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,* / -' ^ ^ ,


or F'lTI'_N T A AIar ,. Page

Clement Attlee; Anthony Eden; Ernest Bevin. November 22
and 23, 1945 ............................................... 643
Winston Churchill; Clement Davies; Ernest Bevin.
November 7, 1945 ........................................... 669
Clement Attlee. November 13, 1945 ......................... 683
Herbert Morrison. November 15, 1945 ....................... 688
Clement Attlee. November 19, 1945 .......................... 690
Sir Arthur Salter; Philip Noel-Baker; other speakers. November
16, 1945 ............. ..... ............................. 695
Ernest Bevin. November 13, 1945. ............................ 714
J. Chuter Ede. November 13, 1945........................... 717
Lord Winster; Viscount Swinton. November 1 '9
Herbert Morrison. November 19, 1945...... G 7 O -
G. Tomlinson; H. U. Willink; Aneurin Bevat /
26, 1945 ............................. .

Vol. III, No. 12 -

December 1945

. . Circle 6-5100
S. .Executive 8525
. . Andover 1733
. . Suffer 6634


House of Commons, November 22 and 23, 1945

THE PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I am speaking in
this Debate on Foreign Affairs because I'think it right to take the earliest oppor-
tunity of giving the House some account of my visit to the United States and
Canada, and to amplify, in some degree, the Joint Declaration which was made
by President Truman, the Prime Minister of Canada and myself on the subject
of atomic energy.
I also sought an early occasion for Members of this House to express their
views. It will, I am sure, be realized that I have not had very much time to pre-
pare myself since landing on Tuesday night, and I therefore do not propose to
range over the large number of topics which may properly be raised in a Debate
on Foreign Affairs, but rather to confine myself to the main subjects of the discus-
sions which I had across the Atlantic.
I would like to say a word here about the circumstances which gave rise to
this visit. Towards the end of September last I made known to the President my
view of the vital importance to the world of the discovery of atomic energy, and
that its application to warfare made it essential that those in responsible positions,
in the three countries under whose auspices this development, had taken place,
should consider the problems to which it had given rise, and the implications which
the emergence of this weapon has on the endeavors we are all making to banish
war from the world. In conveying to him the tentative conclusions at which the
Government had arrived, I suggested that personal discussion might follow, and
in October I received an invitation from President Truman to go to Washington
to discuss the whole matter with him and the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr.
Mackenzie King. The latter, as the House knows, had been over here on a visit,
and I had the advantage of exchanging views with him.
I left London by air on Friday afternoon after the Guildhall luncheon, and I
reached the White House in time for breakfast next morning. I was very grate-
ful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Scottish Universities (Sir J.
Anderson), whose knowledge of the whole subject and of the circumstances at-
tending our work with the Americans and Canadians in the research on atomic
energy, is so great, for being so good as to accompany me. His knowledge and
advice and help at all times were invaluable, and I am greatly indebted to him.
During my stay in Washington I was most kindly entertained by the President
and the Secretary of State, and had numerous opportunities of meetings with
Members of the Government, Senators, Congressmen and other leading figures in
the political world. From the day of my arrival we had constant meetings and
talks. Most of them took place at the White House, but we had one long, fruitful
and pleasant talk on board a yacht on the Potomac ....

A New Attitude Towards War
I now. turn to the principal matters which I discussed with the President and
with Mr. Mackenzie King. I would like to say something first in regard to the
approach which I made to this question of atomic energy applied to war. In my
view, it is impossible to isolate the problem of the atomic bomb from that of the
use of other weapons of destruction. There was a time when wars were local,
[643 ]

British Speeches of the Day

fought out with weapons which to us seem extraordinarily primitive. In those
days the losses and destruction caused by war could often be made up in a few
years, and great as was the misery caused, the thing was measurable. Sometimes
even the losses were slight. Men in authority might count the cost of a war as
worth while, for the advantages gained, though those advantages seem to us today
very often trifling. Such an attitude towards war is impossible to our generation.
We have seen two world conflicts, and we know the cost-or at least we know
some of the cost-in human suffering and the destruction of the work of gen-
erations of men. The practical obliteration of great cities which took place in the
last war as the result of shelling and bombing was bad enough. We know only
too well what the effect of bombing was in London, and in Coventry, Plymouth
and other cities; but anyone who has seen Aachen, or Stalingrad or Warsaw, knows
how infinitely greater is the ruin on the continent of Europe.
It was with that object lesson in their minds that the representatives of the
nations met at San Francisco. But since then we have had the atomic bomb. Two
only were dropped on Japan, but in each instance a large part of a great city and
of its inhabitants was wiped out. The atom bomb is the latest word in destruc-
tiveness, but it may not be the last. It brought home, as nothing else had done,
that if civilization is to survive there must be no repetition of the first and second
world wars. Therefore, when I addressed the President, when I spoke at the Man-
sion House, and in all my discussions, I have considered, not just the elimination
of the atom bomb from the armory of the nations, but what kind of a world
order is necessary in an epoch in which science has placed in men's hands such
terrible weapons.

Weapons Cannot Be Subjected to Rules
I emphasized this because there have been attempts in the past to eliminate
certain weapons and certain methods of warfare. There were some successes in
the past; there have been wars in which the Geneva.Convention has been pretty
fairly observed on both sides; but, broadly speaking, the attempt to ban certain
weapons has failed. Gas was banned before the war of 1914-18, but it was used;
and I have no doubt that if the Nazis had thought it worth while they would have
used gas again. The bombing of open cities once filled the world with horror,
but it became the everyday experience of the citizens of London in the last war.
I do not believe that in a warring world, except to a very limited extent, there
can be a set of Queensberry Rules. I think an attempt on these lines is as futile
as the attempt of the knightly combatants at the close of the Middle Ages to ban
that unsporting method, gunpowder; and I think, it is as well that we should make
up our minds that if the world again lapses into war on a scale comparable to
that from which we have just emerged, every weapon will be used, and we may
confidently expect that full-scale atomic warfare will result in the destruction of
great cities, in the deaths of millions, and the setting back of civilization to an un-
imaginable extent. You will find this thought expressed in Section 3 of our Joint
Declaration where we say:
"The only complete protection for the civilized world from the destructive
use of scientific knowledge lies in the prevention of war. No system of safe-
guards that can be devised will, of itself"-
I emphasize those words-
"of itself, provide an effective guarantee against production of atomic
weapons by a nation bent on aggression."
I stress again those words-
"by a nation bent on aggression."

Foreign Affairs

The Declaration reverts to the same theme in Section 9:
"Faced with the terrible realities of the application of science to destruc-
tion, every nation will realize more urgently than before the overwhelming
peed to maintain the rule of law among nations and to banish the scourge of
war from the earth."

The Rule of Law; Confidence
We have in prospect the meeting of the United Nations Organization, and
there is the instrument which, if all the nations resolve to use it, can establish the
rule of law to prevent war. I say "resolve to use it" because, to my mind, here
is the essence of the problem. Just as no system of inspection or control of
weapons will'work without good will, so no international organization, however
carefully framed, will be of any avail unless the nations resolve to lay aside war
and the threat of war as instruments of compulsion; unless they determine to es-
tablish between themselves such mutual confidence that war is unthinkable. While
this is the only real solution, no safeguard offering any chance of success should
be overlooked or ignored. I say mutual confidence is needed, but it is well to
remember that over great areas of the earth's surface this confidence is already
established. War between Britain and any one of the Dominions is unthinkable; war
between Britain or Canada or any one of the Dominions and the United States of
America is unthinkable. It seems to me that it is the task of statesmen to spread
that confidence throughout the whole world, and the Declaration which we made
at Washington was made with this object of increasing confidence, in order that
we may press on with the great task of ridding the world of the fear of war.

Reciprocity in Exchange of Knowledge
Let me turn now to what we have actually done. First, we-the three coun-
tries concerned in the discovery and development of atomic energy, the countries
which possess the knowledge- have already made available to the world the basic
scientific information essential to its development for peaceful purposes. We
declare our readiness to make available any further basic scientific information of
this kind for the whole world. We desire to promote the use of advances in scien-
tific knowledge for peaceful and humanitarian ends, and we declare our willing-
ness to exchange fundamental knowledge and to arrange for the interchange of
scientists with any nations that will fully reciprocate. I ask the House to note that
desire for reciprocity. We cannot tell what other scientific discoveries may be made,
or might be used, for the purposes of warfare; therefore, we ask all nations that
they should be prepared to do what we have done and what we are prepared to do.

Disclosure of Detailed Information
I now turn to the question of the disclosure of detailed information concern-
ing the practical industrial application of atomic energy. Atomic energy has already
been used for destruction. Its development for peaceful purposes-for helping,
instead of destroying the human race-is not likely to be perfected for many
years, or for some years at all events. Meanwhile, the methods and the processes
already developed can lead to either purpose. It has been urged in some quarters
that knowledge of these processes should be broadcast to the world in the same
way that the fundamental scientific information has been given. I cannot think
that this would be wise.
In the first place, this knowledge cannot be given in a formula or a handbook
or a blueprint. It can only be done by scientists and technicians being taken to
the plant, everything being shown and explained to them in detail. Well, that is
a matter which would take a long time, and to do this for all the nations would

British Speeches of the Day

clearly be a matter of very great difficulty, and I can see no reason for singling out
particular nations.
Secondly, this discovery can be used either for peace or war. Can it be wise,
when the United Nations Organization is only just born and is not out of its
cradle, to broadcast to the world the methods of making such a destructive weapon?
In our view this must await the growth of confidence and the development of
safeguards. It may be said, "What safeguards are of any use?" I may be asked,
"Have you not already said that no system of safeguards can be devised to provide
an effective guarantee?" I ask the House to note the words "by itself," and the
words "a nation bent on aggression" in Section 3 of the Joint Declaration. Where
there is not mutual confidence, no system will be effective, but where it exists,
there will be no difficulty. For instance, there is no difficulty between Britain,
Canada and the United States; we trust each other, we are able to have free, full
and frank discussions, we are working on plans for future co-operation between us
in this field, and we wish to establish between all nations just such confidence.
It is to be remembered that, although the processes for producing atomic energy
are complicated and require great plants, the product itself is a small thing and
the weight of the bomb on Hiroshima was not great. Clearly, there must be the
most sedulous care taken in the control of this most dangerous substance.

The UNO Commission
The three signatories, however, declare their readiness to share with other na-
tions on a reciprocal basis the practical industrial applications of this discovery
just as soon as effective enforceable safeguards can be devised, and to this end
they propose a Commission under the United Nations Organization. The House
will have seen the duties which it is proposed to entrust to the Commission. It
will be remembered that the United Nations Organization is set up for the pre-
vention of war and the establishment of the rule of law. It is, therefore, natural
to entrust this work to a Commission which will make recommendations to the
Organization. I would draw special attention to the provision that the work of
this Commission should proceed by stages. It emphasizes again the need for
specific action to be based on confidence. Note, also, that it is not only atomic
energy which is to be dealt with, but all weapons adaptable for mass destruction;
no one of these weapons has any legitimate place in the armaments which are nec-
essary for ordinary purposes of internal security, or for the protection of a Gov-
ernment against lawlessness . They are weapons of total war designed for mass
destruction, and we must banish total war from the world if civilization is to
Not a Problem for the Big Three Alone
Well, here is our Declaration. I hope there will be a world-wide response to
its principle, and that the proposals here made for the spreading of scientific in-
formation for peaceful purposes and the prevention of its perversion to war will
be accepted by other nations. The next step will lie with the United Nations Or-
ganization, which will soon be meeting, when this matter is brought before it.
This is a matter which cannot be solved by Britain, Canada and the United States
alone. It would have been a disservice to the cause which we have at heart if
we tried to do so. We have set out our views, we have pointed out the immediate
steps which are necessary, but this is a world question, and for its solution we
need, not merely the agreements of Governments, but the will and the faith of
The lost friends, the ruined homes of the last war are fresh in the memory of
us all. We have been through so many horrors that perhaps it is difficult for most
people to grasp the vista of still greater devastation which stretches before us unless

Foreign Affairs 647

men can so order their affairs as not to be destroyed by their own inventions. The
atomic bomb is here present in the world; it is not something just to be noted,
a newspaper sensation to be read about, tucked away comfortably at the back of
our minds while we return to other things; it is the danger that hangs over every
one of us, and over all the people of the world. The United Nations Organization
is here present in the world; it was born almost at the same time as the atomic
bomb. It is not something vaguely heard of, something quite outside the range
of our national life. It is the hope of the world. It is filled with immense pos-
sibilities. I want every man and woman in this country and in the world to feel
a vivid personal concern in the success of the United Nations Organization.
I would like to end with some words I used on Monday in addressing the
Canadian Parliament:
"Unless we apply to the solution of these problems a moral enthusiasm as
great as that which scientists bring to their research work, then our civiliza-
tion, built up over so many centuries, will surely perish."

RT. HON. ANTHONY EDEN (Conservative): As I understand it, the
really new departure in the Washington discussions was that the three Powers
charged with this particular responsibility decided that it was their duty to take an
initiative in the matter in relation to the other nations of the world, and their
initiative has been to ask that a Commission of the United Nations should be set
up which would by stages, it is hoped, and by agreement deal with this subject.

Composition and Procedure of the Commission
If I am right in my description there are some points I should like to know
about which, it may be, the Foreign Secretary can tell us tomorrow. If it is agreed
that the Commission should be set up under the United Nations, who is going to
compose that Commission? Is it to be, presumably it will be, all the members of
the Security Council? Any others as well? If so, who else? And have the in-
vitations gone out? If they have not gone out, when do they go out, and who
sends them out, and to whom do they go, and when do the Commission meet?
Before the end of this year? Those, I think, are the kind of questions which were
in our minds when we read of what I thought were the admirable bases of work
which were agreed upon in Washington. As I understand it, this Commission
is proceeding by stages. In view of the immense intricacy of this subject, I think
that is right. Stage A was described in the statement which the Leader of the
House read out to us about
"extending between all nations the exchange of basic scientific information
for peaceful ends."-[OFFIcIAL REPORT, 15th November, 1945; Vol. 415,
c. 2368.]
As I see it, what will happen will be that if these invitations are accepted then
the United Nations Commission, whoever they may be, will meet together and
first exchange this information. If that exchange is accepted by all of them, you
have got your first steps in the creation of international confidence and you move
to your next stage, which is to evolve the control of atomic energy to the extent
necessary to use it for peaceful ends, and so on. But we would like to know how that
first step is to be put in motion, and what is the machinery contemplated and when
it will be put in motion. Another thing we would like to know is, Have any
communications gone to other nations since the Washington talks were completed?
In particular, has any communication gone to Russia about the outcome of the
THE PRIME MINISTER: Before the Declaration was made, it was com-
municated to the Russian Government....

British Speeches of the Day

Rule of Law, Not of War
MR. EDEN: Let me come to what seems to me to be the fundamentals of this
problem. The truth is that by the discovery of this atomic energy science has placed
us several laps ahead of every present phase of international political development,
and unless we can catch up politically to the point we have reached in science, and
thus command the power which at present threatens us, we are all going to be
blown to smithereens. I think that Mr..Byrnes, the United States Secretary of
State, put it quite well at Charleston when he said the civilized world cannot
survive an atomic war, and I agree entirely with the Prime Minister that no set
of rules will enable us to survive a future war when this weapon is latent for use.
I agree, too, that no safeguards by themselves will provide an effective guarantee.
They have to be accompanied by the acceptance of the rule of law amongst the
nations. . .
Abatement of Sovereignty
The truth is that all the inventions of recent years have tended the same way,
to narrow the world, to bring us closer together and, therefore, to intensify the
shock and sharpen the reactions before the shock absorbers are ready. Every suc-
ceeding scientific discovery makes greater nonsense of old-time conceptions of
sovereignty, and yet it is not the least use our deluding ourselves, any more than
Mr. Byrnes did in his Charleston speech. It is yet true that national sentiment is
still as strong as ever, and here and there it is strengthened by this further com-
plication, the different conceptions of forms of government and different concep-
tions of what words mean, words like "freedom" and "democracy." So, despite
some stirring, the world has not, so far, been ready to abandon, or even really
to modify, its old conceptions of sovereignty. But there have been some stirring.
There was the Briand plan after the last war for the Federation of Europe, which
my right hon. Friend revived in another form in what he said in Brussels the
other day, about the new unity of the European family. In the darkest hour of
1940, there was the offer made to France by my right hon. Friend the Member
for Woodford (Mr. Churchill), on behalf of the Coalition Government, and there
were the various suggestions made between the United States and ourselves. Now
atomic energy has come to enforce the call for something more, because the world
family is smaller today than was the European family at the end of the last war.
'I have thought much on this question of atomic energy both before and since that
bomb burst on Nagasaki, and for the life of me I have been unable to see, and
am still unable to see, any final solution which will make the world safe for atomic
power, save .that we all abate our present ideas of sovereignty. ...
We have got somehow to take the sting out of nationalism. We cannot hope
to do so at once, but we' ought to start working for it now, and that, I submit,
should be the first duty of the United Nations. We should make up our minds
where we want to go. In this respect I know where I want to go. I want to get
a world in which the relations between the nations can be transformed in a given
period of time-we cannot do it in a short period-as the relations between
this country and Scotland and Wales have been transformed. What are we
going to do about that? What are the first steps that can be taken? One of the
first steps has been described by the right hon. Gentleman in the communique
which was issued from Washington, and I hope the further steps which I have
traced will be followed up to get this United Nations Mission to work soon.
There is another step in connection with the San Francisco organization. At
an early date, in my judgment, the United Nations ought to review their Charter
in the light of the discoveries about atomic energy which were not before us when
the Charter was drawn up. Nothing showed more clearly the hold that national-
ism has upon us all than the decision of that Conference to retain the power of

Foreign Affairs

veto. Surely in the light of what has passed since San Francisco the United Nations
ought to look at that again, and, having looked at it, I hope they will unanimously
decide that the retention of such a Charter is an anachronism in the modern world.

Relations With Russia
I turn to another aspect of foreign relations, not at all connected with atomic
energy. It is a subject about which I want to speak with a frankness which, I
hope, will be misunderstood neither here nor abroad, and that is our relations with
Russia. Nobody here will deny that recently there has been an increase of suspi-
cion and mistrust between the Soviet Union and the other two great partners
in victory, the United States and ourselves. We all deplore that, and if I make
some remarks upon it I hope it will be understood that they are made by one who
has always been and is still convinced that the future peace of the world depends
upon an understanding between ourselves, the United States and Russia. We have
not forgotten the lessons of previous wars, the Napoleonic War and the Great
War, when we and Russia had to come together to prevent one Power dominating
Europe and how, after those wars, we fell apart again with disastrous consequences
for us both. We all of us desire, we should all work, that this should not happen
again, but let us look, as somebody who is not a Foreign Secretary can look, at
what these suspicions are. I have read, like many hon. Members, many of the
statements in the Russian Press and the Moscow radio and so forth, and I have
here one extract from the Daily Herald of a report from what used to be called
War and the Working Class and is now called New Times. I do not know
whether there is any connection. It says:
"It accuses the reactionary Press of Britain, America and France of trying
to convince the people of the weakness of our country"-
that is, Soviet Russia. It goes on:
"and of appealing for the elimination of the Soviet Union from any partici-
pation in European affairs."

Western and Eastern Blocs
I say without hesitation that no printed statement could be further from the
truth of the feelings of the people of this country. Exactly the opposite is what
we want, and what we are all prepared to work for. But since we feel that, we
really are at a loss to understand the meaning of the Soviet Government's attitude
to what they call the "Western bloc." We want the fullest Russian participation
in all world affairs on equal terms. That is the object of our policy. Let us look
at the Western bloc, as it is called-I think wrongly. Many times Russian states-
men have spoken to me and to my right hon. Friend also of their need for security
and of the necessity they feel for friendly relations with their neighbors. We
have never disputed that. The Russians have gone very far in making arrange-
ments with almost all their neighbors; in some cases-take Hungary, for example-
they made an economic! union infinitely closer than anything that I know that
has ever been contemplated between us and our Western neighbors.
Against whom are all these Russian arrangements being aimed? I know the
answer; they have given it so many times. They are being aimed against the
possible resurgence of German plans for domination of Europe. The Russians are
not yet by any means convinced, as are some people in this country, that the Nazi
spirit is entirely dead. Any arrangements which the right hon. Gentleman may
make in Western Europe are for precisely the same purpose. They will be com-
plementary to the arrangements that Russia may make in the East and any arrange-
ments between us and our Western neighbors are no more aimed against Russia

British Speeches of the Day

than are Russia's arrangements with her neighbors against us. It is desirable that
that should be plainly stated, for I am convinced that it is the literal truth. We
know that Russia's arrangements are not aimed against us. We can surely ask her
to believe that our arrangements are not aimed against her either.

The Need of News From Russia
I have said that there continues to be in this country, among virtually all sec-
tions of the people, a deep desire for friendship for Russia, as close and cordial a
friendship even as we have. with the United States of America. But there is
another unhelpful influence which militates against this, and which I think should
be mentioned. It is the difficulty of getting information out of Russia and out
of territories controlled by the Soviet Union. We had an example of this the other
day in the message sent by Anglo-American Press correspondents in Moscow to
Mr. Molotov. I would beg our Russian friends to believe that they could make
no greater contribution to real understanding between our countries than to allow
the foreign correspondents in their territories, or territories under their control,
the same full freedom as is allowed to Russian correspondents here. We have to
get to know each other and that involves freedom to speak and freedom to com-
ment across the frontier. Drop those barriers of censorship and you will blow
away in one gust much of this black fog of suspicion.

I come to one other aspect of our relations with the Soviet Union to which I
must refer, because I have some responsibility in the matter, and that concerns
recent events in Persia. We have read-I think all of us-with some concern in
the Press of recent disturbances in North-West Persia, and of a decision by the
Persian Government to send troops to deal with those disturbances and a report
that those troops were turned back by the Soviet authorities. I must say that I find
it impossible to reconcile such action either with the Anglo-Soviet-Persian Treaty
of 1942, which I signed myself, or the Teheran Declaration of 1943, to which
my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) put his name.
I must remind the House what that Declaration said. The last paragraph begins:
"The Government of the United States, the U.S.S.R. and the United King-
dom are at one with the Government of Iran in their desire for the main-
tenance of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iran."

Recapitulation of Events
Let me recall what happened and why our troops are in Persia at all. From
1940, and still more in 1941 when Russia was attacked, Persia became a happy
hunting ground for German agents. The moment that Russia was attacked, we
had need of those communications through Persia as the only alternative route to
the Northern convoys, the full story of whose gallantry I pray that somebody will
one day write as it should be written. Apart from that route, there was no other
means save through Persia, and to deal with the German agents and threats of
sabotage to that railway, as anyone who knows it can see it was easy to sabotage,
it was necessary to take military steps. We did so, but we made it plain that in.
so doing it was only to ensure our supplies to Russia that we intervened in Persia
and that we wished to interfere as little as we could with Persian sovereignty.
I would refer to one passage of the Treaty which we signed. It is signed by us
and the Soviet Union as well as by Persia. It reads:
"It is understood that the presence of these forces on Iranian territory does
not constitute a military occupation and will disturb as little as possible the
administration and the security forces of Iran, the economic life of the coun-

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try, the normal movements of the populations and the application of Iranian
laws and independence."
It is not by accident that those words are there. We put them there because we
were most anxious not to revert to that harsh and pernicious policy which was
called "Spheres of Influence in Persia." We remember what happened after 1907,
Sir Edward Grey's attempt. It left a legacy of suspicion in Persia which made
us unpopular for 20 years or more.
MR. LIPSON (Conservative): Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether
the United States were also a party to this Treaty?
MR. EDEN: No, Sir, they were not a party to the Treaty because at the time
they had no troops in Iran. It only concerned us and the Soviet Union. Their
troops came later. In view of that, when the German war began to come to an
end, we became anxious to withdraw our troops and first raised this matter at
Yalta. It is fair that I should state these matters and that the House should know
them because the issue is important to us. We raised it at Yalta, but no decision
was reached about the withdrawal of troops, but the Russians did reaffirm to us
their determination to stand by the Teheran Agreement I have just quoted. Later,
at an early stage of the Potsdam Conference, we raised the matter again and our
desire then was to arrange for an early withdrawal even before the Treaty obliga-
tion came into effect. 'The Treaty obligation, I may say, is to withdraw six months
after the dose of the Japanese war. At Potsdam the Russians did agree to an
immediate withdrawal from Teheran, and the stages for full withdrawal they
agreed to discuss at the Foreign Secretaries' Conference in London when it met.
Before that meeting took place, the Japanese war ended and the Treaty came into
force. In London agreement was reached, as I understand it, to withdraw by
2nd March.
Suspicions About Russia
I am recapitulating all this to the House because I want to emphasize our task
in Persia and our only task was to create lines of communication and supply and
not to interfere in the internal affairs in Persia. Those lines of supply are no
longer of any importance except for the maintenance of our troops and of the
Soviet troops that are there. I am afraid that the incidence of the two battalions
is not the only occasion when the Soviet have refused permission to Persia to move
their troops and gendarmerie about in the area under their control. In conse-
quence of these events it is not very surprising that suspicions have been aroused.
There are two steps which our Russian allies could take which would remove
those suspicions. They can make it plain that they have no objection, as we should
certainly have no objection where our troops are, to the free movement of Persian
troops in their area and that they will be prepared to give those forces an oppor-
tunity to move and act when they reach the area. In consequence might I also add
that here, as elsewhere, the Soviet Union could greatly strengthen its case and
remove much suspicion and many charges, some of which may be unfair charges,
by inviting the Press of the world to come and see for themselves what is going
on in the area and allowing them freely to. publish their observations. I have
spoken fully of these matters, as I think it is my duty to do because of the
responsibilities I had in office before. I believe it better in the long run for our
relations with Russia, about which I hope my record shows I care very deeply, that
one should speak frankly on occasion when the occasion arises.

There is one other topic to which I want to refer before I sum up, and that is,
the position in Greece, about which I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman to give
us, if he will, some information tomorrow. What exactly is going on in Greece?

British Speeches of the Day

We read that the Archbishop has resigned. That I think is deplorable, if it is
true, because he has given very valuable service to Greece at a very critical time.
Perhaps resignations in Greece are not quite so serious as they are in this country.
It may be that he maj come back again, but it would be a good thing if we had
some news about that position tomorrow. More serious is the news of the post-
ponement-I do not say the postponement on the initiative of the British Govern-
ment-for two to three years of the plebiscite, in respect of the constitutional
future of Greece. . .
I am not going into the merits or my desires whatever they may be, if I have
any, about the outcome of the plebiscite but I want to say about the delay of two
to three years, it is running counter to the Varkiza Agreement and also counter to
the undertakings which were given to the King by us, by the then Prime Minister
and myself, when he himself offered not to go back to his country until the coun-
try had voted. We then told the House, and it is on public record, that the idea
was that a plebiscite should be held at an early date. No one in the world would
say that a date two or three years from now should be regarded as- an early one.
Therefore, I should be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman could tell us about
that. With regard to the report of financial assistance being conditioned in some
way, perhaps he could give us some information about that matter also.

Summing Up
Let me try to sum up. I know the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary
was disappointed by the breakdown of the London Conference. Despite this, we
all hope that he will persevere in his efforts to bring about another meeting, where
perhaps we might do better next time. It is by such direct contacts with Russia
and the other Allies that suspicions can be ventilated and allayed, as they must
be if the world is to have a chance of enjoying the enduring peace which it de-
serves. Earlier in my speech I spoke of the destructive possibilities of atomic
energy, but there is another side to this stupendous discovery-the possibilities for
good which, if I may say so, are as immeasurable as the possibilities for evil. The
world sees not so very far away a chance of security or even plenty for all. The
world must seize that chance if we are to prove worthy of those who fought and
died that we should have it.

Ernest Bevin): In the'course of the discussions yesterday much was said about
suspicion, and I would like to deal with that at once. I can only repeat what I
said on November 7th, that if the Great Powers which are primarily concerned
will say exactly what they want, either in territory or bases or in any other form,
then it can be examined, and there is no need to take action of any kind which
S will cast reflections on the actions of one another. I used the phrase on that
"Put the cards on the table face upwards."-[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th No-
vember, 1945; Vol. 415, c. 1341.]
If any large or small nation in the world is suspicious of Great Britain I invite
them-I repeat, I invite them-to tell me frankly what their suspicions are, and
I will frankly face them. Equally, I say to other countries that nothing can remove
suspicion but the utmost frankness as to our respective policies. I cannot see why
there should be suspicion at all. We have agreed to the United Nations, we know
its obligations. I will refer later in my speech to the issues raised by the right hon.
Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden). I am only
dealing with things as they are at the moment, but we are a party to the United
Nations, and Great Britain will not be afraid, and will not in any way decline

Foreign Affairs

to have anything it does, or wants or seeks to promote, discussed in open assembly,
at the United Nations if necessary. I do not think I can be franker than that to
remove suspicion.
United Nations General Assembly
The right hon. Gentleman raised questions yesterday on the procedure that
should be adopted in connection with the atom bomb and the communique which
was issued in Washington. I do not think that any good purpose would be served
at the moment in calling a special meeting to consider that. All Members of the
United Nations have been warned that the General Assembly will meet on Janu-
ary 2nd or January 7th, and that is not very far ahead. I hope that the atom bomb
will not be used before January 7th in any case. [Laughter.] There should be
opportunities for the consideration of this vital document when the General As-
sembly meets. It would not, I think, and the right hon. Gentleman, with his expe-
rience, will agree, be technically possible to summon a special meeting earlier in
any case, especially in view of all the arrangements that have to be made for the
General Assembly. That Assembly will have as its first- task the election of the
Security Council, and the proposals of His Majesty's Government, the United
States of America and Canada will no doubt then be considered, and early decisions
taken as to how the Commission should be set up. Having examined the problem
afresh, I think it is best to let it take its normal course. I would rather it were
taken in the normal stride in this way than that we should have a special confer-
ence to' deal with one phase of defense or aggression by itself. Therefore, let it
take its course in that way.

The Use of the United Nations Instrument
I want, however, to make it dear that, whatever may be the ultimate result of
the consideration and discussion of the constitution of the United Nations, its
effectiveness or otherwise, which, as I say, I will deal with towards the end of my
speech, I must say at the outset that that instrument has been created. It is on the
Statute Books of an overwhelming majority of the nations in the world. We
must develop that 'instrument. It is ready at hand, and if new dangers have
caused the need for more new measures, this final step to world order must be
dealt with without detriment to the using of the instrument we have created up
to date. Therefore, it will be the purpose of His Majesty's Government to utilize
the United Nations, may I say stretch it to the limit of its capacity from the security
point of view, conscious all the time, as the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday,
that the world is moving so fast that a great change has taken place even since he
was at San Francisco.

Relations With France
Now may I turn to a review summarized as I have indicated, of the questions
that have been raised in the Debate, and probably one or two that were not dealt
with very fully? I would like first of all to refer to France, which was dealt
with by several hon. Members in connection with the alleged Western bloc. I do
not want to say any more than I said on November 7th, except that, suspicion or
no suspicion-I cannot help it if people have groundless suspicions-they have
no right to accuse us, and I am not going to accept it. But His Majesty's Govern-
ment must go on with the task of building up friendships with our immediate
neighbors economically, and assisting one another in the promotion of the well-
being of all of us. If people say that we are doing wrong, let them examine what
we do. I can only say that we shall not, in any arrangements that we make,
commit any unfriendly act towards any other nation, great or small. I cannot
accept the view that all my policy and tHe policy of His Majesty's Government

British Speeches of the Day

must be based entirely on the "Big Three." I recognize, as was said yesterday,
that they are great powers which, if exercising their responsibilities aright and
justly, can be a great umbrella for the security and peace of millions throughout
the world. But if an ambassador, or representative, or a foreign secretary visits
me to discuss a matter between his nation and ours, I cannot allow myself for one
moment to consider whether he represents a great nation or a small one.
I think it will be accepted by the House and by the country that I would be
failing in my duty if I did not try to decide the issue on the basis of the facts, and
do right because it was right to do right-not because of my fears of what might
happen if I did wrong. That is the principle upon which we must work, and I
hope that will not be interpreted as being antagonistic to anybody. It does not
matter whether it is a small nation or a big one. To me they are human beings.
The fact that they are divided into large or small countries may be an accident
of power or an accident of geography, but it does not alter the value of the
contribution which they can make to humanity as a whole. Neither can we be
influenced by the fact that, owing to the aggression of other nations, temporarily
I hope, some nations have been knocked down, as it were. We must have regard
to their history, their culture, their contribution and their civilizing influence-and
I would say that civilizing influence is not determined by the volume of armaments
you have got, but by the cultural development that you possess.
In the case of France there is a great history, and I am convinced that there
is a great future. We have followed recent events in Paris with close interest,
and, while it would obviously not be right for me to comment in any detail on
any internal French matter, I think I may, in the name of all of us, quite properly
express our satisfaction that the crisis has been successfully overcome and a solu-
tion reached which appears mutually satisfactory to all parties concerned. At all
events, I can assure General de Gaulle and his new Government that we are looking
forward to working most closely with them and to carrying still further that dose
collaboration which we enjoyed with the late French Government. The political
crisis of France was, of course, a direct outcome of the recent French elections
which were almost the first national elections to be held since the war. These
elections were not simply a political event. They marked the reaffirmation by
Frenchmen of their faith in the traditions of liberty and individual freedom. It
is on this sure foundation that the French are restoring their country and rebuild-
ing the shattered framework of their economy, and it is on this basis that His
Majesty's Government intend to collaborate with them.

