate, told
me that he had heard Bismarck say towards the end of his life, "If there is ever

British Speeches of the Day

another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the
Balkans." The murder of the Archduke at Sarajevo in 1914 set the signal for the
First World War. I cannot conceive that the elements for a new conflict exist in
the Balkans today. I am not using the language of Bismarck, but nevertheless
not many Members of the new House of Commons will be content with the new
situation that prevails in those mountainous, turbulent, ill-organized and warlike
regions. I do not intend to particularize. I am very glad to see the new Foreign
Secretary sitting on the Front Bench opposite. I would like to say with what
gratification I learned that the right hon. Gentleman had taken on this high and
most profoundly difficult office, and we are sure he will do his best to preserve the
great causes for which we have so long pulled together. But as I say, not many
Members will be content with the situation in that region to which I have referred,
for almost everywhere Communist forces have obtained, or are in process of
obtaining, dictatorial powers. It does not mean that the Communist system is
everywhere being established, nor does it mean that Soviet Russia seeks to reduce
all those independent States to provinces of the Soviet Union. Mr. Stalin is a very
wise man, and I would set no limits to the immense contributions that he and
his associates have to make to the future.
In those countries, torn and convulsed by war, there may be, for some months
to come, the need of authoritarian Government. The alternative would be
anarchy. Therefore it would be unreasonable to ask or expect that liberal Govern-
ments-as spelt with a small "l"-and British or United States democratic con-
ditions, should be instituted immediately. They take their politics very seriously in
those countries. A friend of mine, an officer, was in Zagreb, when the results
of the late General Election -came in. An old lady said to him, "Poor Mr.
Churchill. I suppose now he will be shot." My friend was able to reassure her.
He said the sentence might be mitigated to one of the various forms of hard labor
which are always open to His Majesty's subjects. Nevertheless we must know
where we stand, and we must make clear where we stand in these affairs of the
Balkans and of Eastern Europe, and indeed of any country which comes into this
field. Our idea is government of the people by the people for the people-the
people being free without duress to express, by secret ballot without intimidation,
their deep-seated wish as to the form and conditions of the Government under
which they are to live.
At the present time-I trust a very fleeting time-"police governments" rule
over a great number of countries. It is a case of the odious 18B, carried to a
horrible excess. The family is gathered round the fireside to enjoy the scanty
fruits of their toil and to recruit their exhausted strength by the little food that
they have been able to gather. There they sit. Suddenly there is a knock at the
door and a heavily armed policeman appears. He is not, of course, one who
resembles in any way those functionaries whom we honor and obey in the London
streets. It may be that the father or son, or a friend sitting in the cottage is called
out, and taken off into the dark and no one knows whether he will ever come back
again, or what his fate has been. All they know is that they had better not inquire.
There are millions of humble homes in Europe at the moment in Poland, in
Czechoslovakia, in Austria, in Hungary, in Yugoslavia, in Rumania, in Bulgaria-
[HON. MEMBERS: "In Spain"]-where this fear is the main preoccupation of the
family life. President Roosevelt laid down the four freedoms and these are
extant in the Atlantic Charter which we agreed together. "Freedom from fear"
-but this has been interpreted as if it were only freedom from fear of invasion
from a foreign country. That is the least of the fears of the common man, JiS
patriotism arms him to withstand invasion or go down fighting; but that is not the
fear of the ordinary family in Europe tonight. Their fear is of the policeman's

Leader of the Opposition

knock. It is not fear for the country, for all men can unite in comradeship for the
defense of their native soil. It is for the life and liberty of thq individual, for the
fundamental rights of man, now menaced and precarious in so many lands that
peoples tremble.
Surely we can agree in this new Parliament or the great majority of us,
wherever we sit-there are naturally and rightly differences and cleavages of
thought-but surely we can agree in this new Parliament, which will either fail
the world or once again play a part in saving it, that it is the will of the people
freely expressed by secret ballot, in universal suffrage elections as to the form
of their government and as to the laws which shall prevail, which is the first
solution and safeguard. Let us, then, march steadily along that plain and simple
line. I avow my faith in Democracy, whatever course or view it may take with
individuals and parties. They may make their mistakes, and they may profit from
their mistakes. Democracy is now on trial as it never was before, and in these
islands we must uphold it, as we upheld it in the dark days of 1940 and 1941,
with all our hearts, with all our vigilance and with all our enduring and inexhaus-
tible strength. While the war was on and all the Allies were fighting for victory,
the word "democracy," like many people, had to work overtime, but now that
peace has come we must search for more precise definitions. "Elections have been
proposed in some of these Balkan countries where only one set of candidates is
allowed to appear, and where, if other parties are to express their opinion, it has
to be arranged beforehand that the governing party, armed with its political police
and all its propaganda, is the only one which has the slightest chance. Chance,
did I say? It is a certainty.
Now is the time for Britons to speak out. It is odious to us that governments
should seek to maintain their rule otherwise than by free, unfettered elections by
the mass of the people. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of
the governed, says the Constitution of the United States. This must not evaporate
in swindles and lies propped up by servitude and murder. In our foreign policy
let us strike continually the notes of freedom and fair play as we understand them
in these islands. Then you will find there will be an overwhelming measure of
agreement between us, and we shall in this House march forward on an honorable
theme having within it all that invests human life with dignity and happiness.
In saying all this, I have been trying to gather together and present in a direct
form the things which, I believe, are dear to the great majority of us. I rejoiced
to read them expressed in golden words by the President of the United States
when he said:
"Our victory in Europe was more than a victory of arms. It was a victory
of one way of life over another. It was a victory of an ideal founded on the
frights of the common man, on the dignity of the human being, and on the
conception of the State as the servant, not the master, of its people."
I think there is not such great'disagreement between us. Emphasis may be cast
this way and that in particular incidents, but surely this is what the new Parliament
on the whole means. This is what in our heart and conscience in foreign affairs and
world issues we desire. Just as in the baleful glare of 1940, so now, when calmer
lights shine, let us be united upon these resurgent principles and impulses of the
good and generous hearts of men. Thus to all the material strength we possess and
the honored position we have acquired, we shall add those moral forces which
glorify mankind and make even the weakest equals of the strong.
Greece and France
I am anxious today to evade controversial topics as far as possible, though
I am under no inhibition such as cramped the style of the two hon. and gallant
Gentlemen to whom we have listened. There is one question which I hope. the

British Speeches of the Day

Prime Minister will be able to answer. What precisely is Mr. Laski's authority
for all the statements he is making about our foreign policy? How far do his state-
ments involve the agreement or responsibility of the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs? We know that Mr. Laski is the Chairman of the Labour Party Executive
Committee. This is a very important body. I have been told-I am willing to be
contradicted and to learn-that it has the power to summon Ministers before it. Let
us find out whether it is true or 'not. Evidently it has got great power, and it
has, even more evidently, a keen inclination to assert it. The House, the country
and the world at large are entitled to know who are the authoritative spokesmen
of His Majesty's Government.
I see that Mr. Laski said in Paris a few days ago that our policy in Greece was
to be completely.changed. What is the meaning of this? I thought we were
agreed upon our policy towards Greece, especially after Sir Walter Citrine's and
the trade unions' report. . That policy in Greece is to help Greece to
decide upon its own future by plebiscite and elections according to the full, free,
untrammelled will of the Greek people, and that those elections shall be held as
early as practicable. The Greek Government have invited official foreign observ-
ers to be present and report, so that everyone in the world may judge whether the
vote and elections are a free, fair and honest expression of the popular wish. The
British, United States and French Governments have accepted this invitation. I
was sorry we could not persuade Russia to come along too. Has there been any
change in this question, or are we to understand, as Mr. Laski seems to suggest,
that, though the Greek people may vote freely, they must only vote the way which
he and those who agree with him would like . .
Mr. Laski also made a declaration about France which has most important
and far-reaching effects, namely, that if the French people vote Socialist at the
impending election, Great Britain will renew the offer which was made in June,
1940, that Britain and France should become one nation with a common citizen-
ship. That offer was made in the anguish and compassion which we felt at the
fate of France. It is remarkable that the Cabinet of those days, when we in this
island were in such dire peril, really seemed more shocked and pained at the
French disaster than at our own very dangerous plight. Much has happened in the
five years that have passed, and I am of opinion that the idea of France and Britain
becoming one single nation with common citizenship-alliance is another ques-
tion-must, at the very least, be very carefully considered by the responsible
Ministers before any such proposal is made to Parliament, still less to a foreign
country. I ask, therefore, did the Prime Minister authorize this declaration? Does
the Foreign Secretary endorse it? Were the Cabinet consulted? Is the offer to.
France open only if a Socialist Government is elected? I hope the Prime Minister
will be able to give reassuring answers on those points.
Broadly speaking, it is very much better that eclarations about foreign policy
should be made by Ministers of the Crown responsible to the House of Commons.
I am sure the new Government will get into very great difficulties if they are not
able to maintain this position firmly. Also, I consider it a great mistake for us to
try to interfere in the affairs of foreign countries, except in so far as isnecessary
to wind up any obligations we may have contracted during the war. It is impos-
sible to understand the domestic politics of other countries. It is hard enough to
understand the domestic politics of one's own. But Mr. Laski has spoken with
great freedom about French, Spanish and United States affairs during the last
fortnight. He has told the United States on the broadcast, for instance, that free
enterprise is the most ingenious fallacy which American businessmen ever put
over on the American people. At a time when we have vital need of the material
aid of the United States, I cannot feel-and perhaps the Chancellor will agree with

Leader of the Opposition

me-that such a remark is exceptionally helpful. Today, we read that Mr. Laski
says that the attitude of the British Government towards the United States is
favorable whereas towards Russia there is "a profoundly brotherly affection." I
wonder very much-and this is an extremely serious matter-whether these
invidious distinctions are likely to bring about the good results which were antici-
pated and which are absolutely necessary.

The Case of Spain
Somebody asked about General Franco. I am coming to him. Mr. Laski
appears to contemplate vehement intervention in Spain against General Franco.
Anybody who has had the opportunity to read the letter which I wrote, with the
full agreement of my Coalition colleagues in the War Cabinet, to General Franco
some months ago, in reply to one he wrote to me-and I should be very glad to
see my letter published here as it has already been practically verbatim in the
United States-will see what calumny it is to suggest that I or my friends on this
side are supporters, admirers or partisans of the present regime in Spain. We are
proud to be the foes of tyranny in every form, whether it comes from the Right or
from the Left. Before I left Potsdam, the three major Powers had agreed upon
the form of the public announcement about the exclusion of Spain, while under
the Franco regime, from the world organization of the United Nations. No altera-
tion was made, as far as I am aware, by the new Prime Minister or the new For-
eign Secretary in the terms of that most wounding, and deliberately calculated
wounding, declaration against that regime.
It would, however, be wrong to intervene in Spain in a forcible manner or to
attempt to relight the civil war in that country which has already and quite
recently lost between one and two millions of its none too numerous population in
a horrible internal struggle. However, if that is the policy of His Majesty's Gov-
ernment, it is they who ought to say so, and then we can debate the matter here
in full freedom. Let me point out in leaving this unpleasant subject that I make
no suggestion to the Government that they should endeavor to muzzle Mr. Laski.
Anybody in a free country can say anything, however pernicious and nonsensical it
may be, but it is necessary for the Government to let us know exactly where they
stand with regard to him. Otherwise, I assure hon. Gentlemen opposite that their
affairs will suffer and our affairs, which are mixed up ipseparably with their affairs,
will also suffer.

Demobilization Plans
I now turn to the domestic sphere, which takes up one part of the Gracious
Speech. I have already spoken of the enormous easement in their task which the
new Government have obtained through the swift and sudden ending of the Jap-
anese war. What thousands of millions of pounds sterling are saved from the
waste of war, what scores and hundreds of thousands of lives are saved, what vast
numbers of ships are set free to carry the soldiers home to all their lands, to carry
about the world the food and raw materials vital to industry! What noble oppor-
tunities have the new Government inherited. Let them be worthy of their fortune,
which is also the fortune of us all. To release and liberate the vital springs of
British energy and inventiveness, to let the honest earnings of the nation fructify
in the pockets of the people, to spread well-being and security against accident and
misfortune throughout the whole nation, to plan, wherever State 'planning is
imperative, and to guide into fertile and healthy channels the native British genius
for comprehension and goodwill-all these are open to them, and all these ought
to be open to all of us now. I hope we may go forward together, not only abroad
but also at home, in all matters so far as we possibly can.

British Speeches of the Day

During the period of the "Caretaker Government," while we still had to con-
template 18 months of strenuous war with Japan, we reviewed the plans for
demobilization in such a way as to make a very great acceleration in the whole
process of releasing men and women from the Armed Forces and from compulsory
industrial employment. Now, all that is overtaken by the world-wide end of the
war. I must say at once that the paragraph of the Gracious Speech referring to
demobilization and to the plans which were made in the autumn of 1944-with
which I am in entire agreement in principle-gives a somewhat chilling impres-
sion. Now that we have had this wonderful windfall I am surprised that any Gov-
ernment should imagine that language of this kind is still appropriate or equal to
the new situation. I see that in the United States the President has said that all the
American troops that the American ships can carry home in the next year, will be
brought home and set free. Are His Majesty's Government now able to make
any statement of that kind about our Armed Forces abroad? Or what statement
can they make? I do not want to harass them unduly, but perhaps some time next
week some statement could be made. No doubt the Prime Minister will think of
that. Great hopes have been raised in the electoral campaign, and from those
hopes has sprung their great political victory. Time will show whether those
hopes are well founded, as we deeply trust they may be. But many decisions
can be taken now, in the completely altered circumstances in which we find our-
selves. The duty of the Government is to fix the minimum numbers who must be
retained in the next 6 or 12 months' period in all the foreign theaters, and to bring
the rest home with the utmost speed that our immensely expanded shipping
resources will permit.
Even more is this releasing process important in the demobilization of the home
establishment. I quite agree that the feeling of the Class A men must ever be
the dominant factor, but short of that the most extreme efforts should be made to
release people who are standing about doing nothing. I hope the Public Expendi-
ture Committee will be at once reconstituted, and that they will travel about the
country examining home establishments and reporting frequently to the House.
Now that the war is over there is no ground of military secrecy which should pre-
vent the publication of the exact numerical ration strengths of our Army, Navy
and Air Force in every theater and at home, and we should certainly have weekly,
or at least monthly figures of the progressive demobilization effected. It is an
opportunity for the new Government to win distinction. At the end of the last
war, when I was in charge of the Army and Air Force, I published periodically '
very precise information. I agree with the words used by the Foreign Secretary
when he was Minister of Labour in my Administration, namely, that the tremen-
dous winding-up process of the war must be followed by a methodical and regu-
lated unwinding. We agree that if the process is to be pressed forward with the
utmost speed it is necessary for the Government to wield exceptional powers for
the time being, and so long as they use those powers to achieve the great admin-
istrative and executive tasks imposed upon them, we shall not'attack them. It is
only if, and in so far as, those powers are used to bring about by a side-wind a
state of controlled society agreeable to Socialist doctrinaires, but which we deem
odious to British freedom, that we shall be forced to resist them. So long as the
exceptional powers are used as part of the war emergency, His Majesty's Govern-
ment may consider us as helpers and not as opponents, as friends and not as foes.
To say this in no way relieves the Government of their duty to set the nation
free as soon as possible, to bring home the soldiers in accordance with the scheme
with the utmost rapidity, and to enable the mass of the people to resume their
normal lives and employment in the best, easiest and speediest manner. There
ought not to be a long-dragged-out period of many months when hundreds of
thousands of Service men and women are kept waiting about under discipline,

Leader of the Opposition

doing useless tasks at the public expense, and other tens of thousands, more highly
paid, finding them sterile work to do. What we desire is freedom; what we need
is abundance. Freedom and abundance-these must be our aims. The production
of new wealth is far more beneficial, and on an incomparably larger scale than class
and party fights about the liquidation of old wealth. We must try o share bless-
ings and not miseries. . .
Legislative Proposals
We do not propose to join issue immediately about the legislative proposals
in the Gracious Speech. We do not know what is meant by the control of
investment-[Laughter)-but apparently it is a subject for mirth. Evidently, in
war you may do one thing, and in peace perhaps another must be considered.
Allowance must also be made for the transitional period through which we are
passing. The Debate on the Address should probe and elicit the Government's
intentions in this matter. The same is true of the proposal to nationalize the
coal mines. If that is really the best way of securing a larger supply of coal at a
cheaper price, and at an earlier moment than is now in view, I, for one, should
approach the plan in a sympathetic spirit. It is by results, as the hon. and gallant
Gentleman who moved the Motion for the Address said, that the Government will
be judged, and it is by results that this policy must be judged. The national own-
ership of the Bank of England does not in my opinion raise any matter of prin-
ciple [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"]. I give my opinion-anybody else may give his
own. There are important examples in the United States and in our Dominions
of central banking institutions, but what matters is the use to be made of this
public ownership. On this we must await the detailed statement by the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, who, I am glad to say, has pledged himself to resist inflation.
Meanwhile it may be helpful for me to express the opinion, as Leader of the
Opposition, that foreign countries need not be alarmed by the language of the
Gracious Speech on this subject, and that-British credit will be resolutely upheld.
Then there is the Trade Disputes Act. We are told that this is to be repealed.
Personally, I feel that we owe an inestimable debt to the trade unions for all they
have done for the country in the long struggle against the foreign foe. But they
would surely be unwise to reinstitute the political levy on the old basis. It would
also be very odd if they wished to regain full facilities for legalizing and organ-
izing a general strike. It does not say much for the confidence with which the
Trades Union Council view the brave new world, or for what they think about the
progressive nationalization of our industries, that they should deem it necessary
on what the hon. and gallant Gentleman called "the D-Day of the new Britain" to
restore and sharpen the general strike weapon, at this particular time of all others.
Apparently nationalization is not regarded by them as any security against condi-
tions which would render a general strike imperative and justified in the interest
of the workers. We are, I understand, after nationalizing the coal mines, to deal
with the railways, electricity and transport. Yet at the same time the trade unions
feel it necessary to be heavily re-armed against State socialism. Apparently the
new age is not to be so happy for the wage-earners as we have been asked to
believe. At any rate, there seems to be a fundamental incongruity in these con-
ceptions to which the attention of the Socialist intelligentsia should speedily be
directed. Perhaps it may be said that these powers will only be needed if the
Tories come into office. Surely these are early days to get frightened. I will ask
the Prime Minister if he will just tell us broadly what is meant by the word
I have offered these comments to the House and I do not wish to end on a
somber or even slightly controversial note. As to the situation which exists today,
it is evident that not only are the two parties in the House agreed in the main

British Speeches of the Day

essentials of foreign policy and in our moral outlook on world affairs, but we
also have an immense program, prepared by our joint exertions during the
Coalition, which requires to be brought into law and made an inherent part of
the life of the people. Here and there there may be differences of emphasis and
view, but in the main no Parliament ever assembled with such a mass of agreed
legislation as lies before us this afternoon. I have great hopes of this Parliament
and I shall do my utmost to make its work fruitful. It may heal the wounds of
war, and turn to good account the new conceptions and powers which we have
gathered amid the storm. I do not underrate the difficult and intricate complica-
tions of the task which lies before us, I know too much about it to cherish vain
illusions, but the morrow of such a victory as we have gained is a splendid moment
both in our small lives and in our great history. It is a time not only of rejoicing
but even more of resolve. When we look back on all the perih through which we
have passed and at the mighty foes we have laid low and all the dark and deadly
designs we have frustrated why should we fear for our future? We have come
safely through the worst.
"Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
[House of Commons Debates]

Prime Minister
House of Commons, August 16, 1945
Yesterday we gave thanks for the final victory over all our enemies, and the
world is once more at peace. For the first time for almost six years the Prime
Minister can speak in this House without referring to war operations. Later we
shall be taking an opportunity of thanking the Fighting Forces, but I think that
before I deal with the general policy contained in the Gracious Speech from the
Throne and with the speech of my right hon. Friend opposite, which I thought
showed him to be in most excellent form, there is a duty which I ought to take
the earliest opportunity of performing. It may be that I shall be setting a precedent
in doing so, but I have been looking through the speeches of Prime Ministers on
these occasions, and I find there are many varieties. The surrender of Japan has
brought to an end the greatest war in history, and a General Election, which took
place at a time which was not of our seeking, has resulted in the right hon.
Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) being on the Opposition
benches at a time when the fruits of his long leadership of the nation in war are
being garnered.
Tribute to Mr. Churchill
I think it is fitting that today I should pay a tribute to one of the main archi-
tects of our victory. However we may be divided politically in this House I be-
lieve I shall be expressing the views of the whole House in making acknowledg-
ment here of the transcendent services rendered by the right hon. Gentleman to this
country, to the Commonwealth and Empire, and to the world during his tenure of
office as Prime Minister. During those years he was the leader of the country in
war. We have seen in Fascist countries a detestable cult of leadership which has
only been a cover for dictatorship, but there'is a true leadership which means the
expression by one man of the soul of a nation, and the translation of the common

The Prime Minister

will into action. In the darkest and most dangerous hour of our history this nation
found in my right hon. Friend the man who expressed supremely the courage and
determination never to yield which animated all the men and women of this
country. In undying phrases he crystallized the unspoken feeling of all. "Words
only," it might be said, but words at great moments of history are deeds. We had
more than words from the right hon. Gentleman. He radiated a stream of energy
throughout the machinery of Government, indeed throughout the life of the na-
tion. Many others shared in the work of organizing and inspiring the nation in
its great effort, but he set the pace. He was able to bring into co-operation men
of very different political views and to win from them loyal service. At critical
times, by his personal relationship with the heads of Allied States, he promoted
the harmony and co-operation of all, and in the sphere of strategy his wide ex-
perience, grasp of essentials, his willingness to take necessary risks, were of the
utmost value.
I had the honor to serve with the right hon. Gentleman in the War Cabinet
throughout the -whole of'the Coalition Government from the days of Dunkirk to
the surrender of Germany. There aretmany things on which we disagree, but I
think it right to take this early occasion, before we turn to controversy, to express
the gratitude and admiration for his leadership in war which we feel. His place
in history is secure, and although he was no longer at the head of affairs when the
Japanese surrendered and final victory came, this really was the outcome of plans
made long before under his leadership.
History Will link with the name of Winston Churchill that of another great
leader of democracy, the late President Roosevelt. The one is present with us
here today; the other did not live to see victory, but his service to the cause of
freedom this country can never forget. I should also wish at this hour to ac-
knowlege the great contribution made by all the peoples of the British Common-
wealth and Empire to this great victory, by all our Allies, the people of the United
States of America, of Russia, of China, and' by all others who fought against the
common enemy. And perhaps above all I should like to emphasize that victory
has come through the contributions of thousands and millions of ordinary men
and women. In all the various spheres of activity it has been the steadfastness,
courage, and sense of duty of the ordinary citizen that saved civilization. Speaking
today in this House, a new House of Commons, I should like to pay a tribute to
the House of Commons that has passed away, which sustained and fortified the
Government through all the trials of war. Throughout it set an example of de-
mocracy in action which I am sure will inspire the new Members. I thought it
right to say these things.

