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Title: British speeches of the day
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Title: British speeches of the day
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Full Text

v. 4

7 i

House of Commons, June 4 and 5, 1946 [Extracts]

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevin):
S. Since I last had an opportunity of addressing the House on 21st Feb-
ruary on the general question of foreign policy, many events have taken
place in the endeavor to bring the world back to a peaceful state. The
road of peace is a very hard one, especially when it is complicated by
varying political conceptions in different countries, and the settlement
of differences is often handicapped by the desire to secure the adoption
of a particular ideology. But I am not pessimistic on that account. I am
still wedded to Litvinov's famous phrase, used in Geneva before this last
war, that "Peace is indivisible." It is for that reason that the basic aim of
His Majesty's Government in their foreign policy will be to make the
United Nations organization work effectively; all international questions
which arise must now be dealt with in relation to this new world fabric,
which we are bent on weaving and ultimately making effective, and which
will some day-I do not know how soon-draw its power direct from the
will of the people. In dealing with these problems, I can never get out of my
head that there is something much more important than statesmen, who after
all only hold office for what is a moment of time in the ages of history,
and that is the masses of the people, who may be either at peace or at war
in the future as the result of the action of statesmen at a given moment.
It is true to say that all the peoples of the world are seeking peace and
prosperity, and if we interpret their feelings aright, I am sure they are
ready to dwell together in peace, if allowed to do so. In this respect, they
have everything to gain from extending the scope of, and trusting in, the
United Nations organization. If all of us are willing to have our actions
judged in the light of day, we shall have the advantage of a common-sense
view brought to bear on each problem by the greatest of all juries, the
ordinary public. I am not unduly pessimistic but one has to look facts
squarely in the face, however unpleasant they are. It is no use wrapping
up one's thoughts in obscure diplomatic language. Foreign policy is not a
matter, now, which is limited to a small section of the community. Total
war has made everybody want to have their say as to their destiny.

I would suggest to the House and to the world-to all public men-
constantly to remind themselves of this: if we do not want to have total
war, we must have total peace. One of the fundamental things in striving
to achieve this total peace..nd the effective working of the United Nations,
is that we must not only be prepared to submit our claims but to make
clear our motives and to try to understand the motives of others. When
I say I am not unduly pessimistic, I have in mind the fact that the world
problems which we have to solve now are far more complicated than those
which faced the peacemakers of 1919. This last war disrupted Europe to
an infinitely greater extent than the war of 1914-18. In the settlement of
the last war Russia was not a party. Personally, I have always felt that was

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN]
a tragedy. In this war she has made a tremendous contribution and has
emerged from the defeat of 1917. It is an important step forward that she
is to take. part again, because it is only if Russia enters freely into the
European settlement that there can be any guarantee of permanent peace
on the continent of Europe.
On the other hand, the United States fought in the last war, took part
in the peacemaking, and then withdrew into isolation. Now, everybody
in the Western Hemisphere, equally with other parts of the world, is
conscious that the whole planet is involved. We have, however-and this
is why our task is harder than in 1918-to get agreement between the West,
which has a common culture and similar traditions, and the great Slav
areas whose history and development have been on very different lines
from ours. The great problem, and we found it all through the negotiations
up to now, is to find what one might describe as a common approach. This
involves patience and toleration but, ultimately, I still believe, we shall
achieve understanding. The only thing that will block understanding is if
any of us develop exclusive power politics, and do not use our perfectly
legitimate interests in a way that will, as I said at the beginning, ultimately
merge into a world security scheme. The security of all countries must not
be sacrificed by each country concentrating only on its own security.

If I may again refer to the different political concepts, there is, I think
rather unfortunately, running through all the speeches and. writings of our
Soviet friends, the theory that they alone represent the workers, they alone
are democratic. Their concept of certain other governments is that they are
either Fascist or crypto-Fascist, or something of that kind. This leads to
the idea that the security of Russia can only be maintained when every
country in the world has adopted the Soviet system. This, I think, is one
of their greatest handicaps and a great obstacle to peace. I am sure I can
speak at any rate for the workers in Great Britain and the British Com-
monwealth when I say we do not believe that the Soviet system would
represent the interests of the workers nearly so effectively as the system
which this Socialist democratic Parliament is now evolving in this country.
I do not for a moment deny the right of Russia to pursue her own way of
achieving an industrial revolution, but for us in this country, who started
our industrial revolution over 150 years ago, to adopt the Russian method
would really be retrogressive for us and would not represent progress. I
have, I must confess, the impression that the majority of the working classes
of Western Europe at least feel like us. Therefore, if we are to get real
agreement on both sides, we must undertake tQ develop our political insti-
tutions in our own way without attempting to impose one system upon the
other, and leave the people absolutely free to use their reason and judg-
ment in their own way and, if I may emphasize, in their own time. Thus,
we may evolve our different political organizations necessary to express our
desires, but agreeing-on one thing all the time, unanimously, that we will
all combine to prevent a revival of Nazism or Fascism, such as cursed the
world in the last few years.

Foreign Afairs
This is an attempt to describe the background against which we have
been meeting in the recent conferences. Conscious of this, I had a talk in
Moscow last December with Generalissimo Stalin and I indicated to him
that I would be willing to recommend to the Government of the United
Kingdom that the Treaty of Friendship should be extended to 50 years.
I had at the back of my mind the creation of some permanent link between
our two countries which would avoid misunderstanding. I was ready to
go to the extent of regular consultation, exchange of views, and helping in
the development of the peace of Europe, as well as facilitating the trade,
commerce, and exchange between our respective countries. I regret that
the proposal was not taken more seriously at the time, but I am still con-
fident it will come yet. For my part, while I am Foreign Secretary, not-
withstanding the rebuffs, I shall still pursue it.

There are many matters connected with the Soviet attitude towards the
British Commonwealth and Empire, which, at least, show a sense of realism.
I think, for instance, that the Soviet Government, and, indeed, the United
States as well, do really recognize the tremendous importance to the peace
of the world of the maintenance of our position in the Middle East, pro-
vided that, ultimately, there is developed a regional organization which
fits into the United Nations security system. That it is the intention of the
Government to pursue.
Neither do I believe that there is any basis for real misunderstanding
or fundamental disagreement over the Dardanelles. We have been willing,
equally with our predecessors, to consider the revision of the Montreux
Convention. What we are anxious to avoid, and I emphasize this, is to do
anything, or agree to anything, which will undermine the real independence
of Turkey, or convert her into a mere satellite state. But, with the recogni-
tion of these principles, I am convinced that these two factors are not
irreconcilable. Let me go further and say that we will always welcome the
mercantile fleet of the Soviet Union on all the seas of the world. We sail to
the Baltic, but we have not got a base and have not got a port there. We
will sail to Odessa again, to the Black Sea and Constanza, quite freely, but
we do not ask for a base or military requirements to enable us to do so.
Our aim, as a Government, is the free movement of shipping and the
world's trade. Therefore, whatever responsibilities we undertake in the
defense scheme of the world in any particular area, we give -a solemn
undertaking that they will be on a basis of freedom to all members of the
Peace Club on equal terms. I believe that, if such an attitude is accepted
all round, this great desire for bases can be considerably minimized.

This brings me to a very acute point that was raised in Paris relating
to the Danube. M. Molotov observed in his recent statement that it cannot
be regarded as correct that certain non-Danube States should assume the
right to dictate their will to the Danube States, and impose a regime on
the Danube which would take no heed of the interest of the Danube States.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN)
We have not sought to dictate. What we asked was that we should discuss
and settle this problem, and I rather resent M. Molotov's attitude, if I may
say so publicly, that, when we put up a proposal with which he does not
agree, he seems to imply that we are dictating. We dictate to nobody, but
we do ask that there shall be examination of our point of view when we put
it forward on rational and reasonable grounds. That is not an unreason-
able thing to suggest. It is what we apply ourselves in our own conferences
and everywhere else, and it is not an unfriendly act to put forward an idea
with which somebody else does not agree.
In order to explain our own standpoint in this matter, I will, if the
House will permit me, recapitulate very briefly the more recent history of
the Danube problem, which very largely applies to the Oder, the Elbe and
other rivers so vital to the life of Europe. We discussed at Lancaster House
the general question of the Danube regime, and we were anxious at that
time to secure the opening up of all the rivers of Germany. Now, we were
not anxious merely to open them up for a mercenary interest, but there
was so much starvation in Europe, and all of us could see the famine lying
ahead of us. We had fertilizers in one place, grain in another, food in
another, and, if we could, we had to get the great transport system of
Europe going in order to minimize the sufferings of Europe. When we
are accused of putting this forward for imperialist or capitalist, or some
other interest, I do beg my Soviet friends to get that out of their minds.
Nobody in this House would violently accuse me of putting forward any-
thing in the capitalist interest, after my long record of struggle in that
field, but what I was anxious to do was to get everything moving, and,
after all, transport is the very great artery of civilization.

Therefore, we discussed at Lancaster House the general question of the
Danube regime, and Mr. Byrnes, from the United States, put forward a
proposal for a provisional International Commission, but the Soviet dele-
gation would not accept it. They would have nothing during the occupa-
tion period. They desired to leave it to the individual commanders to
control navigation on the stretches of the river within their zones, regard-
less of the fact that, without a commission, there could be no co-ordination
of the movement of traffic over the whole river, and also, at the end of the
occupation period, when the Allied Commanders withdrew their Forces,
there would be a complete gap for a time without any control at all until
a permanent Commission was set up. The practical effects of this dead-
lock has been to paralyze through traffic on what should be one of the main
transport arteries between Central and South-Eastern Europe.
Let me give the House one consideration. There is an urgent need for
the quick transport of grain from the regions of the Lower Danube, where
the harvest is gathered first, to countries upstream, where it is still ripening.
There is a difference of six weeks between the ripening of wheat in
Rumania and Bulgaria, on the one hand, and Czechoslovakia and Austria,
on the other. Normally, this traffic used to move exclusively through the
Danube, but now there is no regular through traffic. I must confess that

Foreign Affairs
I do not feel happy that because of some policy of some kind, which we do
not understand, whole areas of Europe should go hungry because we will
not agree to do the sensible thing and move grain and food freely through
these great arteries. Let us fight that on some other basis; not on the bellies
of the people should this political conflict take place. I cannot accept that
view as being a sound political philosophy. All our desire, at that time,
was to get this free flow as rapidly as we could in order to prevent this
horror of starvation going on in so many areas.

We came back to the Danube question in our talks in Paris, when we
were discussing the peace treaties for Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.
I took the same position as I had taken in London: the necessity for
restoring freedom of trade and navigation on the Danube and those other
rivers, and protecting the commercial rights of the States concerned-the
principle, if you like, of the open door-requiring the re-establishment of
the arrangements in force before the war with the proper participation of
the Soviet Union. In an attempt to meet M. Molotov's contention, Mr.
Byrnes suggested that we need only include in the Treaties a provision that
navigation on the Danube should be free and open, on terms of complete
equality, to the nationals, merchant vessels and goods of all States. In the
interest of reaching agreement, I said that I would be willing to accept a
clause on those lines, provided it was also agreed that a Danubian Con-
ference could be called within a fixed period after the conclusion of the -
treaties, and this, I suggest, was a very, very modest suggestion. But we
could make no progress on those lines, and we had to defer it.
I think I have shown that there has been no question of dictating our
will to the Danube States or of neglecting their interests, but merely of our
wishing to restore our legitimate pre-war rights and to make sure that our
late enemies should not be free to hinder the revival of the machinery of
international co-operation. I cannot see that our interests on the Danube
in any way conflicted with those of the Danube States who, surely, all have
in equal interest in the restoration of commerce and navigation in this
great European waterway. But I am driven to ask what the Soviet interest
in this matter really is and what motive they have in refusing to commit
themselves to any arrangements such as suggested. Does their anxiety to
consult the other Balkan States mean that Danube affairs are to be the sole
concern of Danubian States and Russia alone? I cannot believe now that
they would wish to maintain this monopolistic view, though one must
admit that there have been signs of a very exclusive policy in this area.
Rumanian Danube shipping, for example, is at present almost entirely
controlled by a joint Soviet-Rumanian navigation company, known as
Sovrom Transport, set up in July, 1945, and another powerful combine of
the same kind in Hungary.
If Soviet Russia's only concern is to make sure that no injury is done
to these countries' interests, she need have no fear that our participation
in the Danube Commission would have this effect or that any harm would
come of a clause in the peace treaties by which Hungary, Rumania and

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN]
Bulgaria would undertake to abide by the decisions of a Conference which,
after all, they themselves have a share in reaching on the basis of equality.
What I cannot and will not contemplate is that this country which for
six years fought against the enemies of freedom, should, as a result, be
squeezed out of an international body, the very object of which is to main-
tain in the navigation on these rivers the freedom for which we all fought.
Let me now turn from the Danube to the Italian-Yugoslav frontier. As
a result of the discussions which took place on this question in London
last September, the Foreign Ministers instructed their deputies to report
on the frontier line, which was, in the main, to be the ethnic line, leaving
a minimum under alien rule, on the understanding that a local investiga-
tion would be carried out on the spot. The principle which was unani-
mously accepted in London was this ethnic criterion, and I want to stress
that. In accordance with this decision, a special Commission appointed
by the deputies visited this frontier area in the spring, and they submitted
a report which was considered by the Foreign Ministers in Paris. The
report contained an agreed statement of the ethnic, geographical and
economic data relating to the frontier territory.
The lines proposed by the British, the American and the French Com-
missioners were not very different-and I would emphasize this-and, in
our desire to arrive at an agreement on this subject, both Mr. Byrnes and I
stated that we were ready to accept the line proposed by the French which
would give Yugoslavia the far greater part of the disputed area whilst leav-
ing an approximately equal number of Italians and Yugoslavs under alien
rule. It was thus consistent with the decision of the Foreign Ministers in
London in September. The Russian Commissioner recommended that the
whole disputed area should be awarded to Yugoslavia, including certain
areas which since 1866 formed part of Italy and, before that, of the
Republic of Venice.
The effect of the Russian Commissioner's recommendation would be to
leave no Slav-speaking people within Italy, at the expense of leaving over
500,000 Italians in Yugoslavia. This solution was defended by the represen-
tative of Soviet Russia and, in my view, was wholly irreconcilable with the
decision reached in London in December that the frontiers should, in the
main, be drawn on ethnic considerations, and should be so drawn as to
leave a minimum under alien rule. I want, however, to make this very
clear. The only attempt at compromise over this problem was made by
the United States and Great Britain. We withdrew from our line, which
was more in favor of the Italians, and the Americans withdrew from their
line, which was still more favorable to the Italians, with the result that
we left Pola and the Albona coalfields to Yugoslavia in order to try to get a
settlement. But there was no move at all on the part of Soviet Russia to
meet the compromises proposed by Britain and the United States.
There is another factor in this frontier problem which is very im-
portant, and that is the port of Trieste, and not only the port, but the

Foreign Afairs
city. The city of Trieste is overwhelmingly Italian, roughly, I think, ten
to one, and I could not bring myself to hand Trieste over to Yugoslavia
under those conditions. What worried us more than that was the question
of the port of Trieste, and here again we were extremely disappointed at
the opposition we met. In London last September, whatever might have
happened to the town ultimately, we all agreed unanimously that the port
itself must be an international port with an international regime, no matter
under whose sovereignty the town itself was put. Trieste has to serve
Austria, Yugoslavia, Northern Italy and the whole of Central Europe. If
we do not want to create another Prussia it is very important that the trade
should be drawn south and not north from Central Europe. Having agreed
that, we felt in London that Trieste must be an international port, and
not an international pawn in the game of politics. Therefore, we were
surprised at Paris to find that even on the question of the port, Soviet
Russia appeared to have gone back on that agreement and would not even
agree to discuss technical arrangements for the setting up of a free interna-
tional port until the whole of the frontier question had been settled. It is
one of the disappointments in peacemaking, but we hope for better luck
the next time we meet in Paris. But I cannot give way, on behalf of His
Majesty's Government, and agree that that vital port, with all that it means
to Central Europe, should surrender its sovereignty in the manner now
May I now turn to Austria? The United States proposed that Austria
should be put on the agenda at Paris. I know the feeling in this House
and in the country about Austria. We have witnessed their tragedy, and
it has been a tragedy. [An HON. MEMBER: "Twice."] Yes, 20 years or more
of it. I remember with very great pleasure, tragic as it may seem, that I
helped to spend my union's money to find the means to defend the Karl
Marx houses. It was one of the greatest tragedies between the wars; I know
the feeling. Therefore, I supported the placing of Austria on the agenda.
There are substantial reasons why the whole problem of Austria should
be settled. One is that the three Powers agreed in Moscow in 1943 that
Austria should again secure her independence and become an independent
Secondly, if Austria, along with Italy, has a peace treaty, there is no
need at all for lines of communication or troops of any Allied Power in
the whole of the Danubian basin and in the north of Italy as well. That
is, the whole of the troops in Austria, Northern Italy, Bulgaria and Rou-
mania can be taken out, and the whole of those Danubian States can again
begin to lead a normal life. It was for that reason that I regarded it as
imperative that Austria should be settled, so, as it were, with one clean
sweep to terminate our liabilities in this area. It narrows the area of the
problems which we are left to settle. However, the Soviet Union argued
that they were not ready to discuss it. I could not understand this, and I
do not understand now. Since then, the United States have submitted
a draft treaty, and in the Foreign Office we have a detailed one. I certainly
believe that nothing would give greater confidence of peace at our next

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. BEVIN)
meeting in Paris than if the Soviet Union came along ready and willing
to settle the Austrian problem, together with the Italian problem, and that
of the whole of the Danube basin, including the Danube, to which I have
already referred. I see in that the best contribution to confidence and
understanding in the whole of that area.

I was questioned the other day in the House on the ethnic problem of
Austria's frontier with Italy, and I propose to deal with this. At the Mos-
cow Conference in October, 1943, it was decided-at least, so I understood.
it as a member of the Coalition Government at that time-that it was the
pre-Anschluss Austria that we were guaranteeing to restore. Therefore,
when the proposal was submitted at the London Conference that she
should be so re-created, I agreed, but I made a reservation that there might
be minor rectifications in the frontiers in her favor. Knowing, the country
very well-I know the railways run in and out of certain places, which I
thought rather silly-I thought the constant interruption of frontiers was
not conducive to good trade and exchange, and I thought rectifications
might be made which would be of benefit to her and her neighbors. I
still think so. If I may say a word to Italy, I hope, in the settlement of these
very difficult problems affecting certain parts of the South Tyrol, these
two peoples will not become estranged. We get here a mixture of economic
and ethnic considerations. Great electrical plants have been built, and
watersheds are involved. The strategic considerations, which I now con-
sider of less importance than ever, come into the picture, but I am hoping
that these two countries who have been so antagonistic for so many years
will use sense on this occasion, and that in these border-line provinces like
that of South Tyrol they will arrive at a sensible arrangement and assist in
the peacemaking.
I turni from that subject to say a few words about Bulgaria. This affects
the withdrawal of troops. In September, it was agreed that after the peace
treaty all Allied Forces should be withdrawn from Bulgaria. A distinction
was thus expressly drawn between Bulgaria, from which the evacuation of
Soviet Forces would be complete, and Rumania and Hungary, in which,
even after the peace treaty, the Soviet Union would retain the right to
maintain certain Forces in order to safeguard her lines of communication
with the Soviet zone of occupation in Austria. At that time we did not
know how long the occupation of Austria would continue, but, I repeat, if
my previous argument were adopted, the problem would not arise. In
Paris it seemed to me that M. Molotov was abandoning the London de-
cision, arguing that the lines of communication with the Soviet Forces in
Europe had to be maintained by means of the Danube, that this river
is in part of its course the frontier of Bulgaria, and that the Soviet Union
accordingly required the right to maintain lines of communication for
troops in Bulgaria as well as in Hungary and Rumania. In my view this
argument is very, very ill-founded. My view is that when a peace treaty
is signed with another country which has been a belligerent every step

Foreign Affairs
that can possibly be taken ought to be taken to withdraw troops from the
territory, and so remove the menace to other neighboring countries who
will always be under suspicions as to what you intend to do.

Before I leave the territory of the Danubian basin I would like to put
this point very strongly. There have been a great many arguments about
the "curtain." I must confess our representatives have had every obtsacle
placed in their way. Deputations from this House, and from my own party,
send me reports and advise me that we ought to establish trade relations.
They appear to be unconscious of the fact that this is what we have been
trying to do all the time. We have endeavored to do it in the case of
Rumania, we have endeavored to do it in the case of Hungary; we have
tried with all these countries, only to be met with obstacles everywhere.
Perhaps we have been most successful with Czechoslovakia up to now. As
regards Poland, the Chancellor and I tried to help them by offering to
remit most of the debts incurred on behalf of Poland during the war.
We have given liberally of our surpluses. We have made our contribution
to UNRRA-and our contribution is the second biggest in the world-
without which all these countries would have found it very hard to survive.
We have done all this, yet we find ourselves denounced from the very
mouths we have fed. That does not seem to me to be right.
I would ask those who visit these countries to remember the help from
UNRRA that both the United States and ourselves have given. We for
our part will not allow our representatives to do anything to hinder proper
relations between the Soviet Union and these countries. However, we do
ask for reciprocity. In the way of trade, in exchange and fair dealing, we
ask that we should be treated as decent citizens, and be allowed to restore
our relations, which have always existed. In the case of Poland, I suggest
the acid test will be: Will she carry out the solemn pledge which the
President of the Provisional Government gave me at Potsdam, to have
early and free elections?

