BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
AN AG! W~%OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, September 3, 1945.
The Japanese Surrender.
SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS, President of the Board of Trade, September 9, 1945.
The Road to National Recovery.
HUGH DALTON, Chancellor of the Exchequer, September 14, 1945.
The Need for National Savings After Victory.
LORD KEYNES, Economic Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
September 12, 1945.
Mission to Washington.
LORD HALIFAX, British Ambassador to the United States,
September 22, 1945.
Report from Britain.
CLEMENT ATTLEE, Prime Minister, September 19, 1945
Next Steps in India.
LORD WAVELL, Viceroy of India, September 19, 1945.
Next Steps in India.
Vol. III, No. 10
S. Circle 6-5100
S. Andover 1733
NEW YORK 20 . . 30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA . .
WASHINGTON 5, D. C. 1336 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W..
CHICAGO I . . 360 NORTH MICHIGAN AVENUE .
SAN FRANCISCO 8 . 391 SUTTER STREET . .
"Question Time in the House of Commons"
does not appear in this issue because Parliament
was in recess between August 24 and October 9.
This department will be resumed in future issues.
Broadcast, September 3, 1945
Yesterday the Japanese, the last of our enemies whose ambitions plunged the
world into so much bloodshed and misery, signed the terms of surrender in Tokyo.
Thus Japan's long course of imperialist and militarist aggression has ended. We
of the British Commonwealth and Empire and all our Allies rejoice at the down-
fall of our enemies, at the release of those of our fellow citizens who have been
in prison, and at the freeing of the peoples who have been so long subjected to
Japanese rule. We should today acknowledge again the debt that we owe to the
men of our own country, from the Dominions, India and the Colonies and from
the United States, who, fighting not only against a ruthless and barbarous enemy
but against appalling natural conditions, have brought about this great event.
To the men of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force we pay our tribute, but per-
haps at this time we should express our intense satisfaction that at long last the
ordeal of the Chinese people has been terminated.
Let us remember today that it was the Japanese action in Manchuria that started
the train of events which culminated in the world war. The failure to deal with
this first breach of the peace destroyed the authority of the League of Nations,
in which, as an instrument for the maintenance of peace, the generation which
fought the First World War had put their faith. The lesson that peace is in-
divisible and that it can only be preserved by the resolute maintenance of the rule
of law all over the world should have been learnt in 1918. The world has since
then experienced a second world war more grievous than the first. The lesson
that was not learnt in 1918 must be learnt today.
Years of Waste
Six years ago today the sirens first sounded in London. In those long years
we have known all the vicissitudes of war, the distress ard pain of defeats and
reverses, the elation of success, the boredom of the long-continued performance
of routine tasks, the extremities of enemy attacks on our homes, the pride of
achievement and the anxiety for our loved ones. We have seen great cities struck
down and devastated.
The British Commonwealth of Nations has from start to finish been in the
war and taken its full share in every continent. We may well be proud of the
efforts of our men and women at home, in the Dominions, in India and in the
Colonies. At no time, even when things were at their darkest, has there been
any failure of resolution, any whimper in the face of loss.
We are now emerging from those six years of waste-for, from the point of
progress of civilization, war is nothing but waste. It is true that in the course
of it the darkness and destruction is illuminated by many examples of magnificent
courage and selfless devotion. It is true that in the course of it we have seen
an unsurpassed exhibition of national unity; it is true that we have demonstrated
to the world what is the strength of free peoples. But against this we must set
our terrible losses. We have lost many of the finest of our youth, whom we can
so ill spare. There is here not only the private grief which lays desolate so many
homes but the public loss of irreplaceable human beings. We are suffering today
Sfor the loss of those who died in the years from 1914 to 1918; we shall assuredly
in the future feel the lack of those who have perished that civilization might con-
British Speeches of the Day.
We have won a great victory. We can share wholeheartedly in the triumph
with our Dominions, with India and the Colonies, with all our Allies and espe-
cially with the United States of America and the U.S.S.R.; we need yield pride
of place to none in length of endurance, in the severity of the trials which we
have encountered and overcome, in the extent to which we have put at the service
of humanity the whole of our resources. We have a right to rejoice but our tri-
umphl will be empty and short-lived if we do not take to heart the lessons which
our suffering has taught us and the heavy responsibility that our victory entails.
It was realized by many of us before the war that a contest between great
nations with modern weapons of war, especially with the bombing aeroplane, was
bound, whatever the result, to inflict enormous material loss on the combatants
today at home and abroad. We have seen the garnered fruits of years of toil
destroyed and dispersed in a few years. Unless we can set on the other side a gain
in the progress of the human spirit and in the growth of a new conception of
human society, those losses will have been in vain. Today more than ever before,
looking back on those six years of waste and carnage, we should pledge ourselves
anew to build up a world order in which all nations may dwell in security.
The development of weapons of immense destructiveness culminating in the
release of the atomic bomb has made this a matter not merely desirable but vital
for the future of civilization.
We therefore celebrate today for the first time in peace this anniversary of
the outbreak of the Second World War in the spirit of thankfulness. It will be
our task in the closest association with other rations to seek to establish a world
order in which war shall forever be banished. Our rejoicing must be tempered
with a full realization of the gravity of the problems which confront us in the new
era which is now opening. This is no time for relaxation, tempting as this is after
the years of strain. I recognize to the full how weary are those who have borne
the labor and heat of the day but in any race it is the last lap which counts and
before we can rest there is much to be done.
World Responsibilities and Demobilization
I want therefore this evening to make plain to you some of the responsibilities
which we must shoulder. It is natural that all of us desire the return as soon as
possible to civil life of the men in the Armed Forces. The Government is re-
solved to do its utmost but I have never encouraged you to think that the end of
hostilities would mean the immediate release of all our men and women in the
I want you to remember first of all that while conditions are so unsettled as
they are in Europe, we must continue to find large forces for the occupation of
the British Zone in Germany; we must play our part in agreement with our Allies.
The most difficult period of occupation is likely to be during the coming winter
when inevitable shortages of food, fuel and raw material will be disturbing in-
fluences. We must take our share in establishing conditions in Europe which will
allow of reconstruction without violence. We have commitments in South-East
Europe, in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East. These responsibilities fall
to us as victors. Our sole endeavor is to enable the will of the people to prevail
and to assist in the establishment everywhere of Governments resting on popular.
consent. It is a difficult and perhaps a thankless task but we have to perform it.
There are, too; our obligations in the East. We have to see to the establishment
of order in Burma. There are parts of the British Commonwealth which were
overrun by the Japanese, in which peaceful administration can only be restored
by the support, if necessary, of armed force. The occupation of Japan and the
restoration of the territories of ourselves and our Allies will need substantial forces
The Japanese Surrender
for some time to come. You will realize that we must also maintain at the present
time the garrisons of the vital fortresses along the network of our sea and air
SThere is in addition to this the responsibility of the Royal Navy for the task
of clearing the mines, of salvage and the disposal of wrecks, and there are heavy
commitments for the emergency transport of men and supplies which will be
difficult to meet with depleted world shipping. Thus the maintenance of adequate
forces by sea, in the air and on the ground are vitally necessary if we are to
fulfill our obligations to our Allies and if we are to see what has been won in
the war is not lost in the immediate post-war period.
Those of you who remember the disturbed period at the end of the last war
will remember that one of the prime difficulties of the situation was the inability
of the Powers which had won the war to provide the necessary forces for the
prevention of violent action by sectional interests pending the completion of the
negotiations for world peace. We must not fail the world. We have fought for
democracy; we must ensure that the conditions for its exercise exist.
All this reacts on our situation here today. A government has to act on cer-
tain definite assumptions. We had to plan for the possible continuance of the
Japanese war for some months. The fact, in which we can all rejoice, that it is
ended before we had anticipated, means an adjustment, but such adjustment can-
not be effected all in a moment.
The return of our men to civil life is, of course, helped by this event but its
full effects cannot be realized immediately. This brings me to the question of
demobilization. The Minister of Labour and National Service will be making a
detailed statement as soon as possible but I want to make a few general observa-
tions tonight. We mobilized the whole of our resources to fight the war and in
no field were we more highly mobilized than that of manpower.
Statements have been made from time to time with regard to demobilization.