Future Business
I now turn to deal with the Gracious Speech from the Throne, but before do-
ing so there are one or two matters of business which I must mention. It will, I
think, be obvious to all that the legislative program set out in the Gracious Speech
-is heavy. This House will have plenty of work before it. 'The Debate on the
Address will occupy the remainder of this week, and I hope it will be concluded
next week. Under your guidance, Mr. Speaker, we shall endeavor to meet the
wishes of the House in regard to the general Debate on the Address as regards
the specific subjects which may be desired. We shall bring forward a Motion
inviting the House to approve of the Charter of the United Nations' signed by 50
nations at San Francisco on June 26, 1945. There is also certain other business
which we desire to pass as a matter of urgency. I hope it will prove non-conten-
tious. There is a Bill to amend the law relating to Local Government Elections,
so as to enable Servicemen who are serving abroad to stand as candidates. There

British Speeches of the Day

is a Motion to approve Regulations which complete the provision made in the
Representation of the People Act, 1945, for proxy voting by Service voters at
Local Government Elections. There is also a Motion to continue in force the
Proclamation issued under the Government of India Act by the Governor of
The Session is beginning at an unusual time. Normally the House would be in
recess at this date, and I think, therefore, it might be the wish of the House that
we should endeavor to conclude the Debate on the Address and deal with the other
matters to which I have referred so as to be able to adjourn on Friday, August 24th.
In order that we may achieve that and give more time we propose to meet next
Monday and as it will be a special sitting to continue the Debate on the Address,
we do not propose to take Questions on that day. I hope this arrangement will be
agreeable to the House and I suggest that the general business arrangements might
be discussed through the usual channels. We propose to meet after the Recess on
Tuesday, October 9th, when the chief work of the Session will begin. I may say
that this interval will give the new Ministers an opportunity of familiarizing them-
selves with the work of their Departments and also will allow many new Members
who have come to this House to arrange their affairs. In the autumn we shall ask
the House to sit five days a week and, as was the practice before the war, Questions
will be taken on the first four days. We have recently been working on a three-day
Questions week, and so there will have to be some reorganization of the order of
Questions. That is being revised in consultation with the authorities of the House.
It is a matter which, I think, might be discussed through the usual channels.
I have already informed the House that it is the Government's intention to
propose a Motion today to give precedence to Government Business, to provide for
the presentation of Government Bills only, and to stop the ballot for Private
Members' Bills. I regret the necessity for this, but we have a very heavy legislative
program, and we must have that if we are to carry out the mandate that we re-
ceived at the Election and deal with the various Measures included in the post-war
reconstruction policy, some of which, as the right hon. Gentleman said, were
agreed upon in principle, and perhaps largely in detail, during the period of the
Coalition Government. We shall, therefore, require all the available time. I have
to ask the House for those facilities and to ask it to return to a five-day Parlia-
mentary week. But although we propose to take Private Members' time, we shall
endeavor to provide opportunities for debate on matters of general interest, and
we propose in the interests of Private Members to safeguard the half-hour Ad-
journment at the end of each day when grievances can be raised.
During the past few days great events have been taking place. I think that
perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will agree that the preparation of the King's
Speech, with events moving at the pace they have been, has been somewhat dif-
ficult.\ I thought he rather expected us to have adjusted our statements and plans
with regard to demobilization in the light of the surrender of Japan. I am sure
he will realize that the time for that was somewhat short. We have been living
through great events, and we have got to realize we are living in a new world.
We have seen in action a new force, the result of scientific discovery, the far-
reaching consequences of which I think, we find it difficult to grasp; but I think
we can all realize we shall have to make a revaluation of the whole situation,
especially in the sphere of international relations. It is easy to have the habit of
looking at things in the light of the past and failing to make readjustment and I
think it is perhaps fitting that we should look at these new problems, or old prob-
lems, in a new light, with a new House of Commons in which there ig Such a
large number of young Members, and for the first time in our history with a
Labour Government in power supported by a great majority.

The Prime Minister

Perhaps this would be a convenient point for me to deal with a matter that
is still troubling my right hon. Friend opposite, and that is the question of Pro-
fessor Laski. My right hon. Friend has known Professor Laski for many years,
although I am afraid he has not sat under him in the school of political science;
but he knows that in common with himself Professor Laski has a somewhat
ebullient phraseology and at times is apt to be a little impulsive. He claims for
himself, as my right hon. Friend so eloquently claimed just now for all people,
the right of individual action, and as a citizen of this country he has the right
to express his views. Whether or not he is expressing the views of some particular
outside body is another matter; it is a matter between him and any body to which
he may belong; but I am glad of the opportunity, if it is necessary at all, to say
that Government policy is laid down by Ministers, and therefore any newspaper
or any foreign Power or any politician who thinks that the policy of this Govern-
ment is laid down by anybody but the Labour Ministers is making a great mistake.
The Speech from the Throne sets out the program and policy which the
Labour party believes to be best in the interests of this country and the policy it
intends to carry out. Details will be explained more fully by other speakers later
in the Debate, but I want to try this afternoon to bring before the House the
gravity of the issues which confront us at home and abroad. It is vital to realize
that we have come through difficult years and we are going to face difficult years,
and to get through them will require no less effort, no less unselfishness and no
less hard work, than was needed to bring us through the war. I know this is a
hard saying to people who have worked so much and so hard and suffered so
much, but it would be entirely wrong not to represent the facts perfectly plainly
before the whole people of this country.

Future of Europe
I want to say a few words, first of all, on the international situation. Although
the war has been brought to an-end, it has left behind it a great aftermath of
difficult problems, some of which my right hon. Friend referred to in his speech.
I do not want to deal at great length with them because I understand one of the
days of this Debate will be devoted to foreign affairs, and I would rather that a
full statement was made by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary; but no one
knows better than the right hon. Gentleman opposite how difficult foreign affairs
are today and how careful we should be not to give false impressions. Almost the
whole of Europe has been ravaged and overset. I am not replying just now to
the points that my right hon. Friend put to me with regard to the exchanges of
population in central Europe. I would rather have a considered statement made
by the Foreign Secretary. But I assure the House that that was one of the matters
we considered very carefully at Potsdam, because we all of us wish to avoid some
of those terrible things that have been happening over the past few years in
We were in conference only a few days ago, the Foreign Secretary and myself,
with President Truman and Marshal Stalin, and we took up the work that had
been done by the right hon. Gentlemen opposite. I would like fully to echo what
the right hon. Gentleman said about the right hon. Member for Warwick and
Leamington (Mr. Eden) and the services he did at Potsdam. We were there deal-
ing mainly with the immediate problems that have arisen out of the defeat of
Germany. We did get agreement on many subjects. Others will be considered,
and I hope solved, at the meetings of foreign Ministers, but there are a number
of others that must remain over for settlement at the Peace Conference. We have
to realize that in all the countries of Europe which have been overrun by Nazi
Germany, and in the satellite countries, there are very difficult political problems

466' British Speeches of the Day

to be settled. There are many governments today in Europe that rest on no sure
foundation of popular election. It is really optimistic to expect the political
life in those countries to settle down easily, quickly and smoothly. In many of
them political life has never been easy and smooth even in the best of times of
peace. It is our intention everywhere to help to secure that the will of the people
shall prevail. We look forward with hope to the emergence of democratic govern'
ments based oh free elections to take a part in building up the shattered frame-
work of the European polity. In this task we shall seek to render all the assistance
in our power, in co-operation with our Allies, especially with our great Allies, the
United States of America and Russia.
But it is necessary to realize that it is not only the political and social life of
Europe that has been shattered. The economic situation is very grave. I fear there
are many people in Europe who are going to be both cold and hungry this winter
despite all that can be done. The reasons are obvious. While the damage done
to the industries of the liberated countries has not been as great, I think, as we
first feared, the damage to means of communications has been tremendous. Ports,
railways, roads and bridges have been destroyed. There is a great shortage of
railway rolling stock, a great shortage of lorries, and we have to remember that
in countries of advanced industrialization accustomed to the free movement of sup-
plies from one district to another, there are bound to be local shortages and the
general situation will be very difficult. Some of these difficulties are being over-
come, but I ought to mention to the House some of the gravest. One is that
of coal. All the liberated countries in Western Europe need coal, and without it
there is bound to be unemployment. If industry cannot work, railways cannot
function, and badly needed food will be lost for want of processing facilities. We
must get coal. But it is not easy. Economic difficulties have their repercussions on
political stability and all the Governments concerned are doing their utmost to try
to improve matters, to try to get an equitable sharing of what there is. We and
our Allies are doing our best to increase the production of coal in Germany,
There again, time must elapse before we can get anything like back to the pre-war
Next in importance to coal is the shortage of transport. Here we will try to do
all we can with the release of military vehicles. Thirdly, there is the shortage of
food, particularly meat, fats and sugar. It must be realized that there, is a world
shortage of these due to a number of different causes, and you cannot overtake the
shortages, because the food is not there. Owing to the extent of the shipping
Employed in meeting the needs of the Forces in the Pacific-and it takes time
to unravel that-the amounts of raw material that can be moved within Europe
and from outside into Europe are very limited. Therefore, these shortages of
coal, transport, food and raw materials tend to aggravate each other. We will do
our best to help to remedy them, but as the right hon. Gentleman opposite said
so well, we have been and still are cut to the bone at home. It is no use thinking
this country has some great surplus it can pour into other countries. It cannot.
We have cut ourselves very dose indeed. While the end of the war with Japan
will bring some assistance, it would be unwise to expect it will materially affect
the position for some months.

I would like here to make a particular reference about UNRRA, whose
Council is now meeting in London. As the Foreign Secretary has said we stand
by UNRRA. This organization has had great difficulties, but it is doing work
of the greatest value in those countries that are receiving its aid, and we hope
that at this Council meeting arrangements can be made which will enable UNRRA

The Prime Minister

to complete its work in the countries where it is now operating and also to extend
its full facilities to Italy and Austria, which are at present maintained through
military channels.
There is the economic condition of Europe. I am not going to speak of condi-
tions outside Europe, but there is a danger in the Eastern countries as well, and
it is in the light of these grave world economic conditions that we must view our
own situation. Before the House rises for the.Autumn Recess, we are to have a
Debate on. San Francisco. I do not think that the people of this country have
realized sufficiently the importance of this conference. It may be because it was
held a long way away. I think theie is a much more vivid realization in the United
States of what is meant, and yet, surely, its purpose-the prevention of a repetition
of the horrors of war-ought to appeal to us all, and, today, I think, in the light
of. recent events, we can say that the achievement of this purpose is not only de-
sirable but vital for the survival of civilization. Unless the forces of destruction
now set loose in the world are brought under control, it is vain to plan for the
future. I do not propose to make any statement at the moment with regard to
plans for controlling those forces. The thing is new upon us, but it is quite
obvious-and statements made by the President of the United States and myself
have, I think, made it clear-that this thing must be controlled in the interests of
all the people of the world and not exploited for the interests of only one.
The Gracious Speech from the Throne expressed in very few words the policy
of the Government in international affairs. As the right hon. Gentleman said, I
believe it is a policy on which we can all unite. We sought no advantage for our-
selves out of this war. Our desire is to heal the wounds of war, to ensure all
peoples the right to live their own lives in peace and security. We want freedom.
I entirely agree with what the right hon. Gentleman said about the abomination
of police rule and our desire to see freedom, but I equally agree with him when
he said that there are limitations on what you can do in interference with the inter-
nal affairs of other States. It is our desire that nations should be free and that
the citizens of those nations should be free, but the extent of what we can effect
may be more limited. We seek to prevent aggression, to promote an increase of
prosperity for all peoples throughout the world by peaceful co-operation, and we
seek ourselves, as a free democratic people, to live with all nations, respecting the
rights of others and claiming no more from others than what we are prepared to
concede to them. As I say, we shall have an opportunity of discussing foreign
affairs at more length and in more detail.

Quicker Demobilization
I now turn to affairs at home, and, .here again, I would like to say something
on the general economic position that faces us. I do not think anybody is ignorant
of the gravity of the problem. During these last six years, we have deliberately
transformed our whole economic system for the single purpose of defeating the
enemy in battle. The battle has been won, but the result of the means we had to
adopt remains. On the one hand, the machinery of our economic life has been
diverted from peace to war, and it is true that, since the end of the war with Ger-
many, we have been making some start in the process of reconversion. The right
hon. Gentleman said we were in a difficult position with the continuance of the
Japanese war, for how long we did not know-a kind of twilight of reconstruc-
tion. Well, it is true that we can now move ahead without that war hanging over
us, but it does not alter the fact that the transition is very difficult. We were
organized as a war machine to fight the Japanese. That has come to an end, thank
Heaven, much earlier than any had expected, but it will take time before the
effects can be felt.

British Speeches of the Day

That brings me to the point that the right hon. Gentleman mentioned about
demobilization. Everybody knows, and nobody better than the right hon. Gentle-
man, what happens if you do not have orderly demobilization. We were looking
ahead at the time, and we were not- talking of demobilization, but of the re-
allocation of our Forces, and we have stated that we would continue the orderly
release of men and women from the Armed Forces, on the basis of the plans an-
nounced in the autumn of last year. Although the actual fighting is over, we
have not come to the time of full demobilization. We have to keep the strength
of our Armed Forces at a high level to meet our military commitments. Japan's
surrender will not affect our commitments in Europe, and, in the East, we shall
still need substantial Forces to make our contribution to the occupation of Japan,
and the recovery of our Colonial possessions and to help in restoring order.
It would be folly to think that you can at once disband your Forces. It was one
of the weaknesses of the last war. There were no Forces in hand to prevent dis-
turbances all over Europe. Therefore, the problem remains'one of orderly reduc-
tion from the peak strength of total war, to the lower level of this occupational
phase, and it was to meet this particular problem that my right hon. Friend the
Foreign Secretary, when Minister of Labour, devised the demobilization scheme
which was announced last autumn and which met with very general approval. I
think it is essential that demobilization should continue to be regulated in accordance
with those principles. It does not mean that everything is exactly the same, but
the broad principles laid down then and accepted by those concerned should be
continued: the release in Class A by group based on age and length of service,
coupled with limited release under Class B of men whose special skills are needed
for the urgent tasks of reconstruction at home.
We propose one addition to the scheme-a Class B release for women, in order
to secure the earlier release from the forces of a limited number of women formerly
engaged in key occupations, where lack of labor is seriously delaying the restora-
tion of civil production. Although those general principles remain, and the sys-
tem of demobilization remains, the surrender of Japan will make it possible,
when plans have been recast, to accelerate the rate at which men and women are
being released. Demobilization will be speeded up, and while there may be
necessarily some variation in the rate of demobilization between the three Serv-
ices, we shall see to it that during the next few months we return to civil life as
many men and women as can be released from the Forces, consistent with meeting
our military commitments and preserving fair dealing between man and man
and woman and woman, on which the whole demobilization scheme is based . .
The call-up of young men must continue. It has always been a part of the
demobilization plan that the compulsory recruitment of young men should continue
in order to bringrelief to the older men who bore the burden, and to enable
some of them to return to their homes, and the call-up will include numbers of
young men at present deferred in the munitions industry. To ensure the speediest
possible rate of release, the Government propose that the age at which men may
be called up should be retained for the present at 30. There is, of course, a vast
demand for labor for the urgent tasks of reconstruction at home, the restoration of
civil industries and services to meet the needs both of home markets and the ex-
port trade. In the coming months, we shall begin to meet that demand, in part by
the release from the Armed Forces, but still more by releases from the munitions
industry. It is from these sources that we shall provide the early relief for the
labor shortage in civil industries. We estimate, within the next eight weeks well
over 1,000,000 people will be released from munitions. That is a big readjust-
ment. It is bound to bring a number of difficulties, and, while the total demand

The Prime Minister

for labor will, for some time to come, exceed the supply, some local and tempo-
rary unemployment is unavoidable, particularly where factories cannot quickly be
reconverted from wartime uses to peacetime production, and in areas where new
industries have to be introduced. I think we shall all do a service if we explain
to our constituents that they must expect some of these local difficulties ....

Danger of Inflation
From demobilization and man-power I turn to some other problems. The in-
dustries serving the civilian population have not really got under way yet, and
our export trade is only a fraction of what it was in pre-war days, and it follows,
therefore, that the stocks of consumable goods are still very low, and that to pro-
duce them in any great quantities must take time. On the other hand, we are
faced with an immense demand for goods and services, which could only be filled
by a fully efficient peacetime organization of all the resources that we can employ.
We need a vast increase in homes, in the quantity of household goods, clothing,
fuel and everything else. At the same time, there is banked up a great mass of
purchasing power in the hands of private individuals and businesses, and people
will be anxious to spend it in the satisfaction of their needs.
We therefore face two distinct dangers. The first of all is inflation. No one
can doubt what would happen if scarce goods were allowed to go to the highest
bidder. Prices would rise. Our limited, precious resources would be wasted
without any regard to the order of priority which the national interest demands.
The Government are resolved that there shall be no inflation. We are deter-
minded that the great principle of the fair and equitable sharing of resources, which
has been the basis of our very national existence, and our effort during this war,
shall not be abandoned, but I would emphasize that, whatever steps may be taken
by the Government, we shall require the backing of all the people. I would
emphasize again, that whatever controls they abandon people must not abandon
self-control. It is a matter of every individual realizing that what he does matters,
and not assuming that everything is all right for him and that the other man can
do the refraining.
There is another danger-unemployment. Much as we rejoice at the sudden
victory in the East, it does enhance that danger, and we are trying to release the
greatest possible number of men and women with the least possible delay. But
the adaptation of war industries cannot be effected in a day or two. The places
where labor is available may not be those where it is needed for new purposes,
and there is the possibility of pockets of unemployment developing. Great efforts
will be needed not only by the Government but by employers and workers to
reduce to a minimum the waste and wretchedness which would result from delay
in fitting those released from war work into peacetime occupations. And there
is a further point. The needs of our people at home are very great, but it is as
well to face the fact that we shall have to start paying our way for the essential
food and raw materials we have to import from abroad. However successful our
efforts in the production of food on our own land-and we will do our utmost-
we must continue to import a very substantial proportion of our needs if the
people are to be properly fed.
A great many of these things have been met by Lerd-Lease, by mutual aid, and
by increasing our overseas obligation in sterling, and that is a situation which
cannot go on indefinitely. Sooner or later, we have to face the fact that we can
only buy abroad, if we can pay for imports in goods and services. Therefore, we
must set ourselves resolutely to the task of increasing our exports.

470 British Speeches of the Day

Controls and Housing
I have already called the attention of the House and the Government to the
shortage of many prominent needs of the community and it is quite idle to sup-
pose that, after all the wastage of the war, we can overtake those shortages rapidly.
During the General Election there was some loose talk about the continuance of
controls,. and some very loose talk about the abolition of all controls by a few
irresponsible people, but in the existing conditions, which I have tried to describe
to the House, it would be absolute madness at the present time to abandon those
financial and economic controls which have served us well during the war.
There will have to be considerable adjustments, of course. It was precisely because
of these conditions of scarcity, and of the need for industry being active in the
national interest, that controls had to be imposed, and while those conditions exist,
and those requirements continue, controls of one kind or another must remain.
I would like to refer to two of the major problems which face the Government
and this country. The first is that of housing. I do not suppose that there is any-
thing that is more in the minds of the people. Within the limits open to us, we
shall do our utmost to increase and accelerate the erection of houses, but there is a
tremendous leeway to be made up. The production and erection of temporary
houses has not kept pace with the program laid down by the late Government, and
it must be recognized that nothing we can do in the way of new construction can
substantially alleviate the serious position which will arise this winter. We have
all had to face that. There was no building, there was the blitz. A start was made
and everybody must have realized that we could not re-create those houses in the
time at our disposal. It will have to be dealt with by using all our sources of
accommodation, by requisitioning empty houses, perhaps by the better use of
houses partly occupied through adaptation and conversion. I have been giving con-
sideration to the organization necessary to ensure the vigorous direction and the
concentration of effort in dealing with this urgent need. Any drastic reorganization
of Ministries would require legislation and would cause delay and I have therefore
decided, at all events for the present, that responsibility for directing the housing
campaign will rest with the Minister of Health, in .England and Wales, and in
Scotland with the Secretary of State.
The second problem is the very serious coal situation. Last year we only got
through by drawing very heavily on our stocks. We face the coming winter with
reduced stocks. Output, from causes which have been discussed and are well
known, has been declining, and I would make a most earnest appeal to all those
concerned in the industry to do their utmost to increase production, and to all
coal users to use the utmost economy in fuel, light and power. And that,again, is
a case where it is no good leaving it to the "other man." It is the mass of indi-
vidual saving that affects the people. The Government's policy of nationalizing the
coal-mining industry will bring great advantages in the long run [HON. MEM-
BERS: "How long?"] Wait a moment. I was going to tell hon. Members, but it
cannot affect the position this winter. A Bill which could not be introduced until
October, would hardly be likely to affect the production of coal this winter, and I
must emphasize that, on coming into office, we found a serious situation, and
the co-operation of all will be needed if hardships are to be avoided.

