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Title: British speeches of the day
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076217/00038
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Title: British speeches of the day
Physical Description: 5 v. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Information Services
Publisher: British Information Services,
British Information Services
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: April 1946
Frequency: monthly
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1945-   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- Periodicals -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Mar. 1943.
Dates or Sequential Designation: -v. 5, no. 5 (June 1947).
General Note: At head of title: British Information Services, an agency of the British government.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 1 (Feb. 1946); title from cover.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
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Table of Contents
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    Table of Contents
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    Back Cover
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Full Text


HousE OF COMMONS, March 4, 1946 [Extracts]

The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I would like, first, to
say a word or two in retrospect, and also with regard to the present. As
the House knows, throughout the period of the Coalition Government we
planned ahead on the general basis that, as far as we could see, the war
with Japan would last for some months after the surrender of Germany.
Our plans for demobilization had been directed with a view to the re-
deployment of our forces against Japan. As we all know, Japan's surrender
followed quickly upon that of Germany, and the plans had to be altered
to meet the new situation. I doubt whether the difficulty of that change
has been sufficiently appreciated. I doubt whether enough credit has been
given to those responsible for the Fighting Services for the way in which
they have accomplished this very heavy task. When the war ended we had
built up magnificent fighting machines in our Navy, Army and Air Force.
Each unit was not just a collection of men and material, but a finely
tempered weapon, tried in battle, fit for any task. Now we had to de-
mobilize, and demobilization on the principles approved and accepted by
Parliament, the Fighting Services and the country generally meant not
merely getting out of the Forces, in an orderly way, immense numbers of
individuals; it meant, in effect, the pulling to pieces of those fine machines,
the removing of key personnel, of most experienced men, and substituting
others, without at the same time destroying their efficiency. Anybody who
has served knows what it means when a unit has perhaps been in an en-
gagement and lost heavily, and has to be.built up again. Inevitably, it
takes time before the fine temper which it had before can be achieved. That
was a process we had to watch very carefully.
We had to do this while there were still heavy tasks to be performed-
collecting and guarding prisoners, the setting up of civil administration,
indeed very often undertaking the task of civil administration. We ought
all to pay a tribute to our officers and men in the occupation areas, for the
way they have carried out this very difficult task. They often had to face
problems quite new to them, but they did so with the characteristic adapta-
bility of our people. They have also had to deal with disturbed conditions
in various parts of the world, sometimes involving fighting. That was the
process that had to be undergone-demobilization, while keeping our Forces
reduced in magnitude, it is true, in a state of efficiency.
I do not think it necessary now to go through the figures of 1945, or to
stress the point that the target then set was reached, for that process is still
going on, as the House knows. The House knows too, though I have met
even Members who have not understood it, that we accelerated releases in
the early months. We are running today at a great rate of release, and that
necessarily means that, having taken some away earlier, there are fewer to
take away in the later months. It does not mean that any people have been

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ATTLEE
retained longer. It does mean that some people were released earlier.
Meanwhile, although, as I say, the total number in the Fighting Services
has been reduced, it has been and will continue to be necessary to call up
to the Forces as many as possible of the young men in order to release the
older men. We cannot call up all the young men. Members know that
there are key personnel, men engaged in agriculture and mining, etc., but
we have got to call up the young men in order to get the older ones home.
In the 18 months from V-E Day to the end of this year the net reduction
in strength will be 75 per cent. Allowing for fresh intake, this means that,
by the end of the year, four out of every five officers and men who were
serving on V-E Day will have been released to civil life. Anybody with
Service experience will realize that to have speeded up demobilization still
further would have been to wreck the efficiency of the Services ...
The House will have seen from the White Paper that we planned the
strength of the Armed Forces on 30th June, 1946, to be 1,900,000 trained
men, to which must be added 100,000 under training. Let me make the
point for mathematicians that the figures will not work out exactly, if they
add together those in the Service Estimates and try to make them come to
this figure. The reason is, of course, that the figures in the Service Estimates
relate to the financial year. That is the strength which we propose to have
on 30th June 1946. ,
We have set out in the White Paper the commitments with which we
are now confronted. Now, those commitments are still very heavy. They
arise directly out of the war. Indeed, we must fulfill them if what was
won in the war is not to be lost. By far the heaviest of all these commit-
ments is the occupation of the British zone in Germany, and the British
sector in Berlin, both by provision of troops and for the maintenance of the
strength of the formations. We have, with our advisers, the commanders-in-
chief, scrutinized these figures very closely. I am certain that we cannot
afford to reduce them below a very definite minimum. Ilo one must im-
agine that there is not a possibility of disturbances, even movements of one
kind and another, from our former enemies in Germany. We must recall
here that we have an obligation to our Allies who are jointly engaged in
this task with us, and must fulfill it.
There is the burden of the occupation of Austria and the provision of
forces in Japan and in the Far East which we share with our Allies and
with our Dominions. Those are nothing like so heavy a charge, but we
cannot tell when we shall be relieved of that charge and we have to provide
for it at the present time. We have troops today in Venezia Giulia. We
are hoping that a peace treaty with Italy will rid us of that burden. As
the House heard today, we have withdrawn our troops from Persia. There
are other areas, as the House knows-they have been under discussion-
which we hope to leave as soon as possible, such as the countries in the
Levant, and we hope the conditions will soon allow, when the elections
have been held, of our being able to withdraw from Greece. We all hope
a solution may be found of the Palestine problem. We have been involved

Defense Policy
in a very difficult position in Java. I know the whole House joins with
me in hoping that Sir Archibald Clark Kerr will be successful in his efforts
to get a settlement there between the Dutch and the Indonesians.
I do not think that in any of those instances the House will expect me
to give, at any length, the reasons why we have troops in these areas. The
Foreign Secretary has dealt with that subject most effectively and, I think,
convincingly. All those who do not willfully endeavor to distort our
motives know that we are there engaged in tasks imposed on us by the
Supreme Command, by the events of the war, that we are performing them
honestly, and that we shall be only too glad when we are rid of those
obligations. There remains still the work of clearing up in the Far East
and there remain the continuing obligations which fall upon us as the
leading partner in the Commonwealth and Empire. Of course, in India
we have the responsibility for maintaining order, so that the political
transition for which we hope can take place in a calm atmosphere. For
these continuing tasks we must under present conditions retain adequate
I hope that as the year proceeds more settled conditions may obtain
in the world and I hope that the system of collective security under U.N.O.
may become an actuality. In planning for the numbers that are shown
in this White Paper, we have planned in a hopeful spirit. I will not dis-
guise from the House that there is always the possibility of things going
wrong in some part of the world or other. If things went wrong, we
should have to come to this House and ask for authority to keep forces in
being and, perhaps, for Supplementary Estimates. We have tried in this
White Paper to do what is absolutely necessary, but pot to keep unneces-
sary forces. Our aim is to reduce that strength to 1,100,000 men and
women by the end of the year. I explained, when speaking in this House
last week, how we had to lay our plans for the use of our manpower, how
we had demands that came in from the Service Departments and from
other Departments, and how we had to cut our coat according to our cloth.
I hope that the Armed Forces will be susceptible of further reduction,
but I have a very full knowledge of what our obligations are, and what
dangers we have to face. One cannot afford to take rash risks. Armed
forces are expressions of policy. Our policy of establishing free and demo-
cratic institutions and of co-operating with the United Nations for the
creation throughout the world of the rule of law is expressed in our pro-
posals in the White Paper. It is impossible to look further ahead than
the end of one year. Our hope is to see throughout the world a steady
reduction of armaments in the future, in which we shall share, but until
these things are attained we must preserve our forces in efficiency.
I think the House will wish to have the division of this total of 1,100,-
000 between the three Services. It is as follows: Navy, 175,000; Army,
650,000; and Air Force, 275,000. The Army figures are, of course, inevitably

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ATrIEE]
swollen by the continuing burden of the occupation of Germany. I would
like to say a word about supply. We have kept in being the Ministry of
Supply as a permanent Department for the equipment of the three Services,
with all the things which they share in common, aid for supplies for the
Army and the Air Force. The Navy still controls some of their own sup-
plies. We have imposed a severe limitation on our production programs.
I have to admit that the run-off of manpower from munitions service was
not quite as rapid as I had hoped in the earlier months, but the story
that we are manufacturing masses of unwanted and obsolete material is
not true ....
I want to deal with a matter on which, I know, there is some criticism,
and on which I am expecting criticism. While our commitments remain
as they are, we must continue to call up young men to the Services. The
complaint is that we have not yet decided on the length of that service
in the future. I am well aware of the difficulty caused to the men them-
selves, to their parents, and to educational institutions. The reason why
we cannot come to a decision yet is that it all depends on so many un-
certain, indeed, unknown, factors. First, as I have already shown, we
cannot tell the extent of our commitments. Secondly, we do not know
what will be the extent of voluntary enlistment. We have already set out,
I think with a great deal of trouble, the pay and conditions for the men
of the Services; in a day or two we shall have similar proposals for the
officers, and we have under urgent consideration a scheme to encourage
re-enlistment among the men about to be demobilized, or who were re-
cently demobilized. We hope there will be a good response. A great
many people will come out of the Services and, as has happened before,
may finally like to get back. Others may like to continue, and 6e are
looking to the best way to get that movement, but I think, until we know
what kind of voluntary enlistment we are going to have, we cannot estimate
the length of time we shall have to fix for compulsory service.
Thirdly, pending the forthcoming meeting of the Military Staff Com-
mittee of U.N.O., we cannot tell what our Forces will have to be in future.
I can assure the House that we realize to the full the difficulty this is for
all concerned, and we shall come to a conclusion on this as soon as possible.
After all, we are only seven or eight months from the ending of the war,
and I am sure the House will realize the strain under which our Service
advisers and the staffs of the Service Ministries have been working. I
think it would be unreasonable to expect that, in such a short time, we
should have everything cleared up and decided. We shall carefully con-
sider the ultimate structure of our Forces and the terms of service to be
adopted, but I have already stated that the transitional period, during
which we have abnormal commitments, will last for some time, and, while
we have those commitments, we must carry on as we are doing now. That
gives us a breathing space, in which to assess our future responsibilities and
lay our final plans. In due course, our proposals Will be submitted to
the House.

Defense Policy
There is another subject mentioned in the White Paper on which we
have not reached finality. That is the question of the higher defense
organization. I took part in a number of Debates in this House between
the wars, on the question of the organization of the higher defense....
I spoke in these Debates, and, since then, have had some experience of
defense organization. Perhaps I should not speak quite so confidently or
so dogmatically now as I did then, although I think some of the things I
said were quite sound, as I have had five years' experience of the Defense
Committee and have watched our machine at work during the war. Dur-
ing the war, we built up a system which proved its efficiency.
We have now to devise a peace organization, and I do not think it is a
thing one can rush. I think it is a thing that has to be decided, not on
the grounds of theoreticians, or people who have had experience 20 or 30
years ago. The effective evidence one gets on a matter of this kind comes
from people actually working the machine, whether soldiers, sailors or
airmen, or civil servants in the Ministries, and I am making a very close
examination. We are getting the views of all who took part, because it
is vital that we should not lose 'the lessons learned during the war, par-
,ticularly the lessons of joint working between the Services.
In no previous war has there been such a wonderful co-operation be-
tween the three Services-not a matter of just three heads meeting, but
of co-operation from the planning staffs all the way through. We have to
consider that, in relation to the training of our officers. We are now in
an era of combined operations, in which we must look at everything from
the point of view of the three Services acting as one. As soon as we can,
we shall announce our conclusions to the House, but I have to say frankly
that in the pressure that there has been on all of us, and especially on
the higher officers, we have not yet been able to come to a conclusion.
At the present moment we are continuing, with some modification, very
largely the system which we worked out during the war and which worked
so well during the war.
One final point with regard to the co-operation between us and the
Dominions. We all know the wonderful services performed by the Do-
minions during the war in the common cause. We want to continue to
collaborate with them most closely. We want to be brought together, all
of us, as being members of the United Nations, and, therefore, all agree-
ing to the same broad policy for the prevention of war. At the same time
as members of one family, we want to meet together and see how closely
we can help each other. The House has already been informed that the
Dominion Prime Ministers are coming over very shortly when we shall
be able to discuss these matters with them.
There is the broad picture that I am able to lay before the House today.
Admittedly, it is imperfect, because we are still so close to the war and,
admittedly, I cannot give a long-term picture of our Forces. But I would
close by saying to the House that I think we can all be proud of the way
in which, in this very difficult process of the change-over, our troops, every-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]
where, have behaved. Anybody who remembers-and many of us do-
what it was like at the end of the First World War, and what one's feelings
were at the end of that war, will know what a strain it is on everybody.
I think it is a tremendous tribute to the stability of mind of all our people
that these difficult processes have been, and are being, carried through
with so little friction.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, March 7, 1946 [Extracts]

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Rt. Hon. A. V. Alexander): When I
addressed the House a year ago as a member of the Coalition Government,
I suggested that, as a result of political events in the coming year, I might
not stand again at this Box as First Lord in that type of Government. The
qualification about "that type of Government" showed perhaps greater fore-
sight than I then realized. I come before the Committee in this first year
of peace with feelings of pleasure and gratitude on behalf of the Service
with which it has been my fortunate lot to be associated for many years-
years of peril and years of glory. I think that it would be the wish of the
Committee that, on this first peacetime occasion, I should give at least a
short account of the part played by the Royal Navy in the Second World
For the Navy there was no period of "phoney" war. The war at sea,
began the very first night with the sinking of the Athenia by a German
U-boat in the Atlantic. In the first fortnight, 27 British merchant ships of
131,000 tons were sent to the bottom by U-boats. In the early weeks we
lost the aircraft carrier Courageous and the battleship Royal Oak. Within
three months of the outbreak of the war, the Germans launched the first
of their "secret weapons," the magnetic mine. This had some success at
first. Ports were closed, shipping had to be diverted, transport was impeded.
The Navy did not fail to counter these early strokes, just as it did not fail
to counter later and more weighty attacks. Thus, the first two convoys were
organized and sailed four days after the outbreak of war. The Navy's coun-
ter-offensive against the U-boats soon took effect and the loss of British
ships fell sharply. A combination of gallantry and skill disclosed the secrets
of the magnetic mine, and the ingenuity of scientists and the devoted work
of craftsmen produced the antidote. The magnetic mine soon ceased to be
a serious menace, though it was later to be followed by acoustic and other
ingenious forms of this weapon which required similar efforts to overcome
and, at all times, the gallant and ardent work of our minesweepers.

Before the end of 1939, the Admiral Graf Spee had scuttled herself in
the River Plate, after an action with British cruisers, which showed beyond
doubt that none of the British genius for fighting at sea had been lost be-

Navy Estimates
tween the wars. In 1940 Germany invaded Norway. Whatever the success
of her military strategy, she suffered considerable losses at sea. Eleven of
her destroyers were wiped out at Narvik, BlUcher was sunk in Oslo Fjord,
the Konigsberg was sunk by the Naval Air Arm, the Karlsruhe by a British
submarine, the Hipper was damaged by H.M.S. Glowworm, and the Scharn-
horst and the Admiral Scheer received serious damage. The Royal Navy
also suffered losses, but of far less importance. During this year, the war
against British, Allied and neutral merchant shipping intensified. In the
quarter following the fall of France, we were losing merchant ships at the
rate of over 14,000 tons a day. Here was the greatest peril at sea, the peril
which never greatly diminished until the middle of 1943, the peril which,
at times, threatened to engulf our whole cause. The year 1941 was one of
bitter struggle. In the Mediterranean the Fleet under Admiral Sir Andrew.
Cunningham, as he then was, fought a fearful battle against great odds.
Just after he had gained a brilliant and crushing victory over the Italian
SFleet at Cape Matapan it fell to the Navy's lot to withdraw our military
forces first from Greece and then from Crete. These tasks were carried out
against concentrated air attacks, and, inevitably, there were grievous losses.
Admiral Cunningham has described the conflict during the year as some
of the hardest fighting at sea on record.
Meanwhile, the war against merchant shipping was severe. Between
March and May we lost over 18,000 tons a day. There was a fall in the
losses in the middle of the year, but by the end of 1941, after the entry of
Japan into the war, we were again losing over 16,000 tons a day. Neverthe-
less, at the end of the year we could claim that the German main units
were held. The full resources of our escort forces and of Coastal Command
of the Royal Air Force were engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic. Regular
convoys were carrying supplies to North Russia. We were in full control
in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean. The Home Fleet, under Admiral
Sir John Tovey, had sunk the Bismarck. In the Far East, on the other
hand, we had suffered a cruel and temporarily crippling blow in the loss
in a single day of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse and control in the
Pacific and in the Malayan Archipelago was rapidly passing into the hands
of Japan. So the battle continued year by year, relentless and unceasing.
It was a battle of ups and downs,.and at times our affairs looked black in-
deed. TFor the greater part of 1942, the losses of Allied and neutral merchant
shipping, now world-wide, averaged well over 20,000 tons a day. The rate
of loss of British tonnage was more than any maritime nation could sustain
indefinitely, or indeed for long. But' in every month that passed, we were
gathering the strength and the forces to counter the enemy's attacks, and
finally to turn them against himself. By the end of 1942 we were able, with
our Allies, to undertake the great expedition which landed our armies in
North Africa and which led on to the landings in Sicily and Italy. The
Lessons of these operations were all of inestimable value in ensuring the suc-
cess of the later landings in Normandy which were the beginning of the
last stage of the war.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ALEXANDER
In 1943 the science, labor and skill which had been accumulated against
the U-boat came rapidly to fruition. The losses of merchant ships, which
between March and May averaged over 14,000 tons a day, fell between June
and August to less than 7,000 tons a day, and remained at an even lower
figure for the rest of the war. This was the decisive turning point in the
war at sea. The year 1943 saw the end of one of the Navy's bitterest fights.
This was the year in which Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham made his
historic signal to the Admiralty:
"Be pleased to inform Their Lordships that the Italian Battle Fleet now lies at
anchor under the guns of the fortress of Malta."
These brief and simple words marked a very great achievement in our naval
history; a triumph of skill and courage over size and numbers. By the end
of the year, the enemy was losing more submarines than the Allied Nations
were losing merchant ships. Our coastwise shipping moved freely from
port to port, almost without interference, though in the last months of the
war the U-boat campaign in coastal waters was to re-appear in a new and
menacing form. The light forces and light coastal forces of the Royal Navy
had intensified their crippling attacks-on the enemy coastal convoys. Our
strength was gathering for the great assault on the Continent in the fol-
lowing year that was to lead to Germany's final downfall.
For the Navy, 1944 was, above all, the year of Operation Neptune-the
operation which landed the Allied Armies on the coast of France by a
unique combination of strength, strategem and skill. This may well be
regarded as the climax of the naval war in Europe, the fruit of the years
of struggle and toil which lay behind. This classic operation is an enduring
monument to the late Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, whose loss we mourned
a year ago. By 1945 the focus of naval strategy was in the Far East, where
the powerful British Pacific Fleet had assembled under Admiral Sir Bruce
Fraser. In addition, a large fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Arthur
Power was operating in the Indian Ocean, in support of operations in the
South-East Asia Command.
When the "Cease Fire" sounded in Europe, Admiral Fraser's Fleet was
fully engaged against the Japanese. Throughout May, the Pacific Fleet,
organized as a fast carrier force operating with the United States Fleet,
struck repeatedly at the Ryukyu Islands, in continuation of the series of
attacks carried out in April with the object of neutralizing the enemy's air
power and protecting the left flank of the United States forces attacking
Okinawa. In June the Fleet resumed the onslaught on Japan. Throughout
July and early August our naval forces, in close co-operation with the United
States 3rd Fleet, launched a series of heavy and successful attacks against
the mainland of Japan, including the Tokyo area. Important industrial,
shipping, and air targets received the full weight of the Fleet's ship and
air bombardment. Our midget submarines carried out a gallant and suc-
cessful attack on Japanese cruisers in Singapore harbor. Offensive oper-

Navy Estimates
nations ended on 15th August. On 28th August units of the United States
3rd Fleet, and the Pacific Fleet with Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser flying his
flag in His Majesty's ship Duke of York, entered Tokyo Bay, to be followed
by the remainder of the United States 3rd Fleet with His Majesty's ship
King George V and other British and Dominion ships in company. Admiral
Fraser represented Great Britain at the signing of the formal terms of sur-
render on 2nd September. On 30th August, Hong Kong, liberated from
hateful bondage, received a British naval force, led by Rear-Admiral Har-
court in His Majesty's ship Swiftsure, with a tumultuous welcome, deeply
moving to our officers and men. Rear-Admiral Harcourt was appointed
Commander-in-Chief, Hong Kong, and on 16th September received the
surrender of the Colony from the Japanese.
Meanwhile, the East Indies Fleet under Admiral Power was bearing its
part in the operations in South-East Asia. The capture of Mandalay and
the British advance of the 14th Army down the Irrawaddy and Sittang'
rivers virtually ended the Japanese advance in Burma. The British advance
through difficult country was aided by the operations of the Navy, in col-
laboration with the 15th Indian Corps, on the Arakan coast. Coastal force
craft manned by British, Indian, South African and Burmese crews oper-
ated up the Chaungs at night, harassing and causing casualties to the
,enemy in their attempt to cross the river. The arduous and daring oper-
ations by our submarines in the Malacca Straits and Andaman Sea virtually
stopped the enemy's seaborne supplies and considerably increased his diffi-
culties. A full-scale assault on Malaya, carefully prepared and mounted,
had been planned to take place between Port Swettenham and Port Dick-
son, but the Japanese surrender took place first. On 9th September, how-
evej the landing was carried out as planned to ensure the effectiveness of
the surrender,
Singapore was recaptured on 5th September, and the surrender of the
Japanese force in Malaya was accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander
on 12th September. It is a source of pride to the Navy that the Supreme
Commander to whom. this honor fell was a very distinguished naval officer,
Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. The peaceful occupation of Malaya
was not repeated in Siam, French Indo-China or the Netherlands East
Indies. The Navy, therefore, had to carry out landing operations and to
establish' naval officers-in-charge and port parties in many ports, often at a
great distance from the main base at Singapore. The Royal and Merchant
Navies also gave the fullest possible help in evacuating and repatriating
Allied prisoners of war and internees of all nations from these countries.
There can be no doubt that the Allied naval strategy designed to destroy the
enemy fleet and effectively cut his sea communications was a principal factor
in the rapid collapse of the enemy forces. The complete success of the
operation is one of the most outstanding naval victories in history.
I wish especially to draw the attention of the Committee to the part
played by the Naval Air Arm in all these operations. Between the time
when .the British Pacific Fleet left Leyte on-18th March, 1945, and the end