I now turn to another subject which has been dealt with in the speeches
that have been made, namely, reparations from Italy. As I understand the
Soviet view, it is that, because the Allied Powers have not been invaded,
they do not understand the Soviet wish to be compensated for some of the
devastation done by Italian armies. That really is an unjust insinuation.
We have genuine sympathy with those who have suffered invasion, for the
people of Russia and for the people of Greece, to name only two. We also
know how much the people of Malta suffered, and how much Italy's entry
into the war at the time of our greatest emergency, when we were alone,
cost us in men and materials. His Majesty's Government have incurred
heavy expenditure in restoring that gallant little island of Malta at the
present moment.
Therefore, I refute the charge that we do not understand what in-
vasion means. Indeed, the cost of restoring this old city of London alone

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN)
represents a colossal figure. It is suggested that a reduction in the occupa-
tion cost of Britain and America in Italy would enable Italy to meet the
Soviet reparation demands. I suggest this assertion implies a total lack
of knowledge of Italy's economic and financial situation. Italy has a debt
to America, Canada and ourselves amounting to 165 million for the goods
we have supplied to her by way of relief. UNRRA has supplied assistance
to the extent of a further 100 million. Therefore, there is a total relief
debt of nearly 300 million, or about 1,000 million dollars. Moreover,
Italy is experiencing a heavy deficit in her balance of payments; this has
been estimated at 250 million for this year and 100 million for next year.
Even before the war the value of Italy's exports was only 65 per cent of her
imports; the balance was covered by emigrants' remittances, storage, freight
and borrowing abroad.
The question arises whether our occupation is adding to Italy's adverse
exchange position. It is argued that out of our occupation costs this repara-
tion can be paid. The answer is that Italy does not have to find a single
dollar or pound of foreign exchange on account of the presence of Amer-
ican and British troops. We have exacted only lire costs and have, in fact,
to find hard currencies ourselves to finance the supplies sent to Italy. If
Italy is called upon to make reparation deliveries in the form either of
existing industrial plant and equipment or of goods from current produc-
tion, her ability to export and earn foreign exchange will be correspond-
ingly reduced, and the assistance she will require from abroad will be
correspondingly increased. This is not a matter of difficult economics;
it is just a matter of hard facts. His Majesty's Government cannot be a
party to letting the British taxpayer in for a procedure which would, in
practice, amount to their money and labor going to a third government as
reparations on Italy's account. Our own policy towards Italy is, first to
enable her to repay what has been supplied as relief; secondly, to help her
restore her economy on a peacetime basis; and thereafter to remove any
surplus war machinery and equipment which is not needed for peacetime
economy. I do not believe that common sense and justice could permit any
other course.
There is another controversy raised, due to the speeches we have heard
and the documents that have been issued, namely, the proposal for a Treaty
Commission which would be responsible for supervising the execution of
the provisiorfs of the peace treaty with Italy. Soviet Russia objected to any
supervisory machinery, either there or in the Balkans, and agreement to
the proposals could not be obtained. I think this was a pity, because,
without some machinery, I do not see how the provisions of the treaty
could be administered. Italian sovereignty would not be infringed, and
Italy, as much as the Allies, would be in a difficulty without this machinery
whenever any question arose about the enforcement of the treaty pro-
visions. In any case, our experience in other wars in dealing with this
problem has shown the imperative necessity to have some judicial body to
avoid long and protracted disputes.

Foreign Affairs

I will now say a few words about the Colonies. In London last Febru-
ary the United States put forward a proposal that these Colonies should
become international trusteeships under the United Nations. I must con-
fess I was a little dubious about how this scheme would work out as there
had been no scheme devised as to exactly how the United Nations organi-
zation could undertake the day-to-day administration. However, I agreed
to the idea in principle, and suggested that the deputies should work out
the details ready for the subsequent Conference. At this stage the Soviet
Union claimed the individual trusteeship of Tripolitania, at Paris. After
a lot of discussion this scheme for the individual trusteeship by Soviet
Russia was withdrawn; but in doing so the Soviet Government demanded
that in consideration for the withdrawal we should accede to their pro-
posal for Trieste. I am bound to say that I cannot accept such a proposi-
tion, because to hand over 500,000 Italians to Yugoslavia in return for a
withdrawal of what I thought was an unfounded claim by Soviet Russia
which would have had the effect of handing a larger number of Arabs over
to a country they may detest, seems to me to introduce a method of dealing
and bargaining in international affairs that is absolutely unjust and
The Soviet Union thereupon proposed to support the French proposal
that the whole of Libya should be returned to the Italians, that the trus-
teeship should be given to Italy. The United States said they would go
along with this proposal if it could produce general agreement. I was
prepared to accept it provided that Cyrenaica was placed under the trus-
teeship of the United Kingdom, for I have made plain on many occasions
that His Majesty's Government intend to abide by the pledges given to the
Senussis in Cyrenaica not to restore them to Italian rule. This pledge
was given by my predecessor in this House:
"His Majesty's Government are determined that at the end of the war the
Senussis in Cyrenaica will in no circumstances again fall under Italian domination."
The whole history of the thing is a pretty bad history. I must say there is
no gain in it for anybody: Cyrenaica would be a financial liability to who-
ever got it. But there was a pledge, and that pledge was given in 1940
when--I emphasize this-we were alone, and they did come to help at
that moment when we were fighting Italy; and we must honor that pledge.
I therefore proposed that the matter be again referred to the deputies
in order that the French proposals, the British proposals and the American
proposals might be examined.-
Now may I turn to Eritrea and Somaliland. I think that M. Molotov
has been more than unjust in stating that we are trying to expand the
British Empire at the expense of Italy and Ethiopia, and to consolidate
what he calls the monopolistic position of Great Britain in the Mediter-
ranean and Red Seas. In the latter part of the last century the whole of.
Africa was divided between Great Britain, France and Italy. At about the

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. BEVI)
time we occupied our part, the Ethiopians occupied an inland area which
is the grazing ground for nearly half the nomads of British Somaliland for
six months of the year. Similarly, the nomads of Italian Somaliland must
cross the existing frontiers in search of grass. In all innocence, therefore,
we proposed that British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, and the adjacent
part of Ethiopia, if Ethiopia agreed, should be lumped together as a trust
territory, so that the nomads should lead their frugal existence with the
least possible hindrance and there might be a real chance of a decent
economic life, as understood in that territory.
But what attracted M. Molotov's criticism was, I am sure, that I sug-
gested that Great Britain should be made the administrating authority.
Was this unreasonable? In the first place, we were surrendering a protec-
torate comparable in size to the area we hoped that Ethiopia would con-
tribute. Secondly, it was a British force, mainly East African and South
African, which freed this area; and it was a British, Indian and South
African force which bore the main brunt of restoring the independence
of Ethiopa and of putting the Emperor back on his throne after several
years' sanctuary in this country. We do not seek gratitude on that account,
but I think it right to express surprise that our proposals should have met
with such unjustified criticism. After all, when we were defeating Italy
in East Africa, Britain was open to invasion, and we were fighting alone.
I hope the deputies at the Paris Conference will now consider a greater
Somaliland more objectively.
All I want to do in this case is to give those poor nomads a chance to
live. I do not want anything else. We are paying 1,000,000 a year out of
our Budget to help to support them. We do not ask to save anything. But
to have these constant bothers on the frontiers when one can organize the
thing decently-well, after all, it is to nobody's interest to stop the poor
people and cattle there getting a decent living. That is all there is to it.
It is like the Englishman's desire to go into Scotland-to get a decent living.
We must consider it objectively. If the Conference do not like our pro-
posal, we are not dogmatic about it; we are prepared to see Italian Somali-
land put under the United Nations' trusteeship. I should also like to
see some arrangement whereby the greater part of Eritrea is awarded to
Ethiopia. Eritrea is entirely an artificial entity. It cannot, as I see it, stand
by itself, but only under some system of trusteeship. But, whether I am
right or wrong in these deductions, all I ask is that either the United
Nations organization or the deputies or some commission should study this
problem and report to us, in order that we can get a proper and correct
settlement. How this can be interpreted as a desire to extend the British
Empire I really cannot understand.
The next problem that has puzzled me is that of the Dodecanese. We
have cleared up the whole island problem in the Adriatic and agreed to
transfer certain islands to Yugoslavia and demilitarize them. Yet when we
come to the Dodecanese, while we are constantly told that the four deputies
are agreed that they shall be given to Greece, the Soviet delegation will not
give effect to this until every other territorial problem has been settled.

Foreign Affair
I do not understand why the Dodecanese, about which there is apparently
no dispute, should have to await settlement until we have solved every
other problem.

Now may I come to Germany? . I have already mentioned the
attempt to interest the Soviet Union in a 50-year treaty of friendship with us,
but I must confess we were more than agreeably surprised when we received
from the United States a draft treaty for 25 years, to ensure that Germany
remains disarmed at the end of the period of occupation. It was, how-
ever, marked "Very Secret" and it was enjoined upon me that I should
not allow it to leak. Accordingly, it was discussed only in a very limited
governmental circle. I was unaware that the United States was going
to bring this out at the Paris Conference, or I should have got myself
authorized to give it more support in the initial stage. Immediately it
was released, however, I communicated with the Cabinet, and later was
able to announce to the Conference that we warmly welcomed it.
Having regard to what happened at the end of the last war, I must
say that these proposals of the United States Government, through Mr.
Byrnes, left with me the impression that here at last we had something
which would give us peace in Europe, and allow for normal development
over a sufficient period to eradicate the warlike spirit of Nazism in Ger-
many. It was, therefore, a matter of profound regret to witness the way
it was received by the Soviet representative. Inferences and charges about
the present disarmament arrangements were made to counter Mr. Byrnes'
proposals. At once we agreed that if there was any doubt as to what each
of us was doing in the way of economic and military disarmament in
Germany, a Four-Power Commission should immediately investigate all
the zones, not merely one, and -see exactly what was happening. This is
still under discussion-however, we must not become weary in well-doing.
I believe that if the Soviet Union again study the draft Treaty and
realize what-a protection for "peace indivisible" this means, they will come
round and not miss this great opportunity. In fact, I state to the Soviet
Government: "If you value peace above all else, do not miss it; it may
never come again." For France it is vital. She has been invaded and
smashed three times in 70 years. For Britain, who has been drained of
her resources in two great wars, it is indispensable. For the Soviet Union,
who have been invaded so many times, I should have thought that a
Four-Power Pact, carried out with vigor and honesty between us, would
have created a situation far more secure than the harnessing of a few
satellite weak states as buffers between them and a possible future aggressor.
I will not admit failure yet. We. will try again. If I can make one great
appeal to the United States, it is this: "Do not be daunted by a first re-
fusal, due in my view to an unjustified suspicion. The rest of us in Europe,
at least, not only welcome it but look upon it as giving the greatest possible
hope for the removal of misunderstanding and the creation of confidence."
The proposal implies on the part of the United States the acceptance of
obligations and the utilization of what, I think, is one of her finest qual-

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVm}
ities, her great idealism, which seems to spring from a great vision of peace,
resulting in action of a kind which will, if carried into effect, bring im-
mense relief to millions of toilers throughout Europe.

The French urged that Germany should be put on the agenda at the
Paris meeting, and at that stage we were willing for a general preliminary
discussion. I indicated to the House in my speech on 21st February that
we were studying the Ruhr. We are fully conscious that the Ruhr is an
arsenal of war. It is from there that the great German military staff drew
their assistance and support. We are no less insistent than the French
that this arsenal shall not be used again for war. As the Ruhr has a great
potential for war, so it has a great potential for peace and the raising of
the standard of life right throughout Europe. To that end the Cabinet
have studied carefully papers advancing preliminary views as to how the
Ruhr might possibly be organized. While they have not yet come to a
final conclusion, I did ask for authority that these preliminary proposals
might be examined objectively with the French, the Dutch, the Luxem-
burgers and the Belgians in the first instance. This was in accordance with
the decision we arrived at, that we should pursue the subject through diplo-
matic channels in the first instance.
-My idea was that if those of us who have been so vitally affected in
the West in the last two great wars could come to some preliminary agreed
conception, we might find a common basis upon which to consult the other
Powers concerned. There are clearly two points of view. The French
believe that only by the separation of the Ruhr politically can security
"from German aggression be achieved. I have felt in my study of the prob-
lem that the creation of a separate province under international control,
to be fitted ultimately into a federal Germany, if one were established,
might be a better safeguard. This is a debatable point, but I would like
to stress that I am fully conscious of all the dangers inherent in a strong
centralized Germany. These different viewpoints are, at present, under
expert and urgent consideration.
Therefore, in no dogmatic sense, and in no secret way, we have ap-
proacled this problem. It is not a case in which you can arrive at dog-
matic conclusions and impose them upon others. We must evolve the right
solution for the security of Europe. When the time comes and further ad-
vance is made, I shall be very happy to put the whole proposal before
the House, but I do not think at this preliminary stage I can say more.
In this connection, the French have pressed the point whether the Saar
should at this stage be separated from Germany. At the same time, the
United States have urged that a special body of deputies should be set up
to study the German problem in two phases, one, giving effect to the
Potsdam Decisions, and, two, the ultimate design of the new Germany. I
could not at the meeting in Paris agree to the separation of any part of
Germany.without going into the whole question of Germany's frontiers
as a whole, and knowing what the new Germany was to be. I proposed a
resolution in the following terms:

Foreign Affair
"That we appoint special deputies to examine the whole problems of Germany,
to study the implementation of the decisions of Berlin, to study proposals to lead
up to the preparation of a Peace Treaty and the fixing of frontiers, taking into
account the views expressed by this Conference on Germany and its future, and to
present an interim report at the meeting of 15th June."
I desire to make it clear that in any final settlement His Majesty's Gov-
ernment, subject to the adjustments of reparations and other obligations
which are involved, favor the transfer of the Saar to the French, but I
would prefer that the German problem should be considered as a whole
before that final step is taken. There was an attempt by our Soviet friends
to make a special point of the Ruhr, but my attitude has been all through
that we must not only know what is happening in the Ruhr, but what is
happening in Saxony, in Thuringia and everywhere else, including the
French and American Zones.

That brings me to the point of the present situation which is causing
so much difficulty. The Potsdam Agreement envisaged Germany being
treated as a whole, which meant that the surplus food supplies of the East
would feed the West, and the goods of the West would go to the East,
and so on; and sufficient earnings would be produced, so that Germany
would not be a charge on any of the Allies. That was the basis. We,
His Majesty's Government, cannot accept the position which involves a
budgetary expenditure of 80 million a year to subsidize Germany. We
cannot accept the position that the Soviet zone is an exclusive place, while
our zone alone is wide open for inspection, and we are subject to accusa-
tions for which there is not the slightest justification. As soon as that point
of -principle is settled, as I hope it will be, and there is a real honest en-
deavor to tackle the whole problem, I believe that we can make progress
on the German situation.
In addition, we have had great trouble and great difficulties over the
level of German industry. That was my view, with my colleagues, when
a member of the Coalition Government, and I see no reason to change it
now. The facts are the same. I came to the conclusion that Germany should
be allowed to produce 11 million tons of steel for rehabilitation. This was
the yard-stick for determining the level of her industry. I believe that
was the unanimous decision among us, after months and months of weary
study. We were first offered a capacity of 5.8 million tons of steel. That
amount produced in Germany would mean 100 million expenditure on
our Budget, subsidizing Germany, because the steel production determines
the level of practically all the other industries in the country. Therefore,
I had to fight very hard, and, finally, the capacity was settled at 7~
million tons. I accepted this with great misgivings, but had in mind the
reservation that, if it did not turn out right, we could reopen. Of course,
we shall not reach 71/ million tons for some time, but I still think that
it may have to be revised. If, on the other hand, as I have figured it, 11
million tons of steel capacity seems dangerous on security grounds, the solu-
tion would appear to be to place.the Ruhr, where the bulk of steel capacity
exists, under international control. This would take the sting or danger

British Speeches of the Day [MB. BEVIN)
out of the Ruhr, and allow it to become not a German industry but a
European industry, which would develop the life of the community of
all the peoples of Europe. I would limit the Ruhr production, so far as I
could, to partially manufactured commodities, allowing the finishing end
to be spread all over Europe. After all, it is the finishing end of this in-
dustry which is most quickly convertible into war potential.

May I turn-I am very sorry to be so long-to another very vexed
problem which has agitated the public, and that was the proposal to call
a conference of the 21 nations, in the event of our not being able to agree
in Paris. The United States and ourselves came to the conclusion-and
this is not "ganging-up"-that we could not go on in a state of war for
ever. Have we the moral right to say to the rest of the 21 nations, who
were actively engaged in the fighting, and who, it has been agreed, should
be brought in to discuss the treaties, "You must go on in a state of war
forever because we four gentlemen cannot agree?" Really, that is an in-
tolerable situation. The purpose of the Four-Power meetings was,, as I
understand it, to facilitate the making of peace and not to obstruct it. If
the four cannot agree, it seems to me a perfectly reasonable and democratic
proposal to let daylight into the problems by the rest of the 21 nations
involved expressing their views, and, out of their views, possibly finding
a solution. His Majesty's Government, able as we are, do not claim to
have a monopoly of judgment. There are other countries, if not other
parties, which may be of inestimable value in finding a solution to these
problems. M. Molotov's attitude was that the proposal would end in two
conferences. I tried to fathom this out, and in the end I came to the
conclusion that what he meant was to opinions. Therefore, you cannot
move at all if there is a diversity of opinion.
It is very difficult for us to accept rule by one party or one opinion. It
is an intolerable situation, and we shall never get peace if that goes on.
Our position is that if we cannot get agreement of the four in the Council
of Foreign Ministers, we should take our work before the conference of
21-both the drafts we have agreed, and the questions on which we have
failed to agree-and if we still cannot get agreement on calling the con-
ference of 21, it is obvious that the world cannot be left in this undecided
state. We cannot be forced to acquiesce in an indefinite stalemate. We must
regularize our relations with the ex-enemy countries. It cannot go on very
much longer. There have been, in the course of these difficulties, other ideas
promulgated, but I will not pronounce an opinion upon them now. I
propose to make another effort at agreement before deciding on any final
or alternative form.
If I may lead this tour from the horizon and the troubles of Europe, to
those of the Middle East and Far East, I had better stop on my way be-
cause I know that hon. Members are interested in Palestine. The report
of the Palestine Committee has been carefully studied by the United
States and the British Governments. It has been circulated to the Jews

Foreign Affairs
and the Arabs. We await their observations, which I hope, in spite of
public statements and demonstrations, will be constructive and assist in
finding a permanent solution of this problem.
I have been asked, as this Debate was coming on, to deal with Indonesia.
The return to Batavia at the beginning of May of the Lieut.-Governor-
General, Dr. Van Mook, marks a new stage in the long drawn out nego-
tiations between the. Dutch and the Indonesians. I say to the Dutch and
Indonesians that I hope this will prove the final stage. I do not propose
to give the House details of these negotiations because they are primarily
the concern of the two parties affected, but the House will, however, be
aware from the reports of the Debates in the Netherlands States General
last month that the Dutch approved the policy of the late Netherlands
Government as regards the grant of autonomy to the Netherlands East
Indies. I am anxious that all British Forces should be withdrawn from the
Netherlands East Indies as soon as possible. While the military task of
evacuating Allied" prisoners of war and internees and Japanese Forces from
the interior of Java is proceeding slowly and steadily, it has not yet been
completed, but I hope that it will not be delayed too long. This Indo-
nesian problem has given us a good deal of anxiety.

I do not propose today-I will leave it to other speakers-to deal with
the question of Japan. But after dwelling on the vast problem of Europe
and the Paris Conference, I did not intend today to broaden the Debate
any further, except to make one reference to our work in the Far East in
dealing with the great problem of food supplies and its effect on economic
policy in that area. It will be remembered that I reported to the House
that we found it necessary to set up a Special Commission for South-East
Asia in Singapore. Lord Killearn was put in charge of this and has had
to set on foot the vigorous campaign for improving the production and
distribution of food as a defense against the famine which threatens South-
East Asia, as well as India and China, and which affects the whole political
situation in that territory. In order to provide efficient machinery to help
him, a special Cabinet Committee was set up, under Lord Nathan, to
concert action here at home. Since his arrival we have had two conferences,
one food and one on nutrition at Singapore. The whole problem is being
studied afresh.
As a result of those conferences we have been given a clear picture of
the extent of hunger and under-nourishment in South-East Asia, and many
important measures have been taken for increasing production and im-
proving the distribution of foodstuffs within the framework of the Com-
bined Food Board's allocations. The primary object of these measures
has been to increase the acreage sown with rice and other crops. We have
aimed at introducing more stable economic conditions, with a greater flow
of supplies as an incentive to the cultivator. Inducement goods have been
provided in the shape of tools and equipment and consumer goods, such
as textiles, etc. An agreement has been concluded with the Siamese Gov-
ernment for the purchase of 1,200,000 tons of rice during the next 12

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVINj
months, and we have taken steps to rehabilitate the Siamese internal trans
port and railway system. The Government of Burma have been able to
make available several hundred thousand tons of old rice. The Nether-
lands East Indies have agreed to sell some 500,000 tons of unmilled rice,
but apart from the immediate question of food, Lord Killearn has taken
over from Admiral Mountbatten many of the co-ordinating economic func-
tions which the Supreme Commander exercised. I felt it was important that
these should not be allowed to lapse, even after the resumption of civil
government. There is one essential thing in the Far East in my view, and
that is the co-ordination of our effort over the whole of that territory, to
contribute as far as we can to improve the standard of life there.