Economic and Social Conditions
Those are the two main anxieties that beset us, but there are many others. We
will apply ourselves with vigor to overcoming these difficulties, but we cannot alter
the basic facts of the situation. We have the inevitable consequences of a six
years' war to grapple with, but it would be a great mistake for a Government to

S The Prime Minister 471

concern themselves only with short-term problems, pressing as these are. Before
the war there was, in our view, much that was wrong in the economic and social
conditions in this country. A new start is being made under new conditions. We
must look ahead to the future and not be forever casting lingering glances back to
a past which cannot be recaptured. We have to set about reconditioning the fabric
of the economic life of the nation, in order that our economic resources can be
fully utilized in the common interest. We cannot afford to have ill-managed, ill-
equipped, unprogressive industries.
It is our policy that the industries and services of this country shall make their
maximum contribution to the public good. At the General Election we set very
plainly before the electors our policy of bringing under public ownership some of
the main factors in the economic life of this country. As has been pointed out in
the Gracious Speech, we intend to bring the Bank of England under public owner-
ship and to deal with the problem of the great basic industry of coal. During the
whole of the interval between the two'world wars, and many years before that,
we have heard of the trouble in the coal industry, year by year, and it has had
widespread repercussions on our national prosperity and on other industries. Com-
mission after commission, committee after committee has reported adversely on the
structure and organization. We intend, therefore, to bring this industry under
public ownership as part of a wider scheme of converting the provision of fuel,
light and power to the public service.
My right hon. Friend opposite referred to the Trade Disputes Act of 1927,
which was imposed for the first'time in the history of trade union legislation with-
out any discussion with the trade unions. That has long rankled as an act of in-
justice in the minds of trade unionists. I rather thought my right hon. Friend was
going to cite that in another part of his speech where he was talking about free-
dom. This has laid as an imposition on the right of free association, and has de-
prived great bodies of citizens of their rights of free association which they had
enjoyed for many years without any abuse, so I shall enlist his support, as a
libertarian, when we introduce the Bill in favor of this repeal. It may well be
that we shall have to consider, after the lapse of years, other matters in connection
with the relations of these great bodies to the State, but the first thing is to dear
away this thing which has to a large extent poisoned the industrial life of this
country. There is one other cogent reason, that if, as we suppose, we have large
numbers of citizens entering the service of the State we have to look again at these
provisions which were enforced quite unnecessarily on civil servants when this
Act was passed.
Land Utilization
We also intend to deal with the problem of compensation and betterment, the
solution of which is essential for the proper planning of the countryside and the
full utilization of the land in the interests of the people. They are extremely
difficult problems. Finally, we intend to introduce legislation which will complete
and, I believe, improve the results of the post-war planning carried out in the
Coalition Government, providing for a comprehensive scheme of industrial in-
surance, to extend and improve the existing insurance as part of the system of
social security, and to expedite the setting up of a National Health Service.
I freely admit that the program of work we have laid before this Parlia-
ment is heavy, but we are living in a time when great changes are due. The
country will expect much from this House. I do not think it will be disappointed.
We shall have controversy and keen debate and that is inevitable and right-it
is the method of Parliamentary democracy. I have sat too long on the Opposition
benches not to be sensitive of the rights of the Opposition and of the rights of

British Speeches of the Day

private Members. It is the right and duty of the Opposition to criticize the ad-
ministration and to oppose and seek to amend the legislation of the Government,
but it is none the less the right and duty of the Government to govern and to
pass into law the program which it has been elected to carry out. The successful
working of our Parliamentary institutions depends on harmonizing these conflicting
rights and duties. It will be the object of the Government to preserve the rights
of minorities as an essential feature of democracy while, at the same time, ensuring
that democratic institutions are not wrecked by a failure to carry out and imple-
ment the will of the majority.
I am not asking for any indulgence for this Government-all Governments de-
serve criticism and should profit by it-but I would like to emphasize again before
I sit down, that the situation in which we find ourselves at the end of these six
years of war is very difficult. To win through this critical period in our history will
require, I think, the continuance of something of the spirit which won the war, a
spirit which did not allow private or sectional interests to obscure the common
interests of us all and the love which we all have for our native land and for our
[House of Commorts Debates]

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, August 20, 1945

Whatever controversy or heat or indiscretion may arise on. any other part of the
Debate in connection with the King's Speech, I am sure that in this case, having
regard to the fact that every word one utters affects not only our own country but
other countries, and further having regard to the fluidity of the world situation
and its great complexities, restraint will be exercised in this part of the Debate.
In the first place I would like to express my appreciation of the many good
wishes that have been conveyed to me from all parties in the House who are aware
of the enormous task that has to be undertaken to rebuild a peaceful world. I am
not unmindful of the heavy responsibility that resets upon my shoulders. In con-
ducting the foreign policy of this country I shall always be actuated by the desire
that it should be worthy of the immense sacrifices that have been made during
the war.
One very important thing has occurred during this great struggle. A close
union has been forged, hammered on the anvil of necessity, between the Chiefs of
Staff of the Armies, Air Forces and Navies of the great Allies who have had to
fight this war. This has indeed represented a tremendous comradeship. It should
always be remembered, however, that though they represent the Forces of the
'country, these people never really want war, but they have done their duty and
achieved this close co-operation in order to bring about final victory. They and
the ordinary people of the world will be watching us to see that we do not throw
away the unity that has been established, or fail to build a peaceful world on their
magnificent achievements. On the other hand, it would be as well for the House
to appreciate the kind of material with which we have to work in order to
endeavor to make a peace that will be worth while. The Allies themselves have
suffered gigantic losses. The losses of Russia in manpower have been terrifically

Foreign Policy

heavy. Happily in manpower -our losses have been less than in the last war but
the methods we adopted to win this struggle have left us extremely poor and the
work of reconstruction that has to be done in order to enable us to take our proper
place in assisting others will be a very heavy task indeed. The enormous resources
of the United States have also been thrown into this titanic struggle, while the
long years of fighting in China have almost disorganized that great land. The
smaller Allies are faced with the task of'completely rebuilding their economic life
and making good the gap that the war has created.

The Problem of the Liberated Countries
Possibly the worst situation of all has arisen in the occupied countries which
have now been liberated. Here you have two great difficulties. One is that all
people in these countries have been taught to disobey and to oppose the authority
of the occupying authorities. Resistance has been the watchword. The result of
this has been lawlessness, and now that these countries are liberated it is extremely
difficult to bring back a general acceptance of law and order as a natural thing.
Secondly, there have been constant appeals to the people to produce as little as
they could in order to hamper the work of the occupying forces, and now sud-
denly they are asked once again to acquire the habits of work and energy and
discipline. This transition from one state of affairs to another will need tolerance,
patience and determination.
Yet another problem is presented by the movement of millions of people from
their homes as forced and slave labor. Thousands of these people now known as
displaced persons have, since the liberation, become almost nomads wandering'
about, thieving for their food, committing murder and rape and indulging in all
kinds of practices of an anti-social character. In addition to that, in central
Europe there are millions of displaced Germans wandering, or endeavoring to
wander, from one zone to another, their homes gone, and the resettlement of this
vast population, running into millions, will tax all the genius and ability of those
operating the Control Commission.
Perhaps I may be allowed to give a very slight picture from Field Marshal
Montgomery's report, which came to hand on Saturday, showing what our officers
and administrators are doing with amazing ability. He says that so far nearly
1,100,000 displaced persons have been evacuated from the British zone. Over
300,000 of these were westbound. Over 600,000 Russians have been transported
from our zone to the east, and the movement of 200,000 Italians to the south has
begun. One and a quarter million displaced persons are still housed in camps in
our zone and perhaps another 500,000 are still at large. By the autumn it is hoped
that only 645,000 will be left, of whom 500,000 will be Poles. These figures
give some idea of the vastness of the problem which has faced our Military Gov-
ernment in this sphere.
In addition, the invading armies have stripped many of these countries of cattle
and food and the machinery of production, and this has left them in a state of
almost complete disorganization. The need to restore civilized life and to get
production into working order again presents us with a task which will take a
considerable time and much endeavor, and yet I am sure we shall not be able to
make orderly and proper arrangements in the political sphere until it has been
accomplished. Added to this great problem is the problem of millions of pris-
oners of war scattered over vast territories, both in the Far East and in Europe
itself. These prisoners of war have to be dealt with under two heads. First, there
are those who can be sent back with safety and security to start again their normal
vocations, and, according to the figure given me by Field Marshal Montgomery, in

1 473

British Speeches of the Day

our zone over 800,000 have gone back to agriculture already. Secondly, there are
those who have been imbued with the diabolical ideas of Nazism and who repre-
sent a very disturbing element in the occupied territories.
I mention these things because I must ask the House and the country to show
their understanding and sympathy for the Control Commission, particularly for
Field Marshal Montgomery and his staff in the British zone in Germany, and for
those who are undertaking similar duties in Austria, Hungary, Rumania and Bul-
garia. One only has to take a view of this terrifying scene to realize what a happy
hunting ground it is for men who are seeking to obtain political power in these
countries, and how difficult it will be to create settled and orderly governments
with obedience to the law and acceptance of its normal rules, together with the
habits of useful labor.
I would urge the House not to measure elections in these countries as if they
were a general election in Great Britain. It may be that, at the beginning, it will
be impossible to ensure completely that governments are elected in accordance with
the desires of free peoples. There will be much that will go on in the period
which lies ahead of us which we shall not like, but one thing at which we must
aim resolutely, even at the beginning, is to prevent the substitution of one form
of totalitarianism for another. The Fascists and Nazis are so detested by every-
body that there is a tendency at the moment to extend these names to groups of
people and parties who are neither Nazi or FaScist lut simply people who want
to be represented and are disliked by the majority party, but who see the possi-
bility of winning power and therefore would like to deny these parties the oppor-
tunity to express their views in the elections.
I will endeavor to show in specific cases how we are endeavoring to deal with
these situations as they arise in different countries, but before I review the different
countries I think I should make it clear to the House that, in a world stunned and
only just beginning to awaken from the stupefying effect of war, the great thing
is to direct our attention to economic reconstruction and to work hard to get people
resettled and earning their own living. UNRRA, which we. support as long as
we can afford to do so, can only be at the moment a kind of a dole, but it is one
which ought to be used to stimulate the efforts of these nations, and we can only
afford to assist this benevolent work so long as our economy is supported and we
are given a chance to pull through the transition period safely. At the same time,
we cannot allow the idea to develop that the liberated countries can, as it were,
lie" down and rely on the Allied countries for continuous support. There is a
limitation to what UNRRA can do, both in amount and time, and I would say to
all these countries, "Use UNRRA as a help.to get on your own feet but proceed at
once to strive to work out your own salvation."
The Government's Policy
The basis of our policy is in keeping with that worked out by the Coalition
Government in which I worked in close collaboration with the right hon. Member
for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden). It rests in the main on agreement
and co-operation between the great Powers that have emerged from this war. But
though they are great Powers in a military sense I have already said that they have
impoverished themselves in achieving military success. Our own needs are great,
if we are to maintain our standard of living in this country. Their main duty will
be to act as the guardians of the peace, not dominating others, but accepting it as
their obligation and duty to create conditions under which other countries of
whatever size can once more contribute, not only to their own well-being; but add
to the common pool for the good of humanity. No foreign policy can ever be
good unless it is constructive and the constructive asp.e of our foreign policy is
the most important.

Foreign Policy

Between the wars we became accustomed to the vicious circle whereby trade
could not flourish because of lack of security, while security was endangered
through lack of trade. Now at last we have found our way to what is, for the
time being, security. Therefore this is the moment to break the vicious circle.
We must strive to fight successfully against social injustice and against hardship
and want, so that the security we have won militarily may lead to still greater
security and that greater security to still greater economic expansion. It is with
this in mind that His Majesty's Government regard the economic reconstruction
of the world as a primary object of their foreign policy. We are indeed fortunate
that the war has ended, but, if I may say so, it only just ended in time. We were
on the eve of a great world crisis in food. We shall not be able to stop the decline
this winter, but there is a chance that with all people working with energy the
harvest next year will at least check that decline and bring relief to the miseries
that people have suffered. But, I repeat, that is if all nations return to work.
Never was there a time when economic reconstruction was so vital to foreign
policy and international co-operation as now.
In this respect I would say that one of our basic needs is coal. If every miner
in this country gives us the output asked for by my right hon. Friend, the Minister
of Fuel and Power, and if the mines in Europe can be brought nearer to normal
output, it will be a godsend for this winter. The miners in this country are
international in outlook. The Gracious Speech proposes to give them what they
have asked for for years. I ask them, therefore, to help us, not for profit, not for
the capitalists, but in the task of building peace and bringing succour, help and
warmth to millions of their fellow workers at home and abroad. I ask our miners
in this country to set the example and give these extra millions of tons. I knw .
of nothing at this moment that could help me in the Foreign Office more than,
The world's needs are in short supply, clothing, cotton and all domestic goods.
If His Majesty's Government are to play their part in leading the world back to
security and well-being, we shall need everybody's help. If the women who
intend to leave industry would agree to stay on for six months, if the men released
are absorbed rapidly into civilian industry, and if the necessary commodities can
be produced, it would not only improve our own life in this country but help us
to help others in the liberated countries. We could shorten the stagnation caused
by this war by years, and it would also assist our export trade. This next year is
vital. I know what the men and women in this country have done in six years
of war, and it may be hard to call on them now for more, but is not peace with
understanding, with Britain playing her proper role as leader in the social and
economic field, a prize worth winning by our people?

The Potsdam Decisions
Now may I turn to some of the points which have been mentioned in speeches,
on which the House will be anxious to have the views of the Government. I think
the Potsdam Conference has been fully covered by the communique that was issued
when the Conference ended. In that document is set down our line of approach
to the resettlement of Europe, and while I shall refer later to some of the points
with which it deals I do not propose to take up the time of the House by repeating
what has already been published. His Majesty's Government have accepted the
Potsdam decisions as the basis upon which the Council of Foreign Ministers and
our general work must proceed. The only thing I would say about it is that when
the Foreign Ministers meet we must not be obsessed merely by a desire to punish
or revenge, but in everything we do ask ourselves whether such or such a course
will make for future peace or plant the seeds of future war. In Europe there is

British Speeches of the Day

bound to be conflict between security and right economic development. Looking
at Europe as a whole, with all the differences of races, I believe that if we could
only succeed in eliminating the war mind from Germany I see a chance of unity
in Europe where no such conflict need exist.

Policy Towards Greece
Coming now to our policy in relation to particular countries, I would like to
draw the attention of the House to the position in Greece. His Majesty's Govern.
ment adhere to the policy which they publicly supported when Greece was liber-
ated. We then stated that our object was the establishment of a stable democratic
government in Greece, drawing its strength from the free expression of the
people's will. Those are the words I used at the Labour Party Conference on that
occasion. Unfortunately, this process was interrupted by an outbreak of violence.
We then supported the policy of restoring law and order. The purpose of restor-
ing order was to create the conditions in which the Greek people could determine
the future of their own government, and also settle the constitutional question.
We supported the policy which instituted- the Regency, which, by the way, was
supported by all parties in Greece. The question now to consider is what urgent
steps can be taken to give effect to this policy. We have reviewed the situation,
and, in the first place, we see no good purpose in lending our assistance to the
creation of a new government prior to the election.
It is, therefore, our view,that the Voulgaris Government should carry on,
pending the decision of the Greek people. Greece will never recover while her
leaders spend their time in continuously, week by week, trying to change their
government. They had better take an example from us. Until the election has
'taken place no one can know whether any new government rests on the sure foun-
dations of the consent of the people or not. Therefore we have urged that the
election should take place at the earliest possible moment. The question arises
which should take place first, the plebiscite or the election. Under the Varkiza
agreement it was decided that the plebiscite should be dealt with first. We are,
however, aware that there is a considerable weight of opinion in Greece in favor
of modifying the procedure and of changing the order laid down in that agree-
ment. This is clearly a matter which must be settled by the Greeks themselves
and I do not wish in any way to prejudge the issue. I repeat that so urgent is it
that a settled government resting on the opinion of the people should be instituted,
that I trust that a very early decision will be taken on this question. Our own
interest is to ensure that the solution adopted is most likely to be generally accept-
able to the Greek people and to lead to firm results without procrastination.
There is the question of the gendarmerie. A country which has been overrun
and where normal arrangements for enforcing law and order have been almost
completely disrupted, must have a new civil police force. To assist in that work
it was agreed to lend the services of a police mission and I have taken every step
to speed up that arrangement, both in transport and the necessary equipment, in
order that the police might carry out their tasks efficiently and well. The British
Government would also welcome, at the earliest possible moment, an amnesty.
I' realize that this is a difficult problem because not only violent criminals but also
collaborators with the enemy are concerned. Subject to that, we feel that it would
assist to restore confidence if amnesties were granted at the earliest possible
moment and the prisons were emptied.
With reference to the conduct of the elections, the United States, France and
His Majesty's Government have undertaken to assist in the supervision of the elec-
tion, and I propose to invite, as part of our contingent of observers, representatives
of the Dominion Governments. It will be remembered that the Australans and

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New Zealanders in particular fought in Greece, and are well respected there. We
regret that Russia did not see her way to take part in the supervision of the elec-
tions. I am glad to announce that the Regent has accepted an invitation to pay
a visit to this country in order that we may discuss the problems face to face.
We have also been concerned about the relations between Greece and her
northern neighbors. Serious allegations have been made by the Yugoslav Govern-
ment about the treatment of the Slav-speaking Greeks in the northern areas of
Greece. These allegations have been investigated, and the reports I have received
from British troops stationed in the area do not bear out the Yugoslav charges.
It has been proposed, and-I have welcomed the suggestion, that a Commission
formed of representatives of. the American, British, Soviet and French Govern-
ments should be sent out to investigate the situation on the spot. It is our policy
to carry out all the undertakings we have given to Greece, but we look to Greek
political leaders to play their part in solving these problems. From the messages
I have received from the working people of Greece, I feel certain that nothing
would please them better than to have an opportunity to return to work and a
normal life under settled political conditions. If the elections and a plebiscite
are held, I think we can confidently hope for tranquility and happy conditions in
that area of the world.

Policy Towards Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary
I turn now to the situation in Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary. The govern-
ments which have been set up do not, in our view, represent the majority of the
people, and the impression we get from recent developments is that one kind of
totalitarianism is being replaced by another. This is not what we understand by
that very much overworked word "democracy," which appears to need definition,
and the forms of government which have been set up as a result do not impress
us as being sufficiently representative to meet the requirements of diplomatic rela-
tions. Elections, we understand, are very shortly to take place in Bulgaria. The
electoral law, in accordance with which the elections will take place, is not in our
view consistent with the principles of liberty. We shall not, therefore, be able
to regard as representative any government resulting from such elections. Our
views of what constitutes a free election are well known, but any elections held
with all the restrictions and exclusions laid down in the Bulgarian law would run
entirely contrary to our conception of a free election.

Policy Towards Italy
I turn to Italy. The question of making a peace treaty with Italy will come
before the Council of Foreign Ministers when it meets in London next month.
It is the desire of His Majesty's Government that that treaty should be made on
fair terms, and that the people of Italy should be given a chance of reviving
their life on the basis of liberty. We deeply regret and cannot forget the lives
of the men from this country and the Empire and our Allies which were lost in
the battle against Italy, -but the time came when the Italians themselves turned
against fascism and the dictatorships, and joined us in the struggle against the
Nazis, to whose defeat they made a material contribution. We then said that
Italy must work her passage.
I do not think it wise to pursue a policy of revenge. The Italian people were
oppressed by more than 20 years of fascism, and it was perfectly obvious that a
very large number of Italians were sent into this war against their will. The
policy which Fascist Italy followed of trying to become a great empire at a cost
which she could not afford, a policy which led to aggrandisement and aggression, is
now repudiated by the Italian people. While, clearly, such a state of affairs must

British Speeches of the Day

never be allowed again, we have no intention of approaching the problem of Italy
as if Mussolini and his policy still existed. Rather we intend to proceed on the
assumption that the country will be re-established on the basis of free elections
and parliamentary government. To that end, I have indicated that it will facili-
tate matters if the elections to the Constituent Assembly in that country could
also be held at the earliest possible moment, and, if practicable, this autumn. I
also hope it will soon be possible to dispose of other outstanding Italian problems,
such as the problem of prisoners of war.

Relations with France
I am engaged in the task of reviewing the whole of our policy in relation to
France, with which great country I am most anxious that we should be on the
best terms. I am not in a position at this moment to make any detailed statement.
It must await the talks I am proposing to hold with the French Government, in
order to try and clear away points of difficulty which have arisen between us, and
arrive at a dearer and closer understanding between France and ourselves, so that
both of us can contribute not only to the economy, but also to the stability of
Europe as a whole.

Relations with the Low Countries; Scandinavia and Finland
It is encouraging from all the reports'we have received that Belgium has made
great headway. Her output appears to be improving, and many of the difficul-
ties caused by the occupation and disruption of the war have already been overcome.
Equally, we welcome the deliverance of Holland, which was delayed by the
protracted -resistance of Germany. We are fully conscious of the damage perpe-
trated by the enemy in the Netherlands, but from reports I have had it is clear
that our Dutch friends are working with a will to make good the ravages of the
war. I know I shall be echoing the feeling of the House if we send them con-
gratulations on the liberation, not only of Holland, but of the Dutch territories
in the East.
Regarding Norway, the task of reconstruction has begun, and I am looking
forward to meeting my good friend, Mr. Lie, the Norwegian Foreign Minister,
at an early date. With Denmark we have signed a financial agreement, and as a
result, I am looking forward to a full resumption of trade, which should assist
us in our food supply. The opening of the Baltic has permitted the resumption
of trade with Sweden. In the case of Finland, we have invited the Finnish Gov-
ernment to appoint a political representative here with the personal rank of Min-
ister, and to regard the British political representative in Finland as having the
personal rank of Minister in Helsingfors. For constitutional reasons this is as far
as we can go at the moment until a peace treaty is made.