I think some of those were over-optimistic. In particular, there have been state-
ments made about the release of particular numbered groups. It is not always
realized that some of these are very large and an advance in the release of a single
group may affect- two hundred thousand men. During the period of the Coalition
Government, my friend, the Foreign Secretary, devised a scheme of reallocation
which was explained and discussed at very great length. That scheme has been
generally accepted as based on fair principles. It is flexible and capable of being
speeded up to any extent that might be decided upon. I am certain that we should
make a great mistake if we departed from its main principles. It is quite easy
to cite particular instances of where it appears that some individual may be re-
leased but it is, extremely dangerous to interfere with a broad scheme on account
of particular individual cases. There is a great danger of producing a sense of
unfairness. It is very hard for the individual with his own case urgently before
his eyes to see the whole picture. It is easy to demand the release of this or that
person but I would solemnly warn the nation that the result of breaking away
from a carefully planned scheme is chaos. This happened at the end of the last
war. Many of my colleagues and I myself served in the First World -War and
understand very well how serving men feel.
Although the Japanese war ended only just over a fortnight ago, we have
already speeded up the rate of release from the Forces. Men and women are
today being released almost twice as fast as they were a month ago. For the rest
of the year an average of 45,000 will be coming out every week. I am quite sure
that every one of you will realize the care that has to be taken in balancing the
demand for persons, possessing particular types of skill and experience, whose
522 British Speeches of the Day
services are urgently needed, with the general claim that release should be based
on age and length of service. However, we have made arrangements to speed
up the releases in Class "B" by offering release immediately to all those selected
for this category. We have decided also to improve the conditions of release in
Class "B" by granting them payment of their war gratuities, post-war credits, and
leave-payment in respect of overseas service, as soon as possible after release in-
stead of waiting until the end of the emergency. These payments will be made
retrospectively to all those already released in Class "B." I would ask all those
men and women in the Forces who may have to stay and do routine duty for
some time yet to be patient. We will release you as soon as possible; do not be
apprehensive that you will be kept longer than is absolutely necessary. We are
desperately short of manpower.. We want you out just as much as you want. to
come and we want you back as quickly as possible. To meet the continuing needs
of the Services and in particular to release those who have been serving in the
war, men between the ages of 18 and 30 are being called up to the Forces unless
they are urgently needed as key men in vital work of reconstruction. In particular
we are calling up men from among those now being released from the munitions
industries. In order to restore employment in civilian and export manufacture
and in non-manufacturing industries and to bring services to the 1939 pre-war
level, we require an increase of about five million workers. There need be no
doubt, therefore, that there is ample room for absorbing the maximum number that
can be released from the Forces. But I would repeat that it is the earnest desire
of the Government to do justice between all those who are serving. In particular,
we must see that justice is done to those serving overseas. A review of military
requirements is being pursued with all speed. We have to consult the Dominions
and our Allies and we must also bear in mind transport facilities. As our plan
develops, further statements will be made from time to time in order to keep
everyone informed of the way things are going. In tackling this manpower prob-
lem, workers and managements must improvise as they did in the war, if we are
to avoid unnecessary suffering on the one hand and to hold our own in the world
on the other. We have fought a great fight. 'We have given our all for victory.
Over all the hardships or dangers the future may hold, by the co-operation of
people and Government, Britain will triumph.
SIR STAFFORD CRIPPS
President of the Board of Trade
To the Lancashire and Cheshire Federation of Trade Councils,
Blackpool, September 9, 1945
It is early, perhaps, after only six weeks in office to attempt to give any
account of my stewardship as President of the Board of Trade, but the matters
entrusted to my care are of such vital importance to our future and are so inti-
mately the concern of Trade Unionists throughout the country that I am going
to try and give you some indication of how the Government's policy is developing
in the sphere of production and distribution, both external and internal.
I imagine that with the awakening shock of the sudden realization that Lend-
Lease must inevitably come to an end when its purpose of victory has been accom-
plished, none of us are any longer unaware of the extreme difficulties that confront
The Road to National Recovery
During the course of the election campaign, in which Trade Unionists played
so magnificent and victorious a part, I went out of my way over and over again
to stress the seriousness of the situation of this country in the post-war epoch
that we were then entering.
Let me for a moment recapitulate to you the reasons for that'serious position.
They all arise out of two facts, one geographical and one historical. The
first is that our island is situated in the closest proximity to the continent of
Europe, with the advantage that in the war against Germany we could turn our-
selves into an advanced military and manufacturing base against the enemy, a
base without which the liberation of Europe would have been almost unthinkable,
and with the grave disadvantage for our people that we were within the easiest
striking distance for the air forces of the enemy.
The second origin of our difficulties is that during the vital year of June,
1940, to June, 1941, the British Commonwealth and Empire stood out alone
against the overwhelming power of Nazidom and so turned the tide of history
in favor of freedom and democracy.
These two facts that I have mentioned have brought their inevitable con-
sequences in the post-war period. We do not complain of those consequences,
they are part of the price which we foresaw, the very heavy price that our country
has to pay for saving world civilization from disaster. If others will help us
to bear this burden of freedom we shall welcome that help, feeling no injustice
or loss of pride in accepting it, but, with or without help from outside, we shall
face our problems and we shall win through to victory in peace with the same
stubborn determination as we won through the blitzes and the desperate struggle
of the war years.
Peacetime Economy Deliberately Sacrificed
The difficulties that we now .face can be expressed very simply. By force of
circumstances we have thrown everything, our wealth, our energy, our factories
and our homes into the battle for liberty. And now that the battle is over and
won we find ourselves with an economy out of adjustment for our peacetime
needs. We willingly and advisedly destroyed that peacetime economy to play our
full part in the war. The measure to which we carried this destruction can be
illustrated well by a comparative figure. We all know to what an extent our
friends in the U.S.A. made sacrifices for the same purpose, and yet the consump-
tion per head of our civilian population in this country in 1944 was 15-20 per
cent below 1939, whereas in the United States of America it was 10-15 per cent
above that of 1939.
Not only are we short of every kind of civilian supply for the home market,
just at the moment when there is a more pressing and urgent demand for them
than ever before, but we are also unable to export the often similar goods needed
all over the world--exports without which we cannot import the foods and raw
materials that are vital to our existence.
We certainly have the skill and capacity to produce the things we need, but
we have so disrupted our whole peacetime economy over the last six years and
so destroyed our export markets that it must take time, and a very considerable
time before we can reconstitute our peacetime industrial production.
And during these three, four or five years when we shall be building up our
civilian industries we must live and we must be able to import certain essential
goods required for the building up of our industries.
It might perhaps appear to be a simple remedy to borrow freely from others
and so finance all the imports we require. But we must look further ahead
British Speeches of the Day
We are already heavily indebted to many countries who supplied us with
essential goods during the war for sterling, and we have not been able to dis-
charge these sterling debts because we had no surplus from our war effort to
Even if some arrangement can be made, as has been suggested, to reduce or
fund that indebtedness, it will still mean a heavy load of demand upon our ex-
ports, not to bring in fresh imports but to pay for what we have already con-
sumed in holding the fort of freedom and ultimately in playing our part in the
victory over the enemy.
If now we were in addition to enter into large fresh indebtedness abroad
in order to save ourselves" from our war-created embarrassment and difficulties,
we should be assuming an impossible burden which we should have to discharge
in the future in the form of interest payments and repayment of capital. This
could only be done by the export of vast quantities of goods to those countries
to whom we were indebted and from whom we should get nothing in return-
for we should be paying off past debts. Even if those countries were prepared
to admit the necessary exports, the depletion of our own resources would lead
to a lowering of our standard of living and to an eventual failure on our part
with all the tragedy of ill will and misunderstanding which such a state of affairs
We certainly do not want to assume obligations which we know that we cannot
Britain Must Export and Go Without
So we must turn not to the easy and extravagant way of excessive borrowings
to help us, but to the much harder but more honest and self-reliant way of
working out our own salvation as far as in us lies.
As a great nation of exporters in the past, anxious to recover our overseas
markets so that we may contribute to the utmost to the raising of the standard
of living throughout the world, we shall of course welcome any practicable means
by which the trade channels of the world can be made free for the flow of inter-
national trade. We desire to co-operate with the other countries of the world in
every way that is possible to achieve the highly desirable-indeed necessary-aim
of an expansionist world economy. But in this co-operation our friends in other
countries must realize our especially difficult situation in these immediate post-
war years. These years of transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy
have their special problems which demand special methods to deal with them.