SBritish Speeches of the Day -[MR. ALEXANDEI]
of the war, our naval aircraft attacked the enemy on 33 strike days, flew
7,255 sorties of all types, dropped nearly 1,400 tons of bombs, fired over
1,000 rocket projectiles, and about a million rounds of smaller ammunition,
destroyed 288 enemy aircraft and damaged 247. Naval aircraft also caused
considerable damage and dislocation to the enemy's industries and com-
munications, and sank or severely damaged 309 of the enemy's ships, both
warships and merchant vessels, totaling 356,760 tons. I am glad to say that
these successes cost only small losses in our own aircraft and, despite re-
peated attacks by the Japanese suicide-bombers, we did not lose a single
ship. This is a remarkable testimony to the design and construction of
our aircraft carriers. The first line strength of the Naval Air Arm at the
outbreak of war was only 232 aircraft. In 1945, it reached 1,357 and would
have risen still higher had the war continued. In the course of this notable
expansion the Naval Air Arm carried out many fine operations, notably
in the Mediterranean, in the reinforcement of Malta, at the Battle of
Taranto, covering the landings in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. In addi-
tion they have done an enormous amount of work in the protection of
North Russian convoys and the like. The Naval Air Arm will assuredly
play an ever increasing and important part in the naval defense of the fu-
ture. In the past it has often been less well equipped than we should
have wished. We believe however that those difficulties are over and that
this branch of the Navy now has equipment worthy of the splendid officers
and men who serve in it.
As soon as the Armistice with Germany was signed, His Majesty's ships
entered ports in lNorth-West Geriany, Norway, and Denmark to enforce
the German surrender. 2,463 German war vessels fell into Allied hands, of
which 1,962-including 203 U-boats-were operational or capable of repair
within a short time, and 501 were damaged, scuttled in shallow waters,
or still under construction. By far the greater part of these vessels sur-
rendered to naval units under the command of Admiral Sir Harold Bur-
SThus, the tale of the Royal Navy's wartime tasks, which I have, per-
force, sketched briefly and most inadequately, comes to an end. Over the
many years of struggle brilliant actions, such as the victories at Taranto
and Matapan and the sinking of the Scharnhorst by the Home Fleet under
Admiral Fraser, and Vice Admiral Vian's famous Malta convoy, stand out
like beacons. They gladdened and heartened us when they occurred and
they will join the long roll of naval victories in our history. Yet these
actions, important though they were in their effect on the war, form but
a part, I would even say a small part, of the Navy's share in the overthrow
of tyranny and the saving of the world for freedom. The Navy's great
task in the war, as always, was to keep open our sea communications,
through which alone the means of life and of waging war can come. The
fulfillment of this task demanded unceasing vigilance and toil, day and
night, from the first day to the last. It demanded unending patrols, often
in small and. uncomfortable craft, in every kind of climate from the bitter

Navy Estimates
cold of the North Russian convoys to the sweating heat of the Pacific;
patrols Which might last for many days without any incident to relieve
the monotony of isolation in the ocean spaces, yet with senses ever on the
alert to discern the danger which was never far away.
The,following facts about the war against the U-boat give some meas-
ure of the magnitude of one part of this daily and unending task: a total
of 996 commissioned U-boats, German, Italian and Japanese were de-
stroyed by the Allies, an average of nearly one every two days throughout
six years of war. Of 1,174 U-boats commissioned by the Germans since
they restarted building their Fleet before the war, no less than 781 were
destroyed. The two outstanding months of the war against the U-boats
were May, 1943, when 46 U-boats were sunk, and April, 1945, when the
Germans were evacuating the Baltic ports and 65 U-boats were sunk.
The intensity of the U-boats' concentration against the British Isles is
illustrated by the fact that of the 996 U-boats sunk throughout all the
oceans of the world, over 300, or nearly one-third, were destroyed within
500 miles of the United Kingdom, an area equivalent in size to only about
one-fifth of the North Atlantic Ocean.- Over 600 submarines were killed by
British Forces, or Allied Forces under British control. Certain statistics con-
cerning the Forces by which these U-boats were sunk will be found in a
SWhite Paper being issued today. There may be minor alterations as the
full history of the war is pieced together.
Teamwork between ships and aircraft at sea, between operational,
training and scientific staffs on shore, and between different Services and
different "nationalities has been the secret of the remarkable success of the
campaign against the U-boats. It is to perpetuate one aspect of this team
work that a Joint R.N.-R.A.F. Anti-Submarine School has recently been
established by the Admiralty and Air Ministry. On Admirals Sir Martin
tunbar-Nasmith, Sir Percy Noble and Sir Max Horton, successive Com-
manders-in-Chief, Western Approaches, fell the main burden of the naval
direction of the war against the U-boats. To their great gifts of leadership
and organization much of its success must be ascribed. Another of the
Navy's continuing tasks, not often mentioned, was minelaying. Our highly
successful campaign caused the enemy by this means about 1,540 shipping
casualties, and greatly assisted the disruption of his communications and
hence his defeat. Altogether 263,000 mines were laid by surface mine-
layers, submarines and aircraft. About one-fifth of these were laid by air-
craft of the Royal Air Force.
All this could not be achieved without grievous losses of officers and
men and of H.M. ships. The total casualties of all our Forces in the re-
cent conflict were mercifully less than in the First World War, but the toll
exacted from the Royal Navy, for whom this war was fiercer and far more
widespread than any in its history, was even heavier.
In the whole course of thq war nearly 51,000 officers and men of the

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ALEXANDER
Royal Navy, excluding the navies of the Dominions, and excluding the
Royal Marines, were killed or are missing. This number exceeds by over
20,000 the numbers killed in the Navy during the war of 1914-1918. This
figure is some indication of the price paid for the preservation of liberty
and the destruction of tyranny. The cost has to be borne in homes in all
parts of the Kingdom. It is the most grievous part of the cost of the war
and one which cannot be in any way repaid. We can only be grateful for
the example of the gallant lives so freely given. Gallantry itself is not
to be measured. There must always be so many deeds of heroism which
go unseen or unrecorded. But some indication of those which were seen
and recorded is given by the fact that up to the end of 1945 nearly 15,000
awards had been made to officers and men of the Royal Navy, including
the Dominion Navies, the Royal Marines and the Reserves. These included
23 awards of the Victoria Cross and 29 awards of the George Cross. The
standard required for any of these awards as the House knows is extremely
high, and these bald figures represent a sum of heroism of which the Navy
may be proud.
Losses of H.M. ships and craft, including requisitioned ships in naval
service, that is ships of all sizes and sorts, from the beginning of the war to
31st August, 1945, amounted to no less than 3,282. These figures include
three battleships and two battlecruisers, or one-third of our capital ship
strength at the outbreak of war, five fleet carriers, 23 cruisers, 134 destroyers
and 77 submarines. This again is an example and a warning, if warning
is needed, of the terrible cost of modern warfare. There are many officers
and men and many branches of our naval forces of whose part in the war
I should like to speak before leaving this part of my account. I should
like to describe the great part played by the navies of the Dominions, of
India and our Allies with whom bonds were forged in adversity, never,
I trust, to be weakened; I should like to tell of the Royal Marines, that
gallant corps so peculiarly fitted for the amphibious warfare of the recent
conflict, and the source, in my estimation, of perhaps the finest Commandos
in the world; of the Royal Fleet Reserve, Royal Naval Reserve, and Royal
Navy Volunteer Reserve, young and old, who showed themselves so adapt-
table, and who gave such splendid service throughout; of the Women's
Royal Naval Service, who performed an immense variety of tasks, often
difficult and sometimes dangerous, with an efficiency and, may I say, charm,
which will ever be remembered with gratitude; and finally of the men of
the Merchant Navy, whose brotherhood with the Royal Navy has never
been closer, a brotherhood born of danger shared and common difficulties
Time will permit me to mention but two individuals-the two dis-
tinguished officers who have between them held the office of First Sea Lord
throughout these momentous years. I cannot recall the name of Admiral
of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, who was First Sea Lord when the war
broke out and until just before his death in October, 1943, without con-
siderable personal emotion. His above all was the hand which guided the

Navy Estimates
Navy through our years of greatest peril, the greatest in our history. The
occupation of France, Belgium, Holland and Norway, the entry of Italy
and then of Japaai into the war, faced us with odds which could never
have been foreseen, and were so great as to daunt the stoutest heart. Ad-
miral Pound was. undaunted. Complete master of his profession, with a
judgment founded on a full knowledge, he weighed the dangers and the
possibilities with a sure touch and laid the plans which brought us from
the extremity of peril to the threshold of victory. I remember, in that
week of Dunkirk, when everything looked to be going to rack and ruin,
how he fixed my soul in its outlook and purpose, when he said:
"There is one thing that cannot happen. The Royal Navy cannot be defeated.
If we are prevented from fighting from here we will fight from any part of the globe
until it takes us through."
It may sound very impossible but that is the spirit which got us through.
Wise in counsel, steadfast in adversity, staunch in friendship, his selfless
service to the country, the Empire and the free world was beyond price.
May we never cease to honor his name.
In Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cunningham, England found, in her
time of greatest need, a sea captain in the great tradition. In his own
theatre at sea Admiral Cunningham was brought face to face with the
dangers seen so dearly by Admiral Pound from the Admiralty. It fell to
his lot, for a period, to contain a major fleet of battleships, and numerous
cruisers and destroyers, with no more than a few cruisers, destroyers and
submarines. He conducted operations of great hazard such as the with-
drawal from Crete; he fought convoys through the Mediterranean on
which all depended; he took momentous decisions. with little time for
thought, in conditions most unfavorable to considered judgment. The
line between the bold seizing of opportunity and initiative, and engage-
ment in rash and foolhardy enterprise, is not firmly or cleanly drawn.
It cannot be laid down by a mathematician's rule, and there would be
many people even in an assembly like this, who would be very critical
whichever way it went. Admiral Cunningham possessed the judgment,
seemingly instinctive in our greatest seamen, which showed him on each
occasion where the line lay. He is also endowed with that touch of magic
which has ever enabled our greatest Admirals to infuse the whole of the
Forces under their command with something of their own spirit, so that
officers and men alike follow unquestioningly and with complete confi-
dence, however hazardous the undertaking may seem. I do not hesitate
to describe Lord Cunningham as the greatest sea captain since Nelson.
"Lord Cunningham's services to the Allied cause in war are incalculable,i
and his services to the Navy will not end when the time comes for him to
lay down his present office, for the inspiration of his deeds in battle and
the fruits of his work as First Sea Lord will live. . .
There still remain naval tasks to be done. For example, mine clear-
ance is a vast and pressing labor which had to be performed before the
trade on which we, above all others, depend could move freely about the

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. ALEXANDER
world. Half a million British and German mines had been laid in Euro-
pean waters alone. On the initiative of the British Government, an Inter-
national Mine Clearance Board, under the presidency of a British flag
officer, was set up *ith headquarters at the Admiralty in May, 1945. All
major ports of Europe were open to trade by the Autumn of 1945 except
in Yugoslavia, which joined the International Organization later. The
burden of this immense task, during the opening stages, necessarily fell
on Great Britain. Very large areas of water, have been declared open to
navigation and fishing. We have been able to release all minesweeping
trawlers, drifters and whalers to be re-converted for fishing. All this is a
naval task, but it is also an essential part of reconstruction."
More than 7,000 British naval personnel were required for the occu-
pation of Germany, with small naval forces. In Japan, and throughout
her area of conquest, the repatriation of many thousands of prisoners and
internees from Britain and the Empire was an urgent problem. Ships of
the British Pacific Fleet were employed to the fullest possible extent on
this duty. These were a.few of the tasks still remaining for the Navy
when the war ended. Since V-J Day, however, our main problems have
all been concerned with demobilization in the widest sense. The Coalition
Government decided on the plan for release by age and length of service
and the present Government has faithfully followed that plan. 4It could
be argued that the plan does not provide the quickest possible return of
men from the Forces to civil life that could be devised, but it is undoubt-
edly the fairest to those most closely-concerned, and the Government and,
I believe, the country are satisfied that, on the whole, the principle is the
best that could be followed. In May, 1945, when the release plan started,
there were 778,000 officers and men in the R.N. With the Pacific war,
essentially a naval war, on our hands, release at first could only be slow,
but 41,000 were released by the end of August. With the fall of Japan
demobilization went into full swing and, by 31st December, a total of
199,000, or 26 per cent, had been released. By the same date, over 35 per
cent of the W.R.N.S. had been released. It is hoped to release another
200,000 from the Navy by 6th May, and by 30th June it is expected that
the W.R.N.S. will be little more than one-fifth of its maximum size. By
the end of 1946 it is planned to reduce the Navy to not more than 200,000
including the W.R.N.S. and new entries and men under training; that is to
say to very little more than one-quarter of its maximum size.
To achieve this result very drastic steps have, of course, been necessary,
and it is inevitable that the efficiency of the Navy should suffer in the
process. If we succeed in our object, while at the same time maintaining
the age and length of service principle, I claim that it will be a consider-
able achievement. It is only in the face of the tremendous need to build
up our civil national economy, that the Board of Admiralty have felt able
to accept this very rapid reduction in the size of the Navy. The Com-
mittee will realize that in these circumstances the figure for Vote A which
is before them is of no special significance. It is merely the figure to which

Navy Estimates
the process of demobilization will have brought us at the beginning of the
financial year, and it therefore represents the maximum bearing in the
year. It has no relation to the ultimate size of Vote A.
The end of the war also found us with a large program of naval vessels
under construction. This is inevitable at the end of any great war,'and
especially of a war which came to an end, as I have said, much sooner
than we had dared expect. Warships take a long time to build and there
is a constant need to make good the losses of war so long as the war lasts.
Yet, as'long ago as November, 1944, the Board of Admiralty reviewed the
warship building program and decided that only work on warships which
could be completed in time to fight in the Far East before the end of 1946
should be pressed on. At the same time, it was decided that merchant
ships should take precedence of all the other Warships building, except
in a few cases where it was desirable to complete a warship already laid
down in order to dear the slip for merchant work. With the end of the
war, it was necessary to decide what vessels already under construction
were to be completed and which were to be cancelled. The facts of which
we were most keenly aware were the need to economize to the utmost in
money and labor and the need to free labor, material and capacity for
merchant ship construction, repair and reconversion. Other factors were
the amount of money already spent on a particular ship; whether the vessel
was of new design, incorporating the lessons of the war, or whether it was
of older design; whether it was economical in the light of contract con-
ditions and the need for clearing the stocks and slipways to complete a
vessel to a stage at which it could be readily removed for sale or disposal;
the possibility of sale to other countries; the needs of the post-war Fleet.
All these factors have had to be carefully weighed, with the need for
economy always uppermost in our minds. The result is that since V-E
Day we have cancelled some 727 vessels, from Fleet Carriers downwards,
whose total cost, had they been completed, is estimated at 158 million,
of which approximately 2V2 million had already been spent or was a
liability under break-clause conditions, giving a net saving of 1253/ mil-
lion. The effect is that on 1st April, 1946, the new construction remain-
ing in hand will consist mainly of the larger vessels for which normal"
replacement was suspended during the war, or of new types of vessel such
as light fleet carriers needed for the post-war Fleet. Considerable numbers
of vessels were also cancelled before V-E Day, when the course of events
showed that it was unlikely that they would be completed in time to be of
value. The savings resulting from these cancellations are estimated at an
additional 64 million. . .
The naval new construction program for 1945 was reduced to the abso-
lute minimum at the end of the war, and now consists only of two escort
vessels, one submarine, two. surveying ships, six small floating docks and
some miscellaneous small craft. We have at the present time only one

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ALEXANDER
battleship under construction, the Vanguard, which is practically finished.
It was decided early in the war not to proceed with the Lion and Tem-
eraire, of the 1938 program, or the Conqueror and Thunderer, of the
1939 program, as none of these ships could be completed before the end
of 1944, and all our shipbuilding resources were required for more im-
mediate needs. It is not intended to proceed with any of these four ships.
Future decisions upon capital ships will, of course, depend on many factors,
and I am not in a position to make any statement at present. The Com-
mittee may be assured, however, that any decision we may arrive at on this
matter will not only take full account of the lessons of the war, but of the
probable conditions of the future. His Majesty's ship Vanguard will be
a vessel of 42,500 tons estimated standard displacement with a main arma-
ment consisting of eight 15" guns& Her estimated cost is approximately
9 million, excluding the cost of the mountings and guns for the main
armament, which were already available.
I am asking today only for a Vote on Account, and the Committee will
realize that, as in the case of Vote A, its amount is not of any special sig-
nificance. It represents a sum which will enable the Navy to carry on
until the full provision for the year has been voted. The Committee may,
however, wish me to say something about the proposed total for Navy
Votes which has already been published. The total cannot be compared
with either the total for Navy Estimates before the war or with what the
total is likely to be in future years. There has, of course, been a sub-
stantial general increase in prices and wage levels since the beginning of
the war and this is the first factor which must be taken into account. We
have had to increase the pay of all officers and men, and the Committee,
surely, will not grudge what has been done in that direction. Secondly,
because we shall be demobilizing for at least the greater part of the year,
we have to provide for a much larger Vote A than in a normal peacetime
year. Thirdly, despite the heavy cancellations to which I have referred,
large commitments in respect of wartime production have to be met in
the forthcoming financial year which cannot by any means be escaped.
Again, we have to provide a large sum to meet our liabilities for personnel
leaving the service in respect of leave allowances, war gratuities and post-
war credits. These also are inescapable. There are further exceptional
charges for rehabilitation of requisitioned premises, and expenditure on
merchant shipbuilding, which is a wartime addition to Navy Votes. When
all these factors are taken into account, I think the total of the Navy
Estimates, in any reasonable judgment, must be considered surprisingly
low, and I can assure the Committee that it will need our utmost en-
deavors to keep within the sum proposed for this still abnormal year.
If the Committee requires any further reassurance that naval expendi.
ture in the coming year will be kept to the least possible, I would inform
them that the vigilance of my colleagues in the Cabinet who are concerned
with the economic reconstruction of the country is something which has
to be experienced to be believed. They all have great, pressing require-

Navy Estimates
ments for men, materials and money, and they all look with hungry eyes
and very stern expressions at the poor Service Ministers, who seem to be
regarded as the sole providers of those most desirable commodities. In my
view, the risk is not- so much that we shall spend too much on the Navy in
this coming year, as that we may unduly lower its efficiency by attempting
to achieve too great a reduction in too short a time. But my faith in the
strength and resiliency of the Navy is such that I believe we can survive
successfully even the very rapid process of reduction which is now going on.
I do not wish the Committee to think that in the process of this tran-
sition from war to peace the Board of Admiralty is forgetful in any way
of the welfare and efficiency of the Service for which we are responsible.
Very much thought and labor has been and is being devoted to future
conditions of service, to the. entry, training accommodation and welfare
of personnel, and much research to the form which naval ships and weapons
must take in the future. As the Committee is aware, the Government
have produced a completely revised pay code for Service personnel, which
we believe will provide a foundation on which we can build with confi-
dence in the future. I am aware that there have been criticisms of certain
aspects and I would not claim that the scheme is perfect. There will no
doubt be modifications, if necessary, as the time goes on. I am sure the
Committee will welcome the announcement yesterday that the men re-
ferred to in the pay code of last December, who hold the same rank on
30th June next, are not now to have any chance of losing their rates of
pay, but have a rising scale of future promotion and increments. There
have also been criticisms about the accommodation and living conditions
of naval personnel, and I am aware that there is substantial room for im-
provement. Many naval barracks are old and poorly equipped by modern
standards. Before the war a program of improvements was contemplated.
The war prevented its fulfillment, but we shall press on with the program
to the fullest extent that the money and labor allotted to us will permit.
But the Committee will realize that in this immediate post-war period, in
which the country is faced with enormous requirements for houses and
replacements for buildings destroyed by bombs, we cannot hope to achieve
anything very startling.
We are faced with another very real difficulty in the accommodation
of personnel in His Majesty's ships. It is said, and with some truth, that
there is less and less room for the officers and men who live in the most
modern warships. The scientists and technicians have produced so many
ingenious devices in such fields as radar and gunnery that the modem
warship, though doubtless a scientist's dream, is to the layman something
of a nightmare of fearsome and complex machinery. I do not for a mo-
ment say that these devices are unnecessary. Success at sea, as in other
kinds of warfare, demands the latest and best of technical equipment. But
all these devices take up room and add to weight, and they have all got
to be manned by extra men. Either some space available to personnel
must be given up for the devices, or ships must be built bigger and cost

British Speeches of thb Day [MB. ALEXANDER
more. If we. built ever larger ships, the country, I fear, would soon be
unable to afford to provide as many as we require to cover the area we
have to cover. These difficulties are, of course, being tackled, and I can
assure the Committee that the importance of good living conditions in our
ships is very much in our minds. I hope that research into design and
construction in the future will find many ways of providing ships which
are not too large, which contain all the equipment we require, but at the
same time leave sufficient room for those who live in them.
It is the Admiralty's intention to devote in future a considerably larger.
proportion of Navy Votes to scientific research and development than be-
fore the war. I believe that this intention will have the full approval of
the Committee. One of the main lessons of the war was the absolute
necessity for keeping ahead in the application of science to warfare in all
its forms.
Concurrently with the battles at sea, on land and in the air, were waged
battles no less intense between the scientists and technicians in the labora-
tories and workshops. The powers released by applied science have grown
with terrifying speed, The share of science in warfare grows correspond-
ingly. In the war our scientists held their own, and more than held their
own, with those of the enemy. We must ensure that in future we, do not
fall behind in this field. The experience of the war and developments in
scientific knowledge will, no doubt, profoundly affect the Fleets of the
future. The Board of Admiralty believes that expenditure on scientific
research and development must have priority so that we may produce the
right weapons and the, best weapons. We believe that sums wisely spent in
this way will save us very much larger sums which might be spent in mak-
ing warships and weapons of an ineffective or inferior kind.
There are those who would say that there can be no fear of war for
some years to come and that we should therefore concentrate all our ex-
penditure on research and call a halt to the production of warships and
weapons of all kinds. Even if the hypothesis were accepted, this policy
-- is not practicable. The warship building and armament industries can-
not be turned on and off like a tap, at will. They depend on knowledge,
experience and skill, all accumulated over many years of specialized work.
If this accumulation was once dispersed it could not. be recovered for many
years, if ever. I have already informed the Committee that we have re-
duced the new construction program for 1945 to extremely small dimen-
sions, but while it will be our policy to continue production of warships
and weapons to the extent that is necessary for the post-war Fleet and for
the conservation of the industries on Which' the Fleet depends, we shall
give priority to expenditure on research and development. At the present
time the greater part of the Admiralty scientific and technical staff is
housed in temporary quarters, and difficulties of housing will inevitably
limit to some extent what we are able to do in the coming year.
My right hon. Friend the Minister of War Transport and myself have
given particular attention to the future health of the shipbuilding and

-Navy Estimates
ship-repairing industry. The two world wars have shown us as never be-
fore how utterly dependent this country is on its shipyards. It is a vital
need of peace, as of war, that the industry should remain prosperous and
efficient. The Minister and I have made proposals, which have been ap-
proved by H.M. Government, for setting up a Shipbuilding Advisory
Committee, to take the place of the Committee set up in 1944, temporarily,
to advise the Government on all matters affecting the efficiency and sta-
bility of the industry; to advise on any steps required to safeguard the
war potential of the industry; to promote the, cooperation of shipbuilding
employers both with shipowners and the representatives of shipyard labor;
and to advise on organization, practice and cognate matters, with a view to
maintaining and improving the efficiency and stability of the industry.
The Government have decided that the Committee should have an inde-
pendent chairman, with representatives of the Admiralty, the Ministry of
War Transport and the Ministry of Labour, together with representatives
of the shipbuilding industry, the shipbuilding trade unions, shipowners
and the officers' and seamen's union in the Merchant Navy ... .