The Polish Question
One of the great problems which still face us is that of Poland, and I know
there is some feeling about the extent of the area which has been included in the
Polish zone. The question of the actual future area of Poland must be settled at
the peace table, and I admit personally taking the view expressed by the right hon.
Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) with regard to the danger of the Poles
going too far west. Let me tell the House something of the situation which my
right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I found at Potsdam. There was a kind
of vacuum from which the Germans had been driven, and the administration of
the zone was largely handed over to the Poles. I am referring to the territory
between the eastern and western Neisse. We came to the conclusion at the end
of our discussions with the Soviet, United States and Polish Governments that

Foreign Policy

there ;was no escaping the conclusion that the economy of the region must be
restored 'o that these territories could be able to make their full contribution as
soon as possible to the provisioning of devastated Europe.
The question of where the final delimitation of the frontier will rest will
depend to a large extent on what the population is that returns to Poland. From
what was said by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Woodford, the
impression may have been given that the figure he quoted of eight million or nine
million was the number of persons to be displaced as a result of the transfer to
the Polish zone of the territories between the eastern and the western Neisse. In
actual fact, that figure represented the pre-war census of population contained
in the whole area of German territories now being administered by the Poles.
[Mr. Churchill (Woodford): That is what I meant.]
It did not quite read that way. There has been agreement, at least by inference,
that the Poles should go up to the Oder and the eastern Neisse. The population
of the territories to the west of this latter river, even on a pre-wat basis, amounted
to a little over three million, most of whom were said.to be already gone. Nb
mines were working, nothing was happening there, and they had just been driven
out. On the other side, as I understand it, there are four million Poles in the
territory that has been ceded to Russia. Will they return to Poland or will they
remain in Russia? It depends on what happens. When people are attached to
their little bits of land they do not always go. You never know what will happen.
They are allowed a certain period in which to go into Poland and we cannot tell
whether they will transfer. It would not be right of the House to ask me to judge
what is going to happen until I can see. Then there are the Polish troops and
civilians in western Europe. Thousands of Poles are outside Poland, either in the
Services or working. The number of Poles in Field Marshal Montgomery's zone
alone to be repatriated is 550,000.
The right hon. Gentlemen opposite are aware, as a result of their discussions
with the Poles, how difficult it is to get a clear understanding as to the future
Government and administration of Poland. It was with this knowledge and with
these considerations in mind that the Prime Minister and I met the representatives
of the Polish Government on three occasions while at Potsdam. We pursued the
question of Poles returning to settle in the new Poland, and we were assured that
all Poles returning, whether in the Services or as civilians, will be accorded per-
sonal rights and rights of property on the same basis as all Polish citizens. Then
we raised the question of the elections and were assured that the elections would
be free, secret and conducted in accordance with the 1921 constitution, and further
that it was hoped to hold them as soon as possible, not later than early 1946. We
asked about freedom of religion and we were assured that it was free in Poland
and would remain so. We also asked for the right of entry for the press of the
world and for the sending out of uncensored news. That, too, was accepted.
Further, we came to an arrangement for the establishment of a reciprocal air
service between London and Warsaw, to serve British and Polish official needs,
and that service has now begun.
I indicated to the representatives of the Polish Government at Potsdam that
the British people desired friendship with the Polish people, and said that nothing
could prevent friendly relations except failure to give effect to the assurances which
the Polish representatives had given. We shall expect, in particular, that the
principal Polish democratic parties, such as the Peasant Party, the Christian Labour
Party, the Socialist Party, equally with the Communist Party will be allowed to
take part in the elections with full liberty to make their own programs and put
up their own candidates, and that freedom of speech, freedom of association and
impartial justice shall be granted to all Polish citizens. Further talks are going

British Speeches of the Day

on, both on commercial and economic matters, but here again there are very great
difficulties. Transport in Poland is in a parlous state, food is short, much of the
cattle has been killed. It will take time for the Poles to overcome all these diffi-'
culties, but their task will be eased if they re-establish a really independent Poland
based on genuine liberty. Finally I inquired from Marshal Stalin whether the
Soviet troops were to be withdrawn, and I was assured that they would be, with
the exception of a small number required to maintain the communications neces-
sary for the Soviet troops in Germany. That is not unreasonable. There is also
the question of the presence of secret police in Poland. That still needs clearing -
up, but, with these assurances, I would urge Poles overseas, both military and
civilian, to go back to their country and assume their responsibilities in building
the new Poland. They will render a far greater service there than they can do
from outside.
Attitude Towards Spain
May I now turn to a very popular subject-Spain. A good deal has been said
in this debate about General Franco and the Spanish question. I will briefly quote
His Majesty's Government's view: it is that the question of the regime in Spain
is one for the Spanish people to decide. I cannot go further than the declaration
issued at the Berlin Conference, which makes it plain that while we have no desire
permanently to penalize the Spanish people, we cannot admit Spain into the club
unless she accepts the basic principles of the club. These are the rights of peoples
freely to choose their own form of government. On the other hand, I am satisfied
that intervention by foreign powers in the internal affairs of Spain would have
the opposite effect to that desired and would probably strengthen General Franco's
position. It is obvious from what I have said that we shall take a favorable view
if steps are taken by the Spanish people to change their regime, but His Majesty's
Government are not prepared to take any steps which would promote or encourage
civil war in that country. In this, I know, I am voicing the views not only of
myself, but of many ardent Spanish republicans.
Withdrawal of Allied Troops from Persia
I turn now to a point raised by the right hon. Gentleman in relation to Persia.
As is well known to the House, the question of Persia was discussed at Potsdam
and an arrangement was made for the immediate withdrawal of Allied troops from
Teheran. It is the view of His Majesty's Government that since Persia agreed to
allow Great Britain and Soviet Russia to utilize her territory for the purposes of
defeating the enemy, when that purpose had been accomplished both countries
should withdraw. Not only the Soviet Government and ourselves had those facili-
ties from the Persian Government, but the United States Forces have also been
able to use them and they were of tremendous value in providing a vital link with.
Russia during the most critical days of the war. Therefore, the purposes for which
those facilities were granted having now ended, so far as His Majesty's Govern-
ment are concerned, it is not our policy to take advantage of them for any purpose
other than that for which they were given, namely, the prosecution of the war.
Neither do I believe that it is the policy of our Allies. I should be very much
surprised if, having been freely granted these very valuable facilities in another
country, they in any way demurred at withdrawing when their purposes were
There are, of course, many other serious matters left over and still to be dealt
with. The internationalization of the waterways of Europe, the question of the
Straits, the position of Turkey-all these matters will become the subject of very
careful study during the comingweeks, but I should be glad if I am not pressed
to pronounce decisions upon them at this moment. I ought, however, to say this

Foreign Policy

to make our position quite clear. One of the most vital areas affecting the British
Empire and Commonwealth, as indeed it affects the peace of the world, is the
Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The Far East: China
With regard to the Far East I am sure the House and, indeed, the peoples of
the world, heard with great relief the news of the surrender of Japan, which ended
a period of terror in that part of the world. Vivid recollections will, however,
be brought to our minds of the magnificent struggle of China, a peace-loving
nation bound to this country by long-standing friendship and sympathy and the
close bond of trade and cultural relations. I am sure it has been the desire of
everyone in Britain to see China strong and prosperous. We welcome this great
nation to the place provided for her in the new World Organization and in the
councils of the nations. Now, with her deliverance and with unity within, is her
opportunity to make her great contribution to the progress of the peace of the
world. Neither can we forget the enormous task undertaken by the United States
of America, which has contributed so much in bringing about the defeat of Japan.
The organization, determination, provision of materials, mobilization of manpower
and the transport of men and armaments over so many thousands of miles repre-
sents one of the greatest feats in history, whilst the speed of their effort from
Pearl Harbor until today has been prodigious. Our own task in preventing the
invasion of India by the Japanese and fighting through the jungles of Burma also
represents a magnificent effort.
Now, as in Europe, the task of resettlement faces us in these great areas, and
the problem is no less serious from the point of view of the peace of the world
than the European problem. The fact that the Far East is a long way off must
not blind us to the necessity of accepting wholeheartedly now the principle that
peace is indivisible. We would assure all British subjects who have been liberated
in the Far East of our watchful care for their interests, for the re-creation of their
industries and the restoration of their normal life throughout all those territories.
Hong Kong
I would here say a word about His Majesty's Government's position and inten-
tions in Hong Kong. The first fury of the treacherous Japanese attack fell simul-
taneously on Pearl Harbor and on Hong Kong on the 7th of December, 1941. The
Hong Kong garrison, of United Kingdom, Canadian and Indian forces, fought
to a finish without hope of aid from outside at a time when we were in a death
struggle in Europe. From the bases which they had wrested in South China from
the gallant Chinese armies, the Japanese brought great land and air forces and
overwhelmed Hong Kong by Christmas Day, 1941. Since that date our men and
women have sustained the hardships of the prison camps. We have now taken
steps to receive the surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong. There may
still be difficulties, but they will be overcome, and I am sure that in agreement
with our Chinese and American Allies our territory will be returned to us.
May I now say a word about Siam, a country whose relations with Great
Britain had been particularly cordial before the war, a country with which we
have been closely associated in its attainment of full emancipation as a sovereign
state. She declared war upon us in January, 1942. It came as a disagreeable
shock that when Siam was invaded by the Japanese she immediately entered into
an alliance with Japan and later accepted British territory at the hands of the
Japanese. It is pleasing to note, however, that last year the government which
took those measures was replaced and that there has been a growth of a resistance

British Speeches of the Day

movement in Siam. We acknowledge the help received from this movement. If
it has not taken overt action before now, I ought to make it clear that this has
been due to our advice, on purely military grounds. It remains to be seen how
far its spirit permeates the country.
We have now learned that the Siamese Regent issued a proclamation on August
16th denouncing the declaration of war on Great Britain as null and void and de-
daring Siam's readiness to make restitution, and further stating her readiness to
co-operate in every way with the United Nations in the establishment of stability.
The text of this proclamation when received will be carefully considered to see
whether it provides an adequate basis for an instrument which would regularize
the present anomalous position. Siam's association with the Japanese inevitably
leaves many practical questions for settlement. These will be examined, and our
attitude will depend on the way in which the Siamese meet the requirements of
our troops now about to enter their country; the extent to which they undo the
wrongs done by their predecessors and make restitution for injury, loss and dam-
age caused to British and Allied interests, and the extent of their contribution to
the restoration of peace, good order, and economic rehabilitation.
Before I leave the Far East, there is one question uppermost in our minds
which concerns our prisoners of war in that part of the world. I assure the House
that the Government will give the highest priority to bringing them back to thlir
homes and taking every step at our disposal to secure proper treatment for those
who have suffered so much in that area.

"A Marvelous Partnership"
In conclusion, it will be noted that both Russia and the United States were
brought into the actual conflict by treacherous attacks. Hitler's attack on Russia
brought that marvelous Red Army into the struggle with results with which we
are all familiar. What an amazing surge forward by the armies of the Nazis, and
what an heroic defense it took to stop them; what marvelous courage to drive
them back from Stalingrad to Berlin. The victories of the Red Army have been
an outstanding factor in the deliverance of Europe from Nazi tyranny.
I cannot close this statement without again paying a tribute to the United
States. It has been a marvelous partnership. I shall never forget the dark days
of 1940 and the leadership of the late President Roosevelt who unhesitatingly
showed to the world where his great sympathies lay. Steadily and surely his eager-
ness to help was unfolded. With what relief we heard of the signing of the
Lend-Lease Act in 1941, and we knew directly the treacherous Japanese attack
at Pearl Harbor had been made that the great American nation under his leader-
ship would rise as one to join with us in this titanic struggle. As I said earlier,
out of the German attack on Soviet Russia and the attack of the Japanese upon
the U.S.A., and out of our own fortitude in this country, there have been forged
a great respect and a great comradeship. We shall have our differences and diffi-
culties, but in the interests of future generations we must overcome them.
Our own part is one of which we can justly be proud. History may well judge
that our place is the proudest place of all. To the people of these islands belongs
the imperishable fame of those grim days when, almost unarmed, they rose,
refused to accept defeat, fought on, and made this little island the bastion of
liberty, so well expressed by my right hon. Friend at that time. It can fairly be
said that we held the fort and preserved the soul of mankind. Our policy now
must be worthy of our people.
[House of Commons Debates]

Foreign Policy

M. P. for Warwick and Leamington
House of Commons, August 20, 1945

As one looks round this Parliament one is impressed by the number of new
Members on both sides of the House who have seen active military service in the
war. I think that is an advantage to us all, and I think perhaps that it .would have
been better after the last war if, in the early period after it, we had had more
here who had experienced what so many 'young Members of this House have ex-
perienced in this war. The Debate on the Address has ranged over a large num-
ber of subjects, and tomorrow we go back to general issues, but you, Mr. Speaker,
have guided us today in indicating that we should concentrate, in the main, upon
issues of foreign policy. Therefore, this is perhaps our most important day of all,
for upon the successful solution of these most difficult problems depends our
ability to deal with all our domestic issues which, Heaven knows, are wide and
complicated enough.
So I would like to begin my remarks on foreign policy by congratulating my
right hon. Friend. the Foreign Secretary-if I may still call him "my right hon.
Friend"-upon the speech which he has just made. In its wide sweep, and in its
breadth of judgment and in its forthrightness, it was worthy of my right hon.
Friend, and worthy of the occasion. I wish him, cordially, all good fortune in
the heavy tasks that now fall to his hands. He will be served at home and abroad
by a most loyal and experienced staff. As a former Foreign Secretary, I should
like on this, the first, occasion of speaking in .Opposition, to pay my tribute to
them. I know something about the diplomatic services of other countries, and I
believe ours to be second to none. If I may so, I think that their only fault is that
there are not enough of them, but as my right hon. Friend has been Minister of
Labour, he will know how to make up for that deficiency. He and I served four
years together in the War Cabinet ....
There were no differences on any important issue of foreign policy. My right
hon. Friend helped me during those critical war years, and, in the same spirit, 1
should like to try to help him now. As my right hon. and hon. Friends and
I see it, now when we are in Opposition-we cannot tell for how long; no one
can tell-it will be our duty on these difficult foreign issues to ask questions, to
make comments and occasionally, perhaps, to voice criticisms. But I can assure
my right hon. Friend that we shall do so, being scrupulous to avoid, as far as
possible, adding to the difficulties of his task. It seems to me that it is not our
duty to emphasize the divergencies that may exist between us on foreign policy,
but rather to state those divergencies frankly, in order that we may try to reach
agreement as a result of discussions, so that Parliament may, in these difficult
years of foreign policy, function largely as a Council of State. I am convinced
that the greater measure of agreement there is between us at home, the greater will
be the authority of my right hon. Friend abroad.

Council of Foreign Secretaries
It is in that spirit that I address myself to one or two remarks which my right
hon. Friend made during his speech. I am glad that agreement was reached to
set up a Council of Foreign Secretaries here in London to prepare the peace, and
carry through other tasks which may be charged to it. I ought to say, perhaps,
in passing, that as I understand the position, the previous arrangement for meet-
ings of Foreign Secretaries, agreed in the Crimea, may very likely be merged with

British Speeches of the Day

this new plan. I have seen it stated that these suggested meetings in the Crimea
never came to anything. That is not quite accurate. We did not have our summer
meeting in London, because all three Foreign Secretaries were in San Francisco
at that time. But the intention to have those meetings has never been changed,
and I, naturally, greatly welcome this development as it now is. I welcome it,
among other reasons, because I am sure that the task of preparing a peace, such
as the Government and our Allies have now to prepare, cannot best be done at
one great assembly. The matter is too complicated; the work at a great assembly
is too rough for it to be well done. The right way to do it is by a permanent
staff, who will serve the Foreign Secretaries, and by deputies who will replace
them, and who will prepare the work for subsequent submission to the
I have had this project in mind for a long time, and it was because I thought
that we should work it in this way, and not through some great peace conference,
that at Moscow, in the autumn of 1943, we suggested that the European Advisory
Commission should meet here in London. That was the first occasion when the
great Allies met at a meeting, other than heads of Governments or Foreign Secre-
taries. That body has been criticized for failing to achieve more than it did. It
was a body that had to prepare the ground for others, and those who carried
through that task never expected to get much credit. But they did valuable work
for us in preparation of the Armistice terms and other matters, and I would like
to pay tribute to the American Ambassador in London, the Soviet Ambassador in
London and Sir William Strang for the part they played in the many months of
weary work that was quite indispensable, if there was to be Allied unity in this

Now.I come to further remarks which my right hon. Friend made. He said, in
reference to the Mediterranean and the Middle East-if I have got his words right
-that this was one of the most vital areas affecting the British Empire and Com-
monwealth. We entirely associate ourselves with that remark. If I may speak about
some of these countries I will do so in turn, beginning with what my right hon.
Friend called that most popular subject-Spain. I do not propose to make any
political observations about Spain, only to make a suggestion. My right hon.
Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill), some little time ago, addressed
a communication to General Franco which was at the time approved by the War
Cabinet, and if there be no objection, I think it might be useful if that document
were, at some convenient early date, made public. I do not know what the diplo-
matic procedure and so on may be, but, if it were possible, I think it would be a
good thing, . because I think it would serve to remove some of the misconcep-
tions which seem to lurk here and there about my right hon. Friend's views on
that subject.

Now I pass to other countries, to the Mediterranean, and first to Greece.
I agree entirely with what the Foreign Secretary said on that subject. I am glad
that the Government have invited the Archbishop to come to London. I am sure
that that is a wise thing for the Archbishop certainly impressed my right hon.
Friend the Member for Woodford and myself, when we saw him, as being one
who possessed a physical stature, a mental stature and other gifts as well which
made him the largest figure in Greece. I feel that conversations and discussions
with him will be of assistance, in attempting to settle the tangled affairs of that

Foreign Policy

I do not want to enter into any controversy about the past in regard to Greece.
I would only say, for ourselves, that in all the troubled time in Greece, about
which there is so much dispute, Greece has, at any rate, been one country in the
Balkans from which, and about which, everyone was free to comment as much as
ever he liked. Indeed, this was done. Messages poured out from Greece without
any kind of political censorship even at the height of the fighting and the worst
of the period. That is something. I agree with the Foreign Secretary's words on
that. My right hon. Friend and I spoke of this also at Potsdam. We should like
to see other countries give exactly the same facilities. We ask nothing more. It is
not very much to ask. Anybody can comment on our elections. Why should we
not comment occasionally on other people? We cannot do any harm, unless there
is some reason why we should not or which is not apparent to us now. With a
situation such as we have in these countries, which the Foreign Secretary so well
described at the beginning of his speech, it will be a gain to them and to Europe
if there is as little as possible political censorship and as much as possible
freedom to speak, and criticize.
I want to say a word or two now about an important matter-the radio cam-
paign which has been going on against Greece from Sofia, Bulgaria and, I think,
Moscow, and the charge, among others, that the Greeks have aggressive military
intentions against their northern neighbors. I am glad that the Foreign Secretary
has arranged for this mission to go to that frontier. I am sure that is a wise step.
I have little doubt what their report will be. Frankly any suggestion that Greece
has aggressive intentions against her northern neighbors does not bear a moment's
examination when you look at Greece's own military capacity. Some of this radio
propaganda seems to have overlooked the fact that the Greek Army was destroyed
in 1941, in playing a most gallant part in the Allied cause. It has, for various
reasons, never been reconstructed. Greece's liberation is not so long ago. There
have been internal disturbances in the country. It has not been possible to create
an army that could form an aggressive force against anybody, certainly not against
her fully armed northern neighbors.

If there is one country about whose radio campaign and criticisms of Greece
I feel badly it is Bulgaria. I have no sentiments of tenderness towards Bulgaria
at all. Her record in this war, and in the last, was bad. In 1941, at a critical
period, she allowed German troops to come into Bulgaria, which greatly com-
plicated our task in trying to help Greece with our slender resources. I do not
think'that that country has any ground to speak as she does or for the making of
claims against her southern neighbors. Treatment of our prisoners has been very
bad, and she is not one towards whom we have any cause to feel tenderly at all.
I also agree with the statement of Mr. Byrnes which, I understand, was endorsed
by the Foreign Secretary today, about the present government of Bulgaria. We
had, in fact, stated that that was the view of His Majesty's Government at the time
of the Potsdam Conference. All that Mr. Byrnes, the Foreign Secretary, or anyone
asks, in any of these countries, is that elections should be, as far as possible, freely
held, and that the countries should be allowed to express themselves as they wish.
If they choose one form of Government or another we shall not complain nor, I
presume, will the other side of the House. But what we do ask is that they shall
have a fair chance of doing it. The Bulgarian elections cannot possibly be de-
scribed 'as free elections or as giving a chance to candidates from all parties to
play their parts.