Once that transition is accomplished it will be far easier for us to adopt a com-
mon attitude to problems which will be common to ourselves and others.
What we ourselves now have to concentrate upon is the reconversion of our
industrial and commercial life to the requirements of peace, so that we can
emerge from this transition-not an exhausted and bankrupt nation, but rather
a strong and active partner in the establishment of the sort of world organization
for peace and security which has been envisaged in the San Francisco Conference.
To do this we must set to with every available effort to increase our produc-
tion of civilian goods for our home and export markets, and during this period
of rebuilding we must recognize that we cannot have all we would like for our
own consumption at the same time as we build up our export trade. I want
to give the greatest emphasis to that simple fact, because in the months and years
that lie ahead of us it is going to be difficult for our people to realize that by
foregoing the immediate advantages of a bigger home market, and so a higher
standard of consumption, they are in fact making sure of better and far more
stable standards in the future, when we have won through the transition.
The Road to National Recovery
It obviously seems reasonable, for instance, that our people today should
demand and expect more foods, furniture, clothing and household commodities
of all kinds. No people in the world have done more to deserve those better
standards of comfort, but I ask them to remember that the price of that in-
crease of supplies to the home market would be our inability to maintain even
the present inadequate volume of exports, and so the loss of even more of our
foreign markets. This would lead to a failure of imports in the future with
lowered standards for us all, or else the piling up of a foreign indebtedness
which we could not discharge and which would hopelessly defer and indeed
destroy the possibility of an eventual recovery. The dress the mother goes without
this year is helping to make sure that her children will get what they need in
the years to come. Instead of wasting our resources as the bankrupt does on the
eve of his bankruptcy we must preserve our resources until we are through our
Now this statement of our present economic situation is but a prelude to the
description of the task we have to tackle. It is the setting in which your and
my work will be for the next few years.
Need for Efficiency in Private Enterprise
It is obvious that we must do our best to increase our exports, especially to
those markets where we hope to establish or re-establish ourselves upon a per-
manent basis, while at the same time we strive to improve gradually the volume
of supplies available for the home market.
Exports cannot, of course, have an absolute first priority: that would mean
starvation and misery for our own people. But, having decided upon the stand-
ards which we at the moment can afford at home, we must then concentrate upon
selling all we can abroad. This relates not only to consumer goods but to ma-
chigery and other capital goods as well. There is a massive world-wide demand
for capital goods of all kinds, but we must be careful that we do not deprive
ourselves of those capital goods that are essential to our own reconvefsion of
You will see therefore that there is a nice balance to be struck, not only be-
tween home and export markets but also between different exports markets, so
as to preserve our goodwill and to lay the foundations for those stable future
foreign markets which will survive after the first post-war scramble for goods
has died down. This latter is not so easy as might appear. So many countries
are today in as difficult a position as our own. They have no exports available
but they urgently need imports to restart their economy. They can thus trade
only upon the basis of credits, but in our present situation it is difficult for us
to give credits because we ourselves urgently need imports in exchange for our
But though the dividing up of our cake is important, what is even more im-
portant is td make the biggest cake we can so that everyone's share is greater.
It is in this task of getting the greatest possible production from our re-
sources of manpower and materials that I want to enlist your aid. I will tell
you first what I think needs to be done and then how we propose to set about
So far as my Department is concerned I shall be dealing substantially with
that part of our production which will remain for the time being under private
enterprise. The great industries like coal, iron and steel and transport that were
designated as fit for immediate nationalization in our election program do not fall
within my province. We have therefore, so far as the major part of our industrial
526 British Speeches of the Day
production is concerned, to work on under existing conditions of private ownership.
That does not, of course, mean that there is nothing to be done. As with the
cotton industry, we must determine what is required from a national point of
view and then see to it that by one means or another those necessary improve-
ments are brought about.
British industry is undoubtedly suffering from the drawbacks of the pioneer,
and from other factors too.
The first in the field, with unlimited prospects of expansion for a great many
years, industry devoted itself to continuing to produce without paying sufficient
attention to the gradually increasing competition from other countries. So, par-
ticularly in the older industries, we tended to become more and more out of
date and instead of relying upon that inventiveness and enterprise which started
us on the road of industrial development, we tended to look more and more for
governmental aid by taxation or tariffs, by subsidy or regulation to cure defects;
these expedients, though they might bring a temporary relief, in the ultimate
result merely cloaked the underlying cause-of our difficulties. Manufacturers were
obsessed by the theory that private enterprise should be left to its own devices
until it called in the Government to assist it. This may have been an adequate
method during the period of great expansion in the latter part of the last century,
but the facts of the situation during this century have abundantly proved its
inadequacy. The Government not only can, but has the obligation to, see to it
that the conditions of our industries are such as to serve the community effi-
ciently and to give them a fair chance in the markets of the world.
In the result, even before the war many of our industries were hopelessly
behind their overseas rivals, and that position has during six years of war grown
steadily worse-with the exception of the engineering industry, which the Gov-
ernment did so much to develop during the war.
Now this static state of inefficiency has repercussions upon the whole nation
and particularly upon the workers.
They become frustrated because it sterilizes their wages at a low level; they
lose interest in the national aspect of our production and tend to concentrate their
energies upon an effort to improve their own particular conditions, an effort
which is itself frustrated by the inefficiency of production methods and organi-
zation in the industry itself.
This leads to clashes between employers and employees, to strikes and ill
feeling which still further decrease our industrial efficiency. .The employers then
say they cannot afford to improve their buildings and machinery and so we get
into a vicious circle.
As I have pointed out, from a national point of view it is imperative that'
that circle should be broken and it is for the Government representing the inter-
ests of all the people to see that it is broken, and broken quickly.
We have stated that provided industries will take all the necessary steps for
their own reorganization we will help them to win through to real efficiency.
What Makes for Efficiency in Production
Having spoken so much of efficiency and inefficiency let me give you an in-
dication of what I mean by that word.
SFirst for a negative definition. I do not mean sweating and driving the work-
ers to strain for long hours at inadequate wages and under bad conditions. That
is the exact opposite of efficiency.
The Road to National Recovery
I mean rather the creating of conditions in our industries both as regards
buildings, machinery, hours, wages and amenities which will give the workers
the best opportunity to produce the maximum amount of goods in a given time
with the least expenditure of energy. That is real efficiency and it implies that
we must have first class, well trained and highly skilled managements.
Management is not a casual occupation which any Tom, Dick or Harry is
fit for; it is a highly skilled profession-or rather it ought to be-which cannot
be entered upon by anyone without proper qualifications, the most important of
which is perhaps a thorough apprenticeship in the industry itself.
But there is more than that in efficiency. It also entails taking advantage of
and applying the latest results of scientific and technical research. Industry is
bound to become static if it is out of touch with research, which should not be
regarded merely as a good advertising point, but rather as the very foundation
for a live and dynamic production, which must always be early in the market
with the newest goods and the newest processes.
A mass of most valuable industrial and fundamental research is carried out
in this country but all too often it fails to penetrate the over-conservative ranks of
the industrialists. The monopoly instinct, too, is so strong that industry as a
whole is deprived of the advantages of much individual discovery.
So efficiency implies not only a proper volume of research but the means of
applying that research to our production processes throughout industry, large and
small firms alike.
Finally, there is the third element in efficient production. Goods are sold
in the market not only upon their material quality and cost but upon their appear-
ance too. Far too little attention has been given in the past to the design aspect
of our manufactures. Somd of you may have read an article the other Sunday
by Sir William Crawford upon this aspect of our foreign trade, in which he
pointed out the results of a questionnaire which had been circulated in many
countries abroad. The one quite uniform answer as to what disadvantages British
goods suffered from in the competitive market was that they were inferior in
This we can and must remedy. We have a tradition of British design to which
the whole world has looked up in the past and there is no reason whatever why
we should not resume a position of leadership in design. But today our manu-
facturers are neglecting that aspect of efficiency and are treating overseas buyers
as if it were an unreasonable crankiness to demand outstanding design. We can-
not afford as a nation to allow our industries to adopt the old "take it or leave it"
line. We have got to go out to get markets and to make sales and we must see
that our products are reasonably competitive in every way. It is for this reason
that the Design Council has been set up and financed by the Government and it
must be given every encouragement and help to do what is an absolutely vital
job-make our manufacturers design-conscious.