Now, for a moment, may I look to the future? What form will the
Royal Navy take.in,the years that lie before us? What will be its role?
Will it, some have asked, have any role at all? These are large and grave
questions. It is much too soon to give considered or final answers to some
of them, and what I shall say is no more than a few preliminary thoughts
of my own. There are some who may say that the release of atomic energy
has destroyed the need for navies in the future; that any future war would
be so rapidly decided by this new and terrible weapon that a navy could
have no part to play; but there are the strongest reasons for refusing to
act now as though this possibility was a certainty. So far we have only
seen the atomic bomb used against land targets, in conditions of complete
surprise, virtually without any opposition to its conveyor. Possible means
of defense have yet to be devised and applied. This new weapon'will tax
the resources of defense obviously more than any weapon previously known.
In the past, powerful defense has been provided against any weapon which
at its first appearance seemed to be invincible.
The release of atomic energy is still so much in its infancy and may
yet develop into such annihilating danger to mankind, that, as suggested
by an hon. Member on Monday last, the Second World War may be the
last occasion of its use. We must, in thinking of a precedent, be thankful
that gas was not used in the war. There were powerful considerations
which deterred even the most unscrupulous aggressor we have ever known
from the use of gas for example. We do not yet know the limit of effective-
ness of the atomic bomb against ships at sea. Experiments of a most com-
prehensive and searching kind are to be carried out by the United States
authorities into this matter. Their results may lead to big changes in the
methods and tactics of naval defense and the form of ships, but it would
be premature to attempt to say what these changes may be.

British Speeches of \the Day [MB. ALEXANDE]
One thing is certain. Not only the freedom, but the standard of life of
our people in this country, depends on the maintenance of our sea com-
munications. We must, to maintain 45,000,000 people, continue to im-
port the larger proportion of our food and raw materials, and export to
pay for them. Our experience in the last war demonstrated once more -
that if we ever neglected the security of our communications we should
be at the mercy of any aggressor. He would have no need to incur the
hazards of using the atomic bomb. He would simply, surely. and swiftly
destroy us by cutting our arteries at sea. We could no longer defend our-
selves, or, as we have done in the last war, carry munitions and food to the
sustenance of our Allies, whether through the darkness of the Arctic Ocean
to Russia or through the warmer seas to the Middle East. So long as we
live by seaborne supplies, neglect of naval defense would be a policy of
abandonment and despair. It is certainly no policy for the British Com-
monwealth on the morrow of a victory won after long years of fighting to
save ourselves and the world for freedom. We may hope never again to
have to engage alone in a struggle for liberty, but we iiust be able and
ready to bear our full part within the United Nations Organization in
maintaining the peace of the world, and, if need be, in defending ourselves.
Throughout the Second World War the House has been most gener-
ous in its support and encouragement to the Navy and as I look back I
think of that support hon. Members have given us in good times and bad.
Today, with the dark years behind us and the victory won, I venture to
claim that the Navy has deserved well of the H6use and of the country
which bred it and sustained it. I claim also that the House and the coun-
try owe a duty to the Navy. It has almost become a tradition that this
country should be unprepared, when, despite all our efforts for peace, war
may overtake us. It is a dangerous tradition. We have survived our un-
preparedness in earlier wars because behind the shield of the Royal Navy
we have gained sufficient time to repair our deficiencies and accumulate
strength finally to overthrow our enemies. But each time the safety margin
has grown less. We all know that we might very easily have lost the Second
World War and now be living," if such an existence could be called life,
under Nazi domination. We must never again dare the risk of unpre-
paredness. This country, this Empire has demonstrated its desire for peace
again and again, to the point of sacrifice and even of humiliation. We
ought by now to have learned, by the loss of life and resources entailed
in war, that a weak Britain is not an aid to peace. We are resolved to
play our full part as a member of the United Nations Organization. I
hope indeed that every nation has now recognized the truth:
"Ye dare not stand alone."
The Royal Navy must ever be prepared to play its part behind that
organization in support of justice and freedom. We may hope that the
United Nations Organization may become so well established and so trusted
that the Forces required in its support may steadily be reduced, but in the

Navy Estimates
meantime this House owes the Royal Navy the duty of vigilance. Vigilance
now and vigilance in the years to come, so that we may never again be
unprepared. It is in the light of this duty of the House that I confidently
ask the support of the Committee in the Motion which is before them.
[House of Commons Debates]

HoUSE OF COMMONS, March 12, 1946. [Extracts]

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Mr. John Strachey): I shall try
to do three things: First, to say something about the work of the Royal
Air Force in the concluding months of the war. If I did not do that the
record of the Royal Air Force during the war, as presented to the Commit-
tee so eloquently by Sir Archibald Sinclair, year after year during the war,
would be incomplete. Secondly, to say something about the expenditure
proposed for the coming year, and thirdly, to say something-although I
must warn the Committee that it will be something very tentative at this
stage-as to the future functions, character and size of the Royal Air Force.
I should spend all my time if I attempted to give a chronological ac-
count of all the actions in which the Royal Air Force was engaged in the
concluding weeks and months of the two wars-between 6th March, 1945,
when Sir Archibald Sinclair spoke to the Air Estimates, and the surrender
of Japan on 16th August last. The Royal Air Force took a part and a
very prominent part in every one of those culminating actions of the war.
It was over the 21st Army Group in its final advance across the Rhine and
into Germany. There our Tactical Air Forces maintained perfect air
superiority over our advancing Armies. I should like to say something of
Coastal Command work in the final killings of the U-boat as they were
driven from their Baltic training grounds by the advance of our Russian
But all that marvelous story of the end of the war is fresh in our mem-
ories and I could add very little to, it in the time at my disposal. I would
like to have said something, too, about the work of Transport Command
in the Burma campaign. That was a notable campaign for many reasons
but for none more than that it was the first time British Forces were en-
gaged in a campaign which was made wholly dependent on air supply.
In Burma in the months of June and July last eight squadrons of the R.A.F.
-some 200 aircraft-carried 32,000 troops, delivered 47,000 tons of supplies
and evacuated 9,500 casualties. I think that there are many Members of
the Committee who from personal knowledge can clothe these bare facts
with the sense of the human achievement and human sacrifices which these
figures mean.
As I say, I cannot pursue a catalogue of all the operations of the con-
cluding phase of the war, but.what I should like to do is to use .what time

British Speeches of tKe Day [Mt. STBACHEY]
I can in this part of .my speech to say something about what we now know
to have been the results of the main offensive effort of the Royal Air Force.
I feel it necessary to offer to the Committee certain reflections on the re-
sults of the strategic bomber offensive, because that offensive was not only
the principal effort of the Royal Air Force, but it was, as the right hon.
Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) said at the time, for
a large part of the war the principal offensive effort of this country. Very
great resources were devoted to it. At one moment, we were producing
no less than 500 heavy bombers a month, and in the execution of that
offensive, 50,000 members of air crews lost their lives. Therefore, I think
it is a high national concern for all of us to ask the question, were those
resources really well &employed? Did they inflict more damage on the
enemy, at a lower cost to ourselves, than if they had been used in any
imaginable alternative way? Presumably, the only alternative way would
have been to have cast them at the German armies deployed across Europe
as.was done in the previous war, instead of casting them, as was done in
this war, through the air at Germany itself.
Here I must interpolate one word of warning. I am going to speak
entirely about the Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force in the stra-
tegic bomber offensive, because that is what we in this Committee are con-
cerned with, but it would be sad indeed if that fact made anyone suppose
I am pretending that Bomber Command of the R.A.F. was the sole partici-
pant in the strategic bomber offensive. On the contrary, it was not. the
sole participant, and in the concluding months of the war, of which i am
speaking, it was not even the largest participant in that offensive. Those
superb forces, the 8th and 15th U.S. Air Forces with the vast resources of
America behind them, were participating side by side in that offensive,
in a joint and inseparable effort. The mortal injuries on the enemy, which
I am going to describe in a moment, were inflicted by those three forces
acting together, and it would be idle and invidious to try to laud either
one or the other force. But my object is to assess the results of the vast
effort which this country devoted, to the strategic bomber offensive. Of
course, it is too early yet to cast any final balance sheet of what was achieved.
We must, I think, await the conclusions of the very careful and very de-
tailed work of assessment which is being done in the Air Ministry toddy;
nevertheless, I feel that the Committee have a right to hear which way the
evidence is pointing, because obviously, that must have a profound effect
on our whole defense policy in the future.
What I am going to put before the Committee on this occasion is not'
any Air Ministry assessment 'or any Air Ministry estimate of what was
achieved. I am going to place before the Committee the opinions of some
of the leaders of the German war effort who were at the receiving end, as
it were, of our strategic bomber offensive because I think that their opinion
has some weight in the matter. In the closing months of the war, with
which I am dealing, our strategic bomber offensive had risen to its climax,
and it was concentrated on two complementary types of objective-the Ger-

Air Estimates

man transportation system and the German synthetic oil industry. These
objectives had been most carefully chosen, and they were, I believe, com-
plementary, because an attack on them represented in each case an attack
on German mobility, and mobility is the very essence of the capacity to
wage war.
As evidence of the effect of that offensive, concentrated on these two
objectives, I will call Dr. Albrecht Speer, sometime Reichsminister for
Armaments and War Production. I think if any man knew what was
actually being accomplished, it should be Speer. Let us hear him, then, on
what we were doing. Let us hear him first on the effect of our bombing
of the German transportation system. He said in the summer of 1944:
"Concentrated day and night attacks on the Ruhr transport and communications
system first began to cause most serious anxiety about future developments, since
supplies to industry in the rest of the Reich of the numerous products of the Ruhr,
ranging from coal to single items, were bottled up in the Ruhr owing to transport
Naturally, the transportation attacks can be directed not only to a great
industrial objective or industrial area such as the Ruhr; they may be di-
rected to the actual means of transportation behind the lines to prevent
assistance to the enemy's armies in the field, and they were so directed.
Speer says of that aspect of the offensive:
"Transport difficulties were decisive in causing the swift breakdown of the
Ardennes offensive. The most advanced railheads of the Reichsbahn were withdrawn
further and further back during the offensive owing to the continuous air attacks."

Here we approach the borderline between strategic and tactical bomb-
ing, and we are more especially concerned with the effort we devoted to
pure strategic bombing-that is to say, an effort not directly related to the
ground operations which were going on at the same time. So, I turn to
the other great objective which we were bombing at that time-the German
oil industry. I would again call Speer as a witness. It might be said that
his evidence is suspect now that the war is over, because he might tell us
what he thinks we might be pleased to hear, and, therefore, we should dis-
count a good deal of what he has to say. Fortunately, we know what Speer
thought and knew of the effects of our offensive at the time, before the
end of the war-actually when the war was proceeding-because we have
five "top secret" reports which Speer made to Hitler, on the effect of our
oil offensive, during its course from May, 1944 to May, 1945. I will quote
a few words from each of them. The first one which Speer delivered to
Hitler on 30th June, 1944, says:
"The enemy's attacks on the..hydrogenation works and refineries were intensified
during June. If we do not succeed in protecting the hydrogenation works and refin-
eries better than formerly, then in September"-
that is, September, 1944-
"of this year an impossible situation in the fuel supply for the Wehrmacht and coun-
try will arise."

British Speeches of the Day [MA. STBACHEg}
.A month later, on 28th July, 1944, Speer reported:
"The attacks on the synthetic-oil plants and refineries in July had the most dire
consequences. It was possible for the enemy, in most cases, to destroy the plants
effectively shortly after work in them had been resumed."
A month later, on 30th August, 1944, he was reporting:
"If the attacks on the oil industry continue in the same strength and with the
same precision in September as in August, the last stocks will be consumed."
Unfortunately, as a matter of fact, the weather broke in the middle of
September in that year, and the enemy were given a small respite from
the pounding of his oil supplies. However the attacks went on, but they
could not be so effective as during the summer. In his next report, which
is dated the 5th October, 1944, Speer says that he was able to get produced
9,000 tons out of a possible 22,000 tons of aviation spirit. I believe it is
hardly too much to say that German resistance through that winter could
only be prolonged because of the unavoidable fact that there had to be
some relief at that. moment. However, that respite was short-lived indeed.
In the last winter of the war, just over a year ago, Bomber Command de-
veloped to its highest point the art of night precision bombing. They
began the development of it in the transportation attacks in France, but
such precision attacks were of comparatively short range. However, they
perfected, in the last winter of the war, night precision bombing attacks
on individual plants deep into Germany. I shall always regard that as the
very greatest achievement which Bomber Command made in the whole
course of the war. In Speer's last report, on 19th January, 1945, he wrote:
"Since 13th January, a .new series of heavy attacks have been made on the
mineral oil industry, which have, up till now, led to the elimination of the late
hydrogenation plants of Palitz, Leuna Bruex, Blechhammer and Zeitz for a consid-
erable period; this after the last quarter of the previous year, when all the plants
situated in the West, especially Scholven, Wesselring, Welheim, and Gelsenberg fell
out completely. Moreover, it has now been determined that the attacks which take
place so often at night now, are considerably more effective than daylight attacks,
since heavier bombs are used and an extraordinary accuracy in attaining the target
is reported."
I believe these final and culminating oil and transportation attacks,
British and American, were strategic bombing's greatest achievement of
the war, and that they played an absolutely decisive part in the breaking
of German resistance.
The Committee will want to know just how they did play that part in
breaking German resistance, what was the actual process \by which' the
effects of strategic bombing contributed to victory. Again, Speer can tell
us how the thing happened. In interrogation, after the war, he said:
"In the Luftwaffe the shortage of liquid fuel became insupportable as from Sep-
tember, 1944, onwards, since as from that date the allocation was cut down to 80,000
tons a month, whereas the monthly requirement amounted to between 160,000 and
180,000 tons. So far as the Army is concerned, the shortage of liquid fuel, which, in
this case, was also due to supply difficulties-where transportation bombing came in
for the first time-first became catastrophic at the time of the winter offensive of
16th December, 1944; and this was substantially responsible for the rapid collapse
of the German defensive front against the Russian break-out from the Baraniovo
bridgehead. There were approximately 1,500 tanks ready for action, but those had'
only one or two fuel supply units and were consequently immobilized."

Air Estimates

There we see how, in actual effect, strategic bombing made resistance
to the Allied Armies, advancing on Germany from East and West, im-
possible. In practice, the end of the war could only come in this way, by
the pressure on Germany from the air, from the ground, and by our naval
and other measures. It may be of interest to the Committee to know what
Speer said when he was asked the direct question:
"Do you believe-that strategic bombing alone could have brought about the sur-
render of Germany?"
He replied:
"The answer is, Yes. The attacks on the synthetic oil industry would have suf-
ficed, without the impact of purely military events, to render Germany defenseless."
There 'are other German war leaders, whose evidence we have on the
subject, who are in agreement with Speer. For instance, Field Marshal
Milch, the head of the Luftwaffe, said crisply:
"If the synthetic oil plants had been attacked six months earlier Germany would
have been defeated about six months sooner."
They could not be attacked six months earlier, but, at any rate, that is
his opinion. Dr. Rischer, head of the Oil Department of the German
Ministry of Armaments, said
"If the air attacks had been concentrated on industry, particularly oil, chemicals,
power and transportation, the war would have been over one year sooner."'
Those attacks were concentrated as soon as they could be. Dr. Hottlage
"The war would have ended much sooner if precision bombing attacks had begun
earlier than they did-certainly if the German transport system and oil production
had been attacked."
I submit to the Committee that that was the answer to our question:
was the tremendous effort we made, and the great resources we devoted to
the strategic bomber offensive, justified? We have evidence which can give
us a broad, decided answer. When the necessary skill had been developed,
and the true objectives of transportation and oil had been found, all the
sacrifices of life, and all the heroism which was devoted to, and lavished
upon, the strategic bomber offensive was fully justified. I believe that
the war was won with a far smaller cost of life to this country than it
could have been done in any other way.
I turn from those few remarks on the end 9f the war to the situation
and problems which face us in the Air Ministry today, and which face the
whole nation. I want to say something as to the part which the Royal
Air Force, as one of the Fighting Services, is called on to play in the na-
tional life today. I believe that 'the Services can make a vital contribution
to the supreme end of national reconversion and recovery. The firsthand
obvious contribution they can make is to carry through a speedy, but con-
trolled and orderly, demobilization. That is what we are doing. Let me
remind the Committee of the key figures inr that connection. On V-E Day,

British Speeches of the Day [MB. STRACHEY]
the strength of the R.A.F. was 1,110,000. On 31st December, 365,000 had
been demobilized, and by 30th June next another 377,000 will have been
demobilized. Further, by 30th June out of 1,110,000 the number who will
have gone will be 742,000. Seven out of 11, or over two-thirds, will have
been demobilized within 13 months of the end of the German war, and
10 months of the end of the Japanese war. That cannot be characterized
as a slow rate of demobilization. On the contrary, it is a reasonable rate
of demobilization, and it will not end on 30th June next. It will go on
and, as the Committee know, the figure which the R.A.F. comes down to
by 30th December next is 305,000.
Mr. Harold Macmillan (Conservative): M4y I ask the Under-Secretary
whether these figures are for men only, and if so, can he give the figures
for women?
Mr. Strachey: They include both men and women. I can get the separate
figures after my speech.
I put it to the Committee that, in the middle of the process of de-
mobilization as we are today, the scheme of age and service group devised
by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in the closing period of
the war is standing and standing well its supreme test, for it is a supreme
test to demobilize four out of five men-which means, taking the three
Services together, 4,000,000 out of 5,000,000 men-within 18 months of the
end of the world war. Every demobilization scheme must be in the nature
of a compromise between the principle of perfect fairness between indi-
vidual men, and the principle of the needs of the nation for the demobili-
zation of particular men, without reference to their age or length of service.
I suggest that the so-called Bevin scheme, with its Class A under which,
in practice, 90 per cent of the men are demobilized, and its Class B, under
which some 10 per cent are being demobilized, is the best practical re-
conciliation of those two contradictory principles which can be made.
As to the other perfectly legitimate points of criticism which are so
often levelled against the scheme, the unevenness between trade and trade,
which is very slight, or the rather greater unevenness between Service and
Service, we can only say that those unevennesses were also contemplated.
They are provided for in the White Papers which originally put forward
the scheme, and they do no more than make workable a scheme which
would be impossibly rigid without them. It is true that in the Royal Air
Force we have not passed through the period of demobilization without
our troubles, and those troubles are profoundly regrettable. But who
ever did get through a period of general demobilization after a great war
without some trouble; and if we compare this time with past experience,
those troubles will seem slight indeed. I believe I heard in the course
of the defense Debate an interjection which suggested that the rate of
Royal Air Force demobilization had been speeded up as a concession to
our'recent troubles. I want to say a word on that because I think it is
important. It is completely untrue that anything of that sort was done.