British Speeches of the Day

One word about Yugoslavia, because His Majesty's late advisors have certain
responsibilities there. We join with our Russian and American Allies who recom-
mend the recognition of the present Yugoslav Government, on the basis of what
was known as the Tito-Subasic Agreement. That Agreement had in it very wide
guarantees for freedom of the Press, freedom of political parties, and so forth.
Not much has appeared in our own Press, but from what I can learn there is not
now the amount of freedom there should be, if that Agreement is being carried
out. In particular, at the time, the three heads of the Governments addressed a
message to Marshal Tito, from Yalta, suggesting that it would be good if the
National Council of Liberation could be enlarged at an early date to include mem-
bers of the previous Parliaments, and that was agreed to then by Marshal Tito,
but, so far as I know, it has never been carried out. I would ask the right hon.
Gentleman who is to reply, whether he has any information about that in recent
weeks. As we did recommend the recognition of this Government on the basis
of certain assurances, we have a proper right to ask that those assurances should
be fully-carried out.
I turn.to another country about which we are much concerned. That is Poland.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the most important internal issue in
Poland now is the question of the elections-as in so many other of these lands
-and that the elections should be free, and the world free to comment upon them.
The right hon. Gentleman mentioned a number of assurances which the Polish
Government had given them, and I think I ought to say, because I endorse what
he says, that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and I received
the same assurances from the Polish Government when we saw them, and also the
same assurances from Marshal Stalin about the withdrawal of Russian troops.
All that is satisfactory. When I saw the Poles the last night before I left Berlin-
not being quite certain I was not coming back again-I did not finish up the
conversation as tidily as I ought to have done. I was not sure myself what the
position was about the parties. What we asked from the Polish Minister was that
all four main Polish pre-war political parties should have a right to run their
candidates in the election.
The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the Socialist Party, but the four pre-war
Polish parties were the Socialist Party, the Christian Socialist Party, the Peasant
Party, and the National Democratic Party. We know that the Peasant Party is in
the Government; M. Mikolajczyk is there. We know the same about the Socialist
Party; M. Stanczyk is there and is now, I understand, in this country. They also
have complete freedom. As to the Christian Socialist Party, I do not know what
their position is, but I- do not know whether they have freedom to run their candi-
dates. No one suggests that they are collaborationists, and we think they should
have their chance. More difficult is the National Democratic Party. I was told by
some of the Polish representatives that some members of that party had been
collaborationists. That may or may not be so. I am bound, however, to say that
Poland is almost the only country where no Quisling was ever produced. Even
supposing it were so, I do not think it would be right that the whole party should
be excluded from taking part in the election because some of them had been
collaborationists or behaved in some way they should not during the war.
[Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne): Was it not a Fascist party?)
No, I do not think I have ever heard that suggestion. I have always under-
stood that term could not be applied to that party, but if the Government have
other information I shall be glad to hear it. There is one small section of it which

Foreign Policy 487

might be so described, but certainly not the party as a whore. It has been repre-
sentative in the Government from the earliest days that the Polish Government
came here.* I ask that the Government should do what they can to ensure that they
are all allowed to run candidates, always excluding those who have been collabora-
tionists, if any, and to have a fair and free chance at the Elections.
I would like to say a word about the question of the Western Frontiers of
Poland. It. is an immensely tangled and difficult question. May I tell the House
my own feelings about it? I do not desire to commit anyone else, but this is a
matter on which everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. There was orig-
inally the age-old problem of the Corridor. It was my conviction, and I stated it
.to the House in the last Parliament, that it was impossible to continue with the
policy of the Corridor if there was to be enduring peace in Eastern Europe.
Therefore, either you had to say to Poland, "You cannot have access to the sea
at all," or the Corridor had to go and East Prussia had to go to Poland, save the
Konigsberg area, which goes, by agreement, to Russia. In addition to that, the
Polish claim to Oppeln Silesia is a strong one. I think she should have it, and
also some parts of the land of Eastern Pomerania. We were never really happy
about the Polish frontier going even up to the line of the Oder. When in Mos-
cow we discussed this matter and there was the question of M. Mikolajczyk going
back to Poland as Prime Minister, we agreed upon words which said "Land that
Poland may desire, up to the line of the Oder." We thought it would be unwise
even to go up to the line of the Oder or even along its frontier.
Now we have this further demand to go right through to the Western Ndisse.
I think the population was about 11,000,000 in the whole area, but let us take it
as 8,000,000 or 9,000,000. I find it hard to believe that the Polish population
who would come out of Russia ill be much more than 4,000,000. There you
have these agricultural areas of Germany, of immense importance to the feeding
of Europe and its industrial areas, and I cannot see how the Polish population is
going to be able to settle this problem, man the industries, look after that agri-
cultural land, and produce, as they should, food for 'the other parts of Europe.
This question, I understand, will not be settled until the Peace Conference. I
would only say to our Polish friends that as, last time, they made a mistake in
insisting on going too far East, so, this time, I fear, they are making a mistake in
insisting in going too far West. I think it only fair to make that statement to
the House.
Economic Conditions
Now I come to a word on the economic conditions about which the right hon.
Gentleman spoke. I agree with his analysis of that problem. It is going to be a
desperately difficult one not, perhaps, even so much this winter as the early part
of next year, before the harvest is brought in. We have to make every contribution
we can within our very straitened limits, and not so much because we want merely
to be generous, but because, in our own interest, the economy'of Europe should
not collapse. We know how straitened are our circumstances and how small our
contribution can be, with the best will in the world. I should be grateful, if the
right hon. Gentleman is going to reply, if he would give us any further informa-
tion about UNRRA and its development and what the prospects are there. They
have indeed a heavy task. The -right hon. Gentleman referred to France and
there, too, I would wish him all success in his endeavors. We hope they will be
Then, I come to another country farther away, about which I want to speak for
a few moments if the House will bear with me, because I regard it as a country

British Speeches of the Day

of great importance because of the special responsibility we have undertaken there.
That is Persia. In 1941 Persia became suddenly, as a result of the German's big
onrush, a most important strategic area. She was on our lines of communication,
and the only route open to us save the Arctic route, the full story of which has
never yet been told-a superb piece of gallantry by the Royal Navy and the Mer-
chant Marine. Save for that, we had no route except through Persia. The Ger-
mans were fully aware of that, and did everything they could to sabotage our
attempts to get supplies through that country. The result was a diplomatic duel,
long fought out until the Treaties made between us and Persia and between the
Soviet Union and Persia by which we got permission to station troops over the
period of the war, and a number of other facilities, in return for which we under-
took to respect the integrity of Persia and withdraw as soon as fighting was over.
Persia has loyally carried out these Treaties by us and the Soviet Govern-
ment and, therefore, for some time past, I have been anxious that we should
begin to do our part of the bargain. Although, strictly speaking, we were not
called upon to withdraw until hostilities were over, we did recognize as long ago
as the Crimea Conference, my right hon. Friend and I, that such a beginning
should be made and it was agreed that the first withdrawal should take place at
Teheran, both by us and by the Russians. It was further agreed that further stages
of the withdrawal would be discussed at the Foreign Secretaries' meeting next
month. I certainly think that it would be good if they were so discussed, because
the Japanese war is now over, and there is no object for any of us to stay in Persia
any longer; and certainly this country would like us to get out as rapidly as pos-
sible. We have only one interest in Persia and that is to see that country pros-
perous, united and strong, and the last thing we want is a recurrence of the
practice of zones of influence and matters of that kind which there were in Persia
long ago, and which made us so intensely unpopular in that country for a genera-
tion. I hope that the policy of withdrawal will be carried out by the Allies and
carried out rapidly.
As to China, I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman who is to reply can
tell us whether the former Foreign Secretary and now Prime Minister of China,
Mr. T. V. Soong, is going to carry out his intention of paying a visit to this
country. It would be very good, I think, if he did so. He would have a great
welcome here from the people of this country who understand what China has
endured during the war years and are anxious to see China and the friendship
which we have had for her in the years gone by as steadfast and enduring in the
years that lie ahead. I endorse what the right hon. Gentleman said on the question
of Hong Kong. I think the position taken up is a just and fair one, and one which
everyone in this country would wish to uphold. What he has said has received,
I think, the approbation of the House as a whole, and we feel what he has said
represents a foreign policy on behalf of which he can speak for all parties in this
I say only this in concJusion. I repeat my best wishes to the right hon. Gentle-
man. Every section of the House will endorse those wishes. Two successive gen-
erations have given of their best that the world may be free. This time, victory
has come, together with this stark and unparalled warning. I said-at San Fran-
cisco that it was the world's last chance. I meant it in the light of the knowledge
that we then had. We pray that the world will seize this last chance, and any
efforts which the right hon. Gentleman makes wisely to guide and encourage it,
we shall support to the utmost of our strength..
[House of Commons Debates)]

Industrial Reconversion

M. P. for Aldershot
House of Commons, August 21, 1945

You have indicated, Mr. Speaker, that it would be suitable this afternoon if
we devoted our attention in the main to those passages in the Gracious Speech
which refer to the subject of trade, industry and finance, and therefore I will con-
fine my remarks to that part of the Gracious Speech. To refresh the memory of
the House I think I had better read the passage with which I shall particularly deal:
[The right hon. Member here quoted from the King's Speech paragraphs 5
and 6 on page 450 of this issue.]
I would, above all, like to elicit from His Majesty's Government more information
concerning their policy in this field, and I think that the House, the country and our
overseas customers and friends are entitled to ask for a greater definition of the na-
ture of some of these proposals and policies. I shall also refer later to some of the
notable omissions from the Gracious Speech, which strikes me as nothing short of
astonishing, and I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he comes to
reply, will feel able to dilate upon some of those omissions at perhaps the same
length with which he deals with some of the things which are in the Gracious
Speech. The passage which I have quoted refers in the first place to the subject of
what the Prime Minister called in his speech last week "paying our way," a phrase
which the Leader of the House has often used, and to which I know His Majesty's
Government attach no less importance than the rest of us. It is a vital matter.
Some of us may consider that the words which dealt with this subject are rather
obvious, rather perfunctory and even jejune, but, be that as it may, I think there
is no one in any part of the House who would dissent from their general tenor,
but it is true that the speech is silent on the means by which these laudable objects
are to be achieved. I am sure that no one would wish at this early moment to be
unduly critical on that subject. We are aware that the Government were found
without a very detailed policy, and they now have to translate into practical terms
the general purposes which, during the General Election and before they took
office, were enunciated in-what shall I say ?-less hesitant terms than those
now used.

Export Trade
If the House will bear with me, I would like to refer, and in an entirely
constructive spirit, to the question of our export trade. The value of our exports
in 1944 was 256,000,000, compared with 471,000,000 in 1938. The figures of
the volume of exports are still more striking and significant. Taking 1938 as 100
we find that, in volume, they had actually gone down to the figure of 29 in 1943
and 31 in 1944. It has been widely stated, and I think I have been guilty of
saying it myself, that our exports must increase by at least 50 per cent over pre-
war in volume, but actual facts and circumstances, through the prolongation of the
German war, make that figure out of date and we must aim at an even higher
target. I do not think anyone would dissent if I were to say that any examination,
however cursory, of these targets would show that they are difficult to achieve
and will require great drive and energy over the next two or three years, and of
course they cannot be attained only by our own action. Here are matters which
depend upon the wishes of our own overseas customers, they are not within our
own control alone nor within our own volition.

British Speeches of the Day

The right type of goods offered at the right prices will find a ready market, at
any rate for the next two or three years, but after that time our ability to sell our
goods is less sure. The failure of crops in the agricultural countries of our cus-
tomers, due to the action of the sun and the rain, over which even His Majesty's
present advisers cannot maintain control, may cause a sharp fall in the demands
of those countries. Their desires may alter, or they may find it difficult to pay.
The point I am making is that the field of exports and export industry is the least
suitable for Government regimentation, interference, or control. The targets we
must aim at are certainly high, and the exporting industries cannot attain them
unless they are freed from many of the great disabilities under which they are
suffering today. I am not using the word, "disabilities," in the critical sense, be-
cause it was necessary during the war that these restrictions should be imposed.
Today, we all know that labor and material are the principal bottlenecks in
the re-establishment of our export trade, but in no contentious spirit I say that
swaddling clothes-and the export industries have got plenty of them round them
-are not the vestments of virility. There are, today, too many formalities, too
many Departments from which to obtain clearance. It should be the object of His
Majesty's Government to examine most closely the licensing regulations, checks and
general arrangements, some of which I sincerely suggest have passed out of the
field of being necessary into the field of being merely vexatious. A Government
Department can promote and foster export trade and remove obstacles of obstruc-
tion from it; in the expressive American phrase it can "green light" exports.
But what it cannot do is to replace the knowledge of the product and its market-
ing which has been gained by those who have been making and selling that
product for a great many years. The President of the Board of Trade will, I
hope, take industry fully into his confidence, . and will follow its advice,
wherever it does not conflict too sharply with his political predilections. He may
feel that it is conceivable that men who have devoted a great many years to a
particular industry may even know more about it than the Department over which
e presides, although, of course, he must confess that the judgment of industrialists
may be somewhat obscured by the absurd idea that they should be allowed to make
a profit before handing it all back to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Since visible
and, indeed, invisible exports are plainly difficult to obtain, there is one field to
which I hope the President will pay particular attention, the field of imports of
manufactured goods. I hope that the closest scrutiny will be made of the whole
volume of our imports of manufactured goods, to see if there are not some pro-
ducts which we cannot ourselves make in this country, which we previously used
to import, and which will give an outlet to the skill, energy, and ingenuity of our
workers and managements and, at the same time, conserve our money abroad, of
which, in the next few years, we shall be sadly short.
It is also necessary to think of some of these products which a change in the
habits of life will make necessary for our people and which, if we do not start
making at once for ourselves, we shall have to import. I mean things like electrical
household appliances, electric washing machines and kitchen apparatus, of which
the consumption is so much higher in America per capital than in this country.
These sort of appliances alleviate very greatly the lot of the housewife and in doing
so frequently alleviate the lot of her husband. On these subjects I feel that we
still have too much of the mentality of the world's creditor, that we lack realization
of the fact that we are today the world's largest debtor, and that we cannot afford
to import manufactured articles which we can make within our own frontiers at
competitive prices. Those are my first two points.
The last point I want to make before I leave the question of export trade con-
cerns the Department of Overseas Trade. ...

Industrial Reconversion

I would like to say, quite flatly, that I consider the present organization of the
Department of Overseas Trade, in relation to the Board of Trade, to be anomalous,
if not absurd. There cannot be export policy in one compartment and trade policy
for the home market in another. Nearly always the product for export comes from
the same factory as the product for the home consumer, and the artificial line drawn
in Whitehall between exports and home markets is, from an organizational stand-
point, entirely unsound. However, I have some reason to hope that the President
of the Board of Trade . will be sympathetic to what I am now suggesting, that
he will reorganize these Departments, so that while the Department of Overseas
Trade maintains its particular control and contact with commercial counsellors
overseas, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade and the Secretary of
the Overseas Trade Department can be given particular responsibility, and that they
will as Ministers, in future, be regarded as largely interchangeable, and as follow-
ing a single policy laid out to cover the whole field of home and export.

Economic Collaboration with the United States
Now I wish to draw attention to. some notable omissions from the Gracious
Speech, omissions which, as I have said, I regard as little short of astonishing.
There is not one word about the attitude of the Government towards economic
collaboration with other countries, and, in particular, the United States. It would
be unreasonable to expect all things to be covered in a single Speech, but the omis-
sion of this subject entirely would give the impression that His Majesty's Govern-
ment had not noticed the fact that the Bretton Woods Agreement has now become
part of the law of America, and that under that Agreement those countries which
wish to adhere to the scheme or reject it, have to notify their adherence or
rejection by December 31st.
This is a matter which is bound to come on to'the Floor of this House very
soon after we reassemble in October. There is not a word about it in the King's
Speech. The same general remarks apply with equal force to those matters which
are generally referred to as Article VII matters-that is, -Artide VII of the Treaty
of Mutual Aid, which dealt with commercial policy and our relations with the
United States covering a large number of vital matters relating to commerce.
While the Gracious Speech refers to certain matters of domestic concern of no great
urgency-I was thinking of the public ownership of the Bank of England, to
which I shall refer later-and touches upon certain matters, upon which little
thought or work can have been expended, the most urgent of all subjects, the very
kernel of the whole of our economic position and future, is passed by in silence.
I hope the House does not think I am exaggerating when I use those words. If
I were accused of exaggeration, I should reply, with the deepest sincerity, that the
standard of life of every citizen of this country, and of nearly every citizen of
the British Empire and Commonwealth, depends upon our receiving sympathetic
help and the largest measure of financial aid from the United States. This is not
a matter which merely concerns the student of economics; it is a matter which
affects every citizen, which affects the amount of food we can put upon our tables
in the future, which affects the future of our relations with many countries in the
sterling area and in our own Dominions. The facts are that .the power to produce
in so many of our industries, is based upon raw materials, which must be imported
from abroad. I challenge anyone in the House to deny that without American aid,
our standard of life is bound to fall, and will fall even below that austerity to
which it has been reduced in the war.
[Mr. Boothby: What does my right hon. Friend mean by ''borrowing more
money from the United States?" I only want to be clear.]

British Speeches of the Day

Borrowing immediately raises the question at what rate of interest. We require
aid at the lowest possible rate of interest at which they can give it us, and with a
term of redemption of the longest possible, date.
[Mr. Alfred Edwards (Middlesbrough, East): The right hon. Gentleman
has not answered the question. It was: "Do you mean that we need to borrow
more money from America?"]
We either need to borrow more money from America, or else to obtain inter-
est-free loans or, if the United States like to give us the money, so much the better.
[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am interested to see the lively interest taken in this
subject by Members on the opposite side of the House. Let not them think that
because citizens of the United States have no votes in this country, our attitude
towards these matters can be wrapped in this very significant silence. I ask the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the President of the Board of Trade and the Min-
ister of Food to compile a statement as soon as possible, which will show the
value, during the war years 1943-44-45, of the food and raw materials-and how
we shall see the significance of increasing our indebtedness to the United States-
which have been supplied to us, without payment, under the terms of the Lend-
Lease Act.
I should also like to have a statement on what proportion these supplies bear to
the total consumption of this country in these categories. When this statement
and information are available, the House will be able to see how large is the gap
which we have to fill and give some idea 'of the extent to which we shall require
financial help, of whatever kind, to enable us to fill it. How does the Chancellor
of the Exchequer propose to finance, and how does the President of the Board of
Trade and the Minister of Food propose to procure, these vital supplies which are
the very lifeblood of our country if we cannot obtain a full measure of American
aid-aid which has been poured out in so generous a measure during the war?
Miy I say, in no censorious or sarcastic vein, that if you need assistance from a
country-and how we need it-the best way to obtain it is not to affront, on
every possible occasion, the opinion of that country by criticizing and sneering at
things in this field which they hold most dear, namely the overriding contribution
which private enterprise has to make if the world is to be rebuilt. [Interruption.]
There is much worse coming. I have here a document which has recently reached
me from America. I will read a paragraph:
"The rights of private property and free choice of action under a. system of
private competitive capitalism must continue to be the foundation of our na-
tion's peaceful and prosperous expanding economy. Free competition and free
men are the strength-of our free society."
and so on, in the same vein. Hon. Members opposite may think that document
was a statement by some sinister American financier or capitalist. Remarkably,
it is called "A Charter for Labor Management" and it is signed by Mr. William
Green, President of the American Federation of Labor. [Interruption.] It is most
exhilarating to find how well these points are taken by hon. Members. It is also
signed by Mr. Philip Murray, President of the Congress of Industrial Organiza-
tion-the C.I.O.-and by Mr. Eric Johnson, President of the Chamber of Com-
merce of the United States. I am very willing to lay this document on the Table,
if any hon. Member thinks that he can get refreshment or advice from its terms . .
The silence on the subject of Bretton Woods and Article VII-significant
though it is at this time-is, I fear, only one more evidence of how Socialist
thought on economic matters tends to concentrate very much on domestic prob-
lems within our own frontiers in the United Kingdom. Now it is necessary to
look into the world to a much greater extent-a world made up of diverse opinions,

Industrial Reconversion

systems and parties-and when Socialists do take a cursory glance outside our own
country, some of them-I am not going to mention names-not without authority,
even if they are without authenticity, would have us believe that our relations with
France, for example, depend oh whether she becomes a Socialist State or not.
France can give us, and we can give her, much help. 'But how do these doctrines
apply to our relations with the United States-the very citadel of private enter-
prise and an example pf a high standard of life? . .
All I say is that we should try not to get into too exacerbated and ideological
controversies with those who take an entirely different view of these matters from
that which we take ourselves. On this point of concentrating on particular Socid-
istic thoughts, on matters inside our own frontiers. I think some of this arises
from and admiration of the Russian economic system. There are even some slavish
admirers of it. I am not without some admiration of it myself. Others think that
the American way of life and thought and approach to these matters are admir-
able. But the point I want to make is that neither of these systems can be imitated
or applied in our own country. Both these great Allied countries-small worlds
in themselves--can, if they wish, live in a closed economy and with very little
assistance or importation from outside. They can live upon their own resources.
These small islands cannot do so. We cannot base ourselves either on the Russian
or the American system. Imports are our lifeblood, and exports to pay for them
are consequently our lifeblood. We have to rebuild our position as the carriers,
bankers and insurers-as the produce merchants and clearing house of the world-
if we are to maintain our standards of life. We must depend on these if we are
to regain many of the things we sacrificed in the course of the war.