Finally, if I may go back again, I find from press reports that we are
alleged to have indulged in a bloc. I gather the interpretation is that we
are engaged in some conspiracy for acquiring bases in various islands of
the Pacific and Atlantic areas. The way it is put out to the world would
impute a very sinister ring to what is a-very straightforward affair. In the
course of the war which has just closed, the United States Government
established bases, on a.number of islands administered by Governments of
the British Commonwealth, for the sole purpose of prosecuting the war
against the common enemy, and with the willing consent of the Govern-
ments concerned. They spent a lot of money on those bases, and naturally
they want to know our views about their future status and maintenance.
Quite apart from any question of their future military value, many of those
places are important from the point of view of civil aviation. We have
been discussing all this with the United States and the Dominions. I hope
we shall be able to make arrangements which will be to the general interest,
and I trust that what I have said will prevent any further ill-grounded sug-
gestions that we are engaged in some sort of conspiracy in this matter.
As I am on the subject of bases, I should like to call attention to the
announcement made this morning that the British and United States war-
time air bases in the Azores were handed over to the Portuguese Government
on Sunday, 2nd June. As the House will be aware, these facilities in the
Azores were granted to us and the United States in 1943 and 1944 respec-
tively, on the understanding that British and American Forces would be
withdrawn at the end of the war. The use of these facilities contributed
materially to the success of the Allied war effort, and I should like to take
this opportunity to place on record the very great assistance rendered te
the Allied cause by the Portuguese Government in granting these facilities,
which proved of very great value not only in connection with the war
Against the U-boats, but also in assisting the passage of aircraft and sup-
plies from the Western Hemisphere to the European and Far Eastern areas.
In this way the 600-year-old Anglo-Portuguese Alliance once again proved
its value.
In conclusion, I repeat that I am not unduly pessimistic. I do not think
that it will be impossible for us at our next meeting to arrive at agreed
conclusions. There is no real and insurmountable division; if all parties

Foreign Afairs
will try, Europe can revive and security for all can be provided. But they
must try; we can and we must, if everybody is willing, bridge the gap
now existing between the East and the West, since otherwise the peace will
be no more durable than that after 1919. The disadvantages of such a state
of affairs both to the West and to the East would only be too apparent.
For only so can relations of real confidence be established, and real con-
fidence involves mutual respect and trust. It has been said in the past
that East and West will never meet. The science of man has settled that.
Not only must we meet, we must understand and learn to co-operate.
It is my belief that mutual respect and confidence is now in the process
of formation. The task is admittedly difficult. I cannot promise success
at the next conference, but I will do my best, in the interests of the com-
mon people of the world, to deserve it. ...

June 5
The Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill): The
year that has passed since the end of the German war has been darkened
by a virtual breakdown or stalemate in the concert and collaboration of
the three great Powers, as well as by a painful decline in British influence
and prestige. It would be wrong to cast the blame of these misfortunes
upon the Foreign Secretary, to whose somber patient speech we listened
yesterday. We feel sure he has done his best to resist the sad and dangerous
tendencies with which we are oppressed before the world, and he has
stood forth as the representative of much that is wise and courageous in
the British character. No criticism which I may make on particular aspects
of his administration is intended to obscure the outstanding services which
he has rendered in this period of disappointment and perplexity.
The problems of the aftermath, the moral and physical exhaustion
of the victorious nations, the miserable fate of the conquered, the vast con-
fusion of Europe and Asia, combine to make a sum total of difficulty,
which, even if the Allies had preserved their wartime comradeship, would
have taxed their resources to the full. Even if we in this island had re-
mained united, as we were in the years of peril, we should have found much
to baffle our judgment, and many tasks that were beyond our strength. I
am an opponent of the Socialist Party but I readily admit that they have
made an important contribution to the cause of world peace. They have
made this contribution by their resolute denunciation of Communism
and by their refusal to allow the Communist Party to enter and permeate
their ranks. The Communist Party in this island is not at present a serious
danger. Everyone remembers how they urged us into the late war and
how, when we were already irrevocably committed, they immediately
turned about, on orders from Moscow, and after some-
Mr. Gallacher (Communist): That is a lie.
Hon. Members: Withdraw.
Mr. Churchill: I leave it to you, Mr. Speaker. I really do not mind. I
thought, as I remarked on a previous occasion, that the hon. Member was

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHmLLM
,well broken to the House, and not likely to make this kind of observation.
Mr. Gallachert It is necessary occasionally.
Mr. Churchill: I see. I do not think that I need trouble myself very much
with the hon. Member's opinion, but I quite understand that he will not
like what I am going to say. I certainly will not be deterred from saying
it by the prospect of any further insults from him. Every one remembers
how they immediately turned about, on orders from Moscow, and after
some abject and groveling retractions on the part of their leaders, they
denounced our life struggle as a capitalist, imperialist war. We also re-
member how, thereafter, they did their best, their utmost-which was
very little-to hamper our national defense. Nor can we forget that, as
far as they were concerned, we might have sunk in 1940 and 1941 beneath
the ocean and been blotted out forever, except as Hitler's serfs, from among,
the nations of mankind-
Mr. Gallacher: That is not true. On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, I
challenge the Leader of the Opposition that if he goes to the Home Office
he will find that the first report made on the blitz, and on the means that
should be taken to care for the people, was written by the hon. Member
for West Fife. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."] It is a fact.
Mr. Speaker: That is not quite a point of Order. . .
Mr. Churchillt I say it will take them many years to live that down in
the British Isles. But it is not at home that the Communists are important.
The significance of the action of the Labor Party lies in its effects abroad.
There is no doubt that it has brought strength to Great Britain at a time
when other causes were weakening us, and there is no doubt that it has
produced beneficial consequences on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The
Foreign Secretary has been a leader in all this and he deserves a full
share of the credit.
I shall now permit myself to make a few comments upon various aspects
of our affairs in this vast and gloomy field....

Let me begin with Greece. It was not mentioned yesterday. In Greece
the course of events has vindicated the policy of the National Coalition
Government. This policy in the main has been followed by the present
Government. For all purposes of controversy, it rests upon two documents,
either of which it is very hard to challenge. The first is the report of the
trade union delegation which, under Sir Walter Citrine, at my invitation
visited Athens in January, 1945, and revealed the atrocities committed by
the Communists in the city. The second is, of course, the report of the
British, American and French Commission which supervised the elections
in March, 1946. There is no doubt whatever that these elections were the
fairest ever conducted in Greece, or in any Balkan State. They have proved
conclusively that the Greek people did not wish to have dictatorial power
in Greece seized by a Communist minority through a process of revolu-
tion, treachery, terrorism and murder, and that we were right to intervene
by force of arms to prevent such a disaster.

Foreign Afairs
We have never intended or desired to interfere in the affairs of Greece,
except in so far as was necessary to enable the Greek people to decide freely
the form and character of their own Government after the confusion of the
war and of the German occupation. I thought, and I still think, that it
would have been better to hold the plebiscite before the elections, and
that is how it was originally planned. The Foreign Secretary told us some
months ago that, while he was not opposed to monarchy in Greece if the
Greek people desired it, he did not want a "party monarchy." I am very
much afraid that the reversal in procedure which he has adopted runs
a risk of bringing about the very thing which he wishes to avoid. Never-
theless, I hope that, should the Greek people vote for a monarchy, the
King will have the wisdom and the virtue to make it cear that he is
the servant of the State, on a level above all parties and equally accessible
to all parties. I hope our troops in Greece will be able to come home as
soon as the plebiscite has been taken. They deserve, and I believe they
will receive, the heartfelt gratitude of the Greek people.

His Majesty's Government have shown, it seems to me, a wise restraint,
or, at least, a marked lack of enthusiasm, in not interfering in the in-
ternal affairs of Spain. None of us likes the Franco regime, and, personally,
I like it as little as I like the present British Administration, but, between
not liking a Government and trying to stir up civil war in a country, there
is a very wide interval. It is said that every nation gets the government
that it deserves. Obviously, this does not apply in the case of Great Britain,
but I have a sort of feeling that the Spanish people had better be left alone
to work out their own salvation, just as we hope to be left alone by for-
eigners in order to work out ours. It seemed to me very unwise of the
late French Government, under Communist impulsion, to take such an
aggressive line against Spain. It is a very shocking thing for the Cabinet
of any State to try to solve its own political problems by beating up another
country. In this case, French intervention has only had the result of giving
Franco a new lease of life.
The Spaniards are a proud and morose people, and they have long
memories. They have not forgotten Napoleon and the attempted French
subjugation of Spain 130 years ago. Besides this, they have had a civil
war which has cost them a million lives. Even the Communists in Spain
will not thank foreign governments for trying to start another civil war,
and anything more silly than to tell the Spaniards that they ought to
overthrow Franco, while, at the same time, assuring them that there will
be no military intervention by the Allies, can hardly be imagined. Still
more ill-placed is the Polish intervention before U.N.O. Everyone knows
where their impulse comes from. Let us discard cant and humbug. I
believe it is a fact, to put it mildly, that there is as much freedom in Spain
under General Franco's reactionary regime-and actually a good deal more
security and happiness for ordinary folk-as there is in Poland at the pres-
ent time.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHuRBCHInL
We are now confronted with a proposal that all the nations of U.N.O.
should break off relations with Spain. Before I examine that project in
"detail, there are some general propositions now in vogue which deserve
scrutiny. Let me state them in terms of precision: "All oppression from
the Left is progress. All resistance from the Right is reactionary. All for-
ward steps are good, and all backward steps are bad. When you are getting
into a horrible quagmire, the only remedy is to plunge in deeper and
deeper." These rules, it seems to me, from time to time require review
by the intelligentsia. They require review in the light of experience and
of the circumstances we see around us. I was in favor of not admitting the
present Spanish Government to U.N.O. It would have given general offense
in the new Assembly, upon which so much depends. But this idea of all
our countries withdrawing their ambassadors will only have the effect of
preventing us worrying and admonishing General Franco with diplomatic
representations and gradually smoothing the way for better times in Spain.
It will also affront Spanish national pride to such an extent that there
will be a general rally of Spaniards to the Government of their country
and its sovereign independence.
What is to happen when the ambassadors have been withdrawn? Our
trade with Spain is very valuable. We get all sorts of things from Spain,
from iron ore to oranges. We shall have to go on trading with Spain. We
have an important market there, and I suppose that, when we have with-
drawn our ambassadors, we shall require to have commercial counsellors
or some other arrangement in order to remain in fruitful contact with one
of the oldest and now least aggressive of the nations of Europe. I suppose
there would be instituted a kind of diplomatic black market, with its agents
going in through the back door instead of through the front. We may be
quite sure that 28 million people living on that great peninsula would be
in some contact with the outer world, even without the ambassadors now
credited to them. I should have thought that we had enough troubles
on our hands without getting into such futile and fatuous entanglements,
and I do not at all credit the Government with any such unwisdom.

We all hope that the conference of the Foreign Secretaries, this Big
Four or Big Three-or Big Two-and-a-Half, as the anti-British American
newspapers sometimes describe them-will soon make some progress in
settling European affairs.. . I could not feel any satisfaction when I
read in the newspapers that one of the first points upon which they had
all been able to come to a unanimous decision in Paris was to confirm the
assignment of the Austrian Tyrol to Italy. This was always held by liberal-
minded folk in many lands to be one of the worst blots on the Treaty of
Trianon, which was not in itself a model in European annals. It is, of
course, quite true-I do not wish to conceal anything-that Hitler and
Mussolini, after the most careful consideration of the problem, agreed to
confirm and enforce the decision. But surely those two miscreants are
rather out of the picture today. The sentence I myself contributed to the
Atlantic Charter, about no transferrence of territory apart from the will of

Foreign Afairs
Sthe local inhabitants, has proved, in many cases, to be an unattainable ideal
and, in any case, did not in my experience apply to enemy countries. But
I know of no case in the whole of Europe, more than that of the Austrian
Tyrol, where the Atlantic Charter, and the subsequent Charter of U.N.O.,
might have been extended to the people who dwell in this small but well
defined region which is now involved in the general war settlement.
Why cannot the natives of this mountainous and beautiful land, the
land of the patriot Hofer, be allowed to say a word about their destiny
on their own behalf? Why cannot they have a fair and free plebiscite
there under the supervision of the great Powers? Let me put this question:
Is it not illogical to have one standard of ethnic criteria for Trieste and
Venezia Giulia, and another for the Southern Tyrol? The Soviet Govern-
ment are quite logical: they are willing to override the ethnic criteria in
both cases. I think that we might try, in this case,, to emulate their sym-
metry of thought. There are no grounds for suggesting that any decisions
adverse to the restoration of the Southern Tyrol to Austria were taken by
the Government of which I was the head. We made positive declarations,
in agreement with our Allies, about the independence of Austria, and by
that was meant pre-Anschluss Austria. But this is in no way inconsistent
with.the addition to Anschluss Austria, or pre-Anschluss Austria, of the,
Southern Tyrol, if it is the wish of the people of that country. Nothing
barring our action was settled by us. It is possible that in September some
further commitments were made but that is a matter for which the Gov-
ernment are responsible. I am obliged to the Foreign Secretary for giving
me the material on which to check this point, which arose in his speech
yesterday, by reference to official papers.

No quarrel remains between us and Austria. Every liberal principle
which we proclaim-and the application of liberal principles is the main
hope of Europe-will be impugned by the assignment of the Austrian Tyrol
to Italy against the wishes of its inhabitants. I have every desire that we
should live on the most friendly terms with Italy. I look forward to see-
ing that historic country take its place in the concert of Europe. As Min-
isters opposite will remember, I made the utmost exertions, as Minister
of Defense, to prevent Italy from being robbed of her fleet, and I .was
supported by my colleagues in the War Cabinet in the loan to Russia of
13 British warships to prevent the immediate distribution of the Italian
fleet, which was fighting with us, between the three great Powers. We have
not been told what happens to these 13 vessels now that the Italian fleet
is to be divided up among the three great Powers. It might be a graceful
gesture to Russia to convert the loan into a gift. We certainly wish to
welcome Russia and her navy and her merchant commerce freely to the
oceans; we recognize the importance to Russia of access to warm water ports,
and I should like to hear from the Government what their intentions are
about these 13 vessels. I mention them now, only to show our great care
for Italy, and our desire that she should draw a line between the miserable
past and what I trust will be a brighter future.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHUtCHnI]),

We were glad to hear the important declaration of the Foreign Secretary
about the port and city of Trieste. The concessions already made by Great
Britain and the United States in accepting the French compromise, or via
media, go very far, and the three leading Western democracies ought now
to stand firmly together on this point. The internationalization of the
port of Trieste is, as the Foreign Secretary said, vitally important to the
whole of Central Europe and particularly to the Danubian Basin. I wel-
come the firm language he has used upon that subject. From all this tangle,
some salient points emerge which the House ought to recognize: the
sovereignty of nations, the equal rights of States, both great and small,
under world law and, in regard to borderland or disputed territory, the
wishes of the people concerned to be ascertained by free and fair elections.
We shall be pretty safe if we stick to those simple, broad, well-tried
I turn to another quarter. I have been struck, in my visits to Belgium
in November and to Holland recently, with the enormous recovery made
by those countries since the war, and the vigor with which all parties there
are unitedly plunging into the whole process of national recovery. The
close relations which are growing up between those two countries, the as-
sociation of the Catholic Church with extremely advanced liberal and social
policies, the general aversion from Communism, all these are evident. But
what impressed me even more was the deep affection of these countries
for Great Britain. Rightly or wrongly, they have it in their hearts that
Britain, by her resistance when she was all alone, saved the world and
enabled their liberties to be regained. Why are we not to be close friends
with the Dutch and the Belgians? Has any other nation in the world a
right to object to that?
We have all watched with deep satisfaction the steady recovery and
rise of France and the strength and stability increasingly shown by her
people. The wounds which France suffered in the war were frightful.
They were not only physical wounds: there were times when the soul of
France seemed in jeopardy. I never lost faith in the greatness of the
French people or the grandeur of France, and we all rejoice today to see
her increasingly taking her place in the forefront of the free democracies
of the world. The Foreign Secretary did not make any reference to an
Anglo-French treaty. Perhaps it has been wise to wait until the shape
which the immediate post-war Governments of France will take has become
manifest. But, of course, our relations with France do not depend on
signatures attached to formal documents. Our friendship has sprung out
of our comradeship, out of our former victory, out of our agony and out
of our final triumph. I can only say here, as I said to the States-General
at The Hague, that there can be no revival of European dignity and splen-
dor without a strong France. I trust we shall endeavor to establish in-
timate and cordial relations with all our nearest neighbors on the Conti-
nent, in order that all the populations concerned can have the best standard

Foreign Affairs
of living possible in these hard times, and also that common regional
security shall not be ignored.

Here let me deal with two expressions of prejudice which are now used
in an endeavor to prevent friendly peoples coming together to mutual ad-
vantage without hostility to anyone else in the world. The first is the word
"bloc." To be on good, easy, sympathetic terms with your neighbors is
to form a bloc. To form a bloc is a crime, according to every Communist
in every land, unless it be a Communist bloc. So much for the word "bloc."
It happens also that we are closely associated with the United States. We
think very much alike on great world problems on the morrow of our
victory-because the British and Americans did have something to do with
the victory. The Foreign Secretary often finds himself at these conferences
in agreement with Mr. Byrnes, just as my right hon. Friend the Member
for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) was often in agreement with
Mr. Hull, and just as I was often in agreement with President Roosevelt
and, after him, with President Truman. Now all this process, without
which I can assure hon. Members we should not be sitting here this after-
noon, is to be condemned and ruled out by the expression "ganging up."
If two countries who are great friends agree on something which is right,
they are "ganging up," so they must not do it. We should brush aside these
terms of prejudice, which are used only to darken counsel and which re-
place, in certain minds, the ordinary processes of thought and human
feeling. If the liberal nations of the world-the Western democracies, as
they are called-are to be turned from their natural associations and true
affinities by bugbear and scarecrow expressions like "bloc" and "ganging
up," they will only have themselves to thank when once again they fall
into misfortune.
The House could not but be impressed by the measured and formid-
able complaint which the Foreign Secretary unfolded yesterday, step by
step and theatre by theatre, about the treatment which the Western Allies
have been receiving from the Soviet Government. Deep and widespread
sorrow has been caused in Britain by the decline of contact and goodwill
between our country and Russia. There was, and there still is, an earnest
desire to dwell in friendly co-operation with the Soviet Government and
the Russian people. On the other hand, the Foreign Secretary received
the approval of the vast majority of the people when he protested against
the prolonged, systematic campaign of vilification which has been and is
being daily pumped out upon us by the Soviet propaganda machine. Apart
from the Communists and the "cryptos"-that is to say, the Communists
without the pluck to call themselves by their proper name-very few people
were shocked by the homely language he chose to employ at the London
Conference in January, nor indeed do the vast majority of the House of
Commons dissent from the argument he unfolded in the speech with which
he opened this Debate.

British Speeches of the Day ([M. CHURCHILL]
Nevertheless, I am sure that it is the general wish of the British and
Russian peoples that they should have warm and friendly feelings towards
each other. We seek nothing from them except their goodwill, and we
would play our part, with other nations, in coming to their aid with such
resources as we may have if their just rights or safety were assailed. We
were all glad to hear the Foreign Secretary say that he was still in favor
of the 50 years treaty or 20 years treaty with Russia. Personally, I attach
great importance to the existing Treaty. I have never made a speech on
European questions without referring to it. It may go through bad times
-lots of treaties do-but it would be a great misfortune if it were in-
continently discarded. But surely, talking of treaties, this Four-Power,
25-year treaty between America, Britain, Russia and France, which the
United States have proposed to deal with Germany, is a tremendous pro-
ject. The Foreign Secretary was right to say how much more valuable
such a guarantee of the United States to be in the forefront of European
affairs for 25 years would be to Soviet Russia for her own security, than
the harnessing-"harnessing" was the word-of a number of reluctant or
rebellious border or satellite States. I am very glad to know that we are
to support the United States proposal, and I thought the words which the
Foreign Secretary used about it were singularly well chosen.

However, there is no use in concealing the fact that the Soviet propa-
ganda and their general attitude have made a profound impression upon
this country since the war, and all kinds of people in great numbers are
wondering very much whether the Soviet Government really wish_to be
friends with Britain or to work wholeheartedly for the speedy re-establish-
ment of peace, freedom and plenty throughout the world. Across the
ocean, in Canada and the United States, the unfriendly Soviet propaganda
has also been very effective in the reverse direction to what was intended.
The handful of very able men who hold 180 million Soviet citizens in
their grasp ought to be able to get better advice about the Western democ-
racies. For instance, it cannot be in the interest of Russia to go on irritat-
ing the United States. There are no people in the world who are so slow
to develop hostile feelings against a foreign country as the Americans, and
there are no people who, once estranged, are more difficult to win back.
The American eagle sits on his perch, a large, strong bird with formidable
beak and claws. There he sits motionless, and M. Gromyko is sent day after
day to prod him with a sharp pointed stick-now his neck, now under his
wings, now his tail feathers. All the time the eagle keeps quite still. But
it would be a great mistake to suppose that nothing is going on inside
the breast of the eagle. I venture to give this friendly hint to my old war-
time comrade, Marshal Stalin. Even here, in our patient community, Soviet
propaganda has been steadily making headway backwards. I would not
have believed it possible that in a single year the Soviets would have been
able to do themselves so much harm, and to chill so many friendships in
the English-speaking world.