Air Estimates
I will tell the Committee exactly what happened. We found that men in
India had become out of touch with the true situation, and believed that
the rate of demobilization was going to be far slower than was actually
the case. They believed that there had been no change since the announce-
ment which I made in October last, that Group 32 would be reached by
June next, aAd the position-comic, if it had not been tragic-had been
reached in which men were committing acts of indiscipline against a rate
of demobilization which was far slower than the one we knew in fact was
to be implemented.
Therefore, far from changing our rate of demobilization, all we did
was, as I told the House, to announce what our program was to be five
months ahead, instead of three. Actually the rate was not varied by one
single day. The only lesson this contains is, I think, the great importance
of telling men as far ahead as possible what the rate is to be. Of course
there are limits to that, because if we go too far ahead either we have to
be so cautious as enormously to understate the rate, or there is the risk
that owing to some unforeseen circumstance we shall fail to keep up with
our announced rate, and I am determined almost at all costs not to do that.
The process of demobilization is of course only one part of the huge and
most completed clearing and unwinding process in which the Royal Air
Force and the other Services find themselves engaged.
Earl Winterton (Horsham): Before the Under-Secretary leaves this point,
may I ask him whether the figure he gave for the end of this year repre-
sents the permanent figure for the next two or three years, and if so how
does it compare with the figures for the Royal Air Force and the Auxiliary
Air Force at the outbreak of war?
Mr. Strachey: No figure has yet been decided for the permanent Air
Force. The only decision is the 305,000 at the end of this year. . .
Then there is the question of the release of airfields. Hon. Members
of the Committee may have the impression-as I had before I looked into
the matter-that vast areas of cultivable land in this country are occupied
by airfields, and in the present food situation they are naturally and quite
rightly anxious that it should be put back to agricultural use at the most
rapid pace possible. We arq doing everything we can in that direction.
We have released 100 airfields and parts of 50 more since the New Year;
this in addition to 50,000 acres released last year. That process is con-
tinuing, but I would warn the Committee not to build too great hopes
on the contribution of food growing, which the release of airfields, in it-
self, can give, for the figures are, to me at any rate, somewhat surprising.
There are some 31,000,000 acres of cultivable or pasture land in the United
Kingdom. Of these, at the peak point, the Air Ministry held 240,000 acres,
that is less'than one per cent, and of that one per cent a third has already,
been released, so that even. if we could release every single airfield which
we still hold, the contribution would be considerably less than one per
cent of the agricultural land of the country. . .

British Speeches of the Day [MB. STRAC.HEY]
Now I ask the Committee to turn to the Estimates themselves. They
will see that the Estimates are transitional. That, of course, does not
mean that fuller Estimates will not be presented later in the year; on the
contrary, they are coming in April and will be debatable. These Esti-
mates give the Committee a chance of considering-they have considered
it formally already, of course-under Vote A the number of the men which
it is constitutionally necessary that the Committee should sanction the
Government to maintain; and of voting a sum on account to sustain the
Royal Air Force in the meantime. They will see that the figure in Vote A
is 760,000, but I would remind the Committee that the only meaning of
that figure is that it is the figure from which the Royal Air Force will drop.
That is a maximum figure, which will drop to 305,000 by the end of the
year. The demobilization figures which I.have already given are the figures
to go by, and not that figure of 760,000, which simply means the Royal Air
Force in all its strength. In that connection, the Committee will see also
that 176,500,000 under Vote I is the cost, not of maintaining 760,000 men,
but of the falling average of the men maintained through the year as the
Force drops to its figure of 305,000 by the end of the year. ...
This brings me to the question-all-important, in my view-of research
and development. I would like to say a word or two as to why we at the
Air Ministry regard this question as of such quintessential importance
.today. I do not know that everyone fully realizes that the end of the war
found us just over the threshold of a vast new technical revolution in the
field of aviation. The technicians tell us that there have been three great
revolutions already in the short history of aviation. The first occurred
between 1914 and 1918, in the course of the First World War. In that
period, there emerged the first breed or species of practical aircraft, which
were developed out of the purely experimental types that existed before
1914.. These were the old classic biplane types with which the 1914-18
war was fought and that breed, or species, really lasted until about 1930.
Then-perhaps we might date it from the famous Schneider Trophy race
of 1931-there appeared a recognizable new breed of aircraft. Thatwas
the high performance piston-engined monoplane. This second and dis-
tinct breed of aircraft also lasted a number of years. The famous Spitfire
was one of the first, and also one of the last of that type or breed. Those
were the aircraft with which the Royal Air Force fought the war, the heavy
bomber, the Halifax Stirling, Mosquito, Spitfire and Hurricane, were all
piston-engined monoplanes. The Schneider Trophy reminds us that we
led at the beginning of that revolution in aviation, and also that, while
we never lost the technical lead in design, Germany did equip her new
type of aircraft before we did. In 1940 we caught up again, but at what
a cost and what a risk
In 1946 we are beginning on a third revolution and, I believe, the most

Air Estimates

profound of the three in the development of aviation. It is a revolution
which is affecting combat aircraft, transport aircraft and civil aircraft alike.
It is most profound because it is based on a new method of propulsion.
The gas turbine engine is the key to the situation. .Whether we harness
it to a propeller, as one might do temporarily, or, more permanently, where
it issues direct in a jet, it is fundamentally a new engine, and is super-
seding the piston-engine altogether, whether as a single seater fighter or,
before very long, the 100 seater air liner. Naturally, in producing this
new breed of aircraft, tremendous new problems have been set for the
airframe designers. All these problems have not been solved, for gas tur-
bine engines are setting problems of a new range of speeds. The most
strange and fascinating problems begin to appear. At 760 miles an hour,
the speed of sound is attained at ground level, while at 30,000 feet the
speed of sound, which varies with ,the temperature, is only 660 miles an
hour. These speeds are being approached. At the speed of sound, we
are told, a 'strange wall, or barrier, arises and there is very stiff air re-
sistance. It is a most formidable and difficult task to break through that
barrier, but, once through it, technicians tell us, possibilities arise of quite
phenomenal speeds. This possibility; judging from the way in which
science is moving, is certain in the not very distant future to become an
actuality. This revolution is more fundamental than any before in all
types of aircraft, and this new breed of aircraft is not the only one of the
series of startling technical developments which was coming in at the end
of the war. I need not remind a Committee sitting in London of the
possibility of guided aircraft. It may be that in that field there may lie
reassuring possibilities for the defense of this country. The super-fast sub-
marine, although not an aviation development, may set a problem for the
Coastal Command of the future. Finally, overshadowing in some, though
not all respects, all other developments, is the release of atomic energy.
But this is best seen, not as an isolated development, but part of the whole
series of startling scientific developments.
To turn to the proper theme of the third revolution in aviation: it is'
based on the appearance of the gas turbine engine. The point I want to
put to the Committee is that, once again, in this field, this country has
undoubtedly the leadership. No one is yet producing gas turbines as good
as ours. We are not, it is true, enjoying all the advantages we ought to
have, because we have not developed the large airframes suitable for civil
and transport uses to-match the incomparable engines which we are able
to produce. The Committee knows the reason for that. It is the honor-
able reason that we concentrated everything on the prosecution of the war.
But it opens the opportunity, if we are to develop our research to the
utmost degree, of incalculable advantages. I do not think that is putting
it too high. Incalculable advantages to this country can be reached, if
we press on in the technical development in which we have not yet caught
up with our own development in the engine field.
;I remind the Committee that I am speaking of aircraft in general, be-
cause the third revolution, based on the new method of propulsion, affects

British Speeches of the Day [MB. STBACHEY]
all aircraft. This fact is recognized in the new arrangement for research.
The research is not done by the Air Ministry simply for combat aircraft,
or by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, or the Admiralty. It is centralized
in the Ministry of Supply, so that its efforts can be applied generally over
the whole aviation field. This new arrangement necessitates, of course, a
certain amount of cross reference, as it were, in the estimates.
I call the attention of the Committee to the fact that while there is no
figure for research here, they will find in the Vote of the Ministry of Sup-
ply a figure of 28,000,000, which is to be devoted to aviation research.
The Committee may feel that a figure of 28,000,000 is a substantial one,
but I put it to hon. Members that that may prove to be a very small figure
compared with the benefit which will accrue over and over again to this
country by devoting this sum to aviation research for the future. If we
economize on some things-and we must economize rigorously on many
things-I beg of the Committee that we shall not have economies in re-
search and development. We hold the lead today, but do not let that
make us complacent for one moment. If we slacken in our development,
we shall be very rapidly overtaken. The friendly rivalry of the American
aviation industry is intense. They will throw their vast resources into
development of military and, perhaps above all, of civil types. It will be
all the better for the world, because the world will benefit both from our
development and from theirs. I beg of the Committee in this friendly
rivalry we should always keep our end up.
So much for the Estimates themselves. I now come to the third part
of my task, which is to say a few words on the future of the Royal Air
Force, so far as we can foresee it. There are certain basic decisions which
we say, perfectly openly and clearly, have not been taken, and which we
believe cannot yet be taken. This is because we do not know the kind
of world in which we are going to live and therefore the functions which
the Royal Air Force will have to perform in that world. Those functions
are bound to depend on two events which have taken place in the very
recent past; one full of hope, and the other full of menace. I refer, of
course, to the release of atomic energy, and the foundation of the United
Nations Organization, both of which-taken in conjunction, and they in-
teract on each other-are bound to affect the functions and, therefore, the
size and structure of the Royal Air Force.
The Committee will not expect me to say anything on the subject of
the atomic bomb, but it is clear that the long-range bomber will ulti-
mately have to be designed either for the existing or chemical type of
explosive or atomic explosive. There is the whole question of the possi-
bility of defending this country or any country from attack by aircraft
carrying atom bombs. All these subjects are, of course, under the con-
stant attention of the technical advisers of the Air Council, of the Air Staff
and of the Air Council itself. It is odious even to have to think of the

Air Estimates
inexpressibly ghastly consequences of war today, but we have to think of
them, just so long as international anarchy persists. But will that inter-
national anarchy persist? During the last few months the United Nations
Organization has been founded. Will it develop a world force capable
of enforcing the will of the United Nations Organization in the world?
I submit to the Committee that, in that possibility, rather than -in any
scheme of national defense, lies the real safety of all peoples of all coun-
tries. For that supreme purpose, and it is a supreme purpose, of the unity
of world force, undoubtedly air forces are the most suitable instruments.
As and when such a world for6e develops the Royal Air Force must be
prepared to make a worthy contribution, to .take a worthy part. ..
I have only one more thing to say. I hope none of us will underesti-
mate the value to this country of the reputation, the fame, of the R.A.F.
I believe that the world's consciousness of what the R.A.F. did during
the war is, today, one of our greatest national assets. All over Europe, and
all over the world, those three letters "R.A.F." mean something very deep
in the hearts of men. It is not merely that in 1940 the R.A.F. stood be-
tween the world and Hitler. It is not merely the big hammer blows of
Bomber Command in ridding the world of Nazism. It is also that, in the
later stages of the war-a large part of the war-the Royal Air Force took
a very close and intimate part in aidiing all those great popular movements
of resistance thrown up all over Europe. To thousands of brave men
and women all over Europe, the R.A.F. was the only link with the free
world. I have twice recently had the privilege of visiting France, in con-
nection with R.A.F. exhibitions and functions. As many Members of the
Committee know, those words "le Raf" mean something very deep in
French-speaking Europe today. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of
seeing the first performance in Paris of that great film "Jericho," which
records one of the most romantic of all the episodes of the war, when, just
over a year ago, squadrons of Mosquitoes of 2nd T.A.F. blew down the
walls of Amiens Gaol,'and released the French patriotic resisters, who were
there awaiting execution.
Also there flew with the R.A.F. during the war men of many nations.
Not only were there magnificent groups and squadrons of airmen of our
Dominions, but Frenchmen, Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Yugoslavs, Dutch-
men, and men of many other nations; so'that, wherever one goes today, if
one travels by the airfields, one will find men who fought and flew in
Bomber, Fighter, or Coastal Command. These are not insignificant facts
in the world today. I always remember in this connection that in 1940,
when I was serving as the adjutant of No. 87 Fighter Squadron, it came
to my knowledge that, in that dark hour, the people of Spain had made
for themselves roughly made R.A.F. "wings," which they were wearing-
because they did not dare to wear anything more open-as a symbol of
their opposition to Fascism. I remember going to my then commanding
officer, the late Wing Commander Ian Gleed, and telling him of this, be-

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. STBACHEY]
cause I felt that he and his pilots ought to know. I pointed out to him
that, in flying and fighting as they were doing every night, defending their
own country against Fascism, they had become a symbol for the world of
the defense of all peoples against Fascism. I well remember the impres-
sion that made on Gleed. For most of the peoples of Europe, liberation
from Fascism has been achieved, though not for those Spaniards. Perhaps
they still wear, in hope, the symbols of the Royal Air Force though there,
as elsewhere, liberation cannot come from outside sources lone. At any
rate let us not forget what all the world remembers: that the Royal Air
Force stood, not only between us and slavery, but between all peoples
and slavery.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, March 14, 1946

Major Bruce (Labour): One of the uncertainties that has lain over the
previous Debates on the Service Estimates and, indeed, over the Debates
which ensued on the issue of the Defence White Paper, was the whole
question of our commitments under the United Nations Charter. All the
way through those Debates, on both sides of the House, uncertainty was
expressed as to exactly the extent of our commitments, in terms of Naval,
Army, and Air Forces, to the United Nations Organization under Article 43
of the Charter. Indeed, at the present time this becomes a matter of press-
ing importance because, until the precise extent of our commitments to
the United Nations Organization is known, we shall not be able with any
certainty to assess exactly what manpower we shall have available for in-
dustry. It will be remembered that under Article 43 of the Charter, which
*we ratified in this House:
"All member$ of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance
of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security
Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed
forces, assistance and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose
of maintaining international peace and security."
It was not, therefore, surprising that on 26th January last, discussion
on the'best means of arriving at the conclusion of the special agreement,
referred to in Article 43 of the Charter, occupied a prominent place on
the agenda. Those who have been privileged to read the Journal will
know that Item 10, that is, the one which refers to these discussions, was
ruled by the President as one that concerned the Military Staff Committee,
and the President submitted to the Council that they might not feel it de-
sirable that they should deal with Item 10, that is, that they should defer
it until a later date when the Military Staff Committee, possibly, had met,
Therefore, it is quite clear that the Military Staff Committee, as such, occu-'
pies an important position indeed in regard to the determination of the
various military commitments of those Powers composing the United

U. N. Military Staf Committee
I was relieved, as I believe Members of the House were, when the
Under-Secretary of State for Air, speaking on 12th March, said:
"..'. in spite of all the difficulties and the dark side of the world situation which
faces us, and which no one wishes to overlook, the Military Staff Committee of the
United Nations Organization has met."
He continued:
".. the Committee has at any rate founded itself" [OnrcxAL REPORT, 12th March,
1946; VoL 420, c. 1067.]
Under Article 47 of the Charter of the United Nations it was agreed that
"There shall be established a Military Staff Committee to advise and assist the
Security Council on all questions relating to the- Security Council's military require-
ments for the maintenance of international peace and security, the employment and'
command of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments and possible
In the second paragraph of that Article its constitution was defined in
these words:
"The Military Staff Committee shall consist of the Chiefs of Staff of the perma-
nent members of the Security Council or their representatives."
That, I think, shows that the Military Staff Committee has a special
function to perform in relation to the Security Council, and the matters
I desire to place before the House tonight are, broadly speaking, the con-
siderations as to whether the Military Staff Committee, in its existing
form and existing organization, is adequate to discharge the functions
which have been laid down. Before we can determine this, we have to
define with precision those functions of the Security Council itself which
necessitate any kind of military advice. So we find, under Article 24 of
the Charter, that the functions of the Security Council are laid down as
"In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its
members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance
of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under
this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf."
I have not time to read out the other Articles which elaborate that
general principle on which the Security Council works. The House will
remember that under Article 26 the Security Council is required to formu-
late plans for the establishment of a system for the regulation of arma-
ments. Under Article 39 it is required to determine any threats to the
peace. Under Article 106 it is required to decide as and when a state has
been reached when it can assume its full responsibilities from the Big Five.
Under Article 46 it is required to make plans for the application of armed
force. Under Article 54 it is required to be kept fully informed of activi-
ties undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by
regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Under Article 43, as I have said, it is required to negotiate agreements for
the supply of forces, assistance and facilities by members of the United
Nations. Finally, under Article 42, it is laid down that, where necessary,
it is required to order direct action by demonstrations, blockade or other
operations by air, sea or land forces of members of the United Nations.

British Speeches of the Day [MAJOR BBUCE)
All these matters, all these duties, which are laid upon the Security Coun-
cil, are ones which definitely require, at some point or other, either on a
temporary or a continuous basis, the assistance of the Military Staff Com-
mittee. It will be noted that in Article 28 it is laid down:
"The Security Council shall be so organized as to be able to function continu-
ously. Each member of the Security Council shill for this purpose be represented
at all times at the seat of the Organization."
The Military Staff Committee is required, in paragraph 1 of Article 47,
which I have already read out to the House, to advise and assist the
Security Council on all those matters to which I have referred, and which
are specific amplifications of its general functions. The Military Staff'Com-
mittee has a further specific responsibility imposed upon it by paragraph 3
of Article 47 for the strategic direction of any Armed Forces placed at the
disposal of the Security Council. Now, the making of plans under Article
46 necessitates the establishment of a permanent Military Staff Committee
on an integrated basis involving the possible use of land, sea and air forces
agreed to be provided by members under Article 43. It will necessitate,
first of all, the provision of military intelligence covering all countries, the
furnishing of scientific advice, particularly as regards new methods of
warfare, and the provision of economic intelligence as a logical extension
of what was formerly regarded in its more narrow sense as military in-
telligence. The making of plans is a continuous process. It is a process
which staffs all over the world are making the whole of the time, if they
are doing their work properly. So far as the United Nations Organization
is concerned, such planning will obviously have to be made on the basis
of forces available to the United Nations as agreed in Article 43 and, on
the other hand, also on the basis of the forces available to any one nation
or group of nations which in the opinion of the Security Council are
likely, either singly or in a combination, to be used against a member or
group of members. \
Those plans will have to be made on the basis of estimated war po-
tentials. They will also have to be made on the basis of all the intelli-
gence factors in regard to weapon development, and bearing in mind the
likely suddenness of future wars, particularly if any future wars are likely
to be of an atomic character. The making of plans is but one responsi-
bility of the Military Staff Committee. The remaining ones, which have
been detailed already, are such as to involve the services of a'full time.
permanent Military Staff. Upon that I have come to the following con-
clusions, which I ask the House to accept. For the purpose of advising
and assisting the Security Council within the provisions of Article 47 of
the Charter, and of fulfilling the specific responsibilities which arise there-
under, a Military Staff Committee, consisting of the permanent members
of the Security Council, is utterly, inadequate. The second conclusion
which I commend to the House is that any committee, or other body,
appointed to advise and assist the Security Council must, in fact, function
continuously, and should be in a position to advise the Secretary-General.

U. N. Military Staff Committee
I would like to turn to the composition of the Security Council. The
House will recall that, under paragraph 2 of Article 47. the composition
of the Military Staff Committee was laid down to be that of the Chiefs of
Staff of the various countries concerned, and I feel, therefore, that we
should bear in mind what are the specific responsibilities which the Gov-
ernments of these Chiefs of Staff actually have already in relation to the
Charter. For example, each country belonging to the United Nations is
required to give to the United Nations every assistance required in any
action it takes, and each member of the United Nations is required to
determine the armed forces and assistance facilities which ,it is prepared
to make available to the United Nations. Under Article 48, it is required
to make those forces, in fact, available, and, under Article 45, these coun-
tries are required to hold national air force contingents immediately avail-
able, and, under Article 26-probably a very important one as the years
pass-each of these Governments of the United Nations is required to
regulate their armaments within any system established for the purposes
of this regulation.
In addition, the Governments subscribing to the United Nations Charter
have the following freedoms of action within the provisions of the Charter.
Under Article 51, every country has the right to self-defense. Under Article
52, it has the right to conclude regional agreements consistent with the
purposes and provisions of the Charter. Under Article 107, it has the
right of action against any enemy state in the Second World War. Under
Article 106, it has the right, pending determination of agreements under
Article 43, to participation, in the case of the Big Five, in inter-Govern-
mental agreements for the maintenance of peace. Under each of these
obligations, and under each of these rights and freedoms, the Chiefs of
Staffs of the various countries concerned already have their own personal
individual and professional responsibilities to the Governments of their
own nations. In fact, the prime function of a Chief of Staff is to advise
his Government as regards defense, which in modern times clearly in-
cludes attack as a means of. defense, and must envisage the possibility of
war, guided by the political situation as determined by the Government
or by military intelligence, or both, with other signatories to the Charter,
including those belonging to the Security Council.
Plans prepared under the guidance of the Chiefs of Staff include plans
of Governments with whom their own Government is on friendly terms,
and may involve plans of defense, and therefore of attack, against other
members of the Security Council, and the responsibilities of a member of
the Military Staff Committee, in his duties on this armaments question,
might come in conflict with his responsibility to his own Government on
the duty of self-defense, and his advice to the Military Staff Committee
must, to some extent, be colored by this consideration.