National Planning of Investment
Now I must turn from the words concerning trade and industry, which many
of us on this side of the House feel are obscure and perfunctory, to phrases which
are certainly not perfunctory, but only vague. I hope that on this subject I shall
speak with a due sense of responsibility. I do not propose to offer very much
criticism, because frankly there is not the material on which to base it. In other
words, my remarks on this subject will be interrogatory. The first of these vague
phrases deals with the national planning of investment. If this means that as a
temporary measure the control of capital issues is to continue, I personally will
applaud it. I believe in control where the demand for anything greatly exceeds
the supply, but I think control should be taken off as soon as those conditions no
longer exist. Before the advent of the present Government to power, I thought it
was reasonably certain that the demand for capital would have exceeded the supply,
at least in the short run, but today's great uncertainties with which the Govern-
ment have surrounded the business community-I do not want to be unfair, and
that may be due to the short time they have been in office-will certainly reduce
the demand for capital in the near future. As long as there is an excess of those
wishing to borrow over those wishing to lend, I am in favor of an extension of
the present arrangement of the Capital Issues Committee. I think it is sensible to
have a board or some body closely in touch with the Government, to decide the
order of importance with which demands for capital are to be met-at least
demands for capital which concern us domestically.
No one present would deny that amenities will have to take an honorable
second place to necessities; that public authorities must build houses before libra-
ries, and that we must restore our factories before we start pulling down to make
way for roads and open spaces. Do these proposals go beyond those limited and
laudable ob ects? Are the Government, in this vague phrase, really starting on a
new and untried method? It is not strictly accurate to say "new," because Nazi

British Speeches of the Day

Germany had something of the same kind. Do they seek a method of directing
all private investments into channels approved by the Government and also seek
to control the volume of private investments? Does such an idea, if it enters the
Government's mind, apply equally to power to borrow and to lend, and to spend
your own money?
Let me try to illuminate these rather difficult topics by means of an illustration.
Supposing that a company is making confectionery. I choose that product as being
one which is desirable, but not exactly a necessity. Supposing the company has,
for the last 10 years, accumulated reserves to modernize and improve its plant and
expand its business, and that these reserves have been invested, no doubt in re-
sponse to some national appeal by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Govern-
ment securities. Are the Government going to say to that company, "You must
not sell your Government securities if you are going to spend that money in your
own business; you must sell them out, and invest the money in some other way.
Personally, we think that houses are a higher priority than confectionery." I
hardly think that that is the intention. If it is not the intention, then the whole
field of borrowing and spending your own money will be left out, and the whole
idea of this sort of plan will become impracticable so far as that field is concerned,
because it leaves out of account by far the commonest, most usual and, incidentally,
most economical and flexible means by which the capital demands for industry are
usually met-by using accumulated profits or by borrowing from one of the joint
stock banks against the expectation of profits being continued in the future.
Business does not live by capital issues alone, and if borrowing and spending
your own money were embraced by the national plan, how can the Government
escape responsibility for the investments which they dictate as being worthy of
support by the investor? Further, to do this would require, at a time when the
Civil Service is strained to the utmost, a staff of thousands and also the quint-
essential wisdom of trade, industry and finance to be distilled into a single board,
which would then turn out to be quite inadequate for the multifarious duties
assigned to it,
I ask the Government to consider not only this little country, but the great
areas which owe their allegiance to, and carry on their business in, sterling The
sterling-using countries will accept with patience a system, during the transitional
period, when the demand for capital exceeds the supply, but will quickly reject
and resent any suggestion of permanence in such a policy. While there is a short
supply of capital, will those companies in the Dominions, control of which is in
British hands, not go elsewhere to deposit their funds to carry on their business
operations and insurance if they think that their policy is to be subjected to a
National Planning Board, whose principal preoccupation is with the level of prices
and course of economic development in this island? The House is entitled to
know the answer to these questions, and I will ask one more. Is this the way to
start to rebuild our position in the world and to regain our position as a financial

Public Ownership of the Bank of England
Now I turn to the subject, mentioned in the Gracious Speech, of public owner-
ship of the Bank of England. I am going to ask a few questions. I shall do no
more, and I hope I am approaching the matter, again, with a due sense of re-
sponsibility. Presumably, the word "nationalization" or the phrase "Government
control" have been omitted on purpose. If the intention is-and I would like the
Chancellor to say so plainly-to buy Bank of England stock from the private
holders and set up a board or court of the Bank of England independent of the

Industrial Reconversion

Government from day to day, although subject to appointments by the Chancellor,
and, in the case of irreconcilable difference, dismissal by the Chancellor, then I
would regard such a step as neither wise nor necessary, but I would not regard it as
particularly dangerous. Such a setup would mean that, if there was this conflict of
opinion between the Bank and the Treasury, there would be an opportunity to
ventilate the subject on the Floor of this House, before final steps were taken.
May I ask the Chancellor whether I am right in supposing that these are the
general lines on-which he intends to proceed? We shall, very early, wish to hear
the detailed scheme relating to this most important subject.
I said that such a system would not be wise or necessary, and so far I have
only explained why I do not think it would be dangerous. It is not wise, for the
simple reason that the present system, evolved and matured over hundreds of
years, worked, I think, perfectly. [Interruption.1 I shall produce evidence sup-
plied by one of the leading financial experts of the Labour Party to reinforce my
words. The Government have, in fact, all the influence they wish to have over
the policy of the Bank of England at this moment. The hon. Member for Chip-
penham (Mr. Eccles) last week quoted a statement by the Secretary of State for
India in praise of the working of the present system. I am quite sure that the
Government will fight the evil of inflation to the best of their ability. It is more
than ever necessary to do so, at a time when the Government are proposing to
fiddle with the constitution of the Bank of England and when a slightly shocked
public sees the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, who for so long has been living
in a chaste spinsterhood, being hurried incontinently to the altar and married out
of hand to a Government of three weeks' standing-a Government, I admit, which
comes to the House with a very large electoral dowry.
SIs this the right time, when we wish to re-establish and reaffirm the solidity
of British credit and the position of London as a financial center for our own
goods, and not only for the sterling area, but also for European and world-wide
business, to give even the slightest impression that an institution so famous and
respected throughout the world is about to be turned into a mere Government
agency? I feel sure that it is not the intention of the Government, but it would
help if the Chancellor felt able to confirm my opinion, which is merely based upon
an admiration of his character and not from the study of an official document.
Here, again, we see the marked tendency in the Government, and in Socialist
thought as a whole, to concentrate overmuch on the domestic aspects of banking,
and not consider widely enough its other implications. Perhaps that is quite na-
tural after a fortnight's study of these matters. The Bank of England is not only
the central bank of issue, the bankers of the joint stock banks in these islands;
it is the banker of the whole sterling area and much else. It represents the very
hub of that system, and, just as the planning of national investments which will
ignore the international aspect would be unwise, so it is very necessary that the
constitution of the new Bank of England should be framed in such a way that
every sterling-using country can consult the Bank on their affairs, without feeling
that they are to be dominated entirely by the domestic interests of His Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. We shall scrutinize
with the utmost attention the detailed arrangements to be put forward by the
Chancellor, and I would remind the right hon. Gentleman most particularly to take
into account some of those broader international considerations on which I have
ventured to dilate.
If this change in the constitution of the Bank of England turns out to be a mere
ledger entry, and the Court of the Bank is free, day by day, to act independently
of the Government, I can see no particular danger. I must frankly say that I am

British Speeches of the Day

no admirer of ledger entries or of reform for reform's sake, in times when, in fact,
the Government are complete masters of the credit situation in this country, and,
under the present system, will always remain so.
My last point is my main criticism of the Gracious Speech, and that is that it
is very unsure and creates so much uncertainty. From the point of view of re-
establishing our trade, and, in fact, getting on with the job, this uncertainty is
most vicious. I beg the Government to take an early opportunity, as a matter of
policy, to resolve these uncertainties by letting us know how far they are going in
certain directions. It is a truism that uncertainty is the worst enemy of business
enterprise, and of the will and power to expand. These are of vital and urgent
importance today, and, therefore, I hope that some of these uncertainties will be
resolved. There are certain phrases-"extension of public ownership" for example
-which are extremely vague, and I beg the Government to give an early and pre-
cise definition. The patients are entitled to know whether they are in for decapita-
tion, a major surgical operation, or some mere dietary regime which will merely
cut off part of their beer and sugar. Without these uncertainties being resolved,
certain people, perhaps groundlessly, will be thinking that they are going to be
decapitated and will be discouraged from using their heads in the meanwhile.
Others may expect that they are going to survive, and those who are to be put on
a dietary regime may well breathe a sigh of relief, but, in any case they should all
know the nature of their treatment. In bee-keeping the hope of honey is fre-
quently more potent than the menace of stings, and the right hon. Gentleman will
perhaps recognize the phrase. Figure skating on the thin ice of public and inter-
national confidence is no doubt a most exhilarating sport, but it frequently ends in
disaster to the ice and consequently to the skater. Let us have a little firm ice
under our feet before the Government attempt to execute some of their more
exuberant evolutions or revolutions.
May I conclude by saying, with great respect, that I regard this Government as
a very promising Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear.") Hon. Mem-
bers who applaud have apparently ignored the fact that this phrase has a double
meaning. It means also that the Government have promised a great deal, and let
me say, with the deepest sincerity, that I hope that profligacy in promise and
paucity in performance will not turn out to be their epitaph.
[House of Commons Debates]

Chancellor of the Exchequer
House of Commons, August 21, 1945

The right hon. Gentleman who has just addressed us with his customary felicity
of phrase has, like myself, occupied the office of the President of the Board of
Trade. He has done so for two periods, and I only for one, but I am not sure
that my one period was not longer than his two. I am sure that he and I will
be in agreement, as will my right hon. and learned Friend who now holds that
office, in desiring to see the most vigorous and active steps taken to build up our
export trade as rapidly, speedily and effectively as possible. On that I am sure
there will be no difference anywhere in this House. There is no need to indulge
in metaphysical discussions. The purpose of export trade is not metaphysical but
physical. It is to secure food and other necessities from across the seas. There

Government Policy on Reconversion/

is no other sensible purpose in export activities. It is a purpose of supreme impor-
tance and urgency, and I am quite sure that my right hon. and learned Friend will
do his utmost to take full advantage of the drive and energy that may be forth-
coming from the various bodies in industry engaged in export operations, and to
support them to the best of his ability.
For example, there is the cotton industry in Lancashire, which I visited several
times when I was President of the Board of Trade, and which the right hon.
Gentleman also visited. May I say how happy we were that his visit was not
brought to a premature conclusion through misadventure in the air. My right hon.
and learned Friend the present President has also visited Lancashire. We have all
gone there with the same purpose, to try and stimulate those who conduct the
Lancashire cotton industry to show even more energy and fresh ideas in the pursuit
of this purpose, the rapid expansion of the production of cotton goods for export,
even more urgently than for our own home requirements, urgent as they are.
I am confident that I can give a pledge on behalf of the Government as a whole
that we shall not continue to use any formalities or any going to and fro between
Government Departments which can be eliminated and abbreviated in the interests
of getting our trade quickly started, provided there is not some real and genuine
purpose behind the formalities in question.

Balance of Trade
Looking upon the outer world-we do that sometimes, though the right hon.
Gentleman seemed doubtful whether we did-it is clearly the case that we must
take such steps as we can, as speedily and actively as we can, to bring the balance
of overseas trade as rapidly towards equilibrium as possible. That cannot be done
in a day, in the twinkling of an eye, but we must press forward to expand our
exports and reduce our dependence on imports, in so far as we import commodities
which can be effectively produced at home. There have been failures of private
enterprise in this field. I became aware of them when I was President of the Board
of Trade. No alarm clocks were made in this country. When we wanted to
awaken our workers we suddenly found that we had to bring large quantities of
alarm clocks from across the sea. Private enterprise in this country was not able
to provide alarm clocks. The greater part of ladies' fully fashioned stockings had
to be imported before the.war. When I was President I endeavored to set going
one or two new industrial concerns, particularly in the development areas, to repair
from home production this gap in the equipment of the fairer sex. In the light
of my own observations, experience and endeavors I am therefore heartily in agree-
ment with the right hon. Gentleman that we must seek to stimulate drive and
inventiveness and energy on the part of many sections of our home industrialists,
to produce efficiently here goods which in the past have been quite needlessly
imported from foreign countries. That will be of help in bridging the gap on
which the right hon. Gentleman has dwelt.
I do not think all his observations regarding our relations with America were
quite as tactful as I-would have expected, and.I do not propose to follow him in
detail over that part of the ice on which he was performing figure skating. I would
recall that only at Question Time today . I renewed the assurance given by
the late Government that Bretton Woods would not be either accepted or rejected
by His Majesty's Government without full debate and examination in this House.
I have renewed that pledge, and at the right moment, which has not yet quite
arrived, the House will be able to examine all these matters with frankness, and, I
hope, with a large measure of agreement. That is all I propose to say on that
particular part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, which as I have said, was not
very opportune.

British Speeches of the Day

The right hon. Gentleman asked a number of questions regarding the proposals
in the Gracious Speech.' I would like to answer some of the points he raised, but
the House would not expect me, indeed it would be infinitely tedious, if I were
to attempt to go over, on the occasion of this Debate, details of the legislation
which will be brought before the House in the autumn. When we meet again
we shall table Bills to carry out the proposals in the Gracious Speech with regard
to the Bank of England and the planning of investment, and the detail can then
be discussed. But I will certainly give now some broad indications of what we

Proposals Regarding the Bank of England
As regards the Bank of England we said, in a document which the right hon.
Gentleman may have noticed, containing a V sign in bright red upon the cover,
and entitled "Let Us Face the Future"-and we are facing it now-that the Bank
of England, with its financial powers, must be brought under public ownership.
The right hon. Gentleman who leads the Opposition was kind enough to observe,
on the first day of the general Debate, that national ownership of the Bank of
England did not, in his opinion, raise any matters of principle. He went on to
remind the House, and I am glad that he did so, of the position in the United
States and in our Dominions-and, he might have added, in a large number of
foreign countries, including some of those of Scandinavia-where financial affairs
have been conducted with great competence and efficiency under the guidance, for
the most part of Socialist Governments. He reminded the House, in fact, that we
in this country are in a very small minority among the nations in so far as our
central bank is not already under national ownership. .
To a large extent the change we propose will have the effect of bringing the
law into accord with the facts of the situation as they have developed. There are
today, and have long been, I am glad to say, close, confidential and friendly rela-
tions between those who speak for the Bank of England and the high officials of
the Treasury. The Bank of England and the Treasury are in constant contact. It
is good that it should be so. That, I have no doubt, will continue after the law
is changed as we propose. But the private stockholders will disappear from the
scene, carrying with them compensation, the details of which can be discussed
when the legislation is considered by the House. Our intention is clear; they will
be fairly treated. How to give effect to this intention in this particular context
we will discuss when we bring the Bill before the House. They will lose those
powers-which indeed have fallen into considerable desuetude-t-which they still
legally possess. As things are a pre-concerted gathering of a small group of these
stockholders, presenting themselves in the Bank Parlor on a certain day, would
be able to present the most unsuitable person for election as Governor.
MAr. Churchill: Can the right hon. Gentleman give us some instances of this
No, Sir, but it would be well to be quite sure, in these difficult days, when
some might be moved by deep political passions influencing their economic
[Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne): Would not my right hon. Friend
agree that there was an instance in 1925 of the kind of thing to which he has
referred, when the right hon. Gentleman, who was then Chancellor of the
Exchequer and knew nothing whatever about the subject, put this country back
upon the gold standard at the instance of the Bank of England, and against the
advice of everybody else?]
[Mr. Churchill: The fountain of that advice was the Committee set up by
Lord Snowden.]

Government Policy on Reconversion

It may be well that both Lord Snowden and the right hon. Gentleman were
influenced by-advice tendered to them by the representative of the stockholders,
Lord Norman, then Mr. Montagu Norman. But that is not exactly the point with
which I was dealing. The Bank of England has the duty to advise the Govern-
ment from time to time, but it is the responsibility of Ministers whether they
accept the advice, or modify it or wholly reject it. On the constitutional point
I was pointing out that we propose to eliminate the stockholders with proper com-
pensation, and thus to make it abundantly clear that Government ownership of the
Bank carries with it in the ultimate resort the power of direction and decision on
matters falling within the ambit of discussion. It must be made clear beyond a
shadow of doubt where the ultimate power rests. It must rest, not with a body of
private stockholders, even though they seldom exercise it, but with His Majesty's
Government in the case of so important an institution as a central bank. The
Government must be responsible for it to the House of Commons, -and through
them to the people of the country, who have suffered grievously in past years
through unwise decisions taken by persons associated in the past with the Bank
of England.
I hasten to add that it is not intended by us that there should be constant
interference by the Government with the day-to-day work of the Bank. In the
future, as in the past, that work will be in capable and expert hands, and there
will continue to be, as now, day-to-day contact and exchange of views between
the Bank and the officials of the Treasury. But on important points of policy the
Government must have the last word, as we shall lay down in the Bill which we
shall introduce.
Reference has been made to Lord Norman. I shall make no further reference
to him, but I desire to make a reference to his successor, the present Governor
of the Bank, Lord Catto. I desire to pay a tribute to Lord Catto, who is a great
public servant and a man of wide and varied commercial experience. I met him
on a number of occasions before I came to the Treasury. When I was at the
Board of Trade he was always helpful on matters on which we were co-operating.
Since assuming my present office I have had frank and most friendly conversations
with him and I look forward to maintaining dose contact with him in the future.
I am happy to say that he has expressed his willingness to continue as Governor
for a suitable period to inaugurate the new regime which we propose to establish.
I do 'not believe-and I trust that the right hon. Gentleman and others will not
spread the story abroad, for I believe it to be totally baseless-that the changes in
the legal position of the Bank will in any way lessen the esteem in which it is
held or its influence in financial circles. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the
international aspects of this, and these are very important. I do not believe, as I
have said, that these changes will in any way lessen the prestige of the Bank either
at home or abroad. Rather I believe the contrary. The close integration of the
Bank with the Government in the manner which I have explained, the passing
of the private stockholder, who is either a menace or an absurdity-hon. Members
may choose which they like-and the definite laying down of close relations
between the Bank and the advisers of the Government of the day should rather
enhance both its prestige and its influence. That is my belief.
Control and Planning of Investmient
The right hon. Gentleman also asked about the control and the planning of
investment. Here again I must not be expected to go into close detail-that will
be provided in our projected legislation in the autumn-but he has correctly
anticipated-and I am not surprised because this matter has been much debated in
many circles up and down the country, not merely during Election time but before
-that our view is that new investment must continue to be guided in peace as in

British Speeches of the Day

war by consideration of the national interest. We cannot be sure that that would
take place if we were to allow a return to the disorderly, competitive scramble for
money which used to take place in the days before thewar. In those days it was
not always the most meritorious person who succeeded in obtaining funds, and the
competitive scramble drove up rates of interest to a height which was disadvan-
tageous to those who had to meet the cost of borrowed money.
[Mr. Lyttelton: The last war?]
The late war. I am talking of the inter-war period.
[Mr. Lyttelton: Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer really suggesting that high
rates on money immediately before this war of 1939 to 1945 had any effect upon
our trade, or is he referring to the high rates on money which existed before
I am referring to those which existed both before the first World War-
World War I as it is sometimes called-and which also existed for some
part of the period between the two wars. I remember an issue known as "Panic
Fives," but we need not go into all that today. I merely wish to make the point
that those people who wish to get funds for purposes which should be encouraged
in the national interest should come first. As the right hon. Gentleman said,
houses and factories should be built before unessential luxury buildings; and
secondly, rates of interest should be kept as low as good management can keep
them. Our purpose, therefore, is to carry out the principle of priorities in the na-
tional interest in the allocation of available funds between different objects, in-
cluding the industrial re-equipment of our major industries. It is common ground
that the iron, steel and cotton industries and many more will have to have a great
deal of money spent upon them to bring up to date their somewhat antiquated and
inefficient equipment. We must have an orderly process in this, and that is one of
the purposes for which we need the planning of investments for some years ahead.
There is also a tremendous need for the provision of funds for the great program
on which we shall embark.
[Mr. Churchill: Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether the proposals
would be limited to what we may call the years ahead-the transition stage-or is
-the investment Measure to be of a permanent character?]
We shall take powers to make it permanent. If it should appear later on that
those powers should be modified, that will be for a future House of Commons to
determine, but in our view there is a permanent necessity. So long as a majority
of the present complexion sits here, I believe they will take the view that we need
this as a permanent weapon in our armory against what I have already described
as a disorderly scramble for funds by people, a number of whom are not particu-
larly meritorious. For the effect of the scramble is not merely that the money often
passes to the wrong hands, but that rates of interest are driven up by this competi-
tive process. I wish to make it perfectly dear that we intend to take these powers
permanently ....
[Colonel Sir Charles MacAndrew (Ayr and Bute, Northern): Does that mean
that overseas investments will be permanently controlled as well?]
Overseas investments will be both controlled and encouraged. The hon.
Gentleman must not put the question in such a form as to create the idea that no
overseas investments will be licensed or permitted by the agency which we pro-
pose to set up. At the same time, until we balance our foreign payments we shall
not be able to afford as much overseas investment as in the earlier days. But all
this can be discussed at length on the Bill. We intend that in the autumn there
shall be legislation which will put the present capital issues control on a per-
manent basis. The two new financial corporations for industry an'd commerce

Government Policy on Reconversion

must be given appropriate places in the new scheme. I have already seen the
Chairman of these two bodies, Lord Hindley and Mr. William Piercy, and I am
confident from my discussions that they will be anxious to play a most useful part
in our future plans. It is not only a question of the wise direction of new invest-
ments, but it is also a question of careful timing. That point was taken in the
employment policy White Paper.
[Earl Winterton: Might I ask the Chancellor a question? Do these contem-
plated restrictions follow exactly the present situation? Is it intended that the
small man who wants to borrow 200 shall be subject to these restrictions?]
No, Sir. There is an old quotation which says "de minimis non curat lex."
Of course not. There will be an exemption for small borrowers. We are talking
of major operations-I am sure the House will realize this-for large sums will
be necessary in order to carry through on the one.'hand our industrial re-equip-
ment and on the other hand our housing program, and we must control the flow
of funds connected with these two great objects ....
I wish now to make some observations on interest rates both from the point
of view of the Budget and because the lower the debt charge the better from the
point of view of industry and of the housing program. We must in the years that
lie ahead borrow as cheaply as we can. The Government intend to continue the
money policy which has been pursued for some .time, and I am now exploring
with my advisers both at the Treasury and the Bank of England the future pos-
sibilities in the field of cheap money and low interest rates. We must see whether
we cannot give even further assistance to industry and other borrowers, including
local authorities for housing, by cheapening still further the cost of great capital
operations. We are actually pursuing that, and this is a matter which has, of
course, great importance for our industrial efficiency in general and our export
trade in particular, and for the standard of life of our people.
The Savings Drive
Meanwhile,. the stage is set for the next great savings drive. Plans for this
were made before the Election and we have taken them over. We shall do our best
to make them succeed in full measure. There is to be a special Thanksgiving
Campaign, due to be launched on September 15th. Immediately on taking office,
I sent a message to Sir Harold Mackintosh, the Chairman of the National Savings
Committee, to be transmitted to the local Savings Committees, in which I empha-
sized the great responsibility which lies upon individual citizens in connection with
this campaign. Now I have said, in reply to a Question today, and I repeat it now
being sure that the House will be in agreement with it, that it is not very much
use for anybody to dish out additional purchasing power unless there is an increase
in the supply of goods coming forward for purchasing. Otherwise the whole
thing is frustration. In the transition period supplies are necessarily short as a
result of the war effort until we can get our industry revolving again for peacetime
purposes. It is, therefore, most valuable that a large part of the income of a
country should go into savings rather than seek an outlet it current expenditure
against scarce supplies of goods. I said in my letter to Sir Harold Mackintosh
that, as all the world knows, there is no safer form of investment than British
Government securities, and this proposition is independent of the verdict of the
last Election.
The Leader of the Opposition has just left the House, but I would like to
quote again the statement that he made last week. He said:
"It may be helpful for me to express the opinion, as Leader of the Opposi-
tion, that... British credit will be resolutely upheld."-[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th
August, 1945; Vol. 413, c. 94.]