Foreign Affairs

Let us also remember that the Soviet Government is greatly hampered
in its relations with many foreign countries by the existence of Communist
fifth columns. There are some States which hang in the balance, where
these Communist organisms are aspiring, or conspiring, to seize the control
of the Governments, although they are in a small majority in the popu-
lation. Of course, if they succeed, the State is overturned and becomes
harnessed as a satellite, but everywhere else the activities of Communist
fifth columns only do Russia harm. In fact, they are an active process in
bringing about the very thing which the Soviets most dislike, namely, a
general consensus of opinion against them and their ways. I earnestly hope
that when this present technique and these methods have been fully tried
out and found not helpful to the interests and the greatness of Soviet
Russia, they will be discarded, and that a more reasonable and neighborly
spirit will prevail, in which case I am sure we would all be very ready,
so far as words are concerned, to let bygones be bygones.
Then there is the Communist.spy system, the exposure of which is at
present confined to Canada. It has made a deep mark on Transatlantic
opinion. These revelations, by no means complete, have stirred the whole
Dominion of Canada. Of course, many countries have sought and seek
information about the designs of other countries....
But the difference between that and the Soviet system is that they
do not have to hire their agents in the ordinary way. In the Communist
sect it is a matter of religion to sacrifice one's native land for the sake
of the Communist Utopia. People who, in ordinary life, would behave in
a quite honorable manner, if they are infected with this disease of the
mind will not hesitate a moment to betray their country or its secrets.
There are many instances of that. It is this peculiarity which renders Soviet
Communist espionage as dangerous as their propaganda is futile and often
even childish. The Canadian Government and its Prime Minister, Mr.
Mackenzie King, have only done their duty with courage and justice in
exposing what has been brought up in the Dominion of Canada.
Far more serious than anything in the sphere of propaganda or espio-
nage are the facts of the European situation. I have been censured for
wrongly championing the Russian claims to the Curzon Line. So far as the
Curzon Line is concerned, I hold strongly that this was a rightful Russian
frontier, and that a free Poland should receive compensation at the ex-
pense of Germany both in the Baltic and in the West, going even to the
line of the Oder and the Eastern Neisse. If I and my colleagues erred
in these decisions we must be judged in relation to the circumstances of
the awful conflict in which we were engaged. We are not now in the pres-
ence of the Curzon Line as the Western frontier of Soviet authority. It
is no longer a question of the line of the Oder. So long as Poland is held in
control the Soviet domination, in one form or another, runs from Stettin
in the Baltic to the outskirts of Trieste in the Adriatic, and far south of
that. The Russified frontier in the North is not the Curzon Line; it is

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL)
not on the Oder; it is on the Elbe. That is a tremendous fact in European
history, and one which it would be the height of unwisdom to ignore. Not
only has a curtain descended from the Baltic to the Adriatic, but behind
that is a broad band of territory containing all the capitals of Eastern and
Central Europe and many ancient states and nations, in which dwell nearly
one-third of the population of Europe, apart from Russia. At the present
moment all this is ruled or actively directed by that same group of very
able men, the Commissars in the Kremlin, which already disposes with
despotic power of the fortunes of their own mighty empire. It is here
in this great band or belt, if anywhere, that the seeds of a new world war
are being sown.
We may be absolutely sure that the Sovietizing and, in many cases, the
Communizing of this gigantic slice of Europe, against the wishes of the
overwhelming majority of the people of many of these regions, will not
be achieved in any permanent manner without giving rise to evils and con-
flicts which are horrible to contemplate. Meanwhile, it was dear from the
speech of the Foreign Secretary that the policy of the Soviet Government
seems, up to the present, to be to delay all final settlements of peace and
to prevent the peoples of Western and Eastern Europe from getting
together in friendly, social and economic association, as many of them
would like to do. On a short-term view, time is on the side of the Soviets,
because the longer a free and peaceful settlement of Europe is delayed,
the more time the Russian forces and Communist organizations have at
their disposal in order to liquidate whatever elements obnoxious to their
ambitions venture to show themselves in these wide lands. The popula-
tions of the Baltic states are no longer recognizable as those which existed
before the war. They have suffered a double liquidation, both at Ger-
man hands and Russian hands. The population of Pomerania is said to be
but a third of what it was before the war. There was a very interesting
article in the Manchester Guardian on that point the other day. Every
effort is being made to Communize and Russify the whole of the Soviet-
occupied zone of Germany.
Poland is denied all free expression of her national will. Her worst
appetites of expansion are encouraged. At the same time she is held in
strict control by a Soviet-dominated government who do not dare to have
a free election under the observation of representatives of the three or four
great Powers. The fate of Poland seems to be unending tragedy, and we,
who went to war, all ill-prepared, on her behalf, watch with sorrow the
strange outcome of our endeavors. I deeply regret that none of the Polish
troops-and I must say this-who fought with us on a score of battlefields,
who poured out their blood in the common cause, are to be allowed to
march in the Victory Parade. They will be in our thoughts on that day.
We shall never forget their bravery and martial skill, associated with our
own glories at Tobruk, at Cassino and at Arnhem. Austria and Hungary
are stifled, starved and weighed down by masses of Russian troops. We
agree with the Foreign Secretary in all he said on this point yesterday. I
do not speak of Czechoslovakia, which is a special case. For the time
being I accept President Benes's statement that it is the duty of Czecho-

Foreign Affairs
slovakia to interpret Russia to Western Europe and Western Europe to
Russia. But for the rest-I do not want to go into more detail-the posi-
tion is gravely and woefully disquieting.
All this brings us to the problem of Germany. Seventy or eighty mil-
lions of Germans still exist in the center of Europe, constituting its largest
racial block. Two-fifths of the German population lie East of the "iron
curtain," and three-fifths to the Westward. Together with the Americans
and to some extent the French, the responsibility for the control of this
vast mass of three-fifths of one of the most powerful nations in the world
lies upon us. It lies upon the three Allied Western Powers. The Soviet
Government are organizing their own zone through the establishment in
power of German Communist elements with Soviet support and control.
Different methods are being adopted in the British and American zones.
We have to face the fact that, as we are going on at present, two Germanys
are coming into being, one organized more or less on the Russian model,
or in the Russian interest, and the other on that of the Western democ-
racies, and that the line of demarcation is not fixed with regard to any
historical or economic conditions, but simply runs along the line agreed to
when the whole future of the war was highly speculative and nobody knew
to what points armies would be likely to go or what would become of
the struggle. It runs along the line to which, a year ago, the British and
American Armies voluntarily retired-a 150-mile retreat in some cases, on
a 400-mile front-after the Germans had surrendered.
Thus, the bulk of the German population and their manufacturing
resources are in Anglo-American hands and the bulk of their food grounds
in Soviet hands. It would not be contrary to the decision reached at Pots-
dam if His Majesty's Government followed the United States in not allow-
ing any further transference to Russia of German factories and plant under
their control except in return for proportionate deliveries of food for the
German people, whose livelihood, and indeed whose lives, depend in
some cases upon those factories and upon the productivity of their area.
In this way alone will the burden upon us be lessened. Either we shall
get the food for the Germans for whom we are responsible, or we shall
be able to take the best measures possible to enable them to earn their
own living. The first thing is that the Germans should earn their own
living. It would seem very foolish to deprive them of the means of doing
so, and then have to take the bread out of our own children's mouths in
order to keep them alive in a miserable condition.
We should be very glad, and I am sure the Americans also would be
very glad, to reach the condition of a general peace with the German
nation, however truncated or compartmented it might be, in agreement
with our Russian Allies. I cannot feel, from what we read and from
what we heard yesterday, that this is likely to be the position for some
time, and in the meantime the only course open will be to discuss matters
with the Soviets upon a realistic basis. We cannot afford, and the United

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL)
States cannot afford, to let chaos and misery continue indefinitely in the
zones of Germany which we occupy. I was deeply impressed by the broad-
cast address of Field-Marshal Smuts last week. No more than Field-Marshal
Smuts have I any need to court popularity or win applause by saying
fashionable things. I give my faithful counsel, as I did in bygone years,
when I was always in a minority and sometimes almost alone. I must speak
of Germany. Indescribable crimes have been committed by Germany un-
der the Nazi rule. Justice must take its course, the guilty must be punished,
but once that is over-and I trust it will soon be over-I fall back on the
declaration of Edmund Burke: "I cannot frame an indictment against an
entire people." We cannot plan or even dream of a new world or a new
Europe which contains pariah nations, that is to say, nations permanently
or for prolonged periods outcast from the human family. Our ultimate
hopes must be founded-can only be founded-on the harmony of the
human family. So far as it remains in the power of this island people to
influence the course of events, we must strive over a period of years to re-
deem and to reincorporate the German and the Japanese peoples in a
world system of free and civilized democracy. The idea of keeping scores
of millions of people hanging about in a sub-human state between earth
and hell, until they are worn down to a slave condition or embrace Com-
munism, or die off from hunger, will only, if it is pursued, breed at least
a moral pestilence and probably an actual war . .
We must make sure they do not rearm, and that their industries are
not capable of rapid transition to war production, but the danger to
European peace and to the future of free democratic civilization is not,
at this moment, Germany-that menace belongs to the first and second
acts of the world tragedy. The danger is the confusion and degeneration
into which all Europe, or a very large part of it, is rapidly sinking. More-
over, we need not fear that our position will be worsened, or that its dan-
gers will be brought more near, by the adoption of clear and firm policies.
Above all, we should not again let the years slip by while we are pushed
and slide down the slippery slope. We still have a breathing space. Let
us not waste it, as we did last time. The last great war could have been
prevented with the utmost ease by prudent, firm and righteous action, five,
four or even three years before it occurred. [Interruption.] No right to
lay flattering unction to their soul resides upon the benches opposite in
this matter. [An HON. MEMBER: "Or behind you."] I am dealing with this
great matter which belongs to history, and from which no British party
can draw particular credit. Other countries were concerned in that period;
and I have no doubt whatever in saying that even up to 1936 it was pos-
sible, if we had utilized the full powers of the League of Nations.-[In-
terruption.]-I traveled all around the country on that campaign, which
amounted to what is now called "ganging up" the League of Nations
against Hitler, but did not succeed.
We are not in dispute about this. We agree with His Majesty's Gov-
ernment that Britain cannot delay indefinitely making a peace with all

Foreign Affairs
those countries with whom we have been at war and with whom we have no
further quarrel. They have yielded themselves unconditionally to our arms
and to those of our Allies; nothing is more costly, nothing is more sterile,
than vengeance. We should make a peace with Germany or with what-
ever parts of Germany are still in our control. We should make peace with
Italy who has been our Ally for the last two years of the war. If this peace
cannot be achieved by inter-allied discussions in Paris or elsewhere, then
I agree with the Foreign Secretary, and with the Government of the United
States, that we should carry the matter to U.N.O., and to the 21 nations
who were actively engaged in the fighting-I quote the words used from
the Front Bench opposite yesterday-and make the best solution possible.
But it must be a quick one.
It is in this world organization that we must put our final hopes. If
we are to be told that such a procedure as this would rend the world organ-
ization, and that a line of division, and even of separation, might grow up
between Soviet Russia and the countries she controls on the one hand,
and the rest of the world on the other, then I say-and I say it with much
regret, but without any hesitancy-that it would be better to face that,
when all has been tried and tried in vain, than tamely to accept a con-
tinued degeneration of the whole world position. It is better to have a
world united than a world divided, but it is also better to have a world
divided than a world destroyed. Nor does it follow that even in a world
divided there should not be equilibrium from which a further advance
to unity might be attempted as the years pass by. Anything is better than
this ceaseless degeneration of the heart of Europe. Europe will die of
that ....
The Foreign Secretary said he would make another effort to bring about
an agreed solution of European affairs. That is, of course, for him and
for His Majesty's Government to decide. I do not say he is wrong. We
all hope earnestly for a successful conclusion to the approaching or, shall
I say, impending, conference in Paris. We must certainly await its results.
But it is surely necessary for people to begin asking themselves what course
we ought to take supposing, as is not impossible, no sort of agreement is
reached which would command the moral conscience and approval of the
world at large. What are we to do? I am not asking the Foreign Secretary
to answer that question now, but of course his speech remains incom-
plete without some effective conclusion. It is no use producing a dozen
points of difference with one of the greatest Powers in the world and then
breaking off with a mere denial of a pessimistic state of mind.
I well understand the difficulties of His Majesty's Government, but
never again will the parties of the Left be able to reproach the men of
Versailles. Europe is far worse off in every respect than she was at the end
of the last war. Her miseries, confusion and hatreds far exceed anything
known that was known in those bygone days. More than once the formid-
able truth has been stated that great nations are indestructible. Let us
beware of delay and further degeneration. With all their virtues, dem-
ocracies are changeable. After the hot fit, comes the cold. Are we to see
again, as we saw the last time, the utmost severities inflicted upon the van-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURv HILL]
quished, to be followed by a period in which we let them arm anew, and
in which we then seek to appease their wrath? We cannot impose our will
on our Allies, but we can, at least, proclaim our own convictions. Let us
proclaim them fearlessly. Let Germany live. Let Austria and Hungary
be freed. Let Italy resume her place in the European system. Let Europe
arise again in glory, and by her strength and unity ensure the peace of
the world.

The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): After the long and
exhaustive survey which my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made
yesterday of the international situation I do not propose this afternoon
to speak at any length....
The right hon. Gentleman opposite raised a number of points, and
there are one or two in particular with which I should like to deal. He
raised the very difficult question of the South Tyrol, and he also adverted
in that respect to the question of Trieste. Broadly speaking, it is quite
true that we want to adopt the line which will give to the most people we
can the rule of their fellow countrymen, but, in the complications of
Europe, to get that is really a counsel of perfection. In dealing with ethnic
considerations, one must not forget economic considerations. One must
remember that some of the lines which were drawn after the First World
War-I am sure, with the best of intentions-however ethnically perfect,
were economically absurd. In all these matters one must, I think, have
a balance of consideration.
Another point which the right hon. Gentleman raised-and this is a
particular point I should like to mention-was in regard to Italy's ships.
I would say to him that that is still under consideration by the experts,
and that there is still no firm determination yet made on it. He also raised
the question of Spain. That matter is up before the United Nations or-
ganization. We are considering these proposals, but the real question
which faces all of us is how best we are going to enable the Spanish people
to decide for themselves and get a decent government. The latter is a very-
long-term aspiration as far as Spain is concerned, because they have had, I
think, a succession of bad governments for very many years. It is a fact that
the Spanish people react very strongly against foreign intervention, and I am
sure that we have to take action which will be best calculated to make the
Spaniards get rid of their present government, and also get a decent gov-
ernment in its place. Because you get rid of one government, it does not
necessarily follow that you get a better one, or that you even get one at
all in some countries. We are watching, therefore, the proceedings at the
United Nations organization.
The right hon. Gentleman rightly took up the problem of Germany.
That is really the central theme of this Debate. I thought that just now

Foreign Affairs
the right hon. Gentleman painted too rosy a picture of what happened
at the end of the last war. It is true that there were peace treaties, but
war went on. One has to remember that Russia was excluded. There were
wars going on in Russia. There were wars in Turkey and in Greece, and
there were outbreaks of war in the very area we are considering, Venezia
Giulia. They took a long time to settle down. Peace treaties are not made
in a hurry; they require infinite patience, arid my right hon. Friend is
showing great patience, and, as was recalled by an hon. Member opposite,
the same thing has been true of British diplomats before. Great patience
was needed in getting peace after 1815. In all these things we are naturally
impatient to see our views prevail, but the fact is that we have got to work
with other nations.
I thought that rather less than justice was done to my right hon.
Friend, in suggesting that he had not put up'rather more positive pro-
posals in regard to Germany. We have put up positive proposals, and so
have the French. We are bound by the Potsdam Agreement, and we must
remember-and I am not making any attack on the right hon. Gentleman
opposite-that we are bound by a succession of decisions which were taken
in the war, decisions, for example, which were taken at Yalta. Yes, they
were taken in the urgency of war, and they had to be taken, but other
things follow on from them, and conditions change. At Potsdam, we had
to take the best decisions we could in the circumstances. The difficulty
with regard to Potsdam is this: that we regard Potsdam as laying down
some guiding principles to be applied, but our Russian friends have in-
sisted on importing into this agreement a rigid, literal interpretation deny-
ing all flexibility to meet changing circumstances. While they seem to us
to insist on the letter in regard to certain matters, I think that they dis-
regard the spirit in which we entered on these things in Potsdam.

We desire that Germany shall be treated as an economic whole. We
find Germany economically divided. We have been placed in a terribly
difficult position, in view of the world shortage, in having an area which
was always a deficit area from the point of view of food, and, as I see it,
in changing what were intended merely to be lines of occupation into rigid
divisions of Germany into zones with separate systems of administration.
Our endeavor is that Germany should be treated as an economic whole.
We want to work, not for a forcibly dismembered Germany-I believe that
that is folly-but for a federal Germany, a Germany which will get rid
of that uniformity and over-centralization which characterized not only
the Nazis, but also the preceding regime. At the same time, we are doing
our best to try to develop democratic institutions in Germany, because
Germany is not going to be set on her feet by the exertions of people out-
side. Germany must work out her salvation through the Germans. There-
fore, we are continuing to try to work through them to get the economic
unity of Germany, to get real democracy into Germany, and to work in
the closest harmony with our great Allies.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]

We do not want to accept the counsel of despair that would divide
Europe into two absolutely separate camps. Let me say to the right hon.
Gentleman on that point that we believe in the closest co-operation with
our friends of all the Western countries-Belgium, Dutch, Scandinavian
countries, and, above all, with France. It is perfectly natural and reason-
able that we should be good friends with these neighbors with whom we
share so many ideas and so much history. I think that no one has any rea-
son to object to our being friendly with our neighbors. With France-
and here I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman has said-we have
very great traditions of friendship. As M. Bidault said the other day,
"We have a union of hearts which is even more important than written
agreements." I entirely agree that friendship with neighbors is not "gang-
ing up." I would also say this: We do not want, in any way, to get an ex-
clusive friendship with the Western Powers. We are out to get an all-
inclusive friendship.
I would like to say one word on that. I think that one of the greatest
difficulties is to try to get into the minds of our Russian-friends some real
understanding of the way we work things in Western democracies. I
think that all of us can have understanding of the suspicion that exists
in the Russian mind. It comes from history, and not only the history of the
last 20 years. We have to remember the atmosphere of suspicion which
existed right throughout the Tsarist regime. Our difficulty is this: it is
quite extraordinary how hard it is to make our Russian friends under-
stand that there is more than one voice in this country. I would wish
that they could be present in the House and hear our Debates. If some-
one makes a speech somewhere, although he is an impeccable Conserva-
tive, and is attacking me and my friends as strongly as possible, it tends
to be taken by Russia, in some mysterious way, as the voice of the Gov-
ernment. They cannot seem to appreciate that it is the essence of the
Western countries that there should be a Government and an Opposition,
and that there should be many voices.
I was talking the other day with a Russian who has some considerable
knowledge of this country and he said, "Why are your papers so unpleasant
to Russia." I said, "I cannot help that, you know; they are free. They
are very unpleasant to me. Our papers are open to attack anybody." Well,
he could not understand that the papers that attack Russia, and equally
attack this Government, were not, somehow or other, under the aegis of
the Government. That is the trouble. That is really what has been called
the "iron curtain." It is a curtain between minds. Whenever I meet our
Russian friends, I urge them to let us get together and speak to each other
freely-all of us. I am quite sure that that is the great need in the world
today. I think that we have to look upon the Russian people, to some ex-
tent, as if they were people who had been born and lived in a dark
forest; they do not seem to understand the sunlight, the wind and air
of free democracies. I say that it would be a fatal thing to accentuate, in

Foreign Affairs
any way, this line of division between East and Western Europe, because
we have to try to get across the barriers, and get a mutual understanding.
Let me say that, at the same time, we have equally to try and understand
the Russian mind and Russian history, and understand why they take the
line they do.
I turn to one or two of the points that were made in the Debate by the
right hon. Gentleman the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A.
Butler), with regard to the Far East. My right hon. Friend the Foreign
Secretary made a very extensive journey around the world, but he did
not get quite so far as that yesterday. Our policy with regard to China
is to do everything possible to secure conditions favorable to our trade.
We desire, in the interests of the Chinese people, to see the emergence,
as soon as possible, of a stable, strong, united China. That depends more
than anything else, on the settlement of the existing dispute between the
Central Government and the Communists. We deplore the continuance
of this dispute. I should like to take this opportunity of paying a tribute
to the untiring efforts of General Marshall in trying to bring the two sides
together, to promote an atmosphere favorable to a settlement.
There are very great obstacles and difficulties at the present time in the
way of trade with China. After all, China was longer at war than any other
country, and after many years of heroic struggle against the Japanese they
have a greater need of supplies than the rest of the world. There are dif-
ficulties of transport, difficulties of exchange and labor troubles; and, I
regret to say, we find a good deal of difficulty in getting back to their
owners some of the British properties which were sequestrated by the Jap-
anese. We are trying . to reorganize the consular service and get it
re-established. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary recently had
long conversations with the Foreign Minister of China Mr. T. V. Soong
-long and friendly conversations, which I hope will bear fruit.

Perhaps I may deal for a moment with the point raised about Japan.
On Japan, I was asked whether we had a political representative. The
Government have already selected a British political representative for
duty in Japan, in the person of Mr. A. D. F. Gascoigne, who is a senior mem-
ber of the foreign service. He is leaving for Japan in a few days' time,
and he will head the United Kingdom liaison mission in Japan which
was set up on 1st January, 1946. His primary function will be to safe-
guard and promote British interests and to maintain the closest possible
collaboration with General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the
Allied Powers, and also with the other British authorities in Japan such
as the Commander-in-Chief of the British Commonwealth Occupation
Forces. I might say a further word there so that the House may realize
what is the general machinery of control. While executive authority is
vested in General MacArthur, there is an inter-Allied Commission in Wash-
ington, which formulates policy, and there is an Allied Council in Japan
which advises General MacArthur on the carrying out of the Commis-

British Speeches of the Day [MN. A TLEE]
sion's decisions. The British representative on the Council is an Australian,
Mr. MacMahon Ball. Whenever urgent matters arise, the United States
Government can give interim directives to General MacArthur without con-
sulting the Commission. That arrangement has not been functioning
very long and I think it is too early to give an account of it. I do not
wish to say anything more on the work there, except that I think useful
groundwork has been accomplished in Japan, and I believe that General
MacArthur is doing a great service to the whole world in his administra-
tion in Japan ....