I invite the House to consider the undoubted conclusion which arises

British Speeches of the Day [MAJOR BRUCE)
from that-that-the future organization of an international force, to which
I think hon. Members on all sides of the House are, in one way or an-
other, committed, will inevitably need an International General Staff.
The other conclusion which I ask, the House to consider is that the pro-
posed constitution of the Chief of Staff Committee makes it completely
unworkable by reason of the conflict of interests involved. If it can be
shown that the Military Staff Committee, in its existing functions, with
lits existing organization and its existing composition, is, for all practical
purposes unworkable, I feel that we have to consider what steps we can
take in order to bring the position more into conformity with the ideas
which I think hon. Members on all sides of the House have in mind.
I suggest .to the House that we should put forward the following
recommendations. Firstly, that a Permanent Military Staff should be estab-
lished under the control of the Security Council and with advisory func-
tions to the Secretary-General. It will be remembered that under Article
99 of the Charter the Secretary-General has the responsibility for deter-
mining the existence of a breach of the peace. Under conditions of atomic
warfare, I should imagine it would be extremely difficult, in some in-
stances, to determine the existence of a threat to the peace without some
kind of military advice. I think, therefore, the Military Staff Committee
ought to be in a position to advise the Secretary-General on this point.
A second recommendation to which I invite consideration is that such
a Military Staff Committee should function continuously and should be
Sable at all times to advise the Security Council which, under Article 28, is
itself required to function continuously. My "third recommendation is
that it should consist of Army, Air Force and Navy personnel drawn from
all Services of the United Nations, and that the persons composing the new
Military Staff Committee in the United Nations' control should be re-
quired to renounce their nationalities, as in the case of the Secretary-
General, and become the paid servants of the United Nations. I feel that
if our own Government would take some steps to lay broadly similar recom-
mendations before the Security Council or General Assembly, we should
find that the institution of an international General Staff, in place of what
I consider to be an unworkable Military Staff Committee in its present
form, would be one of the greatest factors, not only in determining our
correct obligations to all countries of the United Nations under Article 43,
but in being, in themselves, a foundation of the international force which
we know must come into existence sooner or later, and which would prove
to be one of the corner stones in the establishment of world peace.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. H. McNeil):
[ am more than indebted to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member
for North Portsmouth (Major Bruce) for his courtesy in presenting me
with a copy of his most closely argued memorandum. I admit I am in-
debted, because it is a complex and difficult subject. Perhaps I might be
permitted to quote a part of Article 47 which my hon. and gallant Friend

U. N. Military Staff Committee
did not. I do not mean that there was anything sinister in that, but, for
the purposes of my argument, it is well to see the end of the Article. I
will read from where he left off:
"Any member of the United Nations not permanently represented on the Com-
mittee shall be invited by the Committee to be associated with it when the efficient'
discharge of the Committee's responsibilities requires the participation of that Mem-
ber in its work. The Military Staff Committee shall be responsible under the Security
Council for the strategic direction of any armed' forces placed at the disposal of the
Security Council. The questions relating to the command of such Forces shall be
worked out subsequently. The Military Staff Committee, with the authorization of
the Security Council and after consultation with appropriate regional agencies, may
establish regional sub-committees."
Whatever deficiencies this Staff Committee has-and I will admit without
reservation that it plainly has some-it has already worked, and my hon.
and gallant Friend referred to that, but I wanted to make it plain from
the quotation which I read that the Staff Committee is, by definition, a
subsidiary body. However important it is, it must always be considered
as subsidiary to the Security Council. It comprises a machine with which
we are all familiar in this House, where you have the. Council making
policy and the Military Staff Committee supplying the military technical
advice on which the policy is implemented.

I think my hon. and gallant Friend was under, a misconception when
he labored the necessity for continuous action, and he seemed to infer that
that was not possible under the existing scheme. By .definition, to which
I have already alluded, the Military .Staff Committee is designed to func-
tion. continuously. Like any of the other commissions or councils-for
example, the Social and Economic Council-it is continuously in session.
To secure this, it is staffed ly permanent representatives of the chiefs of
staff of the five Powers, and they will be used alongside the Security Coun-
cil at the headquarters of the United Nations. Admittedly, the Military
Staff Committee, like a great deal else in the Charter system, does not pro-
vide a complete and perfect international system. But I suggest to my
hon. and gallant, Friend that, like every international instrument, it was
a compromise. It was the greatest common denominator which we and
some of the other nations were able to secure from the 51 States which go
to make up the United Nations. It should also be admitted that the
security provisions of the Charter, which give each of the five great Powers
two things-permanent membership of the Security Council, and a right
of veto on all sanctions or enforcement action-were based upon the as-
sumption, which His Majesty's Government will,,at all times, strive to sus-
tain, that there would be continued unity of purpose between the five great
Powers, in peace as there was in war, and that if it came to hostilities among
the great Powers, there was a high probability that the organization'of
the United Nations would break down. At any rate, whether we like it
or not, and however much we would like to escape from it, that is the
assumption which is inherent in the organization of the Security Council.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. McNEL.

My hon. and gallant Friend referred to that. His logic is as acceptable
as his desire to perfect that state of affairs, but, from the point of view of
practical politics, that is the maximum which we or any other nation have
been able to grab from the international situation. On the assumption
of unanimity along the five great Powers, the provision made in the
Charter for the Military Staff Committee was cohesive and logical, and
plainly the Committee should be perfectly capable of helping the Security
Council, in planning action and making other provisions to which my
hon. and gallant Friend referred, to take collective action against a breach
of the peace by any other State. My hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion
of an entirely independent and genuinely denationalized Military Staff
Committee postulates a very different political organization of the United
Nations from that which is laid down in the Charter. In fact, a super-
national Military Staff Committee such as he contemplates could come
about only as the result of the establishment of a supernational world
government. It is a design for which many people wait, to which my
right hon. Friend has already paid a tribute, and for which he has ex-
pressed his desire and anxiety, but I think one would place events in the
wrong order if one tried to organize the Security Council on those lines
before one had achieved a political organization at the top from which
that would flow.
I suggest, therefore, that the better policy is to go ahead with the ex-
isting machinery that is laid down in the Charter, and not at this stage
to attempt to make the changes in the Charter which, leaving other things
apart, would need to be made before my hon. and gallant Friend's sug-
gestion would work. We must endeavor to make a success of the existing
machinery. I hope the day will come when nations will surrender their
sovereignty and make this organization possible in the Security Council
and in other permanent organizations. But, while admitting all its defici-
encies, I think we have a right to contend that this is a distinct advance
on any scheme that we previously, had within our hands. For instance,
we had not any comparable instrument behind the old League of Nations.
With the deficiencies of the old League of Nations, this is. a great step for-
ward, resting, I believe, upon this assumption that there is harmonious
action between the five great Powers, and everyone, of course, with every
emphasis that he can command, hopes that that assumption will not be
destroyed. I am sorry, therefore, that I have to reject my hon. and gallant
Friend's proposals with the oldest and nastiest of replies, that the% are not
practical politics; but I would like to say to the House that I am greatly
indebted to my hon. Friend for the candor, the force and the optimism
with which he argued his proposals.
[House of Commons Debates]


HOUSE OF COMMONS, March 28, 1946. [Extracts]

The Minister of Supply (Rt. Hon. John Wilmot): In considering this
most important matter of the industrial application of atomic energy I
think we should do well, if we would get it into perspective, to remember
that the immense development in recent years in the controlled release of
energy by nuclear fission has been carried out under the stimulus of war.
It is for that reason that the discoveries have been directed primarily to
war purposes and to the production of the atomic bomb. As yet, up to
, the present time, the main product of this astonishing new discovery has
been a new destructive agency. Vast and unprecedented dangers have
been imported into the future of the world, and it is to find safeguards
against these horrifying dangers that the United Nations Organization has
set up its Atomic Energy Commission. If ever the labors of a body of men
demanded the prayers and good wishes of their fellows, then it is these.
But this Commission's work may have very far-reaching effects upon the
non-military use of atomic energy. The development of military science
in this, as in so many matters, is bound to have its effects upon the poten-
tialities of atomic energy on its peaceful and humanitarian side.
I will try to avoid technical descriptions, because I am not the best
qualified person to give them. I will try to stick to the. plain facts as I
know them. Although fissile material, produced in quantity, has been
used to release explosive energy of the atomic bomb, the. problem of
harnessing the energy of the atom for peaceful purposes has not yet been
solved. There is no justification for the belief that there is a quick and
easy solution of these industrial problems. I think that it must be some
years before practical results of industrial value can be achieved. As we
see it now, in the present state of'our knowledge, it is doubtful if the
achievements of the'next 10 years can really have a widespread industrial
application. I would invite hon. Members for a moment to consider the
nature of the immediate industrial problem. It is necessary'to find some
means whereby the energy released by the process of fission can be made
available as a source of power. Hon. Members who have studied this
subject will appreciate that the first essential is to get- away the heat
which is generated at a high temperature so that it can be converted into
power. There are very serious technical difficulties in drawing off the
heat at a high temperature. It is necessary to overcome the difficulty of
corrosion, which becomes most serious as soon as one gets into the neces-
,sary high temperatures. That problem has not been solved.
Mr. Blackburn (Laboh'): Theoretically.
Mr. Wilmot: Theoretically, but not practically. When the solution is
found, and it may not beiso far off, but we do not know, what is the most
likely thing to happen, and what is the most likely development of atomic
power for industrial purposes likely to follow? I think that it is most

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. WILMOT]
likely that atomic energy will be used for the production of electrical
power, by using the heat through steam or gas turbines in big rather than
in small units. That is as far as we can see it ....
We think, therefore, of a large power station, deriving its heat not
from fuel, as it derives it now, or from hydroelectric water power, but de-
riving its power from the heat which, in turn, is derived from nuclear
energy, using it through steam turbines, or other means, to develop elec-
tricity, just as we develop it now, and to distribute it in the normal
way. ....
As the hon. Member pointed out, there are benefits to medical science
by the use of artificially produced radio-active materials which come as it
were as a by-product from the production of atomic power, which may
have immense value in their medical and humanitarian application. Then
.I am told that these radio-active materials may have a most valuable in-
dustrial application in themselves, replacing X-rays and radium for in-
dustrial purposes. Facing this new future, I feel that the prospects of this
country are very bright.
The hon. Member was right when he said that British scientists had
made an immeasurable contribution to this, great service, and, if we see
these British brains allied with our special engineering ability-and we
have specialists of high quality, thrustful and inventive-we certainly stand
in a very good position in this country with regard to these developments.
It is true that the United States have acquired very valuable technical
experience from the vast productive program said to cost, I am told, up-
wards of 2,000 million dollars, which was confined to America during the
war by mutual consent as part of the agreed distribution of the war effort.
However, let us not forget that a most important contribution to the work
in America was made by British brains. It is a fact that for the reasons
which I have given we are not fully seized of all the aspects of what has
come to be known as technical "know *how." Very valuable experience is
being gained through the project which is now going on mainly financed
by the Canadian Government. I hope, as we all do, that the co-operation
with the United States of America which was established during the war
will be developed and continued. If it is realized that the future of atomic
energy, in its industrial sense, is dependent on extensive research, then I
am sure that the Government will be supported in their.efforts to carry
that research and development work through with great energy and de-
It has been decided that as much of the resources of this country as
can possibly be made available shall be devoted to this work. The cen-
tral planning is in the hands of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, ad-
vised by the learned Advisory Committee presided over with great dis-
tinction by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Scottish Uni-
versities (Sir J. Anderson). It is the intention to marshal the very best
brains in the country in solving the problems which confront us. The

Atomic Energy
research establishment which it is proposed to establish at Harwell will
be got going as soon as it is physically possible. It will be provided with
every possible facility. The airfield was evacuated by the Royal Air Force.
at the beginning of the year, and work of converting the buildings to
their new purposes is already under way. New, highly specialized build-
ings will need to be constructed, and a team of experts is at present in
Canada preparing plans to incorporate the yery latest knowledge. At the
same time, we shall press on with the construction of the main production
plant to produce the fissile material which the research establishment will
require. The execution of this project, the main production plant, is a
major technological effort.
I was asked to state the money which the Government are prepared to
spend upon it. I will say this: The limit of what we can do in this direc-
tion is a physical, and not a financial, limit. Whatever we can do we
shall do. This is part of the responsibility which, I am glad to say, has
been taken up by Lord Portal of Hungerford, who has now joined my
Ministry. The first stage of the work of extensive designing and planning
of operations is going forward. A special organization is being established
for the purpose. Work is starting. Accommodation for the designing team
has been made available at a Ministry of Supply factory at Risley, near
Warrington. Engineering and other expert staff is being recruited as
quickly as it can, be obtained. The examination of sites for the establish-
ment of the main production plant is now going forward, but no decision
has yet been made. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Supply factory at Spring-
fields, near Preston, has been selected as the site for the subsidiary plant
for the processing of materials. Over and above these direct Government
research and production activities, it is the" Government's policy to en-
courage and support, in every way, research at universities and elsewhere
on fundamental problems which may, in time, lead to discoveries of prime
importance in this new field of nuclear energy.
I can assure hon. Members that we are losing no time and sparing no
effort. We are employing the best brains and preparing to devote as large
a sector of the national effort as can be spared to this development, which
we regard as of transcending importance. It may well be that we are at
any rate within sight of the greatest industrial power revolution in the
history of the world. When it is remembered that in nuclear reaction
about a million times more energy is liberated from a given weight of
matter than in any known chemical reaction, such as burning, and that in
time it may be possible to liberate the atom's energy by reactions other
than the fission process, it will be realized that there would seem to be no
limits to the contribution to human progress which this astonishing de-
velopment may produce, provided that men will have the wisdom to use
this new-found power for their happiness instead of their universal de-
[House of Commons Debates]



Atlantic City, March 21, 1946. My Government are particularly grate-
ful to the Administration for arranging this debate, and to the Director
General for his masterly opening speech. It is a subject to which, since
lastOctober, my Government have given their constant attention, and on
which they have been taking constant action, as things got worse. The
first measure they sponsored was a Conference, summoned in Brussels in
November last by the Emergency Economic Committee for Europe-
the E.E.C.E.--of which I have the honor to be Chairman, to make arrange-
ments for the better allocation and distribution of seeds and plants. The
Conference achieved a very real result; how much there was to do is shown
by the fact that there is still a country in Europe with land ready and
prepared, which is short of 200,000 tons of seed potatoes and 22,300 tons
of other vegetable seeds.
In January my colleague, Mr. Bevin, raised the whole question of food
shortage in his opening speech to the Assembly of the United Nations; he
warned the world of the disasters which had begun to loom ahead. Three
weeks later, he introduced into the Assembly the Five Power Resolution
which called for concerted action by all the Governments of the 'United
Nations to fight the famine which might soon begin. That Resolution
brought immediate results. The Governments of three great exporting
countries-the United States, Canada and Australia-announced that they
were taking measures which together will make a tremendous contribution
to the solution of the problem.
The effect of the Resolution did not end with the Assembly. Week by
week new measures, new contributions are reported. New Zealand has
voluntarily reduced its claim on Australian wheat. Sweden, not yet a
member of the United Nations, voluntarily made the magnificent gesture
of giving up contracts for close on 100,000 tons of wheat and rye. Now
we are following up the Assembly resolution with this debate in UNRRA.
In two weeks time the E.E.C.E. will hold a second conference, this time
in London. We hope that the Ministers of Food and Agriculture will
come from Europe and will discuss together the methods of mutual help
and how theycan respectively apply some of the policies which the Director
General yesterday proposed.
That meeting will be followed a little later by the conference -which
the Executive Board of the Food and Agriculture Organization have de-
cided that they will hold. And in many countries national governments
are taking emergency measures to support this international action. In
the United States the President has set up the Famine Emergency Com,
mittee. In the United Kingdom my Prime Minister is dealing with the
matter as we dealt with the Battle of the Atlantic in 1941. He has formed
a special Committee on world food supplies, in whose frequent meetings
we discuss every measure which it is possible for us to take.
Certainly this debate-will play its part in riveting the attention of

To the'Fourth Council of UNRRA
governments and of peoples on the dangers which they face. Who could
hear unmoved what our Yugoslav colleague said about the loss of 15,,000
tons of wheat on which his Government had counted? Who could listen
unmoved to the figures which Monsieur Varvaressos gave us about Greece?
We all remember how in their Albanian campaign the Greek soldiers
fought through the hardest winter for 50 years, and how in those battles
in the snowclad mountains the General Staff gave their orders: transport
for munitions only. The wounded were left to die. Greece last yea* suf-
ferred the Mediterranean drought. Even her bees and her poultry have
been stricken by disease, and the Greek peasants have been without their
normal crops, even without their honey and their eggs.
Amid the mounting disaster in East and West there has been only one
favorable development in recent weeks. The Soviet Union used to be a
great exporter. Marshal Stalin has announced an improvement in the
food situation, and has made a contract for the sale to France against
American dollars of half a million tons of grain. We all hope that the
Soviet Union may have a still greater surplus and may be able to assist in
feeding those countries to whom, for geographical reasons, UNRRA finds
it most difficult to give its help.
I venture to hope that the attention of this Council and of the Govern-
ments whom we represent may be kept riveted on the facts of the situ-
ation and on the measures which can be taken to.bring relief. I should
regret it deeply if too much time and effort were devoted to differences
about the machinery by which our work is done.
Dr. Tsiang said yesterday that he was full of anger against the Com-
bined Food Board. Of course, the Board, as he said, is not a sacrosanct
institution, but with great respect I think it would be a pity if it became
the object of obloquy, resentment or contempt. I will not speak of the
way in which it works. Others, with far greater authority than I, have
done so, and I hope their words may have dispelled the grave and wide-
spread misapprehensions which exist. As they have explained, the Board
has never disregarded a single recommendation agreed to by. any of its
Committees; and on those Committees all thq suppliers and all the claim-
ants meet. But, looking at it in its broadest aspects, what is the Board,
and what results has it achieved? It was created by three Governments in
1942. What would have happened if they had never set it up, or if they
had 'let it lapse last summer?
First, as the Director General asserted, we should have lost the war.
Second, since last summer prices would have rocketed sky-high. Third, the
poorest countries, those whom the war hit the hardest, would have got
nothing at all. Fourth, when famine came, .we should have fallen back
on the old system of international charitable appeals, like that in which' I
helped Dr. Nansen when there was famine in the Soviet Union in 1922.
The creation of the Board was not welcomed by many people in the coun-
tries which set it up. It was not an instrument to exploit the needs of the

British Speeches of the Day [ME. P. NOEL-BAKEB
world, it was an instrument to prevent exploitation and -profiteering of any
kind. It would have been an utter disaster if the three Governments had
let it lapse nine months ago. It has already modified its machinery and'
its working to meet the new requirements of the post-war world. In our
memorandum on the subject, Mr. Clayton, Mr. Pearson and I have said
that "consideration will be given to proposals to adapt the organization to
changes in the international food situation." That means, of course, that
we shall take full note of the criticisms which have been made, and will
consult about the ways in which the working of the machinery can be im-
proved. I fully endorse all that Mr. Clayton and Mr. Pearson said. It
would, of course, be most desirable that all supplying countries should
participate in such discussions as the Commodity Committees have carried
on. 'My Government would like to see any possible improvement in the
working of the Board; they would like to see the Committees expanded in
membership and taking an ever greater measure of responsibility. They
would like to see the Board's relationship with UNRRA still more de-
veloped. But, having said all this, I add that; as a citizen of the world,
I thank God that the three Governments have decided that the Board's
life should be prolonged.

Now, as I have begun on what some delegates will regard as an action
of national, if not nationalist, self-defense, may I push the action a little
further? May I say a word about the measures which my Government have
taken to meet the present need? Statistics of claims, requirements, allo-
cations have not so far been generally published, and I believe an impres-
sion is abroad that we have been standing pat on all we asked for nine
months ago. You will forgive me if I quote some figures to show that that
is very far from true.
At the beginning of this crop year 1945-1946 we put in a requirement
of 6.9 million tons of wheat and flour and coarser grains. We are now
accepting a requirement of 4.8 million.tons, a cut of 2.1 million, or very
nearly 30 per cent of what we asked for. We took the lead in reducing
our requirements as we saw the situation growing worse. There is, I am told,
a general impression that we are holding heavy stocks. In the autumn
of last year the bulk stocks held by the Ministry of Food reached a total
of 1.9 million tons, and. behind them there was our own British crop still
in our farmers' hands. At the end of June our total stock of wheat and
flour will be. 1.1 million tons, a decline of nearly 43 per cent in the bulk
stocks held by the Ministry of Food. There will be nothing in the barns
of our farmers, and our new crop will not reach the mills until October.
Perhaps I may add that, in the last nine months, we have also sent to the
continent of Europe more than 800,000 tons of cereals which we could
have used ourselves.
I have spoken at length about the Combined Food Board, of which
Governor Lehman spoke in his speech the other day. May I deal now,
more briefly, with the other six points in the seven point program which

To the Fourth Council of UNRRA
he laid before us then? I endorse, and.endorse with all the emphasis at
my command, his sound and wise proposals. My Government, under the
spur of U-boat and Focke-Wulf attack, have already done much to carry
them out. If I speak of what we have accomplished, .it is in no spirit of
national hubris, but simply to show the scale of the results which his pro-
posals may attain.
First, the Director General asked every nation to start an all-out food
production program. Since 1940 we have sought by every means to in-
crease the food which we produce. We have had to do it in a country
which is smaller than the State of Oregon, which nevertheless has a popu-
lation of nearly 50 million, and in which much of our best agricultural
land was given to the airfields of the American Army and the Royal Air
Force. We have done it by ploughing up fields which used to be in pas-
ture, and by using them instead for cereals and potatoes, which are more
efficient forms of food than livestock. Our ploughed up land has increased
from nine million to 141 million acres, dose on 65 per cent. Of course
we still .cannot live without imported food. But by increasing our pro-
duction, we have cut our annual imports from 22 million tons before the
war to 11 million now-that is, by just half the total.
Second, the Director General asked all nations to intensify food con-
servation measures and to prevent all waste. Since .1940 we have had a
national scheme for saving waste. We collect the waste, send it to fac-
tories where it is processed, and we have delivered millions of tons of the
resulting products to help to feed our cattle, our poultry and our pigs.
We have just begun a new nation-wide campaign to prevent the waste of
bread. We have authorized the bakers to sell a loaf of 1/4 lbs. at the same
price as the 2-lb. loaf they sold before. It is difficult to estimate what this
economy may give, but if all our ,loaves were 2 lbs., and if the public
bought no more, the saving might be half a million tons a year. In any
case we believe that a real and great economy will result ...