A Working Partnership in the National Interest
Let me now turn to the methods that we propose to adopt to encourage and
stimulate efficiency in all its forms-suitable conditions to produce the best from
the workers with the least effort, sound and applied research, and good design.
We desire to deal with all these problems upon the basis of a tripartite part-
nership-employers, employees and the Government. In that partnership it will be
the duty of the Government to emphasize at all times the national as distinct.
from the sectional interest and the consumer rather than the producer needs.
British Speeches of the Day
We must proceed in an organized way to achieve this partnership. In the
first instance, we must ascertain exactly what it is that is needed in the different
industries to create this all-round efficiency. Here obviously the two sides of the
industry can speak from the most intimate knowledge and in many cases two
different plans or more have already been published, but these plans coming from
the employers and employees vary very much in approach and in the suggestions
which they make.
We propose, therefore, to set up working groups in the different industries
to review all the material and formulate a plan for action, the more urgent taking
priority. Each group will consist of three equal parts: representatives of em-
ployers, of Trade Unions, and of the general public interest. The first and second
sections will be chosen from a list of nominations by the employers and Trade
Union organizations respectively, the third section, together with a chairman, will
be chosen by myself. A secretary will be supplied from my Department. These
groups will be able to appoint such technical working parties as they wish to
deal with detail and will be expected to report at the earliest possible morhent.
I shall ask them to deal with the matter as one of extreme urgency and I shall
expect them to sit more or less continuously until their job is completed.
When their reports have been received and studied by my Department we
shall have to lay down the minimum requirements placed upon the industry in
the national interest and then it will be for the partnership to see that those re-
quirements are carried into effect. For this purpose we must have a continuing
body of the same composition-and perhaps even in some cases with the same
personnel-as the working group who will as a permanent matter advise the
Government as to the needs of the industry and as to what, if any, compulsions
are required to see that the minimum plan is implemented. It is of no use
agreeing a plan if that plan is not to be carried out or is to be ruined by a few
recalcitrant and non-co-operative members. But whatever powers of control or
compulsion may prove necessary, these must rest in the hands of the Government
and so be under the supervision of Parliament. They must not be placed in the
hands of the industry itself, which would tend to have more regard for its sec-
tional interest than f@r the national interest.
This is the broad scheme that the Board of Trade proposes to adopt, not rigid
in its details, for it must be adapted to the peculiar circumstances of each in-
dustry. This does not mean, of course, that other methods of inquiry may not
be adopted where these are required, or that different methods may not be applied
in such special industries as engineering., This is only a general picture of the
way in which the Board of Trade proposes to proceed. In this scheme, as you
will see, a very great and important part will be played by Trade Unionists, both
as representing Trade Unions and in some cases as independent chairmen or mem-
bers dealing with industries other than that in which they are themselves directly
I know that you will readily appreciate that such an opportunity will demand
the widest industrial statesmanship. It would be fatal if those charged with
these responsibilities were to enter upon their task in any narrow spirit of sec-
tional advantage. One overriding objective is to get a plan in the national inter-
est having regard to the needs of the consumer at home, the exporter and the
producer. More and more the Trade Unions have been claiming and taking their
position as partners in the formulation of industrial policy, and this new step
towards industrial organization will establish their equal responsibility; but that
responsibility will not merely be towards their own members but to the whole
nation as well. Their visions will spread not only over the field of wages and
conditions but into all the complex of efficiency of production including the area
The Road to National Recovery
of research and design. It must also take in the question of markets and of con-
It will, qf course, be of the utmost importance for the future of our industry
that the personnel for these Commissions is chosen wisely. So far as the Trade
Union representatives are concerned the whole reputation of the Trade Union
movement will be at stake as well as our own industrial future. By their reports
these Commissions can go far to make or mar our future, and I therefore trust
that when I ask for the nominations, and I shall hope to start in a very short
time, the greatest care and trouble will be taken to nominate live, intelligent,
With this assured participation in the formulation of policy will go the need
to make certain that we do not waste our resources in unnecessary delays due to
disputes or to lack of concentration upon the job in hand. Our object, as I have
said, is to create the best conditions in which the worker can produce with the
least effort; if we can accomplish that, and indeed while we are working towards
its accomplishment, there will be an obligation upon the workers to give of their
best-not for the sake of the owners' profits but for the sake of our national
economic survival and prosperity.
"A Time for Concentrated Team Work"
During the war we did develop in this country-under the stress of a com-
mon danger-a great comradeship of action. The workers have in this last elec-
tion for the first time in our history taken political power into their hands, and
with it they have assumed the gravest responsibility to our people. We must not
let that community of action disappear, nor must the workers destroy their poli-
tical power through their failure to appreciate its responsibilities, or their, lack
of statesmanship in action.
No government using democratic methods-and we are determined to use
such methods, having been given the power to do so-can accomplish great
changes in a few months. In these most difficult of times, with shortage of staffs,
with all the crowding problems of demobilization and reconversion, and with the
avalanche of international questions which demand immediate attention, it is
even harder to bring about the industrial changes we desire with the speed we
We must, then, ask our supporters not only to show a patient appreciation
of our difficulties but also in their solution to give us their wholehearted support
both in thought and action. It is a time for concentrated team work.
In that way we shall be able to achieve a more rapid increase in efficient pro-
duction, and it is efficient production alone that can set us once more upon our
civilian legs and so open up the prospect of that advance in standards which is
the prime object of our policies. *
I would emphasize once more that we are not on the eve of entering an Utopia
where all is ease and prosperity. Whatever else the election of a Labour Govern-
ment has accomplished, it has not brought Utopia to our doors!
We are in the most difficult economic circumstances that our country has
ever encountered and we are determined to win out of those circumstances better
standards for our people: But this can only be done if everyone of us puts his
whole energy and effort into his job. There is no short cut-hard work and hard
work alone can win us the prize of success and, with that success, continued
power to progress to further heights.
Behind and beyond all these mechanics of a more efficient production lies
something much greater and more magnetic in its attraction to our efforts. The
530 British Speeches of the Day
prime principle of the Socialism for which we stand,lies not in the methods of
organization of our society that we adopt but in the high purpose at which we
We have had over the last century of our civilization most bitter experiences
of the impact of a self-seeking materialism upon the peoples of the world. This
reached its climax in the Nazi and Fascist aggression for which the world and
our own country have paid so dearly during six years of agonizing struggle. We
Socialists see something higher in humanity than the robot-like qualities which
were so often regarded as the sole attribute of the workers in the past. We
know and regard them as human beings whose qualities we recognize in our-
selves, some better, some worse, but all capable, as the war has proved once
again, of the greatest heights of devotion and self-sacrifice, of love and kindness,
of what we might summarize-in the true Biblical meaning of that word-as
It is these high qualities that we seek to encourage and for which we wish
to create the opportunity of expression.
I have myself always regarded Socialism and Christianity as synonymous, and
I am convinced that all we are seeking to do by way of organization and planning
must be carried out-if we are to succeed-in the light and under the guidance
of our Socialist and Christian principles. We want more than a mechanism for
social advancement, we must create a great spirit of human values, selless and
self-sacrificing in the cause of long-suffering humanity.
I have pictured to you our difficulties. I have described the steps we propose
to take in one particular and important field to overcome them, and it is in the
spirit of Christian devotion and Socialist determination that I ask you to give us
your wholehearted support.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Mansion House, September 14, 1945
Saving is just as necessary now as it was during the war. Your savings are
now required, no longer to pay for powerful and costly instruments of war and
for the equipment of vast armed forces and civil defense services, but to build
a new Britain worthy oT those who have borne the toil and peril of the long hard
years of war. Your savings, from now on, will sustain this great work of re-
I think it most important that the Savings Movement and the public should
grasp the point that our object today is to continue the Savings Campaigns which
carried us through the war. Let us look back for a moment on these Campaigns.
There were four special series of Savings Weeks. In 1940, after Dunkirk, when
we were desperately short of all the war materials required to defend ourselves
against the threat of invasion, we launched the War Weapons Weeks. In 1941
our greatest war problem was the protection of our seaborne supplies against the
threat of U-boats and other forms of attack. Therefore, we called our campaign
the Warship Weeks. In 1943 we went over to the offensive, led by the Royal
- The Need for National Savings After Victory
Air Force; and we marked the turn of the tide by the Wings for Victory Cam-
paign. Finally, as D-Day approached, and our invasion of the Continent was
being prepared, the Army stood first in our thoughts, and the campaign held
in the Spring of 1944 was called "Salute the Soldier." And now in 1945 the war
both against Germany and against Japan has been won. This title, the Thanks-
giving Campaign, must bring deep emotions to many. . .