Mr. Seymour Cocks (Labor): The Leader of the Opposition in open-
ing his speech this afternoon made an attack on the resistance movement
in Greece, which he accused of treachery and all sorts of other evil offenses.
I have studied closely the record regarding Greece of the Coalition Gov-
ernment, and of its agents in Cairo and elsewhere, and I would like to
say that as a record of treachery and double dealing that record would
take some beating. As for the White Paper that that Government pub-
lished at the beginning of last year, I would say that it is the best thing
in fiction that the Coalition Government ever did. E.A.M. made one
great mistake-to lay down their arms, trusting to the honor of the British
Foreign Office. Those arms were picked up by the Fascist forces of the
Right. But the whole story is not ended. When British troops are with-
drawn it is possible that civil war will break out and that revolution will
take place, on which occasion I hope it will be successful. I say, "Long
live the Greek Republic and the Greek revolution, and confusion to the
Fascist collaborators, which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for
Woodford (Mr. Churchill) so wantonly and so wickedly supports."
Having praised the men in Greece who helped Hitler, the right hon,
Gentleman then turned to Spain, and supported the Government of
another friend of Hitler and Mussolini-General Franco. It has been paid
by General Franco that Spain and England were natural enemies, and
that so long as this country held the entrance to the Mediterranean, Spain
was bound to be hostile to her, and that he would do his utmost to re-
cover, by force if necessary, the fortress of Gibraltar. That record of his
views was written in a Sunday newspaper by a former Member of this
House, Sir Samuel Hoare, who is now Lord Templewood. The right hon.
Gentleman the Member for Woodford went on to criticize the recommen-
dations of a sub-Committee of U.N.O. that diplomatic relations with
Franco should be broken off. The Leader of the Opposition has spoken
often in his time for many causes and many people. He has spoken for
the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, for himself and, during the
war, for England. This is the first time that we have heard him speak with
the voice of the Vatican, although he did so the other day in Holland.
I expect that before the end of the Session we may have the unique pleasure
of watching him counting his beads on the Front Bench, although he will

Foreign Affirs
not, I think, be wearing the hair shirt of that austerity to which, in his
vari-coloured career, he has never given very high praise.
I listened last night to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Foreign
Secretary... with a feeling of depression and gloom. There is no strong
reason to believe, so far as I can see, that the next meeting of the Foreign
Secretaries in a few days' time will succeed any more than did the last. It
has been suggested that if deadlock occurs again, which is very likely, as
nothing has happened so far to resolve it, all the problems of peace will
then be presented to a Conference of 21 nations. Suppose you hold that
Conference against the wishes of Soviet Russia, and suppose she does not
attend and others do not attend, what will happen then? The next step,
it is indicated, is that America and Britain may have to make a separate
peace of their own, without waiting for the co-operation of Russia. If
that is done it will undoubtedly cause a hopeless and hostile division be-
tween East and West, which will lead inevitably to a future war..... I
say again now, in the same way as I said it in 1932, that unless our foreign
policy, and the foreign policy of other countries, is changed, we are as
near war today as we were in 1932, and perhaps nearer. In my view, the
Foreign Secretary has been given a hopeless task. He is in the position
of a man who, seeing his path blocked by an enormous boulder, tries to
remove the boulder without a lever, and no lever can be found. It cannot
be done. The only course for such a man is to go around the boulder-
in other words, to change our foreign policy, in the direction which I
propose to indicate.
The British Labor Party has always stood for the closest friendship with
Soviet Russia. The example of Russia in establishing a non-capitalist
State in Eastern Europe cheered the Labor, movement in many a dark
hour of Tory reaction. At the last General Election the thought that a
Labor Government in England would mean that friendship with Russia
would grow ever warmer and closer, and that the two countries and
peoples would be bound together by firm and unbreakable ties, cheered
our people, and was cheered by audiences when is was said from our plat-
forms. The phrase that "Only the Left can understand the Left" was
often quoted at our meetings, and was received with the full-throated
applause of deep conviction. Besides that special friendship of the Labor
Party for Russia, there has been general agreement among all parties that
the peace of the world and the success of the United Nations depend upon
agreement and co-operation between Britain, America and Russia. The
Labor Party issued a leaflet called The International Postwar Settlement,
in which it is said:
"If we three hold together, all will be well, if we fall apart, all will be dark
and uncertain."
I think most people will agree that today all is dark and uncertain.
The spirit of cordial co-operation between the three Great Powers no
longer exists. The rift between West and East is growing wider every day

British Speeches of the Day [Mn, CocKs)
and at every conference. So deep has it become that Miss Dorothy Thomp-
son was constrained to write, in a message to The Observer recently, that
the people in the United States of America . felt they were drifting
towards war. The thought filled them with horror, but they were facing
it with resignation. A Gallup poll in America the other day showed that
75 per cent of those taking part in it thought that war with Russia was
inevitable ....
This feeling, however, is not confined to the United States of America.
In Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe, and in the Middle East,
it is even more prevalent. Hon. Members coming back from visits to
those territories tell me that people there-chiefly people in what I think
are reactionary circles, and men and women of that type-are asking, not
whether the war is coming, because they take that for granted, but at what
date it will break out. This is an awful position. It is not to be glossed
over with soothing words. Surely, it is our duty to right it if we possibly
can; otherwise, we shall be swirled over Niagara by the strong current of
events, and civilization will perish in the glare of atomic annihilation.
What can we do to prevent this fate?

Let me, at the beginning, say something about the present position and
attitude of Russia. In my view, the present attitude of Russia is due very
largely to her desire for security. In that I am supported by a hostile wit-
ness, Mr. Paul Winterton. In his book called Report On Russia, he has
written the most violent attack on the Soviet system that has been pub-
lished in this country recently. It is quoted by all who are opposed to
Communism as a description of the awful conditions in Russia. This is
what he says on the foreign policy of Russia:
"An examination of Russian policy with a clear and impartial eye does not lead
to the conclusion that Russia is seeking other people's wealth or territory out of
greed, or extending her influence for the sake of enjoying power over others. She
has not the least desire to Russify non-Russians or to destroy local culture. She
has certainly no desire to dominate the world, as Hitler had. Her aim appears to
be defensive .... I am sure that neither the Russian people nor the Kremlin would
view with anything but horror the possibility of another war."
When we consider the terrible losses which Russia sustained in the recent
conflict, no one can wonder at that. Over 20 million of her people were
killed, most of them murdered. As was revealed at the Nuremberg trial,
there was a single grave containing 100,000 dead. Three hundred thousand
civilians were butchered in the area of Minsk. There were villages where
all the population were put in barns and roasted alive. Territory holding
a population of 80 million people was made a desert, and everything de-
stroyed, from the art palaces down to the sewerage system. When we
realize what sufferings Russia has endured, can we wonder that Russia
now desires to protect herself from another attempt by a wide belt of
neighboring countries from which no hostile force will ever be able to launch
another attack? I think that explains the iron curtain and what is going
on behind it. To Russia the iron curtain is simply a safety curtain, such
as we can see any night at a theatre in London. For us to attempt to in-

Foreign Affairs
terfere in the Russian sphere by sending fussy and scolding Notes to
Rumania, Bulgaria, or Poland is not only futile but actually harmful be-
cause it arouses in Russia feelings of fear, suspicion, and hatred which will
render future co-operation impossible.
Another point is that the Russian Communist Party is a Marxist Party,
the leaders of which believe in the Marxist philospohy and do not, as a
result, trust any purely capitalist nation such as the United States of
America. They believe that unless the U.S.A. ceases to be capitalist she
will one day be forced by economic circumstances to attack the Soviet
Union. The fact that the secret of the atomic bomb has been denied to
Russia strengthens her in that belief. As for this country, the Russians
believe that we are lining up with the U.S.A. in preparation for the com-
ing conflict. They believe that, rightly or wrongly, and the Fulton speech,
which was never repudiated by any Member of the British Government,
is regarded as evidence by the Russians. Although we have a Socialist
Government in this country-and a very fine one too-the Russians point
to the fact that millions of people voted Conservative and that another
Election will take place in four years' time. They know that the doctrine
of the continuity of foreign policy has been proclaimed by His Majesty's
Opposition-it was mentioned again this afternoon by the right hon. Gen-
tleman the Member for Woodford-and has apparently been accepted by
the Government to some extent, as shown by their attitude towards Greece
and Spain . .
In view of these profound, and in some ways well-founded, beliefs there
is only one thing to do in my opinion. It may be said to be a second best
choice, but then wise statesmanship often is. Whatever idealists and doc-
trinaires may say I believe that there is only one way to avert the danger of
war. When two people find it difficult to work together and get on each
other's nerves, the sensible thing is to give them different jobs to do. Russia
has a very big job in Eastern Europe and I think she should be allowed
to do it without any irritating interference from the West. America has
the Monroe Doctrine, and until we frankly recognized that doctrine our
relations with her were never cordial. I remember when some 50 years
ago action was contemplated against Venezuela there were threats of war
against us by the United States, and we had to bring into commission a
separate flying squadron as a result. Today we fully recognize that doc-
trine, and this country would not dream of interfering in the affairs of
a South American State without having first obtained the approval of
the U.S.A.
Mr. Anthony Nutting (Conservative): I think the hon. Gentleman has
forgotten that there was a complete differentiation of policy towards the
Argentine between His Majesty's Government and the United States
Government during the war.
Mr. Cocks: I say again what I said a few months ago; what we should do
is to recognize an Eastern Monroe Doctrine for the Russian sphere of influ-
ence in Eastern Europe, where she would be free to organize that vast

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. COCKS]
territory in her own way without any useless interference from us .. .
I would suggest to the House and to the Minister that this position will
arise in due course in any case. Let it come, I suggest, as the outcome of a
free and cordial offer from us. Let the Prime Minister go to Moscow
and make that offer to M. Stalin. If we do that, meeting at the highest
level, I believe that Russia's suspicions might be largely dissipated and
that she would then agree to co-operate cordially with us and U.N.O.
in the problems common to us all.
As I say, I believe that if we adopted this policy of an Eastern Monroe
doctrine, with an Eastern organization of that kind, Russia could not
logically object to our forming a similar regional arrangement in the West,
based upon the traditions of the Roman-Hellenic Empire, the greatest
civilization in the world with common traditions of 2,500 years.
Mr. Osborne (Conservative): Supposing Russia did object to our having
a bloc to ourselves, then what?
Mr. Cocks: The two things would be discussed at the same time on the
basis of, "You have a free hand in the East; we desire the same thing in
the West."
Mr. John McKay (Labor): Does this policy advocated by my hon. Friend
mean that Poland would not be allowed a free election to decide her own
form of government?
Mr. Cocks: The question of free elections or otherwise is not important
because we cannot alter them. Are we prepared to go to war to enforce
proportional representation or adult suffrage or an election every five
years in some country in the East? That is perfectly ridiculous and can-
not be done. Russia could not object to our forming a reasonable arrange-
ment in the West based on the conditions I have mentioned....
The two regional arrangements need not clash in my view. East and
West can live peaceably side by side in perfect amity, exchanging their
goods, possibly very largely by means of barter, but devoting their main
energies to the task of rebuilding and reconstructing their whole economic
life, and the task of repairing and developing the Soviet social economic
system in Eastern Europe and over the vast spaces of Asia, and the task
of reconstructing and welding Western Europe together, would provide
work for the statesmen of both regions for many years to come.
Under such an arrangement the problem of Western Germany might
be merged with the common problem of Europe and solved with it, or it
might be solved by joint supervision by both regional authorities. There
are certain points along this line of demarcation where rivalries now exist.
I suggest that in such a scheme these points of conflict might be turned
into points of co-operation, and many might be settled, if we had the
proper atmosphere, by some system of joint control and joint supply
boards or by international supervision under U.N.O. If in the course of
time all-European arrangements could be developed into which this twin
structure would fit, so much the better. We do know that provision has
been made for such arrangements under the present Charter of the United

What Labor Has Done
I put forward this plan quite diffidently and humbly for the considera-
tion of the Government. I believe that if it were adopted it would help
us to develop friendship and co-operation with Russia and between other
nations, strengthen U.N.O., and eventually bring about the unity of the
world, the only state in which the atomic bomb will be of no danger. It
involves a bold, courageous and drastic change of policy. But if our policy
is not changed it seems to me that only doom awaits us and there will be
no watchman to salute the dawn. [ o
[House of Commons Debates]

Speech by the RT. HON. CLEMENT ATrLEE, Prime Minister, at the
Labor Party Conference [Extracts]

Bournemouth, June 11, 1946. What has been our course of action
since we obtained power? How have we approached our problems? I recall
very well meeting the new Labor Parliamentary Party in the Beaver Hall
in the City of London, and I stated then that our intention was to carry
out our full program. I said: "We have to deal with the problems arising
from the war and the aftermath of war, very heavy problems that will
put a burden on any Government. We have schemes of social reform,
schemes prepared during the War Government, in the preparation of
which your Labor Ministers took a very full share. We are resolved to
carry through those great schemes." But, I said: "We are also resolved to
carry out as rapidly and as energetically as we can the distinctive side of
Labor's program: our socialist policy, our policy of nationalization." That
was the line of action laid down then. It was embodied in the King's
Speech, and this Report shows you how faithfully it has been carried out.
This vigorous and forceful action rather upset our opponents, for some
of them seemed to be rather scandalized that, having gone to the country
with a dear and definite program, we should proceed to carry it out. It was
always their pretence that programs of nationalization were theoretical,
ideological fads, drawing the Government's attention from its proper duties.
Indeed, they went so far as to embody that view in a vote of censure, which,
as you will see from this Report, was well and truly defeated. The fact is
that these measures of ours are not theoretical trimmings. They are an
essential part of a planned economy that we are introducing into this
country. They are designed to help in promoting full employment, eco-
nomic prosperity and justice for all. They are vital to the efficient working
of the industrial and political machine of this country. They are the
embodiment of our Socialist principle of placing the welfare of the nation
before that of any section and of dealing with every problem in a practical
and businesslike way. We have been able to show how essential our pro-
posals are to the needs of the existing situation, and so, when it came to
bringing our measures on to the floor of the House, our Ministers and our

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. ATTLEE]
Members in the House had no difficulty in putting their case across. Let
me say that I have never known a Parliamentary Labor Party with so many
Members so capable of putting Labor's case across.
We had secured a dear mandate from the people, and so, when we intro-
duced the nationalization of the Bank of England-which some of us can
remember as a subject of such violent storms in Parliament and the press,
which was regarded by some people as the end of all things-it went through
with hardly a ripple on the surface of either House, and when we came to
the nationalization of the mines, although there was criticism in detail, it
was quite clear that the opposition had no alternative. I recall very well,
after the Second Reading debate, talking to an American statesman. He
does not belong to our Party. The last thing he would like would be to be
accused of being a Socialist, but when he came away from that debate he
said: "Your man Shinwell convinced me." The case on the mines was
unanswerable. Those two have already become law, but others are march-
ing on. The Cable and Wireless Bill is in Committee, and so is the Civil
Aviation Bill. Others are in preparation, and the process will continue.
These measures are not the result of some a priori theorizing. They come
out of hard and practical experience, and close study of the problems
I think that that is a pretty good start. You must not overload the political
machine. I believe that quite a number of our Members in the House of
Commons are realizing that we have made our policy of full employment
begin with them. You must not overload the administrative machine
either, because the Civil Servants are also experiencing full employment. In
all these things we must observe the priorities, and I can assure you that we
are planning ahead. We are planning ahead for the work of the next Session
after this one and the next after that. It is generally agreed that this
legislative activity is unexampled. It is attributable to the energies of
Ministers, of the Civil Service and of the House of Commons. Seventy-three
Bills have been introduced. Fifty-five have already received the Royal
Assent. There are a lot of fish in the basket and they are not just minnows.
There are pretty big salmon among them. Look at those three great
measures of social reform: National Insurance, National Insurance Injuries
and the National Health Services. In previous Parliaments any one of those
would have been thought to have provided a full meal for a whole year. We
worked on the basis of what was done under the War Government, but
Parliament and this Government have improved on those first drafts sub-
mited during the war years. We have produced them in the first ten
months of our Government.
Our opponents had some kind of a vague program, not very clearly put
across at the General Election, which was called the five-year plan. As far
as I can see they would have proceeded very leisurely to do in five years what
we have done in ten months. We are in great measures of social reform, to
vary my metaphor, two up and one to play, two on the Statute Book and one
which is just going through Committee. We have had a wonderful spirit

What Labor Has Done

and wonderfully loyal support from all our Members in the House. Of
course they have criticized because we are trained in criticism, but their
criticism has been constructive.
Let us look a little further into the fish basket. Here is another large
one: the repeal of the Trade Disputes Act. At long last that unjust stigma
on the Trade Union Movement, that injustice to Civil Servants, has been
removed. The late Prime Minister invited us to go to the country on this
issue, to appeal to Caesar. We appealed, Caesar gave his verdict, and the
Trade Disputes Act is no more.
We have had two successful Budgets. It is a remarkable thing that
confidence in our British financial system has risen steadily with the work of
the Socialist Chancellor of the Exchequer. Besides these Budgets he has
introduced other measures designed to make money the servant and not the
master, designed to cause capital to flow into those channels where it will
bring forth most fruit for the benefit of the whole people.
Among the lesser measures there are some which are of vital importance
dealing with questions applicable to the miners, questions dealing with
dockers, dealing with special sections "of the people and dealing with the
whole people. Besides these there are a number of measures which are
absolutely needed in the stern conditions under which we are living.
I would like you for a moment to consider just what the conditions have
been in which this great volume of legislation has been placed on the Statute
Book: not the easy times of peace, not a time of settled conditions, not a
time of leisure for Ministers or for Civil Servants, but the most difficult time
of all, the period of reconstruction after a great war. I say the fact that we
have been able to pass these measures with full discussion is a great vindica-
tion of the democratic system of Government.
But legislation is one thing and administration is another. Let us have
a look at administration. No one, I think, would deny the magnitude of
the administrative tasks that have faced this Government. People used to
say to me before the election: "Don't you hope you will not win? Look
at the difficulty of your task." We did not take that line. Take one or two
of our major questions. Demobilization is an enormous problem. Our
policy was to maintain with reasonable flexibility the principles which had
been laid down by a great Minister of Labor, Ernest Bevin, during the
war. Nothing throws up more difficult cases than demobilization. Nowhere
s" it more easy to get prejudice, but I claim, looking back over these ten
months, that our policy has been vindicated, and, considering the difficulties,
that great change-over has worked wonderfully smoothly, thanks not just
to the Government machine but to the temper and patience of the fighting
men and women, and to the full co-operation of organized Labor.

British Speeches of the Day [M. ATrrEE

We then had the problem of the change-over from a war to a peace
economy. Inevitably you will get some pockets of unemployment, but we
have seen a wonderful and orderly absorption of labor into industry where
it was most needed. Again, how much we owe to co-operation with the
Trade Unions. We have seen a remarkable expansion of our export trade.
You can see here, too, plans working out to direct industry to where it is
most needed, to see that never again are we left with those special areas
which we had before the war, and that we do not over-congest areas like
London and other centers.
We have been giving freedom to develop where restrictions are not
necessary, but we have kept on restrictions which are needed to prevent
exploitation and inflation.
Take another problem: housing. It is an enormous problem that cannot
be solved quickly. Some people seem to think that one could build all the
houses that one wants in the winter. They do not belong to the building
trades. There is a lot of criticism by ignoramuses, but now week by week
work is going forward. Houses are being built, houses are in building,
houses are being completed. We shall carry out the program set us, not to
solve the problem in twelve months, but with the resources available to go
steadily ahead on our policy of providing houses for the people.
In conditions of shortage of labor, shortage of materials, difficulties as
regards food and transport, to talk of the complete removal of controls is
folly. We do not try to keep any controls that are not essential. I think
the steadiness of the nation is remarkable, and the demand for the abolition
of controls is practically confined to the lunatic fringe, but actually we do
not want all the time to emphasize restrictions. Actually a new impulse
has been given by the Labor Government over the whole field of govern-
mental activity. In every sphere administration has been given a definite
objective. Besides the work of the Cabinet and its Committees in co-
ordinating work, there is a wonderful effect from having Ministers who are
animated by the same ideals. It helps them to make a co-operative effort.
It helps them to take the broad view.
You see, therefore, the Movement going forward, in agriculture, educa-
tion and every department, and you see it too in the fighting services.
There has been a new start. For the first time the remuneration of the
fighting services has been deliberately equated with that of civilian workers.
It is a bigger change, perhaps, than everybody realizes.
We are facing difficulties; but difficulties are made to be overcome; but
our home problems are affected all the time by the world situation. Our
home food troubles have been vastly accentuated by the responsibilities that

What Labor Has Done
we have for others. We are holding a firm balance between our responsi-
bilities to our own people and our responsibilities to peoples of the world,
and we are striving, and with success, to get the world food problem viewed
not as that of a scramble for every country to get its own, but for all of us
to overcome these years of dearth and in the future to have a world that is
free from want.
Coal shortages and transport shortages again are not just home prob-
lems. They are foreign problems. I need not tell you what energetic leads
have been given by our representatives at international conferences. There
are economic matters, monetary matters and social matters. This Labor
Movement of ours has never been a narrow insular movement. It has
always recognized that the cause of the workers all over the world was one.
We have always realized that you cannot build up a little safety zone for
yourselves and leave misery in the rest of the world....