Third, the Director General asked every Government to take the kind
of measures of control they take in wartime to meet the peacetime need
for food. We have kept on until today every major government control
on consumers and on producers too. We have rationed almost every
staple form of food-sugar, all kinds of meat, butter and fats, milk, dried
and condensed and liquid (11/4 American quarts of liquid milk a week
for each adult), cheese, canned fish, canned vegetables, eggs, jam, lentils,
peas, chocolate, candy, and many more. It is years since we saw any cream.
Every item of this rationing has been maintained until the present day,
and the rations are lower-yes, after six years of fighting, they are lower-
than they were throughout the war. We have maintained our wartime
measures i to increase production. Our government control on farmers is
no less strict than it was before. Indeed the system has been strengthened
in various ways. Our farmers are given directions about the target area
which they must plough, and about the crops which they must sow. In

British Speeches of the Day [MR. P. NOEL-BAKERB
every county we have a War Agricultural Committee, which is responsible
for seeing that the production plans are carried out. If on any farm the
farming done is bad, the Committee has the power-it still has the power-
to, dispossess the farmer and take his land over to be worked by someone
else. That power is used when it is needed; but the farmers and the. farm
workers have given us, and still give us, their fullest help.
Fourth, the Director General asked receiving countries to take ade-
quate measures to collect their harvests in this coming year and to prevent
waste and loss in handling and storage. In Britain we have a strict control
over the sale of farmers' products. All wheat must be made available for
human consumption; only a small percentage-just what is unfit for human
beings-is left to farmers as livestock feed. All wheat suitable for milling
must be sold to buyers whom the Government approve. As a result, the
collection of wheat crops from the farmers is more than 95 per cent. The
sales of many other products such as eggs and livestock are similarly con-
Fifth, the Director General suggested that the extraction .rate of wheat
should be increased and that the use of cereals for distillation should be
drastically cut. We have increased the extraction rate to 85 per cent. We
have gone back to the old dark loaf of wartime days. Our Minister of
Food said a week ago that we might have to raise the extraction rate still
further and to put barley in our bread.
What about the grain for distillation? Sir John Orr will correct me
if I am wrong, but I believe whiskey was first made in Scotland. Soon it
~kill be there no more, for we are stopping all grain for distillation.
Sixth, the Director General has asked that grain should be used as
bread 'for human beings rather than for livestock. I've already spoken of
our wheat collection from the farms. Besides that, we have cut the rations
which we give to pigs and poultry till it is now one-sixth of what we gave
before the war. The pig population has been reduced by half, the num.
bers of our poultry by about a third.
Let me.try to summarize the over-all result in respect of grain which
we have obtained by our application of the Director General's plans. By
increasing our home production, by reducing our livestock population, by
collecting wheat and saving it for human consumption, by increasing the
extraction rate of flour, by saving waste, by eating more potatoes, we have
reduced our imports of all grains by more than 35 million tons. If we
could now save 31/ million, UNRRA's problem would be solved, with a
large margin over to help to save the world. In six years wd have saved
ten times that amount.
We don't know how long our present tragic problem is going to last.
We can see its various phases: first, the immediate crisis till this summer's
crops have been brought in; second, the sowing of this year's spring crops-
late wheat in North America; Mediterranean maize, vegetables in many
countries; third, the autumn sowing for the crops of 1947; fourth, the
long-term rebuilding of national and international stocks.

To the Fourth Council of UNRRA
I believe that in respect of all these phases it would be a fatal error
if governments did their thinking in narrow and unimaginative terms.
There are many different factors which Can help to maximize our effective
supplies of food. Fertilizers and machines are food. If UNRRA could
double its supplies tomorrow of fertilizers and agricultural machines, the
results would be enormous in a few months' time. Coal is food. It is
food both in the Argentine and in Europe. It is required to take the raw
crops to the factories, to process them when they have arrived, and it is
required in other ways.
Transport is food. Last year in Paris and in Lyons many people had
a 1500-calorie diet. The old people and the babies died by thousands in
that harsh winter, while 50 miles away there' was the food that could have
saved them. That is true of many parts of Europe still. The other day
the United States lent 10 million dollars to the Government of Hungary
to purchase trucks-trucks to bring food from the countryside into the
towns. I repeat what I said the other morning, UNRRA and the Govern-
ments should make an urgent investigation to find out how far they can
furnish further trucks in places where trucks will help to combat famine.
Control of currency is food. Peasants hoard their crops when they do
not trust the money. Rationing is food. As we have proved in Britain,
it cuts out vast quantities of waste. Good administration is food, as again
we have proved.
Consumer goods are food. Dr. Rajchman said yesterday that they are
needed to make the farmers sell. That is true in Poland, in Siam and in
other places. In Great Britain we are denying to our people consumer
.goods for which they have waited many years so that we can send them
to Siam to purchase rice.
I have mentioned rice, Mr. Chairman: may I make an appeal to every
Government to see if they cannot spare some rice? Asia lives on rice, and
Asia is on the verge of famine. In Britain we have stopped all distribu-
tion of rice; our people are consuming none. Australia is exporting her
whole production. Are there no other countries that can do the same?
Our dear friend the delegate of Brazil generously promised yesterday
that his country would furnish sugar. Has it rice that it can spare? Can
other countries follow the example set by Sweden, and cancel the rice
contracts they may have made? Rice is the vulnerable point in the whole
famine front.
In 1944 the United Nations won the battles of France and in 1945 they
won the battles of Germany and Japan. In 1946 we must win the battle
against hunger before we can say that our Axis enemies have been laid
low. We must go forward to that battle as we went forward to the rest:
leaving politics aside, solving our differences by mutual concessions as they
arise, keeping before us at every moment the overriding common interest
of mankind.
[Official ReleasiJ

HOUSE OF LORDS, March 7, 1946

The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Viscount Addison): My
Lords, the discussions which have been proceeding in Ottawa during the
past month between representatives of the Government of Canada and
of the Government of the United Kingdom have now been concluded suc-
cessfully. These discussions have been concerned with the request of the
Government of the United Kingdom for a credit to enable the United
Kingdom to purchase the foodstuffs and other supplies which she will re-
quire from Canada during the next few years and with the settlement of
other financial issues between the two Governments arising froin their joint
effort in the war. The desire of both Governments has been to make con-
structive arrangements which would enable the United Kingdom to meet
the serious problems which she has to face after the losses and destruction
caused by the war.
An agreement, the text of which is being circulated in the Official Re-
port, has been reached between the two Governments. Under the agree-
ment the Government of Canada will provide the Government of the
United Kingdom with a credit of 1,250 million dollars. This credit will
carry interest at 2 per cent from January 1st, 1951, and will be repayable
over fifty years beginning at the end of 1951. As in the case of the United
Kingdom-United States Financial Agreement, there is an article providing
for the waiver of interest payments in defined circumstances. The agree-
ment also contains a provision that the interest-free loan granted to the
United Kingdom in 1942 will be continued on the same basis as heretofore
until January, 1951. Before that date the two Governments will discuss
how they are to treat the service and repayment of any balance of the loan
then outstanding.
The carrying out of another provision of the agreement will involve
the cancellation of the indebtedness of the Government of the United
Kingdom in respect of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The amount
of this indebtedness is 425 million dollars. Finally, the two Governments
have agreed to accord to each other both in regard to exchange controls
and import restrictions treatment not less favorable than that. provided
for in any agreement which either of them has made with the Government
of any other country.
The immediate purpose of the agreement is to enable the United
Kingdom to overcome her temporary financial difficulties in purchasing
from Canada. The Agreement will also contribute to the steady develop-
ment of trade between the two countries, the removal of trade barriers
and the free use of currencies for international trade. These policies are
in the vital interest of both countries and both Governments believe that
by this agreement they have taken an essential step in the expansion of
world trade on which the prosperity of their countries depends.
A supplementary agreement was also arranged for the settlement of all

. I

Financial Agreement With Canada
remaining claims which each Government has against the other arising
out of the war effort of the two countries. Under this supplementary
agreement the United Kingdom Government will make a payment to
Canada of 150 million dollars and will cancel all its claims on the Canadian
Government outstanding as at February 28, in return for which the Cana-
dian Government will cancel all its outstanding claims on the United King-
dom not otherwise dealt with, including the cost of food and other supplies
delivered by the Canadian Government to the United Kingdom between
V-J Day and the end of February, 1946.
In conclusion I should like to express our cordial appreciation of the
sympathetic and understanding approach to our mutual problems which
the Canadian Government have shown in the course of these negotiations
and to. state my conviction that the agreement arrived at will be of great
value in the common interest of our two countries.
Lord Woolton: My Lords, I am sure the noble Lords who sit on this side
of the House will join me in offering our congratulations to His Majesty's
Government on the statement which the Leader of the House has just
made. I will say no more than that it seems to me to be an arrangement
which reflects the characteristic generosity that Canada has shown to this
country throughout the whole process of the war, and we on .this side of
the House join you in expressing our gratification at the arrangements
that you have made.
[House of Commons Debates]

HoUSE OF COMMONS, March 15, 1946

Rt. Hon. R. A. Butler (Conservative): ... It has always been the prac-
tice in this House to regard India as a subject upon which our views on all
sides of the House are put into a common pool. It has been a tradition of
Parliament throughout our history that the affairs of India both excite and
receive the maximum attention. The Government of the day have fre-
quently found that it has been well worth their while to take the House
and the country into their confidence. The Prime Minister will remember
that before the previous Mission of the President of the Board of Trade,
the plan upon which he was expected to enter into discussions with the
Indian leaders was published for all to read. It was, therefore, possible
for us to follow the events in India with some knowledge at our disposal.
I ask the Prime Minister today whether he can make any statement which
will further enlighten us on the likely terms of reference, or, to put it in
general terms, on what sort of instructions the Mission is to have, in order
that we may be better informed than we are at the present time. Of course,
I realize that there must be limits upon what the Prime Minister can say.
I hope, however, that he will tell us as much as he can.
My first task is to state on behalf of the Opposition, that we all wish to
create by our intervention the necessary felicitous atmosphere in which the

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. R. A. BUTLErr
Mission may achieve some durable results. We would not, however, desire
results to be achieved at any price. India can proudly boast with the most
ancient civilizations that her history extends over the centuries. No solu-
tion which is reached in a hurry for the sake of a solution can have any
chance of ultimate success. -This is not to say that we do not recognize
the urgency of trying to satisfy the expectations of the Indian people.
India's war record, to which we should all desire to pay our tribute, and
the standing of Indian statesmen, which miny of us have experienced at
first hand on many occasions, necessitate an early advance towards that
goal of self-government to which we are all pledged. We trust that the
Mission will go to India in a positive mood or, if we prefer so to describe
it, a positive state of .mind. I do not doubt, looking at the right hon. Gen-
tlemen opposite, that that will be the case. They should go proud of
Britain's record in India and of the fact that we have, on repeated occa-
sions, made offers to India which are eloquent of our sincerity. There is
no manner in which the success of this Mission could be more definitely
prejudiced than if its members were to become victims of that propaganda
which says that Britain has not carried out her pledges. Offers such as
that carried by the President of the Board of Trade in 1942 have been
made from time to time, but they have always foundered on the inability
of the Indian peoples to come to an agreement between themselves, or on
the refusal of this or that section of Indian opinion to accept what was put
forward. As a further earnest of our intentions it will, we hope, be helpful
to have representatives of the British Cabinet in India at this important
It may be convenient if I remind the House that the best summary of
our intentions towards India as a nation is included in the speech made
by Mr. Amery, the former Secretary of State for India, in the House of
Commons on 14th June of last year. He was then dealing with the state-
ment of interim policy announced by the Gpvernment, and his speech ran
as follows:
"As the statement makes clear, the offer of March, 1942, stands in its entirety.
That offer was based on two main principles. The first is that no limit is set to
India's freedom to decide for herself her own destiny, whether as a free member and
partner in the British Commonwealth, or even without it. The second is that this
can only be achieved under a constitution, or constitutions, framed by Indians, to
which the main elements in India's national life are consenting parties."-[OFFiciAL
REPORT, 14th June, 1945; Vol. 411, c. 18S8.]
This was brought together and epitomized in the King's Speech at the
opening of the present Parliament, which contained this passage:
"In.ccordance with the promises already made to My Indian peoples, My Gov-
ernment will do their utmost to promote in conjunction with the leaders of Indian
opinion the early realization of full self-government in India."
We accept these principles of policy and trust we may be told by the
Government that the Mission will assist in establishing machinery through
which such a policy can be achieved, namely, the setting up of a constituent
body composed of representative Indians. Anyone who understands and
feels the tense atmosphere which prevails in India at the present time must

Cabinet Mission to India

realize the urgent need for finding a way out, a way along which the Indian
people themselves are prepared. to march forward. We cannot march for
them, but we can all march together. All concerned with the conduct of
affairs in India are equally anxious that a move should be made, whatever
may be their particular arduous duty at the present time and in whatever
service they may be functioning.- I should like to make it clear that we
are not only definitely pledged to accept any solution which commends
itself to Indian opinion, but that it is emphatically in our own interests
to bring about a radical improvement in a situation which is one of the
utmost gravity.
The Ministers will, no "doubt,. also advise the Viceroy as to the best
method of bringing into effect the interim policy which was described on
14th June last year, namely, the reconstitution of the Viceroy's Council on
a broad basis, substituting Indian leaders for the present official members.
We had a word about that on the Bill, the Second Reading of which has
just been taken, and it will be interesting to hear whether there is any
further enlightenment we can receive from the Government. Will it be the
case, for example, that the general lines of the statement on 14th June
are still adhered to and, for example, that the portfolio of External Affairs
in this interim period will pass over in this manner?

May I now make one or two observations about certain subjects of
crucial importance and about which we feel particularly on this side of
the House?' First, anyone who has been living with the Indian problem for
a long time must realize that the Mission will be brought sharply up
against the main issue as to whether India is to be divided or not. In fact,
the Mission will have ever before them the Muslim claim that the only way
ip which Muslim culture, civilization and security can be assured is by the
establishment of Pakistan. This is not the occasion for an examination
of the merits or demerits of such a plan, upon which opinion must be
sharply divided on all sides. Whatever decision may be reached, it can-
not be out of place here to state that the unification of India has been
achieved over the last century and a half by long patience and constructive
statesmanship. Whatever arrangement may be made, it is hoped that any
final solution will not be arrived at which is unmindful of India's need for
some central nexus which will facilitate the handling of questions of all-
India importance.
We have recently witnessed a hopeful augury for the future in the
example given by representatives of the main parties in their decision to
co-operate in dealing with the central food problem, and in the Bill which
the hon. and learned Gentleman brought forward this morning definite
powers were sought to retain authority at the Centre for dealing with this
sort of vital problem which cannot be left to the units themselves alone.
May I say-and I feel sure that I shall be expressing the opinion of every-
one in this House-how deeply we feel for India in facing the economic
and social problems which beset her at the present time, and which cannot
but obtrude themselves on the attention of His Majesty's Ministers? We

British Speeches of the Day [Mi. R. A. BUTLE.]
should also be grateful to hear of any statement that can be made of the
interest which His Majesty's Ministers may well take in the very necessary
development of India both industrial and in the agricultural sphere.

The next issue which particularly affects my right hon. and hon. Friends
is that of the future of the Indian States. These States and their rulers are
bound to the Crown by Treaties and engagements of various sorts which
have been hallowed by long and scrupulous observance. We must insist
that any solution which is planned would ensure that we keep our word
with the Indian princes, and that their peoples are given every opportunity
to enijoy forms of enlightened and progressive government according to
their tastes.
Then there-are in India those minorities whose plight and whose future
we discussed at such length during the Debates on the Government of
India Act, whether they be the depressed classes with their large numbers,
the Indian Christians, the Anglo-Indian community, whose services in an
emergency are always pre-eminent, and many others who must find their
place in any future scheme of constitutional development worked out by
their fellow-countrymen. Can we be assured that His Majesty's Ministers
will ever have the interests of these minorities at heart? There is also a
body of men upon whose devotion, to duty India's future depends. These
are the members of the Civil Service of all grades, of the police forces, who
have lately been strained and stretched to their utmost capacity. It is of the
utmost importance that these men should know that the interests of them-
selves and their families are amply safeguarded, that their depleted ranks
will be supplemented through new recruitment, and that an effort will be
made to give themes great a certainty of outlook as possible in the present
troubled state of affairs.
The last matter which I shall mention is the proposed treaty which may
eventually be signed between the constitution-making body and the British
Government. I think it would be simpler if I borrowed some words from
my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on this matter which he used in
his broadcast of September of last year. .He said that we should not seek
iri that treaty to provide for anything incompatible with the interests of
It would be too much to ask the Government to give us today their final
answers on all these points; indeed, were they to do so there would be little
advantage in sending a Mission to India at all, and I do not doubt that'
the right hon. Gentleman would himself be disappointed. We can say,
however, that unless some of these questions are resolved in a satisfactory
manner, it were better that the Mission had never set out. It is on ques-
tions such as those I have mentioned, and on many others which time for-
bids me to mention, that Parliament will wish to be kept informed. Here
I feel I am speaking not only for those on this side of the House, but for
all Members of Parliament interested in this important matter. We realize
that Ministers must have latitude in their negotiations. We trust, however,
that they will remain in dose contact with the Cabinet, and that Cabinet

Cabinet Mission to India
responsibility will stretch over, and overcome, the distance which separates
the Ministers from their Government at home. We trust that the Cabinet,
in its turn, will keep Parliament fully informed and in the picture, so that,
when we finally come to consider Indian questions in the future, we may
all have profited by the initiative which the Government have thought it
right to undertake to deal with this most important affair.

The-Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I would like to thank
the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A.
Butler) for his very helpful, wise, and constructive speech. He has, as we
all know, given great service on Indian affairs for many years, and he comes
of a family that has given many most distinguished public servants to India.
I think that the tone in which he addressed the House is just what is needed
today at this critical stage in the relationship between these two countries
at a time, as has been said, of very high tension. I find from my Friends
in this House who have been out to India and returned, from letters re-
ceived from Indians, and from Englishmen in India of all points of view,
complete agreement on the fact that India is today in a state of great
tension and that this is indeed a critical moment. I am quite sure that
everyone in this House realizes the difficulties of the task which my right
hon. Friends have undertaken in conjunction with the Viceroy, and that
no one will desire to say anything whatever that will make their task more
difficult. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Mission should go out
in a positive mood. I entirely agree and that, indeed, is the mood in which
my right hon. Friends are undertaking this Mission. It is a time emphati-
cally for very definite and cear action.
I do not intend to make a long speech today, and I do not think it
would be wise to.do so. In particular, I think it would be most unhelpful
to review the past. It is so easy to go back over the past and, in accordance
with one's predilections, apportion the blame for past failure in the long
drawn out discussions there have been on this extraordinarily difficult.prob-
lem-the problem of the development 6f India into a completely self-gov-
erning nation. Over such a long period of the past it is so easy to say that
at this stage or at that stag6 opportunities were missed by the faults of one
side or the other. I think also, as my right hon. Friend said, it would be a
great mistake'to stake out the claims of rival communities; we may be quite
sure that will be done anyway.
I have had a fairly close connection with this problem now for nearly
20 years, and I would say there have been faults on all sides, but at this time
we should be looking to the future rather than harking back to the past.
This alone I would say to hon. Members, that it is no good applying the
formulae of the past to the present position. The temperature of 1946
is not the temperature of 1920 or of 1930 or even of 1942. The slogans of
an earlier day are discarded. Indeed, sometimes words that seemed at that
time to Indians to express the height of their aspirations are now set on one
side, and other words, other ideas, are substituted. Nothing increases more

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ArTLrEE
the pace of the movement of public opinion than a great war. Everyone
who had anything to do with this question in the early days between the
wars knows what an effect the war of 1914-18 had on Indian aspirations
and Indian ideals. A tide which runs slowly in peace becomes in wartime
vastly accelerated, and especially directly after a war, because that tide is to
some extent banked up during the war.
I am quite certain that at the present time the tide of nationalism is
running very fast in India and, indeed, all over Asia. One always has to
remember that India is affected by what happens elsewhere in Asia. I re-
"member so well, when I was on the Simon Commission, how it was borne
in upon us what an effect the challenge that had been thrown out by Japan
at that tipe had had on the Asiatic people. The tide of nationalism that at
one time seemed to be canalized among a comparatively small proportion of
the people of India-mainly a few of the educated classes-has tended to
spread wider and wider. I remember so well, indeed, I think we put it in
the Simon Commission Report, that although there were great differences
in the expression of nationalist sentiment between what are called the ex-
tremists and the moderates, and although in many circumstances there
might be such a stress on communal claims as might seem almost to exclude
the conception of nationalism, yet we found that Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or
Mahratta, the politician or civil servant-among all of them that concep-
tion of nationalism had been growing stronger and stronger. Today I
think that national idea has spread right through and not least, perhaps,
among some of those soldiers who have given such wonderful service in the
war. I should like today, therefore, not to stress too much the differences
between Indians. Let us all realize that whatever the difficulties, whatever
the divisions may be, there is this underlying demand among all the Indian
The right hon. Gentleman did not suggest that the Government should
publish any exact terms of reference of the Mission. We have set out the
general purpose, and it is our intention that they should be given as free
a hand as possible. There will be matters, undoubtedly, on which it will be
necessary to refer back for a Cabinet decision, but in the rather fluid posi-
tion at the present time when we desire to get the utmost co-operation and
goodwill between all the leaders of Indian opinion, it would be unwise to
try to tie down those who are going out too rigidly. Indeed, the obvious
reason for sending out Cabinet Ministers is that we send out persons of
responsibility who are able to take decisions. Of course, there must be an
area in which there may have to be a reference back. *

The right hon. Gentleman stressed the great part India played during
the war. It is worth while recording that twice in 25 years India has played
a great part in the defeat of tyranny. Is it any wonder that today she
claims-as a nation of 400,000,000 people that has twice sent her sons to
die for freedom-that she should herself have freedom to decide her own
destiny? My colleagues are going to India with the intention of using
their utmost endeavors to help her to attain that freedom as speedily, and

Cabinet Mission to India
fully as possible. What form of Government is to replace the present re-
gime is for India to decide; but our desire is to help her to set up forthwith
the machinery for making that decision. There we are met sometimes with
the initial difficulty of getting that machinery set up. We are resolved that
machinery shall be set up and we seek the utmost co-operation of all Indian
leaders to do so.
The right hon. Gentleman quoted the statement that had been made
with regard to India's future. India herself must choose what will be her
future constitution; what will be her position in the world. I hope that
the Indian people may elect to remain within the British Commonwealth.
I am certain that she will find great advantages in doing so. In these days
that demand for complete, isolated nationhood, apart from the rest ofthe
world, is really outdated. Unity may come through the United Nations, or
through the Commonwealth, but no great nation can stand alone without
sharing in what is happening in the world. But if she does so elect, it must
be by her own free will. The British Commonwealth and Empire is not
bound together by chains of external compulsion. It is a free association
of free peoples. If, on the other hand, she elects for independence, in our
view she has a right to do so It will be for us to help to make the transi-
tion as smooth and easy as possible.