And so today, we are not celebrating the end of the Savings Campaign. We
are glad indeed that we must no longer concentrate our energies on the destruc-
tive task of waging war. But this is also the moment to record our resolution to
turn with undiminished energy to the constructive work of peace.
The Growth of "Small Savings"
Before we look to the future, let us look back on the achievements of the
Savings Movement in the war. I would direct your attention especially to the
growth in the holdings of so-called "small savings" securities-Defense Bonds,
Savings Certificates, and Savings Bank Deposits. This is a most impressive record
The net total outstanding liability of the State in small savings (induding
accrued interest) at the end of the war is 4,700 millions. Of this total, no less
than 3,500 millions has been accumulated in the six years of war.
The growth in membership of the Savings Movement is no less impressive.
Savings Certificate holders today number 19 millions; in 1939 they were under
7 millions. Savings Bank depositors today number 23 millions; in 1939 they
were 111/2 millions.
Finally, the National Savings Organization has shown a spectacular growth
to match the volume of war savings. In 1939, organized savings groups numbered
45,000; today they stand at nearly 300,000, with an estimated membership of
15 millions. Voluntary workers were 100,000 before the war; at the end of the
war, over 600,000.
It is a wonderful story. And our thanksgiving would not be complete with-
out a tribute to those who made it possible. In the name of the Government I
wish to express our gratitude to the leaders of the Savings Movement-to Lord
Kindersley and Sir Harold Mackintosh in England, to Lord Alness in Scotland,
and to Lord Justice Andrews in Northern Ireland. They have shown a wonderful
example to their followers by their skill in organization and the enthusiasm with
which they have maintained the momentum of the Savings drive through six
years in spite of many difficulties and discouragements. Lord Kindersley stands
out above them all. He is with us here' today in spirit. He would have been, here
in person, but for an absolute veto imposed by a good doctor.
But Lord Kindersley would be the first to bid me thank the voluntary workers,
particularly the rank and file, and particularly the women in the rank and file.
The Movement has been built up by their patient, persistent effort in a job which
I know must have often seemed dull and dispiriting, which carried no reward but
the conviction that the work was worth while and of real value to the nation's
cause. I can assure them that their work has been worth while and we are pro-
foundly grateful to them for what they have done.
But this is not the end; far from it. The work of the Savings Movement must
go on, with undiminished vigor and enthusiasm, in England and Wales, in Scot-
land and in Northern Ireland; for this is one great Movement covering the whole
of the United Kingdom.
532 British Speeches of the Day
Why Saving Must Continue
The reasons for continuing the Savings drive are simple and convincing. I
particularly commend to you the leaflet called "The Need for Post-War Savings,"
which I consider an admirable exposition of this case. In the first place, the Gov-
ernment needs savings on a great scale, both from individuals and institutions, to
supplement tax revenue in covering our national expenditure. And in the second
place, you will get much .more for your money if you wait before trying to
spend it. As a result of our intense war effort over six years, supplies of goods
of all kinds are now very short. This state of things will continue for some time,
though it will gradually improve as our workers return from the Armed Forces
and from munitions to civilian production. It will pay you best to postpone your
expenditure, until there is more to buy in the shops.
It is also worth everybody's while to co-operate in order to avoid the menace
of inflation. If a large number of people all try to spend their money at the same
time, while supplies are so short, the only result will be to drive up prices, or,
where these are subject to price control, to encourage big scale black market oper-
ations. Our present price controls are very effective instruments; they are, indeed,
one of the great administrative successes of the war on the Home Front, but they
could not completely withstand a very heavy pressure of new purchasing power.
The results of inflation, or of a large extension of the black market, would be to
make a paradise for profiteers at the expense of the great body of good citizens.
We must avoid this risk, and this injustice, at all costs.
There is another reason why, in your own interests, you should contribute all
you can to this new Savings drive. As I told the House of Commons in my first
speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer,. I am now studying the possibility of
cheaper money and lower rates of interest. This study has not yet been completed
and it would, in any case, have been wrong to alter the arrangements already made,
including the rates of interest, for this great thanksgiving effort. I enter at this
stage into no commitment. But it may well be that in the future the rates of
interest will be lower. I hope therefore that you will take full advantage of this
The Government are determined to do everything they can, in the years which
lie ahead, to establish and maintain full employment. . But this means that,
for the future, we must so arrange our investment and our expenditure, both
public and private, as to ensure that there shall be sufficient purchasing power,
but not too much, in relation to the volume of goods available. There must be a
planned development and re-equipment of our industries, whether under public
or private ownership. In the near future it'will be vital, if this policy is to suc-
ceed and if our people are to have steady work and a rising standard of life
based on an efficient British industry, that a large part of the national income
shall be saved and not spent.
I take this opportunity of saying that, for this Government as for all British
Governments, Britain's credit is a national and not a party interest, ard that loans
to the State will be honored without exception or qualification. Therefore the
holder of a Certificate can be given an absolute assurance that if he gis es notice
of repayment, repaid he will be. . .
The real test whether the average citizen is playing his full part in the Sav-
ings Campaign will be the volume of "small savings" which find their way into
Government securities during these Thanksgiving Weeks and, what is even more
important, in the weeks and months and perhaps years to follow. The volume
of "small savings" is a direct reflection of the amount of regular saving out of
income. This is the kind of saving that is most valuable, whether from the point
The Need for National Savings After 'Victory
of view of preventing inflation or of providing the resources to finance the many
calls which we have to face in the near future for capital expenditure.
The securities offered to the small saver in the Thanksgiving Campaign are
those with which the public has become familiar in the War Savings Campaign.
You will all know that I have decided to raise the limit on individual holdings
on 3 per cent Defense Bonds from 1,000 to 1,500, with effect from September
15th. This provides both individuals and businesses with an opportunity to
increase their investment in a security whose terms, measured by current rates of
interest, may well be regarded as very favorable, and from which income tax is
not deducted at source. Otherwise the securities on offer are the same.
The Big Subscribers
But, when the Savings Movement has done its best to attract savings direct
to the State, there will still remain a large volume of savings which people prefer
to make in other ways. Some will leave their savings with their bank, others will'
save through the payment of life insurance premiums. Others, by the purchase of
a house through a Building Society. The Government has therefore made a special
point over the last six years-and must go on doing so-of urging the big financial
institutions to invest this newly saved money with the State.
Then again there are businesses of various kinds, trustees and private indi-
viduals who have sums available for investment. We must seek to persuade the
owners that, unless such moneys are required for useful work elsewhere, they
should be placed at the disposal of the State through one or other of the "tap"
Much money earned elsewhere comes to London and it is obviously the London
Week that must attract by far the greater share of these institutional and other
large subscriptions to our tap issues-21/2 per &ent National War Bonds and 3 per
cent Savings Bonds-and I hope that the big subscribers will play their full part
in helping to reach your great target of 125 millions.
All over the country our nation-wide campaign is now beginning. Everywhere,
from every town and village, from every corner of our land, from every section
of our people, contributions, large and small, to this great national Thanksgiving
Fund, will find their way. But was it not written long ago, that from him to
whom much has been given, much shall be required? Therefore, today, let us
speak unto the people that they go forward. But let London lead.
Economic Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
To the Press, Washington, September 12, 1945
I am rather glad to have this chance of explaining the purpose of the present
Mission to Washington in its proper perspective as we see it. The British Gov-
ernment had no reason to expect that Lend-Lease would'continue for a significant
length of time after the end of the war or would be available for any expendi-
ture except that which arose out of the war in its concluding phases. We had
been contemplating for some time back that a Mission ought to come from Lon-
don to Washington not later than the present month to discuss with your Admin-
534 British Speeches of the Day
istration the mutually convenient basis for winding-up Lend-Lease and Reverse
Lend-Lease and the financial and other arrangements to follow on, so as to cover
the transitional period before normal conditions of trade could be re-established.