We support democracy and freedom everywhere. Let me say that
we know what democracy means and we know what freedom means because
we have it ourselves. We know, too, that political world settlement is not
enough. We must base the peace on economic prosperity and social justice.
I say that we know what democracy and freedom mean. We do not seek to
force our ideas on other countries. We recognize that we live in a world of
variously organized States, some Socialist, some capitalist, some Communist,
and many with mixed economies. We have to live and work in the world
with States of diverse characteristics, just as here in this country we live and
work with our fellow citizens of diverse characteristics. We believe in the
co-operation between peoples of different outlooks, and not the attempt to
force a dull uniformity on the world. We ask for others the freedom that
we claim for ourselves.
We proclaim this freedom, but we do more than proclaim it. We seek
to put it into effect. Witness India. We have invited the people of India
to decide their own destiny. If they will stay with us in the British Com-
monwealth, we shall welcome them. If they desire to go outside, we shall
stretch out the hand of friendship to them. Meanwhile, my three colleagues
have been laboring over there, not to force something on India, but to help
the Indians to solve their own problems.
We have set an example in UNO, where we were the first to proclaim
our readiness to hand over our possessions from the last war under a system
of trusteeship. In the Colonial Empire also self-government marches on.
No Government has given more complete proof of its desire to follow the
path of democracy and freedom. We hear a few voices now and again
mumbling the old shibboleths about imperialism. I must say they seem
to me rather second-hand voices.
Well, here is our work at home and abroad. We set this record before
you, and this, after all, is but the beginning of things. We have had only

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATrrEE]
just over ten months of Government. The work of a Prime Minister in
these days is very heavy. The content of Government has expanded im-
mensely in the last 30 or 40 years, and no man can carry the burden of the
Premiership without the loyal support and co-operation of his colleagues
in the Government and without the loyal backing of the Party in Parlia-
ment and in the country. Let me say how fortunate I am in having such
good and loyal comrades-a team of able colleagues working each in his
own sphere and co-operating together in the general work of Government.
If you look around today you will not see any easy jobs in the Government.
Every Department has its hard problems. Every Department needs an
active and hard-working Minister and every Department has got one
today. ...
After all, this is only the beginning. I stand here with this experience
of Government to reaffirm my faith in democratic Socialism. We will never
sacrifice the liberties won by our forefathers. It is social democracy which
can set us free from the tyranny of economic power and preserve us too
from the dangers of the absolute power of the State. The inspiring vigor of
Parliament with its free and open criticism is the source of strength of this
Government as of all British Governments. We rejoice in the co-operation
of the people with the Government. We rejoice in the fact that great
organizations like the Trade Unions co-operate with us as well as scores of
voluntary agencies, national and local, bringing to the governmental
machine the surge of individual enthusiasm. That is the mark of the Brit-
ish way of life.
No one realizes more clearly than I do that we have a long way to go
yet to reach the Britain of our dreams and the world of our desires, and we
believe that we shall get from all the people of this land hard work and
courage to take us through the years ahead. For that hard work men and
women need the inspiration of a great ideal. We are not ashamed to pro-
claim ourselves a party of idealists inspired by a living faith in freedom,
democracy, and social justice. Through many years of adversity we have
kept our faith, we have striven for the opportunity to translate our Socialist
policy into action. That opportunity has now come to us in full measure.
We have, I believe, made a good beginning. We shall not falter. With
faith in the justice of our cause and our ability to serve the nation we con-
fidently face the future. [Labor Party Report]

Speech by the RT. HON. ERNEST BEVIN, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
at the Labor Party Conference.
Bournemouth, June 12, 1946. Mr. Chairman and fellow delegates, I
think this debate today is a great example of the democratic movement in
action. It is an occasion on which everybody from their separate points
of view can put to the Conference and to the world what they want to
say. And no one would be happier than I if in every country in the world

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Afairs
without distinction the same kind of Conference could be held with the
same report to the world. Nothing can contribute so much to the peace
of the world as the free expression of the people, especially when they
come from Parties like those which are giving -such constant attention
to these great world problems.
I said in the House of Commons the other day-and if I may say it in
passing, I would like, in view of the criticism of that speech, that the
Labor Party should print it and get the rank and file of the members
of the Party to know exactly what I said, for to pick out short excerpts
and misquote and misrepresent them in international affairs is not a
good method-I said in the House of Commons the other day that, unlike
the old days when these things were regarded as a problem for those who
were sometimes called statesmen, the two world wars had made foreign
affairs a problem for the whole people. No one will be happier than I
if before I leave this office-and I am very glad to think that the Party
has no dearth of candidates to fill it, and I assure you I did not want it
-no on will be happier than I if before I leave this office these problems
have been fully discussed in this way so that I can carry the world organ-
ization a stage further wherein it will draw its power direct from the
people and not merely from governments.
One speaker said that members of the Party were bewildered. Well,
I can understand that. So am I. So is anybody who has got to clear up
the mess in this world after 25 years of appeasement and six years of
war. The resettlement of the world is no easy task. It is a problem which
is filled with anxiety-anxiety on two grounds. One ground of anxiety-
and the most important one-is the recognition that the constituents for
whom you are working are not yet born, that any step you take now does
not only determine what is going to happen to the people in this hall,
but what is going to happen to the generations unborn, that the efforts
of your work either for peace or war will reveal themselves in 20, 30, 40,
probably 50 years' time. I would say to anyone who studies foreign af-
fairs that they must not be obsessed with the things of the immediate
moment but try to study how their actions and policies are likely to
work out in the future.
I agree that the problems of the moment are tremendously bewilder-
ing. When the Prime Minister called upon me to undertake the task I
gave it very careful thought, and I will be quite frank with this Con-
ference. I have spent 36 years of my life in combat and trouble and con-
tention of one kind and another, and, looking at it from a purely personal
point of view, I thought I would like to settle in a quieter office, that of
the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But for some reason or other they
suggested that I should do this, and I have taken it on and I will do
my best with it. [Applause.]
May I digress for a moment and say this: I was struck very much yes-
terday when the Prime Minister ran through a review of the measures
carried by the Government during this year of office and also his review
of future progress. I think it is well for this great Conference to remember
-I say it without ego-that for many years I.have tried to work with

British Speeches of the Day [.M. BEVIN]
others on reports which are now the basis of legislation. Those things
were carried through in face of bitter opposition by my own people,
but today they are the basis of your Socialist program, worked out through
the Trades Union Congress and the Joint Economic Committee. I thought
it was very encouraging, as it were, to be sitting here and listening to a
review of the results of 16ng years of effort. One name came to my mind
which I mentioned to the Chairman-a man now gone to join the great
majority, a great man, but perhaps almost forgotten, our dear Milne
Bailey, who did so much to further these magnificent reforms.
I mention that because I draw an illustration from it. I cannot-
neither could anybody occupying this office-be expected to solve in the
course of ten months every human problem which has been thrown up
by this war. I know that you expect the birth of great things in nine,
but you cannot build a new world in ten. I say, as one of my colleagues
said about a domestic problem, "Give me four or five years and then see
what results can be produced." I say the same. Every day that we move
away from the horrible tragedy of war the facets and circumstances change.
Let me give you one illustration. In the London Conference last year we
broke down on a question of procedure concerning the exclusion of
France. I refused to give way and I think I was right. This time in Paris
France was admitted. The question of her being present was never raised.
What is the deduction to be drawn? There has been a mellowing on that
point at least in between the Conferences, and I was very glad to see
the change. I am not prepared to accept the pessimistic view that what
has been said over the radio and in the press during the last few days is
the final word. There is no final word until you come to the real issues
which I will refer to later.
Allow me to express my gratitude to Mr. Bullock and through him to
the great Trade Unions of the country which he represents for their sup-
port. I welcome that resolution.1 I have seen this Party pass through
many vicissitudes. I have seen many come and many go, but in our darkest
days the Trade Unions have never deserted. [Applause.] Therefore to
have the support, which I think I have, from the Trades Union Congress
and from the Trade Union membership of the country which I have lived
with for so long is the greatest source of satisfaction to me, as it would be
1 This Conference places on record its appreciation of the United Nations Organ-
ization Congress held in London and particularly of the part played by the Foreign
Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevin, M.P.
It regards the development of international authority as the only alternative policy
to the old diplomacy of national sovereignty and isolation, and the groupings of nations
which lead inevitably to international conflict.
The Conference supports the Government in its policy of open diplomacy and of
referring disputes between nations to international arbitration and decision. It believes
that the creation of an international force to restrain aggression is a necessary instru-
ment of international policy, and will render unnecessary the maintenance of huge
armies and armament development in times of peace, which tend to aggravate tension
which arises between governments over matters which can be more fittingly dealt with
by international decision.
Notwithstanding all that the Government may do, the Conference regards it as
imperative that independent voluntary organizations such as the United Nations Asso-
ciation should be supported in creating a public opinion in support of governments
pursuant to a policy of peace by negotiation.
Moved by National Union of General and Municipal Workers.

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Affairs
to anyone who represents this country abroad. First of all, the Trade
Unions have not only come into their own but the Trade Unions today
are a solid expression of working-class collective views, and nobody did
more to make the Labor Party successful at the last election than the Trade
Unionists of this country.
I turn now to the resolution moved by Hendon South.2 The mover
said that this was not a vote of censure. I would not be Foreign Secretary
if I was so simple as to accept that. It is the usual old resolution collected
into a lovely phrase with a few words thrown into the middle. It con-
demns me for following a Conservative policy in effect. I deny that. I
repudiate it. The resolution urges a return to Socialist policy, which
assumes I have departed from it. If that is not a vote of censure I have
never heard one, and I say to my friends from Hendon who moved this
that if this is passed by the Conference today there is no doubt what will
be the interpretation which other countries place upon it tomorrow. I
ask the Conference to reject it.
I would ask delegates, when dealing with foreign affairs, to keep two
things in mind. I said this in Edinburgh many years ago when we were
discussing Russia. Our people had been out there promising them a
revolution in England, which they knew would never come, not in that
sense. I appealed to them then to remember that you can say these things
in your own country and everybody knows what value to place upon your
utterance. But when you say it so that people abroad can hear it, they,
with their very logical mind, think that you can do what you say and if
you do not they are disappointed. Therefore, of all the things that are
debated at this Conference nothing should be more solemnly and care-
fully looked at than the subject of foreign affairs, not because of our
own position but because of the interpretation which may be put upon
it abroad. Therefore I am satisfied, having studied the resolution very
carefully, that it is intended to be a vote of censure in spite of what the
mover said, and when I go to Paris on Friday it will be interpreted as a
censure upon me.
I come now to the question of diplomatic personnel. I give the lady
who moved the Holborn resolution (Miss Marcours6)s the promise that
2 This Conference, recognizing that the only hope of lasting peace lies in the
international adoption of socialism, and regretting the Government's apparent continu-
ance of a traditionally Conservative Party policy of power politics abroad, urges a
return to the Labor Party foreign policy of support of socialist and anti-imperialist
forces throughout the world. Moved by Hendon (South) District Labor Party.
8 This Conference calls upon the Government to undertake a drastic revision of
existing methods of recruitment for the Foreign Service. Further, in order to ensure
that the execution of a socialist foreign policy is entrusted to men who believe in it,
rather than to those whose whole background and tradition have rendered them in-
capable of understanding the first principles of such a policy, it calls upon the Gov-
ernment to make the fullest use of its power of retirement, on generous terms and
without stigma, of public servants whose capacity for useful service is exhausted and
their replacement by persons in accord with the progressive attitude of the British
public as shown in their decision at the last General Election.
Moved by Holborn District Labor Party.

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVmN]
although she has revealed so much under the Official Secrets Act I will give
her absolution and not turn informer upon her. I took over this office
last year in July and this Conference is asked to assume that I have done
nothing. If there is one thing in this world I can claim, it is to be an
organizer. I think my successor at the Ministry of Labor will agree that
I handed over to him one of the best Departments in the whole of the
State. But all these things take time. It is said that I am admitting to
the service Eton and Harrow. I am not one of those who decry Eton and
Harrow. I was very glad of them in the Battle of Britain-by God, I was!
-those fellows paid the price in the Royal Air Force on those fatal days.
If the Universities are to be criticized, well, put up a vote of censure on
Harold Laski, because it is the product of the Universities I have got to
But there is another thing to be considered. The Foreign Office are
not responsible for taking on their own staff. The staff in the Foreign
Office has got to be recruited through the Civil Service Commission and
the applicants come from all walks of life. As far as I know, in this last
lot, out of about 55 who have come in, not more than two are Harrow
men. The new entrants are young because for ten years not one man was
introduced. The six years of this last war and the four years of the previous
war created a gap of ten years in the staff. It is an impossible proposition
to expect things to be made good in ten months. It is perfectly true that
I have had to keep some of the older people on. I had no one to take their
place. What is a Foreign Embassy? You talk of a Foreign Embassy as if
it were a place dealing only with political things. It is a business, and I
am determined before I go out to make it a very efficient business. I was
the first man who persuaded the Coalition Government to introduce
Labor Attaches in the Foreign Office. We put in a young man named
Gordon. Is there any man who has ever been to Washington who says
that that did not improve the service? It improved the contacts with Labor
in the United States. Has anybody been to Italy and met Braine and not
found him a very efficient man in linking up with the Labor Movement in
that country? Has anyone been to Paris and seen Davis, who is in contact
with all the Trade Unions and everybody -in France, and not found him
an efficient man? I have just sent two Labor Attaches to South America,
and I am in the process of appointing Labor Attach6s to Scandinavia and
to Holland. I have one in Belgium. I intend introducing them to China
and the Far East, in order that not only shall I have Military Attaches
and Commercial Attaches, but I shall have Labor Attaches who are in
touch with the business of the people of the country.
We must consider not merely the Ambassador but the organism for
which he is responsible. I have tried to introduce gradually, as fast as I
can get the men, not only Labor Attaches but much younger Commercial
Attaches, and I do not think the Board of Trade is disappointed. In the
short time I have been in office, I have begun a reorganization of the
Consulates. I pay more attention to reorganizing, building up, and mod-
ernizing the Consulates than almost anything else that is attached to the
Foreign Service because, while the Ambassador is in the Capital, the Con-

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Affairs
sulates are everywhere. They are the people who are closely in touch
with the actual events that are going on all over the world. It is very dif-
ficult to get these men. Only yesterday I had a little argument with the
Chancellor of the Exchequer because I thought that his Civil Service
Commission was a bit too narrow. I do not want a man to know every-
thing about mathematics and lots of other subjects. I want the Chancellor
to remodel the examination for my Department, which he has agreed to
do because I want more in the shape of personality; but I am dependent
on the Civil Service Commission. I do not think it is telling tales out of
school when I say that I wrote the paper when I was Minister of Labor
which was really the basis of the Bill introduced by Richard Law. I said
at the Southport Conference that if a boy could fly a Spitfire, we ought to
be able to train him for any service in the country. We have developed
this approach to a very large extent. I am not going sacking right and
left. Before I make a change I want to know I can make a business change
and carry on successfully. I am not going to break contacts until I know
that I have got other efficient people to carry on the contacts.

In addition, I have come to one decision which as long as I am here I
have no intention of going back on. I had to choose whether or not I
would go outside the Foreign Service. I visualized it from the point of
view of the young man entering the service. I said to myself: "If I were
a young man entering the service what sort of ambition would I have? I
think that the prefectly legitimate ambition is to make myself efficient in
order that I can hold the plums of the Diplomatic Service no matter where
I come'from." If I see politicians-who you want to get out of office some-
times-put in and taking my place and my promotion, I think it will have
a daunting effect on the proper development of a service like the Foreign
Office. I decided to stick to the career man, and it is up to the training
and up to the Civil Service Commission to give me a man that I can make
a career man.
You talk to me about retiring old men-an awful thing to say to me-
but I could not have selected a better man for America than Archie Clark
Kerr [Lord Inverchapel]. I think that every one of my colleagues who
worked with him, even in previous Labor Governments, will agree that
that was a wise selection. He has reached retiring age, but then I have
got to train up another man to follow him, and at the moment-when I
have got to liquidate the whole of our wartime organization and reorganize
the Embassy in the United States-I want a man with experience who knows
what an Embassy ought to be and what all its branches are. It is not a
place merely for going and seeing the President or the other Foreign
I want to grapple with the whole problem of passports and visas. A
diplomat asked me in London one day what the aim of my foreign policy
was, and I said: "To go down to Victoria Station, get a railway ticket and
go where the hell I liked without a passport or anything else." [Applause.]
I stick to that. The result is that I have not taken out a passport myself

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVIN]
yet. All this movement of people about the world is a vital job to be
worked out by our Embassies and by our people in the future. I have
been positively annoyed at the handicap already over movement between
Paris and London. My friend Lon Blum knows all about it. But it is
difficult at the present time, with our food problem and all the rest of it,
and I cannot do all that I would like.
With regard to the diplomatic staff, you can keep on prodding me every
year. I do not mind. But I want to work out a clear, well-defined,
organized method to make this service worth while for the Labor Govern-
ments that you will elect as time goes on.
Now it is said that these men do not carry out my policies. I deny
that. I beg of you not to try to introduce the wrong principle into the
Civil Service. I have had good experience now for six years. What the
Civil Service likes is a Minister who knows his mind and tells the officials
what to do. They will then do it. If it is wrong the Minister must take
responsibility and not blame the Civil Service. [Applause.] That I am
prepared to do.
There is one other thing which everybody seemed to have forgotten
this morning. I have adopted the report and introduced equality between
men and women in the Foreign Office Service. As regards the new candi-
dates who are coming along, women will have the same chance to go before
the Commission to be appointed as men. I think we have done a few
Now, sir, I want to turn to the Resolution regarding Palestine.4 Pales-
tine is a terrific problem. It is really a Colonial Office problem, but I
recognize that you could no longer leave this as a purely Colonial problem.
It was an international problem, and therefore I shared it with my friend,
George Hall. In association with him, I have had discussions to try to
grapple with this problem. I came to the conclusion that the mere wiping
out of the White Paper would not lead us very far. There has been the
agitation in the United States, and particularly in New York, for 100,000
Jews to be put into Palestine. I hope I will not be misunderstood in
America if I say that this was proposed with the purest of motives. They
did not want too many Jews in New York. Those 100,000 do not touch
the fringe of this problem of the refugees in Europe. I invited the United

SThis Conference believes that the Labor Party policy foreshadowed the complete
abrogation of the White Paper of 1939, the removal of the unjustifiable barriers on
Jewish immigration into Palestine, and declares that the appointment of the Anglo-
American Committee of Inquiry does not absolve this Movement from its responsibilities.
It therefore calls upon the Labor Government to remove the present barriers on
Jewish immigration and land acquisition. It requests that the Jewish people should be
allowed to make the most of the economic capacity of the country to absorb immigrants,
and recalls the previous Conference declaration that: ". . there is surely neither hope
nor meaning in a Jewish National Home unless we are prepared to let Jews, if they
wish, enter this tiny land in such numbers as to become a majority." It further declares
that this policy would lead, as envisaged in the National Executive Declaration at
Blackpool, 1945, to a "happy, a free, and a prosperous Jewish State in Palestine," based
on full equality of rights for all inhabitants, Jews and Arabs alike.
Moved by Poale Zion-Jewish Socialist Labor Party.

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Affairs
States to join with us in grappling with this problem. I am extremely
grateful to them for taking part in this Commission, and I am thankful to
Mr. Crossman for putting the point about the Jewish State so forcibly this
morning. [Applause.] I would say to my Jewish friends: Those few words
in the Resolution may set you back for years. Like Mr. Crossman I have,
however, no objection to most of the Resolution.
Now do you want a settlement of this problem? If you do, then I would
suggest to you that you leave the matter where it is after I have explained
what has happened. In Palestine there are illegal armed forces. If we put
100,000 Jews into Palestine tomorrow, I would have to put another division
of British troops there. I am not prepared to do it. [Hear, hear.] I know
that this business grew out of 1937 and the White Paper and all the agita-
tion, but really I must say to the Jews and to the Arabs: Please put your
guns away. Do not blow up the British Tommy, who is quite innocent in
this matter. [Applause.] You are creating another phase of anti-Semitic
feeling in the British Army because of what has occurred recently in Pales-
tine. Their attitude may be unreasonable, but really that is not the way to
discourage it. The Commission quite rightly said: "These illegal armies on
both sides ought to be disarmed." I believe that if both sides did disarm,
then peace and development would be much easier to achieve. I must make
that statement because this is one of the crucial points in the case.
Secondly, the financial issue involved in this business is tremendous and
the British Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot carry it. I think he will
agree with me. We have gone into it together and we cannot carry it. The
taxation in this country is at such a point that we cannot take on another
200 million of expenditure on Palestine. That is really what is involved.
It is not merely taking the people and putting them there. Therefore the
Prime Minister and I have suggested to the United States that we should
appoint experts right away to consider the implementation of this Report
.together: finance, military matters, transport, housing, and what is probably
the most vexed problem of all, the land problem. I am not committing
myself here, but I think I may venture a thought and a thought only. With
the study of the development of Palestine, with the Trans-Jordan schemes,
the possibility of fertilizing and developing the Negebs, in order to achieve
these purposes I think we shall have to come to the conclusion jointly that
the land will have to be publicly owned, and that it will have to be leased
out, probably by a Mixed Arbitration Tribunal, and allocated. Because if
you have to raise the Arab life to a standard equal to that of the Jews you
cannot do it if all their land is taken away from them. You have to balance
these things very carefully. I see a possibility of approaching this problem
on a really thorough and scientific basis.