We should be conscious that the British have done a great work in
India. We have united India and given her that sense of nationality which
she so very largely lacked over the previous centuries. She has learned
from us principles of democracy and justice. When Indians attack our
rule, they base their attack, not on Indian principles, but on the basis of
standards derived from Britain. I was very struck the other day in the
United States, at a dinner where I met a number of distinguished Ameri-
cans, including a very distinguished Indian, where the talk was turning on
the way in which principles worked out here have been applied on the
continent of America. It was pointed out that America had a great heritage
from Britain. My Indian friend said to me, "You know, the Americans
sometimes, forget there is another great nation that has also inherited these
principles and traditions, and that is India. We feel that we have a duty,
a right and a privilege because we also bring to the world and work those
very principles that you evolved in Britain."
I am well aware, when I speak of India, that I speak of a country con-
taining a congeries of races, religions and languages, and I know well all
the difficulties thereby created. But those difficulties can only be overcome
by Indians. We are very mindful of the rights of minorities and minorities
'should be able to live free from fear. On the other hand, we cannot allow
a minority to place a veto on the advance of the majority.
We cannot dictate how these difficulties may be overcome. Our first
duty is to get the machinery of decision set up. That is the main purpose
of my hon. Friends and the Viceroy. We also want to see set up an interim
government. One of the purposes of the Bill which has been discussed
today is to give the Viceroy a greater freedom in order that in the period

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ATTLEE
that shall elapse while this constitution is being worked out, we may have
a Government commanding the greatest possible support in India. I would
not like to fetter the Viceroy's discretion in any way with regard to the allo-
cation of portfolios.
There were a number of points my right hon. Friend mentioned with
which I should like to deal. There is the problem of the Indian States. In
many Indian States great advances have been made in democratic institu-
tions, and a most interesting experiment is now going forward in Travan-
core, under the guidance of the distinguished statesman, Sir C. P. Ramas-
wami Aiyar. Of course, the feelings in British India in regard to nationalism
and the unity of India cannot be confined by the boundaries that separate
these States from the provinces. I hope that the statesmen of British India
and of princely India will be able to work out a solution of the problem
of bringing together, in one great polity, these disparate constitutent parts.
There again, we must see that the Indian States find their due place; there
can be no positive veto on advance, and I do not believe for a moment
that the Indian princes would desire to be a bar to the forward march of
India. But, as in the case of any other problems, this is a matter that
Indians will settle themselves.
I am very well aware, as we all are, of the minority problems in India,
and I think that Indian leaders are more and more realizing the need for
settling them if India is to have a smooth passage in future years. I believe
that due provision will be made for that in the Constitution, and my right
hon. Friends, in their conversations, will certainly not neglect the point.
We must, however, recognize that we cannot make Indians responsible for
governing themselves and, at the same time, retain over here responsibility
for the treatment of minorities and the ppwer to intervene on their behalf.
We are mindful, too, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman, of the position
of the Services-the men who have done great service to India-and the
position of their families. I think India should be sensible of the respon-
sibility she has towards those who have served her, and I think that a Gov-
ernment which takes over, so to speak, the assets of our Government will
also have to take over the liabilities. There again, that is a point to be
dealt with later on. It does not concern the immediate purpose of setting
up what I have called the instrument of decision. I entirely agree with
what the right hon. Gentleman said with regard to the treaty. That treaty
is primarily for India. We are not going to hang out for anything for our
own advantage which would be a disadvantage to India.
In conclusion, may I stress again the crucial nature of the task before
us. This problem is of vital importance not only to India and the British
Commonwealth and Empire, but to the world. There is this immense
nation, set in the midst of Asia, an Asia which has been ravaged by war.
Here we have the one great.country that has been seeking to apply the
principles of democracy. I have always hoped myself that politically India
might be the light of Asia. It is a most unfortunate circumstance that, just
at the time when we have to deal with these great political issues, there
should be grave economic difficulties and, in particular, very grave anxiety

Cabinet Mission to India
over India's food supply. The House knows that His Majesty's Govern-
ment are deeply concerned in this problem, and my right hon. Friend the
Minister of Food is at the present time in the United States with an Indian
delegation. We shall do our utmost to help her. At the present moment
I do not think I should say anything on the social and economic difficulties
to which the right hon. Gentleman referred except this: I believe that those
economic and social difficulties can only/be solved by the Indians them-
selves, because they are so closely bound up with the whole Indian way of
life and outlook. Whatever we can do to assist, we shall do. My right
hon. Friends are going out to India resolved to succeed and I am sure
everyone will wish them "Godspeed."
[House of Commons Debates]

HOusE OF COMMONS, March 7, 1946

The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I have another state-
ment to make. I explained to the House on 17th December the general
lines on which Government information services will be organized when
the Ministry of Information comes to an end on 31st March,' and there
will no longer be a Minister,, exclusively concerned with information mat-
ters. Ministers will be responsible to Parliament for information policy
as for the other activities of their Departments, and the functions of the
Ministry of Information will be redistributed in accordance with this
In practice, the most important change will be in the field of overseas
publicity, and as from 1st April the Foreign Office and other overseas De-
partments will take over the overseas services which are at present run
by the Ministry of Information. As was the case before the war, the Post-
master-General will be responsible for the Broadcasting Vote, and in the
ordinary course Parliamentary Questions on broadcasting will be answered
by the Assistant Postmaster-General. There will, however, be some gen-
eral matters for which this arrangement would be inappropriate, and
Questions on major broadcasting policy should be addressed to me.
Machinery is being set up to secure the proper integration of the in-
formation policy of the various Departments and to co-ordinate inter-
departmental action both at home and overseas, and this machinery will
be under the general supervision of my right hon. Friend the Lord Presi-
dent of the Council on behalf of the Cabinet. Further, as I told the House
in December, Departmental information services will be supplemented by a
Central Office of Information, performing certain common technical and
production functions and making specialist services available to Depart-
ments for both home and overseas purposes. This arrangement is designed
to promote executive efficiency-and should at the same time contribute to
economy of staff in the Government information services generally. The
Office will take over most of the common service duties now carried out by

British Speeches of the Day [Mt. ATL~ E]
the Ministry of Infofmation, and in the first instance it will be mainly
staffed from existing officers of the Ministry. Provision will be made for
the interchange of staff between the Office and Departmental information
branches, both at home and abroad, and for the secondment of Central
Office of Information staff to overseas posts.
The Office will have a separate Vote, for which Treasury Ministers
will be responsible to Parliament, in accordance with the usual practice in
the case of non-Ministerial Departments of this kind. Treasury Ministers
will also deal in Parliament with matters affecting the staffing, efficiency
and methods of the Office. Publicity policy on the other hand, will, as I
have said, be the responsibility of the Departmental Minister concerned
in each case.
The Central Office of Information Estimate, which will be published
shortly, will show a considerable decrease on the expenditure of the Min-
istry of Information in the current year, but this reduction will to some
extent be offset by increased expenditure on the Votes of the overseas De-
partments in respect of duties taken over from the Ministry and certain
new temporary services for liberated territories in Europe. Further econ-
omies should, however, be possible, without prejudice to efficiency, when
the full effect of the organization is felt.
[House of Commons Debates]

HoUSE OF COMMONS, March 5, 1946

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Rt. Hon. L. Silkin):
With the permission of the House I will make a statement about the plan-
ning of London. The policy of His Majesty's Government on this matter
is in accord with the fourth and fifth conclusions, unanimously reached, of
the Barlow Commission. The Plan for the County of London and the
companion Plan for Greater London, which covers the areas surrounding
the county, between them contain a number of co-ordinated proposals
aimed at achieving these objects. The Plan for Greater London has been
under close examination by a number of my colleagues and myself, and
the following decisions have been reached:
Firstly, the over-all growth of London's population and industry should be
restrained. This is one aspect of the general policy for achieving throughout the
country a better balance of the distribution of industry, and in particular for assisting
the industrial recovery of the Development Areas.
Secondly, a planned program of decentralization to the outer areas of Greater
London should replace the uncontrolled sprawl of the inter-war period. War damage
in the congested inner areas and wartime evacuation have provided a unique oppor-
tunity for effecting this redistribution. The intention is to make provision for about
a million persons and concurrently a related quota of industrial firms to be accommo-,
dated further out-mainly in a few new towns and in selected existing towns within
20 to 50 miles of London's center. The planned developments will be given priority
according to their urgency.
Thirdly, it is proposed that the general lines of the decentralization and resettle-
ment should broadly conform to the proposals made by Sir Patrick Abercrombie for
dividing the area surrounding the County of London into four Rings. From the
County of London and the Inner Urban Ring round it, which form the congested

Planning of London
areas, most of the decentralization should take place. The next Ring, the Suburban
Ring, should be regarded in general as static. Surrounding this built-up area a Green
Belt Ring is to be carefully safeguarded, and this Ring, except in permitted cases,
should act as a barrier to further suburban growth. The fourth or Outer Country
Ring should serve as the main reception area for persons and industry moving out
from overcrowded London into compact settlements surrounded by open country.
The implementation of these proposals rests in part upon the compre-
hensive legislation for land control which the Government will be intro-
ducing. Meantime it is my intention to afford guidance to the planning
authorities in accordance with this statement. But while the Government
endorse the main principles underlying the Greater London Plan, they
do not at this stage adopt a number of the individual projects for develop-
ment recommended by Sir Patrick Abercrombie, such as the location and
number of the new towns and the proposals for highways. These matters
are being further examined in all their bearings by the Government and
also by the planning authorities both at the local level and through the
Regional Advisory Committee, under the chairmanship of my hon. and
learned Friend the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) which is
co-ordinating local views. I hope shortly to be in a position, in association
with my colleagues, to provide further guidance to these bodies.
Captain Crowder (Conservative): With regard to Middlesex, could the
right hon. Gentleman say whether he favors the building of satellite towns
with industries attached close by to them, or towns used as dormitories with
workers living outside and coming in to Middlesex?
Mr. Silkin: Broadly speaking, the Government favor the first proposal-
the creation of satellite towns where people can live and work.
Major Vernon (Labour): Can the Minister tell us a little more about
the inner ring-the County of London itself?
Mr. Silkin: This is the congested part of London, and, generally speaking,
there will be a movement outwards, towards less congested parts of London.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, March 18, 1946

The President of the Board of Trade (Rt. Hon. Sir Stafford Cripps):
I would like, with the permisson of the House, to make a statement about
the action I propose to take on the Report on tendencies to monopoly in
the cinematograph film industry. One consideration which I have had to
bear prominently in mind has been the fact that the Cinematograph Films
Act, 1938, is due to expire in 1948. Comprehensive legislation dealing with
film problems will, therefore, need to be introduced before the time
when the Act expires. Adequate safeguards on several points which are
stressed in the Report are furnished in the meantime by existing under-
takings given by Mr. J. Arthur Rank and by the chief shareholders of the
Associated British Picture Corporation Limited. These undertakings freeze
the status quo as respects the control of the major vertical combines, pre-

British Speeches of the Day [Sm S. CaBIs]
dude any unauthorized expansion of any of the three major circuits and
prevent Mr. Rank's organization from acquiring control of additional
studios. An opportunity for more formal and more permanent measures
to take care of these points, in so far as further measures may be necessary,
will be afforded by the new legislation.
In the meantime, however, I am impressed by the fact that, owing to the
number of cinemas which the three major circuits control, particularly in
the Greater London area, a booking by one of these circuits is now virtually
indispensable to the successful exploitation in this country of any major
British film. I consider that this situation is fraught with hazards to inde-
pendent film production, and, in order to minimize these hazards without
disturbing existing cinema holdings at a time when cinema values reflect
the high recent levels of attendances, I have decided to seek undertakings
that the three major circuits will allot a portion of their screen time to
the films of independent British producers as an addition to the amount
of screen time which they must already allocate to British films under the
1938 Act. The selection of films for this purpose will rest in the hands of
an independent Board to be appointed by myself. I have not finally settled
the composition of the Board but it seems cear to me that it should include
representatives of the circuits and that a proportion of its members should
be drawn from outside the industry. I am glad to say that both Mr. Rank
and the Board of the Associated British Picture Corporation have expressed
their willingness to co-operate in the formulation of such a scheme, and
precise undertakings are now being worked out.
The Report also expressed concern with respect to a number of trade
practices which are now and have for a long time past been current in the
industry, and recommended the establishment of a tribunal with wide
powers of compulsory arbitration in cases of dispute between the industry's
different sections. All interested sections of the industry have expressed
their opposition to this proposal, but at the same time all have expressed
their willingness to have recourse to unofficial arbitration on a voluntary
basis in connection with disputes over trade practices which cannot be
compromised by negotiation. I understand further that a Joint Consulta-
tive Committee of renters and exhibitors has already been set up and has
made substantial progress on the difficult question of "barring" clauses in
exhibition contracts. I believe, therefore, that the tribunal proposal in the
form in which it was put forward would impede the ordinary day to day
business between producer, renter and exhibitor, and I have accordingly
decided not to adopt this particular recommendation at the present time.
It will, however, be the duty of the new independent Board to ensure a
fair deal for the independent producers and to this extent the primary
object of the tribunal proposal will be met.
Mr. W. Shepherd (Conservative): May I ask why it is necessary to set
up a Board to select the films? Why cannot they be selected by the exhibi-
tors themselves?
Sir S. Cripps~ Because as far as the three circuits are concerned, they
desire, as we do, that there should be an independent body to deal with
the matter.

Film Industry
Rt. Hon. Oliver Stanley (Conservative) I do not quite understand why
the right hon. and learned Gentleman compared this new agreement with
regard to the films of independent producers with that of the quota that
they have already under the Act. Of course, under the existing Act they
have to allot a certain amount of their time to British films, but they are
entirely free to choose which British films. I cannot see why the same
thing was not adopted here.
Sir S. Cripps: The reason was that both the representatives of the circuits
and we ourselves thought it would be looked upon by the independents as
being a fairer deal than if they were left in the hands of the circuits, certain
of whom, they might feel, might not like particular independents and
would not show their films. In view of this, it was considered desirable that
there should be some independent body.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOusE OF COMMONS, March 20, 1946

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevinj:
I recently told the House that I hoped shortly to be in a position to make
a statement on the problem of the Polish Armed Forces under British
I have explained the principles underlying the policy of His Majesty's
Government in this matter. While we will not use force to compel these
men to return to Poland, I have never disguised our firm conviction, that,
in our view, they ought to go back in order to play their part in the recon-
struction of their stricken country. As the House knows, we long ago made
it known to the men that transport facilities would be available for those
wishing to return. Some members of the Polish Armed Forces under our
command have availed themselves of these facilities. But from the start
I felt that one of the principal causes that prevented a larger number from
returning was the lack of certainty in their minds about the conditions
upon which they would be received.
For this reason His Majesty's Government have, for many months, been
urging the Polish Provisional Government to clarify the conditions which
would apply. Agreement has now been reached with the Polish Provisional
Government, and we have arranged to issue a document in Polish to every
individual member of the Polish Armed Forces. The men will receive it
today. This document will be accompanied by a message from myself ex-
plaining the policy of His Majesty's Government in regard to the futfire of
the Polish Armed Forces and of the men themselves. I am stating in my
message that His Majesty's Government regard the information set forth"
in the document as satisfactory, and that they consider it to be the duty of
all members of those Forces to decide now to return to their own country.
I will not burden the House by reading the full texts of these documents
but will arrange for them to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

British Speeches of the Day [MB. BEVwN
To my great surprise and regret, agreement had hardly been reached
upon the text of these documents, when the Polish Provisional Government
addressed to His Majesty's Government, and published, a Note in which
they declared that they could no longer regard the units of the Polish
Armed Forces under British command as forming part of the Armed Forces
of Poland., They asked that those units should be disbanded forthwith, and
stated that the men who wished to return should make individual applica-
S tion to Polish consulates. This Note has since been fully discussed with the
Polish Provisional Government, and I have received assurances from them
that it does not affect the conditions set out in the document which is being
issued to the troops; that these conditions will still apply to all Polish
troops returning from abroad; and that they will, as far as possible, deal
with applicants for repatriation by categories rather than insist upon in-
dividual scrutiny by their consulates.
Arrangements for the repatriation of those deciding to return will be
made by His Majesty's Government in consultation with the Polish Provi-
sional Government. There may be some who will decide not to go back.
I am explaining in my message to them that, in execution of the policy
announced by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr.
Churchill), His Majesty's Government will give, in collaboration with other
Governments, such assistance as is in their power to enable those who
fought with us so courageously to start a new life outside Poland with their
families and dependents. But the problem is a difficult one, and His Maj-
esty's Government can, at this stage, offer no guarantee that all of these men
will be enabled to settle in British territory at home or overseas. The
problem will be studied with the utmost sympathy. What plans can be
made will depend iery largely upon the numbers of those still remaining,
and we shall not know this for some weeks. In any case, the time has now
come when a plan for the demobilization of the Polish Armed Forces must
be worked out. If these men had been British soldiers, most of them would
have been demobilized already under the age and service scheme. The
peculiar circumstances of this case mean that orderly demobilization will
take some time, so there is no question of discharging them overnight.
This problem has been fully explained and discussed by the Prime Min-
ister and myself with General Anders, and with the other Polish com-
manders who recently came to London for this purpose. We had to make
it clear to them that we could not preserve these Polish personnel as an
armed force under British Command. We received assurances from Gen-
eral Anders and the other commanders, that they fully understood; that
they will co-operate in ensuring that the statement is communicated to all
the men and that no pressure is brought to bear upon them to influence
them against going back; and, further, that theytwill work with the British
authorities in taking .all necessary steps for the solution of this problem.
The success of the arrangements for the repatriation of these men and their
fair and proper treatment on their return to Poland will determine to a
very large extent the relationships between our two countries.
I feel sure that the House would wish me to pay a tribute to the magnfi-
cent services which these Forces of. one of our first Allies in the late war

Polish Armed Forces
have rendered to the common cause throughout the whole long struggle.
His Majesty's Government and, I am sure, the whole House, are conscious
of their debt to these men and are determined to deal justly by them. His
Majesty's Government, as one of the signatories of the Yalta Declaration on
Poland, and in view of the further undertakings they received at Potsdam,
cannot disinterest themselves in developments in Poland. When these men
go back, they can be assured that we shall continue to use oir influence in
favor of the strict fulfillment of those decisions, and that we shall watch
with the closest interest and sympathy the progress of the great tasks of
political and economic reconstruction and the rebuilding of Poland's inde-
pendence which the Polish nation are already tackling so courageously.
Mr. Eden: I know the right hon. Gentleman will understand that it is
difficult to comment fully until we have had a chance to study the docu-
ments which His Majesty's Government will make available. There are
two points I would like to clear up. Despite the later Polish communi-
cation to which he referred, is it still the fact that while the men who want
to go back will be given every facility, those who do not want to go back
will have no pressure put on them t6 go back? Secondly, as regards those
who elect not to go back, are we to take it that His Majesty's Government
will do all they possibly can to find another way of life for them within the
British Empire, in the spirit of what my right hon. Friend the Member for
Woodford (Mr. Churchill) said at an earlier date?
Mr. Bevin: I think the right hon. Gentleman has correctly stated the
position, but I would like all hon. Members not to encourage members of
the Polish Forces to decline to go back. I feel that these magnificent troops
will be such an asset to Poland in her political and industrial reconstruc-
tion, that if too much emphasis is placed on what we will do, a wrong im-
pression may be caused. We are extremely anxious that the Polish troops
should return to their own country. Subject to that, we cannot relieve our-
selves of responsibility for those who feel in their conscience that they can-
not go back.
[House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF LORDS, March 7, 1946

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Jowitt): I have said before in this House;
and I have always believed, that friendship between this country and
France is both natural and the most essential, thing for Europe.
Our ancient civilizations being so different yet so much alike, the fact
that they are close to us, the fact that a great many of us speak,. after a
fashion at any rate, their language and that they, after a like fashion, speak
ours-all those things make it possible, probable and, I hope, inevitable that
we shall be very good friends with France. It is a fact that M. Gouin made
a most interesting suggestion on this and I am glad the question has been

British Speeches of the Day [LoBD Jowrrr]
raised. On the 29th January last he suggested that the French Govern-
, ment should try to bring about the conclusion of a tri-partite alliance be-
tween Great Britain, France and Russia. His Majesty's Government wel-
comes that statement because they also hope that, just as Anglo-Soviet re-
lations and Franco-Soviet relations are governed by treaties'bf alliance, re-
lations between this country and France may also formally be defined by
some treaty of alliance.
But having said that, I venture to think that the fact that we have not a
formal treaty at Phe present time does not mean that we are not, both
of us, determined to work with one another to prevent a recurrence of the
things that have happened within the last 25 years. The closeness of our
relations with France is in fact illustrated by the 'very fact that the con-
.clusion of a formal Treaty of Alliance would not make any practical dif-
ference to them. It may be asked why, if that is so, we have not hitherto
answered the French proposal. The fact is that since the French proposal
was made we have been so busy dealing with the very urgent affairs of the
United Nations Organization and so on that we have not taken this matter
up, but I would say that, in principle, the conclusion of an alliance of this
sort would make, I think, no difference. But now we have dealt with the
various matters connected with the United Nations Organization we shall
certainly take it up. We desire, as a fundamental matter, to have the closest
possible friendship and relations with France.
[House of Lords Debates]

RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, at the Trans-
port and General Workers' Festival, Bristol [Extracts]

March 30, 1946. You have to have certain goals and ideas that you nlust
strive for in your policy, and I think everybody agrees that if we are to have
peace, we cannot repeat again the imperial tendencies of the nineteenth
century and expect to maintain it. And therefore you have to reorientate
your outlook. But you cannot change a policy that has-been operating
for three or four hundred years by the different Powers in a moment. You
have to develop tolerance, patience, put up with the difficulties between
one another, and the irritations, and never lose heart. I'm one of those
who believe, in spite of what is said about human nature, that, if it is nur-
tured right, the good will ultimately transcend the bad. But that means
that when difficulties arise, how have you got to deal with them? I do not
take the view that it is wise to have talks, have disagreements, publish com-
muniques that all is well, and thereby mislead the public. I think that is
a profound mistake. If there is a disagreement, that does not mean you
have got to have ivar or a serious quarrel.... It does mean that if the actual
disagreement and'the causes of it come out to the public ... and the truth
is told, then any statesman has the greatest advantage of all-he has that
priceless jewel, the common sense of the ordinary people, to help him in

The Approach to World Problems
a solution. Therefore, we have had little difficulties, maybe differences of
temperament, maybe differences of approach, maybe misunderstandings of
one kind or another. It may arise even from fear of future attacks; it may
have been accentuated by the development of atomic energy. All these
factors tend to keep people and governments and everybody on tenterhooks.
But I want to see, and I think we shall see it really, an agreement or. a
declaration that whatever happens we will not use armies, to settle our dis-
putes. And I think in the little argument going on now in New York;
and the differences that have arisen, there are emerging two very funda-
mental principles or-shall I say-three fundamental principles. One is
that it is improper to negotiate or attempt to negotiate or obtain conces-
sions by a great Power out of a little Power by means of occupying that
country with your Forces. It is a tradition-and I am not saying one or
other country only may have done it-but it is a nineteenth-century im-
perialism that really must be left behind. And I believe that a solution
will be found, and a principle will be accepted, that those of us who rep-
resent great Powers will not do that.