We attached great importance to the avoidance, if possible, of an interregnum
between the old arrangements and the new; and our intention was, therefore, to
complete these conversations before the end of the war. You must remember
that up to almost the other day the instructions of both our Governments were
to act on the assumption that the war with Japan would last beyond the end of
1945. And even though some of us thought that we ought to be ready for a
collapse by the end of 1945, the beginning of September looked last July soon
enough for getting down to the matter in view of the very great difficulties in
the way of an earlier date-in particular our General Election and a possible
change of Government and the Potsdam Conference which caused the chief im-
mediate concentration of attention of leading members and officials of both Gov-
ernments on a different set of problems, namely, the defeat of Japan and the
settlement of Europe. It had, however, been previously decided in London as
long ago as last June that these Washington discussions ought to be started not
much later than the beginning of September.
The atomic bomb.and Japan's sudden collapse have thrown our timetable out
and we find ourselves faced with the prospect of just that interregnum which we
had hoped to avoid. Nevertheless, that is far from being the fundamental prob-
lem which faces us in the ensuing months. We have received far too much
liberality and consideration in the famous Lend-Lease Act to make any complaint
about the clean cut. Speaking personally, I in fact rather envy you your charac-
teristically drastic methods, which you are applying, I notice, no less to yourselves
than to us. I wish sometimes that there was something more of that spirit in my
own country. We are in some danger of reacting too slowly to a radical change
in circumstances and of not bracing ourselves forthwith, as we must do, to the
new efforts ahead of us. It has to be admitted that after a full six years of war
accompanied, not only by intense effort and sacrifice, but also by considerable
privation, people in England were expecting a little relaxation. You in this
country can have no idea how tired we are. and what a difference it makes in the
long run on the top of all the other miseries of war to have your standard of
life cut by 20 per cent and possess not near enough homes for the boys and
evacuated civilians to come back to. Nevertheless, it may well be wholesome for
us to be brought sharp up against the realities of our post-war position instead
-of being deceived, as well as comforted, by temporary expedients which would
do little or nothing to solve the real problems of the transition.
Effects.of Britain's Role in the War
Let me now turn to our particular difficulties and our fundamental problems.
They have arisen out of the way in which it has been to the common interest to
conduct the common war. Our role has been to mobilize a greater proportion
of our population and for a longer period than in any other Allied country for
actual fighting and the production of munitions. This has suited the common
cause best. We have been enabled to do this mainly as I will now explain. In-
stead of having to expand our exports so as to pay for our own consumption and
to provide for the consumption of our Allies, we have been enabled and encour-
aged by Lend-Lease from the United States, by Mutual Aid from Canada and by
the equivalent of loans from the countries in the sterling area, to sacrifice two-
thirds of our normal exports so as to employ the manpower thus released in direct,
instead of indirect, war activities. This arrangement has had various consequences.
In the first place, we are much worse off in tackling the task of recovering
our exports and paying our own way than we should have been if the roles had
Mission to Washington
been reversed. The result is that much more time inevitably must elapse in .our
case than in yours before we can restore the level of our exports even to the
Spre-war level whilst in addition the loss of a considerable part of our assets,
'which helped us to pay for our imports before the war, means that we shall not
break even until we have reconverted our industry so as to achieve a volume of
exports more than 50 per cent above the pre-war level. To reach this is a
In the second place, the financial technique adopted in relation to the sterling
area, which has played an indispensable part in mobilizing our common resources
for the war, especially in the early days, has had the effect that the financial and
commercial arrangements of a considerable section of the world have become
almost inextricably intertwined with out own financial and economic affairs in
London. Most of the sterling area countries have in effect advanced to us sub-
stantially the whole of their external resources. The result is that they cannot
continue to trade freely with the rest of the world in the post-war period unless
we are in a strong enough position to release to them as available purchasing
power some part of these resources.
There are therefore serious impediments in the way of the return of our-
selves and of a number -of other important trading countries to normal trading
practices, as early as we should wish, and to the expanding world trade which
is essential if standards of. life throughout the world are to take the advantage
they ought to take of the technical advances of our age.
The United States and we in Britain and the other countries concerned are
faced therefore, broadly speaking, with two alternatives. Since trade is two-sided
the problem is two-sided also.
The first alternative is for us to do the best we can with the resources we
still command and aim at emerging slowly from our temporary difficulties with
as little outside aid as possible, depending on the various defensive trade me-
chanisms which have been developed by war controls; matching the purchases we
make from any country with the purchases that country makes from us and in-
evitably curtailing our over-all import program on the lines of the greatest auster-
ity of which we find ourselves capable..
There are a good many people in England who think that this is really our
best plan. Personally, I think that they greatly underestimate the disadvantages
of it not only to ourselves but to the trade of the world as a whole and above
all to the prospect of avoiding occasions of friction and difficulty between friends
and former Allies.
The other alternative is to work out with you, and with your aid, some means
of returning at the earliest possible date to normal trade practices, without dis-
crimination, and to increased freedom and liberality in commercial and tariff pol-
icies-in the belief that the resulting general expansion of world trade will result
in the final outcome that you and other countries as well as ourselves will be
much better off on balance than under the first plan. As the Ambassador has
emphasized, we shall certainly not expect ybur Congress to approve any arrange-
ments which have not been proved to their full satisfaction as being in the long-
term interest of the United States itself.
Nevertheless, we have to face the fact that this second and, as it seems to
some of us, far preferable alternative will not be at all easy to work out. We
shall have to strive after it in a bold and constructive spirit with all the earnest-
ness and concentration of purpose which the two sides to the discussion can
British Speeches of the Day
No. False Starts
No doubt an easy course would be for you to offer, and for us to put our
name to, a substantial loan on more or less commercial terms, without either
party to the transaction troubling to pay too much attention to the question of
the likelihood of our being able to fulfill the obligations which we were under-
taking. But not only do I fear that the deception would probably have a very
short life, but it would be extremely shortsighted if the absence of friction and
bad feeling between our two countries is-as I hope it is--one of our principal
aims. However this may be, we shall not lend ourselves to any such soft and
deceptive expedient. We are not in the mood, and we believe and hope that
you are not in the mood, to repeat the experiences of last time's war debts. We
would far rather-and here I know that I speak for all shades and sections of
opinion and sentiment in my country-we would far rather do what we can to
get on as best we can on any other lines which are open to us.
We hope for your understanding collaboration in finding the right way out
of the transition. We are not concerned or anxious about the ultimate outcome.
It is not only our fighting men who have proved themselves in this war. In
relation to their numbers and our resources at home, our administrators, our
scientists, our manufacturers, our farmers and our workers have shown that they
can hold their own with anyone. It would be absurd to suppose that the trouble
a few years hence, either ours or yours, is likely to be due to an insufficient
power to produce material goods. Our pains, ours and yours, are more likely to
be due to our stomachs being fuller than our heads and our appetite weaker than
our opportunity. Our immediate task and our first duty is to avoid an unneces-
sary mess meanwhile and a false start along the wrong paths.
A Time of Crisis
We have to look at the financial and commercial problem of the world as
a whole; and, moreover, build up a currency and commercial structure which is
in the best interests not only of world prosperity (which our technicians will
make easy) but of peace and goodwill amongst men (which does not come so
easily); so as to avoid the violent disturbances of international commerce which
are the road to discontents which can shake the social order, and to maintain
full employment and good wages everywhere by means that do not beggar but,
on the contrary, enrich our neighbors.
I ain sure that my country and yours have no conflict of purpose or of in-
terest which need prevent us from working together in a common program. But
we, as well as a large part of Europe and Asia, are being subjected to a violent
disturbance of our economic equilibrium ata time when men's spirits are ex-
"hausted, their patience and their tempers threadbare, and they are the prey to
suspicion and fear and all uncharitableness. There was never more need of a
truthful ard objective judgment and of faith and faithfulness if the world is
to harvest the fruits of what it has endured.
It is therefore at a bitter crisis of men's souls and minds, though the war
itself be over, that we come "as a faithful ally" in Winston Churchill's words,
to take counsel with the Administration of the United States on the ways and
means of restoring the economic strength of ourselves and of that considerable
part of the world, the economy and finance of which has, as I have said, become
inextricably intertwined with our own.