President Roosevelt and the British Government both gave a pledge
that we would consult the Arabs and the Jews. The famous Palestine man-
date leaves me with a feeling that it is so drawn that it can be argued both
ways. "How happy would I be with either were t'other fair charmer awayl"
It is a promise to two people. I do hope in the future that none of us will

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN)

give ambiguous promises to people which are capable of two interpre-
I came into this Jewish problem in the days-I think it was-of the 1929
Government when Lord Passfield was Colonial Secretary. For my sins I
had to support a candidate in Whitechapel. Naturally there was excite-
ment. On one side of Whitechapel there was excitement about the Cath-
olic schools and on the other side about Lord Passfield's White Paper, and
we had to win with both of those obstacles and we did. I knew about it
before, but I had not studied it to the extent that I did on that occasion.
I read the Hope Simpson Reports and all the Reports from the Mandate
right the way up. Dalton will remember that I got MacDonald to make
Arthur Henderson the Chairman of a Committee. This Committee
amended the White Paper and the Jews were very pleased at that time. I
have been working with the Arabs and the Jews. I believe that handled
properly and with patience this can be settled, as somebody said, as a part
of a Middle Eastern problem. You cannot deal with the Palestinian Arabs
alone. The Arab League has become a fact and you cannot ignore it.
While we have not entered into diplomatic relations with the Arab League,
we are in touch with it. Bound up with this is the great problem of Egypt.
Our policy in Egypt is not quite Churchillian, for we consider that all these
things are acting and interacting together. I welcome the statement that I
saw in the press yesterday in which the Arab League's approach to this
problem is not quite so recalcitrant as it has been. It was not so hostile.
I would, however, ask the Jews this: While I agree with a Palestine
State of some kind-and I use the phrase "Palestine State" and not "Jewish
State"-I do not believe in absolutely exclusive racial States. I really do
not, because you cannot sort the world out that way however you try. It is
too disturbing to move people there who have been living for centuries
and make a racial State. You might just as well try to do that in England
with the Welshmen and the Scotchmen, or what is worse, try to make Glas-
gow completely Scotch and see how you would get on, or Cardiff completely
Welsh. It is impossible. This exclusive racial approach is a different
thing from having a State which you can treat on equal terms, to which
you have given independence, and which you appoint Ambassadors, and
so on, to represent the people in that State, whether Jews or Arabs, all over
the world. What they are driving for-I think-is that in Palestine they
want not merely a home but a Palestine State so that from that State there
can be a voice in the chancelleries of the world. I hope that I have inter-
preted the thing aright. That is what I will strive to do, but it is going to
take patience and work in order to accomplish it.
In this field I have found, in dealing with Arabs over matters outside
this Palestine controversy, that there is a great generosity. One of the
purposes of my policy in the Middle East has been to raise the standard of
life in those countries. I firmly believe that apart altogether from a solu-
tion of the Palestine problem and not as a substitute for it-I emphasize

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Affairs
that-there would be a great welcome for many more Jewish brains and
ability throughout the whole of the Arab world. That is what is needed.
They possess scientific, cultural and other abilities which the Middle East
require. They could be in those countries like an Englishman or an
American or anybody else, and I believe there is a great outlet for their
help in the work. I would invite everyone to consider it. I believe there
never was a greater chance in the history of mankind after all the tragedy
of 2,000 years through which these people have gone. Statesmanship has
never had a better chance to solve this problem if we act aright and with
patience and with support.
I say to the Arabs and I say to the Jews: There is a great territory;
there are millions of people. I beg of them not to push their particular
points of view and perpetuate disagreement but strive with America and
ourselves to promote agreement in its place, constitutionally, diplomatically
and territorially in the belief that this anguish that has been suffered may
be brought to an end.
But, Mr. Chairman, I cannot accept the position that the Jews in Europe
or anywhere else should be excluded. I know they have had these terrible
gas chambers. I know the horror, but when you have done all that you
can in Palestine there will be many left. I believe-and I think that the
Conference supports me in this-that, notwithstanding the anti-Semitic
feeling that Hitler created-and not only Hitler but, I am afraid, Poland
and other countries-we must strive for the Jew in the country of his adop-
tion to be a citizen of the country, and to observe the laws of the country.
He must enjoy all the rights of that country just as the Chairman and every
other Jew does in Great Britain. [Applause.] For my part I cannot bring
myself to accept the theory that has been adumbrated in America and else-
where that because a man is a Jew he must be hounded out of Europe to
some other country. My goal as Foreign Secretary is to bring him back
again, after all the terror that he has had, on terms of equality with the
other citizens throughout Europe. [Applause.]

Now I turn to Spain.5 This debate today has touched on only a few
of the problems with which I have to deal every day. I think that the
problem of Spain has been muddled. I made a declaration in the House
of Commons that I would not intervene in the internal affairs of Spain. I
believe that if other countries had not intervened in the internal affairs of
5 This Conference is of the opinion that the continued existence of the fascist Franco
regime in Spain constitutes a threat to world peace and security. It therefore calls upon
the Government to break off diplomatic relations with Franco, and to appoint a rep-
resentative to the provisional Spanish Republican Government.
Recognizing that an economic blockade would cause additional suffering to the
Spanish workers, it urges that food supplies should be continued but that, acting in
consultation with the U.S.S.R., France and the U.S.A., all exports of raw materials,
including petroleum, should terminate.
Moved by Hammersmith (South) District Labor Party.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. BEVIN
Spain, Franco would have been gone. I say that advisedly. Every time this
thing has been going the right way fantastic moves have been made for
propaganda purposes or political purposes, or elections or something of
that kind. I have been in the closest possible touch with the Spanish
people and my experience is that they dread civil war. They dread it, and
so would you. They lost more people in that civil war than Great Britain
lost in the last war. It is a terrible price for that struggle, and therefore I
believe that the steps that we were taking-which, for obvious reasons, I am
not going to go into here-and the policy that we were following are right.
Now the question has gone to the Security Council. I must confess that
I have not read in detail the whole of the Sub-Committee's Report, owing
to pressure of work, but I propose to do that tomorrow. I do urge that
any resolution advocating economic sanctions, which will result in penal-
izing the ordinary workingman in Spain, is not a wise thing to adopt. I
have been quoted as speaking at Edinburgh on the last non-interventionist
business. I have not the speech with me, but I would take you back to the
Margate speech and to the Brighton speech in the Labor Party where I
got into trouble. I said that directly you start sanctions you must be
prepared for war. I do not believe in this business of going into strikes
and troubles as if no consequences have to be faced. If you are worth your
salt you will look at every eventuality. In my opinion, if you start troubles
you will get the resentment of the Spanish people instead of their support.
The Spanish people are anxious not to be thrown into turmoil again, but
if left alone there are wide classes in Spain anxious to get rid of Franco.
The recent events have temporarily strengthened the position of those who
want to keep Franco.
I have been called upon to withdraw the Ambassador. People have
written to me one day calling upon me to withdraw the Ambassador, and
in the next post I have had a letter from the same people calling upon the
Ambassador to go down and watch a trial in order to see that injustice
should not be done. I have never been enamored of this withdrawing of
Ambassadors. I do not think that the Ambassador is so important as that.
When I went into office in 1940 in the Coalition Government, one of the
first things tackled was the restoration of diplomatic relations with Mexico
which had been broken off for about four or five years. Our relations have
been much better as a result. We broke relations with Russia, but we
never changed Russia's policy. I am told that this mere act is a gesture.
A gesture without a positive policy behind it really is valueless.
While I cannot say, and I will not say at this meeting, exactly the steps
that we are taking or propose to take, I am ready to consult with the
United States and with France, who are more directly concerned at any
moment in connection with this Spanish problem. Of course, I hope that
nobody will recognize Franco who is not recognizing him now. We have
got to be careful about that. A little while ago I was pressed on all hands
as soon as I entered office to withdraw the Ambassador from the Argentine.
These things change very fast. I have to watch everything that is hap-

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Afairs

THE U. S. S. R.
The next Resolution deals with the U.S.S.R.6 This Resolution looks
very innocent, but what does it imply? It implies, in the first instance,
that I have not been sympathetic to Russia. I think that that is what it is
intended to imply. Is there any man in this Conference who historically
did more to defend the Russian Revolution than I did? It is forgotten in
this age, but when the Soviets did not have a friend I got dockers and other
people to assist in forming the Council of Action and stop Lloyd George
attacking them. I fought the Arcos raid and I called it silly. I fought
Churchill's interventionist policy for which we are paying now. I fought
every attempt to break off relations. I helped to form in Transport House
Anglo-Russian commercial relations, about which this Party do not know
much. All through those years there was one thing that I would not do.
The thanks that I got for it was an attempt by the Communists to break
up the Union that I built. I said to Maisky on one occasion: "You have
built the Soviet Union and you have a right to defend it. I have built the
Transport Union and if you seek to break it I will fight you." [Applause.]
That was a proper position to take up. Both were the results of long years
of labor. After that there was a slightly greater respect for my view. I
think that is fair.
It has been said that I have not attempted to discuss the Treaty with
Russia. Why do you say these things? If you want to help to mellow and
soften this position between Russia and Great Britain, the greatest enemies
of friendship are the Russian supporters in this country. I discussed the
Treaty in Moscow. I offered to extend it to 50 years. When Generalissimo
Stalin said: "I should need to amend it," I said: "Let me know what would
suit you." I discussed the points where the British interests and the Rus-
sian interests meet. I said to him: "We cannot help meeting in places,
and the thing for you and me to do is to keep the ball-bearings so greased
that there will be no friction where we do meet," and I am willing to do
that. What more can I do? I have had the Ambassador who has left and
the present Ambassador there discuss it. But you see I do not get anything
definite. I am not going to say anything today which will cause ill feeling
This Conference is of the opinion that world peace can only be based on a
British foreign policy directed to ensure firm friendship and co-operation with the
progressive forces throughout the world, and in particular with the U.S.S.R., and that
such a policy should override British imperial interests.
The Conference reaffirms the pledges made by Conferences of the Labor Party in
the past, to respect, co-operate and assist in every possible way the struggles of the
working-class movements in all countries towards socialism, and of colonial peoples
towards their liberation.
This Conference recognizes that to this end every endeavor should be made to
eradicate the remnants of Fascism throughout the world. This Conference therefore
calls upon the Government:
(a) To maintain and foster an attitude of sympathy, friendship and understanding
towards the Soviet Union, and to do all in its power to establish the inter-
change of trade and cultural relations with the U.S.S.R. including the exchange
of weekly broadcasts on the lines of the B.B.C. American Commentary.
(b) To repudiate Mr. Churchill's defeatist proposal to make the British Common-
wealth a mere satellite of American monopoly capitalism which will inevitably
lead to our being aligned in a partnership of hostility to Russia.
Moved by St. Pancras (South-West) District Labor Party.

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVIN
or cause trouble having regard to the further effort that I am going to
make in Paris next week.
Regarding trade, Sir Stafford Cripps offered to fly to Moscow to discuss
trade. No one has been more anxious than we have been to try to get
timber for our houses. I spoke to M. Molotov in London and said: "You
see the devastation around you. If you have got timber that you can sell
we should be glad to have it. We will discuss it." Cripps has done all that
he can, but if we get no response why blame me? [Applause.]
Regarding cultural relations, every newspaper in this country prints
every speech that the Generalissimo or M. Molotov utters. The speech that
I made in the House of Commons has not appeared in a single Russian
paper. What is the reason why the people of Russia are not allowed to
know what is happening elsewhere? If you lecture me on exchange of
views, believe me, we are not holding it up. We have introduced the B.B.C.
broadcast to Russia, and I am very thankful to Russia for allowing us to do
it. I proposed in Moscow that we should open up a direct reciprocal air
service between Moscow and London. I was told that that would never be
done, and that we would only on special occasions by special arrangements
be allowed to fly a British aircraft into Russia.
Well, if I cannot get reciprocity what can I do? I cannot make them
reciprocate. I cannot go to war and force them. I cannot do things like
that. Have you realized what a block it is, what a closed situation it is?
It may be Russian policy, but I cannot comply with it. I have just to
accept it. But this Conference has no right to criticize me for not trying
to improve the situation.
I turn to Persia, where we have had difficulty. I proposed a Commission
to go to Persia, and the only thing we broke down on was that I stipulated
that we had to get the concurrence of the Persian Government. I could not
force it on them, but I put forward ideas that might have avoided all the
trouble we have had in Persia. In spite of that I insisted with my colleagues
in the Government and the War Office that our troops should be with-
drawn whatever happened anywhere else. If I know the old imperialist
mind, it would have seen, in the fact that the Russians had not withdrawn,
an excuse to leave our troops there. That would have been the approach.
But I moved by example, and on the basis of example it may be in the
end it will win out.
Reference has been made to Germany. This problem of Germany is
a vital one. France wants to separate the Ruhr. I do not blame them. I can
understand the French approach. I say to M. Uon Blum, who is here, that
never since France fell in 1940 have I criticized France. I have always held
that with the losses France sustained in the last war there she did not have
time to recover. The great gap that was created by the bloodletting of
1914-18 told its story. We succeeded by the ability we had to defend our-
selves, but when a country has been invaded three times by Germany you
have to put yourselves in her place and understand her feeling of insecurity.
There it is, and it is very hard not to meet what they suggest.
Therefore, I have tried to study Germany, and one proposal I have put

Labor's Conduct of Foreign Affairs
forward to the French, the Belgians, and the Dutch in a preliminary way is
that we should try to make the Ruhr a European territory, under inter-
national control. I believe that if you rely purely on repression and on
an attempt to suppress 66 million people into dire poverty they will find
a way out sooner or later. I have said that these great resources of the Ruhr
should be used to raise the standard of life for the whole of Europe. Let
the great products of the Ruhr flow into France, into Italy, into Yugoslavia,
into Hungary, into the other countries. The quick conversion to war
comes from the control of the finished end of industry. It is there that the
key to security really lies.
I have asked that the French should study my plan; I am studying the
French plan. We have not come to dogmatic decisions. In the meantime,
I confess I have been responsible for costing the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer 80 millions a year. And why? Because I have fought against
European division and shall continue to fight against it.
I was asked, would I sign a separate peace treaty contrary to the deci-
sions arrived at in the war? I do not know what steps we will take to get
a peace treaty, but no one nation is going to keep me in a state of war
forever with other countries. I do not commit myself to any method, but
a way will have to be found. We cannot go on in this way. It is inde-
That brings me to the quotation about America that was made from
my House of Commons speech. America may be a capitalist country. That
does not mean she always will be. There are great forces moving in the
United States, and when they move they move very quickly-they did in
war. When the United States offered us a 25 years' treaty to keep Germany
disarmed-which I thought was a reasonable time really to cripple Nazism
and uproot it from the rising generation growing up-I welcomed it. So
did my colleagues in the Government. I should have loved such a treaty
to have been in operation in 1940 at Dunkirk, instead of having to wait
all those months after Germany attacked before the great troops and war-
ships of America came to the aid of civilization. It is not for me or any
Foreign Minister to question the economic system of another country;
Russia is Socialist, we are partly Socialist, America may believe in private
enterprise. The great task of Great Britain is to weld these forces together
to keep the peace. Therefore, if that quotation, which I will not weary
the Conference by reading, is read as a whole, it will be seen that not only
did I welcome the treaty but I welcomed it with both hands. There are
minds in America, as Laski knows, which represent the flower of liberal
and progressive thought, and when this finds its way through the State
Department in proposals of this kind, am I going to say, "I don't like
you"? No, I grasp the hand of every progressive soul in the world in order
to try and get peace.

Again, Sir, it has been said that we are setting up a Western bloc. It
ill becomes those who say, when there is an Eastern bloc already in exist-
ence, that we are setting up a bloc somewhere else. But I have not pressed

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. BEVINw
unduly even for an alliance with France or with the Western Powers,
because I have been actuated all the time in this approach by the wish not
to divide Europe. Next week that is the issue that has got to be settled.
I hope the Conference will believe that I do my best in these debates here
and in the House to tell the truth. I am not going to play for cheers. I
cannot help it if sometimes the Tories cheer me. They did not cheer me
on the Trade Disputes Act, I notice. They did not cheer me on Egypt.
Most of the greatest things in life are done at a time when you are a little
bit unpopular, when at least you have got to think out where you are
I am not going to be a party, as long as I hold this office, to any design,
any strategy, any alignment of forces, any arrangement of defense (which
we must still have) to attack Russia. I will be no party to it. I do not
believe there is one single member of the Cabinet who would lend even
one atom of thought to this. Neither will we give one moment's consid-
eration to expansion. But this division of Europe, this awful business of a
line from Stettin to Albania, if that solidifies-which God forbidl-we shall
have two camps in Europe by the very force of events, and that will be the
road to another struggle.
I say to Generalissimo Stalin and to M. Molotov: "We will not divide
Europe." I have offered that they should come into our zone and examine
what happens before they accuse us of not carrying out the Treaty of Pots-
dam. I have said: "Let us go into your zone, let us have reciprocity. Let
the Four-Power Commission go everywhere. Let us see what is happening
in industry, not as critics, but in order that we may pool our knowledge.
Then, when we have done it, let our deputies sit down and try to work out
a settlement for Middle Europe. We seek a settlement that will give to
France, will give to us, will give to Russia security, not dependent upon
the poverty of the people, but dependent upon the mutual confidence of
the great Allies who won the war."
That is my purpose. For that reason we urge a treaty with Austria
and the clearance of troops from the whole Danube basin, Greece and
everywhere else. Free the whole Danube. Let the people live again. Let
the trade flow. Let it be free. Let the waterways of Europe bear traffic
again. Let the goods flow from the manufacturer to the peasant, and
food from the peasant to the manufacturing districts. Let Europe live
again. To let it live again will be the quickest way of obliterating the
memory of Hitler. Give us a chance to eradicate the horrors of Nazism,
and bring back that old cradle-which, after all, it was-the cradle of
civilization, that it may nurture into being a new and a glorious civiliza-
tion. [Loud and prolonged cheers, the delegates rising in their places.]
[Official Release]

Speech by the RT. HON. HERBERT MORRISON, Lord President of the
Council, at the Labor Party Conference [Extracts]

Bournemouth, June 13, 1946. In the observations which I am about to
make, and which I hope will prove useful to the Conference, I shall attempt
to survey fairly and realistically the present economic situation, to indicate
the economic situation as I think it may be likely to evolve in 1947, and
to outline to the Conference the organization of the Government for deal-
ing with economic problems, that is to say, the official machinery of over-all
planning. Let us face the future: let us face the facts-good or otherwise.
Morning after morning recently the Tory newspaper headlines have
shouted a new disappointment, a fresh hold-up, another frustration in the
emergence of a peaceful world. They have sought to distract our attention
from the fact that the economy of the United Kingdom is changing over
from war to peace not only at breathless speed, but with astonishing
smoothness. Britain's successful reconversion may be decisive both for our
own prosperity and as a firm basis for winning and establishing peace.
Look back at 1945-only a year ago. Rockets were still falling on Lon-
don. We had mobilized for war beyond the limit by cashing in on our
accumulated reserves, not only of foreign investments and credit, although
greatly aided by Lend-Lease, but also of health and energy. A large part of
our youngest and most vigorous people were scattered world-wide, unable
to produce anything. Our equipment, transport and communications,
clothes, furniture, and so forth were all wearing out. We were rigidly con-
trolled in hundreds of ways. These controls set us a great problem of adap-
tation and relaxation as we passed V-E day in May and V-J day in August.
Now look at the contrast in the present year 1946. It is a year of extreme
fluidity in which more people will have started the year doing one job and
finished doing another, though perhaps with the same employer, than ever
before in our history. Demobilization is running through so rapidly that
it will be virtually complete by 31st December, and by then the number
employed on manning and equipping the Armed Forces will be down to
about the June, 1939, level. Let the critics say what they like, this is a
great transition from war to peace.
Practically all the lift the consumer has felt so far from the manu-
facturing industries has come, not from demobilization, but from switches
in the factories away from munitions and war work to peacetime pro-
duction. Before, they settle back into civilian life and take up their pre-
war jobs or start fresh occupations, the men and women from the Forces
enjoy a well-earned rest-a much-needed demobilization leave. This makes
a delay of about two months before their strength is added to the national
recovery effort. We are, in fact, only just getting the benefit of their
return, which is all the greater because these men and women are not
only our youngest and most vigorous, but largely the best fed and now the
least fatigued groups of the population. Wp must look for a considerable

British Speeches of the Day [MR. MOR=ISON]
new buoyancy when these men and women are settled in their peacetime
jobs. During these last few weeks, if we add the number of demobilized
men and women on leave to the number of insured unemployed, we can
,say that economic activity has been developed without the output of
about 11 millions, of whom about three-quarters are on demobilization
leave. That is almost exactly the same total figure as were unemployed
in June, 1939.
We shall soon see the wisdom of this ex-Service rest. The leisure of
our ex-Service people is necessary. It gives those men and women a
chance to adjust themselves and get their second wind. They will come
back fit and ready for the responsibilities and effort of civilian life. This
planned leisure is an investment which will bring handsome dividends.
The price has been a temporary reduction in our total manpower in em-
ployment-as big a price as we were paying before the war-but, then,
before the war, the leisure was unplanned, wasteful, and soul-destroying.
The case now is that it has been planned and is beneficial ....
In 1920, at the end of the previous World War, we lost 27 million
working days from disputes. In the nine months from July, 1945, which
was general election month, till March of this year, we lost only three
million working days. If I am not mistaken, this easier situation in rela-
tion to trade disputes is not unrelated to the fact that the workers know
that there is a Government plan for the transition instead of the chaos
and the scramble which occurred at the end of the previous war. Some may
be disturbed at what they regard as a tendency to buy industrial peace
at the cost of wage increases which have yet to be matched by extra pro-
ductivity. It is, of course, a point not to be ignored, but personally I
am not unduly alarmed. We have to remember as a nation that we can-
not spend what we do not earn, and I am confident that the good sense
of the British people will see that the checks we have drawn against future
productivity, not only by wage increases but by the huge extension of
social s rvices, will be honored. The people are determined to win a
higher and fuller standard of life, and are equally determined to main-
tain their British independent spirit-and earn it.
Nevertheless, let us all keep at the back of our minds that in the long
run we cannot consume what we do not produce, just as we must remember
that when we bring forth an increased production it is necessary to admit
and even stimulate some sort of corresponding increase of consumption,
either by direct reward or by the social services.
So the reconversion of industry from a war basis to a peace basis is
proceeding after this war under a Labor Government with order, with
plan, and according to systematic principles as compared with the muddle,
the inflation, and the smash that was characteristic of industrial reconver-
sion under capitalistic anarchy at the end of the previous war.
In exports there has been a quite remarkable rise, which not only gives
us confidence that we will soon be able to pay for more and better things

Labor's Economiic Plan
from overseas, but also that the world is dealing with us as a great nation
standing on its own feet and not as one which needs assistance to carry on.