British Speeches of the Day

I was very glad to hear him express the opinion, and I need hardly say that I
fully share it, that Britain's credit is a national and not a party interest. I trust
that party differences will not develop which will have the tendency to lower
British credit by uncalculated or undiplomatic suggestion.

Maintenance of Price Control
So far as inflation is concerned, we must so order our affairs that we must not
run into inflation, which destroys the value of our money, nor, on the other hand,
run into deflation which destroys employment and checks production. We must
pursue between those two excesses a steady course in which the value of our money
and the employment of our people are steadily maintained. Sir, I would say this;
that if we are to avoid inflation we must rigorously maintain price control, particu-
larly the necessaries of life, and there are excellent agencies both at the Board of
Trade, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, and at the Ministry of Food which
enable us to exercise a most effective check upon profiteering. In my opinion,
having seen it working at close quarters, price control is one of the administrative
successes of the war. It is essential that it should be maintained. Any ill-consid-
ered de-control of prices would be the surest road to inflation in the conditions of
scarcity which cannot be wholly alleviated for some considerable time to come.
Therefore, no heed must be taken to those organs of the Press and to isolated voices
in this House which may clamour for the sweeping away of controls. Towards
those controls we must adopt a truly "Conservative" approach. We must not
favor hasty and ill-considered action in regard to those instruments which, in past
years, have served us so well. That is my approach to this problem of controls.

Autumn Budget
I read rumors in the Press of an Autumn Budget and perhaps I may say a
word on that, though not in detail. There has been a tremendous transformation
of scene, both outside because the war has come to an end and in this House
because of the Election, since my predecessor at the Treasury announced his inten-
tion of bringing in an Autumn Budget. That was his intention had he remained
in office, and it is also my intention. I think it is indispensable, taking account
of all the tremendous changes that have occurred in the last few months and
weeks, that we should reconsider the whole field covered by the Budget, both on
the Expenditure and on the Revenue sides. It is therefore my intention to submit
a Supplementary Budget in the autumn. I am sure I shall not be expected in
advance of the proposals which I shall make to the House to say more today
except perhaps to utter a warning to the public against harboring extravagant ex-
pectations of tax relief. I will not go further than that today. There are certain
very grave financial problems which we shall have to consider in the autumn and
the years ahead. The financial part is not going to be at all easy. Indeed, it is
going for some years to be hard and stony, but I am sure that we may have con-
fidence in the ultimate outcome and in general willingness to face all awkward
situations as we pass along. I am confident that this House is going to give sup-
port to the Government in approaching financial problems in a cold and realistic'
spirit. But that spirit will be backed by an idealistic purpose to do our best to
achieve all those things by way of raising the standard of life and the adjustment
of income to need, all those large objects which we have in view. We shall not
expect to find Utopia ready baked for the next meal; but there is no reason for
not proceeding as rapidly as we can.
I have the very greatest confidence that this House will support the Govern-
ment in that policy and perhaps I might be allowed in conclusion to make a general
observation. Never, since the great Parliament of 1906, has there been so great

United Nations Charter

an influx into this House, after an Election, of new men and women inspired by
new ideas and new programs. Youth has come in at this Election on a flood tide.
-I am glad that the average age of this House has sustained a most healthy diminu-
tion. Ministerialists are slightly younger than the Opposition, and that too is a
change. I am five years younger than my predecessor, and other cases could be
cited. The House is much younger and a good deal better and already, in these
first days of Debate, Maiden Speeches have revealed that many new and striking
personalities have come to Westminster, with high promise for the future.
This Parliament, I hope and believe, is going to write a great page in British
history. It is going to do big things both for our own people in domestic legis-
lation, and for the world outside by its energy and by the example it sets. I find
the outlook exceedingly encouraging, even at a moment when many of us might
be incined to be daunted by the magnitude of the tasks thit confront us in our
Departments-I not least at the Exchequer. But I believe that, in the years to
come, this 1945 Parliamentary vintage will long be renowned in the annals of
British Parliaments.
I have covered in broad general outline a number of topics this afternoon and
I will answer the questions which will be put down by the Opposition. When the
autumn comes we shall be able to debate in much greater detail the various ap-
proaches which I. have outlined today and which are mentioned in the-Gracious
[House of Commons Debates]

Prime Minister
House of Commons, August 22, 1945

On April 17th last I opened the Debate in this House on the subject of the
forthcoming Conference at San Francisco, and on the proposals generally called
the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, which were formulated as a basis for discussion by
the sponsoring Powers. In that Debate, while there was criticism of certain pro-
visions of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals and, particularly, of the agreement come
to at the Crimea Conference at Yalta with regard to the veto, there was general
agreement in favor of the formation of an international organization. That Debate
took place shortly before we proceeded to San Francisco, and the House will
remember that the delegation from Great Britain was led by my right hon.
Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden), and that Members
of the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and of both branches of the Liberal
Party were included. This was in accord with the procedure adopted by many of
the States represented at San Francisco, in particular by the United States and by
the Dominions.
It was felt that in this new attempt for the setting up of an organization for the
prevention of war-a matter of such vital importance to all-it was desirable to
lift the whole matter outside the range of party controversy, and try to mobilize
behind it all shades of political opinion. It is, therefore, with confidence that I
submit to this House the Charter which has been approved by representatives of
50 nations, represented by men and women of various political views. This Charter
was discussed in Conference, every paragraph was subjected to close examination
and amendment in the technical committees on which all those nations were

504 British Speeches of the Day

Tribute to British Delegation at San Francisco
I would, at this point, like to pay tribute to my colleagues of the British delega-
tion. My right hon. Friend opposite, who was then the Foreign Secretary, took a
very leading part in the earlier, and, I think, perhaps the most difficult, stages of
the Conference, which I think owed a great deal to his wise leadership. Of my
other colleagues in this House, Mr. Mabane, Mr. Dingle Foot and Miss Horsbrugh
have fallen by the wayside in the recent General Election but they, with those who
are still with us, played their full part in committee work, as did, also, Lord Cran-
borne and Lord Halifax. I would specially mention the work of those two Noble
Lords, because of the very heavy burden which fell upon them. The impending
General Election caused the withdrawal, gradually, of the House of Commons
representatives. They had to carry on, and right well they did so. Everyone of
my colleagues served'on one or more of the 12 main committees, everyone took
charge of a special subject, everyone made his or her contribution to the final
Charter which emerged.
I would like, here, to say a word about the admirable work done by the very
strong team of officials which accompanied us. I am sure the House would like to
join with me in expressing our deep regret that some of these were lost in an
aeroplane accident on returning to this country. I would specially refer to Sir
William Malkin, a jurist of very great authority, who had done particularly dis-
tinguished work. I would also like to acknowledge the great service to the
Conference which was rendered by Mr. Stettinius, who presided with so much
understanding and tact over all our deliberations.
This Charter was voted and discussed in accordance with the best traditions of
democracy, and it was ultimately signed by the representatives of all the 50 na-
tions. Since then it has been ratified by the United States of America, the Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics, by France, and by New Zealand. I now come to the
House to ask for ratification here.

Outstanding Points of the Charter
I do not think I should serve the House usefully this afternoon-by discussing
the Charter paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter, or line by line, nor do I
think it would be particularly desirable that I should show in detail how the
Charter emerged from these lengthy discussions, and how the original Dumbarton-
Oaks proposals were amended. I would rather call attention to some of the out-
standing points. It was realized in the Debate last April that there was bound to
be much discussion on the allocation of power between the greater and the smaller
States. Well, we in this House know very well the difficulty of seeing that con-
stituencies are approximately equal in electoral strength, and this House has often
heard long and eloquent speeches on the well-worn theme of "One vote, one
value." Therefore, Members will understand the difficulty of combining in one
organization a number of States differing so widely in extent, population and
power as those comprised in the 50 nations that were represented at San Francisco.
Undoubtedly the most critical debates and discussions turned on this very
point, as to whether we could preserve the rights of small nations while seeing
to it that the great Powers were given a position commensurate with their im-
portance and with the responsibilities they had to assume. In particular, there were
questions as to what was called the veto, which, it was suggested, gave the great
Powers the right to be judges in their own cause. As I explained to the House in
April, the exceptional position accorded to the great Powers was due to the special
obligations which they undertook. I think there was considerable agreement that
this particular matter could not be settled by the simple method of putting all

United Nations Charter

States completely on a level, oblivious of their population, extent and power.
The doubts that were raised in this House were very fully expressed at San Fran-
cisco, and, indeed, they were hotly debated, but in the end, although there were
modifications, to which I shall refer later, the small States ultimately accepted the
broad lines of the great Powers' proposals. And that, I think, was due to the fact
that they appreciated that the basis of the Charter corresponded to the realities of
the situation that exists in the world today.

Preamble of the Charter
I would like here to emphasize again a point I have made, perhaps rather too
frequently, in discussions on this and kindred subjects. The success of the new
organization will not depend so much on the exact provisions as on the spirit in
which they are worked. If a great Power resolves not to carry out the principles
laid down in the Charter no paper provisions will restrain it. Failure of the
great Powers to agree and act together would inevitably mean the ruin of the
organization, and I am sure that as the debates proceeded at San Francisco the
truth of this was realized by the delegates, and I suggest to this House that the
realization of this truth is borne out by the writing into the Charter of the Pre-
amble and the widening of the principles and purposes. That Preamble we owe
largely to Field Marshal Smuts. His authoritative contributions to the discussions
at San Francisco were the result of that union of lofty ideals and practical wisdom
that we have come to expect of him. I remember there was a complaint that the
Dumbarton Oaks proposals formed'a rather frigid document. I pointed out at the
time that it was the work of officials who were not expected to be eloquent, but I
think it will be agreed that that defect had been cured at San Francisco. Field
Marshal Smuts brought before the Conference a draft which he had prepared in
collaboration with the Foreign Office, and that Preamble was very carefully con-
sidered and amended. But although amendments were made the substance and
spirit of the Preamble are derived from the Field Marshal's draft. It is worth
while, I think, that I should remind the House of the Preamble, and thus have
it on record in this House:
"We, the peoples of the United Nations, determined-
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in
our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth
of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of
nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations
arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be
maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
and for these ends-
to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good
neighbours, and
to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods,
that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and
social advancement of all peoples,
have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims."

British Speeches of the Day

It is worth noting that this declaration does not start by saying "We, the
Governments." It starts by saying "We, the peoples." This, I think, is right,
because it expresses the fact that this Charter is an endeavor to put into practical
form the deep feelings of all the peoples, including the fighting men who have
made it possible to have a Charter at all. Here, then, in this Preamble we have an
expression of the desires of the peoples. I am aware that that Preamble is not
binding, but it is an expression of intentions. Its purposes and principles are an
integral part of the Charter, and in Article 24 the Security Council is charged with
acting in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
That addition, I may say, was made at the instance of the United Kingdom Dele-
gation. If you make a comparison between Chapter I of the Dumbarton Oaks
proposals-and there has been issued a very useful document setting out in parallel
what were the proposals of Dumbarton Oaks and what was done at San Francisco-
you will see that there is a great advance in the statement of principles. For in-
stance, where the original proposal only said that international disputes were to
be adjusted or settled by peaceful means, in the Charter these are to be settled in
conformity with the principles of justice and international law. Again, friendly
relations among nations are to be based on respect for the principle of equal
rights and self-determination of peoples, while a new purpose altogether is intro-
duced, that of promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and the
fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or
Here we have a very notable extension from the consideration of the rights of
nations to the rights of human beings within the nation. I am aware that there
was provision under the League of Nations for the protection of minorities, but I
do not think the League of Nations had anything quite as explicit as this, in that
we are seeking not merely good relations between nation and nation but good
relations between the human beings within the nations. It is true that the exact
way in which this is to be secured is not specifically laid down, and I must admit
there is a limitation as to the intervention of the United Nations in matters which
are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, but can anyone deny
that the kind of treatment that was meted out by Hitler and the Nazis to the
Jews is a matter that far transcends a question of mere domestic jurisdiction? I am
certain that if there should arise, which God forbid, anything like this persecution
-in other lands that the new organization will take note of it and I believe take
action. I have stressed the Preamble and the purposes and principles laid down in
the Charter.because it is precisely the acceptance of them which gives value to the
machinery set up. Without the genuine acceptance of these principles mere
machinery is almost valueless. There must be the spirit which quickens.

Functions of the General Assembly
The next point I would call attention to is with regard to the functions of the
SGeneral Assembly. It was, I know, felt by many delegates, particularly the dele-
gates of the smaller Powers, that in the original proposals, too much stress was
laid on the Security Council and not enough on the Assembly. The functions of
the General Assembly were expanded at San Francisco partly at the instance of
the sponsoring Powers themselves and partly as the result of long debates in Com-
mittee. It is very easy-to under-estimate the value of public opinion and of open
discussions which lead public opinion. No Member of the House of Commons
should make that mistake. The General Assembly has power to consider any mat-
ters affecting the peace of the world and to make recommendations about it, unless
it is some subject which is just at that time in the charge of the Security Council.
I am certain that the discussions in the Assembly, as the discussions in the Assembly

United Nations Charter

of the League of Nations, can be of immense value in focusing public opinion on
the great issues that arise between nations.

Composition of the Security Council
There was a good deal of discussion about the composition of the Security
Council, but it was left almost in exactly the same position as in the Dumbarton
Oaks proposals. By Article 23 an endeavor was made to give guidance in the
selection of the non-permanent members. The House will recall that there are five
permanent members and six members that change from time to time. That was in
two directions; first by consideration being given to the contribution of the members
to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of
the organization; and secondly, to equitable geographical distribution. In view of
the heavy responsibilities which are placed on the Security Council I think it will
be agreed that there would be a great advantage that the States represented thereon
besides the great Powers should include always some of those States which have
shown not only their willingness but also their capacity to make a contribution to
world security. Among those States one may mention the Dominions, which in
two wars have shown tremendous willingness to come forward in the cause of
peace. But it is equally obvious that if peace is indivisible-and we should recog-
nize now that wars which begin at one end of the world may spread all over the
world-there should be representatives who are concerned in all the various parts
of the world in which danger may be thought to arise.
The final provisions of the Charter on these points owe much to the contribu-
tion made by the Canadian Delegation. In the discussion of the powers of the
Security Council the British Delegation took a foremost part in seeking to make
the Security Council something more than a policeman who is called in only when
there is already a danger of a breach of the peace. We sought, and sought success-
fully, to make it a place where the policies of the States, and especially the greater
States, could be discussed and reconsidered for the time, especially when they
showed signs of.such divergencies as to threaten the harmony of international
relations. Collective security is not merely a promise to act when an emergency
occurs, but it is active co-operation to prevent emergencies occurring. In the past
the League of Nations too often came into action at too late a stage, and I hope
now, that that error has been corrected. What, I think, is required is a continuous
discussion of international affairs, not spasmodic action at times of crisis.

Military Staff Committee
There are other points, on which I do not propose to speak at length, such as
the setting up of a Military Staff Committee, and the provision that agreements by
which States promise to keep special contingents of Armed Forces at the disposal
of the Security Council should be made with the Security Council itself and not
merely between the various States. On the other side encouragement was given
to regional organizations to provide means for settling minor disputes between
members and thus taking off part of the burden that rests on the Security Council.

Economic and Social Council
I have dwelt at some length on the machinery for dealing with disputes and
the prevention of war, but while much of the time was taken up with that, the
Conference was very conscious of the need for dealing with the economic and
social causes of war, through international co-operation. I think there was a
general feeling that peace is not negative, but positive. I think a comparison of
the Dumbarton Oaks proposals with those of the Charter will show hon. Members

508 British Speeches of the Day

the extent of the expansion and elaboration of the original scheme which took
place during the discussions. In this, I think, our delegates may dearly claim to
have played a leading part with our friends from the Commonwealth and also
from India. Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar, who many of us know, was the very able
Chairman of the Committee which was responsible for this detailed work. In the
first place, the Economic and Social Council which had originally appeared only
as a subsidiary part of the Organization was made a principal organ of the United
Nations. I may say, incidentally, that the principle that men and women were
to be equally eligible to participate in the work of any part of the Organization-
a matter which this House may think perfectly dear to all of us-was made ex-
plicit. I think this is important, especially in respect of the work of the Economic
and Social Council. Let me recall to the House the purposes of the Economic and
Social Council. It is charged with promoting higher standards of living, full em-
ployment and conditions of economic and social progress and development, as well
as solutions of international economic, social, health and related problems, inter-
national cultural and educational co-operation and a universal respect for the obser-
vance of human rights and fundamental freedoms f9r all, without any discussion
as to race, sex, language or religion. It will be seen, too, under Artide 56, that
all members pledged themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operating
with the Organization for the achievement of those purposes. That is to say, the
raising of standards is not a matter that must wait until there has been international
agreement; it means that all can go forward, everyone in their own country and
thus in co-operation try to get uniformity and a moving forward together. This, I
may say, was inserted on the initiative of the Australian Delegation.

Specialized Agencies: I.L.O.
I know many members of this House are interested in the I.L.O. and the British
Delegation fully demonstrated its belief in the'I.L.O. as an instrument for raising
standards and bettering conditions for the workers throughout the world. While it
was eventually decided not to single out any one agency for mention in the Char-
ter, a general provision was made for bringing those specialized agencies, of which
there are of course a number, into relationship with the new Organization. There
was widespread recognition that such bodies as the I.L.O. and the Food and Agri-
cultural Organization should come in under this provision.

Statute of International Court of Justice
So far, I have been dealing with extensions and expansions of the Dumbarton
Oaks proposals. There are two entirely new parts of the Charter which I would
bring to the notice of hon. Members-the Statute of the International Court of
Justice and the chapters concerning dependent territories. The Statute of the
International Court of Justice follows, as was natural, very much the lines of the
permanent court of International Justice that we knew under the League of Na-
tions. The provisions relating to it were worked out by a very experienced body
of international lawyers, prominent among whom was Sir William Malkin to
whose loss I have already referred.

Colonial Problems
I would like to say a special word with regard to Chapter XI which deals with
Colonial problems. Here we have a declaration on Colonial policy. This declara-
tion, as is most proper, arises from the initiative of the representatives of the
greatest Colonial Power-the United Kingdom. I would like here to pay a very
special tribute to the diplomatic skill and patience of the former Secretary of State

United Nations Charter

for Dominion Affairs, Lord Cranborne, and the present Minister of Works, the
hon. Member for Farnworth (Mr. Tomlinson), who were jointly responsible for
handling this subject at San Francisco. The doctrine of trusteeship as a guiding
principle in Colonial policy is nothing new. It has been our guiding policy in this
country for many years, but the Declaration in Chapter XI of the United Nations
Charter is the first general international declaration of Colonialfpolicy.
Let us look at it for a moment. The Colonial Powers who have signed this
Charter recognize the principle that the interest of the inhabitants of non-self-
governing territories are paramount and accept, as a sacred trust, the obligation to
promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security estab-
lished by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories.
They undertake to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned,
their political, economic, social and educational advancement, their just treatment,
and their protection against abuses. They undertake also to develop self-govern-
ment, that is, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to
assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions,'ac-
cording to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples, and their
various stages of advancement. Provision is made for the regular transmission to
the Secretary-General of information relating to the economic, social and educa-
tional conditions in these territories. Here the Delegates of the Government of
Australia made a very substantial contribution in the adoption of this Article.

Chapter XII deals with the International Trusteeship principle. Here, the
United States and the United Kingdom took the lead in securing the adoption of
this Chapter. Of course, its provisions are naturally based to some extent on the
old mandatory system, but there are one or two differences to which I ought to call
the attention of the House. The old systems of mandates laid down what was
in effect a policy of neutralization, forbidding fortifications, forbidding bases, and
limiting the training of native troops to local defense purposes. I think the new
system recognizes the positive obligation that the inhabitants of the territories
place under the system should make their full contribution to defense, and there
are also provisions designating parts of any trust territory as a strategic area under
the supervision of the Security Council.
There is another important provision-I think still more important-relating
to what was commonly known as "the open door." Under the Mandate System
there was an absolute requirement to guarantee equal treatment to all members of
the League of Nations and their nationals in economic and social matters. In
practice, this often operated to the disadvantage of the inhabitants of the territory.
We see that in regard to some of our mandated territory in Africa, and I think
one can say that the motives underlying these provisions, which incidentally were
not reciprocal, were quite as much to protect the rival interest of the sovereign
Powers as to promote the interests of the mandated territories themselves. This
has now been modified. While there is still an obligation to ensure equal terms,
this obligation is made definitely subordinate to the basic objectives of the Trustee-
ship System and these include the political, economic, social and educational ad-
vancement of the inhabitants. No one would suggest that the State entrusted with
the administration of these territories should apply discrimination in its own favor;
but if it is to be a good trustee it must be free to apply measures of discrimination
where necessary in the interests of the peoples whose welfare is entrusted to it.