Before leaving London I participated in a series of fruitful conversations with
Mr. Clayton. We now hope to continue these in a wider framework and have
an opportunity of putting the position without reserve, and exactly as we see it,
before the leaders of your Administration. There is no occasion here for secret
Mission to Washington
diplomacy. Any proposals which the experts may work out amongst themselves
will have to be justified before public opinion and the legislatures of our two
countries and, indeed, of the whole world. There must therefore be no with-
holding of any part of the factual and statistical evidence on which they are based.
But it will be desirable, in our opinion, that these should be presented in due
course as a whole and not piecemeal prematurely.
British Ambassador to the United States
Broadcast, Washington, September 22, 1945
Although I only went to England at the end of July and came back two
weeks ago, enough happened while I was there to fill any ordinary year-the
change of Government in England, the atomic bomb, and the unconditional sur-
render of Japan.
I fancy the result of the Election was a surprise and somewhat of a shock to
many people here. Surprise, that we should change our Government before the
war was over; and shock, that Mr. Winston Churchill, who had led the nation so
incomparably from defeat to final victory, should not have been chosen as leader
during the coming years of peace. They thought the British-to say the least
of it-ungrateful. Perhaps they also thought the result would mean revolu-
tionary changes in every field of policy. I've no doubt whatever that an over-
whelming majority of Britons of all parties remember, and can never forget, the
great and indeed unpayable debt that we, and I think the world, owe to Mr.
Churchill. But under our system we have to vote for a party and not for a man;
and they were not going to try to discharge their great personal debt by voting
for one party, if they had come to the conclusion that for various reasons they
wanted another lot of men to deal with all the problems that came crowding in
upon us as soon as the war was over. That they so decided did not mean that
they were ungrateful to Mr. Churchill. He has a place in history and in the
hearts of his fellow countrymen which no man can take from him. His fame
is secure. Most truly can it be said of him, as Stanton said of Abraham Lincoln,
that "now he belongs to the ages."
Nor should it be assumed that the new Government is going to plunge into
all sorts of rash experiments. In England we have a strong tradition of con-
tinuity, and, after all, many of the leading men in the Labour Party were in the
War Cabinet with Mr. Churchill; so that the policy of the old Government was
theirs as well as his. And no one could have sat in that cabinet with them, as I
did, without coming very quickly to have high regard for their patriotism and
statesmanship. During the coming months there will be plenty of differences
of opinion about ways and means, but not much, I believe, about ultimate ends.
I need not labor the argument. You are a Democracy, as we are. You know
how the democratic system works; and you don't quit trusting it even if it doesn't
always seem to work quite the way you think it should.
Then the atomic bomb, which in Britain, as here, was greeted with mixed
feelings-of profound relief that this earth-shaking weapon had been discovered
by us and not by the enemy; of awe and even horror at the terrible destructive
power it unloosed; of hope that it would bring, as it did, a speedy end to this
war and thus save more life than it destroyed; offer of what would be the future
British Speeches of the Day
of the world if we did not now find a means to make an end to all war. It lays,
with blinding certainty, an even heavier load of responsibility than before on the
shoulders of those whose duty it will be to ensure peace. And I suppose that
here, too, it is the prayer of all thinking people that this time our political wis-
dom will not lag behind our scientific invention; and that now at last the first
will learn how to use the second for the world's welfare and not for its destruction.
The Austerities of Peace
Peace followed quickly, bringing to our bombed and beleaguered Island.cer-
tainly a sense of relief, that those perhaps can hardly realize who happily have
never had the enemy at their gate or waited nightly upon death. I went to the
great service of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey, and was moved by the mem-
ory that the last time I was there was just before Dunkirk, when we were inter-
ceding for a.great army of our fellow countrymen almost, but not quite, caught in
the closing jaws of the Nazi trap. One looked back from these days to those
with an overwhelming sense of deliverance and thankfulness to God who had
given us victory and peace.
So we'celebrated V-J Day in Britain; and, having done so, turned to the less
cheerful task of facing some of the difficulties ahead. These were formidable
enough to make a Black Monday of the morning after. To begin with, we were
short of everything: of manpower, having suffered over 940,000 casualties out
of a population of 47 million and having mobilized for war a greater propor-
tion of our people than any other United Nation; of houses, having had more
than a quarter of our houses destroyed or damaged by enemy action, and needing
in addition about a million and a half new houses to make up for those we had
not built during the war; of food, of fuel, of clothing, of all the things that make
life a bit easier and more comfortable, and that we had cheerfully gone without
during the years of war.
Human nature being what it is, people had hoped that peace would lighten
some of these difficulties. But what actually happened was that one Minister
-told us we were going to be short of coal this winter, another that our clothing
ration must be cut down, and a third that we should have less to eat. They were
quite right to tell us, but the news did bring us down with a bump from the
relief and rejoicing of V-J Day.
I think this is worth remembering, because it explains the reaction of many
of our people when a few days later they heard that Lend-Lease was going to
end almost immediately, and that the shortages were therefore likely to be even
greater than they had supposed. No one questioned your right to stop Lend-
Lease as soon as the war was over. But we had not expected it to end so soon
because we had not expected the war to end so soon; and when we got this news
on the top of everything else, it hit our people a bit hard. I think that against a
similar background we would have seen the same reaction in this or any other
As you know, Lord Keynes is over here now, and he and I are at the moment
engaged in talks with your representatives. The talks were, of course, planned
long before anything'had been said about the finish of Lend-Lease, because your
people and ours had known all along that when the war was won we should
have to try to handle some tough economic problems.
You won't expect to hear from me anything about what is happening in these
talks, but I will say a few words as to what it is all about,
Report from Britain
A Second Battle of Britain
Our economic situation in Britain is serious. It's not desperate, because
"desperate" suggests despair, and no one in Britain feels that. We remember the
days of 1940 and the first Battle of Britain., Our position then was very serious.
A lot of people here and elsewhere said it was desperate. But we came through.
What we are in now is really a second battle of Britain, and I haven't the least
doubt we shall pull through that, as we pulled through in 1940.
In one sense, we have made our present difficulties for ourselves by what we
have done in the war. We put everything into it, and kept nothing back. The
war had to be won, whatever the cost, and nothing else mattered. In the early
days, when we badly needed equipment and food from overseas, we sold most
of our gold and marketable foreign investments to pay for them. In this country
alone we spent some six billion dollars in this way. Then Lend-Lease came along;
we no longer needed to pay cash for weapons; and so we let our export trade
go the way of our foreign investments. Incidentally, we never had the idea of
Lend-Lease I have sometimes heard expressed here, as a kind of huge Christmas
present all the year round from Uncle Sam to the world. We saw it rather as a
great pooling of Allied resources, which placed the weapons where and by whom
they could best be used. And so Lend-Lease, for all its saving virtue as a war in-
strument, allowed us to forget our export trade while the war was on. It enabled
us to make our country into an arsenal only second in output to yours; to help
ourselves and also to help our allies; for to you alone we gave in reciprocal aid
nearly as much in relation to our national income as you gave us in Lend-Lease.
We put all our efforts, our manpower and our plants to the single purpose of
victory; and now, when victory is won, our foreign investments have largely
gone, our foreign trade is mostly gone, and we are still 47 million people, living
on a small island, and only able to work or live so long as we can import. We
can only import so long as we can pay. We can only pay by our exports or by
services like shipping. And we cannot export or revive our great carrying trade
until we have reconstructed our plants and restored our Merchant Navy. That is
the vicious circle we have to break.
The Problem Before the Two Allies
Broadly speaking, we have two courses now open to us. One is to cultivate
our own garden, that is to say, to develop our trade as much as we can with what
is known as the sterling area, the peoples from whom we can buy without having
to pay in dollars we have not got. We should buy as much as we could from them
and as little as we could outside. That means controls, barriers and restrictions.
It may not be the best solution, but if it seems to be the only way out, whether we
want to or not, we may have to take it. The other solution is that you and we
should try to see if we can't work out something together that will make for freer
and expanding world trade in the belief that if we can get this, in the long run
everybody will be better off.
This is not only our problem, or your problem, but something which vitally
concerns the whole world. It's our problem because when a man puts a fence
around his garden, he's doing two things-he's keeping himself in and other
people out. It's your problem, because before the war Britain was your best
customer, taking about 500 million dollars a year in American goods; and when
ydu have satisfied the accumulated demand of your own consumers, you will be
looking for markets outside. It concerns everybody, because the other people will
turn to the large nations for economic leadership in peace, as they turned to them
for military leadership in war.