The Transfer of German Populations
Arising out of the war-if I may deal with some European problems first-one
of the things that have agitated this House and the country has been the vexed
problem of the transfer of German populations. Our aim throughout has been
to ensure that the Potsdam decisions on this subject are implemented. This means
to say that we did not seek to reverse or stop the necessary process of transfers,
but we sought to ensure that transfers were carried out in the most humane and
orderly fashion possible, and that they were suspended until the Allied Control
Council in Berlin, had decided the exceedingly complicated questions arising out
of the reception and distribution of the refugees in the various zones of Germany.
I do not want to speak with any cheerfulness of what is one of the most desperate
problems in Europe, but I feel justified in holding out some hope to the House
that our efforts have had some success. The most recent reports suggest that expul-
sions and forced migrations from Poland have diminished considerably in volume.
Expulsions and migrations from Czechoslovakia were, on the whole, loyally sus-
pended by the Czechoslovak Government after the Potsdam decision was an-
nounced. Here, too, I have reason to believe that such movements as have con-

Foreign Affairs

tinued to take place have recently diminished. I therefore feel entitled to say that
the situation shows some improvement, even though this applies rather to present
expulsions than to the condition of those already expelled, which, I confess, remains
still bad.
The Settlement of Migrants
Moreover, the Control Council has now at length begun to make real progress
with the plan for the reception and distribution of the migrants. The House will
have seen in the Press some details of the plan now agreed by the Allied Control
Council in Berlin. This plan provides for the settlement of some 3,500,000
Germans from Poland, 2,500,000 from Czechoslovakia and 500,000 from Hungary.
Of this total, 1,500,000 from Poland will be settled in the British zone. This is
a little less than our proportionate share of the total, but, having regard to the
fact that dwelling space in the British zone has been very much more reduced by
bombing than in any other zone, and to the fact that the British zone already
contains an exceedingly large number of German refugees from other zones, I
think the British zone will certainly have made its full contribution, judged in
relation to its absorptive capacity, to the solution of this terrible problem. I am
hopeful, therefore, that real progress has been made and that the transfers, when
they are now resumed as the result of this agreement, will proceed in the orderly
and humane fashion designed at Potsdam.

Another country which has given considerable anxiety, and which was referred
to in several hon. Member's speeches, is Poland. I see signs, in spite of the diffi-
culties, of Polish independence asserting itself vigorously but in friendly relation
with Soviet Russia. There are signs that the recovery from the stunning effect
of the war is beginning to show itself in this country. I ask the House not to be
too impatient. When two great armies have flowed over a country, when millions
have been massacred, and when nations have been laid low, you cannot expect
those nations to recover in a moment. But we must try to understand what the
real progressive forces are doing, and, while I'cannot by any means pretend that
everything is satisfactory-in fact it is not anywhere in the world . yet
I would like to feel that if we as a nation had gone through what Poland,
Czechoslovakia and some of these other countries have gone through, occupied by
two great armies, we would have been blessed with the same resilience that they
/are beginning to show; and I am not going to say a word which will damp the
ardor of some of their leaders. One of the things from which they are suffering
most is the destruction of so many of their best and most virile leaders. I know
that the Polish State which is a feature of Eastern Europe creates very great diffi-
culties, but I like to see the plant growing and I am not going to pull it up every
moment to make sure that it is growing. I, therefore, look forward to Poland
reasserting itself as a great independent nation.

The Return of Armed Forces to Poland
For a long time past, however, we have been trying to make arrangements with
the Polish Provisional Government for the return to Poland of those of the gallant
Polish armed forces under our command who wish to go back. Some 23,000
out of the 67,000 in this country, 14,000 out of the 110,000 in Italy and the
Middle East, and a few hundreds of those in North Western Europe have, up to
now, expressed the wish to return. I hope that those from Italy will be on their way
overland to Austria and Czechoslovakia within the next few days. They have
been delayed by complicated discussions with the Czechoslovakian and Russian

British Speeches of the Day

authorities. It has hitherto been impossible to provide shipping for the 23,000 in
this country, and the land route across Germany is fully occupied with the return-
ing displaced persons from our zone of occupation, of whom 110,000 have now
gone back.
I am glad to announce that we can now make shipping available next month.
The Polish Military Mission which was recently here was unable, for some reasons
which I do not altogether understand, to discuss the details of the return of these
men, but now that shipping will be available there must be no further delay. Those
from this country and those from Italy will return in uniform and with their per-
sonal arms. As to the remainder, many of them, not unnaturally, want more
detailed information about the conditions they will find in Poland when they
return home, before making up their minds. We suggested to the Polish Pro-
visional Government a long time ago that more would go back if a detailed state-
ment on this subject, agreed with us, could be made known to them all. It has
not been possible hitherto to arrange this, but I am glad to say that the Polish
Provisional Government have now agreed to concert with our Ambassador in
Warsaw the terms of a statement for them to make, covering the points on which
the Polish soldiers, saildrs and airmen under our command particularly want infor-
mation. I hope that this will enable many more to take the decision to go back
to Poland and to help in the reconstruction of their country. I want to make it
clear, however, that there is no intention of using compulsion, and indeed, the
Polish Military Mission agree with us in that respect. I think the situation thus
developing is more encouraging than it has been hitherto.

Italy: Removal of Restrictions; UNRRA
I would like now to turn to the points raised in connection with Italy. I sin-
cerely hope that the recent publication of the terms of the Armistice to Italy will
have served to show that we have already gone a long way towards removing
restrictions on Italy's action as a free and independent nation. Furthermore, the
Northern Provinces of Italy which have been retained under Allied Military dov-
ernment will, I hope, with the exception of a small area, be handed over to the
Italian Government within the next few weeks. What Italy needs above all,
however, is strong and united Government. I am glad of the approval that has
been given to the extension of the activities of the United Nations Relief and
Rehabilitation Administration in Italy, and UNRRA will, I hope, very shortly
resume very considerable responsibility in connection with the supply of foodstuffs
and other essential requirements for that country, which should go far to help,
them in the coming winter. I can only hope-I say this with all sincerity-that
the reconstruction of the country will not be frustrated by political wrangling.
What is needed is cohesion, and the minds of the Italian people must turn seri-
ously towards the rebuilding of Italy on a democratic basis.
This is far more important at this critical stage of her history than mere fight-
ing for place. After all, a nation like Italy that has been under a dictatorship for
years loses its political legs, as those who have had responsibility there, like the
right hon. Gentleman the Member for Brothley (Mr. H. Macmillan) who has just
returned to the House, will appreciate. 'They are like a man who has lain in bed
with paralysis or illness and has to get on to crutches. It takes some time before
he can get his strength back, and it is some time before these countries can accus-
tom themselves to vigorous political institutions. I do not despair of that, but I
think the words I have said ought to encourage them, and to convey to them what
we feel in this country, which is that they must place the rehabilitation of the
country before everything else. They will have the good will of others to assist
them in that task.

Foreign Afairs

The Restoration of Greece
I was asked some questions yesterday by the hight hon. Member for Warwick
and Leamington (Mr. Eden) about Greece. The House seems to have heard about
this little country very many times, and if the statement on Greece is a little
lengthy, it is because I want the House to know all the facts. I cannot deny that
during recent weeks I have been very gravely concerned at the marked deterioration
in the economic and financial situation in Greece. I decided to send the Under-
Secretary of State with officials to Athens, to examine the conditions on the spot
and to make proposals as to the further way in which we can assist Greece to repair
the damage caused by the war and to restore her shattered economy. UNRRA
has been giving great assistance, and UNRRA is financed largely by the generosity
of the United States, ourselves and Canada, and certain other countries who have
made handsome contributions. Much has been put into Greece, but it did seem
to me that it was not having the effect that UNRRA was intended to have, not
merely of temporarily feeding the people but of restoring the economy of the
country. As I said in an earlier speech, I think the first speech I delivered
in this House as Foreign Secretary, we must avoid the danger of whole nations
being, as it were, on the dole. UNRRA must be used to re-create their economy,
but it seemed to me that what we were doing was not having the right result.

Greek Internal Politics
These tasks, therefore, required urgent action, and it was my hope that if the
economic and financial reconstruction of Greece could be put in hand on a sound
basis, this would remove many of the country's political difficulties. After all,
you do not get so much political unrest where people can live decently. Nothing
contributes to political upsets so much as economic trouble that can be exploited.
It has certainly not been my desire to intervene in Greek internal political affairs
or to dictate to the Greek people on these.matters. The Under-Secretary reported
to me that the Greek Government, headed by M. Kanellopoulos, was not strong
enotigh and that it did not enjoy sufficient popular support to carry through the
drastic measures which would have to be undertaken. A stronger Government
had therefore to be found which would set itself to this task with determination,
and with some prospect of success. All previous attempts to form a strong and
representative Government had failed, because of differences of opinion on politi-
cal questions, such as the date of the election and the plebiscite, and it was the
opinion, both of the Regent of Greece and of the British representative there, that
until a solution could be found for those political issues, it was idle to expect
that the economic and financial problems would be seriously tackled.

The Regent's Proposals
The Regent informed me that he had decided to tell the political leaders in
Greece that, in the interests of Greek unity, the plebiscite must, in his view, be
postponed for three years, and that he would appeal to the politicians to accept
this decision and form a united and representative Government which could under-
take the task of reconstruction. I did not like this proposal, since it would hold
out no firm prospect that the immediate economic and financial task would be
undertaken. In fact, I indicated to the Under-Secretary that to deal with this by
itself would be to indulge in a political maneuver and that any such provision
could only be accepted as part of a wider plan for the immediate economic recon-
struction of Greece. What I wanted to obtain was that any new Government
would undertake a definite and comprehensive program which would cover not
only the political issues but--of much more immediate importance-the economic
and financial problems. I therefore suggested to the Regent that instead of

British Speeches of the Day

adopting hii proposal, which dealt only with the date of the plebiscite, he should
lay before the Greek politicians the following program and stick to it:
First, elections to be held at the latest by the end of March, 1946;
Secondly, the plebiscite to be held in March, 1948;
Thirdly, immediate steps to be taken to deal on a sound basis with the economic
and financial situation and to provide for the reconstruction of Greece.

Mr. Bevin's Proposals
I offered no bribes or loans conditional on dealing with the elections or the
plebiscite. All my proposals were directed towards the urgent problem of eco-
nomic reconstruction-railways, roads, planning, textile production, taking over
factories if the Greek employers would not produce to the orders of the Govern-
ment and putting them in the hands of the State to see that they did produce. I
was ready to organize people to go out there to organize co-operative distribution,
in order to cut down this frightful profit on UNRRA goods, and all the.rest of it.
All that kind of thing I was endeavoring to introduce into that country. Anyone
who knows Greece knows that it is essential that this should be done and that it
will have to be done. I informed the Regent that if a strong Government could
be formed which would accept the economic program and would announce its
determination to carry it through honestly and vigorously, His Majesty's Govern-
ment would be prepared to give their full support both to the Regent and to the
new Government.
The New Greek Government
A new Government has been formed. This Government includes the best-
known figures in all the Moderate and Republican parties. I wish that it might
have included some other of the more representative men, in order to give it a
more representative character. There have been many reports about the resigna-
tion of the Regent, or about his intention to resign. It is true that at one moment
he tendered his resignation because he failed to secure an all-party Government.
I hope that he will think better of it and stick to his post and help to see the
country through this critical crisis. I can say that since the right hon. Member
for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) went there under very difficult circumstances, and
the Regent took on, the Regent has rendered great service to Greece during a most
critical period of her history.
The Under-Secretary of State has already had discussions with the Ministers
of the new Greek Government who are concerned with economic and financial
matters. They are now showing a much more realistic, clear-headed attitude
towards these problems than has been apparent in earlier talks. They have declared
their firm intention of proceeding immediately with the essential measures to check
the continued deterioration of the economic situation, the rise in prices and the
fall of the drachma. I hope these good intentions will be translated without delay
into good deeds. If they are, the Government can be sure of all the support in
our power. Through this long and difficult period my sole aim has been to bring
about a state of affairs in Greece which would permit of the speedy reconstruction
of the country. I hope this new Government will be able to carry that task to a
speedy conclusion. If I may speak on the lines of what I said when speaking of
Italy, let it not be forgotten that Greece was under the Metaxas dictatorship, Greece
has been through a terrible war, Greece has been bleeding since 1912, on and off.
Here again, I am not going to be unmindful of all that this little country has gone
through, or of the very grave difficulties the Greeks have to face. I am not going
to be too critical, and that is why I tried to remove the whole contentious matter
from the political plane on to that of economic reconstruction, in order that I
might get the country living decently again.

Foreign Affairs

The Plebiscite
It has been suggested that in supporting a proposal to postpone the plebiscite we
have broken pledges given to the King of Greece by the Prime Minister and Foreign
Secretary of the former Government. I cannot agree that His Majesty's Government
have ever been committed to any particular date for the plebiscite or any particular or-
der in which the election and plebiscite should be held. It has always been our desire
that the Greek people should decide for themselves, both about their future Govern-
ment and about their future regime, but we have always insisted that these decisions
should be taken when conditions of normal tranquility have been restored to the
country. I do not think any member of the former administration, or of this one,
can say that I have experienced any normal tranquility in Greece since I have been
in office, or that at any moment I could hav6 taken an election or plebiscite. We
had to build a gendarmerie, the civil service was gone, everything was gone-I
am not saying this in a critical sense. Great efforts are being made to turn the
Greek Army into a non-political national army, which it ought to be. On one
occasion in Athens, when there was a great demonstration, and people advocated
civil war, which might have set the plate in flames, our London police mission
just escorted the people away-as they have escorted me many a time.
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Mr. Churchill): I do not wish,
in an interruption of a few moments, to go into any of the detailed arguments
about pledges and engagements, but I feel it absolutely necessary to place on record
my own personal view, namely, that a delay of two or three years in the hold-
ing of a plebiscite on the question of monarchy or republic in Greece, would not
be a bona fide interpretation of the pledges and understandings we have given,
not only to the King but to the Greek people, with whom it is a burning question.
I feel bound to place that upon record, and I trust that further detailed exam-
ination will be given to the various statements which have been made upon that
matter. It is, in my view, vain to suppose that political peace will come to that
country by the kind of arrangement which has been proposed, and which postpones
the burning question. That is my view.
MR. BEVIN: If my right hon. Friend had waited until I had finished the
story of Greece, he would have seen that I deal with the very points he has men-
tioned. I was a member of the Cabinet and must not reveal what went on in
the Cabinet, but I do not remember any mention of a date. I remember the
emphasis on the restoration of tranquility, and I defy anybody to be able to run a
plebiscite in Greece at the present moment. I have just learned today that men
are going out from this country to try and get the registers in order, together with
American and French observers.

The Plebiscite and the Varkiza Agreement
Let me deal with this question of the dates. After all, there was a great
Labour Party Conference operating at the time, and the Labour Party at that
moment was very resentful of our policy in Greece. I joined with the right hon.
Gentleman, as Prime Minister, in the decision, I did not go back on it, and I shall
not, but on the other hand, I have to try to see what is the best way to carry it out.
Let me deal with the right hon. Gentleman's remarks. It is true that the Varkiza
Agreement of last February states that the plebiscite shall be held in 1945 and
shall be followed by elections. As the House will be aware, this Agreemernt was
negotiated between the Greek Government of General Plastiras and the E.A.M.,
and although our efforts and influence played a major part in bringing the Agree-
ment about, it could not be said at any moment that His Majesty's Government
were bound by its terms. They were not a party to it. We had certainly not, at
that date, made up our minds whether an election or a plebiscite should come first.


British Speeches of the Day

No question was ever raised on my speech to the Labour Party Conference-in-
deed, I was complimented by everybody on what I said, and on the order in which
I presented it-and I think that in accordance with the Cabinet decision of the
time, what I said was absolutely correct. If what I said in a great public statement
of that kind was not correct, I ought to have been pulled up then. What did
I say? . 'What I actually said in my speech to the Labour Party Conference
last December was this:
"There was first of all, as soon as tranquility and order were established, to
be a general election, and the only thing we stipulated was that the Greek
Government must take all precautions, if our name was to be associated with
Greece, to ensure that the general election was fair, above board, and that
there was no rigging. After that, a plebiscite on the question of monarchy
or republic was to be taken. Could anybody, on democratic basis, have a
better lay-out than that?"

Preventive Influences
That is what I said at the Labour Party Conference last December, and at that
time a vote was carried approving it. Since that time, up to the time the Regent
of Greece came here, I have tried to give effect to the Varkiza Agreement and
have never put forward the Labour Party's statement at all. But did I get a
Government? It'is not for me to suggest who prevented me from getting a Gov-
ernment in order that I could get an election. But I candidly confess that I do
not think I have had a square deal. I think that there have been influences from
this country every time I tried to get an all-party Government in Greece. I am
not talking about our people, but influences going from this country to Greece
which have prevented me-
MR. CHURCHILL: I hope the right hon. Gentleman will make it clear that
he is casting absolutely no aspersions on those who sit on these benches.
MR. BEVIN: I have made that dear. I am not going to say whom. In all
these problems in these Balkan States, this country is full of emigres of all kinds,
and no one knows better than my hon. Friends how difficult this is. I have never
at any moment been able to get the Populist party to serve in any Government. I
have been appealing to them all the time, irrespective of whether they were Royal-
ists or what they were, to come in and give me a Government in order that I could
assist Greece. What I have refused to do is to nominate a Government myself.
This is a great difference as against other Balkan States. I preferred to let Greece
have her trial and error, and all her difficulties, as long as I could, but I could not
see her go down economically. Then, at the last moment, I was told that if I
forced this issue of the institutional question before I got tranquility in the country,
I should run the danger of civil war, disturbances and economic disaster, and,
God knows, Greece has had enough of that.

The Monarchy
For good or ill, just as I stood by the decision in the late Government, I took
the decision now with the approval of the Cabinet and said, in what reasonable
period can I get this country into a tranquil state to vote on the institutional issue?
I have no objection to monarchy in any country as an institution, but let it be a
constitutional monarchy, and not a party monarchy. I said to myself that Greece
may desire to return to a constitutional monarchy; that is her business, that she
must decide without one word of influence from Great Britain. But how long
is it going to take me to get Greece out of what I call a party monarchy into a
tranquil state? [Interruption.] I do not want to get excited, but I do say that
these were our considerations, and believe me, I cannot see--

Foreign Afairs

MR. CHURCHILL: How can there be a plebiscite without two opinions ?
MR. BEVIN: It is between the two opinions that the decision would be, but
those two opinions ought not to be influenced by economic disaster. When the
head of a State is to be elected, a country ought to be in such a tranquil state, and
as prosperous as possible, that judgment, and not prejudice and starvation, should
be the guide. I have by this decision tried to get Greece on to a basis where the
question of the monarchy could be decided on its merits, without any influence
at all either way, and I say to His Majesty now that the greatest contribution he
can make to his country is to use all his influence to try to bring Greece back to a
healthy and prosperous state, with the aid of the economic assistance we are trying
to give, with the help of America and others at the present time, and to put no
more spokes in the wheels. This institutional question is a very serious' matter
indeed. My right hon. Friend knows very well that it is not limited to Greece.
I do want in this task of economic reconstruction to try to get Europe back on to
a footing in which we may get ordered government and a condition of affairs in
which it is possible that countries may live decently and decide their own issues
properly. What does it concern Great Britain whether Greece is a monarchy or a
republic? It is not for us to decide. Greece was our ally, Greece has gone
through this terrible war, Greece has paid a terrible price, not only in this war
but in the Chanak war, in the Turkish war, in the war in which the Coalition at
the end of the last war fell. Greece has paid a terrible price, and. now I say it is
my duty to try, without prejudice, without feeling, to create a condition of affairs
in Greece such that this question can be voted upon with sound judgment, and
then I hoped the country may go on for years making again a great contribution
to civilization.

The Middle East
I would turn for a moment to the Middle East. We are very anxious to co-
operate with the Middle Eastern countries in winning the victory of the peace, as
we co-operated in winning victory in war. We wish to maintain our relations
with the countries of the Middle East on the basis of free and equal partnership. In
wartime we all worked together to defeat the enemy. I was very glad to hear my
hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Seymour Cocks) refer to the work
that was done to prevent starvation in those territories during the war. At that
time we built up what was called the Middle East Supply Centre, which rendered
very great service. The enemy tried to bring starvation, disease and famine in this
region, as well as revolt. His plans were defeated. His Majesty's Government
are anxious now to keep in being the same spirit of common effort to promote the
well-being, health and prosperity of the people in these regions, and to co-operate
with the Governments to raise the standard of living of the common man.

A British Middle East Office
During the war the Middle East Supply Centre was a joint Anglo-American
organization. These offices have been abolished, but we wish to preserve those
parts of the organization which will be useful to the Middle East countries in
eace. We have, therefore, set up a British Middle East Office whose duty it will
e to maintain close personal liaison with the economic and social representatives
of the Middle Eastern Governments in Teheran, and to work in harmony with the
Middle East States. To ensure the efficient working of this new policy the appro-
priate machinery has been set up in this country, and a strong Official Committee,
under the Chairmanship of Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, who has had a long and
distinguished career in the Middle East, is a sound guarantee that the policy will
be energetically pursued.


British Speeches of the Day

Iraq and Syria
In setting up this office, however, I desire to make it quite dear that His
Majesty's Government have no intention to interfere in the local politics of the
different countries. Questions of government must be a matter for the peoples
in those territories. This is merely an attempt, as reconstruction and new pro-
duction comes along, to do dur best to assist our friends in those areas and to
develop trade. In Iraq, we are happy to think that by this means we shall have
yet another way of keeping in dose touch with our Ally. Our friendship with
the Iraqi nation is firmly based, and I am confident it will grow and flourish in
the coming years. In Syria, with the termination of the war against Japan, the
Syrian and Lebanese Governments have been considering raising the question of
the withdrawal of British and French troops. His Majesty's Government have
been in communication with the French Government on this question. Negotia-
tions are still proceeding and the views of the French Government are awaited.
I was hoping that this might have been brought to a head by today, but the diffi-
culties in France recently interrupted the negotiations.

The Persian Situation
Reference was made yesterday by the right hon. Gentleman to the recent events
in Persia. According to my information the facts are as follow. A political
group in the Province of Azerbaijan, in North-West Persia, which has been carry-
ing on agitation for autonomy, had resort to violence against the Persian Govern-
ment and forcibly seized the railway station in the town of Mianeh. It attacked
and overcame the Persian troops and gendarmes stationed at Sarab, a town some
70 miles east of Tabriz. It is also reported to have taken over the town of
Maragheh. Telegraphic communication between Tabriz, the capital of the
Province, and Teheran was cut several days ago. In view of the situation which
had arisen,. the Persian Government wished to send a force composed of two
battalions of troops and one battalion of gendarmerie to that province to restore
their authority-which seemed to me quite a reasonable thing to do. Since there
are Soviet troops in North-West Persia under the Anglo-Soviet-Persian Treaty, the
Persian Government informed the Soviet Embassy of its intention and expressed
the hope that no obstacle would be placed in the way of the despatch of that
force. It appears, however, that when the Persian force had almost reached the
town of Kazvin on its way, it was stopped by.the Soviet troops. It would appear
that the Persian Government's desire to send forces to restore order in part of their
territory is perfectly legitimate under the Treaty, and it is to be hoped they will
be able to proceed freely with their plans. The question is presumably being
taken up by the Persian Government with the Soviet Government. In the drcum-
stances I am sure the House will excuse me from saying anything further about
it at this moment, except that His Majesty's Government have given the strictest
instructions to our military authorities to see that the Treaty is properly observed,
and I was assured by Mr. Molotov, when he was in London, that their instructions
to their people were on the same footing.

I am sorry to be so long; I cannot help it. All the world is in trouble, and I
have to deal with all the troubles at once. The other great trouble is in Indonesia,
about which the country is showing anxiety, and therefore, if at this rather late
hour I have to put the facts before the House, it is in order that our position may
be quite clearly understood. I ought to explain that this task was allotted to
Great Britain on behalf of the Allies, and this makes me wonder sometimes why
I get uniform resolutions coming in from the shop stewards, in view of the fact
that this is an Allied matter. We are there to wind up the war with Japan, and

Foreign Affairs

in doing this Admiral Mountbatten has been carrying out the job allotted to us
under the surrender arrangements made by General MacArthur, as Supreme Com-
madder for the Allied Powers.
What were our military tasks there? They were, first, to disarm and concen-
trate the Japanese forces, secondly, to rescue and bring home our prisoners of war,
and thirdly, to rescue the thousands of internees in the camps throughout this
large island. We had no intention of using any British forces for any other
purpose, or against the inhabitants. Indeed, our efforts to avoid the shedding of
blood have resulted in our being accused of weakness. It is essential for the ful-
filment, of our military task t6 secure and maintain law and order, and naturally
General Christison has authority to use his forces for that purpose. I believe I am
expressing the views of everyone in this House and in the country when I say
that the conduct of all ranks in carrying out their arduous and dangerous task in
that area has been beyond praise. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]

Britain and N.EJ. Constitution
The next point is that we had no intention of being involved in any constitu-
tional dispute between the Netherlands and the people of the Netherlands East
Indies. Once the military objectives had been attained and civil administration
placed on its feet again, we were resolved to withdraw our troops as rapidly as
possible. It must be remembered, however, that the Netherlands stood by us
when we were attacked by Japan. They were, I believe, the first actually to declare
war on Japan. It was not their fault or the fault of the Netherlands East Indies
that they were unable to assume control. It is quite dear that His Majesty's
Government have a definite agreement with them to provide for the Dutch Neth-
erlands Indies Government to resume as rapidly as practicable full responsibility
for the administration of the Netherlands Indian territories. We had no indica-
tion that our forces would be opposed. Accordingly, we are now faced with a
very difficult and intricate situation. It is impossible for us to avoid becoming
involved in the political affairs of the island in view of the developments that
have subsequently taken place.
It has been strongly argued in Holland that it was the delay in sending forces that
led to the present situation, and we have been severely blamed for this delay. On the
other hand, we have also been blamed for sending our forces to carry out the task
allotted to them. But, in any case, whatever the grounds of criticism may be,
those who criticize nearly have no idea of the size of the problem that was facing
us when hostilities with Japan ceased.
Let me remind the House that, when the first Japanese offer of surrender came,
arrangements were in train for a large expansion of Admiral Mountbatten's re-
sponsibilities by the transfer to his command of a large part of the American
command.of General MacArthur, including Java. The transfer was intended to be
gradual, with a view to ultimate, but not immediate, warlike operations. It was
only on August 15th, that Java, and the adjacent islands, were transferred to the
South-East Asia Command, thus adding 55,000 square miles and over 43,000,000
inhabitants, some 50,000 Japanese troops and 25,000 Japanese civilians to Admiral
Mountbatten's responsibilities. If hon. Members will study those figures in
HANSARD, they will see what a problem that was.

The Japanese Surrender
The Japanese offer to surrender transformed the whole position throughout this
large Command. Instead of concentrating all our forces on successive strategic
objectives in the South-East Asia Command, we had to disperse our man-power
and means of transport; as far as possible simultaneously, to take the Japanese
surrender over an enormous area. We could not hope to occupy the whole area at once.

British Speeches of the Day

We had to be content to occupy key points with small forces as and when the neces-
sary transport could be made available, pending the building up of greater forces
which required more time. We were obliged to use the expedient of placing there-
sponsibility on Japanese commanders for the maintenance of law and order and for
the safety of prisoners of war and internees throughout the rest of the area. In
Java, at all events, that arrangement broke down. There was, unfortunately, an
enforced delay before any movement could take place. Nothing could be done
throughout the area of the South-East Asia Command until the first Japanese
surrender to General MacArthur in Tokyo Bay had taken place on September 2nd,
and until the necessary orders to give effect to that'surrender had been issued by
direction of the Emperor to the Japanese forces. Thus, it was not until September
29th that the first Allied Forces arrived at Batavia. They consisted of a single
British battalion with some Dutch troops attached, and their task was, as I have
already revealed, to deal with these islands.
The Nationalist Movement
In the meantime, there had been some conferences in Java. The Nationalist
movement is no new thing. It was in 1918 that the first experiment towards
self-government was made with the opening, by the Dutch Governor-General, of
the People's Council. Even before the outbreak of the last war, this Council had
a majority of Indonesians, and there was no widespread desire for the severance
of the connection between themselves and the Netherlands. On the contrary,
there was a willingness to co-operate. The Japanese, however, changed all this.
They exploited the nationalist feeling, but they took great care to keep good con-
trol over it until the surrender. On August 7th the Japanese announced-and I
ask to House to note the date-that approval had been given to Indonesian inde-
pendence. On August 19th, Dr. Soekarno declared that the independence of the
Indonesian Republic had been established, with himself as President. When our
advanced forces arrived at Batavia, they found the public services, civilian admin-
istration and transport in the hands of these people, while the Dutch officials were
still in detention. The Japanese, in disobedience of the orders for surrender to
Admiral Mountbatten, had left military equipment, to a large extent, in the hands
of Indonesian forces whom they had themselves previously armed and trained.
Negotiations With Rebels
The Indonesian leaders declared that they would oppose the landing of Dutch
troops, but this did not happen. The situation was that 50,000 Japanese troops
had to be rounded up and completely disarmed, though they had relinquished
control to the Nationalist forces. The armament of these forces varies. In addi-
tion to small arms,. they possess Japanese machine guns, mortars, armored cars
and small tanks. I think I have said enough to indicate the situation with which
we found ourselves confronted in that area. We began, however, to advise that
negotiations should be opened, and I do not propose to go into any controversy
about the personalities of this individual or the other. The Netherlands Govern-
ment refused to negotiate with Dr. Soekarno. On the other hand, our generals
met him and had a talk with him. I have rather taken the view, over this question
of so-called rebels, that some of the greatest events that have happened in the
history of the British Empire, and I am sure the right hon. Gentleman the Member
for Woodford will agree with me, occurred when we had the good sense to meet
a rebel and to settle with him.
The British Responsibility
SWe now have as some of our very greatest friends, people who were rebels
but who have become great Empire statesmen; so I was not going to be too much
impressed about the so-called rebels. On the other hand, it was the question

Foreign Afairs

whether they could deliver the goods, which really mattered, and, in that, I think
we have been extremely disappointed up to now with their efforts to try to keep
control. I would have the House remember that we cannot desert, and will not
desert, from the task which General MacArthur has given us. We do not want
to fight the Indonesians; we wanted to go in and disarm the Japanese, representa-
tives of a Fascist power and an aggressor. We wanted to relieve something like
125,000 people who have been suffering in internment camps in Japanese control.
We did not want our men, when they came to the camps to rescue these people,
to be shot at and totally destroyed, as some of our convoys have been. As in
other parts of the world, the quicker the Indonesians drop the fighting and begin
talking with the Netherlands Government, aided by us, the better it will be for
their country; and, if there are resolutions to be carried, let them be sent to the
people who are fighting. Let not people always accuse the British of being the
only villains of the piece.
Our business was rescue work and nothing else. We were not there for any
other purpose, but to carry out that task and get out of it again as soon as we
could. We have had the misfortune, when actually arranging a truce, of our
representative being killed. No one did more to try to prevent loss of life in
Indonesia than Brigadier Mallaby, or General Christison, both of them are what
may be described as soldier-statesmen, who, in their task, thought less of them-
selves as soldiers and more of their duty as statesmen in order to try to avoid'
bloodshed. I do hope that we shall support their efforts.

The Dutch Terms
Several meetings have been held. There was one as recently as November
22nd, and I understand that another has been arranged. The last word which I
want to say about Batavia is that the terms which the Dutch Government have
suggested do, in my opinion, offer to the mixed races of these islands-and I
cannot recite them all, as they are well known-a system of public administration
which could be submitted to a conference as a reasonable basis of settlement, and
which, if it was adopted, would, I think, promote the prosperity of the islands
and enable good relations to be established with other nations.

The Question of Sovereignty
Lastly, I want to turn to the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman the
Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) with regard to the question
of sovereignty. Mention was made yesterday of the example of M. Briand in
trying to form a Federation of Europe. This is a project which is very near to the
hearts of social democrats. We have advocated it for a long time. I was a mem-
ber of the Social Democratic Federation with Mr. Hyndman and others who advo-
cated this scheme for many years. In fact, in 1927, I moved a resolution at the
Trades Union Congress, and succeeded in carrying it, declaring that the policy of
that movement should be an attempt to create a United States of Europe, the
object being to prevent any one country dominating another, and to confer the
benefit of a great free trade area, with common services in railways, shipping, all
kinds of transport, posts and customs. That would have involved us in difficult
decisions, but at a time when I think many of us could see how Europe was drift-
ing, I, at least, did my best to try to advocate the United States of Europe in the
hope that, by so doing, we might, among other things save the Weimar Republic,
by making it possible for trade to flow through Europe without all these tariff
barriers and for prosperity to return. But it was not to be.
I do not regret that, in the regional discussions now taking place, that ide4 is
being revived, probably on a wider basis than one could visualize at that time.
We feel that the attempt to manipulate states and to Balkanize them economi-

British Speeches of the Day

cally-and I emphasize the word "economically"-was a great mistake. I agree
that the more we have cultural developments in the matter of race, language and
things like that, the better it will be; but we must develop an economy which
prevents economic disorder, and I cannot see a single frontier in Europe today
that is economically sound. It will be difficult. One hon. Lady talked yesterday
about Trieste and Northern Italy. Ethnographical conditions cut across every
economic consideration in that area and the whole world, and therefore for us in
'this country, with so many races, to begin talking about settlement on purely racial
grounds is a mistake.
One great institution in which we have tried to bring people together, from
the workshop and the office and the management, has been the International
Labour Office-the one great thing that has survived the war, which knows no
national frontiers in its decisions. I would ask that attention be paid to that.
However, I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the coming of the atomic
bomb and other devastating instruments has caused offensive action to jump ahead
both of defense and of the machinery of diplomacy, and the instruments capable
of settling world affairs. He had a remedy with which I heartily agree. The right
hon. Gentleman called it the surrender of sovereignty. I do not want to use
that word.
MR. EDEN (Warwick and Leamington) indicated dissent.

The Power to Make Law
MR. BEVIN: I beg the pardon of the right hon. Gentleman. I do not want
to attribute a word to him wrongly. If I have misunderstood it is because it is
often suggested by people, when they talk about sovereignty, that what you are
asked to do is to surrender your sovereignty. I want to develop my argument that
that is not what you do. If I attributed to the right hon. Gentleman what I ought to
have attributed to someone else, I am sorry. He said there must be established
a rule of law, but law must derive its power and observance from a definite source,
and in studying this problem I am driven to ask: Will law be observed, if it is
arrived at only by treaty and promises and decisions by governments as at present
arranged? In all the years this has broken down so often. I trust it will not
break down again but, if it is not to break down again, I think it must lead us
still further on. In other words, will the people feel that the law is their law
if it is derived and enforced by the adoption of past methods, whether League of
Nations, concert of Europe, or anything of that kind? The illustration was drawn
of the constitution of the United Kingdom, which took many years to establish.
Where does the power to make law actually rest? It is not even in this House,
it is certainly not in the Executive, it is in the votes of the people. They are
sovereign authority.
The Example of the U.S.A.
It may be interesting to call attention to the development of the United States
of America. Originally, when the States came together, they met as States with
separate Governments, but they soon discovered that they had little or no power
to enforce their decisions, and it is the enforcement of the decision, the sanction,
that is the real difficulty in world law or any law. They then decided, for the
purpose of conducting foreign affairs, taxation, defense and the,regulation of
commerce, that they would create a federal body and in that body there would be
direct representation of the people, not through the 13 States, but direct from
the people to the federal Parliament of the country. So, from the outset, the
United States drew its power to make laws directly from the people. That is the
growth of the United States to the great State which it is today.
MR. PICKTHORN (Conservative): It brought about the Civil War.