The second is: I believe we shall all have to leave behind the method
of negotiating under duress. But that carries with it a further step. Where
vital raw materials are concerned which may be a cause of great Powers
getting into conflict, then we must establish proper machinery to deal with
that vital economic problem.... To that end ... we in this country did all
we could to.promote agreement [with the United States] on oil. And
in that Agreement-when it is ratified by the United States-provision is
made to call other Powers to consider both its exploitation and its use,
including the consumers. There will be other difficulties arise about
other great raw materials as time goes on. You cannot settle them all at
once, but if only we can develop trust in one another-and may I add this
with emphasis-you cannot only ask another country to do this, and share,
unless honestly you put your own in the pool as well; you cannot draw
a curtain as it were across a great area of the world, and say, "That's mine
anyway." But the dispute arises over the other spheres. That is what I
meant in the House of Commons when I said we must in the end arrive
at a stage when we put our cards on the table, face upwards, with no reser-
vations at all.
Now if anyone asked me whether in the next meeting of the United
Nations or the next after that you are going to solve all this, and get this
complete trust, I would be a fool to mislead the country. But there are
lots of things going on at the same time, which, if handled properly, one
will contribute to the other, and'finally achieve success. Let me enumerate.
There is the Military Staff Committee: this question of military forces and
their use for general security is a vital thing, but it will take some time,
with the best will in the world, for the United Nations Military Staff Com-
mittee to work out their plans, and get complete agreement. Then there
is the question of the Economic and Social Council, with all these great
backward territories, all these low standards of life, all this disequilibrium

British Speeches of the Day [Ml. BEVm)
all over the world-all of which brings it, in fact, back again on the raw
material problem-and it is possible, as that gets to work, and gradually
emerges and builds confidence, it will make its contribution to the other
and more frightful difficulties.
Then there is the question of the Atomic Commission-a tremendous
step taken in London at the last meeting; I hope it won't be underesti-
mated-in which the whole problem of these great devastating new discov-
eries would be handled. That will take some time-before you have built
up sufficient confidence, whether you will have inspection; how you will
do it, before you have got it into a shape in which everybody has complete
confidence in the other person. But when you've got it, that is another
third great step towards unity. And what we are engaged upon at the end
of this second world-devastating war is to try to get in a position in which
we won't think in terms of fear, we won't think in terms of domination,
we'll think in terms of how to prepare the ground so that, stage by stage,
confidence will grow, and the world will become knit under one world
organization. And in that-that is the only way to achieve what both Mr.
Eden and I agreed in the House of Commons, I think last December-
is what I call, not the surrender of sovereignty, but the merging of sover-
eignty into a greater sovereignty that you are creating. It is not therefore
by propaganda, it is not by calling each other names, it is not by blazing
away and shouting slogans we shall do these things, but it is a patient,
steady, hard, gruelling task.
And that brings me.to another question of which this is rather funda-
mental, and that is the subject of Greece. . There are certain places in
the world which stand out in the history of human development . .
Greece is one. Every Democracy turns to Greece with a feeling of rever-
ence, and those lovers of democracy in Greece and of our parliamentary
democracy in Britain naturally make a great affinity between the two
countries. Both our interests and our desire are that Greece should have
restored parliamentary government, restored in her own way, and with it
her liberties, and that tranquillity should be brought back once more to
that unhappy country. I would ask the British public to remember that
Greece has been torn by war for many, many years. She fought for her
freedom; she fought in 1912; she fought in the last war; she fought, after
the last war, against Turkey; and she has been attacked by Italy and by
Germany. She has had a civil war on top of it, and, friends, the worst
war of all is a civil war. It sets family against family, relative against rela-
tive, and it leaves behind a terrible aftermath for statesmen to handle.
So far as His Majesty's Government is concerned, we entered Greece
in order, first of all, to drive the Germans out, and, secondly, to restore
an ordered government and civil administration, which, as I say, had
broken down. But we undertook to get out of Greece as soon as possible,
and especially when these tasks, both of them, had been accomplished.
It is very difficult for Greece. She lies between two great Allies who have dif-

The Approach to World Problems
ferent points of view, and I am sorry that in this task she is subject, to
external propaganda. The two principles for which we have been striv-
ing-and tried to work out-were, one, for economic reconstruction: food,
clothing, houses, transport. When a people has been devastated by war,
that is what they want first. They want to get back, and begin a decent
standard of life, and to rebuild their shattered economy. But the diffi-
culty about that in reconstruction is, you must get a stable government to
carry it out, and therefore we agreed to international observers, and to
use every means in our power to try and help. In the end, I sent a young
man-whom I hope, Sir, Bristol will have the pleasure of listening to one
day; I believe he is one of our coming men-Hector McNeil-to Greece.
He did a great job, and the two countries, Greece and ourselves,'entered
into a firm agreement. That was, I repeat, for economic reconstruction
and for a general election on March 31st.
I was askedfor advice, and only for advice; as to whether this election
should be postponed. It was so serious that I asked the Cabinet to look
into it with me, and we came to the' unanimous conclusion . that if we
gave the advice to postpone, we should only perpetuate instability, and
the whole situation in Greece would deteriorate. As a result, and irre-
spective of our advice, whatever happened under this head, it was clear
that the Communists in Greece intended to boycott and upset the election.
We think 'this was unfortunate. .For Greece has proportional representa-
tion, and our information was that if E.A.M. took part they would get
many seats; and, indeed, they agreed originally to take part, and not to
boycott. Therefore, if a party feels it cannot get a majority, that is no
justification for seeking to prevent the citizens from exercising their fran-
chise. We in this country have had to fight our way through. We fought
every election-I had a few moral victories before I got in-but we have
carried out our part, and tomorrow Greece shall vote. I hope she will be
true to her greatest traditions. If she ignores all this effort to prevent her
citizens voting, it will be a great moral lesson to the est of the world,
and tomorrow we shall know whether, in spite of her trials and troubles,
Greece asserts her determination to rise again from the ashes, and firmly
establish a new democracy which will play its part, not only in the solu-
tion of the internal problems of that country, but the international ones
as well.
I wish Greece all the best wishes. I've struggled hard ever since I've
been in office, pouring in money-not pouring it in: at least aiding with
money-with material, with Bailey bridges, with transport, with engines,
and everything else. Indeed, as long as I hold this office, one of my great
tasks will be in endeavoring in every problem to bring to bear-the lifting
of the standard of life for the people; that is the test I shall apply to the
policy I shall follow in every case.

Just one word about the wider aspect. Great Britain, in her foreign
policy and overseas policy, is endeavoring to extend the area of freedom
and liberty; and we believe that if, by constitutional advancement, colonial

British Speeches of the Day [Ma, BEVmIN
and dependent countries can be pushed along, and helped to build up to
govern themselves, that should be our policy. A great task is being under-
taken at this very moment in India,. and one of your own members is out
there endeavoring to bring about a solution. I think it marked a com-
plete change in imperial attitude towards dependent countries when Att-
lee made that brilliant speech on India, and gave India her choie to re-
main in or go out .... The only thing that compares to Attlee's declara-
tion, backed by the Government, was the attitude taken in 1906 by the
late Canmpbell-Bannerman when, after the war with South Africa, instead
of suppressing their liberty, he created the Union of South Africa, and
handed it back to the people. And as I sat in the House that day, and
thought of the great men who at different periods of British history had*
helped to build this Commonwealth by great acts of statesmanship, I felt
that Attlee was filling a similar role. I thought of Durham, who saved
us Canada, and united the French and the English-speaking peoples in
that great Dominion. I thought of Campbell-Bannerman, I thought of
many others, who at moments of history when changes had to be made,
had the courage and the conviction to go against all prejudice, and to
trust the people you are going to deal with. Well, I am glad it is a Labour
Government that has had the courage, the wisdom, to take this step re-
garding India.
For in that Indian, in that Eastern territory, a great new era is being
born. China, with the defeat of Japan, is coming back into her own once
more, and will become, I think, a great country. She will industrialize
and develop, and concentrate her attention on fighting her greatest enemy
of all, that of poverty, as the days go on. I believe she has an enormous
task, after a war of now 13 years, and a war in which she has been occu-
pied for eight. I think the new steps we are taking in Malay-the steps
we are taking in Indonesia with the Dutch and the Iddonesians to pro-
mote a settlement-the steps we are taking all along that great territory--
prove that at least we are in advance of the times, almost, and meeting
this great growth of nationalist feeling that has come up as a result of the
new world. We have the great problem of the Middle East, and there,
although we had a twenty years' treaty-and we were asked if we would
review it at ten in accordance with its terms-we have readily agreed to
review it, and we hope to come to a mutual settlement so far as that area
in the Middle East is concerned. . In the middle of all this welter of
foreign affairs and imperial settlement and change and Commonwealth
development, we are faced not only with the aftermath of war, which is
bad enough, but we are faced with the horrors of famine. Nature has
taken a hand at this game by droughts, by the failure of the monsoon,
and, unless we can grapple and fight this famine this year, a good deal
of our policy may be entirely undone, or set back. And if you will bear
with me with one or two words how you can help-I'm not going to ap-
peal to you to give your rations away-they're not very much as it is--
that's not the theory-I want production, and I tell you why I want produc-
tion. The greatest gift that working men and women and managements

The Approach to World Problems
can give to this country, to help us solve this terrible problem that's arisen
as a result of the war, at this moment, is production.
Now, let me show just how it works. You saw the other day in the
papers that there had to be-there was likely to be-a consideration of a
further cut in the very meager fat ration. Well, I expect you women got
a little annoyed. We haven't cut it. If we did there wouldn't be much
left . One of the biggest factors in that difficulty is the failure of the
monsoon in India, the shortage of rice, and the Indians being compelled
to use the nut [peanut] to convert to food, and therefore preventing the
export of the nut to Great Britain to make the margarine. Now what
could we do? We must get ships, we must collect every ounce of rice we
can get, we must get wheat from America, and from the Argentine and
other places, and Australia is playing up splendidly to help in this busi-
ness in a great Commonwealth spirit, as well as New Zealand. Now if you
can provide the rice, and make them no longer dependent on the nut,
then you use the nut to keep your own foodstuffs going here and other
parts of the Western World where it is needed, and help the fat situation
in the whole of Western Europe.
Let mne give you one other illustration. We must get rice out of Siam-
there's a good quantity, but there's no consumer goods. The people in
Siam don't believe in money any more.... What they want-the poor
peasant-is something to wear, some goods. To get the goods, I must get
cotton out of Lancashire, spinners must go in, miners must produce coal,
And if you could send the consumer goods to Siam-- take that as an illus-
tration-you get the rice, the rice comes to Malay. Instead of the poor
Malay being on half rations, he gets his full ration, he produces the tin
and the rubber to keep the industries going here. I cannot give you a
better illustration showing you the cycle of things. . It is a question
just as in the war, when the enemy was at your door: you put-to to stop
invasion. I appeal to my fellow trade unionists, men and women through-
out the country, to buckle to to fight Jhe famine this next four to six
months, and you'll contribute far more to the future peace of the world
than any argument I can use or any ability I may possess as Foreign Secre-
In this case, we have the same difficulty near home in France. France
is coming up, and being rebuilt. We are working closely with her. She
has our sympathy. She will get our help.
Now I have spoken a lot longer than I intended, but I am so full-up
when I come to these meetings, so full-up and so anxious to tell everybody,
share my troubles with you, knowing that you'll share your sympathy with
me, that I've taken your time, that I believe that out of it we shall be able
to co-operate, citizen and statesmen together; that Britain will, in her
greatest day, with her greatest generation, emerge from the greatest struggle
she's ever had, make her finest contribution to the civilization now being
born.icial Release]
[Oficial Release]

The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is
devoted to answering questions which Members of Parliament put
to Ministers. A selection of some of the questions asked during
MARCH, 1946, is included below, together with the Ministers'

Major Wilkes (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Af-
fairs whether any representations have been made to the Spanish Govern-
ment regarding the execution of 10 Republicans, after summary court
martial, and the long.terms of imprisonment passed on 35 Republicans on
charges of reorganizing the Spanish Socialist Party; what action His Maj-
esty's Government contemplates taking, in view of the changing character
of General Franco's Government; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Frederick Willey (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for For-
eign Affairs whether any protest has been made to General Franco follow-
ing the recent execution of Cristino Garcia and nine other Republicans.
The Minister of State (Rt. Hon. P. Noel-Baker): When the news was
received of the execution of Garcia and nine other Spaniards His Majesty's
Ambassador in Madrid was asked for an immediate report. He was also
asked for a report on the trial of the 37 members of the Spanish Socialist
Party, to which my hon. Friends refer. The Ambassador informed us that,
according, to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Garcia and his com-
panions were convicted on criminal charges of murder, assault and robbery.
The. 37 Socialists, at whose trial a member of the British Embassy staff
was present, had been charged with the offense of reorganizing the Socialist
Party. His Majesty's Ambassador was at once instructed to tell the Span-
ish Minister of Foreign Affairs that the execution of Garcia and his com-
panions had roused deep resentment in this country, and to invite the
Minister to furnish the evidence on which they had been convicted. The
Ambassador was further asked to tell the Spanish Minister that the punish-
ment of the 37 Socialists for organizing their party was utterly repugnant
to British opinion, and would inevitably have a most serious effect on
Anglo-Spanish relations. He was instructed to press the Spanish Govern-
ment to reconsider the whole matter. [March 4, 1946]

Sir T. Moore (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer
how many dollars were received from the U.S.A. or credited to our account
during 1945, in payment for whiskey exported from Scotland and England,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton): Our exports of whiskey
to the United States in 1945 were valued at 3,940,000 f.o.b. I have no
separate figures for Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
[March 5, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons

Mr. Edelman (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
whether he will propose an Anglo-U.S. military alliance to the U.S. Gov-
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr.
McNeil): The question of an Anglo-United States military alliance has
not arisen. The policy of His Majesty's Government was clearly stated by
my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in his speech of 21st February
in this House. It is the aim of His Majesty's Government to try and make
the United Nations Organization an effective and workable instrument in
maintaining world peace and to prevent aggression.
[March 11, 1946]

Mr. Janner (Labour) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
whether he has any statement to make about the appointment of an ad-
viser on Jewish affairs in Germany.
Mr. Orbach (Labour) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan-
caster whether he has considered the appointment of an adviser on Jewish
problems to the Control Commission in Germany and the Commission in
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. J. Hynd): After con-
sultation with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, I have appointed
Lieut.-Colonel R. B. Solomon, M.C., as adviser on Jewish affairs to the
British element of the Control Commission for Germany. Lieut.-Colonel
Solomon will be proceeding to Germany early next month. It is not at
present proposed to make a similar appointment in the case of Austria.
[March 18, 1946]

Mr. Thomas Reid (Labour) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Af-
fairs whether, in view of the departure of a Sudanese delegation for Cairo
in connection with the forthcoming treaty negotiations, His Majesty's Gov-
ernment are in a position to make any statement in regard to the future
status of the Sudan.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin): Yes,
Sir. His Majesty's Government look forward to the day when the Sudanese
will be able finally to decide their political future for themselves. It is not
proposed by His Majesty's Government to influence their eventual decision
in any way. His Majesty's Government have no object in the Sudan other
than the true welfare of the Sudanese, and this principle has likewise been
proclaimed by the Egyptian Government in the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty
of 1936. The welfare of the Sudanese cannot be secured unless a stable
and disinterested administration is maintained in the Sudan. The objects
of such an administration must be to establish organs of self-government

British Speeches of the Day
as a first step towards eventual independence, to accelerate the process of
appointing Sudanese to higher Government posts in consultation with
Sudanese representatives, and to raise the capacity of the mass of the people
for effective citizenship. These are the objects of the present Sudan Gov-
ernment, and His Majesty's Government fully support them. In the mean-
time, His Majesty's Government consider that no change should be made
in the status of the Sudan as a result of treaty revision until the Sudanese
have been consulted through constitutional channels.
The Acting Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Eden): I entirely agree with
what the right hon. Gentleman has said about the evolution of the Sudan
and the position of the Sudanese themselves. I did not hear what the posi-
tion is about this delegation-from whom it is or to whom it is. Could
the right hon. Gentleman enlighten us a little?
Mr. Bevin: There are to be two delegations representing two points of
view. There is one delegation from the Sudan going down to claim the
unity of the Nile Valley. There is another delegation going there, I un-
derstand-I do not know whether it has gone yet-which is claiming that
the Sudanese must be consulted before anything is dealt with. There is a
division of opinion.
[March 26, 1946]

Mr. Cuthbert (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs if he will consider offering the Government of Siam credits or such
other commercial advantages as will induce them to make available for
export the largest possible amount of cereals, especially rice, with a view
to relieving, by these means, the shortages in India and Burma.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bevin): His Majesty's
Government are fully aware of the importance of encouraging the maxi-
mum export of rice from Siam. We have been advised that the most effec-
tive means of obtaining increased exports is the early delivery to Siam of
certain classes of consumer goods. Siam is in a position to pay for such
goods, and His Majesty's Government have taken steps, in co-operation
with the Dominion Governments and the Government of India, to ensure
their early delivery to Siam.
[March 27, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons

Some other speeches and debates in March, 1946, are listed below.
These can be consulted in the Library of British Information Services.

Rt. Hon. Anthony Eden. Hull, March 1.
Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee. Broadcast, March 3.
Lords, March 5. Earl De La Ware, Earl of Huntingdon, etc.
Commons, March 6. Mr. Key (Parliamentary Secretary to
Ministry of Health), Mr. Willink, etc.
Commons, March 6. Mr. Creech Jones (Parliameiitary Secretary
for the Colonies).
Lords, March 7. Viscount Samuel, Earl of Perth, etc.
Commons, March 7. Mr. Creech Jones, etc.
Commons, March 8. Mr. Creech Jones, Mr. Gammans, etc.
Commons, March 11. Mr. McNeil (Parliamentary Under-
Secretary for Foreign Affairs).
Commons, March 11. Mr. Attlee, etc.

Commons, March 11. Mr. McNeil, etc.
Commons, March 13. Mr. Attlee.
Lords, March 13. Lord Llewellin, Viscount Addison, etc.
Commons, March 14. Mr. Bevin.
Commons, March 14. Mr. Lawson (Secretary of State for War), etc.
Commons, March 15. Mr. A. Henderson (Under-Secretary of State
for India). .

British Speeches of the Day

Commons, March 18. Mr. Zilliacus, Mr. McNeil, etc.
Rt. Hon. P. Noel-Baker. Atlantic City, March 19.
Commons, March 19. Mr. Isaacs (Minister of Labour).
Commons, March 19. Mr. Hynd (Chancellor of the Duchy of
Commons, March 19. Mr. Dalton (Chancellor of the Exchequer),
Commons, March 20. Mr. Creech Jones.
Lords, March 19. Duke of Bedford, etc.
Commons, March 20. Mr. McNeil, Mr. Eden, etc.
Lords, March 21. Viscount Elibank, Viscount Stansgate
(Secretary of State for Air).
Commons, March 26. Mr. Hynd.
Commons, March 27. Rt. Hon. G. H. Hall (Secretary of State
for the Colonies), etc.
Commons, March 27. Mr. Bevin, etc.
Lords, March 27. Lord Croft, Viscount Stansgate, etc.


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