British Speeches of the Day
We are not coming to you hat in hand as suppliants. We do not want to
ask anything of you which you are not satisfied is in the ultimate interest of your
own country. We shall not accept any obligation we are not quite sure we shall
be able to honor. Nor, of course, are we holding out a gun, and suggesting that
you must do this or that or take the consequences. All these courses would not
only be stupid, but would be a complete misreading of the situation. What we are
doing is to come to you as your allies and comrades in a great and victorious war;
,to tell you our situation and to learn from you of yours; and then to see if to-
gether we can make our partnership as great a power for peace as it has been
Broadcast, London, September 19, 1945
The King's speech at the opening of the new Parliament contained this
"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
Immediately after assuming office, the Government turned its attention to
Indian affairs and invited the Viceroy to come home in order to review with him
the whole situation, economic and political. These discussions have now con-
cluded and the Viceroy has returned to India and has made an announcement
You will remember that -in 1942 the Coalition Government made a draft
Declaration for discussion with Indian leaders, commonly knowvn as the Cripps
offer. It was proposed that, immediately upon the cessation of hostilities, steps
should be taken to set up in India an elected body charged with the task of fram-
ing a new constitution for India. Sir Stafford Cripps took that offer to India,
but it was unfortunately not accepted by the leaders of the Indian political parties;
the Government is, however, acting in accordance with its spirit and intention.
The first step necessary is to get, as soon as may be, as democratic a repre-
sentation of the Indian peoples as possible. The war has in India, as in this
country, prevented elections being held for a long time, and the Central and
Provincial Legislatures must now be renewed. Therefore, as has already been
announced, elections will be held in India in the coming cold weather. The elec-
toral rolls are being revised as completely as time permits, and everything possible
will be done to ensure a free and fair election. The Viceroy has today made
known our intention to follow their election by positive steps to set up a Con-
stituent Assembly of Indian representatives, charged with the task of framing
a new constitution. The Government has authorized Lord Wavell to undertake
preliminary discussions with representatives of the new Provincial Legislatures
as soon as they are elected, to ascertain whether the proposals of the Cripps offer
are acceptable as they stand, or whether some alternative or modified scheme
would be preferable. Discussions will also take place with the representatives of
the Indian States.
The Government has further authorized the Viceroy, as an interim measure,
to take steps after the elections to bring into being an Executive Council having
the support of the main Indian Parties, in order that India may deal herself with
Next Steps in India
her own social and economic problems and may take her full part in working
out the new world order.
The broad definition of British policy toward India contained in the Declara-
tion of 1942, which had the support of all Parties in this country, stands in all
its fullness and purpose. This Declaration envisaged the negotiation of a treaty
between the British Government and the constitution-making body. The Gov-
ernment is giving immediate consideration to the contents of such a treaty. It
can be said here that in that treaty we shall not seek to provide for anything
incompatible with the interests of India. No one who has any acquaintance with
Indian affairs will underestimate the difficulties which will have to be surmounted
in the setting-up and smooth operation of the constitution-making body. Still
greater is the difficulty which will face the elected representatives of the Indian
people in seeking to frame a constitution for a great continent containing more
than 400,000,000 human beings.
During the war, Indian fighting men have in Europe, Africa and Asia played
a splendid part in defeating the forces of tyranny and aggression. India has
shared to the full with the rest of the United Nations the task of saving freedom
and democracy. Victory came through unity, and through the readiness of all to
sink their differences in order to attain the supreme object, victory. I would ask
all Indians to follow this great example and to join together in a united effort to
work out a constitution which majority and minority communities will accept as
just and fair, a constitution in which both States and Provinces can find their
place. The British Government will do their utmost to give every assistance in
their power, and India can be assured of the sympathy of the British people.
Viceroy of India
Broadcast, New Delhi, September 19, 1945
After my recent discussions with His Majesty's Government in' London, they
authorized me to make- the following announcement:
"As stated in the Gracious Speech from the Throne at the Opening of
Parliament, His Majesty's Government are determined to do their utmost to
promote in conjunction with the leaders of Indian opinion the early realization
of full self-government in India. During my visit to London they have dis-
cussed with me the steps to be taken.
"An announcement has already been made that elections to the Central
and Provincial Legislatures, so long prostponed owing to the war, are to be
held during the coming cold weather. Thereafter His Majesty's Government
earnestly hope that ministerial responsibility will be accepted by political leaders
in all Provinces.
"It is the intention of His Majesty's Government to convene as soon as pos-
sible a constitution-making body, and as a preliminary step they have author-
ized me to undertake, immediately after the elections, discussions with repre-
sentatives of the Legislative Assemblies in the Provinces, to ascertain whether
the proposals contained in the 1942 Declaration are acceptable or whether
some alternative or modified scheme is preferable. Discussions will also be un-
British Speeches of the. Day
dertaken with the representatives of the Indian States with a view to ascertain-
ing in what way they can best take their part in the constitution-making body.
"His Majesty's Government are proceeding to the consideration of the con-
tent of the treaty which will require to be concluded between Great Britain
"During these preparatory.stages, the Government of India must be carried'
on, and urgent economic and social problems must be dealt with. Furthermore,
India has to play her full part in working out the new world order. His
Majesty's Government have therefore further authorized me, as soon as the
results of the Provincial elections are published, to take steps to bring into
being an Executive Council which will have the support of the main Inqian
That is the end of the announcement which His Majesty's Government have
authorized me to make. It means a great deal. It means that His Majesty's Gov-
ernment are determined to go ahead with the task of bringing India to self-gov-
ernment at the earliest possible date. They have, as you can well imagine, a great
number of most important and urgent problems on their hands; but despite all
their preoccupations they have taken time, almost in their first dayg of office, to
give attention to the Indian problem, as one of the first and most important. That
fact is a measure of the earnest resolve of His Majesty's Government to help India
to achieve early self-government.
The task of making and implementing a new Constitution for India is a com-
plex and difficult one, which will require goodwill, co-operation and patience on
the part of all concerned. We must first hold elections so that the will of the
Indian electorate may be known. It is not' possible to undertake any major altera-
tion of the franchise system. This would delay matters for at least two years. But
we are doing our best to revise the existing electoral rolls efficiently. After the
elections, I propose to hold discussions with representatives of those elected, and
of the Indian States, to determine the form which the constitution-making" body
should take, its powers'and procedure. The draft Declaration of 1942 proposed a
method of setting up a constitution-making body but His Majesty's Government
recognize that, in view of the great issues involved and the delicacy of the minority
problems, consultation with the people's representatives is necessary before the
form of the constitution-making body is finally determined.
The above procedure seems to His Majesty's Government and myself the best
way open to us to give India the opportunity of deciding her destiny. We are
well aware of the difficulties to be overcome but are determined to overcome
them. I can certainly assure you that the Government and all sections of the
British people are anxious to help India, which has given us so much help in
winning this war. I for my part will do my best, in the service of the people of
India, to help them to arrive at their goal, and I firmly believe that it can be done.
It is now for Indians to show that they have the wisdom, faith and courage
to determine in what way they can best reconcile their differences and how their
country can be governed by Indians for Indians.
BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
30 ROCKEFELLER PLAZA
NEw YORK 20, N. Y.
HOUSE OF COMMONS
Annual Subscription ............................ $17.85
HOUSE OF LORDS
Annual Subscription ............................ $14.05
SHORT PERIOD SUBSCRIPTIONS
40 Issues (Commons or Lords) ................... $ 5.25
100 Issues (Commons or Lords) ................... $12.80
(All rates are inclusive of postage)
OTHER MATERIAL AVAILABLE FROM
BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES INCLUDES:
Labor and Industry in Britain. Monthly. Free on applica-
Information papers on British affairs covering rehabilitation,
education, farming, industry, government in the British
Colonies, etc., may be obtained free on application.
Also, free on request:
Britain and Tomorrow (Official Statements).
Post-War Planning (Unofficial Statements).
Wartime Planning for Physical Reconstruction.
British Health Services Today.
The British Constitution.
50 Facts About Britain's War Effort.
Britain's Future in the Making (illustrated).
50 Facts About India (illustrated).
For catalogue of Films available, terms of hire, etc., apply
to any office of British Information Services.
Material published by British Information Services will be
sent regularly to all who enter their names on the mailing
list of the Circulation Section, New York office.