Foreign Affairs

South Africa t
MR. BEVIN: It may have done. We have had any amount of civil wars.
I do not know what the last two wars have been. I doubt very much whether the
last war has been an international war at all. It was really a tremendous conflict
of ideas. After all, in many ways the world is no greater today than the United
States was then. To take another example. The right hon. Gentleman played a
part in South Africa. There you had racial differences-the Old Cape Colony,
Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State. In the end, to get peace and devel-
opment there had to be a federal Parliament, and it had to rest on the votes of
the people direct to that Parliament:
MR. PICKTHORN: White and black?

A Greater Sovereignty
MR. BEVIN: Not yet, but if you had been as intelligent as we in the years
when you were in office, you would have done that. At any rate, liberal-minded
persons like Campbell-Bannerman and Selborne developed the idea. I am not
saying who should vote or what should vote. I am speaking of principles. I do
not think the interruptions of the hon. Gentleman make any difference at all. We
have benefited, at any rate, as an Empire from that decision on two great occasions,
because that great country had the foresight to build on the votes of the people.
It was the same in Australia, which did not just bring the State Governments
together but built up the Federal Parliament on the same lines. I used to argue
this thing out with the late Lord Lothian and other people for many years, and I
am glad to have the opportunity of putting a personal view-not a Cabinet view-
because the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington raised
it yesterday. I think it right to let the country see exactly where the surrender of
sovereignty leads us. The fact is, no one ever surrenders sovereignty; they merge
it into a greater sovereignty.
MR. CHURCHILL: A portion.
MR. BEVIN: A portion for specific limited purposes. I think if you try to
take on too big a thing, like all the things you are building up under the United
Nations now, such as education and all the rest of it, your organization may break.
down. It can only deal with the specific objective that the people feel is necessary
for their security.
MR. EDEN: Might I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, because he keeps
saying that I referred to the surrender of sovereignty, and I never said anything
like that. The point I was trying to make, which I think he is trying to make, is,
that these modern developments make nonsense of certain old-fashioned concep-
tions of sovereignty.
MR. BEVIN: Well I am trying to put a new one anyway.

San Francisco
I am asked to restudy San Francisco; I have not only restudied it but, when
it was being developed, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, I was gravely con-
cerned, .with him, as to whether we were really finding the right solution. There
was no conflict between us. We were all trying to do our best, and what worried
me, and the right hon. Gentleman and others on the Committee of the then
Cabinet, going through all these meticulous documents, was whether again the
people would be disappointed. That was his worry, I know, as it was ours. Now
that is added to, and accentuated, by the coming of the atomic bomb and many

British Speeches of the Day

other devastating weapons. In, 1940, the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for
Woodford offered France joint citizenship-
MR. CHURCHILL: We were all in it.

World Law Derived From the People
MR. BEVIN: Yes, that is quite right. Often after that I tried to study how
we could have given effect to it, and it seemed to me that joint citizenship involved
joint parliament and joint responsibility. It involved an acceptance of this for
certain limited purposes in order to derive the powers of law. Therefore, when
we turn from all the things you have built up-the League of Nations or your
constitution-I feel we are driven relentlessly along this road: we need a new
study for the.purpose of creating a world assembly elected directly from the people
of the world, as a whole, to whom the Governments who form the United Nations
are responsible and who, in fact, make'the world law which they, the people, will
then accept and be morally bound and willing to carry out. For it will be from
their votes that the power will have been derived, and it will be for their direct
representatives to carry it out. You may invent all sorts of devices to decide who
is the aggressor but, after all the thought you can give to it, the only repository
of faith I have been able to find to determine that is the common people.
There has never been a war yet which, if the facts had been put calmly before
the ordinary folk, could not have been prevented. The fact is they are kept
separated from one another. How did Hitler do that? He enslaved Germany
with a law as bad as our Vagabond Act of centuries ago, and did not allow any-
body to move hither or thither. I knew a South African professor who went into
Germany for 12 months as an experiment and read nothing but Nazi papers. He
was hard put to it to resist the mental influence as a result-a strong-minded man
who made up his mind to try the effect of it upon himself. The common man, I
think, is the great protection against war. The supreme act of Government is the
horrible duty of deciding matters which affect the life or death of the people.
That power rests in this House as far as this country is concerned. I would
merge that power into the greater power of a directly elected world assembly in
order that the great repositories of destruction and science, on the one hand, may
be their property, against the misuse of which it is their duty to protect us and,
on the other hand, that they may determine in the ordinary sense whether a coun-
try is acting as an aggressor or not.
I am willing to sit with anybody, of any party, of any nation, to try to devise
a franchise or a constitution-just as other great countries have done-for a world
assembly, as the right hon. Gentleman said, with a limited objective-the objective
of peace. Once we can get to that stage I believe we shall have taken a great pro-
gressive step. In the meantime, there must be no weakening of the institution
which my right hon. Friends built in. San Francisco. It must be the prelude to
further development. This must not be considered a substitute for it, but rather
a completion or a development of it, so that the benefit of the experience and
administration derived in that institution may be carried to its final end. From
the moment you accept that, one phrase goes, and that is "international law." That
phrase presupposes conflict between nations. It would be replaced by "world law,"
with a moral-world force behind it, rather than a law built upon case-made law
and on agreements. It would be a world law with a world judiciary to interpret
it, with a world police to enforce it, with the decision of the people with their
own votes resting in their own hands, irrespective of race or creed, as the great
world sovereign elected authority which would hold in its care the destines of the
people of the world.
[House of Commons Debates]

President Truman's Declaration

House of Commons, November 7, 1945

THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill):
The departure of the Prime Minister for the United States in all the present cir-
cumstances is so important, that we thought it right there should be a Debate in
this House beforehand. Although we are divided in domestic affairs by a con-
siderable and widening gulf, we earnestly desire that in our foreign relations, we
shall still speak as the great united British nation, the British Commonwealth
and Empire, which strove through all the perils and havoc of the war, uncon-
quered and unconquerable. It is our wish, on this side of the House, so far as
we can give effect to it, and as long as we can give effect to it, that the Prime
Minister shall represent abroad, not only the Socialist majority in the present,
and we trust, transient House of Commons, but all parties in the State. What I
am anxious to submit to the House this afternoon has no other object than that.
From the conversations I have had with the Prime Minister and the Foreign
Secretary, I have formed the opinion that His Majesty's Government would think
it inopportune today for our Debate to range over the whole European scene,
or to deviate either into the tangled problems of particular European countries,
or into the troubles of the Middle East, for example, Greece, Syria, Palestine,
Egypt. It would seem wise to concentrate, therefore, as much as possible, on the
eve of a mission of this character, upon the supreme matter of our relations with
the United States, and, in particular, as it seems to me, upon the momentous
declaration to the world made by President Truman in his Navy Day address, in
New York on Saturday; October 27th.

A Tribute to the Russian People
It would not, however, be possible to speak on this subject of the United
States without referring to the other great partner in our victory over the terrible
foe. To proceed otherwise would be to derange the balance which must always be
preserved, if the harmony and poise of world affairs is to be maintained. I must,
therefore, begin by expressing what I am sure is in everybody's heart, namely, the
deep sense of gratitude we owe to the noble Russian people and valiant Soviet
Armies, who, when they were attacked by Hitler, poured out their blood and
suffered immeasurable torments until absolute victory was gained. Therefore,
I say that it is the profound desire of this House-and the House speaks in the
name of the British nation-that these feelings of comradeship and friendship,
which have developed between the British and Russian peoples, should be not only
preserved but rapidly expanded. Here I wish to say how glad we all are to know
and feel that Generalissimo Stalin is still strongly holding the helm and steering his
tremendous ship. Personally, I cannot feel anything but the most lively admira-
tion for this truly great man, the father of his country, the ruler of its destinies in
times of peace, and the victorious defender of its life in time of war.
Even if as, alas, is possible-or not impossible-we should develop strong dif-
ferences on many aspects of policy, political, social, even, as we think, moral,
with the Soviet Government, no state of mind must be allowed to occur in this
country which ruptures or withers those great associations between our two
peoples which were our glory and our safety, in the late frightful convulsion.
I am already trepassing a little beyond those limits within which I have agreed
with the Government it would be useful that this Debate should lie, but I feel it
necessary to pay this tribute to Soviet Russia with all her tragic load of suffer-

British Speeches of the Day

ing, all her awful losses and devastation, all her grand, simple enduring effort.
Any idea of Britain pursuing an anti-Russian policy, or making elaborate com-
binations to the detriment of Russia, is utterly opposed to British thought and
conscience. Nothing but a long period of very marked injuries and antagonisms,
which we all hope may be averted, could develop any such mood again in this land.

The World Outlook
I must tell the House, speaking with my own knowledge, that the world out-
look is, in several respects, today less promising than it seemed after the Ger-
man capitulation of 1918, or after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. I remember
well the period immediately after the last war, when I was a Minister in high
office and very close to the Prime Minister of the day. Then, there were much
higher hopes of the world's future than there are now. Many things, no doubt,
have been done better this time, though we have not yet felt the effects of them, but
certainly there is today none of that confidence among men that they or their
children will never see another world war, which there undoubtedly was in 1919.
In 1919 there was the same sense of hope and belief as there is now that we were
moving into a new world and that easements and ameliorations awaited the
masses of our people. But added to that, there was the buoyant and comforting
conviction that all the wars were ended. Personally, I did not share that convic-
tion even at that enthusiastic moment, but one felt it all round one in a degree
that is lacking today.
SThe President's Speech
It is our first duty to supply the solid grounds on which this hope may arise
again and live. I think the speech of the President of the United States on Octo-
ber 27th is the dominant factor in the present world situation. This was the
speech of the head of a State and nation which has proved its ability to maintain
armies of millions, in constant victorious battle in both hemispheres at the same
time. If I read him and understand him correctly, President Truman said, in
effect, that the United States would maintain its vast military power and poten-
tialities, and would join with any likeminded nations, not only to resist but to
prevent aggression no matter from what quarter it came, or in what form it pre-
sented itself.- Further, he made it plain that in regions which have come under
the control of the Allies, unfair tyrannical Governments not in accordance with the
broad principles of democracy as we understand them, would not receive recog-
nition from the Government of the United States. Finally, he made it clear that the
United States must prepare to abandon old-fashioned isolation and accept the
duty of joining with other friendly and well-disposed nations, to prevent war, and
to carry out those high purposes, if necessary, by the use of force carried to its
extreme limits.
It is, of course, true that all these propositions and purposes havt been set
forth in the Declaration of the United Nations at San Francisco in May. None
the less, this reaffirmation by the President of the United States on October 27th
is of transcendent importance. If such a statement had been made in the Summer
of 1914, the Kaiser would never have launched an aggressive war over a Balkan
incident. All would have come to a great parley, between the most powerful Gov-
ernments of those days. In the face of such a declaration, the world war of 1914
would not have occurred. Such a declaration in 1919, would have led to a real
Treaty of Peace and a real armed League of Nations. Such a declaration a. any time
between the two wars, would have prevented the second. It would have made
the League of Nations, or a world League strong enough to prevent that re-arming
of Germany, which has led all of us through so much tribulation and danger,
and Germany herself to punishment and ruin which may well shock the soul of

President Truman's Declaration

man. Therefore, I feel it is our duty today, in the most definite manner, to wel-
come and salute the noble declaration made by the President of the United
States and to make it plain that upon the principles set forth in the 12 Articles,
which follow so closely upon those of the Atlantic Charter, we stand by the United
States with a conviction which overrides all other considerations. I cannot bring
myself to visualize, in its frightful character, another world war, but none of us
knows what would happen if such a thing occurred. It is a somber thought that, so
long as the new world organization is so loosely formed, such possibilities and their
consequences are practically beyond human control.

The Growing Factor of World Opinion
There is a general opinion which I have noticed, that it would be a serious dis-
aster if the particular minor planet which we inhabit blew itself to pieces, or if all
human life were extinguished upon its surface, apart that is to say, from fierce
beings, armed with obsolescent firearms, dwelling in the caverns of the Stone Age.
There is a general feeling that that would be a regrettable event. Perhaps, however,
we flatter ourselves. Perhaps we are biased, but everyone realizes how far scien-
tific knowledge has outstripped human virtue. We all hope that men are better,
wiser, more merciful than they were 10,000 years ago. There is certainly a great
atmosphere of comprehension. There is a growing factor which one may call
world public opinion, most powerful, most persuasive, most valuable. We under-
stand our unhappy lot, even if we have no power to control it.
Those same deep, uncontrollable anxieties which some of us felt in the
years before the war recur, but we have also a hope that we had not got then.
That hope is the strength and resolve of the United States to play a leading part
in world affairs. There is this mighty State and nation, which offers power and,
sacrifice in order to bring mankind out of the dark valley through which we
have been traveling. The valley is indeed dark, and the dangers most menacing,
but we know that not so far away are the broad uplands of assured peace. Can
we reach them? We must reach them. This is our sole duty.

Anglo-American Solidarity
I am sure we should now make it clear to the United States that we will march
at their side in the cause that President Truman has devised, that we add our
strength to their strength, and that their stern sober effort shall be matched by
our own. After all, if everything else fails-which we must not assume-here
is the best chance of survival. Personally, I feel that it is more than survival. It
may even be safety, and, with safety, a vast expansion of prosperity. Having
regard to all these facts of which many of us here are aware at the present time,
we may confidently believe that, with the British Empire and Commonwealth
standing at the side of the United States, we shall together be strong enough to
prevent another' world catastrophe. As long as our peoples act in absolute faith
and honor to each other, and to all other nations, they need fear none and they
need fear nothing. The British and American peoples come together naturally,
and without the need of policy or design. That is because they speak the same
language, were brought up on the same common law, and have similar insti-
tutions and an equal love of individual liberty. There is often no need for policy
or statecraft to make British and Americans agree together at an international
council table. They can hardly help agreeing on three out of four things. They
look at things in the same way. No policies, no pacts, no secret understandings
are needed between them. On many of the main issues affecting our conduct and
our existence, the English-speaking peoples of the world are in general agreement.

British Speeches of the Day

It would be a mistake to suppose that increasingly close and friendly relations
between Great Britain and the United States imply an adverse outlook towards
any other Power. Our friendship may be special, but it is not exclusive. On the
contrary, every problem dealing with other Powers is simplified by Anglo-Ameri-
can agreement and harmony. That is a fact which I do not think the Foreign
Secretary, or any one who took part in the recent Conference, would doubt. It is
not as if it were necessary to work out some arrangement between British and
Americans at a conference. In nearly every case where there is not some special
difficulty between them, they take the same view of the same set of circumstances,
and the fact that that is so, makes it all the more hopeful that other Powers gath-
ered at the Conference will be drawn into the circle of agreement which must
precede action.
The Bomb
It is on this basis I come-and I do not want to detain the House very long-
to the atomic bomb. According to our present understanding with the United
States, neither country is entitled to disclose its secrets to a third country with-
out the approval of the other. A great deal has already been disclosed by the
United States in agreement with us. An elaborate document giving an immense
amount of information on the scientific and theoretical aspects was published by
the Americans several weeks ago. A great deal of information is also common
property all over the world. We are told by those who advocate immediate public
disclosure that the Soviet Government are already possessed of the scientific
knowledge, and that they will be able to make atomic bombs in a very short time.
This, I may point out, is somewhat inconsistent with the argument that they have
a grievance, and also with the argument, for what it is worth, that we and the
United States have at this moment any great gift to bestow, such as would induce
a complete melting of hearts and create some entirely new relationship.
What the- United States do not wish to disclose is the practical production
method which they have developed, at enormous expense and on a gigantic scale.
This would not be an affair of scientists or diplomatists handing over envelopes
containing formula. If effective, any such disclosure would have to take the form
of a considerable number of Soviet specialists, engineers and scientists visit-
ing the United States arsenals, for that is what the manufacturing centres of the
atomic bomb really are. They would have to visit them, and they would have
to dwell there amid the plant, so that it could all be explained to them at length
and at leisure. These specialists would then return to their own country, carry-
ing with them the blueprints and all the information which they had obtained
together, no doubt, with any further improvements which might have occurred
to them. I trust that we are not going to put pressure on the United States to
adopt such a course. I am sure that if the circumstances were reversed, and we
or the Americans asked for similar access to the Russian arsenals, it would not be
granted. During the war we imparted many secrets to the Russians, especially
in connection with radar, but we were not conscious of any adequate reciprocity.
Even in the heat of the war both countries acted under considerable reserve.

"A Sacred Trust"
Therefore, I hope that Great Britain, Canada and the United States will adhere
to the policy proclaimed by President Truman, and will treat their knowledge
and processes as a sacred trust to be guarded for the benefit of all nations and
as a deterrent against aggressive war. I myself, as a British subject, cannot feel
the slightest anxiety that these great powers should at the present moment be
in the hands of the United States. I am sure they will not use them in any aggres-'
sive sense, or in the indulgence of territorial or commercial appetites. They, like

President Truman's Declaration 673

Great Britain, have no need or desire for territorial gains. . .Personally, I feel it
must be in most men's minds here today that it is a matter for rejoicing that these
powers of manufacture are in such good hands. The possession of these powers
will help the United States and our Allies to build up the structure of world
security. It may be the necessary lever which is required to build up that great
structure of world security.
How long, we may ask, is it likely that this advantage will rest with the United
States? In the Debate on the Address I hazarded the estimate that it would be
three or four years. According to the best information I have been able to obtain,
I see no reason to alter that estimate, and certainly none to diminish it, but even
when that period is over, whatever it may prove to be, the progress made by
the United States' scientists and, I trust, by our own, both in experiment and
manufacture, may well leave us and them with the prime power and respon-
sibility for the use of these dire superhuman weapons. I also agree with President
Truman when he says that those who argue that, because of the atomic bomb,
there is no need for armies, navies and air forces, are at present 100 per cent
wrong. I should be glad to hear, in whatever terms His Majesty's Ministers care
to express themselves, that this is also the view of His Majesty's Government.

Government by Scientists
I cannot leave this subject without referring to another aspect which is forced
upon me by speeches made in a recent Debate on the Adjournment. It was said
that unless all knowledge of atomic energy, whether of theory or production,
were shared among all the nations of the world, some of the British and American
scientists would act independently, by which I suppose is meant that they
would betray to foreign countries whatever secrets remained. In that case, I
hope the law would be used against those men with the utmost rigor. Whatever
may be decided on these matters should surely be decided by parliaments and
responsible governments, and not by scientists, however eminent and however
ardent they may be. Mr. Gladstone said that expert knowledge is limited knowl-
edge. On many occasions in the past we have seen attempts to rule the world by
experts of one kind and another. There have been theocratic governments, military
governments and aristocratic governments. It is now suggested that we should have
scientistic-not scientific-governments. It is the duty of scientists, like all other
people, to serve the State and not to rule it because they are scientists. If they
want to rule the State they must get elected to Parliament or win distinction in the
Upper House and so gain access to some of the various administrations which are
formed from time to time. Most people in the English-speaking world will, I
believe, think it much better that great decisions should rest with governments
lawfully elected on democratic lines. I associate myself with the majority in that
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the King's Norton Division
of Birmingham (Captain Blackburn) showed the other night that some breach
of trust had already occurred, when he referred to the secret agreement signed by
President Roosevelt and myself at Quebec in 1943, and endeavored to give some
account of it. Let me say that, so far as I am concerned, I have no objection
to the publication of any document or any agreement which I have signed on this
subject with the late President. Surely, however, this is a matter for both the
British and United States Governments to settle together in full agreement. Neither
of them has the right to publish without the consent of the other, and it would be
very wrong for anyone to try to force their hands or press them unduly.
CAPTAIN BLACKBURN (Labour): May I point out that I did not make
the suggestion that I knew of any secret agreement or that a leakage had occurred.
I said that it was apparent from the Smyth Report, to which the right hon. Gentle-

674 British Speeches of the Day

man has referred, and from the White Paper and other circumstances, that some
such agreement must, in fact, have been entered into.
MIR. CHURCHILL: I took great pains to read carefully what the hon. and
gallant Gentleman said in his very eloquent and able speech, and I think the refer-
ences which I have made today, and which also were carefully considered, will be
found appropriate and not unjust. I am not making any attack. I only say that it
occurred to me to be quite clear from what he said that there has been some-
where a breach of confidence, which he published and brought to the notice of
the House in the exercise of his responsibilities as a Member of Parliament. This,
of course, was immediately telegraphed to the United States, and at the Press Con-
ference the next day President Truman was questioned about it. A truncated
report appeared in some of the newspapers here, with the answers which he
gave, but not setting forth the exact question which elicited the answer. I have
taken pains to verify the actual text of the answers which President Truman gave
at his Press Conference on 31st October. He was asked 'by correspondents the
following question:
"Mr. President, it was said in the House of Commons yesterday that
President Roosevelt and former Prime Minister Churchill reached a secret
agreement at Quebec on the peacetime use of the atom bomb. Do you -"
The President interposed:
"I do not think that is true."
Those were the exact words, where he interposed.
"As nearly as I can find out, on the atom energy release program, Great
Britain, Canada and the United States are in equal partnership on its develop-
ment, and Mr. Attlee is coming over here to discuss that phase of the situ-
ation with the President of the United States.
QUESTION: Well, Mr. President, are these three countries in equal posses-
sion of the knowledge of how we produce the bomb?
QUESTION: Great Britain knows as much about how we produced that as
we do?
It seems to me that that is a satisfactory statement of the whole position, and it
affords an exceedingly good basis upon which the Prime Minister may begin any
discussion he may wish to have with the President. Subject to anything that the
Foreign Secretary may say, I strongly advise the House for the present to leave
the question where it now lies.
Five Points
May I in conclusion submit to the House a few simple points which, it seems
to me, should gain their approval? First, we should fortify in every way our special
and friendly connections with the United States, aiming always at a fraternal asso-
ciation for the purpose of common protection and world peace. Secondly, this
association should in no way have a point against any other country, great or small,
in the world, but should, on the contrary, be used to draw the leading victorious
Powers ever more closely together on equal terms and in all good faith and
good will. Thirdly, we should not abandon our special relationship with the
United States and Canada about the atomic bomb, and we should aid the United
States to guard this weapon as a sacred trust for the maintenance of peace.
Fourthly, we should seek constantly to promote and strengthen the world organiza-
tion of the United Nations, so that, in due course, it may eventually be fitted to

President Truman's Declaration

become the safe and trusted repository of these great agents. Fifthly, and this,
I take it, is already agreed, we should make atomic bombs, and have them here,
even if manufactured elsewhere, in suitable safe storage with the least possible
delay. Finally, let me say on behalf of the whole House that we wish the Prime
Minister the utmost success in his forthcoming highly important visit to Wash-
MR. CLEMENT DAVIES (Liberal): On October 27th President Truman
not only issued his Twelve Points but introduced them in a speech which contained
some matters of grave importance. We all welcomed the statement that the United
States, like ourselves, as we knew and had hoped from the Atlantic Charter, seek
no territorial expansion for selfish advantage, that they have no plans for aggres-
sion against any other State, large or small, no objective which need conflict
with the peaceful aims of ahy other nation; but this was accompanied by the state-
ment that the United States also would need and seek bases for her own fleet and
her defense. I shall return to this. For the moment I am only calling attention to
the difficulties of reconciling the Twelve Points with the avowed policy which is
at present being pursued by the United States. But most important of all, was
the statement that, not only would the secret of the atomic bomb be strictly con-
fined to the United States of America, or, rather to its Government and its scientists;
there was, further, the statement that it would not even be discussed with Britain,
or even with Canada4

Likely Effect on Russia of President's Declaration
I should like to return to this point, or rather to its implications, but for the
moment I desire to draw attention to the psychological effect which that must have
upon Russia. I agree that in excluding us all from the secrets of the atomic bomb,
it can be said that no distinction is drawn between Great Britain or even Canada,
or any other of our Dominions, and Russia. But all the world knows that the
use of the atomic bomb against Britain or any one of our Dominions is not only
unthinkable to us but unthinkable to anyone in the United States. There are
several views about Russia, about her government or her policy, but everyone
seems to be agreed that Russians are realists. Can anyone doubt that the sugges-
tion underlying this declaration was that Russia is being put on a level different
from that of the United States of America-that the bomb undoubtedly gives its
possessor overwhelmingly superior power and places everyone else upon a lower
plane? It seems to me that the speech has strengthened rather than otherwise the
growth of mistrust, the seeds of which have already been too widely sown. T6
my mind there is nothing so appalling or perilous as talk, either in public places or
in private, of the possibilities of jealousies and of antagonisms and of the prospects
of another war. Let there be talk only of permanent peace, mutual understanding
and mutual aid.
Pursuit of the Old Methods
The outstanding tragedy, even among all the other tragedies, transcending even
that drab drama which is now being enacted in Europe, is the breakdown of the
Conference of the Great Powers. I hope and believe sincerely that the Prime
Minister will bend his best endeavors to bring the Powers again around the dis-
cussion table, to work out the conditions of peace for themselves and for the world.
All three of the Great Powers have made such mighty sacrifices, so many millions
of lives have been lost, and the danger of another war is fraught with such
horror, that surely the leaders of all countries should have one object and one
only-to obtain a just, fair and, above all, a lasting understanding; to abolish malice,
T abolish jealousy, to abolish all aggression, all lust for power and of desire for
domination, and abolish all fear of one another. Unfortunately, each of them,

British Speeches of the Day

and I am afraid I heard echoes of it again today in the speech of the right hon.
Gentleman, is pursuing the old methods that have proved so fatal in the past. No
sooner is a war ended-the right hon. Gentleman reminded us today of 1919-
than preparations are made for the next, and always, be it noted, on the plea that
each must do something for his own defense, 'against the possibility of aggres-
sion by somebody else; each must seek new allies lest somebody else should
snafflee" them first.
That unfortunate atmosphere of suspicion, jealousy and doubt is prevalent
today throughout the world. Russia is securing her defenses, pushing her
boundaries further and further West, ousting millions of people from their homes,
creating buffer States which are under her protection, exulting in her own strength,
in her own immense resources, in her power of production, and, what is more,
in the secrecy with which she can enshroud it. On the other hand, the United
States, at the very moment that this great declaration of the Twelve Points was
made, was exulting in her mighty fleet, the greatest in the world today, her vast
Army, the enormous strength of her air power. She added to that claims for
further bases and bastions, and finally claimed to hold the secret of the atomic
bomb as a sacred trust for the rest of the world.

Advocates Discussion in Open Court
What of us? We, too, have been trying to find fresh Allies, supporting some
faction or another, maybe in Greece or in Italy, that we think might be more favor-
able to us in a time of stress, and pursuing thus the time-worn ideas that have so
long dominated our Foreign Office. Every one of those great States claims that it is
acting in the best interests of peace and of its own defense. What they succeed
in doing is to build up a suspicion, one against the other, of these armies, and
these fleets in the air or on the sea, and to impoverish their own people in doing so.
I wish the leaders could translate into facts the fine ideas which they so rightly
uphold which, in truth and in fact, express the sincere desire and prayer of the
peasants everywhere. All that the poor peasant knows and realizes in his be-
wilderment is that when the leaders quarrel it is he, the peasant everywhere,
who is called upon for sacrifice. Let us begin afresh, let us start a new policy,
and "let the dead past bury its dead." I realize that it is right that the Prime
Minister should go to America, I realize that early negotiations, soundings and
talks are best discussed primarily in private, but there does come a time when it
is far better to discuss the great permanent policies in public, in open court,
with the peoples of the world as the jury, that they may understand what is hap-
pening, what may be their hopes, and what, indeed, their fate. ...

A World State
What are we to do? Surely the answer is obvious. We cannot rely any longer
upon treaties, understandings, or alliances, or any of the old methods of the
past which were supposed to guarantee peace but never did so. The new prob-
lems cannot be settled by secret diplomacy. They cannot be solved by mere
bilateral, trilateral or even quadrilateral agreements or understandings. They can
be solved only by the united peoples of the world. I wish President Truman
had made his twelfth point first, as it is the most important. May I repeat to
the House some of the words he used? He said:
"We are convinced that the preservation of peace between the nations re-
quires a United Nations Organization composed of all the peace loving nations
of the world, who are willing jointly to use force, if necessary, to ensure

President Truman'r Declardtion

Great words, but I wish they had been even plainer. I wish he had said: "We
desire that there should be one sovereign State in the world, to which all nations
shall contribute, to which all nations shall owe allegiance. Let that sovereign State
lay down the rule of law to govern all peoples and all nations. Let it, and it
alone, have the power to enforce that rule of law against any wrongdoer,
wherever he may be, or whoever he may be, without any exception." Until that
has become the law of the world, there will, I fear, be talk of war, talk of aggres-
sion, talk of defense against aggression, talk of conscript armies, talk of navies,
talk of air forces of each nation, talk of the balance of power and talk of
alliances. Treaties will be made and treaties will be broken. They can only
lead ultimately to one result, war. Be it remembered that war has not always
spoken with the voice of justice. Cannot we realize that mnan has now devised a
weapon with which he may destroy, not only millions of his fellowmen, but civili-
zation itself? Let there be, then, one world authority-no more vetoes for any
Power or set of Powers raising themselves above the law, and no more classifi-
cation of some Powers above the law and some below the law. Let us look well
beyond Yalta and San Francisco. Let us remember that, today, he who has been
sneered at in the past as the idealist is, in truth, the realist, seeing facts as they
are and foretelling the dangers of the future with precision and truth. Those
are the dominant questions.

The President's Other Points
I will deal very shortly with the other points raised by President Truman. I
am glad he has reiterated what was contained in the Atlantic Charter and the
policy underlying the Atlantic Charter, the Mutual Aid Agreement and the Confer-
ence Agreement at Hot Springs, namely-and I think this is of vital importance
to all the rest of the world-that the Society f Nations should have access to
the trade and raw materials of the world, and that there should be full economic
collaboration among all nations, so as to abolish want as well as fear. Naturally,
we Liberals fully accept both pronouncements. We would like to emphasize
again our adherence to, and our belief in, Article 7 of the Mutual Aid Agreement,
which should have received the full concurrence and acceptance of His Majesty's
Government. For some reason or other, during the period between the Mutual
Aid Agreement and today, it has never been accepted fully. The reduction of
trade barriers, and the elimination of discrimination, have always been part of our
program. People everywhere have been impoverished by war, and the economic
systems of all countries have been gravely, or even completely, deranged. Every-
where people are waiting for guidance in order that they might adopt their own
plans for world reconstruction. Political formulas, however, are not enough.
Unless definite action is taken, the hungry and distressed in their hopelessness
and despair, will turn for help, comfort and food to another program, namely
Communism. ...
Ernest Bevin): I want . to plunge if I may into the most acute side of
this discussion which came at the latter end of the speech of the right hon. Gentle-
man the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill). In this connection let me
pay my tribute to President Truman for his frankness, for taking the world into
is confidence, and for endeavoring in the Twelve Points to express in such a
complete form what the United States feel about the whole of this great difficulty.
If I may first make reference to the claim, which is a very serious claim, of the
scientists to supersede the State, we must say in response to the question put to
me that His Majesty's Government cannot surrender either their power or their
duty in the field of government to any section of the community. We have great
decision on policy and sometimes, to be quite frank, we have to enter into an

678 British Speeches of the Day

arrangement in their development with other countries; and when you select
people to enter into the study and research of these things, and they know of
and have indeed entered into an understanding to observe not only the Official
Secrets Act but the honor of their own country, then I think that ought to be
observed and respected in carrying out their duty.

Decisions Are Uninfluenced by the Bomb
The campaign that has gone on recently has not only been disturbing but
has been unfair to the responsibility of Members of this House and His Majesty's
Government as well. For let it be remembered that we are not the sole agents
in this matter. I want hon. Members to feel that in the United States there is a
greater disturbance in "the public mind on account of their being the possessors
of this bomb, and a greater responsibility weighs upon them than on some coun-
tries who are not in possession of it. They are feeling their way as to what
is the right thing to do. I think that it is quite understandable that before you
plunge into a step wi4ich may be disastrous, you are entitled to ask, not only
the conditions which you are prepared to observe, but the conditions that others
who are going to share the trust with you are going to observe also. I would
like to say, speaking for myself for a moment, that since I have been in this
office-and I think it would be true of my predecessor-I have never for one
moment, when considering what decisions I should give on this or that issue, con-
sidered the atomic bomb. I have looked at dispatches from our Ambassadors
overseas, and from all the information I have been able to get, and I make this
declaration which I hope will be accepted throughout the world: I have never once
allowed myself to think that I could arrive at this or that decision because Britain
was or was not in possession of the atomic bomb.

Obligations to UNO
Believe me, however great the power of weapons may be, whoever the Foreign
Secretary may be, once he departs from a code of conduct of deciding these things
to the best of his ability on the ground of what is right, then you will drift to
disaster. When I was challenged jocularly recently at a conference in London
about the atomic bomb I said in reply: "Not a single answer I have given, or a
single decision I have taken in this conference-not for one moment have I
thought of it." But there is another very great test you must apply in your deci-
sions. If I may say so with almost religious conviction, when I have been asked
to take a decision on policy in this or that direction, I have remembered all the
time the implied obligations that this House and this Government-all Govern-
ments, our predecessors as well as ourselves-have entered into in connection with
the United Nations. We say to ourselves: If we take this decision, although the
United Nations Organization is not yet established, are we taking a decision that
will ultimately fail to fit in with the framework and obligations we are entering
into? That is the test which, I suggest, if followed carefully will keep this country
| on the right lines.
These undertakings are not the undertakings of the old League of Nations.
First, the number of countries that have signed and undertaken obligations under
the new world organization is far wider than was ever undertaken by the League
of Nations. Secondly, these very Twelve Points, which the President on behalf of
the United States has entered into, never existed at any time during the existence
of the League of Nations. The League of Nations had to struggle along with
Russia out of it on the one side, and the United States out of it on the other, with
a chauvinism that the war in 1918 did not destroy, but only .held in temporary
abeyance for recrudescence at a later stage. That I think is the great difference

President Truman's Declaration

in the two positions. Therefore, having regard to the declaration of President
Truman-and having regard to the wider area that the United Nations represent,
and not merely its wider area from the point of view of adherence to wider func-
tions than the League of Nations actually undertook-it is all the more important
to ascertain with careful judgment whether what we are doing would jeopardize
it or not.