British Speeches of the Day

There is one point I should like to make before I leave this part of my speech.
The purpose of Chapter XII is to create a system of international machine. It
does not itself place any territories under International Trusteeship or take any
decision as to the future of such territories, nor by passing this Motion will the
House be entering into any commitment. I jnay add that the conference owed a
great debt to Mr. Fraser, the Prime Minister of New Zealand who presided over
the Committee responsible for the drafting of these Chapters on Colonial policy
and Trusteeship.

Ratification Requested
I have endeavored to draw the attention of the House to the salient features
of this Charter. Further points will be brought out in discussion, no doubt, by
my right hon. Friend opposite who took such a leading part in our discussions, and
by other Members, by the Minister of Education, and the Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs, who will be speaking later in the Debate. But I would like to
express my profound conviction of the supreme importance of this subject which
we are discussing. It is easy, of course, to suggest amendments, but I believe the
House will recognize that it is a great achievement that the delegates of 50 nations,
while a great war was still raging, should have been able to come to agreement on
a matter of such vital importance. Discussions and debates of this kind do mean
a good deal of "sweet reasonableness" and willingness to accept majority views.
After long discussion and debate, the Charter was finally approved by all the
delegates. I say that this is a great Charter which I am asking the House to ratify.
It is a great instrument ready to be used in the interests of world peace and world
prosperity. It is a step forward in international organization. I do not claim for a
moment that it is a final step. The Charter itself can be amended as a result of
experience. We may, I hope we will, go much further towards international co-
operation, but its existence is itself a sign that the nations of the world realize that
without co-operation for peace there can be no security for any nation.
When I spoke in the House in April before leaving for San Francisco, I
recalled to the House how we in these islands were familiar, as we had never been
before in our history, with the horrors of war. I pointed out that grievous as
were the wounds that had been inflicted on Europe, we should be very foolish if
we imagined that the science of destruction had yet done its worst. I said that we
had in the flying bomb, and the long-range rocket only a foretaste of what was in
store for mankind, unless world affairs could be managed more wisely than in the
past. I said that we must realize that, unless we could get away from world anarchy,
we and our children would know life only under an abiding menace of sudden
devastating attack, launched from far away, without warning and perhaps without,
for a long time at all events, any real possibility of defense. All I said then has
been only too terribly reinforced. The coming of the atomic bomb has, in fact,
brought into actuality what I described to the House then as only a possibility. I
am certain that all of us, in this House, realize that we are now faced with a naked
choice between world co-operation and world destruction, and it is, therefore, with
the consciousness of six years of war behind us, and all the possibilities that hang
over us in the future, that I commend this Charter to the House and confidently
ask approval of its ratification.
[House of Commons Debates]

Reallocation of Manpower

Minister of Labour and National Service
House of Commons, August 23, 1945

Release from the Armed Forces
The scheme for release from the Armed Forces after the defeat of Germany
was presented to Parliament last September by my right hon. Friend the Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs. It was described as a scheme for the Reallocation of
Manpower between the Armed Forces and Civilian Employment during any interim
period between the defeat of Germany and the defeat of Japan.* We have now
passed that interim period, but, as stated by the Prime Minister last Thursday, we
have not, for the reasons which he gave, yet come to the time for full demobiliza-
tion, and it is intended to continue the orderly release of men and women from
the Armed Forces on the basis of the present scheme. In the Debate on May 16th,
my right hon. Friend said that it was hoped that the releases of men and women
from the Forces up to the end of 1945 would reach three-quarters of a million.
That represented an increase on earlier estimates. This was subsequently confirmed
on May 31st by my predecessor in office. In view of developments since then, it
has been possible at once to accelerate the rate of release with the result that we
may now expect that nearly 900,000 men and over 100,000 women will be released
in Class A this year. A further review of military requirements is now taking
place. The release scheme came into operation in the middle of June when the
numbers released in the first groups were comparatively small. Nevertheless in the
first six weeks, that is up to the end of July, about 120,000' men and women were
released. The numbers are increasing progressively and rapidly each month as the
scheme gets under way, so that the main bulk of releases will fall in the last
* quarter of the year and will stretch to the uttermost of the machinery provided.
In addition to the release of men in Class A we are proceeding as quickly as
possible with the release of men in Class B for urgent reconstruction work. The
majority of the releases in Class B will be for the housing program, but there will
be substantial releases for other industries and services including coalmining and
teaching. It has also been decided to introduce a scheme for release of women in
Class B under which women will be released if they are willing to return to their
employment in such important civilian industries as textiles, clothing, boots and
shoes and laundries, where experienced workers are urgently needed. Any releases
in Class B will be controlled so that the total numbers both for men and women
will not exceed 10 per cent of releases in Class A.

Civilian Release from War Work
On the civilian side, the end of the Japanese war has made it possible to bring
about very rapid reductions in munitions production and so to make large numbers
of workpeople available for reallocation to other work. The Supply Departments
expect to release about 1,150,000 workers from war production in the next two
months. It is the Government's aim, working in co-operation with employers and
workpeople, to make the change-over as smooth and speedy as possible, and at the
same time to assist the permanent resettlement in civilian employment of workers
whose services are no longer needed in war work.
Some of those released from war work will remain with their present em-
ployers for work in civilian production. Others, and particularly married women
Cmd. 6548, 5#

British Speeches of the Day

with household responsibilities, may wish to leave employment altogether. But
there will obviously be large numbers whom we shall wish to see resettled in
permanent employment. No one will think that this unwinding process will be
easy. Difficulties are bound to arise in particular areas where alternative employ-
ment may not be immediately available on the scale required completely to offset
the cuts in munitions. Special attention will be given to such cases.

Procedure for Dealing with Releases
With regard to the procedure for dealing with these releases we shall continue,
as far as possible, the arrangements which have operated successfully during the
war in connection with changes in production programs. Where there is a choice,
cuts in production will ordinarily be made first in those areas where the demands
for labor for civilian production and services are most urgent. It is hoped that
employers affected by cuts will tell their local Employment Exchange in advance
without waiting to give formal notice under the Essential Work Orders. This will
help both in the release of workpeople and in arranging for alternative

Redistribution of Workers
In this period of rapid readjustment an orderly redistribution of workers is of
the greatest importance if the most urgent needs of the nation are to be satisfied
first-if homes are to be built and furnished, household goods replenished and
exports raised in order to pay for our raw materials and food. Our aim must be
to encourage workers who are seeking fresh employment to enter those civilian
industries and services which have lost so much of their labor force during the war
and are essential to the work of reconstruction. For the time being some control
of this movement of labor must be maintained. I am examining urgently the.
operation of the existing controls, and I shall be ready to make such changes as
seem to be necessary to meet the new situation. In the meantime we have simplified
the arrangements made under the Essential Work Orders for release of workers no
longer required for war work. Under the order of release it will still be necessary
to select first, young men required for the Forces. Then release will be given to
those living away from home who wish to return. Where time permits we shall
select those who volunteer for certain other work of national importance. Finally
the employer will nominate workers for discharge with due regard to any indus-
trial agreements to which he is a party. Consultation with representatives of the
workers will be maintained.
For the conduct of the war we have had full mobilization of the manpower
resources of the country. This achievement has been made possible only with the
full co-operation of employers and trade unions and of individual men and women.
I am glad to be able to inform the House that I have received a full assurance of
the continued help and advice of both sides of organized industry in meeting the
problems of the change-over from war to peace. No one can pretend that there
will not be difficulties, but I am confident that they can be overcome with goodwill
and by harnessing to the work of reconstruction the energy which has been
generated for the purposes of war.
[House of Commons Debates)

Termination of Lend-Lease

Prime Minister
House of Commons, August 24, 1945

I am informed that the President of the United States has issued a directive
exercising .his powers under the Lend-Lease Act to order all outstanding Lend-
Lease contracts to be canceled and to provide that stocks and deliveries procured
under the Act must now be paid for either in cash or through credit arrangements
to be negotiated. I understand that this applies to stocks of food and other sup-
plies already in this country, as well as those in transit or to be delivered under
existing contracts. There is, however, an indication of a possible continuance of a
limited range of Lend-Lease for military purposes.
The system of Lend-Lease from the United States, Mutual Aid from Canada,
and the accumulation of sterling by the sterling area countries have been an integral
part of the war organiaztion of the Allies. In this way it has been made possible
for us in this island to mobilize our domestic manpower for war with intensity un-
surpassed elsewhere, and at the same time to undertake expenditure abroad for
the support of military operations over a widely extended area, without having to
produce exports to pay for our imports of food and raw materials or to provide
the cash we were spending abroad. The very fact that this was the right division
of effort between ourselves and our Allies leaves us, however, far worse off, when
the sources of assistance'dry up, than it leaves those who have been affording us
the assistance. If the role assigned to us has been to expand our exports so as to
provide a large margin over our current needs, which we could furnish free of
charge to our Allies, we should of course be in an immeasurably stronger position
than we are today.

The End of Lend-Lease Anticipation
We had not anticipated that operations under the Lend-Lease Act would con-
tinue for any length of time after the defeat of Japan. But we had hoped that
the sudden cessation of this great mutual effort, which has contributed so much to
victory, would not have been effected without consultation, and prior discussion
of the difficult problems involved in the disappearance of a system of so great a
range and complication. We can, of course, only demobilize and reconvert grad-
ually, and the sudden cessation of support on which our war organization has so
largely depended puts us in a very serious financial position.
Excluding altogether the munitions which we have been receiving under Lend-
Lease and Canadian Mutual Aid and will no longer require, our overseas outgoings
on the eve of the defeat of Japan were equivalent to expenditure at the rate of
about 2,000,000,000 a year, including the essential food and other non-munitions
supplies which-we have received hitherto under Lend-Lease but must now pay for.
Towards this total in the present year, 1945, our exports are contributing 350,-
000,000 and certain sources of income, mainly temporary, such as receipts from
the U.S. Forces in this country and reimbursements from the Dominions for war
expenditure which we have incurred on their behalf, 450,000,000. Thus the
initial deficit with which we start the task of re-establishing our own economy and
of contracting our overseas commitments is immense.

Mission to Washington
As I have said, we have not yet had an opportunity of discussing the resulting
situation with the United States Administration. Mr. Brand, Treasury representa-

British Speeches of the Day

tive in Washington, has, however, received a letter from the Foreign Economic
Administrator inviting us to enter into immediate conversations to work things out
in the manner which will best promote our mutual interests. I am, therefore, in-
viting Lord Halifax to return to Washington accompanied by Lord Keynes and
Mr. Brand and officials of other Departments to take part in.such conversations.
Reciprocal aid on the part of the United Kingdom, or Reverse Lend-Lease, as
it is sometimes called, which, according to the Reciprocal Aid Agreement with the
United States, is provided on the same terms as Lend-Lease aid, will of course
conform to the same dates of partial or complete termination as Lend-Lease. I
much hope, however, that the President will accept arrangements by which ship-
ping and food and any other supplies still required by our Forces overseas and by
the American Forces overseas can continue to be furnished for a limited period
under the Lend-Lease and Reciprocal Aid Agreements respectively. It would
seem reasonable to regard such supplies and services arising directly out of the
war as belonging to the common war effort, and, as I have said, there is an indica-
tion in the communication that has reached us that the American Administration
may so regard them.
I earnestly hope that the House, in view of the fact that negotiations on these
complicated issues are about to start, will agree that the matter shouldn't be the
subject of debate today.
[House of Commons Debates]

Leader.of the Opposition in the House of Commons
House of Commons, August 24, 1945

The very grave and disquieting statement which the Prime Minister has just
made must overshadow our minds. I agree with him entirely that a debate of a
discursive character arising before the issues have been properly weighed by the
House might easily be detrimental to our national interest, which always must
claim the allegiance of Members wherever they sit, and I think I can give my
assurance on behalf of the hon. Gentlemen who are associated with me on this side
of the House that we shall not touch upon this matter in the forthcoming debate
on the Adjournment. Words or phrases might be used which would hamper the
task of our negotiators in the difficult matters which lie before them. I think the
utmost restraint should be practiced, not only in the House, but, if I may say so,
also out of doors, in all comments on the American situation at the present time.
I cannot believe that this is the last word of the United States; I cannot believe
that so great a nation whose lend-lease policy was characterized by me as "the
most unsordid act in the history of the world," would proceed in a rough and
harsh manner to hamper a faithful Ally, an Ally who held the fort while their
own American armaments were preparing.,
I say that I hope indeed that this very great burden and strain will be eased as
a result of the discussions which are proceeding, and I give my support to the
Prime Minister in the request which he has made to the House.
[House of Commons Debates]

Simla Conference

Viceroy of India
Simla, July 14, 1945

Purpose of Simla Conference
I must give the Conference an account of what has happened since we ad-
journed on June 29th. As you know, my original intention was that the Confer-
ence should agree upon the strength and composition of the Executive Council,
and that thereafter parties should send me lists of names. To these names I would,
if necessary, have added names of my own, and attempted to form on paper an
Executive Council which might be acceptable to His Majesty's Government, myself,
and the Conference. I intended to discuss my selections with the Leaders, and
finally to put them to the Conference.
Unfortunately, the Conference was unable to agree about the strength and the
composition of the Executive Council, and on June 29th I undertook, with ap-
proval of the Conference, to endeavor to produce a solution not based on any
formula agreed in advance. I asked the parties to let me have lists of names, and
said I would do what I could to produce a solution acceptable to the Leaders and
to the Conference.

Efforts to Reach a Settlement
I received lists from all parties represented here except from the Moslem
League. I was, however, determined that the Conference should not fail until I
had made every possible effort to bring it to a successful ending. I therefore made
my provisional selections including certain Moslem League names, and I have
every reason to believe that if these selections had been accepted here they would
have been acceptable to His Majesty's Government.
My selections would, I think, have given a balanced and efficient Executive
Council, whose composition would have been reasonably fair to all parties. I did
not find it possible, however, to accept the claims of any party in full. When I
explained my solution to Mr. Jinnah he told me that it was not acceptable to the
Moslem League, and he was so decided that I felt it would be useless to continue
the discussions. In the circumstances I did not show my selections as a whole to
Mr. Jinnah, and there was no object in showing them to other Leaders.

Failure of Conference
The Conference has therefore failed. Nobody can regret this more than I do
myself. I wish to make it clear that responsibility for failure is mine. The main
idea underlying the Conference was mine. If it had succeeded, its success would
have been attributed to me, and I cannot place the blame for its failure upon any
of the parties. I ask party Leaders to accept this view, and to do all they can to
ensure that there are no recriminations. It is of the utmost importance that this
effort to secure agreement between the parties and communities should not result
in a worsening of communal feeling. I ask you all to exercise the greatest possible
I have now to consider the next steps. I must remind you that, whatever hap-
pens, the first two of three tasks mentioned in my broadcast-the prosecution of
the war against Japan, and carrying on of administration and preparation for post-
war development-must be performed by the Government of India for the time
being in Office. It will be my duty to see that these tasks are performed with the
greatest energy that I can impose and I cannot permit any hindrance to them.

516 British Speeches of the Day

No Recriminations
I propose to take a little time to consider in what way I can best help India
after failure of the Conference. You can all help best by refraining from recrim-
inations. The war against Japan must be carried on, and law and order must be
maintained, and until I see my way more dearly than I do now, it may be difficult
perhaps impossible, to suggest any new move. No Government can carry on under
daily prospect of change or dissolution. I have to secure the stability and day-to-
day efficiency of my Government, and it would be impossible to enter upon con-
tinuous or even frequent political discussions of this kind. Whatever decisions His
Majesty's Government may take in the near future must therefore, in all prob-
ability, hold good for some little time.
I thank you all for the help you have given me, and for the restraint, patience
and understanding which you have shown. Do not any of you be discouraged by
this setback. We shall overcome our difficulties in the end. The future greatness
of India is not in doubt.
[Official Release)

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

Mr. Warbey (Labor) asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's
Government will take the initiative in consultation with the Governments of the
U.S.A., the Soviet Union, France and China, in calling an international conference
to discuss methods of ensuring effective international control of atomic power, and
of the materials and processes associated with its production and use.
Mr. Cocks (Labor) asked the Prime. Minister in view of the calculation by
experts that the development of atomic energy for industrial purposes can be
achieved in 10 years, whether the Anglo-American organization which produced
the atomic bomb will now be given the task of developing atomic energy for civil
and industrial purposes; whether conversations with the U.S.A. Government on
the subject are contemplated; and whether, in any case, he can give an assurance
that research and development in this direction will not be hampered through lack
of financial support ...
The Prime Minister: [Mr. Clement Attlee] The many questions involved
in the future of atomic energy, including that of the international handling of the
subject and its possible development for industrial purposes, are, of course, already
engaging the attention of His Majesty's Government. In my statement published
on August 13th, I declared the intention of His Majesty's Government to devote
all their efforts to making the new discovery serve the purpose of world peace and
to co-operate with others to that end.
In order to assist them in dealing with the many far-raching questions raised
by this new discovery, both as regards its international treatment and its further
development in this country, whether for industrial or military purposes, His

Question Time in the House of Commons

Majesty's Government have decided to appoint an Advisory Committee. I am
happy to say that my right hon. Friend the Member for the Scottish Universities
(Sir J. Anderson) has agreed to accept the chairmanship of this Committee. The
other members will be as follows:
Sir Alexander Cadogan, Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Fpreign Office.
Field-Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff.
Sir Alan Barlow, Second Secretary, Treasury.
Sir Edward Appleton, Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial
Sir Henry Dale, the President of the Royal Society.
Professor P. M. S. Blackett.
Sir James Chadwick.
Sir George Thomson.
[August 21, 1945]

Sir P. Hannon (Conservative) asked the President of the Board of Trade
if he contemplates the issue in the near future of reports from the diplomatic and
consular services on the economic conditions of foreign countries with special
reference to the opportunities for the restoration and expansion of British export
trade; and if he will expedite the publication of these reports and their presentation
to Parliament.
Sir S. Cripps: A series of Reviews of Commercial Conditions in foreign
and Empire countries is already being published by the Department of Overseas
Trade. The series comprises 27 export markets. Sixteen Reviews are already on
sale; another six are with the printers and the other Reviews are now being
[August 21, 1945]

Dr. Little (Independent Ulster Unionist) asked the Minister of Fuel and
Power whether, as peace has now come, he will relax the wartime restrictions on
taxi-cab owners in Northern Ireland which circumscribed the area they should
cover; and whether, in the interests both of the owners and users of taxi-cabs, he
will arrange at an early date for a reversion to pre-war conditions.
Mr. Shinwell: As I stated yesterday in reply to a similar Question, I must
defer considering the possibility of relaxing the present petrol rationing restrictions
on taxi-cabs and private hire cars until I have reviewed our arrangements for
future petrol supplies when Lend-Lease supplies cease.
[August 24, 1945]

British Speechs of the Day

Major Renton (Liberal National) asked the Prime Minister if he will give
an undertaking that no man over 45, now serving in the Forces, will be sent to
India or S.E.A.C. against his will, whatever his release group may be.
The Prime Minister: [Mr. Clement Attlee] I understand the hon. and
gallant Member is referring to men over 35 years of age. In these circumstances,
the answer is "No, Sir."
[August 24, 1945)

Sir P. Macdonald (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for the
Colonies whether, in view of the Japanese surrender, he proposes to take over,
without amendment, the scheme of the Malayan Rubber Estate Owners for dealing
with the transitional period; and what arrangements will be made to ensure that
the interests of the estate managers and employers, British, Chinese, Malayan and
others, will be protected during this period.
Mr. George Hall: I am prepared to give to the Malayan Rubber Estate
Owners Company the support promised by my predecessor on the same under-
standing, namely, that I reserve my right and the right of the Governments which
will be re-established in Malaya to consider specially the cases of estate owners who
may claim that, for financial or other reasons, it is impossible for them to join the
Company or that it will seriously prejudice their interests to do so; and in approp-
riate cases, where the claim is considered to be valid, to arrange for such owners
to get assistance in the obtaining of goods and services to an extent not greater
and on terms not more favorable than the assistance extended to members of the
As regards the second part of the Question, the object of this scheme is to en-
sure a fair distribution among all owners of 100 acres or more of equipment and
services which will be in short supply, and I am not quite clear in what respect
the interests of the estate managers and employers require protection. If, how-
ever, the hon. and gallant Member would care to give me some further explanation
of the cases he has in mind I should be happy to give further consideration to them.
[August 24, 1945]


(Formed By The Right Hon. Clement Attlee, July and August, 1945)

Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister of Defense-RT. HON.
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons-RT. HON.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs-RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN.
Chancellor of the Exchequer-RT. HON. EDWARD HUGH JOHN NEALE DALTON.
President of the Board of Trade-RT. HON. SIR RICHARD STAFFORD CRIPPS, K.C.
Lord Chancellor-RT. HON. LORD JOWITT, K.C.
First Lord of the Admiralty-RT. HON. ALBERT VICTOR ALEXANDER, C.H.
Secretary of State for the Home Department-RT. HON. JAMES CHUTER EDE.
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs and Leader of the House of Lords-RT.
Secretary of State for India and Burma-RT. HON. LORD PETHICK-LAWRENCE.
Secretary of State for the Colonies-RT. HON. GEORGE HENRY HALL.
Secretary of State for War-RT. HON. JOHN JAMES LAWSON.
Secretary of State for Air-RT. HON. VISCOUNT STANSGATE, D.S.O., D.F.C.
Secretary of State for Scotland-RT. HON. JOSEPH WESTWOOD.
Minister of Labour and National Service-RT. HON. GEORGE ALFRED ISAACS.
Minister of Fuel and Power-RT. HON. EMANUEL SHINWELL.
Minister of Education-RT. HON. ELLEN CECILY WILKINSON.
Minister of Health-RT. HON. ANEURIN BEVAN.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries-RT. HON. THOMAS WILLIAMS.



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