Spheres of Influence; Power 'Politics; Social Justice
In that I am ready to confess, and I think it is understandable, that there is a
conflict-a conflict of principles which only time and understanding can really
reconcile. You get a frightful nightmare of insecurity arising at every turn. On
the other hand, you have the principle of co-operation, which I have referred to,
standing out as your goal. The great difficulty arises, largely due to the terrific
struggle of the last six years, of whether or not you can entirely obliterate what
are sometimes called the spheres of influence, ahd power politics. Sometimes, in
these negotiations, I make the confession that power politics seem to me to be
naked and unashamed; the next moment, you see searching and striving for the
other ideal. I would ask the House not to be too impatient in this transition
period. I do not believe myself that you are going to settle this world by old-
time methods at a peace conference such as was held in 1919. There are so
many things to be done. Remember that the world has moved, as I said in the
speech I made when I first took office, and that world affairs have got to be
dealt with on the economic plane as well as on the political plane. Here you have
masses of people throughout the world who in this war were led to believe-and
I believe in time they will be satisfied-that they would have a higher standard of
living than ever before. That is true everywhere, I think. Secondly, the world
is a much smaller place than it has ever been before; and, thirdly, this great
demand for social justice cannot be withheld. The question is whether it will be-
come so impatient for satisfaction that you cannot satisfy it with the production
you have available quickly enough and urgently enough. I think President
Truman realized this in his Twelve Points.

Atomic Energy in Industry
The atomic bomb is one phase of scientific development, and there has been
great excitement at the prospect that this atomic bomb, or atomic energy, is likely
to produce great industrial energy very quickly. I do not believe it at all. I think
we ought really to get down to a sense of balance about this. It will be long, weary,
hard, patient work, before this new form of energy is available to rejuvenate and
revolutionize the energy of the world in industrial and other spheres, and I do not
think that the excitement about it is so justified as people make out. That encour-
ages me to believe that, in view of the fact that the industrial side of it is both
costly and long term, and has to be patiently evolved, it gives us time to build up
the United Nations Organization for peacetime efforts and world organization;
so that as atomic energy evolves in industry, the necessity for its use as a weapon
will have disappeared by reason of the new world organization which we will en-
deavor to create.
Put the Cards on the Table
I am not too disturbed about it. 'I have already said that policy cannot be
shaped upon it. You can, if you will, have regard to the disasters that would
arise from a wrong judgment, not on the use of the atomic bomb but on the policy
one is pursuing in connection with world peace, which would lead to the use of
the atomic bomb. Therefore, I put policy in connection with world peace as the
absolutely predominant consideration in nullifying the desire for any more of these

British Speeches of the Day

destructive weapons. In that we have to be constantly at work, and constantly
endeavoring to arrive at it. I have already said that power politics, spheres of
influence and that kind of approach to world affairs do present great difficulties.
I used, at the Labour Party Conference at Blackpool, quite a simple phrase, which
I now repeat as an appeal to.the great Powers on behalf of His Majesty's Govern-
ment. Put the cards on the table face upwards. We are ready to do it.
What do we want to do? What do we want to retain? For myself, and for
His Majesty's Government, I have openly stated, in this House and at the Labour
Party Conference and on the public platform, that we will take no steps, we will
do nothing nor allow any of our agents or diplomats to do anything which will
stir up hatred, or provoke or create a situation detrimental to Russia in the Eastern
countries. We recognize-indeed it was a British invention-the Monroe Doc-
trine in the Western Hemisphere. But if security against attack and intrigue and
the stirring up of difficulties is given, I cannot accept that the natural thing that
follows from that is to close the door and prevent entry or any contact with those
peoples for trade or anything else. I say that these are two separate and distinct
The Right to Have Good Neighbors
,Neither am I prepared to accept the contention, so often blared from Moscow
radio, that Russia claims the right to have friendly relationships with her near
neighbors, even as President Roosevelt claimed a good neighbor policy for South
America, of which we approved, while I am to be regarded as a criminal if I ask
to be on good relations with nations bordering on the British frontier. What am
I doing wrong? I am doing nothing to injure anybody, and I am not prepared
to accept that position from any other country in the world. What His Majesty's
Government are willing to give, they claim the right to have for their part with
France, with Holland, Belgium, Scandinavia or other countries-not a Western
bloc for war purposes. They are our cultural friends; they are our historical asso-
ciates; they acknowledge the same democracy as we do, and therefore-I say that I
am entitled, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, to have good neighbors in
my street, just as any other country is entitled to have good neighbors in any other
street. I am perhaps a little energetic about this, but I am a little resentful, and I
think the House will agree that I am entitled to be. After all, if there have been
invading armies in the East of Europe, there has been the blast of war in Western
Europe. Much of Europe's great civilization has been almost destroyed by this
frightful struggle.

The Most Important Element in Foreign Policy
Therefore, I welcome President Truman's declaration. I think it is a healthy
one. These things are to be done by agreement, not by force, not by aggression.
They are to be voluntarily entered into with the acquiescence of the people con-
cerned. His Majesty's Government accept that, and we want it not merely for our
protection; we do not want it because we are afraid to defend ourselves. We have
given examples of that, Heaven only knows. Reverting to the original speech I
made in this House when I took this office, I say that I regard the great economic
development, the lifting of the burden of the life of the people, as the most
important element in foreign policy. I believe that this country has much to give
and much to gain by proper exchange and arrangements with other countries in
cultural, economic and artistic life. I have often stood and watched little children
in a park going to a fountain to drink. The cups are hung on a chain; one drinks
two cups, another drinks one. They never quarrel, because there is enough for both.
I think that is true of the great productive capacity of the world. There need be
no jealousy, no competition. Our capacity is so great that we can do it.

President Truman's Declaration

Preparedness to Stop Aggression
SThe right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) said
that if such a declaration had been made by President Truman in 1914, the war
might possibly have been avoided. If it had been repeated in 1939, war might
equally have been avoided. From the point of view of encouragement both to our
own people and the United States, these declarations are wonderful; but our policy
must be such that they must be capable of being given effect to if ever they are
challenged. That is to say our relationships, our knowledge, our planning, our
arrangements in economics and defense must be such that we are ready to stop
aggression, should the occasion arise. I assume that when President Truman made
this great declaration he did, in fact, mean what he said in his references to the
navy, the army, and the industrial development of that great country, that he was
laying down not merely a slogan or a platitude, but was indicating the roadway
that the United States intend to follow in relation to the rest of the world.

Public Awareness Strengthens the Government
The right hon. Gentleman said that his heart was heavy. I must confess that
mine is not. I will tell the House why. I think we so deluded ourselves in 1918,
largely, probably through propaganda during the war, but also largely because
we had not had a war for a long time and did not know what it all meant. We
have this advantage, terrible as it may seem: not only have we had the 1914-18
war, but this horrible war for six years, and then the atomic bomb. I would say
to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford that this Government is
probably in a better position than other Governments have been in at the end of
a war, because there is a greater public consciousness, both of the duties and the
dangers, than there has ever been in the history of the country. *I am not uttering
one word of criticism of what has gone before. I think that responsibility is
accepted by the humblest people in the country, and we are in a better position
.now to help us to work out the right policy than ever in the history of our country.
The very bombing, the very attack upon us, the fact that the civilians have paid the
price, as well as the soldier overseas, the fact that we have not profited out of this
war, the fact that we have to face the bill even now-and a very heavy one indeed
-the taxes we have to pay, the rationing we still have to undergo and the con-
tinued obligations we have to meet, I regret all that, but I cannot help feeling that
His Majesty's Government are in a favored position, both to mould public opinion
and to guide this great issue of peace and war, because of the very backing we
shall get in trying to find a solution.

Armed Forces Needed As Police
Every speaker today has indicated the same kind of attitude of mind. I wel-
come it because I believe that the close unison of this House, the exchange of
views and understanding and, whatever other controversy we may have in the
country, telling the people the truth about these things will enable us to pull
through and play our proper part. It has been argued by many people that the
coming of the atomic bomb would wipe out the need of armies, navies or air
forces. I think that is quite a misconception. What are the duties, apart from
fighting, of armies, navies, and air forces? If you take 100 years, I suppose it
wouldbe fair to say that for 85 to 90 per cent of that time their duties have been
police duties. In this world you must keep law and order; you cannot carry on
civilization in any other way. I do not suppose that it is in any hon. Member's
mindthat, every time somebody becomes obstreperous you should fetch out the
atomic bomb-with disastrous results. I think it is much better to drop a leaflet
which, probably, in an ordinary disturbance, has.just as good, or probably a better

British Speeches of the Day

The Example of the British Navy
What astounds me about the history of the British Navy is how cheaply we
have policed the world for 300 years. I often think, when I read this history,
that it is a good job no one called our bluff very often, for really, in the discus-
sions in this House on Budgets and Estimates, looking back over it, we did take
some frightful risks at times. I think the world was policed largely by the British
Navy with less than 100,000 men. That is a very cheap police force, if you con-
sider the size of the whole world. Therefore, I do not want us either to get in
a panic about the atomic bomb or, to regard, it as a substitute for the ordinary
normal means of policing the world under ordinary and normal conditions.
Neither would I like to see police forces, or military forces, regarded as being a
weapon of offense. It is a question of balance, and a question of what is right
for keeping order.
The Need of Confidence
I hope that, as the United Nations Organization grows, we shall succeed in
cutting down military expenditure to a minimum, but not to such a point that
will make the United Nations Organization ineffective, in itself, to stop aggres-
sion. Therefore, the Government of the day, as time goes on, will have to balance
that very, very carefully. His Majesty's Government at the moment have very,
very wide obligations all over the world. There is the aftermath of the war, which
is very costly and very difficult, but we are not taking any risks until we are quite
out of the wood. I think the House will support us in that. Do please remember
that the atomic bomb might have been preceded-if not by quite as dangerous a
weapon-by very important weapons, if our enemies had been successful, prior to
the final solution of the atomic bomb. Therefore do not let us keep our minds
solely on the atomic bomb.
"There are many other forms of scientific development of an equally disastrous
kind. There, again, it is a question of arriving at a moment of complete confi-
dence as to whom you entrust it to. The right to that complete confidence does not
depend upon the sentiment of what you do with scientific discoveries; it depends
upon a confidence as to the policy you are all following, and the obligations you
are entering into. I do not believe that any international legal gentleman, or any-
body, can devise a plan wherein an international inspectorate is worth anything in
this matter. There is only one way in which you can be positive in running an
international organization, and'that is when that organization accepts fully such
an obligation and policy, and you can trust their word without having to send a
policeman round every time. We have got to arrive at that stage, but we have
not arrived at it yet. I think we are still too near the war.

Territorial Demands
The right hon. Gentleman said we agreed to give inventions to other countries,
but we did not have any in return. It may be that they were frightened to give us
any in return, but we did set the example, which was a very big thing. Therefore,
if our example is to be followed, let it really get into the pool before we take an
undue risk. If I may refer to Russia, I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree
that we have met almost every demand that we ever thought would be made. At
Moscow, at Yalta, and the rest of those conferences, no one dreamed there would
be further territorial demands except here or there, and the Straits adjustment.
One would have thought everything had been conceded. I must say that having
conceded all this, and not having taken one inch of territory or asked for it,
one cannot help being a little suspicious if a great Power wants to come right
across, shall I say, the throat of the British Commonwealth, which has done
no harm to anybody, but has fought this war. One is driven to ask oneself the

Address .to the Congress

motive; that is not unreasonable, and I think that we must get down to stopping
this demand for transfer of territory, and, within reason, make adjustments here
and there. It is'of little value. All this chopping and changing of frontiers over
hundreds of years has made people very little richer-[AN HON. MEMBER:
"Or more secure."]-or more secure. And do remember this-I make this plain
because sometimes we are lectured about it-in the British Empire we gave
freedom where it did not exist before, by the development of the Commonwealth.

The Only Goal
No one can read the policy of His Majesty's Government, within the few
months that have followed this war, without seeing the desperate efforts we are
making to extend that liberty and Commonwealth idea still further. It is time
we sang our own song a little. In view of what has been laid before this House
since we have been in office-the efforts the Colonial Office have made, and others,
in trying to rebuild these territories on a wider and progressive development of
freedom-at least let us take credit when we are just. We get kicks enough some-
times when the charge against us is not proven, and we get terribly kicked when
it is proven. I conclude, therefore, by urging that our eyes should be fixed upon
the United Nations Organization. All nations of the world should be united to
look that way, to judge their policy, as we will do, by whether it leads to that
great goal-the only goal in my judgment-of creating a world organization,
capable and masterful enough, united enough, to hold in check this evolution
of scientific discovery, and make it the servant of man and not his destroyer.
[House of Commons Debates]

Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee
Washington, November 13, 1945

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Senate and of the House of
Representatives of the United States, I should wish, first of all, to thank you, Sirs,
on the great honor you have done me in inviting me to address your House in
joint session. During the war you were addressed on two occasions by my prede-
cessor, Winston Churchill, a great war leader, whose words and actions in the
most critical times of that long drawn-out contest brought courage and hope to
millions all over the world. For five years I had the privilege of serving under
him as a colleague. No one knows better than I do the resplendent services which
he rendered to the cause of freedom. Last week in the House of Commons, as
Leader of the Opposition, in emphasizing the importance of furthering in every
way our friendly connections with your great country, he wished me, on behalf
of the whole House, the utmost success in this visit. Sirs, in democracies great
men are the possession of the whole people. Speaking here today, I cannot but
remember that great statesman, President Roosevelt. I should be expressing, I
know, the feelings not only of the people of Great Britain but of the Common-
wealth and Empire in paying tribute to his great services not only to his own
country but to humanity. It was a sorrow to us that he was not able to visit
Britain, where we should have given him a welcome that would have expressed
all that was in our hearts. In the struggle against the forces of tyranny, the names
of these two men, Churchill and Roosevelt, together with that of Generalissimo
Stalin, will ever be linked in achievement.
I was glad to meet President Truman for a brief moment here in Washington
when I was returning from the San Francisco Conference, and I had the ad-

British Speeches o.f the Day

vantage of observing and admiring his courage and statesmanship at Potsdam
where, with him and Generalissimo Stalin, we sought to deal with some of those
problems which the ending of a great war produces. Sirs, in what spirit shall
we approach these high matters? On Sunday at Arlington I stood with President
Truman and the Prime Minister of Canada at that impressive ceremony of Armis-
tice Day. I know that in the minds of the President and myself were remem-
brances of when we were both fighters in the First World War. We little thought
then, on November 11, 1918, that we should witness another world war. I do not
think that either of us then thought that we, out of-the millions of our fellow
soldiers, would be called to shoulder the great responsibilities of high office.
Yet I am sure there was present in our minds last Sunday the same thoughts
we had years ago-regret for lost comrades, gratitude for our deliverance and the
resolve to do what in us lay to spare others the ordeal which we have endured.
We have ended this Second World War, deadlier, longer and more terrible than
its predecessor. We should none of us be here today unless all the Allies had
done their part, unless the unequalled fighting forces and matchless industrial
and scientific resources of the United States had been thrown without reserve
into the pool. We rightly today pay honor to all the Allies. There is honor
enough for all; for those who fought in the West and in the East, in the air,
on the land and on the sea. For those who fought in the formed units of the
great States, for those who served in the Resistance Movements in so many coun-
tries, and for those who stood firm when their homes were bombed. All con-
tributed, but the greatest contribution was made by those with the greatest re-
sources, the United States of America, Russia and the British Commonwealth and
Empire. Twice in a generation the countries of the British Commonwealth and
Empire came instantly to the help of Great Britain, and none made a greater
contribution than Canada, whose Prime Minister I am happy to see with us today.
We were fortunate in finding great political leaders. We were fortunate,
too, in the men of outstanding ability who planned our resources and our cam-
paigns and who led our Navies, Armies and Air Fleets in battle. Standing here,
I would like to pay a special tribute to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. I would like
to recall many of the leaders in the field, but I must content myself today with
three names of great men-one in the West, two in the East-General Eisen-
hower, General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz.
The War and the Future
Speaking here today when all our enemies have been beaten down, my mind goes
back over those five years in which I served in the British War Cabinet. I recall so
vividly those critical days in 1940 after Dunkirk. How anxiously we awaited the
arrival of ships carrying rifles and ammunition from America which gave us at
least something in our hands to fight the invader whose threat was so imminent. I
recall that wise and generous provision of Lerd-Lease. I recollect, two years be-
fore the event, General Marshall unfolding to us in the Cabinet Room his con-
ception of the invasion of Europe. Then I remember so well the -tremendous
strength of the United States of America, slowly at first and then swiftly develop-
ing to take the weight from those who had borne the burden in the early years
of the war. Today the United States stands out as the mightiest power on earth.
And yet America is a threat to no one. All know that she will never use her power
for selfish aims or territorial aggrandizement in the future any more than she has
done in the past. We look upon her Forces and our own Forces and those of other
nations as instruments that must never be employed save in the interests of world
security and for the repression of the aggressor.
When I was last here I was taking part in the San Francisco Conference, a
conference summoned by President Roosevelt with wise prescience while war was

Address to the Congres? 685

still raging in order that as soon as victory was secured we might have an instru-
ment ready to hand for the prevention.of all wars in the future.
We have gone through a horrible destructive war. You here have lost great
numbers of the flower of your young men. So have we in Britain. So have all the
countries that have been engaged in this great'struggle, but you have been spared
the destruction of your great cities, you have not had in America the spectacle of
hundreds of thousands of broken homes, you have not had great masses of people,
driven from their habitations, wandering about seeking somewhere to lay their
heads. You have not had the work of centuries of human endeavor destroyed in
a few short hours by attacks from the air. But I know that you are fully conscious
of the tragic folly of war. There was a time which I remember when we in Britain
enjoyed the same immunity. Wars might devastate the Continent, but we were
safe behind our moat, the inviolable sea. Those days are past. Defensive frontiers,
mountain barriers, the seas and even the oceans are n'o obstacle to attack. The old
discontinuity of earth and sea has been replaced by the continuity of the ais In
our atlases that show the division of land and water, of the countries and states,
there should be a blank page which should represent the air to make our children
realize that these old and historic divisions do not exist in the element in which
men now move. If not now then in a few years the devastating weapons which
are at present being developed may menace every part of the world.
It is in the light of these facts and in particular in the light-the terrible light-
of the atomic bomb, that I have entered into discussion with your President in
order that we may get together with all the nations of the world and consider
what kind of a world it is necessary to have if civilization is to endure and if the
common man in all lands is to feel secure.
But in facing world problems as we must, it is a great mistake in my view to
think exclusively of war and the prevention of war. We have to think rather of the
best means of building up peace. Speaking last week in London, I said that the
foundation of peace lay in the hearts of men and I hold it true that the more the
citizens of the world can get to know each other the less likely are we to have the
emotional condition in which war is possible. We have been fortunate in this war to
have welcomed to our shores so many citizens of the United States of America.
There have been many friendships made, many misunderstandings have been re-
moved which almost inevitably arise because, knowing each other only from a dis-
tance, we see each other in a distorted way. All the differences are emphasized.
The underlying likeness is obscured, but the British soldier and the American soldier
when they came to close quarters soon found how much they had in common. I
hold therefore that our United Nations Organization, in which I profoundly be-
lieve, must be something more than an agreement between Governments. It must
be an expression of the will of the common people in every country.

What the Labour Party Stands For
Perhaps I might assist today in removing some misapprehensions. I come be-
fore you as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, but in accordance with our con-
stitutional practice, I am also a Party Leader, the leader of a majority recently re-
turned to power in the House of Commons. I wonder how much you know about
the British Labour Party. We are not always very well informed on the politics of
other countries. I doubt in fact whether very many British citizens know the exact
difference between a Republican and a Democrat. You have heard that we are
Socialists but I wonder just what that means to you. I think that some people over
here imagine that Socialists are out to destroy freedom, freedom of the individual,
freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. They are wrong.
The Labour Party is in the tradition of freedom-loving movements which have

British Speeches of the Day

always existed in our country; but freedom has to be striven for in every genera-
tion and those who threaten it are not always the same. Sometimes the battle of
freedom has had to be fought against kings, sometimes against religious tyranny,
sometimes against the power of the owners of the land, sometimes against the
overwhelming strength of monied interests. We in the Labour Party declare that
we are in line with those who fought for Magna Charta and Habeas Corpus, with
the Pilgrim Fathers and with the signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
Let me clear your mind with regard to some of these freedoms that are thought
to be in danger. In the ranks of our Party in the House of Commons are at least
40 practising journalists. There are several clergymen, many local preachers,
plenty of Protestants, some Catholics and some Jews. We are not likely therefore
to attack freedom of religion or freedom of the press. As to freedom of speech,
believe me, as Leader of our Party for ten years I have never lacked candid critics
in my own ranks and I have been too long in the Opposition not to be a strong
supporter of freedom of speech and freedom of the individual. We believe in the
freedom of the individual to live his own life, but that freedom is conditioned by
his not cramping and restricting the freedom of his fellow men. There is and
always will be scope for enterprise, but when big business gets too powerful so
that it becomes monopolistic, we hold it is not safe to leave it in priv~ te hands.
Further, in the world today we believe, as do most people in Britain, that one must
plan the economic activities of the country if we are to assure the common man a
fair deal.
One further word. You may think that the Labour Party consists solely of wage-
earners. It is our pride that we draw the majority of our members from the ranks
of wage-earners, and many of our Ministers have spent long years working with
their hands in the coal mines, the factory or in transportation. But otir Party today
is drawn from all classes of society; professional men, business men and what are
sometimes called the privileged classes. The old school tie can still be seen on the
government benches. It is really a pretty good cross section of the population.
You may ask: Why do people from the well-to-do classes belong to our Party?
May I refer to my own experience? Forty years ago, as a young man studying Law,
just down from Oxford University, I visited for the first time my constituency,
Limehouse-a very poor district in East London. I learned from it firsthand the
facts of poverty in our great cities. I became convinced that we must build our
society on a juster foundation. The result was that I joined the Socialist Move-
ment, and eventually after many years of striving I find myself Prime Minister of
Great Britain. The reasons that impelled me to join the Labour Movement are
the same that actuated so many of the members of my party, especially the great
number of young men from the fighting services.

Economics and Neighborliness
What is our attitude towards Foreign Affairs? We believe that we cannot make
a heaven in our own country and leave a hell outside. We believe this, not only
from the moral basis of our Movement, which is based on the brotherhood of
man without distinction of race or creed, but also from an entirely practical stand-
point. We seek to raise the standard of life of our people. We can only do so
by trading with the rest of the world, and as good traders we wish to have pros-
perous customers. 'The advance in methods of production so strongly exemplified'
in the United States has resulted in an immense output of goods and commodi-
ties of all kinds. We in our turn show the same results on a smaller scale. Yet
there are hundreds of millions of people living in the world at a standard of life
which is the same as they have had for a thousand years. There is ample room in
the world for the products of the great industrial nations, like our own, to raise

Address to the Congress

the general levels throughout the world. We, like you, believe in an expansive
economy and we can see no reason why, the need being so great, there should be
any undue rivalry between us. We believe that the foundations of peace must be
world prosperity and good neighborliness. That, where science has placed such
potential abundance before the human race, we should collaborate to take advantage
of it rather than scramble and fight for larger individual shares, which only results in
an immense increase in poverty. We recognize that our immediate task is not easy.
Many a man in Britain returning from the war finds his home blitzed and his busi-
ness ruined. He has to start afresh and it's a tough proposition. As a country we
are just like that man. We went all out to win the war and now have to start
afresh. Like him we are facing the future with courage and determination to win
through. We have rot stood up to our enemies for six years to be beaten by eco-
nomics. I look forward to an era of an increasing co-operation and friendship be-
tween the U.S.A. and Great Britain-not as being an exclusive friendship but as
a contribution to the knitting together with all peoples through the Unrted Na-
tions Organization in the bonds of peace.

Unity in Diversity
In our internal policies each will follow the course decided by the people's
will. You will see us .embarking on projects of nationalization, on wide all-
embracing schemes of social insurance designed to give security to the common
man. We shall be working out a planned economy. You, it may be, will con-
tinue in your more individualistic methods. It is more important that we should
understand each other and other nations whose institutions differ from our own.
It is essential, if we are to build up a peaceful world, that we should have the
widest toleration, recognizing that our aim is not uniformity but unity in diversity.
It would be a dull world if we were all alike.
In a town there may be a great diversity of character and habit among the
townsfolk. To some of my neighbors I may be drawn closely by ties of relation-
ship or by old memories; for others I may have more sympathy through sharing
their religious convictions, although perhaps estranged by their political views.
Yet I may be on good terms with them all and in close friendship with some. I
hope to see a world as orderly as a well-run town, with citizens diverse in character
but co-operating for the common good. In the British Commonwealth and Empire
we offer an example of many nations, some of which have reached, others of
which are approaching, full self-government. Even during the war, India was
given the opportunity of taking complete charge of her own affairs, and in the
Colonial Empire eight or nine new constitutions have been adopted or are being
worked out, all based on the extension of democratic principles. I hope that there
will be ever closer friendship between our great democracies. We have much in
common. We have the language of Milton and Shakespeare, of Burke and
Chatham, of Lincoln and of Jefferson. We have the memories of comradeship in
a great adventure. Above all things we share the things of the spirit. Both of our
nations hold dear the rule of law, the conception of freedom and the principles
and methods of democracy; and, most vital of all, we acknowledge the validity
of the moral precepts upon which our whole civilization is founded. Man's ma-
terial discoveries have outpaced his moral progress. The greatest task that faces
us today is to bring home to all people before it is too late that our civilization
can only survive by the acceptance and practice, in international relations and in
our national life, of the Christian principle, "We are members one of another."
rOfficial Release]

688 British Speeches of the Day

House of Commons, November 15, 1945
rison): I am sorry to intervene but there is a statement to be made which I think
the House would like to hear. The Prime Minister has been in communication
with me from Washington and I with him, to the best of our ability, and he has
asked me, on his behalf, to inform the House that decisions have been reached at
Washington with regard to the consultations between himself, President Truman
and Mr. MacKenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada. The Prime Minister
thought that this House would like to know at the earliest possible moment the
terms of the communique which has been issued by the President, the British
Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Canada. This is the communique:
"The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United King-
dom and the Prime Minister of Canada, have issued the following statement:
1. We recognize that the application of recent scientific discoveries to the meth-
ods and practice of war-has placed at the disposal of mankind means of destruction
hitherto unknown, against which there can be no adequate military defense, and
in the employment of which no single nation can in fact have a monopoly.
2. We desire to emphasize that the responsibility for 'devising means to ensure
that the new discoveries shall be used for the benefit of mankind, instead of as a
means of destruction, rests not on our nations alone, but upon the whole civilized
world. Nevertheless, the progress that we have made in the development and use
of atomic energy demands that we take an initiative in the matter, and we have
accordingly met together to consider the possibility of international action:
(a) To prevent the use of atomic energy for destruction purposes.
(b) To promote the use of recent and future advances in scientific knowl-
edge, particularly in the utilization of atomic energy, for peaceful and hu-
manitarian ends.
3. We are aware that the only complete protection for the civilized world from
the destructive use of scientific knowledge lies in the prevention of war. No sys-
tem of safeguards that can be devised will of itself provide an effective guarantee
against production of atomic weapons by a nation bent on aggression, particularly
since the military exploitation of atomic energy depends, in large part, upon the
same methods and processes as would be required for industrial uses. Nor can
we ignore the possibility of the development of other weapons or of new methods
of warfare, which may constitute as great a threat to civilization as the military
use of atomic energy.
4. Representing, as we do, the three countries which possess the knowledge
essential to the use of atomic energy, we declare at the outset our willingness, as
a first contribution, to proceed with the exchange of fundamental scientific infor-
mation; and the interchange of scientists and scientific literature for peaceful ends
with any nation that will fully reciprocate.

Basic Information Is to Be Given Out
5. We believe that the fruits of scientific research should be made available to
all nations, and that freedom of investigation and free interchange of ideas are
essential to the progress of knowledge. In pursuance of this policy, the basic
scientific information essential to the development of atomic energy for peaceful
purposes has already been made available to the world. It is our intention that all
further information of this character that may become available from time to time

Communique on Atomic Energy 689

shall be similarly treated. We trust that other nations will adopt the same policy,
thereby creating an atmosphere of reciprocal confidence in which political agree-
ment and co-operation will flourish.

Intentions Concerning Detailed Information
6. We have considered the question of the disclosure of detailed information
concerning the practical industrial application of atomic energy. The military ex-
ploitation, of atomic energy depends, in large part, upon the same methods and
processes as would be required for industrial uses. We are not convinced that the
spreading of the specialized information regarding the practical application of
atomic energy, before it is possible to devise effective, reciprocal, and enforceable
safeguards acceptable to all nations, would contribute to a constructive solution of
the problem of the atomic bomb. On the contrary we think it might have the
opposite effect. We are, however, prepared to share, on a reciprocal basis with
other of the United Nations, detailed information concerning the practical in-
dustrial application of atomic energy just as soon as effective enforceable safe-
guards against its use for destructive purposes can be devised.

A Commission Is Recommended
7. In order to attain the most effective means of entirely eliminating the use
of atomic energy for destructive purposes and promoting its widest use for in-
dustrial and humanitarian purposes, we are of the opinion that at the earliest
practicable date a Commission should be set up under the United Nations to pre-
pare recommendations for submission to the organization. The Commission should
be instructed to proceed with the utmost despatch and should be authorized to
submit recommendations from time to time dealing with separate phases of its
In particular, the Commission should make specific proposals:-
(a) For extending between all nations the exchange of basic scientific in-
formation for peaceful ends.
(b) For control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use
only for peaceful purposes.
(c) For the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and
of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.
(d) For effective safeguards by way of inspection and other means to pro-
tect complying states against the hazards of violations and evasions.
8. The work of the Commission should proceed by separate stages, the success-
ful completion of each of which will develop the necessary confidence of the world
before the next stage is undertaken. Specifically, it is considered that the Com-
mission might well devote its attention first to the wide exchange of scientists and
scientific information, and as a second stage to the development of full knowledge
concerning natural resources of raw materials.
9. Faced with the terrible realities of the application of science to destruction,
every nation will realize more urgently than before the overwhelming need to
maintain the rule of law among nations and to banish the scourge of war from
the earth. This can only be brought about by-giving wholehearted support to the
United Nations Organization, and by consolidating and extending its authority,
thus creating conditions of mutual trust in which all peoples will be free to devote
themselves to the arts of peace. It is our firm resolve to work without reservation
to achieve these ends."
[House of Commons Debates]

British Speeches of the Day

Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee
Ottawa, November 19, 1945
It is a great pleasure to me to be in Ottawa again. It has been my privilege
to visit Canada four times in the last five years. When I was last here I was
Deputy Prime Minister in Mr. Churchill's government, a post which Iheld until
a few months ago. Now by a process well understood by all of us parliamentarians,
there has been a change of administration and I come before you as Prime Min-
ister. I say that this is well understood by all of us but the methods that are
natural to democracies are not always understood in other parts of the world.
You will remember that we had a general election in Britain and I then ac-
companied Mr. Churchill to Potsdam while the ballot boxes remained locked up
and the votes from the men overseas were coming in.
Some of our friends were surprised that immediately following a vigorous
electoral contest Mr. Churchill and I could co-operate; some were even astonished
that we showed no agitation while our political destinies remained hidden for
three weeks. When we returned to London and the result of the ballot caused
me to become Prime Minister, I went back to Potsdam with precisely the same
civil servants as had accompanied Mr. Churchill.
It was a striking example of how in countries where the rule of law obtains,
we can effect change peaceably. It was also an illustration of the fact that political
differences do not prevent co-operation between opponents where the interests of
the country are at stake.
In London we have been delighted to welcome in recent years representatives
of all your parties, including my friend Mr. Bracken, the Leader of the Opposition,
and Mr. Coldwell, the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation; and
only a week or two ago we had the pleasure of receiving yourPrime Minister, Mr.
Mackenzie King, on his third visit since the war began.
As the most junior of the Prime Ministers in the Commonwealth, it has been
a pleasure to me to be with one who has had such a long and distinguished tenure
of office. He and I have come to you from the United States of America where
we have been in consultation with President'Truman on a subject of most vital
consequence, not only to the people of our own countries but to the peoples of the
whole world.
I shall not venture on Mr. King's prerogatives by talking to you this after-
noon about the problems which the discovery of the release of atomic energy has
created. I have no doubt you will be debating these high matters in due course,
but I know that this problem has presented itself to all three of us as only one
part of the great question which confronts us all today. That problem is: How
can we secure peace? How can we prevent another devastating war, even worse
than those which we have experienced, arising again in a few years' time? You
will have seen that in considering this question we stressed the paramount im-
portance of making the United Nations Organization an effective instrument of
world peace.
You cannot deal with these matters by considering such a question as that of
the atom bomb by itself. A very distinguished leader of my party, Mr. Sidney
Webb, now Lord Passfield, once described the process of trying to deal with the
particular results of general causes as that of hammering on the bulge. It was a
simile taken from dealing with pots and pans, for in hammering on the bulge
you merely caused the metal to raise itself in another place.

Address to the Parliament of Canada

The Example of the British Commonwealth
The particular problem of certain armaments must be considered in the light
of the general question of securing world peace. It is just here I believe, with all
due humility, that the British Commonwealth and Empire offers the world an
example which should be noted and followed. In our British Commonwealth,
the units which compose it are equal. They are sovereign and independent states
owing allegiance to the same King, freely co-operating for their mutual benefit,
each one of them living its own life, having its own distinctive characteristics and,
while avoiding slavish uniformity, being responsive to a larger unity. The bonds
which unite this great company of nations are not material, they are spiritual. The
strands which compose them are the acceptance of the rule of law, a belief in and
the practice of the principles of democracy and liberty, and the acknowledgment of
a common standard of moral values. It is in my view precisely these spiritual ties
which must bind together all the nations of the world if we are to make the
United Nations Organization a living entity, if we are to establish peace on sure
foundations. The work done at San Francisco was valuable but the designing and
perfecting of a machine is of little value unless there is the power to make it move.
It is only an intense belief in the great principles of the interdependence of
nations and the brotherhood of man that will provide the motive power to this
great machine which has been constructed.
I am certain that it was this unity in the British Commonwealth based on the
common conception of the right relationship between human beings and between
nations that was responsible for the remarkable spontaneity with which at the
threat to civilization the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations sprang
to arms.
I urge each individual man and woman of every race, creed and language to
understand the moral crisis that confronts the world.
Je me rappelle a ce moment ce qu'a dit un des grands esprits de la France,
Rabelais: "Science sans conscience n'est que ruine de 1'ame."
Voila le probleme qui confront I'humanite-rapprocher la science et la
A mon avis, il est evident que si nous n'apportons i ces problems un en-
thousiasme moral aussi grand que celui qu'apportent les savants a leurs recherches,
la civilisation construite pendant des siecles sera d6truite.

A Tribute to Canadian Arms
Speaking to you here today after the close of this long struggle, I should like
to pay tribute'to what Canada and the Canadian people achieved. I recall so well
in the dark days of 1940, when our Forces had to withdraw from Dunkirk and
we were left with very scanty equipment to defend ourselves against invasion
that then seemed imminent, how heartened we were by the presence in ever-
growing numbers of the Canadian Forces. I know, too, what a strain it was for
those gallant men to remain apparently inactive for many weary months although
in fact their presence was vital to the hole strategy of the war.
In 1942, there took place the Canadian action.at Dieppe which played a vital
part in the preparations for the later invasions. It enabled us to perfect our am-
phibious technique; it taught us how to conduct air battles in support of a landing;
and it made us realize the need for bringing with us our own harbors. Thus the
men of Dieppe showed the way to North Africa, to Sicily; to Italy and to Nor-

British Speeches of the Day

When the time came for the Canadian armed forces to cross the seas in
every theater of war they more than sustained the high reputation which they had
won in the First World War on the fields of France and Flanders. I recall how
they were the spearhead of the attack on Sicily and how they fought their way
north in 1944 and early ih 1945 along the Adriatic and across the Apennines. It
was my privilege then to visit them in the front line. No less splendid were their
feats in the invasion of Europe. Some of the hardest tasks were given to them;
the clearing of the Channel ports, of the Dutch coast, and the opening of the port
of Antwerp. And since the defeat of Germany, Canadian troops have been playing
their part in the vital task of disarming the Germans and occupying their country.
This task and similar tasks in Japan will make,great demands on the resources of
the Commonwealth and of the Allies, but it is one of the tasks which must be done
fully and well if we are not to throw away the rewards of victory.

The Royal Canadian Air Force
The whole world knows the achievements of the Royal Canadian Air Forces;
their units played a distinguished part in every phase of our warfare, in every
command of the United Kingdom and in every overseas theater; they were second
to none in their gallantry and in their skill. Perhaps their biggest single achieve-
ment was the provision of an entire group, the famous No. 6 Group of Bomber
Command. Behind the whole air effort of the British Commonwealth lay that
great Empire Air Training Scheme under which roughly one-third of the British,
Dominion and Allied air crews were trained in this country. Perhaps it is not so
generally known that the Dominion of Canada played a major part in the develop-
ment of radar and provided the RAF with its main source of- highly-skilled
mechanics and technicians.

The Royal Canadian Navy
Finally, let me say that one of the most notable achievements of the war was
the development from small beginnings of a great Canadian navy. In all the
strain of the long-continued battle of the Atlantic, Canadians took their full share
with their British and American comrades.

The Civilian Contribution
Besides all this, just as in the old country, the workers in the fields and the
factories and the shipyards, the scientists, the technicians an'd research workers
are entitled to a full share of credit for the successful outcome of the war. I
should like here to refer particularly to the vast financial contribution of Canada,
to the food supplies sent across the Atlantic and to the whole system of Mutual
Aid. Canada has had not only firm leadership of her fighting forces, by sea, on
land and in the air, but 'also at home by a far-seeing and wise Parliament and
Government, who understood just what was needed for the common effort.
Everyone who realizes fully what Canada did throughout the war must
acknowledge that hers was a major contribution to the common cause.
You now, like ourselves, are facing the problems of peace.' I count it a happy
event that on the first visit which I have made overseas since the end of the Pots-
dam Conference, I should have had the comradeship of your Prime Minister visit-
ing our great friend and ally, the United States of America. It seems to me to be
a good augury for the future in which the problems of peace will need that same
co-operation which brought us to final and complete victory.

Address to the Parliament of Canada

The Austerities of Peace
I remember very well, when I was over here in 1941, discussing with members
of your Cabinet the problems of mobilizing manpower and womanpower in both
our countries for total war. We are now both engaged in the equally difficult
task of demobilization and of the turning-over from war to peace of our whole
economic machine. I have no doubt that your difficulties are very present in
your minds, but it might not be out of place for me to tell you something of
ours. I suppose that in no country engaged in the war was a greater degree of
austerity imposed upon the people than in the United Kingdom. I need not
tell you that ouj food situation is still very difficult and that our rations are on
a scale only barely sufficient to maintain health. Coal, too, is in short supply.
But this is not all. During the war we have been unable to replenish our ordinary
stores of domestic requirements, sheets, blankets, curtains, pots and pans and
crockery. We have had as it were, in every phase of our life, to make do and
mend, with the inevitable consequence that we find ourselves today faced with
every kind of shortage.
If you go round our shops, you will find that many of the ordinary require-
ments that the housewife wants are simply not there. We are still rationed very
tightly for clothing and shoes. The men and the women who come out of the
fighting services and want to set up a home on marriage will find the greatest
difficulty in furnishing it; for example, we are endeavoring to provide utility
furniture, but it takes a long time to get the industrial machine under way. And
let me add that those who want to marry and settle down have an anxiety even
more pressing than that of how to furnish a home-that is, how to find a home
to live in. It is perhaps not generally realized that three and a half million houses
were to a greater or lesser extent damaged in the blitz and of these a great num-
ber were entirely destroyed. My own constituency in east London was formerly
a dense mass of working-class houses with hardlyany open space at all. But
at the recent general election my constituents walked through the fields to vote
for me-fields strewn with rubble, beginning to be covered by weeds that have
grown up in the spaces created by German bombs. It will take years to catch up
with the housing shortage. It will take a long time to get our industries fully at
work and even then we shall not be able to devote all our energies to our domestic
Britain Has a Vigorous Pulse
For that purpose it is essential that we should build up as soon as possible
our export trade. We shall not have in the future those exports on which we
used to depend before the war. Those resources built up by past prosperity were
used up in the grim time when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood
alone in the field against the barbarians, and in the years which followed.
You may think that I am painting you a somewhat dark picture. I do not
minimize to you or to our own people our difficulties. But I should like you to
know also the spirit in which we are tackling them. I was talking the other day
to a distinguished American editor who had been visiting Britain, and he said
to me that the thing that struck him most was the spirit of energy in our country.
It recalls to me what Emerson said a hundred years ago about Britain-
"So . I feel in regard to this aged England . pressed upon by tran-
sitions of trade and . competing populations. I see her not dispirited, not
weak, but well-remembering that she has seen dark days before; indeed,w with a
kind of instinct that slie sees a little better in a cloudy day, and that, in storm of
battle and calamity, she has a secret vigor and a pulse like a cannon."

694 British Speeches of the Day

I believe that that is true today. We have a new Parliament, very largely
made up of young men and women with a big proportion drawn from the fight-
ing forces. I believe that this Parliament with its youthful energy, drive and
idealism and its readiness to embark on new experiments, fitly represents the
spirit of our old country. At the general election the electors returned to power
a party which believes in a planned economy, which believes in developing to
the full the resources of our country in the interests of all the people, which
believes that every individual in the community should be given a fair share of
the good things of this world in return for a fair contribution of effort. We are
therefore embarking on new policies.

Britain's New Policies
We are putting forward complete schemes for social security designed to
remove froin the homes of our people the fear of want; but we know well that
our ability to provide this economic security will depend on the degree to which
we are able to apply the skill of our workers, of our scientists and managers to our
natural resources. That is why we are seeking to reorganize our basic industries,
sucn as coal, as services owned and controlled in the interests of the nation. We
cannot afford to waste our resources. We cannot afford inefficiency. We are
seeking to direct capital into those channels where it will fertilize trade and
industry in the interest of the whole community. We have an agricultural policy
designed to see that the workers on the land get a fair return in price for their
efforts and that the food of the people shall be obtainable at a reasonable cost.
We shall, of course, always have to import a large amount of our food supplies
from abroad, but we believe that prosperous agriculture at home is compatible
with that' exchange of food and raw materials from overseas, in return for our
manufactured goods, which has for so long been the basis of our inter-Common-
wealth trade. Therefore while we follow no exclusive policy, we believe that
in the future, as in the past, the general well-being of the countries of the
Commonwealth will be enhanced by their economies being complementary. In
saying that, I do not lose sight of the fact that Canada, perhaps to an even greater
extent than other countries in the Commonwealth, has become during the war an
important manufacturing nation and that it will expect to see in post-war years
an increasing export of its own manufactured products.

An Expansionist Economy Favored
But past experience has shown that the greatest volume of trade has been
built up between highly industrialized countries and I see no reason therefore
to think that the development to which I have referred will place any obstacle
upon a steady and increasing trade between our two countries.
We of the Labour party believe in an expansionist economy; we affirin that
if we all act wisely we shall never again see as we did in 1931 the tragedy of
starvation and want in the midst of abundance. We hold that it is of vital
importance that there should be a steadily increasing standard of life for the
masses of the people throughout the world.
In particular, we believe it to be essential that the producers of primary prod-
ucts all the world over shall be assured of a fair reward for their labors and should
not be at the mercy of the vagaries of uncontrolled prices.
SSir, we have emerged triumphant from the greatest crisis that ever faced
the free peoples of the world. It is for us to see that that victory is not nullified
by the failure to deal effectively with the problems of the peace. We owe it
to the valiant dead that they shall not have died in vain. I know well how in

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities

all countries there is weariness after these six years, but we must not let it over-
come us. There may be here and there some cynicism; we must meet it by re-
doubling our faith and hope. I sometimes hear talk of new nations and old
nations. It has been suggested that we in Europe are old and effete.
Do not believe it. You are the new shoot from the old stem; but the old
stem is still alive and full of life.
You in Canada draw your spiritual resources from two great nations; these
nations in turn have in the past, and will in the future, derive their sustenance
from the great heritage bequeathed to us by our ancestors. I can see that you
here in Canada are pulsating with life and vigor. You have a great part to play
in the world and I am certain that in peace as in war you will take your full
share in bearing the burdens of the world.
Twice in my lifetime the aggressor has presumed to think that Britain was
feeble and effete.' Twice has he learned his error. Sir, despite all our difficulties
we face the future undismayed. We shall go forward into this new world, a
world, it is true, of danger, but a world of great opportunity, strong in the faith
expressed so clearly by Robert Burns-
"It's coming yet for a' that
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brothers be for a' that."
[Official Release]

House of Commons, November 16, 1945

RT. HON. SIR ARTHUR SALTER (Independent): I would like to ask
the Government a number of questions about UNRRA, and what the Government
are doing to improve and to help it. . I would like to raise these questions
now for this reason.' In August, the Council of UNRRA met and decided upon
a considerable extension of UNRRA's responsibility. At the' same time they
decided by resolution that a considerable extra financial contribution would be re-
quired from the contributing countries, in order to enable those responsibilities to be
undertaken. Speaking in this House three weeks ago, the Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs said that the situation would be disastrous unless those new re-
sources-which according to my information are not yet forthcoming-were
rapidly provided. . .
I understand that at this moment UNRRA is operating on a great scale
in Greece, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Poland. It has limited responsibilities
in Italy which will soon be greatly increased, and it has worked, although under
the overriding responsibility and authority of the military, in regard to displaced
persons in Germany. Not only has its actual work at this moment greatly in-
creased but, as I said just now, decisions of the Council contemplate an early and
great further extension of its responsibilities. ..
In the first place, I would like to ask the Minister of State whether he is able
to give us anything in the way of global facts and figures which will indicate the
magnitude and scale of UNRRA's achievements up to date. In the second place,
I would like him to say something about the new or increased responsibility
of UNRRA. I will take two which have long been within the ambit of its

British Speeches of the Day

terms of reference, but on which work is only beginning-and first ask about the
Far East. It was liberated much later than Europe. Can the right hdn. Gentle-
man tell us anything about the policy and plans of UNRRA with regard to relief
and rehabilitation in the Far East? How does the policy differ from what is being
done in Europe? What does he contemplate will be the proportion of expenditure
which will be involved in the Far East as compared with Europe?

Displaced Persons
Next, I would like to refer to UNRRA's work in regard to displaced persons.
UNRRA is doing a gopd deal of work for them, but under the overriding au-
thority of the military authorities. I think the military authorities have done a
very remarkable piece of work in returning to their own countries the vast bulk
of those Allied displaced persons in respect of whom there was no serious political
obstacle to their immediate repatriation. That has been the work of the military
authorities; UNRRA has been helping to a certain extent under military direction
and control and I understand that UNRRA is running under military control a
certain number of camps. It is, I imagine, contemplated that UNRRA will
soon take over direct responsibility for dealing with the remaining hundreds
of thousands, or it may be more than hundreds of thousands, of these displaced
persons. I would like the Minister to make some statement as to when it will
assume direct responsibility and how it will discharge it.
Those who remain among the Allied displaced persons are worthy of very
special attention and consideration by the Government. They are, predominantly,
the victims of Nazi terror over five or six years. They are the starved and
emaciated survivors of a much greater number who have been killed or have
died in the course of occupation. They are, and have been for those years of
torment, looking forward to Allied victory as their one hope, and to many hundreds
of thousands of them the fruits of victory must have been as bitter in the mouth
as Dead Sea fruit. I do- not know how many Members have read the account by
Mr. Earl Harrison, published in September, in which he painted a terrible picture
of the conditions of the camps in which these victims of Nazi aggression were
still being maintained. I believe that since then some improvements have been
made. I hope the Minister will be able to give us some information about those
improvements. But it remains the case that some hundreds of thousands, and
possibly over a million, displaced persons are still left under conditions of re-
straint in camps, with all the unnatural conditions and restriction of liberty that
that implies, and with all the frustration of idleness and disappointed hopes. I do
not know whether any wider policy is now being contemplated for the considerable
proportion of this million or so who will probably not be capable of repatriation for
a long period of two or three years. Is there any plan, for example, for establish-
ing the different racial units in separate island areas where they can develop a free
communal life, instead of being left in concentration camps? I will not detain
the House by developing the details of a possible scheme of this kind. I have been
in communication with the Minister on this and I hope he will now, or a little
later, have something to say on the matter.

The New Jobs Given to UNRRA
I turn from the present responsibility, recently enlarged'and expanded, of
UNRRA to the new tasks entrusted to it in August. First, in regard to Italy,
where hitherto UNRRA had a very limited task-but where it is now to be
given the general responsibility for civilian relief. Can the Minister tell us whether
that extended work has yet begun? If not, when is it likely to be begun? Is it
waiting on the provision of extra financial resources or what is it waiting for? Can

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 697

hsay anything as to the scale on which action is contemplated? Next, as regards
Au\Stria, which in some respects is even more urgent. All the reports indicate
thpft there is already something like mass starvation in Austria.* The Council de-
dided that UNRRA should take over responsibility for civilians in Austria. Has
/ that work begun? Is UNRRA operating? If it is not operating, has it con,
struted a policy? Finally, it was, I think, decided that UNRRA should' take on
work possibly in Russia, particularly in the Ukraine. There have certainly been
proposals that UNRRA should extend its relief to some parts of Russia--
THE MINISTER OF STATE (Rt. Hon. P. Noel-Baker): There was an
application from the Ukraine Republic which will go to the Committee dealing
with Russia.
RT. HON. SIR A. SALTER: The Foreign Secretary, a few weeks ago did
refer to the prospect that UNRRA would be operating in the Ukraine at an early
date. Those are all the questions I wish to ask about UNRRA's recently increased
work and new responsibilities.

Reconstruction Work
I would now" like to ask something about the character of LNRRA's work.
UNRRA covers not only relief, but rehabilitation. One of the favorable factors
at the conclusion of hostilities was that there had been a great deal less de-
struction of industrial plant than had previously been feared. That means that
there is the possibility of an earlier return to self-supporting production in Europe,
when the special soup kitchen or first-aid methods can be replaced by real recon-
struction. Can the Minister say to what extent raw materials and spare parts and
industrial plant and so on are forming part of UNRRA's program? Can he
say whether, when we get beyond the scope of UNRRA's responsibility for re-
habilitation and get to the real task of reconstruction, the Allied Governments
are contemplating any further machinery to co-ordinate their aid in this recon-
Equity of Distribution
Many important questions arise as to UNRRA's present work. Can the Min-
ister say nothing about the efficiency, honesty and equity of the distribution of
UNRRA's supplies in the countries they are now serving? We have heard a
great many tales about UNRRA's supplies getting into the black market or being
distributed as political rewards. Can he say anything, distinguishing perhaps be-
tween different countries-for example Greece, where we have heard a great deal
about UNRRA supplies getting into the black market-and the countries which
have something like a totalitarian regime? To take, for example, Yugoslavia,
which I will not call exactly a totalitarian country, but perhaps Titotalitarian coun-
try. Can the right hon. Gentleman give any indication of UNRRA's permitted
methods of inspection and control which ensures that UNRRA's supplies are
going where they should?

Britain's Financial Contribution
That is all I want to ask about UNRRA itself. I would now like to ask a
series of questions as to His Majesty's Government's contribution. In January,
1944, I think, this Parliament agreed to an allocation of 80,000,000 sterling
for UNRRA, or 1 per cent of our national income. In August of this year the
Council indicated that a further 1 per cent of the national income would be
required from each contributing country. I do not. know whether an arrange-
ment has been made for the supply of the additional 80,000,000 and how far
the first 80,000,000 has been effectively spent.

698 British Speeches of the Day

Food and Other Supplies
That brings me to what is in some respects more important than the finin-
cial contribution, the releasing of supplies. The 80,000,000 national cofi.-
tribution is only expendable, except for a small fraction, in the contributing
country's currency, so that what is in some respects more important to UNR RA
is that the actual goods should be available. Is the Minister confident that every-
thing has been done and is being done to draw upon military reserves which can
be made available? I do not wish to say anything more now about the question
of lorries because I realize that a great deal has been done recently to increase
their delivery. I do not know whether more can and should be done, but I would
put greater emphasis on other forms of supplies. As regards food, the Minister
of Food after the Debate in this House a few weeks ago did make a considerable
contribution from military reserves of food. Has he got all that can be got from
that source? The House will have seen a restrained notice in the Press as to these
releases. I think the Minister of Food was rather unnecessarily coy in his an-
nouncement and that, if the hon. Gentleman had been more explicit, he would
have found that there are considerable sections of the public which would not
only have supported him in his action, but have encouraged him jo further action.
I think that probably the right hon. Gentleman might find further supplies
where he has already found some. I am not thinking only of food. There are
many other military supplies. I ask the Minister to inquire of the UNRRA
authorities and of the authorities responsible for other countries, the national
Governments or the occupying forces, as to what things they want of a kind which
are now in military reserves, and then to satisfy himself personally that everything
is being done to make those goods available. I am pretty sure that not every-
thing is being done at present, and that a good deal more could be done in this
Asks for Further Release of Food From Britain
I come now to the question of anything that may be available from civilian
resources. As I have said before, I am not asking, and I never have asked, that
supplies should be sent elsewhere at the cost of reducing the' standard rations
in this country or at the cost of reducing our stocks here below the point at which
the compulsory rations would be endangered. But of course our stocks here are
considerably higher, even though they have been reduced, than they were before
the war. I should have been pressing earlier for a considerable withdrawal from
these stocks, but for the well known fact that, owing to strikes on both sides of
the Atlantic, and owing to the dislocation of the whole of our importation arrange-
ments which has resulted from the sudden cancellation of Lend-Lease, the regularity
of our imports, which alone made possible stocks as low as they were in 1937 and
1938, cannot for the time being be relied upon. I quite realize that while there are
temporary disturbances to regular imports, the stocks cannot be brought down
to the minimum peacetime level. But what I asked the Minister of Food the
other day, and now ask the Minister of State, is whether he will now give an
undertaking that the Government will make a further contribution from the
excess of our stocks over peacetime standards as and when importation becomes
regular and the temporary disturbances of regular importation disappear. This
would involve no reduction of our rations and no danger to them. .

Food From Denmark
MR. R. R. STOKES (Labour): I, with others in this House, have been en-
gaged in trying to arrange for certain credits to be made available in Denmark, in
order that surplus food in that country can be given to the starving people of
Europe, wherever they may be. The astonishing thing is that, having been spend-

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 699

Sng something of the order of 4,000,000,000 a year in blowing peoples' heads
f, we now find the greatest difficulty in getting the Treasury to agree to a
Ialtly 250,000 being sent to Denmark for the purpose of buying food. In Den- a
mark, food is so plentiful that it is literally rotting. They reckon that they have
20,000 head of cattle a week surplus, and have nowhere to send it; they have a pro-
portionate amount of other animals and other kinds of foodstuffs. I appeal to the
Government to support the work that UNRRA is doing by stopping this non-
sense about the "dead hand" of the Treasury, which tries to stop every humane
effort. A sum of 250,000 is absolutely nothing, and it is rubbish that any
Department should be allowed to stand in the way of any humane contribution
which can be made from this country. The whole thing is organized; there is
no difficulty about it; the Trans-Continental Relief Committee of Denmark are
willing to organize and administer the whole thing. They are already shipping
100 tons a week, and they want to ship 3,000 tons. Put into tons, to what does
this scheme we are trying to arrange amount? It amounts to about 600 tons, or
less than one-fifth of what could be sent as relief if proper support were forth-
coming. I hope the Governmentowill do all they can to encourage this scheme.

Against Increasing British Ration
I now come to a very serious criticism of Government policy, and that is that, at
this stage in our affairs, they should see fit to increase our own rations. It can
of course be said that I, like many other hon. Members of this House, am one of
those fortunate people who manage, because the circumstances of our lives enable
us to have more food off the ration than most people. That is perfectly true, but
that is not what I am getting at. The facts of the matter are these. At this very
moment, responsible British people in the occupied territories and elsewhere, are re-
porting that millions of people will die of starvation in Europe this year. At the
same moment, it is decided by the Ministry of Food that our rations shall be
increased for Christmas. I am not suggesting for a moment that it is a bad thing
to give the kids more chocolates-I am all for it-but I do not believe that it is
really necessary, in the interests of the health of the population, to increase ra-
tions at this time, and it is a thoroughly bad example to the rest of the world. It
is suggested that we are to have an extra pound of sugar for the period. That
means 45,000,000 pounds of sugar. I know it is not very much-2,000 tons-
and I am sure a very large number of the people of this country would be willing to
go without it, if it could be sent to support the good work that UNRRA is doing.
It would be all to the good, and I think it would be better used. ...

Medical Relief for Germany
MR. EDELMAN (Labour): I want very briefly to urge the extension of
the UNRRA medical relief to Germany. At the beginning of the week I was
in Berlin. I was there not as a peripatetic Parliamentarian but as a war corre-
spondent, an occupation which I have followed for several years and a capacity
in which I have been able to see some of the devastation of war in many parts
of the world. I have seen it in Africa and in Western Europe. In Berlin, the
aftermath of war is more horrible in this aspect than in any part of Europe
or of Africa. Berlin is a corpse of a city-a corpse which is still liable to breed
infection, which, unless we control it, will spread throughout Europe and possibly
throughout the world. We know that our own military authorities, in conjunction
with the Control Commission, are doing miracles in order to help the civil popu-
lation in the cause of humanity, and also in the cause of our troops who are oc-
cupying the country. I was able to see the tail end of the Operation Stork. Those
operations consist of the evacuation of children from Berlin into the countryside

700 British Speeches of the Day

so that in the coming winter-a winter which, incidentally, has already begun
they will have the opportunity of being fed and of having some of the warm
they would be denied in Berlin. These children, for the most part orphans, all o
them otherwise destitute, have been cared for by our military authorities, and the
large part of the 25,000 who were to be evacuated have now been sent out into
the Hanover region and into other rural parts of Germany, where they will be
kept. That has been carried out under the supervision of the military authorities.
But we know that the Army is not organized to look after a civilian popula-
tion. The Army has certain services, such as its sanitary and medical services,
which, under certain conditions, can care for the civilian population; but faced with
the enormous problem of caring for the health of literally millions of Germans, our
Army is not able to do so. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that there should
be some kind of civil administration, seconding the efforts of the Army in order
to see that in this coming winter Germany does not become a center from which
those diseases which have already appeared-typhoid, diphtheria and influenza--
and. which may spread into the rest of Europe. .Already we know that in Berlin
the ordinary water from the taps cannot be drunk in its natural condition be-
cause typhoid is raging. Diphtheria is common; and influenza, particularly ow-
ing to the fact that there is almost no form of heating in Berlin, is something which
is liable to spread on a massive scale, similar to the way it spread after the last war.

Conditions in Camps
I went to one of the refugee centers-a refugee transit camp in the Krupp-
strasse, Spandau, where I saw some of the refugees who had come from the East
and were in transit to the West. I would like to say, in parenthesis, that of these
refugees, about 80 per cent were evacuees who had originally gone from Western
Germany and taken refuge in Eastern Germany, and were now trying to return
to their homes and were passing through Berlin in transit. The remaining 20 per
cent were people who came from East Prussia and Silesia because they did not
like, or, for various reasons, feared, the Russians. That was approximately the
proportion which I found by personal conversation with the refugees; but it was
confirmed by the military authorities who have charge of refugees and displaced
persons. In the refugee transit camp in the Kruppstrasse there were 3,000 people
herded together under conditions, which, I am sure, have not existed outside con-
centration camps-certainly not as bad as concentration camps but almost as badc
I was standing in a very dark corridor where all sorts of shadowy shapes lay
crowded together on the floor, and I asked the camp commandant to show me a
dormitory or a living room. He looked around him and said, "This is a living
That is the condition in which these refugees are living today. I went to the
sick room, and there, also, I saw these Germans, who were lying about, very
close to each other, covered, if they were lucky, with blankets, or, otherwise, with
any kind of material which they were able to find. Most of them were suffering
from respiratory affections, which require, in normal conditions, the most careful
nursing, and above all warmth, if they are to be cured. I asked the sister in charge
what she was short of, and she said that she was short of everything. That is
literally the condition of these people who are today sick in Germany from infec-
tious diseases which will not be confined to Germany unless they are controlled.

I therefore suggest that the Government should invite UNRRA either to alter
its constitution so that medical teams can go into Germany in order to look after
these sick people, or, alternatively, if it is impossible to alter the constitution of

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 701

UNRRA in that way, UNRRA should be invited to release part of the 1,000,000
worth of blankets now lying in America waiting to be sent to this country for
use in Europe when conditions may require them. I submit that conditions re-
quire them immediately-not tomorrow, not next month, but immediately. These
blankets are available, and if part of this 1,000,000 worth of blankets was re-
leased so that these people sick in Germany today could be properly nursed under
proper conditions, it might mean that the balance of that 1,000,000 worth of
blankets would not be necessary for Europe, because the infections would not
have spread from Germany. It is equally clear that, if these people suffering
from infectious diseases are not given proper attention, so that these diseases can
be controlled, 1,000,000 worth of blankets will not be adequate to get the sick
restored to health, because the infection will have spread through Europe.
Therefore, I hope that we will recognize that Germany cannot be isolated
from Europe, and that every child that dies in Germany through. infectious
disease may be duplicated in other parts of Europe to which these infectious
diseases may spread. I believe that there will be very few people who will
not be responsive to the call of humanity, but, if there -are some who are not
responsive to that call, then I am sure that even they may be responsive to the
call of self-protection. Therefore, because of the motive of self-protection against
what may come out of Germany-which, at the present time, is a breeding
ground of contagion and infection-and, above all, because the German people
are human beings like ourselves, I would urge that we invite UNRRA to do
everything possible immediately-at least, to send medical teams to Germany, to
release medical supplies, and to release blankets, so that disease in Germany this
winter may be controlled.
A Plea for Austria
MR. CROSSMAN (Labour): My hon. Friend the Member for West Coven-
try (Mr. Edelman) has been discussing a country for which UNRRA has not
assumed responsibility. I want to turn to a country where UNRRA has assumed
responsibility, but in which almost nothing has been done, and to which reference
has been made by the Senior Burgess for Oxford University (Sir A. Salter). I feel
that, before UNRRA assumes further responsibilities, we must take into account
this particular country. I remember that, during the war, I used to broadcast to
Austria, and we used to drop leaflets over the country, promising the Austrians
independence and that they would be cared for if they did their part as part of
the United Nations, and I cannot help thinking that this House ought to look at
the condition of Vienna and the Austrian countryside today. What has Austria
got, instead of the independence we promised? She finds herself divided into
four absolutely separated zones, making any sort of economic life totally impos-
sible. She has had imposed on her something up to 1,000,000 foreign soldiers to
defend her from Heaven knows what, and this instead of the independence which
we, day after day over the B.B.C. and night after night through British leaflets,
promised that desperate and pitiable country.
I ask that the Minister of State should give the House an assurance today that
UNRRA will not only assume responsibility for Austria but will do something
about it now, in the next few weeks, before this winter is fully upon us. I have
had some connection with the Socialists of Vienna. After the last war and the in-
credible suffering which Vienna went through, a beautiful and great town was
created in Central Europe-a town in a unique position, because it bound together
the West and the East, a town which was a meeting place between the currents of
thought from Communist Russia and from us over here. The resurrection of Vienna
is not something we plead for only in the name of humanity. We plead for it be-
cause of its importance for promoting a peaceful and united Europe and because of

702 British Speeches of the Day

the contribution which Vienna can make in helping to keep the peace of Europe.
We permitted Vienna to rebuild herself, but we also permitted her once again to be
betrayed through the Nazis. I feel that the Western nations have a special re-
sponsibility, through UNRRA, for looking after the Austrian people.

Asks About Food Supplied to Yugoslavia
May I turn now to a country adjacent to Austria-Yugoslavia-and here there
is a ditierent point to make to the Minister of State. After the last war, one of
the disasters was the suspicion-I am afraid very often confirmed-that food was
supplied as a political lever to countries which were "good" from the point of
view of the nation which supplied the food. If one wanted to suppress a Left-
Wing rising in a country, one did not supply them with rations that would enable
them to survive. For good or ill, and here I plead guilty in a small n ay, as a
journalist, 'for an article which I wrote some weeks ago, the impression has gone
abroad that, whereas the Western Powers have poured food into Greece, very
little went into Yugoslavia. I did go into the matter, and I think there are
good and convincing reasons which were given to us indicating that it was partly
the Yugoslav suspicions of the conditions under which UNRRA officials came
into their country which slowed up supplies of food. Unfortunately, the suspicion
is very widespread indeed in Eastern Europe that UNRRA is supplying much more
food, proportionately, to Greece than to Yugoslkvia, and conclusions are drawn
from that which are wholly disadvantageous to collaboration between the West
and the East in Europe. I very much hope that the Minister of State can officially
and categorically give the lie to the suggestion that we are in any way denying
supplies to Yugoslavia on account of political reasons or-dislike of the regime..

Approves of British Ration Increase
Finally, may I speak on the subject of food and rations raised by my hon. Friend
the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes). I rather wish the subject had not been
raised this afternoon because I think it is really irrelevant, but, since it has been
raised, I think that those of us who differ from him have a duty to say why we
differ. The other day a very wise man reminded me of a saying of an elder
Socialist, that one of the most common and tragic mistakes of Socialists is to legsi-
late as though the rest of the country were Socialists; that the greatest danger of all
is to believe that one's own ideals are always automatically shared by everybody
else. I believe that in this particular matter of the small extra grant of rations for
Christmas, the Minister of Food has probably done a wise thing in terms of the
production of this country. I think it was a wise thing to recognize the fact in a
small way at Christmas time that the people in.this country, after six years of war,
are at peace.
MR. STOKES: May I interrupt my hon. Friend? I do not.object in the
slightest to his disagreeing with me. I was not trying to say that people would not
like to have more; I said that if the country really knew the facts, a very large
majority of the people would be only too willing to give up the extra ration
MR. CROSSMAN: It was that view of the hon. Member for Ipswich which
1 was begging leave to doubt, and whether the Government would be wise to legis-
late from that point of view. I do not think we fully realize the lack of variety in
our food, and the effect on production in this country-at least in, the constituency
I represent-of the deadly monotony of the food which the people are receiving.
The value of this small extra ration is not so much the extra quantity of calories.
Rather it is the effect of a little extra for Christmas on production.
The second thing I want to say is this . Some hon. Members talk as though
no sacrifice has been made by this country, but, compared with countries like the

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 703

United States-indeed, compared with any country in the world-what has been
given by this country already in the cause of Europe is unbelievable .... I think
we can afford to give this little extra at Christmas, when we bear in mind what
has been given already, and will be given in the future by this country and by the
Minister of Food. I was privileged to be a member of a deputation which visited
him the other day, and as I sat there I began to wonder whether in any other
country in the world there could be a Debate in which, in a friendly way, a
Minister of Food was pressed, and had to defend himself, on the subject of
whether he should keep this food for the British people. It is a thing of which
we can be proud, that in this country the Minister of Food is under constant prep-
sure to cut down what he has in reserve. He was asked, "Have you really scraped
the bottom of the barrel?" and he said, "Yes, I really have scraped it." It would
be very misleading if any hon. Member gives any other impression than that.
I would like to ask also whether in telling this great story of what we as a
country have done already in cutting down our stocks to the minimum, we will re-
member the fact that next year we shall not get all the wheat we want, and that. for
this reason we have to maintain stocks for next year. Could not we have this
story told to make us proud this Christmas of what we have given away? As
members of that deputation know, there would have been a considerably greater
special ration this Christmas if we had not given food away, and that fact everyone
of us, and everybody in the country, has the right to know this Christmas. Every-
body in America and in Europe has the right to know that we are in fact scraping
the bottom of the barrel, and that our rations are onlyi the bare minimum to
maintain production, if, indeed, it is the bare minimum for that purpose. Those
facts must be known in the world if we are to get our contribution to UNRRA,
and to our vast problem of feeding Europe in the right perspective.

A Plea for Imagination and Conscience
MISS RATHBONE (Independent): The point I want to make is this: for
God's sake do not let us forget that we are a democratic people with a long
training in the whole technique and morale of democracy. That is what gives
us, to an extent to which I do not think any other country has-not even the
United States-that deep sense of responsibility for what our Government does
and what happens in the world. I think this is one of the most precious traditions
that we have. There is all this talk about saving of diet, and about how people
want a little extra at Christmas. I think that the children may want a few extra
sweets, but are we such a nation of greedy beasts that we want to be reminded of
the significance of Christmas by getting a few extra ounces of sweets? It is a very
important thing to have a well-nourished nation; it is still more important to have
a nation whose imagination and conscience are so sensitive that they cannot bear
to rejoice in Christmas so long as they feel that not only tens of thousands but
millions of people are to suffer. Some of these people are ex-enemies, if you like,
but they include people who had to fight as we never fought-the anti-Nazi Ger-
mans who fought, long before we did.
I get letters every day from my constituents-and I am proud of my constitu-
ents-and hardly ever is there a letter which does not say, "Do tell us what we can
do; do tell us that we can do something to help these people of starving Europe."
I had a letter only this morning, which said, "How can I sleep in my warm bed
at night, when I think what the mothers, children and old people in Germany are
suffering just now?" I think it is a precious thing that they have this sense of
responsibility, because I think that is what has helped to make our nation great. I
should despair of our nation if I thought that its people were thinking more of
.what little extra luxuries they could scrounge, than they were of their responsibili-

British Speeches of the Day

ties for their fellow Christians, for the people of the liberated areas, for their
ex-enemies, because we are a Christian nation after all, or are supposed to be. Letd
us keep that tradition, because it is a very precious one.

Plea for Austria Supported
MR. PETER FREEMAN (Labour): I rise to reinforce the appeal already
made on behalf of the people of Europe. I have also been to many countries re-
ferred to today-Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other countries-
and I can speak with a certain amount of experience of what is happening. I wish
particularly to appeal on behalf of Austria, because that country stands somehow
in a rather peculiar and unusual position in this matter. It was made clear at
the Potsdam Conference that there should be no discrimination, either of na-
tionality or race, between those who would receive help and rehabilitation, but
it happens the Council of UNRRA, before they can take effective action, must
apparently secure an invitation from the country concerned. Where a country
like Austria has not yet been recognized as a country by the authorities concerned,
it is unable to make such an appeal. As a result, no appeal has yet been made
that Austria should receive the help of UNRRA. That is partly because the Allied
Council working in Austria have not given an invitation, or have not seen fit to
find it necessary to give one.
No one who has gone there can fail to realize the urgent necessity for Austria
to receive some help from the UNRRA organization. If the Minister can make
representations to the Allied Council in Vienna that they themselves shall give
an invitation, that might be the first step. No one in Austria, except certain dis-
placed persons, has received any help from UNRRA. When one sees the
help Austria needs, and the incredible conditions there, and remembers the fact
that she was one of the first of Hitler's victims and has. suffered almost as much
as any other country-one realizes she is a country that needs the greatest and most
effective help. If, therefore, the Minister could bring whatever pressure he could
on the Allied Council in Vienna to meet and make an official application, this
would set things going so that it would not be long before effective help could
be given to Austria. There has been too long a delay and this red tape does not
seem to be necessary. It is essential that the Minister should, if he can, bring effec-
tive pressure to bear in this direction.

Asks That UNRRA Be Better Supplied
LIEUTENANT HERBERT HUGHES (Labour): I would not have inter-
vened in this Debate if it had not taken a line which I feel I must strengthen if pos-
sible, because of my own experiences in Western Europe, because of reports which
I have just received from field workers in UNRRA itself, and because I was
talking to a field worker straight back from a displaced persons' camp in Ger-
many last week. He was describing the frustration that so many UNRRA work-
ers are feeling. This frustration seems to arise from the fact that UNRRA ap-
pears to them, at any rate, to be very low down on the list of priorities, and
they feel all the time that whatever UNRRA wants, whether it be transport
or whether it be even a screw-driver, they are battering their heads against a
brick wall. The military authorities seem to be far better off than they,are, and the
UNRRA workers find great difficulty in getting what supplies they have. She
described to me the conditions in this displaced persons' camp, the peoples of
which camp were, of course, our Allies.
There is an appalling shortage of clothing. One of the first things that the
Second Army noticed when it went into Germany was the amazingly high stand-

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities

ard of clothing in Germany, compared with the conditions that they had seen
n Holland, in Belgium and in this country.* It looked to most of us who have
seen these Allied countries that the German population were out in their national
Sgarb, in their best Sunday clothes, to welcome the British Army coming in but,
of course, the German population had pretty well looted the rest of Europe for
I know that there have been a certain number of levies on the German popula-
ti6n since that time, but in view of the standard of clothing of the people in these
displaced persons' camps, I wonder why it is not possible to make further levies on
the people of Germany, particularly in the countryside; not in the big cities where
they have suffered so much from bombing. I was told that in this displaced
persons' camp there were two to three families, men, women and children, living
in one room, and I ask if something cannot be done to billet these people on the
German countryside. She described how the men and women were using rows of
open latrines, and all the difficulties that that was causing; how the schools that
they had got running were having to be closed down because of the lack of fuel;
how these people were demonstrating and asking to go back to their own countries.
There was no hope of their getting back to their own countries because of the lack
of transport. She also told me how the only hospital facilities obtainable fell well
below the level of the old-fashioned and worst type of casual ward in this country.
That is about our Allies.

Asks That All Be Treated Alike
I think one of the most important things that has been said 'during this
Debate is that we should get away from discriminating between nationalities in
this problem of Europe, that the administration of this problem was being held
up and crippled all the time by authorities asking, before they would give any
help, whether this was an ex-enemy or whether the other was an ex-Ally. The
situation in Europe today is too desperate for that kind of red tape to hold up
our administration any longer. This is a problem of humanity and we have to
deal with it as that sort of problem. I saw the refugees coming into Berlin from
the East, and I saw what was happening in one of the reception stations.' The
conditions there are absolutely deplorable. They reminded me of the London
tube shelters in the very early days of the blitz before our Civil Defence organiza-
tion had got the situation in hand properly. The only difference, of course, was
that our people were just going down for the night while they had been living
under these conditions for weeks at an end. All these families had nowhere to
go and they did not know when they would have to move on. The only food
supplies during the day consisted of one bowl of weak soup in the middle of the
day and a cup of coffee and perhaps a biscuit at night. These people were German
refugees and consequently UNRRA have not tackled the problem at all. The
German Red Cross organization was doing what it could, faced as it was with
enormous shortages of supplies and so on. But this is not a problem only of
refugees. In Berlin it is a problem of the whole of the child population. I saw
something of what they were trying to do to get the children to school and to keep
them off the streets. But you cannot give children education in schools without
windows and when they have not had enough to eat. That is an impossible
Electors Ask to Send Food

My constituency is what one might almost describe as being in the Middle
West of this country, and you would hardly expect them to be particularly
interested in what is happening in.Central Europe. However, I have had a volun-
tary petition signed by hundreds of people asking if it is not possible for theM

706 British Speeches of the Day

voluntarily to surrender a certain amount of their points or of their surplus foo
to help starving Europe. I wish to'join my voice to those of the hon. Gentleme
who have spoken before me. We appreciate very much what the Minister of
Food has done. No one wants the rations of our people to be reduced, but if people
voluntarily wish to contribute their little mite to help this enormous problem of
Europe, by surrendering things of which they feel they have a surplus, I ask
whether the Government cannot help them by giving facilities to get the clothing
or the food or whatever it may be across to Europe. By what we do in this we
,shall be judged in the years to come.

The Magnitude of UNRRA's Task
THE MINISTER OF STATE (Rt. Hon. P. Noel-Baker): It is only two
years since UNRRA came to life with the support of more than 40 of the United
nations. At Atlantic City it was decided that those countries which had not been
occupied should be invited to contribute to the relief and rehabilitation of the
victims of aggression-and I emphasize victims of aggression-the sum of 1 per
cent of their national income in the year which ended in June, 1943; and that an
international organization should be created to collect the money, plan the pro-
grams, procure the supplies and help and supervise their distribution. Ninety per
cent of the resources was to be made over in goods and services, and not more
than 10 per cent in foreign exchange.
I would ask the House to reflect on the nature, the magnitude and the difficulty
of the task that was imposed on UNRRA. It was not, in fact, the first executive
task ever undertaken by an international institution. . But UNRRA's task was
incomparably more difficult and greater in scale than anything proposed or even
discussed before. One per cent of the income of the uninvaded countries came to
a little less than 500,000,000. The money, supplies and services were to be ob-
tained from over 40 countries. It was to be administered-that is to say, UNRRA
would be operating and would have its personnel-in almost 20 countries.
UNRRA was to be responsible for the planning, the procurement of supplies,
supervising, and, if need be, organizing the distribution. Its duty was not merely
to relieve distress but, in accordance with the second "R" in its name, to rehabili-
tate as far as it might, and to help to put these countries on their feet. Nowadays,
500,000,000 seems almost a trifling sum-only about what it cost to produce the
first atomic bomb-but to administer 500,000,000 in 20 countries is a vast under-
taking. UNRRA's staff had to be international.
SIR A. SALTER: Surely, UNRRA is not operating in anything like that
number of countries?
MR. NOEL-BAKER: It has had smaller missions doing smaller jobs in some-
thing like 20 countries, including North Africa, France and Belgium. Those are
small-scale jobs, of course, and not the large-scale ones.
SIR A. SALTER: There has been no expenditure of money?

Red Tape
MR. NOEL-BAKER: But there has been administration in all these cases.
It is a very complicated problem keeping control in a large number of place es. That
is the only point I am trying to make. It had to be an international administra-
tion, in every phase of the work and in every section of the personnel, and for all
the countries it had to build up an international team. And UNRRA was work-
ing under very stringent limitations. The Governments, in their wisdom, de-
cided in their Agreement, that the resources placed at the disposal of UNRRA

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 707

should only be drawn on through the governmental agencies of the different
ember States; and all its operations must be agreed with the governments con-
cerned, or with the military authorities in occupation of the particular countries.
In other words, every proposal had to be clear with one or more governments
before UNRRA could go ahead. It has been said that UNRRA accumulated the
red tape of more than 40 nations. I think it would be truer to say that 40 nations
'tied UNRRA in their red tape.

Limitations and Difficulties
There was a second limitation, and here I touch upon the point of discrimi-
nation between countries, which was raised by so many hon. Members this
afternoon. It was decided at Atlantic City that UNRRA would operate in
countries which had been under enemy occupation, and that in ex-enemy coun-
tries it could only -operate by a specific decision of the Council. Some such
decision had to be made. Third, it operated under limitations of finance. One
per cent is a large sum of money, and we are hoping for more; but even so it
was far less than was required for the immense task in view. Most serious of all,
UNRRA had to make its plans and build up its staff while the war was in its
most intense and fiercest phase. There are great difficulties in creating any inter-
national staff. . The people have to work outside their own countries, and
they have to work with people of other nationalities; a balance has to be kept
between different nations, without getting loaded up with duds.
The task of the Director-General of UNRRA in making a start to administer
this great sum of money required a large staff, and a staff with specialized knowl-
edge of every sort-administration, supply, shipping, doctors, transport, engi-
neers, bacteriologists, and anything you will. He had to get people who would
be able to work in the field, who would know how to get on in strange countries
with the Governments, the local authorities, the military and the people. I have
had to do that, and it is not an easy job. He had no idea how soon the war
would end. He had to get his people ready in case the war collapsed. He did
not know if the organization would have to go into action in six, 12 or 18 months.
He did not know how long he would have to keep his people waiting doing
nothing, and with all the demoralization that that would involve.
Above all, almost no Government . would give to UNRRA any able men
or women at all, because every able man and woman was already engaged in a
job of national importance for the prosecution of the war. Whenever you asked
for X, Y or Z the Government said, "Well, perhaps when the war is over, but
now it is really impossible." Every man had to be gouged out from the national
administration by a process that was long and painful. It is a miracle that any
staff was got together. Of course it was not perfect; of course in staffing and in
planning there were, in the words of the Senior Burgess, "grave defects"; but as
the most distinguished Director-General, Governor Lehman, said in August, the
only way to have avoided mistakes was to have made the greater mistake of doing
nothing and, thank God, he did not do that. ...

Criticisms of the Staff and Salaries
There was also the great difficulty of deciding how and when they could take
over from the military, who occupied the liberated countries. There were great
difficulties of every kind. The critics were sometimes very active. May I deal
with some of their criticisms and, very briefly, with some also that were not
mentioned this afternoon. It is said that the salary scales were excessive. You
have to pay money if you want good men for international work. UNRRA's

British Speeches of the Day

scales were not higher than those in any other international organization, and
am certain it was right to pay the money. Secondly, it was said the staff was u
suitable, inefficient, Communistic and generally objectionable in every way. If yol
consider the circumstances of recruitment, of course there may have been some
people on the staff who were not of the first class, but I could not admit any
general indictment of that kind against the staff of UNRRA. On the contrary,
I submit that a surprisingly large proportion of the staff of UNRRA have proved
to be extremely good, and, as the Senior Burgess said, there has been a marked
improvement in recent months. Some of the misfits have been weeded out, and
perhaps it is some of the misfits who have been spreading some of the stories
about UNRRA. That also happens. We have done our best to give good men
to UNRRA. We gave Commander Jackson, who did such a splendid job in the
Middle East Supply Center for the Ministry of War Transport, Sir Humfrey Gale
for the European Office, Sir Frederick Morgan for Displaced Persons, and Major
General Lewis for financial control in Europe. I assert that UNRRA has now
a fine team at work. Immense credit goes to the Senior Burgess for Oxford Uni-
versity, who had a large share in it in the early stages, when the work was
hardest and most thankless.

Imputed Discrimination
In the third place it has been said, and has been repeated this afternoon, that
UNRRA goods are not properly distributed, that they reach the wrong people,
that there is discrimination on political, racial and other grounds. All kinds of
accusations are made. How well I know it! They were made against Dr. Nansen
in 1921 when he was collecting money for the famine in the Soviet Union. There
were accusations, which were without a shadow of foundation, that his goods
were going to the Red Army, and those accusations had the effect of drying up
the sources of charity and caused many, many people in the Soviet Union to die.
It has also been a general rule in the past that you can say anything about an inter-
national organization. Why not? It cahnot defend itself. I would say that some
of these accusations have been too readily believed. Every accusation brought up
about the administration of UNRRA is thoroughly investigated. A few minor
cases of discrimination in distribution have been found both in Greece and in
Yugoslavia, never by the policy of the Government, but by somebody very low
down in the scale in the system of distribution. They have been put right.
UNRRA was heavily criticized for allowing the Yugoslav Army to use UNRRA
tractors to make airfields. But it was proved on investigation that, when this
accusation was made, UNRRA had not supplied a single tractor to Yugoslavia.
Perhaps I may add, in answer to a specific Question put to me by the Senior Bur-
gess, that there has never been a single caSe of obstruction of the supervising
personnel of UNRRA in Yugoslavia from first to last, and it is my belief that the-
administration there, under a member of the staff who comes from the Soviet
Union, have done a splendid piece of work.

The Greek Black Market
Of course there have been complaints of waste, extravagance and inefficiency.
They are all examined. Most of them prove to have no foundation of any kind.
Nearly all are grossly exaggerated or capable of some other explanation. I was
asked about the black market in Greece. The question was raised the other day
by my hon. Friend the Member for West Coventry (Mr. Edelman), who made
so admirable a speech this afternoon. I would not accept the figure he then gave
of 25 per cent of UNRRA goods reaching what is called the black market. I
should like more evidence. But let him consider what actually happens in a

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities

Solace like Athens. I know the facts. The poor working man is entitled to buy
read and other UNRRA goods, let us say tinned fish, at UNRRA prices. When
e gets the fish he thinks he cannot afford to eat it, because he can sell it for a
much higher price and buy more bread. It is the old economic phenomenon: if
poverty increases, more bread is eaten and not less, because it is the cheapest form
of food and other items of diet are left out.

A False Charge
Let me take two examples of accusations of waste and extravagance on the
part of UNRRA. A member of a United States Government agency, FEA, wrote
a very critical letter to UNRRA, saying that the goods were being so badly han-
dled in a certain European country that a very large proportion were being spoiled
before they could reach the consumers. He was bold enough to give the actual
quantities of the goods which had been lost. The charges were investigated by
UNRRA and by high officials of the United States Army and the Allies. They
found that the charges were almost totally without foundation. In regard to milk,
for example, the amount which was alleged to have been spoiled was four times
greater than the total amount of milk which UNRRA had taken into the country.
The same man alleged that UNRRA's supplies of codfish and flour were stored
in the same warehouse, and were so badly disposed that the codfish was dripping
on the flour and ruining it. It was found that flour and codfish were in the same
warehouse and that the codfish was above the flour-but there were three con-
crete floors between them; and in any case neither the flour nor the codfish be-
longed to UNRRA.
Of course there were mistakes, grave defects, if you will some waste of money,
some inefficiency of method and personnel, but British experts who have ex-
amined the whole thing tell me that UNRRA would stand up very well to a
comparison with our own Supply Departments in the early stages of the war,
and, as I have said, recently a great improvement has been made. I venture to
say of UNRRA's administration that since it began to work, not long ago, it has
come through the test of action with remarkable success.

What UNRRA Is Doing: Displaced Persons
What is the work it has done? I begin with what is often believed to be the
most important part of its work, though, in fact, it is not, and that is the care and
repatriation of displaced persons. In the Middle East UNRRA has-it was its
first duty in the field-taken over 46,000 Greeks and Yugoslavs who were refugees,
.and a few others.
UNRRA have looked after them in camps and they have repatriated 33,000
already. In Germany at present, they are helping the military authorities to ad-
minister and look after about 1,000,000 displaced persons. They are in 400
camps; in 200, under military direction, the administration is in the hands of
UNRRA. In about 100 more, UNRRA personnel are working under military
chiefs. It is hoped that in a short time, a month or two, when the agreements
have been made and the transition worked out, UNRRA will take over full re-
sponsibility. The money to be spent on these displaced persons up to the end of
this year will be about 28,000,000, that is to say, about 10 per cent of the total
that will have been expended.
I was asked some questions about the life of the displaced persons in Germany.
Camp life is never very cheerful, but we hope that improvements may be made.
UNRRA are making plans for this, plans to bring books and wireless sets, and


British Speeches of the Day

to do anything else that can be done, as soon as they have the responsibility
At the present time they must work to the direction of the military authorities
I was asked whether any of the displaced persons were given jobs to do, whether
any attempt was made to organize work. Some work is being given to displaced
persons in these camps; but there is this great difficulty about it. Everybody
hopes that those persons will return to their homes. It is the pJlicy of UNRRA
and of our Goverhment to encourage those who are willing to do so to return
as soon as may be. As a consequence, there is always a chance of immediate de-
parture from day to day. In fact, repatriation is still going on very fast. There-
fore, it is not so easy to organize work as it appears to be at first sight. What can
-be, done is being done, and I hope that improvements may be made.
MR. STOKES: May I put a question to the hon. Gentleman? Is it a fact
that what he says does not apply to people who declare that they are not going
MR. NOEL-BAKER: That is quite true, but before it becomes definite that
they are not going back, and before they are sorted out into separate camps, a
great deal of organization has to be done. It is not at all an easy matter. As to
displaced persons in Italy, UNRRA is giving a great deal of help to people who
are not in camps.
Medical Services
In the second place, UNRRA have given medical relief to certain paying
countries, those who have foreign exchange, such as France, Belgium, Hol-
land, and so on. They have sent medical missions, welfare centers and hospitals,
arid they have sent in urgent medical supplies. At one time, SHAEF was giv-
ing 50 tons of shipping space per week, and each ton was not an ordinary ton of
commercial goods, it was key stuff of the highest value to the countries who re-
ceived it. UNRRA health services at the end of September, taking the countries
they were working in as a whole, included more than 1,000 hospitals with more
than 1,000 doctors, a great army of nurses, sanitary engineers, and other experts.
I was asked by my hon. Friend the Member for West Coventry (Mr. Edel-
man) whether UNRRA's health services could be extended to Germany. I
have asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to look especially into that
question and into all that my hon. Friend has said this afternoon. I can only say
that in the camps for which they are responsible UNRRA will certainly organize
adequate health services when they take over, if those services are not adequate
already, as I hope they are. I was told by the Generals in Germany not many
weeks ago that, so far as the German people are concerned, after very careful-
examination, they hoped that the medical services were already strong enough to
deal with any epidemics that might arise. But, as I have said, the Chancellor of
the Duchy will look into this matter again.

Relief Shipments
Incomparably the most important part of UNRRA's work is its over-all
relief to countries which have been so smashed by the war that they simply can-
not rehabilitate themselves. Unless UNRRA can help them they will certainly
go into chaos. UNRRA brings them foreign exchange which they could not
otherwise obtain. In a world of Combined Boards, it helps them to procure and to
ship the goods. It helps them often, when their national administration is in
chaos, to plan the distribution of the goods. That work of over-all relief and
rehabilitation is now going on upon a considerable scale, as I shall show, in
Greece, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Albania. It began with material

UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities 711

ich was made available by the military authorities. Last April, UNRRA began
ship for themselves-25,000 tons. By the end of September they had shipped
nearly 2,000,000 tons; by the end of October 2,660,000 tons, and by the end of
this year the total will be 4,000,000 tons.
The value is about 250,000,000. I divide it up, in order to answer one other
question. By the end of 1945, Greece will have received 61,500,000, Yugoslavia
62,000,000, in spite of the fact that it began much later, that the port capacity
is much less and that there was the difficulty which was mentioned at the begin-
ning of this Debate; Poland, if the port capacity will allow it, 68,500,000,
Czechoslovakia 50,500,000, Albania 4,250,000, and Italy 34,250,000, under
the restricted scheme of help given so far.

Apportionment of Expenditure
I was asked also what proportion UNRRA were spending on the different
kinds of help. Broadly, 33 per cent is spent on food, 30 per cent on clothing,
textiles and footwear-footwear being of vital importance for the re-starting of
work in the fields and factories-24 per cent on industrial items, 13 per cent on
medical items and medical supplies. Roughly, 65 per cent is on relief and 35 per
cent is on rehabilitation. That is for 1945. I have the figures for 1946 if any hon.
Member would like to see them; they show that rehabilitation will account for
rather more than half of the whole resources which UNRRA will make available
in the coming year.

Some Examples of Resourcefulness
In this work, UNRRA has shown great ingenuity and resource in dealing with
difficult situations. They flew from Egypt 50,000 grey mullet to restock the lakes
in Greece; they provided equipment for divers to work on sunken relief cargoes
in Trieste; following a radio appeal, they flew six iron lungs to Czechoslovakia to
deal with an epidemic of meningitis; they supplied 24 portable flour mills in Italy
and have flown serum for typhus control to different countries. They have not
been stereotyped' or bureaucratic in what they have done.

Transport Figures
I must say a special word about transport, because it is vital to rehabilitation,
as the right hon. Member for Oxford University has so often emphasized. Up
to the present time, UNRRA have procured 53,303 road vehicles for those
UNRRA countries, the receiving, non-paying countries, of which 24,800 or 25,000
in fact have actually been shipped. That is on top of the vehicles sent to France,
Belgium and the North-West of Europe, which are very considerably more than
20,000 in number. It is not the 100,000 or more for which my right hon. Friend
has asked, but he has always recognized that his program would have to be spaced
out over the winter. It is very nearly up to the figure which the receiving coun-
tries could take. I hope it can be accelerated, and I never cease from pressing the
matter myself.
SIR A. SALTER: I agree that 50,000 would have been quite a reasonable
figure, had they been got into the countries concerned more quickly. But, as the
right hon. Gentleman says, only half has. been shipped. Considerably more has
actually arrived and been in operation in the recipient countries.
MR. NOEL-BAKER: But if you.count in North-West Europe, it is nearly
50,000 now. Greece, altogether, has had about 7,000 lorries; Poland 10,000-
that is to the end of last month-and in Czechoslovakia, 4,600 and so on. The
rate of supply is pretty fast. We ship from this country 75 a day for five days
a week for Poland, and we are sending to Czechoslovakia 125 a week. .

British Speeches of the Day

The Movement of Coal in Germany
EARL WINTERTON (Conservative): May I ask the right hon. Gentleman
what I think is a very important question? It is well known that, in Germany
the difficulty to be faced this winter is that of moving coal because of the lack of
transport. That is a desperate situation. In any of the countries in which UNRRA
does operate, there should be public authority to authorize the use of these trucks
to move coal.
MR. NOEL-BAKER: Of course the military and other authorities in Ger-
many have their own transport. Whether it is enough or not is another matter.
They could ask for more. They are also rehabilitating railways. I have played a
small part in getting the European Central Inland Transport Organization to send
a mission to help to open up the Rhine to ensure better transport from the Ruhr.
UNRRA also has done something about railways and also about water transport
on the continent of Europe.

The British Contribution
I have been asked about how we make the British contribution. The general
answer is that we have not had difficulty in fulfilling our demands from UNRRA,
as they put them forward. At first most came from civil sources; now we are
releasing more from military stocks. I could give details if I had the time. But '
what many hon. Members want to know about is the additional supplies for
Europe. I answer thus: those supplies will not fall into our UNRRA contribu-
tions at all, either in what we have done so far or what we may do in the future.
It is more than true that our contribution to UNRRA is only a part of the great
effort for the relief of Europe which we have already made.

The Question of Discrimination Answered
I must mention also that this business of supply is not only supervised for
racial discrimination, it is also controlled by UNRRA to ascertain that it is meeting
a real need which cannot be dealt with from local sources. I give one very striking
illustration. Last April there was in Athens only food enough to provide a diet of
250 calories a day. To make it up to 2,000-not a very high standard-it was
agreed that UNRRA should provide 1,750 calories. In October local resources
rose from 250 to 450 and UNRRA reduced its supply to 1,550 to keep the
calories at 2,000. That shows how minute and how effective is the control to
ensure that what is done is really needed. The Governments have expressed* the
greatest appreciation of this work. On November 9, the second anniversary of
the establishment of UNRRA, there was a real chorus of tributes from heads of
States, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers. I am even more impressed by the
impressions brought to me by colleagues and personal friends about the work.
There is one whom I have known well, whom I trust and whose politics I do not
distrust, who has come from Poland. A colleague in a United Nations Com-
mittee same from Slovakia and told me that the name of UNRRA stood extremely
high there. A colleague of mine who was in Italy the other day said the work
done for the mothers and children-a million mothers are being fed by UNRRA-
had evoked the warmest gratitude from the whole Italian people.

Future Plans
What about the future work which UNRRA must undertake? In Austria,
the Allied Control Commission has not been able to make a request for an UNRRA
mission, because so far, I understand, the Soviet Member has not been able to say
what is required for the Soviet zone; but they have asked for a technical mission to
study the whole problem, and that mission is going, if it has not actually left.

- UNRRA'S Resources and Responsibilities

'r Humfrey Gale has been to Italy, and planning is going forward. The
NRRA authorities in Washington are actually planning loadings for Italy for
January and February, 1946. I cannot say what exact sums will be programmed,
but it is on a large scale, and I hope my hon. Friends will believe that the thing
l is being taken very seriously indeed. That is a result of decisions made by the
- Council in August last. With regard to the Far East, studies are being made and
UNRRA agents are already in the Philippines. A mission is going to China. It is
planned-that China will have roughly something in the order of 150,000,000 of
help from UNRRA, which would be about 30 per cent of one per cent of the
national income.
It is evident now that more money will be needed if UNRRA is not to col-
lapse in the early future. Last August, as the Senior Burgess for Oxford University
said, the Council decided to recommend the Governments to give a second one per
cent of their national income. I was authorized to say to the Council of UNRRA
last August that His Majesty's Government would ask Parliament to grant that
further contribution. The first contribution was 80,000,000, a trifle over one
per cent. We propose to give another 75,000,000; 155,000,000 in all, approxi-
mately two per cent. His Majesty's Government would be very glad if we could
ask the House to vote that money now. I am confident that, if we did, the House
would agree. It is not possible for me to do so for a technical reason. Under
our wartime procedure we act by Votes of Credit and in the last Vote of Credit
the Chancellor of the Exchequer took authority to make a further contribution to
UNRRA from the 2,000,000,000 for which he then asked. That will cover
us to the end of the present financial year. Perhaps we may call on 15,000,000
or 20,000,000 of that money before the end of the financial year. That is esti-
mated at 5,000,000 a month for three months, at our present rate of expenditure,
with a little over. Certainly, before the financial year is over, the Financial Secre-
tary to the Treasury will come here and move an Estimate for what further money
is needed to make up the second one per cent. Of course it will have to be
carefully examined by the House in accordance with the statutory peacetime pro-
cedure for control of all expenditure, to which we are now reverting. But I am
now solemnly declaring that it is the firm intention of the Government to ask
Parliament for an extra one per cent and I have little doubt that the House, in the
light of this Debate, will agree to vote it.

"UNRRA Is Not Charity"
There are other things I should like to say, but I will say only this in con-
clusion. UNRRA is not charity-though it might be, in view of the sufferings
of Europe and the world today. It is not a reward for services in the war, though
it might be in view of what Greece, Poland, Holland and other countries did to
help us. It is not the equalization of sacrifice, though that would be just if it
could be obtained. It is, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick
and Leamington (Mr. Eden) once said, enlightened self-interest. If we can recon-
struct these countries, if we can get international trade going three months sooner
than it would otherwise start, we make a handsome dividend on the money we
pay in. If we can stop epidemics-'and, let us remember, there were 30,000,000
cases of typhus in the Soviet Union after the last war, and 13,000,000 people died
of influenza-it is good business. But it has also a moral purpose, and so far as
His Majesty's Government are concerned, by their actions and by their example,
we are resolved that UNRRA must not and shall not fail.
[House of Commons Debates]

British Speeches of'the Day

House of Commons, November 13, 1945

SErnest Bevin): His Majesty's Government have been giving serious and continuous
attention to the whole problem of the Jewish community that has arisen as a result
of Nazi persecution in Germany, and the conditions arising therefrom. It is unfor-
tunately true that until conditions in Europe become stable, the future of a large
number of persons of many races, who have suffered under this persecution,
cannot finally be determined. The plight of the victims of Nazi persecution, among
whom were a large number of Jews, is unprecedented in the history of the world.
His Majesty's Government are taking every step open to them to try to improve
the lot of these unfortunate people. The Jewish problem is a great human one.
We cannot accept the view that the Jews should be driven out of Europe, and
should not be permitted to live again in these countries without discrimination,
and contribute their ability and their talent towards rebuilding the prosperity
of Europe. Even after we have done all we can in this respect, it does not provide
a solution of the whole problem.
There have recently been demands made upon us for large-scale immigra-
tion into Palestine. Palestine, while it may be able to make a contribution, does
not, by itself, provide sufficient opportunity for grappling with the whole prob-
lem. His Majesty's Government are anxious to explore every possibility which
will result in giving the Jews a proper opportunity for revival.

The Requirements of the Mandate
The problem of Palestine is itself a very difficult one. The Mandate for Pal-
estine requires the Mandatory to facilitate Jewish immigration, and to encourage
close settlement by Jews on the land, while ensuring that the rights and position
of other sections of the population are not prejudiced thereby. His Majesty's
Government have thus a dual obligation, to the Jews on the one side and to the
Arabs on the other. The lack of any dear definition of this dual obligation has
been the main cause of the trouble which has been experienced in Palestine during
the past 26 years. His Majesty's Government have made every effort to devise
some arrangements which would enable Arabs and Jews to live together in peace
knd to co-operate for the welfare of the country, but all such efforts have been
unavailing. Any arrangement acceptable to one party has been rejected as un-
acceptable to the other. The whole history of Palestine since the Mandate was
granted has been one of continued friction between the two races culminating at
intervals in serious disturbances.

Arab and Jew
The fact has to be faced that since the introduction of the Mandate it has been
impossible to find common ground between the Arabs and the Jews. The
differences in religion and in language, in cultural and social life, in ways of
thought and conduct, are difficult to reconcile. On the other hand, bolh com-
munities lay claim to Palestine, one ori the ground of a millennium of occupation,
and the other on the ground of historic association coupled with the undertaking
given in the First World War to establish a Jewish home. The task that has to be
accomplished now is to find means to reconcile these divergences.

Palestine (Anglo-American Committee)

The repercussions of the conflict have spread far beyond the small land in which
has arisen. The Zionist cause has strong supporters in the United States, in
Great Britain, in the Dominons and elsewhere; civilization has been appalled by the
sufferings which have been inflicted in recent years on the persecuted Jews of
Europe. On the other side of the picture, the cause of the Palestinian Arabs has
been espoused by the whole Arab world and more lately has become a matter of
keen interest to their 90,000,000 co-religionists in India. In Palestine itself there
is always the serious risk of disturbances on the part of one condition or the other,
and such disturbances are bound to find their reflection in a much wider field.
Considerations not only of equity and of humanity, but also of international amity
and world peace, are thus involved in any search for solution.
In dealing with Palestine all parties have entered into commitments. There
are the commitments imposed by the Mandate itself, and, in addition, the various
statements of policy which have been made by His Majesty's Government in the
course of the last 25 years. Further, the United States Government themselves
have undertaken that no decision should be taken in respect of what, in their
opinion, affects the basic situation in Palestine, without full consultation with both
Arabs and Jews.

Terms of Reference of the Committee
Having regard to the whole situation and the fact that it has caused this world-
wide interest which affects both Arabs and Jews, His Majesty's Government decided
to invite the Government of the United States to co-operate with them in setting
up a joint Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, under a rotating chairmanship,
to examine the question of European Jewry and to make a further review of the
Palestine problem in the light of that examination. I am happy to be able to
inform the House that the Government of the United States have accepted this
The terms of reference that have been agreed between the United States Gov-
ernment and His Majesty's Government are as follows:
(1) To examine political, economic and social conditions of Palestine as
they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein,
and the well-being of the peoples now living therein.
(2) To examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe
where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist -persecution and the
practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries, to
enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression and to make
estimates of those who wish, or will be impelled by their conditions, to
migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe.
(3) To hear the view of competent witnesses and to consult representa-
tive Arabs and Jews on the problems of Palestine as such problems are
affected by conditions subject to examination under paragraph 1 and para-
graph 2 above, and by other relevant facts and circumstances, and to make
recommendations to His Majesty's Government and to the Government of the
United States for ad interim handling of those problems, as well as for their
permanent solution.
(4) To make such other recommendations to His Majesty's Government,
and the Government of the United States, as may be necessary to meet the
immediate needs arising from conditions subject to examination under para-
graph 2 above, by remedial action in the European countries in question, or
by the provision of facilities for emigration to, and settlement in, countries
outside Europe.

British Speeches of the Day

The Committee's Procedure
Those are the terms of reference. The procedure of the Committee will be
determined by the Committee themselves and it will be open to them, if they
think fit, to deal simultaneously, through the medium of sub-committees, with
their various terms of reference. The Committee will be invited to deal with the
matters referred to in their terms of reference with the utmost expedition. In
complying with the second and fourth paragraphs of their terms of reference,
the Committee will presumably take such steps as they consider necessary in order
to inform themselves of the character and magnitude of the problem created by the
war. They will also give consideration to the problem of settlement in Europe, and
to possible countries of disposal. In the light of their investigations, they will
make recommendations to the two Governments for dealing with the problem in
the interim until such time as a permanent solution can be submitted to the appro-
priate organ of the United Nations.
The recommendation of a Committee pf Inquiry, such as will now be set up,
will also be of immense help in arriving at a solution of the Palestine problem.
The Committee will, in accordance with the first and third paragraphs of their
terms of reference, make an examination on the spot of the political, economic
and social conditions which are at present held to,restrict immigration into Pales-
tine, and, after consulting representative Arabs and Jews, submit proposals for
dealing with these problems. It will be necessary for His Majesty's Government
both to take action with a view to securing some satisfactory interim arrangements,
and also to devise a policy for permanent application thereafter. This inquiry will
facilitate the finding of a solution which will in turn facilitate the arrangements
for placing Palestine under trusteeship.

The Government's Immediate Intentions
So far as Palestine is concerned, it will be clear that His Majesty's Government
cannot divest themselves of their duties and responsibilities under the Mandate
while the Mandate continues. They propose, in accordance with their pledges,
to deal with the question in three stages:
(i) They will consult the Arabs with a view to. an arrangement which
will ensure that, pending the receipt of the ad interim recommendations
which the Committee of Inquiry will make on the matter, there is no inter-
ruption of Jewish immigration at the present monthly rate.
(ii) After considering the ad interim recommendations of the Committee
of Inquiry they will explore, with the parties concerned, the possibility of
devising other temporary arrangements for dealing with the Palestine prob-
lem, until a permanent solution of it can be reached.
(iii) They will prepare a permanent solution for submission to the
United Nations, and if possible an agreed one.

The House will realize that we have inherited in Palestine a most difficult
legacy, and our task is greatly complicated by undertakings given at various times
to various parties, which we feel ourselves bound to honor. .
Any violent departure without adequate consultation would not only afford
ground for a charge of breach of faith against His Majesty's Government but
would probably cause serious reactions throughout the Middle East and would
arouse widespread anxiety in India.

Shelter for Homeless Continentals

The Issue Cannot Be Forced
His Majesty's Government are satisfied that the course which they propose to
pursue in the immediate future is not only that which is in accordance with their
obligations, but is also that which, in the long view, is in the best interests of both
parties. It will in no way prejudice either the action to be taken on the recom-
mendations of the Committee of Inquiry, or the terms of the Trusteeship Agree-
ment which will supersede the existing Mandate and will, therefore, control ulti-
mate policy in regard to Palestine.
His Majesty's Government, in making this new approach, wish to make it
clear that the Palestine problem is not one which can be settled by force, and
that any attempt to do so, by any party, will be resolutely dealt with. It must be
settled by discussion and conciliation, and there can be no question of allowing an
issue to be forced by violent conflict. We have confidence that if this problem is
approached in the right spirit by Arabs and Jews, not only will a solution be found
to the Palestine question, just to both parties, but a great contribution will be
made to the stability and peace in the Middle East.

The Question Is Bigger Than Palestine
Finally, the initiative taken by His Majesty's Government, and the agreement,
of the United States Government to co-operate in dealing with the whole problem
created by Nazi aggression, is a significant sign of their determination to deal with
this problem in a constructive way and a humanitarian spirit. But I must empha-
size that the problem is not one which can be dealt with only in relation to
Palestine: it will need a united effort by the Powers to relieve the miseries of these
suffering peoples. I would add in conclusion that, throughout, there has been the
closest consultation between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for
the Colonies and myself in this matter; which concerns him since the Mandatory
status of Palestine brings that territory within the responsibility of the Colonial
Office, but which is also a deep concern to me, since the problem is clearly an
international problem. It is the intention of His Majesty's Government that the
problem, shall continue to be handled in close collaboration between our two
Departments, in order that the particular question of Palestine, and the wider inter-
national issues which are involved, may be harmonized and treated as a whole,
as a great human problem.
[House of Commons Debates]

House of Commons, November 13, 1945

Hon. J. Chuter Ede): It is the desire of His Majesty's Government that our con-
tribution towards the alleviation of distress in Europe shall be the maximum which
the resources of'this country permit. With this object the Government has con-
sidered which of the classes of distressed persons among the countless cases calling
for sympathy have special claims to join relatives in the United Kingdom and to
receive protection and help; and they have authorized a scheme of admission to
this country for the purposes of enabling husbands, wives and dependent children
to be reunited, of enabling young people who have no one to give them a guar-

718 British Speeches of the Day

dian's care to receive such care from relatives (whether near or distant relatives)
in this country, and of enabling elderly people who are in special need of filial
care to find shelter in the- homes of children or grandchildren in the United
In pursuance of this scheme instructions will be sent to Passport Control Offi-
cers that when a person in distressed circumstances on the Continent has an offer
from a relative in the United Kingdom of maintenance and accommodation in his
home a visa may be granted (subject to considerations of public health and charac-
ter) if the applicant falls into one of the following categories:
(1) The wife of a man who is in the United Kingdom and any of his
children under 21. If the result of bringing the wife and any children
under 21 to the United Kingdom would be to leave alone and in dis-
tressed circumstances one daughter over 21 who is unmarried or widowed
and without children, she also may be allowed to come;
(2) The husband of a woman who is in the United Kingdom, if he is
incapacitated, infirm or too old to support his wife abroad;
(3) Females under 21 with their children, if any, and males under 18, who
have no relatives to look after them abroad but have a relative in the
United Kingdom able and willing to take them into his household;
(4) The mother or grandmother of a person in the United Kingdom if she
is widowed and in need of filial care;
(5) The father or grandfather of a person in the United Kingdom if wid-
owed and in need of special care owing to age or infirmity.
(6) Where both man and wife are living together abroad, such couples may
be admitted if because of age or infirmity, or other special circumstances,
they are unable to look after and support one another, and are offered
hospitality by a child or grandchild in this country.
All admissions to the United Kingdom under this scheme will be subject to time
limits, which will be reviewed periodically in the light of circumstances obtaining
at future dates.
It will be right that many of the younger people shall engage in occupations
in which there is a special need of workers such, for example, as agricultural work,
and it will be a condition that persons admitted under the scheme shall take such
employment only as is approved by the Minister of Labour. Persons in this coun-
try wishing to invite a relative who falls into one of these categories should write,
not to the Home Office, but to the relative on the Continent a letter showing that
maintenance and accommodation is available and should advise the recipient to
show the letter to the Passport Control Officer at the British Embassy in the coun-
try in which the relative is at present. As regards Germany and Austria where
there is no British Embassy, special arrangements for dealing with applications
from persons in those countries will be worked out as soon as possible. . It
is to be hoped that other countries will share the task with this straitened island
and will, in proportion to their resources, give opportunities of refuge in their
territories to many of these victims of oppression.
[House of Commons Debates]

Civil Aviation 719

House of Lords, November 1 and 6, 1945

ment have given to this matter the full and careful consideration which its impor-
tance deserves. They have decided that public ownership shall be the overruling
principle in air transport, and that there shall be no financial participation by
existing surface transport interests in the arrangements contemplated. I wish
to make it quite clear that this decision has been arrived at in no spirit of opposi-
tion to the surface transport interests. On the contrary, the Government's civil
aviation policy will be developed with the clear intention of integrating it with the
land and sea transport systems operated by those interests. I hope that they in
turn will be similarly prepared to co-operate with civil aviation in matters of
common concern. It is my intention to have conversations forthwith with the
representatives of the surface transport interests and to discuss with them how far
co-operation is possible and how the mutual interests of transport by land, sea
and air can best be served within the framework of the Government's policy.
I recognize that both before and after the issue of my predecessor's White Paper
railway and shipping companies have given considerable study to the problems
of civil aviation, and that they and the travel agencies have experience of certain
traffic problems which will confront air transport. On this account alone I shall
value their co-operation. These conversations must be concluded before a White
Paper can be issued.
It is not my intention that civil aviation should be conducted by one monopoly
corporation. It is fairly common ground that such a form of organization is unde-
sirable and the arguments to that effect are, in my opinion, overwhelming. We
must expand our services to meet the needs of reconstruction and at the same
time build up a flexible organization capable of developing air transport to
serve people in all levels of society. We must ensure, through rivalry rather than
competition, that the opportunity is taken to try out the several possible approaches
to the problems of air transport. There is room for several organizations, but they
must be of sufficient size to be able to make the best use of their equipment and
to hold their own in the face of foreign competition. Air transport is a young
industry, and a youthful approach to it is necessary, drawing vigorously and with
imagination on ideas and experience so as to ensure the fullest and most rapid
development. Only so shall we arrive at an established corpus of factual and
proved knowledge in regard to operating.

Two New Corporations to Be Formed
I intend to establish as soon as possible, in addition to British Overseas Airways
Corporation for the Commonwealth, North American and Far Eastern services, a
corporation for operating European and internal air services, and another for
South American services. It may well be found that additional corporations, or
subsidiaries of these three, are desirable, and I shall form these at my discretion.
All such corporations or subsidiaries will be financed wholly out of public funds,
and I shall take powers to appoint their boards and to determine such appointments
if I ever think that necessary. The boards will be required to conform with Gov-
ernment policy generally, as well as with broad directives which the Minister may
issue in order to keep the corporations in step on large issues. But I shall not
regard it as part of the Minister's duty to interfere, unless exceptional cause is
shown, with the day-to-day work of administration.
My proposals will require legislation. Until that has been put through,

720 British Speeches of the Day

B.O.A.C., wlich at present functions under a directive issued on October 6, 1944,
will continue to be responsible for the operation of all external routes, and I shall
request B.O.A.C. to take steps to inaugurate the European and South American
services, and operate them until such time as the other corporations have been
formed. Meanwhile it is my intention to strengthen the Board of B.O.A.C.
I find that a very complicated, and deliberately complicated procedure is involved
to enable B.O.A.C. to operate internal air services. The point will be taken care
of in the eventual legislation which I, shall submit, and until then I shall ask the
existing internal air line operators to continue to operate.

Charter and Private Flying
To ensure full consideration of the needs of the public, a tribunal will be estab-
lished to consider representations on such matters as the adequacy of facilities and
fares and rates on United Kingdom air lines. The corporations will operate
scheduled services in the areas allocated to them. They will also be empowered to
engage in charter flying, but will have no monopoly of this, as they will have in
the case of the scheduled services. Charter flying will be open to private operators.
Aside from safety regulations, there will be no restriction on private or club flying,
or on gliding. I have consulted my noble friend the Secretary of State for Air
and am able to announce with his concurrence that he will remove the ban on
private flying with effect from January 1, 1946. I hope in the course of a few
days to make a joint announcement with my noble friend, giving details of the
removal of restrictions on civil flying.

Now for airports. The cost of providing airports has risen enormously with
modern developments. Airports must be provided on an articulated plan, which,
in addition to operational considerations, takes account also of problems of national
security and of the right use of land. For these reasons all transport airports re-
quired for scheduled services will be acquired by the Ministry of Civil Aviation
and pass into public ownership. Aerodromes such as are used solely by clubs, or
for private flying or for training, will not be so acquired. Radio, meteorological
and air traffic control services have always been carried out by Government servants,
while the owners of the aerodrome have been responsible for management and
policing. In future all these services will be the responsibility of the Ministry of
Civil Aviation.
In view of the policy of public ownership which I am announcing, I shall of
course be asked about compensation. I will not go further today than to say that-
this matter will receive most careful consideration and that fair payment will cer-
tainly be made for any physical assets taken over. Pending legislation and follow-
ing the lifting of the ban on civil flying, during that interim period, it is the case
that any air transport operator will be legally free to run air services without
specific permission. In the circumstances it is only right for me to mention that
such an operator should bear in mind that legislation will be coming along, and
that, when it does, no claim for compensation in respect of services so started will
be entertained.
I said when I last spoke that I would refer to Prestwick in my statement of
policy. Prestwick will be designated as an international airport. Plans have been
made for certain of our international services to be operated via Prestwick, the
number of them to be dependent on traffic demands. The policy ensures that
Scotland will be able to play its full part in civil aviation, with regard both to
services and to airports, by the opportunities provided for internal services, services
between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, and direct services between
Scotland and oversea countries.

Civil Aviation

Representation in the Ministry of Aircraft Production
Two other matters. My ministry has not hitherto been represented inside the
Ministry of Aircraft Production as has been the case with the other two customers
of M.A.P., the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm. I do not say that civil
aviation has suffered on that account. On the contrary, I most gladly acknowledge
the assistance I have received from my right honorable friend the Minister of Sup-
ply. But I have represented to him that civil aviation forward planning as well
as speed and efficiency in the transaction of business between our two Ministries
would be facilitated by civil aviation enjoying the same hospitality, inside the
Ministry of Supply, as do the R.A.F. and the Fleet Air Arm. My right honorable
friend has invited me to arrange for officials of my Department to have a place
within the Ministry of Supply and to work side by side and day by day with the
officials of that Ministry. In this way the closest possible co-operation will be
achieved, and I am grateful to my right honorable friend for making this arrange-
ment possible.
This, I think, is an appropriate point at which to mention the Brabazon Com-
mittee. I referred to it in my speech a fortnight ago and your Lordships will
recollect that I then expressed my thanks to the noble Lord, Lord Brabazon of
Tara, for what he has done. I repeat today that the reports of the Committee
have been of value to civil aviation and I propose to keep the Committee in
International Policy
The last matter to which I will refer is our international civil air policy. Many
negotiations with other countries are proceeding at the present moment and I must
ask not to be pressed about them. But I reaffirm as strongly as possible that His
Majesty's Government stand for order in the air, for the orderly development
generally of civil aviation. We want civil aviation to be a means of reconciling the
nations of the world to live in peace and to lay aside old hatreds and suspicions,
and to get to know each other. We want mutuality, equity, a spirit of accommoda-
tion, respect for the other nation's point of view, recognition that the other nation
is entitled to its share. We do not want competition which indulges greed at other,
people's expense. If these principles of policy which I have mentioned make their
way into general acceptance until the possibility opens out of international air
services, it will be found that His Majesty's Government has framed its civil avia-
tion policy in such a manner as to fit in with such arrangements. At this point let
me re-emphasize that equally our policy aims at the closest possible relations with
all the nations and countries of the Commonwealth, whom we wish to consult and
whose interests we wish to consider at every step of the way.

Old Mistakes Will Be Avoided
My Lords, I have spoken briefly, because I know how many noble Lords wish
to participate in this debate, and I have avoided detail because I wish to present to
your Lordships the main structure of our policy in the clearest possible fashion. In
the White Paper which will be issued, and in the debate which will follow the
introduction of legislation, it will, of course, be my duty to give your Lordships
the fullest possible information on all points and details. But on policy I will say
this. The Labour Government are not going to put new wine in old bottles. We
have to develop an important new form of transport. Mistakes will inevitably be
made in the course of doing so, because at the present time, in civil aviation, almost
everything is in an empirical state. But at least we are not going to make the old mis-
takes. Railways the world over developed amid a wild frenzy of speculation which
has handicapped them ever since. All over the world mercantile marine services
were built up amid a scramble for profits which inflicted human misery and cruelty

British Speeches of the Day

upon fine seamen who were treated like beasts. That may be old history, but
speculation and greed rear their ugly heads very quickly if given half a chance. \
The young pilots who fly our civil aircraft, and all engaged in developing our
civil aviation, shall feel that they are engaged in service to the community and the
community alone, which may eventually become service to the world. They will
do their work the better for the knowledge, because, in the main, they are young
and they want to grow up in tune with the new ideas which promise the world
peace and happiness, and unfettered by old ideas which have achieved results at
the cost of great injustice and sufferings.

VISCOUNT SWINTON: Certainly a great deal more debate will be required
when answers have been given, as no doubt they will be, to the very large number
of practical questions which will occur to your Lordships on all sides of the House,
and a few of which I should like on a first consideration to put to the Minister
myself. One thing I can say at once. No greater disservice could be rendered to
the cause of civil aviation, a vital interest to this country, than a purely academic
consideration and to plunge it into the cockpit of Party politics. I regret to say
that apparently that is what the Minister, or his Government, have decided to do.
The Minister spoke of new wine in old bottles. I could not find much new wine
in any bottle which the Minister is retailing upon his counter for our delectation
and our inspiration.

The Coalition Government's Plan
Let me remind your Lordships very briefly of the plan which a United Gov-
ernment put to both Houses of Parliament without any political prejudice about
it, setting to work whole-heartedly and without prejudice to introduce the formulae
to operate and to get the best plan we could make together for this great venture
of civil aviation. I presented it in that way to this House. Certainly nobody-the
Minister himself has endorsed this-will say that I ever introduced any political
considerations into this matter, nor, in those days, did those with whom I had the
privilege of working and formulating the plan, of whatever Party they might be.
Let me put it in the words of a far greater advocate than myself, the words of the
President of the Board of Trade, Sir Stafford Cripps. He was speaking last
March as Minister of Aircraft Production. He said that the White Paper-that
was, the plan-
"sets out the scheme which the Government put forward as being the best
and the most appropriate in the existing circumstances of today."
.The circumstances of today are no different from the circumstances of a few months
ago, except that the competition from all foreign countries has become more keen,
that the need for getting on with the job has become more urgent, and that there
is in the international situation today a need of making a real success of our air-
ports, of all the airlines of the world and across the ocean. That is more urgent
than ever before. It is the one way of earning dollars; but I do not see many
dollars coming out of this plan.
The right honorable gentleman continued:
"It is not primarily based upon a political compromise between conflicting
theoretical conceptions, but it is rather put forward on the consideration of
how to get the immediate best out of all those factors which can be brought
together to contribute to the building up of a strong and, we hope, effective
British air transport system in the future."
He went on to say that it set out certain principles applicable to British air trans-
port and the requisites for an air transport organization; and he said:

Civil Aviation

"I would like to say a few words about these two matters, because I be-
lieve that these general principles and requisites can be agreed upon by all of
us, and that that, at least, will give us an agreed basis upon which to formu-
late an organizational plan."
Then he quoted from the White Paper the following sentence:
"The test which has been applied in evolving the plan is: where can the
best contribution to British air transport be obtained, and how can it most
effectively be used to build up an organization which will fulfill our public,
commercial and social needs ?"
Frankly, I prefer that to rhodomontade or speculation about it which had no
part whatever, and should have no part in the plan on which we all agreed. He
went on:
"That seems to me to be a test which nobody could oppose. Another
principle which is of the greatest importance is that civil aviation mist be
regarded essentially as a transport service."
Now we are to discard all those who can make a real contribution in transport
today. Then Sir Stafford spoke of the operational units, and I would ask the
attention of the Minister to this if I may. I would stress this because I wish to
emphasize that none of those people who know about transport should have any
share in this business. This is what Sir Stafford said:
"These appropriately sized units must, each of them, contain the various
elements and types of experience that are best fitted to their own particular
Then he goes on to emphasize the great contribution which these transport organ-
izations, with their world-wide connections-the railways, the shipping lines, the
travel agencies--can make in building up this great new organization which will
have to face the most efficient competition we have ever had to meet in any indus-
try or any transport system. He said:
"There is, too, I believe, a further benefit in having several instruments,
as this multiplicity provides an opportunity for testing out differing transport
and so on.
The Need for Change Is Challenged
That was a very genuine attempt. It had nothing whatever to do with specu-
lation. Now there is this talk about unlimited competition on different routes. I
will not accuse the Minister of misleading your Lordships' House-I am sure he
has no such intention-but I think when he re-reads the statement he has made
he will wish to make a correction in it. I defy him to point to anything in that
scheme which would have made possible scramble and speculative competition.
He knows perfectly well that the scheme divided the great territories into units.
So far from there being scrambling competition, if there was criticism of the
plan at all it was that it did not allow for enough competition. Certainly nobody
could make the charge against it that there was going to be speculation or
scrambling competition. Then there is the suggestion that the pilots and their
welfare can only be looked after if they become servants of the State. He knows
quite well that it was an integral and essential part of the plan that everyone con-
ducting aerial services under the British flag should maintain the highest conditions
for the pilots and the air crews. In the last debate, when the Minister was asked
whether he would maintain these conditions for the pilots and the air crews which
we had laid down, he said: "Of course I can give you that assurance." It really
is throwing dust in the eyes of your Lordships to come down now and advocate

724 British Speeches of the Day

change on the ground that it is necessary in the interests of the welfare of the\
pilots. That is not the kind of argument which will carry weight in your Lord- \
ships' House. \

Are Shipping Lines and Railways to Be Excluded?
Not one single argument has been advanced today by the Minister, in the
statement which he read to us, to show why this carefully considered plan should
be changed, except the statement that everything must be State-owned. The
essence of the plan was to bring in all those who, by their experience and organ-
ization, could make it a success. Why should the railways be discarded? They
were the largest of the pre-war operators, apart from the B.O.A.C., and were
successful. Nobody would deny that. Why are the other operators, the pioneers
in these services, to have no opportunity to come in? In the shipping lines you
have an organization second to none in transport ready to your hand to use. For-
eigners, in criticizing and commenting upon the old plan, were quick to see the
value of harnessing into this effort these well-tried transport organizations with
their goodwill and their connections all over the world. All this is to go by the
board. The travel agencies are to go by the board.
Something was said about co-ordination. It will be very interesting to hear
what is actually going to be done. That would have been one of the advantages
of having a White Paper. I did not come to your Lordships' House and the
late Government did not come before Parliament until we knew how we were
going to carry out our plan, and we did not take too long about it. How, it was
going to work was made perfectly clear. Are these agencies to be discarded or
are they not? I do not know what is meant by this blessed word "co-ordination."
I understand a partnership in which all are brought into a common effort and
a common endeavor. Where everybody's interest is at stake then certainly they
can come forward as a team and make this business a success. I hope the Min-
ister, when he makes his reply, will be a little more precise as to how this is
going to work. I understand he is to appoint all the boards and sack them if
he does not like them. 'Incidentally, I would ask where is the responsibility to
lie? Is day-to-day management to be taken as meaning paying the office boy?
That is not the way in which business is conducted. Management is the whole
business of conducting an organization and making a success or failure of it, and
taking a risk in so doing.. When the Minister gets these boards appointed, does
he mean to invest in them the real control of management of the business? Let
him make plain what he does mean. He has certainly left me entirely in doubt.
I understand-perhaps he will correct me if I am wrong-that nobody is to
have a financial stake. Therefore nobody's interest is going to be excited in that
way. Does the Minister, or does he not, desire to have on these boards repre-
sentatives of the railways, the shipping lines and the travel agencies? That is a
thing we ought to be told definitely. If is a very simple and very pertinent ques-
tion. Let me put this to the Minister in order to show-I really want to be fair-
how entirely impracticable this plan is. Under the original White Paper plan
we said that the railways, the shipping lines and so on would come into this as
partners. They have great experience and they have a great future in air lines.
Tey would develop those air lines as partners and share in the advantage. I am
perfectly certain that if anybody goes into the business of competition with Pan-
American Airways and with subsidized lines in other foreign countries, he will
find it not merely a scramble but very tough going. It is not going to be a Gol-
conda. When these people were asked: "Will you come and put your stake in
this, come forward as partners?" then, of course, they were keen to develop air
lines, because as partners they would share in the advantage.

Civil Aviation

Co-operation Without Partnership?
You ask for co-ordination. By that, I suppose, you want their help in making
this thing work, and of course one 6f the advantages of asking these people in
the business to help is that you ought to co-ordinate your railway, your shipping
and your air lines, in order that people may get through tickets and, if it is a
bad day for air, travel back by railway or ship. You want your tickets to he
interchangeable. That is all right if it is a partnership, but how is that going
to work if you say: "You shall have no part or lot in this. Co-ordinate by all
means. We want to use your facilities, but the more successfully these facilities
are used in developing the air lines, the worse it is going to be for your business.
You are going to be a competitor, and not a partner." The essence of this thing
is partnership. I do not think I have at all misrepresented the noble Lord. He is
really making it as difficult as possible for these people, who are essential to the
success of this business, to co-operate, and as difficult as possible for him to run
the show, if he is going to take the responsibility of running the show.
Then I ask him this: Where is the control? He puts up the money and he
appoints the board. Is the control in the Minister, or is it in the board of di-
rectors? If it is in the Minister, then they become merely civil servants; they be-
come functionaries and get their orders from him. He will be questioned every
day in the House as to why the aircraft was late in starting, what the conditions
of service are, and so on. My Lords, we cannot have it both ways. It is quite
possible, if that is what the Minister wants, to have the whole of this business
run by the Ministry, just as the Army is run by the Army Council. Then the
responsibility is his. But what you cannot have is a dual responsibility in which
the Minister butts in when he thinks he ought to, or butts in when somebody in
Parliament butts at him. No responsible people could accept the tremendous
onus of running a great business of this kind if they are to be in leading strings
of that sort.
And what becomes of these independent managements? The essence of the
old plan was that you had independent management; you had different kinds of
experiments tried out. Is this to be a sealed-pattern management? I am abso-
lutely horrified at the proposal, as I understand it. It means that until he gets
his independent company started, B.O.A.C. is to run the whole business, and
therefore these other people, with a knowledge of transportation quite frankly
as great as that of B.O.A.C., are to take their orders from that body. That is a
very curious position. I do not see the separate and independent management.

A "Sealed-Pattern Scheme"
And new wine! What chance is there in this plan for new blood? Where
is it going to come from? Under our plan we embraced, to start with, all those
who we felt could contribute at the moment. In the future, as new lines de-
veloped -and as new opportunities occurred, anybody could come forward to the
tribunal, stake out their claim and say: "We wish to run this service"; and if the
tribunal thought they could do it well, they would give them authority to do it.
Where is the opportunity for new blood and new ideas in this sealed-pattern
scheme which is put before us today? New wine indeed!
And what are going to be the functions of this tribunal? We have not even
been told how it is to be constituted. Is that tribunal to have the absolute right
to say what the fare should be and what the services should be, if people think
they are not getting satisfactory service? We want to know about that. Then
the aircraft: who is going to order the aircraft? This is a very old question and
a very important one, and it was of the essence of the original plan that the
user, the operator, should buy the aircraft. Always we got the best fighting planes

British Speeches of the Day

by the great fighting staff working day in and day out with the designers and
the producers. We got the best ships-and we have built the most wonderful
ships in the world-by shipowners and shipbuilders working together. Who is
going to be responsible in future, in regard to the B.O.A.C, to start with, and
then the companies that are to hive off from the B.O.A.C., for placing the orders
for aircraft upon which the success of this scheme is going to depend? Is it
going to be the Minister or the company? We ought to have a very definite and
positive answer to that question.

Then I come to the question of delay. Surely we have had enough delay.
This involves indefinite delay, as far as I can see, in a situation that is urgent
arid critical. Air lines from almost every country in the world are beginning
to fly in here. Two of the American air lines, I understand, are flying here.
There are others from Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, France, Holland (I.think),
and now I hear there is one even from Denmark, in the last day or two. Under
what agreements are they operating? Is there reciprocity? If there is reciprocity,
when do we start, and who is to do the starting? Apparently it is all to be in the
hands of B.O.A.C. We had to fall behind because we gave up everything for
the war effort. I should have thought it was about time we tried to make up
for lost time and did not fall behind still further for the sake of an economic
and academic theory.
Next I come to airfields. This again seems to me to be rather the theory of
one man. I will not say much about it; I discussed it last time. I know the pride
which the great municipalities of this country have had in developing their air-
fields. Manchester built the port of Ringwood at the cost of over 1,000,000 and
came to me to say how anxious they were to develop it in the future. These mu-
nicipalities have great civic pride in these airfields, but that is all to be swept
away in a mania for spending money. I have heard no'argument advanced for
it by the Minister but simply that the Government have decided that it is a good
thing. This passion for national ownership will not even have municipal own-
ership. I should have thought that was near enough to nationalization, but ap-
parently no. This passion for national ownership is so great that even the muni-
cipalities are not to be allowed to own and develop the airports of which they
are so proud.
How far is this to go? The Minister said-perhaps this is one of the things
that has not been fully thought out and we shall see more in the White Paper-
that every airport on which a transport service lands is going to be nationalized.
He has very modest ideas of how air transport is going to develop in this coun-
try. Personally, I am very optimistic about it-at least, I was until I heard his
speech. I visualized a great network of these services linking all parts of this
kingdom, some frequent, some perhaps only once a day or only a few times a
week. No doubt he will correct me if I am wrong about this, but if the plan was
anything like what it was when I left, it involved landing at some seventy or
eighty airfields in this country which serve the population centers of this land.
The Government have really a good deal on their plate in the way of spending,
and are they really going to insist on buying out the whole of these seventy or
eighty airfields? I honestly do not speak with any political prejudice on this.
My heart is big in this civil aviation matter, in trying to make it a real success,
in trying to put this country, which had a tremendous lead in the Air Forces of the
war, to get its place in the airlines of the world in peace. I think this is the most
damning thing for the prospect of civil aviation and of all it means to this coun-
try and the Empire. It seems to me that a practical working plan, on which we

Civil Aviation

were all agreed, mobilizing all our assets and ready to function at any time, is
sabotaged for a political theory.
Is the Minister Convinced?
I wonder whether the Minister himself really believes that this is the best
way to put British civil aviation on its feet; that this is the best way to catch
up the years that we have lost, and willingly lost, because we put everything into
the war effort; that this is the best way to meet the competition that is coming
upon us now from the United States-friendly competition, if you will, but keen
as a knife-to meet that competition from every country on the airlines of the
world; and that this is the best way to get the invisible export-we hear so much
about our export trade-as well as invisible trade and the invisible export of air
transport. Does he really think that this discarding of every transport organiza-
tion, and the knowledge and experience we have, are going to be the best way
to keep the invisible export of air transport we so badly need? Is it an honest
conviction that that is going to be the wisest course for civil aviation in this
country? Well, I take it from him that he has come to that as his sincere con-
viction, but it is a sorry day for the future of civil aviation.

The Minister's Reply to Lord Swinton
LORD WINSTER: My Lords, I can address your Lordships again only with
the permission of the House, and I am very grateful indeed for that permission.
Your Lordships will agree that I have certainly had to listen to a great many
speakers in the course of this two days' debate. At one time I felt that there were
a great many lions for one rather small Christian, but I certainly have little of
which to complain in any of the speeches which have been made; on the whole,
it may fairly be said that they have been helpful, that criticism has been construc-
tive, and that points have been brought forward which deserve the fullest consid-
eration. There have been a certain number of wild and whirling words; a little
thunder has played over my head-but I am not sure that it was not stage thunder
-and there was a certain amount of gnashing of teeth, but I got the impression
that perhaps they were false teeth.
I shall deal first, if I may, with one or two of the points raised in the speech of
the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton. I would, of. course, always pay the greatest
attention to anything that he said on this subject of civil aviation, but I felt that
his whole speech was based on the assumption that the existing surface interests
will not be asked to contribute their help and experience in this matter. That
belief, if indeed it exists, ignores my statement that I am initiating conversations
with those very interests; and my personal view is that the surface transport inter-
ests will take a larger view of their public responsibilities than Lord Swinton ap-
peared ready to credit them with willingness to do. The noble Viscount asked why
the railways should be discarded, but again I would refer him to the terms of my
statement. I think the confusion in his mind is exemplified by the fact that he
said "All this is to go by the board. The travel agencies are to go by the board."
And, having asserted that they were all to go by the board, he proceeded to ask
me a question: "Are those agencies to be discarded or are they not?" I think I
am entitled to say that there was a certain amount of confusion in his mind at that
time as to my intention, and that he had not fully appreciated the passage in my
speech which dealt with the point.
Again, he asked whether this was to be a sealed-pattern management, a sealed-
pattern scheme. I had most carefully indicated in my speech that I am opposed to
the sealed-pattern scheme, to the sealed monopoly, and that I want to have several
methods of approach to civil aviation questions. He then asked me who was
going to order the aircraft. I know that that is an important point, but I think

British Speeches of the Day

that there are some considerations which are more important even than the ques-
tion of who orders the aircraft. The all-important question, to my mind, is
whether the aircraft incorporate the features that the operator wants; and, to
enable him to find out what he wants, the operator and manufacturer should be in
the very closest touch. That again I made cear in my speech on October 18.
The noble Viscount went on to say that airlines from almost every country in
the world were beginning to fly in here, and he asked under what agreements they
were operating, whether there was reciprocity, and when we were going to start.
We shall start when we have the aircraft. At the moment, comparatively few of
these countries are flying in. Those which do are operating under agreements
which provide for full reciprocity as soon as the aircraft are available. The noble
Viscount said: "I should have thought it is about time we tried to make up for
lost time." What is there in my proposals which will delay production of aircraft
by one single day? Most certainly it is in the production of aircraft that there is
delay at the present time.
The noble Viscount does not like my plan; one ground on which he objects to
it being that the surface transport interests are not allowed any financial participa-
tion in it. He prophesies woe on that account. May I ask the noble Viscount why
it is he thinks that what he agreed would work in the case of the B.O.A.C. will not
work in the case of the European and South American corporations which I am
proposing to set up?
VISCOUNT SWINTON: My Lords, I can answer that in a sentence. The
B.O.A.C. is interested only in the air. The shipping concerns and the railways are
interested both in surface transport and in air transport. There is all the difference
in the world between inviting those interests to come in as partners, so that they
will be equally interested in the success of the air lines, and in making the air
organizations their competitor.
LORD WINSTER: The B.O.A.C. is a publicly owned corporation, and the
noble Viscount assigned to that corporation the Empire routes, and perhaps the
most important route of all, the North Atlantic route, the great prestige route of
the future-
VISCOUNT SWINTON: With the shipping interests as partners.
LORD WINSTER: The shipping interests are certainly concerned, but the
noble Viscount has not brought in shipping interests as partners on these routes.
VISCOUNT SWINTON: I am sure we do not wish to have a debate on this
point, but perhaps*I may be permitted to say, as the noble Lord has appealed to
me, that if he will read the White Paper he will realize this, and I am sure that if
he asks members of the Departmental staff he will be told the same thing. In every
discussion that took place in this House and elsewhere I made it absolutely plain
that on the Atlantic route, the route to the Dominions, and the route to West
Africa, shipping lines would be brought in as partners, financial partners, of the
LORD WINSTER: They would be invited. But the B.O.A.C. has been
operating routes without partners, and operating them with complete success.
The B.O.A.C. has been operating one of the most difficult air routes in the world.
It has done what nobody else has done and has operated a transatlantic service
winter and summer, and it is operating the longest and fastest service which is
running at the present time to the Far East. If a publicly owned corporation has
shown the ability to do that, I cannot understand why other corporations under
public ownership should not, similarly, be able to make a complete success of
their work. .. [House of Lords Debates3

Further Measures for Public Ownership


House of Commons, November 19, 1945

son): His Majesty's Government believe that it is in the public interest that they
should give a general indication of the further Measures they propose to introduce
during the life of the present Parliament to bring certain essential services under
public ownership. This statement, which follows the clear indication of Govern-
ment policy contained in the King's Speech at the beginning of the Session, will
enable the Ministers concerned to enter into consultation with the industries affected.

Coal, Electricity, Gas
As stated in the Gracious Speech, the Government will introduce a Bill during
the present Session to nationalize the coal-mining industry. At a later stage in the
lifetime of this Parliament the Government intend to introduce Measures to bring
under national ownership the electricity supply industry and the gas industry.
This will implement the concerted plan for the co-ordination of the fuel and
power industries which were foreshadowed in the King's Speech.

Transport Services
It is the intention of the Government to introduce, during the life of the ,
present Parliament, Measures designed to bring transport services, essential to the
economic well-being of the nation, under public ownership and control. Govern-
ment policy in regard to civil aviation and tele-communications services has already
been announced. In regard to inland transport, powers will be taken to bring
under national ownership the railways, canals and long distance road haulage
As regards road passenger transport it is regarded as essential that the under-
takings of the municipalities and companies should be fully co-ordinated with
the national scheme, and it must be considered whether this can best be achieved
by transferring ownership to a national authority or by providing for the creation
of regional or joint boards responsible for their own finances. The second alterna-
tive would make it necessary for some control to be exercised over these boards
by a national authority in order to ensure conformity with general policy and their
proper correlation both with one another and with other forms of transport.

Docks and Harbors
Dock and harbor undertakings will be brought within the scope of the national
scheme. The most suitable form of public ownership is under examination, as is
also the question of including certain appropriate ancillary activities.

It is not the intention of the Government to propose the nationalization of the
shipping industry, and we shall rely on the industry to have full regard to the
public interest. The Government look with confidence to the shipping industry
generally to play a full part in the effort towards national economic recovery, and
are alive to the problems with which our shipping finds itself confronted as a
result of the war.

730 British Speeches of the Day

Iron and Steel
The Coalition Government invited the iron and steel industry to submit a re-
port on the improvements required to put the industry on an efficient operating
basis. The Government propose to await this report, which is expected shortly,
before taking final decisions on the future organization of the iron and steel
During the interval which will necessarily elapse before the plans outlined
above can be presented to Parliament and carried into effect, all necessary develop-
ment in the industries concerned must proceed. The Government, therefore,
propose to see that progressive undertakings will not be prejudiced if they con-
tinue to develop in the, interim periods; and the appropriate Departments will
enter into early consultations on the point with the industries concerned. ...

The compensation payable will have regard to any extent to which an under-
taking has not been maintained up to the time of transfer, and the Government
will naturally take precautions in its legislation to protect the acquiring authority
against any transactions entered into in the interim period, whether by way of
contract or otherwise, which may prejudice that authority.
The proposals outlined in this statement involve important changes in the
ownership and organization of a series of industries vital to the national well-being
-changes which were approved by the people at the General Election. The policy
issues involved must be taken as having been decided and approved by the nation,
and it will be for Parliament, Government and the active leaders and v workers of
the industries concerned to pull together in a high public spirit so that these great
changes may be carried through smoothly and successfully, thereby promoting the
well-being of the nation, including efficient service for the wide range of privately
owned industries to which the successful operation of those industries coming
under public ownership is vital.
[House of Commons Debates]

House of Commons, November 26, 1945

THE MINISTER OF WORKS (Rt. Hon. G. Tomlinson): The provisions
of the Bill fall into four parts. Clauses 1 to 4 provide for financing the operations
of the Minister of Works in ensuring adequate supplies of building materials
and components, including prefabricated houses, and in assisting local authorities
in preparing housing sites and erecting houses. Clause 5 provides for increasing
to 200 millions the 150 millions provided for in the Housing (Temporary
Accommodation) Act, 1944, to cover the additional cost of the temporary housing
program. Clause 6 increases to 1,200 the figure of 800 under the Small Dwell-
ings Acquisition Acts and Section 91 (4) of the Housing Act, 1936, which was
the maximum value of a house for which advances might be made by a local
authority. Clauses 7 and 8 set out provisions for enforcing the limitation of rent
or purchase price, over a period of four years from the passing of the Act, on
S houses that are built under license, and therefore subject to such conditions.

Building Materials and Housing Bill

The Function of the Ministry of Works
The Ministry of Works is responsible for assessing the requirements and work-
ing out the program for employing to the best advantage the labor force ex-
pected to be available for the whole of the building and civil engineering indus-
tries. A statistical and programming organization, with men in it who have had
this experience during the war, has been set up in the Ministry for working out
the program in consultation with all the other Departments and interests con-
cerned. This program, which will be kept under constant review, must provide
the maximum possible building force for housing while making provision also for
all the other vitally urgent work which has to be done in the next few years.
This includes the erection of schools, hospitals and factories, the completion of
war damage repairs and the great mass of maintenance work which has to be
done to overtake the arrears piled up during the war. The Ministry of Works
has to assess the requirements of building materials and components which are
needed to meet this program, to break these requirements down into minute
detail and to present them to the Departments responsible for ensuring that the
program will not fail for want of particular materials or items of equipment.
These Departments are, broadly speaking, the Ministry of Works itself, for the
basic building materials such as bricks, cement, glass and joinery; the Ministry of
Supply for a large range of fittings, mainly engineering products, which are needed
for building, from baths, cooking and heating stoves and electrical equipment down
to locks and bolts and nails and screws; and the Board of Trade for certain other
materials such as timber and paint.

Government Orders
Various methods may have to be adopted by these Departments, which are
called the production authorities, for stimulating production of the right goods
in the right quantities, and at reasonable prices. Over a very wide range, particu-
larly of those items for which the Ministry of Supply is responsible, it will be neces-
sary to place Government orders. These orders may either take the form of direct
bulk purchase or manufacture in Royal Ordnance Factories and resale -by the
Government, or they may take the form of what are called production agreements,
under which the firms undertake to produce certain quantities of particular articles
and the Government undertakes to indemnify the firms in respect of any goods
unsold at the end of the period covered by the agreement.

Employment of Extraneous Industries
In addition to these operations for the production of building components and
materials, the Government have been carrying out a careful investigation of the
possibility of supplementing the production of houses by traditional methods, by
harnessing industries which have not hitherto played a. substantial part in house
production and by stimulating them to develop factory production, sometimes of
the shell of a house, sometimes of the component parts of a shell. The word pre-
fabrication has come to be generally used in this connection, although it should be
pointed out that there is nothing new about prefabrication of the parts of a
building. Indeed, the brick itself represents a very ancient form of prefabrica-
tion. The Ministry of Works is carrying out a number of large-scale experiments
into promising types of prefabrication and some of these have gone so far that the
Government have found it possible to'invite local authorities to state the extent
to which they would wish to make use of them to .supplement their program of
traditional houses. If the response is a satisfactory one, and I think it will be,
the Government itself will make arrangements, by direct purchase and resale, or

British Speeches of the Day

by production agreements, for the manufacture of the parts. This will be par-
ticularly necessary in the case of those embodying steel construction in one form
or another. These orders will be given either by the Ministry of Supply or by the
Ministry of Works, as may be found appropriate in particular cases.

Cases Where the Ministry Itself Will Build
Some of these methods of construction may be so novel that the Government
itself will have to place contracts with the manufacturers or other specialist contrac-
tors for the actual erection of the houses on behalf of local authorities. In other
cases, particularly in areas where there has been very heavy bomb damage and
the resources of the local authorities are strained to the utmost, the local authority
may find it convenient to ask the Government to take on directly some part of the
work of house building on their behalf. If this has to be done, the Ministry of
Works, at the request of the Ministry of Health will, as the Government's Building
Department, carry out the work. In Scotland, the Scottish Special Housing Asso-
ciation will be used to supplement the work of local authorities. Where specialist
contractors have to be used, however, or contracts are made for production and
erection, it may be necessary for the Ministry of Works to place the contracts
on behalf of the Association or of Scottish Local Authorities themselves, and pro-
vision is made for this in the Bill.

Distribution of Materials
Finally, the Ministry of Works will have to make arrangements for the distribu-
tion of the building materials and components and of the prefabricated houses
which may be produced .under the arrangements I have just outlined. So far
as materials and components are concerned, the Government will make use of
the existing well tried channels of distribution with which the industry is familiar
and which have grown up to meet the needs of the industry over many years.
These, of course, include the builders' merchants, but in many cases manufactur-
ing firms are accustomed to dealing directly with contractors. It will, however,
be necessary to supplement these arrangements by 'setting up a special distribution
organization. For this the Ministry of Works will be responsible and the ex-
perience gained and the distribution centers established for temporary houses will
be of the greatest value here.

Capital for the Government's Business Operations
Let there be no misunderstanding; it is the intention of His Majesty's Govern-
ment to go into business both in the manufacture and in the distribution of
building materials and components in a big way. Neither the Ministry of Works
nor the Ministry of Supply require any additional statutory powers to enable
them to buy and sell building materials and components or, in the case of the
Ministry of Works, to arrange for the erection of houses on behalf of local
authorities or to set up a distribution scheme. But it would obviously be im-
proper for the Government to embark upon what may develop into very large
scale commercial operations without the express approval of Parliament. Further-
more, the working capital necessary for these operations has to be provided and
the ordinary machinery of annual Votes is quite inappropriate for such a purpose.
The first four Clauses of this Bill are designed, therefore, to provide the neces-
sary working capital and, in so doing, to afford an opportunity for obtaining the
approval of Parliament to the operations which the Government propose to under-
take. That the Coalition Government intended legislation of this kind is clear,
from the White Paper on Housing, published in March of this year, and from
the answer to a Question on May 17th,'when the then Minister of Works said:

Building Materials and Housing Bill

"Prototypes of prefabricated houses built by a number of different methods
have been constructed. These have been subjected to thorough technical ex-
amination, as a result of which, structural and design modifications are, where
necessary, being introduced. In the case of one or more of the most promising
types, instructions to proceed with production will be given forthwith. It is
proposed that the production of these prefabricated permanent houses should
be financed by advances from the Consolidated Fund. The necessary legis-
lation will be introduced as soon as possible after the Recess."-[OFFICIAL
REPORT, 17th May, 1945; Vol. 410, c. 2653.]
We know what happened after the Recess. Briefly, the Clauses to which
I have referred provide for the establishment of a Building Materials and Housing
Fund under the control anti management of the Minister of Works. To this Fund
will be paid from the Consolidated Fund such amounts as may be required for
working capital subject to the limit that the amount outstanding, that is to say,
advances less repayments, must not exceed 100 million. Interest is payable
on outstanding sums and will be a charge on the Fund. The amount of such
interest will be prescribed by the Treasury. It should be emphasized that the
100 million is by no means intended to indicate the total amount of the eventual
expenditure in the course of these operations. Out of the Fund are to be paid
expenses incurred by the Government in arranging for the production of building
materials and prefabricated houses and the actual cost of bulk purchases or of
payments under production agreements. Any expenses incurred by the Ministry
of Works in erecting houses on behalf of local authorities will also be met from
the Fund. Into the Fund will be paid the proceeds of all sales of materials or
houses or payments from local authorities for services rendered by the Ministry of
Works, and the intention is that the Fund shall, so far as possible, show neither
a profit nor a loss on these transactions taken as a whole. Accounts are to be
prepared every year by the Ministry of Works and presented to the Comptroller
and Auditor General, who will report on them in the normal way to Parliament
where they will be examined by the Public Accounts Committee.
The sum of 100 million has been chosen as representing a reasonable figure
for the working capital required in the absence of any present possibility of
making a firm estimate of the extent of the operations which will have to be
carried out on the Fund. No further advances are to be made after the end
of September, 1947. If it is found that the limit of 100 million is too low or
that further advances after September, 1947, are required, the Government will
have to come to Parliament and a convenient opportunity will be presented for
reviewing the operations which have taken place. Provision is made for ex-
penses incurred by the various Government Departments in carrying out these
operations on such matters as premises, staff salaries and provision for super-
annuation to be charged to the Fund. This is clearly right in order that a proper
picture may be presented of the financial results of the operations of the Fund.

The Function of the Ministry of Supply
Although the probability is that the Ministry of Supply will be responsible for
placing the majority of the bulk orders or making the majority of the production
agreements, the control of the Fund is given to the Ministry of Works because
that Ministry has to assess requirements in the light of its knowledge, not merely
of housing needs, but of the whole building needs of the country, and because that
Ministry is to be responsible for the arrangements for distribution and'for the
actual carrying out of work. The Ministry of Supply will, in effect, be acting
as purchasing agents for the Ministry of Works, who will advance to the Ministry

* British Speeches of the Day

of Supply the sums necessary to enable it to carry out its duties. The actual
arrangements for recovery of payments for goods sold will be in the hands of
the Ministry of Works. The Government may decide that to get houses quickly
or to stimulate the production of some promising new system which it is hoped
will later be produced at competitive prices, it is desirable to purchase prefabri-
cated houses at a substantially higher cost than the current cost of a traditional
house. This may make it necessary to sell the houses to local authorities or the
Scottish Special Housing Association at less than cost. Provision is, therefore,
made in Clause 3 for payments to be made from the Votes of the Health Depart-
ments into the Building Materials and Housing Fund so as to prevent the con-
sequent loss from falling on that Fund.

In effect, this enables my right hon. Friends to make a special subsidy towards
certain factory-produced houses. This does not cover all or most of the so-
called prefabricated houses. It covers only those which are truly prefabricated,
and which, in fact, are to emerge more or less complete from the factory. The
other types, concrete and steel-framed, what may bf called more or less "ordi-
nary" types, can stand or fall on their own merits and on the orders which the
manufacturers receive from local authorities. For wholly factory-produced houses,
however, it may be necessary, in order to get manufacturers to experiment in wholly
new methods of construction, for 'the Government to be ready to finance the
initial launching and to get production under way to start with a cost something
above that of the traditional house.
The Government do not want houses that cost substantially more than the
traditional. Their declared object is to get housing costs down, and one of the
main reasons for the earlier clauses of the Bill defraying the expenses of the Minis-
ter of Works in purchasing building materials and so forth, is to help to get costs
down. There are still a lot of production headaches to overcome before a satisfac-
tory prefabricated house can be produced in this country at a reasonable price and
with t*e necessary speed. Provision is made for the eventual winding up of the
Fund at any time after the end of September, 1947. When it is wound up out-
standing sums due and any balance in the Fund are to be paid into the Exchequer
and any small balance of payments which remains to be made will have to be met
from Votes. As stated previously, however, the intention is that the Fund shall, so
far as possible, be self-supporting and that any residual payments of this sort
shall be very small.
Sale of Materials; Price Control
There is no limitation on the persons to whom building materials may be sold,
while the definition of building materials and equipment is wide enough to cover,
not merely those items which go into a building, but such things as dustbins
which are provided for use with a particular building. The purchase and sale of
building materials is not confined to those needed for housing although the Govern-
ment do not expect, in practice, to have to carry out these operations for other
purposes. The whole object of the proposed arrangements is to stimulate pro-
duction. If orders are placed for whatever amounts of the various goods are re-
quired for housing, there shall be no need to cover also the requirements of other
buildings. It is, of course, the intention of the Government to exercise a close con-
trol of prices over the whole range of building materials and components and the
placing of bulk orders or making of production agreements is expected to be of
great value in this connection.

Building Materials and Housing Bill

The Burt Committee
Quite. early in the course of the war it was realized that the almost complete
stoppage of house building, together with losses suffered from enemy action, would
result in an acute postwar housing shortage. To deal with the problem an Inter-
Departmental Committee on House Construction, known as the Burt Committee,
was appointed in September, 1942, by the Minister of Health, the Secretary of State
for Scotland, and the Minister of Works. The Committee were to advise on ma-
terials and methods of construction for the building of houses and flats, and in par-
ticular to advise on the experimental work which had already been commenced by
the Ministry of Works. The Committee ma4e a report in October, 1943, setting out
certain factors to be taken into account in assessing the efficiency of house build-
ing methods, namely, strength and stability, fire hazard, thermal insulation, sound
insulation, moisture penetration and condensation, maintenance and durability,
and vermin infestation. This Committee was a landmark in building history, since
this was the first time that these things had been laid down.
The Ministry of Works let it be known that they were prepared to issue build-
ing licenses for experimental prototypes of new methods of construction which
showed prima facie indication of usefulness. To date, that is, to November 22nd,
1,381 applications for such licenses had been received. I have no doubt that most
Members of the House have received letters about most of them. The services of
technical officers of the Ministry of Works and the Building Research Station have
been available to these applicants to develop their proposals, which have then been
submitted for examination to the panel of technical officers of the Burt Committee.
A large proportion of them, as can be imagined, have had to be refused on various
grounds, such as lack of novelty, intrinsic technical defects inherent in their design,
excessive cost, and non-compliance with minimum approved standards. On the
recommendation of the Burt Committee, licenses have been issued in 195 instances,
comprising experiments in various directions. Eighty-three licenses have been
issued for complete houses, some metal framed, some steel clad, some concrete,
some timbeF, some brick, and some of a combination of materials; 33 licenses have
been issued for assemblies of structural components, of which 19 are for plumbing
installations, kitchen and bathroom fittings and assemblies. In no fewer than 50
instances licenses have been issued for materials; and in 10 instances for new
types of plant and machinery. The experiments have been watched during their
progress and the Burt Committee have made, or will make, a report to the Minis-
try of Works on the best of them when completed.

Experimental Construction
These experiments were carried out at the expense of the promoters but it was
thought desirable to select for large-scale experiment, at the cost of the Govern-
ment, a number of the more promising systems of construction, and the most
satisfactory representatives of each of a number of general classes of construction
were selected for this purpose. Sites were obtained either from local authorities or
from private builders, and groups of about 50 of each selected type of house are
being, or will be, erected. The site owners agree to purchase the houses when fin-
ished at prices assessed on the basis of the cost of equivalent houses of traditional
construction. In some instances local authorities have agreed to bear the cost of the
development scheme from the outset. These development groups will provide
valuable information as to costs, expenditure of-man-hours and general site and
factory arrangements, for guidance in connection with large-scale production.
Development groups already in hand or contemplated include systems in steel
frame, concrete and brick types of house. The all-steel type of house requires, on
account of its highly prefabricated nature, capital expenditure on tooling up and

736 British Speeches of the Day

factory preparation of such extent aswould not be justified by a comparatively
small group of 50 houses. Certain examples of this type, however, are considered
sufficiently promising to warrant large-scale development without a preliminary
experimental group.
The experimental groups have not yet been completed, but sufficient information
is now available about some schemes to justify the opinion that they are suitable
for large-scale production. Particulars have been given by the Ministry of Health
to local authorities in order that an indication may be given of the number of
houses required. This will form a basis on which negotiations may be continued
with the manufacturers of the houses, the component parts and the materials. It
may interest the House to hear about'the progress being made on these experi-
mental groups. Some 10 sites on which eight different types are being erected,
comprising some 452 houses, are now in various stages, some nearing completion.
Ten other experimental schemes are not yet at the site stage, although they have
been approved for experiment. . .
Clause 5 proposes to increase the financial provision made in the (Housing
Accommodation) Act, 1944, for the manufacture and erection of temporary houses
from 150 million to 200 million. The number of temporary houses allocated by
the Health Departments to local authorities is about 165,000; 130,700 in England
and Wales and 34,300 in Scotland. It is our intention to meet this allocation in
full, and on the basis of present calculations the cost of these is estimated at about
191,500,000. In paragraph 10 of the recent White Paper on Temporary Housing
there is a table showing a total expenditure of 184,669,470. This was related,
however, to the provisional program drawn up at that time of 158,480 houses.
The estimate of 191,500,000 covers the full program of 165,000 houses. So far
as we can see at present the cost should not exceed this amount but in order to
cover possible contingencies, we think it advisable to ask for an additional 50
Underestimation of Costs
There have been many questions asked as to the reasons for the increase in
estimated costs of temporary houses, the average of the five principal types of the
British types being today 1,043 compared with 775 in January last. The reasons
for the increase were set out fully in the White paper, and to that explanation
there is little to add. Every single feature was underestimated, in greater or lesser
degree. Site preparation for various reasons is costing 89 more; the super-
structure 96 more; fixtures and fittings 25 more; breakages and losses 15;
while contingencies, which had not been foreseen, together with the agency costs
of the Ministry of Works, which include the office and other expenses, account
for 43.

I said that contingencies which had not been foreseen, and the agency costs
of the Ministry of Works, including office and other expenses, together account
for 43. In brief, costs were underestimated because it was assumed that when
the war ended conditions would be favorable for manufacture and erection, and
because the present difficulties of labor and material supplies were not anticipated.
I might be told that this was a crazy assumption, but there it is, and it was not
mine. Moreover, there has been continuous pressure for improvement in the
houses, their fixtures and fitments and the site works.
It would, I think, be inadvisable to draw any conclusions as to the costs of
prefabricated houses and houses of traditional type from the figures published in
the White Paper of the cost of temporary houses. The cost of site preparation for
a one-floor temporary house is necessarily disproportionate to its size. The standard
of its fixtures and fittings is considerably higher than in a normal pre-war house.

Building Materials and Housing Bill

Some of the manufacturers of temporary houses are very concerned lest a wrong
impression should be given of the cost of prefabrication, but it has never been
suggested that they were responsible for more than the manufacture of the super-
structure. The supply of fixtures and fittings, site preparation and erection, trans-
port and distribution, is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works. The fact
that this is so has led to detfands by way of Questions in Parliament and other-
wise, for the publication of the detailed buildup of the estimates for each type of
house. To publish those would be inadvisable, since, with the exception of two
very small orders, in no case have prices yet been fixed with the manufacturers
of the superstructures, while negotiations are in progress for extensions of current
orders. Similarly, a large number of competitive tenders for site preparation and
for house erection have still to be invited. I have, however, already stated in the
House that the superstructure or hull represents only about one-third of the cost;
the components and services provided by the Ministry of Works account for the
The Importance of the Temporary House
The merit of the prefabricated temporary house is that less building labor,
particularly skilled craftsmen, is required for its erection. A fundamental problem
is that the potential demand for building labor during the next few years will
be far beyond the capacity of the building industry, and the importance of the
contribution of temporary houses to the housing problem during this difficult
period lies in the fact that two temporary houses can be built by the labor required
to build one permanent house of the traditional type. Included in this program of
temporary houses is the aluminum house, the responsibility for the production,
transportation and erection of which lies with the Ministry of Supply and Aircraft
Production. The first estimate of the cost was 914, but the current estimate is
1,365. It was realized from the outset that an aluminum house would be con-
siderably more expensive than any other type of temporary house.

The Light Metal Industry
One of the principal reasons for embarking on the project was to provide
employment for the light alloy industry, and for the aircraft manufacturing indus-
try, and to help them in the switch-over from war to peacetime conditions. The
light alloy induAry was expanded, as the House knows, five or six fold during the
war, and will take its place as one of the most progressive in the country, both in
the home and export market. But it needs help. The employment of the light
metal industry will place part of the work for the housing program in develop-
ment areas and will reduce transitional unemployment among ex-aircraft
workers. The inclusion of the aluminum house in the program is, therefore,
justified on broad national grounds. Moreover, it is almost wholly factory-built
and the manhours required for its erection are only about one tenth of those
required for other types of temporary house.

Distribution Centers
Questions have been asked from time to time about the double handling of
components and why we find it necessary to set up distribution centers. Distribu-
tion centers are not intended to be used for storing temporary houses. They are
required for assembling all the components and the fixtures and fittings into com-
plete house sets for issue to sites. A prefabricated temporary house is made up of
between 2,000 and 3,000 separate parts. The components and fixtures and fittings
are made by many hundreds of firms. The possibility of arranging delivery direct
from manufacturers to sites was investigated at the beginning of the program and
was considered impracticable. distribution centers enable the flow of components,

738 British Speeches of the Day

fixtures and fittings from manufacturers to erection contractors to be regulated in
accordance with site requirements. They serve as buffer storage depots when the
production of some components is in excess of others and stocks accumulate. They
provide a focal point to which contractors may look for all supplies and for
guidance on supply and transport problems.
To date 31 distribution centers have been set up, the amount of covered space
being about 2 million superficial feet. Five have been built at an estimated cost
of 600,000; the remainder is made up of factory and storage premises allocated
for the purpose by the Board of Trade, most of them having been requisitioned
by the Government during the war. In addition to the covered space, there is a
large amount of hard standing which is used for components which can be stored
without detriment in the open. It was reckoned that no less than 230 superficial
feet of covered space would be necessary for storing all the components which
make up a complete house. The original intention was to provide an area sufficient
for storing three weeks' production of houses. Owing to uneven rates of produc-
tion and shortage of labor for handling, this amount of space is proving insufficient
and it is proposed to take over hangars of 11 redundant airfields. This will pro-
vide another 700,000 superficial feet. The industrial staff employed is about
3,500; nearly half are prisoners of war. The management of the centers is in the
hands of managifig contractors responsible for the manufacture of the houses.
The organization set up by the firms for assembly and distribution is subject to
approval by the Ministry and they are reimbursed expenses properly incurred, and
paid a fee for their services. It was originally estimated that the combined cost of
distribution and transport from factory to depot and from depot to site would
work out at about 52 a house. This was necessarily little more than a guess and
steps are being taken to carry.out a cost investigation. Present indications are that
52 was an underestimate. The cost of distribution is a very important, but at
present undetermined, element of the cost of prefabricated houses.
I have spoken at some length and gone into some detail about the temporary
houses for the simple reason that we are asking Parliament, in Clause 5 of this
Bill, to find additional money to complete the program. There are questions in the
minds of some people as to whether this scheme should have been started. You
may say it is costly. You may not like it. All I can say in reply is that it is here
and in being. After battling against innumerable difficulties it is beginning to
run more freely, and at the present time it is providing additional houses at the
rate of 400 to 500 per week. The people who are living in them constantly sing
their praises, and I think the House will agree that we should push on with their
completion at full speed.
Clause 6 expands to 1,200 the figure of 800 which is the maximum value of
a house towards the purchase o; construction of which local authorities are author-
ized to advance money. The figure of 1,200 has been taken partly on the ground
that a 50 per cent increase seems reasonable in itself in the present circumstances,
and partly because 1,200 is the maximum cost at present allowed, outside
London, for a house that is erected by private enterprise. Clauses 7 and 8 pro-
vide that where, as at present, local authorities allow a house to be erected within
a maximum cost or rent the owner shall not sell or rent for a greater cost or rent
during a period of four years. This is a necessary corollary of the system under
which at present private enterprise is being allowed to build only houses within
the financial reach of the majority of those in urgent need. Without this pro-
vision, the restrictions could be dodged under an arrangement by which the builder
built for the stipulated figure of 1,200 and recouped a higher cost on resale. The
rest of the Bill is, I think, self-explanatory.
If the desire for speed in housing which finds expression is genuine, and I
believe it is, then not only will the Bill be given a unanimous Second Reading

Building Materials and Housing Bill

but everyone will co-operate in passing it through the Committee stage at lightning
RT. HON. H. U. WILLINK (Conservative): When 10 days or so ago, I
first looked at this Bill and, as is usual in such a case, first looked rapidly through
it before reading it Clause by Clause, I found a number of proposals which had
been in the mind of both the previous Administrations. I saw, for example, that
it proposed a statutory basis for a number of the activities of the Minister of
Works which had been carried on in wartime under other arrangements. Some
measure to bring this about, particularly as regards factory-made permanent houses,
was clearly necessary. Then I saw that the Bill contained a proposal to raise the
limit of value of houses on which advances could be made under the Small Dwell-
ings Acquisition Acts and the Housing Act. This was a recommendation of the
Committee on Private Enterprise Buildlhg, and I only wish that His Majesty's
Government had been as ready to accept the other recommendations of that Com-
mittee as they have been to accept this. Then I saw that the Bill contained pro-
visions for limiting the resale and letting price of houses built under conditional
licenses. With the principle of these proposals I am in entire agreement and so,
I am sure, will my hon. Friends be found to be. ,Whether the actual drafting of
those provisions will work out justly for the tenant needs further examination,
which no doubt it will receive in the course of this Debate.

The Wide Terms of the Bill
But when I came to read this Bill Clause by Clause I am bound to say that I
found some strange and, to me, unsatisfactory features, and I should like to
enumerate four or five of them before looking into them in greater detail. First,
the Bill is in extraordinarily wide terms, both with regard to the functions of the
Minister and the financial control which he proposes to accord to this House. One
finds in the Bill an unlimited mandate to thp Minister of Works to produce, to
purchase and to distribute building materials of every kind, and every size and
type of equipment for every size'and kind of building. Secondly, the Bill provides
for the Minister of Works being financed through a revolving credit, as I think I
might call it, of 100,000,000, and he would receive Parliamentary sanction for a
loss up to 100,000,000 in a period of well under two years. Indeed, as I shall
hope to show conclusively, the Bill provides in Clause 3 for a far greater loss being
incurred by the Minister of Works. I pause for a moment to make cear this
second point, namely, that though there is a pious hope expressed that no loss will
be incurred in the running of this fund, it is provided that it may be in debt to
the extent of 100,000,000, and we are asked to sanction payment of that 100,-
000,000 if that is the state of the account in 22 months fromnow. But, in the
third place, as I have said, the loss which the Bill invites us to permit is really far
greater than this, because, so far as the right hon. Gentleman is concerned, losses
which he makes in the first instance on buildings and selling prefabricated houses
are to be fully made up to him by the totality of the loss which he makes being
refunded by the other right lion. Gentleman sitting beside him, the Minister of
Health. Therefore the loss on this account may be vastly greater than 100,-
000,000 in 22 months because the Bill provides that if the Minister of Works
can get the Minister of Health to approve any arrangement which the Minister of
Works makes for selling any number of prefabricated houses of any kind over this
period of 22 months, at however great a loss, it is to show no loss to him in his
Fourthly, and this is characteristic pf the extreme vagueness of the Bill, I find
that it contains a power for the Minister of Works to do any work whatever under-
.taken by local housing authorities under their housing powers. I shall say some-

British Speeches of the Day

thing more about that in a moment. In the fifth place, and I have already hinted
at this, I find no adequate provision for informing this House from time to time,
how the Minister of Works is discharging these very great new functions. He is
under no obligation to prepare an account of his operations until November 30,
1946, and it would be many months after November 30, 1946, before that ac-
count had been considered by the Comptroller and Auditor General and his Re-
port made and brought before Parliament. I did not understand why it was said
that the normal machinery of an Annual Vote would be inappropriate to these
In the last place, although some little light has been thrown on this matter by
the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, I would recall that about ten days ago a
very long account was given at a press conference dealing with the subject matter
of this Bill. It was held, I think on November 13th, by the Minister of Supply
and dealt with the whole matter of the equipment of houses. I looked on the back
of the Bill, and although there are the names of five Ministers on it, there is no
reference to the Minister of Supply. Yet this important conference with the in-
dustrial press was held and the Minister of Works, who has introduced this Bill
and made his speech today, was not there; it was the Minister of Supply and his
officials who made a long, important and disconcerting statement on that occasion.

Asks About Building Materials
What really is the position, with regard to building materials at the moment,
and the facilities we have for their distribution? The Minister has made a long
speech, and has given us, among other things, an account of the continuation in
an orderly manner of exactly what was being done by his predecessor in regard to
permanent prefabricated houses. He has told us nothing whatever, if my recollec-
tion is correct, of the availability of building materials at the moment. He has
told us nothing whatever of the capacity, so far as factory space, plant and admin-
istrative organization are concerned, of the building material industry in this
country, or indeed of the distributing facilities that we already have. I agree
entirely that there are certain special items in which, as a temporary measure, the
central Government must take a direct interest. I would name two. It is dearly
right that help should be given by the Minister or some other Minister-the
obscurity as to which Minister seems to be greater under this Government than
it was under the last-with regard to the permanent prefabricated houses and
there are certain building materials, in regard to which Governmental aid of one
kind and another is necessary. One conspicuous case is that of plaster board,
which is not in such wide use in normal times, as it has been in the last year and
will be for some time to come, not only in connection with the repair of bomb
damage, but in ie lining of temporary and permanent factory-made houses.
There will be a demand for plaster board which would not occur in the ordinary
way and would not be met by the normal operations of the industry.

The Inadequacy of Labor Supply
Apart from such a 'case as plaster board, for which a market should be guaran-
teed, I suggest that the real difficulty with regard to building materials has nothing
to do with shortage of capacity, shortage of organization, or shortage of plant.
It is our old and continuous trouble, shortage of labor. I expect many hon. and
right hon. Gentlemen have read a letter which appears today in The Times in
which it is stated on the highest authority that private industries and trades were
organized and equipped before the war to produce the components necessary'for
approximately 500,000 houses per annum. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister
of Health has not yet, after nearly four months in office, condescended to give us

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