There is one disturbing feature in our industrial reconversion. In-
creases are coming largely in the industries which were built up during
the war. Those industries which were cut back during the war have
been having much more of a struggle and, unfortunately, they include
the industries concerned with housing (that is, making bricks and housing
fittings and the actual building of houses), and also the textile and clothing
industries. Thus all the shortages which we as consumers must suffer be-
cause of insufficient supplies of food, leather, timber, paper, and so on,
are being aggravated by shortages which are almost entirely a matter of
labor. Coal, clothing, bricks are things we produce within our own land
or from our own land, and the labor force is the particular problem in
connection with those industries. The more successful we are in attain-
ing full employment the more difficulty in some ways there will be, and
the greater ingenuity and enterprise we shall need, in manning up the
dirty, dangerous, unpleasant, and often underpaid industries. We could,
of course, do it by directing labor as we did in the war, but that means
a loss of liberty we are not prepared to accept. We could again do it by
arbitrary interference with wages, but we should be hard put to it to find
a just and workable formula. Again, we could do it, as it was done before
the war, by keeping down attractive forms of employment and forcing the
unlucky to go into the worst jobs or be on Assistance. That system, we
hope, has gone from our country forever. Perhaps we can solve the problem
to some extent by intensive mechanization, making machines do more of
the drudgery-especially where cheap labor has encouraged employers to
take the easy road.
There is on the agenda for possible consideration a motion on national
wages policy, and I wish you luck in that very interesting discussion. It is
in any case important in all wages discussions for both employers and the
trade unionists to have in mind the general economic background, and it
is part of the business of the Government to see that that knowledge of
the general economic background shall be available to the parties to in-
dustrial negotiations.
These are the problems immediately ahead of us, of which it is our
dity to find the solution.' For let us make no mistake about this, the
adoption of and the success of the policy of full employment will present
us with all these and many other difficulties which will test our ingenuity,
our patience, our adaptability, and, indeed, our courage to the utmost.
Full employment has never yet been attempted as a policy in peacetime
Britain. Indeed, it has never yet been attempted by any country in the
world with our form of democratic government and our standards of
personal freedom.
SThis Government is going to attempt it, and I would like to give to
the Conference some short summary of the economic planning machinery

British Speeches of the Day [MR. MomlsoN)
of H.M. Government which is being rapidly developed under this
We made up our minds on taking office-and it was implicit in Let Us
Face the Future-that we would develop a strong organization under the
Government, and as part of the Government, for economic planning. This
involves a break with the past. It means a Socialist breaking of new ground
in the relationship between the State and industrial affairs. It means that
we are determined to embark in the sphere of the economics of industry
with constructive planned organization as against the Tory anarchy of past
Governments and administrations. Therefore, not only have we shaped
and evolved suitable machinery and reviewed from time to time all the
economic and financial controls which we are empowered to continue for
at least five years under the Supplies and Services Act, we have not only
evolved machinery and controls for priorities in the use of raw materials,
etc., but we have also established an over-all planning machine.
In the first place, it is dearly impossible that individual and separate.
State departments alone and in isolation can engage in full economic
planning. That was the old way, sometimes aided by ad hoc Cabinet
committees when the separate economic departments got into a mess. The
separate departments can-indeed, they must-be among the instruments in
making the plan and particularly in the execution of the plan, but some-
thing else is needed. Therefore the Government is rapidly building up
an over-all planning organization with what amounts to an economic
general staff, and its planning committees and working parties. I see this
organization working and developing. I compare it with the complete lack
of economic planning organization in the past. That was the case in the
Labor Government of 1929-1931 when I held the office of Minister of
Transport. When we went into the economic and financial smash of
1931 we did not know we were going there. We ought to have known
what was ahead, but we did not, because there was no proper machinery
of State to tell us, and when we got there we did not know fully what to
do about it. Indeed, if you are unprepared and permit yourself to get into
an economic and financial smash, there is not much you can do about it.
Our Tory predecessors of 1929 left no preparation behind them.
The real problem of statesmanship in the field of industry and eco-
nomics is to see the trouble coming and to prevent ourselves getting into
the smash. That minority Labor Government of 1929-1931, through no
fault of its own, was left without adequate economic planning machinery,
and we went through a dreadful time, and the Party came to disaster
electorally in the election of 1931. We are determined that we are not
going to be caught unawares by blind economic forces under this
The over-all planning organization of the Government includes the
Economic Section of the Cabinet Secretariat, a body of trained and skilled
economists, with a very high proportion of young men and women among

Labor's Economic Plan

them engaged in economic study. We have the advice of the Central
Statistical Office, a fine body of statisticians, who are most valuable in
giving us the real solid statistical facts of economic and industrial matters.
The Cabinet Secretariat, which itself is a very splendid organization of
administrative co-ordination, together with representatives of the depart-
ments concerned with economic affairs, including, of course, the Ministry
of Labor, is engaged in the organization and co-ordination of this work;
this organization is responsible to and receives directions from Ministers
acting for and on occasion reporting to the Cabinet.
This organization does not stand still; it develops and adapts itself
in characteristic British fashion. It is important that this organization,
however good it may be or become, should not get into a rut; it must
be reviewed, modified, changed, and adapted as experience and circum-
stances may require, as time goes on. Our whole purpose in this organiza-
tion, like the purpose of the State departments concerned, is to stimulate
a real economic drive, to apply the doctrines of economic expansion instead
of economic restriction, together with the maintenance of economic
We are doing our real best to prevent possible economic trouble aris-
ing. We look ahead also for possible depression in other countries of the
world. For instance, if unhappily-it would be unhappily for them and
us-there should be a large depression in the United States of America-
which Heaven forbidl-or other world depression were to occur, we are
seeking to be prepared to do what is possible to avoid repercussions on
the economic life of our own country. It is not possible to avoid all reper-
cussions. You cannot isolate yourself from the economic life of the world.
But we are examining what can be done for the protection of our own
country-I use the word "protection" in its ordinary, not in its "tariff"
But this governmental economic planning organization must also con-
cern itself with the economic well-being of the world. The fact is that the
whole Socialist argument for marrying production with consumption, for
the maintenance of correspondence between production and consump-
tion, this basic economic truth applied to the life of our own country,
is really fundamentally an economic truth which requires to be applied
to the whole world and its problems. Let the world produce, let it make
things for the purpose of seeing to it that the things so made shall be en-
joyed by the common people of the world who are responsible for their
In all this work the Government alone cannot live in an isolated
manner. In all this business of industrial and economic planning and
industrial and economic development we, the Government, must live with
the people and the people so far as may be must live with us. We need
the support, the understanding and knowledge of the people ....
I do not wish it to be thought that everything is complete with this

British Speeches of the Day [Ma. MomausoN]
planning organization. It is not yet fully elaborated, but the great part
of it is organized, it is rapidly evolving and developing, and I believe we
are going to show the world that democratic freedom and economic plan-
ning are going to be reconciled by this British people who are so amazing
in their capacity to reconcile the irreconcilable.
It is an experiment, a noble, uplifting experiment, which will depend
for its achievement upon the deep sense of responsibility, the ungrudg-
ing effort, and the full co-operation and loyalty of every one of us. If
any nation in the world can make a success of this experiment, if any
people from its history can be said to have the right sort of enterprise,
doggedness and spirit, it is the people of Britain, and by achieving it
we shall have made a rich contribution to civilization and world democracy.
Another big, although temporary, limit to world economic prosperity
is caused by war devastation. Two of the largest industrial areas of the
world, on the western and eastern frontiers of old Germany, are con-
tributing very little this year in output. The huge wheat belt from the
Volga to the Danube and the huge rice belt in south-eastern Asia are also
disorganized and largely devastated by war. Vital areas such as the Dutch
East Indies, which normally provide important amounts of food and raw
materials, have been paralyzed by political trouble. Even in the United
States huge quantities of exports of coal, food and industrial products
have been lost on account of strikes, which have set back not only American
but world recovery. In South America again politics have created a sort
of artificial drought. In order to get back full production in these areas
there needs to be a sense of purpose and of security in the world, and
incentive in the form of food, fuel and manufactured goods available for
We in Britain are doing all we can to rebuild world security and to
prevent the purposelessness which proved such a blight between the two
wars from reasserting itself. The world is, however, very sick, very shattered,
and we must expect for many months to come that food and fuel and
goods which are badly needed will be lost through the unreasonableness
of people. What we can and are doing here is to set an example of reason-
ableness and of team work which will prevail as surely-as our wartime ex-
ample of resistance to totalitarian aggression. We are also contributing a
very large proportion of the goods, locomotives, trucks, tools, equipment
for communications, constructional equipment, and productive plants to
get the world going again. In doing so we are not only paying for our
own bread and butter now, but we are enabling other people to produce
and thus to break some of the world supply bottlenecks; and incidentally
we are preventing unemployment and despair getting a grip on other
nations of the world.
What are the problems of 1947? In that year we shall have little more
to look forward to in reinforcements of manpower transferred from military
to peaceful tasks. We shall have lost a very large number of women and

Labors Economic Plan

others who will have dropped out of their wartime places in the labor
force. We shall depend for more production on the greater efficiency of
our management and labor teams. Some of our new and repaired equip-
ment, which has not been available this year, will be coming into opera-
tioni. We shall still be faced with the legacy of Conservative pre-war in-
action in the Development Areas as we call them or in the Depressed Areas
as they called them. This Development Area problem is constantly before
us. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, who put through Parliament the
Development Act when he was President of the Board of Trade-he with
the rest of us has these Development Areas in mind, and we are determined
to do everything to ensure that they do not drift back to depression. In
these Development Areas 1947 particularly will see a big stride towards
the long-term elimination of these pockets of unemployment, as the new
Government and Government-encouraged factories will come into pro-
duction and create employment, not only within their doors but indirectly
throughout the surrounding area. The raising of the school-leaving age
to 15, for which the Minister of Education will be responsible, in April,
1947, will be an investment in the future at the expense of the labor force
available next year.
It is absolutely essential that the maximum goods and services for all
should be turned out, and this means that there must not only be no in-
dustrial friction, but that there must be no great bottlenecks. It would
be disastrous if, owing say to a shortage of bricks, people who were wait-
ing for houses had to wait longer, and bricklayers ready to build the houses
were standing idle. It would equally be disastrous if factories ready to turn
out clothing and furniture and all the other goods we need should have to
shut down next winter for lack of coal. These are real dangers, and none
of us can expect to sleep happily until we have not only got a better rate
of current flow, but have been able to refill the shelves in the shops, to
rebuild the coal stocks to safe levels, and to wipe out the waiting lists
for houses.
It is necessary only to glance at the huge queue of necessary demands
waiting to be met to realize that 1947-I want to be quite frank and not
to mislead you-will also be a year of tight supplies and lack of elbow-
room in the whole economy. It will, however, be the year in which we
are beginning to draw the dividends from our efforts during 1946. We
can reasonably look forward to a rather higher level of imports, and our
dry cargo imports at the moment in volume are only just about half what
they were before the war. We can also expect an easing up in the services.
Looking at them together, these three years are so amazing and decisive
that it is hard for us to grasp their full importance. 1945 was a year' of
the most rigid economy, and a year of victory in all theatres. 1946 is a
year of reconversion and preparation for the peace, carried on under the
strain of fatigue, of threat of famine, and of great shortages of fuel and
other essentials. 1947 will be the first year in which we shall all be work-

British Speeches of the Day [MB. MOBRISON)
ing on something like a peace footing. Things will still be pretty rough
and there will be many grim aspects. The famine threat may well domin-
ate 1947 as badly as, or perhaps even worse than, 1946. Lack of fuel, again,
may be even more of a handicap as the reconversion gets into its stride.
On the other hand, if we can enter 1947 with peace in industry, with
rising output, and the knowledge in everybody's mind of the things which
rising output here will bring, we can certainly look forward to having
more to show for our effort, even though the effort cannot safely be relaxed.
The nation's effort will be strengthened by the rational and sensible
use of the natural resources and basic service industries which will be
nationalized. But nationalization, in itself, is not enough. It only changes
ownership. Its great value is that it provides the men and women employed
in an industry with an opportunity to bring their strength and talent
fully into the service of their fellow countrymen. Here the over-all eco-
nomic planning machine will be at an advantage in dealing with socialized
industries. Socialization provides management with new and greater re-
sponsibilities to public authority. It provides wider opportunities for tech-
nical advance. It enables us to move and reshape the physical assets with-
out the "by-your-leave" of a mass of separate private owners. Above all,
socialization can give vitality to an industry by providing new and fine
incentives born of a fine and a high public spirit. Public ownership lays
on every worker, whether by hand or by brain, in an industry a big in-
dividual responsibility. The nation has a right to expect and is entitled
to a full and fair effort when the work is for the nation.
We have turned our backs on the economics of scarcity. We are en-
tering upon a new and better social period. Let us be worthy of it. This
is the testing time for Socialists. It is not enough to have demanded so-
cialization, not enough to have preached the blessings of public ownership.
Now it is our duty and our opportunity to practise it and prove it. It was,
I believe, Friedrich Engels who said: "The government over persons will
be transformed into the administration of things and the management of
the process of production." It appears that there is some doubt as to the
authorship of the passage; the Chairman thinks it was Proudhon. But
whether Engels as I say, or Proudhon as the Chairman says, Lenin quoted
it in due course and now I have done so. Whoever first said it, was right.
Economic planning is the firm basis for true liberty. This Socialist vision
is a great libertarian conception. The deliberate organization of material
things is the only safeguard of our individual freedom; in fact, the more
we advance towards Socialism the more we shall need individual initiative,
individual enterprise, and all the rich pattern of individual liberty. The
British people will show to the world the way to successful practical de-
mocracy-the people working for the people.
[Labor Party Report]


HOUSE OF COMMONS, June 20, 1946 tracts]

Mr. W. N. Warbey (Labor): I am sorry to trouble hon. Members at this
late hour, but the matter of the Greek elections and the forthcoming
plebiscite is one for which this Government has a cepted great responsi-
bility, and it is only right that this responsibility should be closely in-
quired into. Our purpose in going to Greece has en defined by various
people on various occasions. I think that the inte tion of the right hon.
Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Chuchill) has been made
clear. He wanted to prevent at all costs the Co unists from getting
power and, if possible, to get back King George o Greece. I prefer to
take the definition of the present Government, gi n by the Foreign Sec-
retary on 20th August when he said, that our pur ose in going to Greece
"to create the conditions in which the Greek people uld determine the future
of their Government and also settle the constitutional question "
The operative words are "to create the con itions." My contention
will be that we must either very speedily do so, r else equally speedily
withdraw our troops and our mission, and leave reece to settle the mat-
ter themselves. On 31st March, against the advice and desire of the then
Greek Prime Minister and many of his Ministers, the elections took place
in Greece. They were observed by a body with n elaborate title, which
was abbreviated to A.M.F.O.G.E., a high-powere mission with a subsec-
tion called by the queer name of "indoctrinatio ," which, I gather, is a
harmless word for training. I am going to rely the evidence given in
this report and the statements made officially by the Greek Government.
We find some very remarkable statements, and th election observers them-
selves agreed that there was a good deal of inti idation in the year pre-
ceding the election, and that this was particul ly marked against the
extreme Leftists in agricultural regions and the Peloponnese and in the
North-West of Greece. On the attitude of the police, they said that, on
the whole, the police were loyal to their duties- whatever "on the whole"
means-that some of the gendarmerie showed p tisanship.
When we come to the question of the regis er, we find that, on the
evidence given by the observers, a really shoc ng state of affairs. The
electoral registers were based on a census held in 1928-18 years ago. They
were supposed to be revised from year to year o a basis of supplementary
lists of two kinds, those of the quick and those of the dead-the newly
quick and the newly dead-but in fact many of these supplementary lists
were never incorporated, and no new lists wer issued until 1935. The
work of compiling and revising was not properly carried out, and the ob-
servers found that many of the lists which they checked were in illegible
manuscript, and others for which they inquire were said to be at the
printers. There is no evidence in the report t show whether these lists
were ever returned from the printers in time r the elections.

British Speeches of the Day CMn. WAmBEY

The conclusion of A.M.F.O.G.E. on the register was this:
"It was found by examination of the register lists that about 70 per cent of the
names on the list belonged to the valid register."
What was the total number of names on the electoral list? Nobody knows.
The Greek Government before the election said that the number was
2,211,791, and the new Greek Minister of the Interior after the election
said that the figure was 2,095,950. Even if we take the lower figure, which
is more convenient for the Government, we find that taking 30 per cent
of that figure the number of doubtful names on the register was no fewer
than 628,785. In other words, during the election on the electoral list
there were 628,000-odd potential illegal voters.
The number of votes actually cast is given as 1,117,379. Against that
we have over 600,000 potential illegal voters, so that we have the really
shocking situation that the number of potential illegal voters was actually
well over half the number of actual votes cast in the election. Even if there
had been, as there certainly was, no physical or moral intimidation, it was
a situation which would provide for unlimited jiggery pokery of the worst
possible kind, and how the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Mac-
millan) could in these circumstances describe these elections as fair as any
ever held in Greece I really cannot understand. How many of these 628,000-
odd illegal votes were actually cast? Again nobody knows because the
A.M.F.O.G.E. investigation only covered one type of illegal voting, that
was, the illegal voting due to the casting of votes by persons who were
unidentified. It did not investigate the votes cast several times in the
name of living persons-votes cast .by people moving from one polling sta-
tion to another during the course of the election. Therefore, it is im-
possible to say what number of these 600,000-odd illegal votes were cast,
for example, for the Populist Party, which obtained 609,654. Did that
party get 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000? Nobody knows. Despite all this
elaborate machinery for election observation nobody can say whether or
not at least 50 per cent of the votes or even more cast for the party now
in power in Greece were obtained by fraud.
Again, how many abstentions were there? Nobody knows. The estimate
of A.M.F.O.G.E., based on its own calculation of how many people ought
to have voted, was 743,000, but the Greek Minister of the Interior gives a
lower figure at 731,000. If we deduct the actual number of voters from
the number of voters on the electoral list we find that 978,571 people did
not cast their votes. That would make the abstention figure as high as
47 per cent against 40.1 per cent, the estimate by A.M.F.O.G.E. My guess
is that probably the number of abstentions was higher than the figure
estimated by A.M.F.O.G.E., and that the number of votes legally cast for
the Populist Party was lower than the official estimate.
How many persons abstained from voting for political reasons? Can
anybody know? A.M.F.O.G.E.'s staff, on the basis of questions asked of
0.7 per cent of the Greek electorate, estimates the figure of political ab-
stention at 15 per cent, with a minimum of 10 per cent and a maximum

Greek Elections and Plebiscite
of 29 per cent. The questions were asked of 1,500-odd individuals, and
they were asked to say why they abstained. Were these scientific samplers
really so innocent as to believe that people who were aware that they
might suffer political persecution would openly label themselves as belong-
ing to the abstaining parties, and that in these circumstances they would
get correct answers to the question they asked? Quite obviously no; people
in these circumstances would give all kinds of other reasons for abstain-
ing. My estimate on the 'evidence available, and my estimate is as good
as that of A.M.F.O.G.E., is that 45 per cent of the electors abstained, and
at least 30 per cent of these abstained on political grounds. Compare that
with the population, and the poll obtained by the Populists, the party
now in power in Greece, was 29 per cent of the total electoral register. If
we take into account the illegal votes cast for the Populists, they obtained
probably not much above 20 per cent.
So we have a party in power which cannot justifiably claim any more
than 20 per cent of the Greek people supporting it, and the parties which
abstained can reasonably claim to have the support of at least 30 per cent
of the Greek people. Nobody can challenge that on the evidence given,
and yet A.M.F.O.G.E. comes to the remarkable conclusion that the gen-
eral outcome represents a true and valid verdict of the Greek people. A
really remarkable conclusion to come to. I say no one has a right to come
to such a conclusion on the basis of the evidence given by the observers
themselves. I can only conclude that they came to this conclusion for rea-
sons of high policy, because they felt they had to come to such a con-
clusion. The principal observers assumed from the start that they had
to find a clean bill of health for whatever government was the outcome of
these elections. So much did they assume it that on the day following
the election, before they had even completed their summary report, they
held a dinner party in Athens, and at that party their chief guest of honor
was the new Greek Prime Minister. It was very unlikely that they could
find against him after having treated him so honorably.

So we have, as a result of the policy of the Foreign Secretary, who in-
sisted upon the holding of the elections upon this date, elected a Right
Wing Greek Government which is inaugurating what is in effect a police
state in Greece, and which is turning round and snapping its fingers at
the Government of this country, and compelling our Foreign Secretary
to reverse and repudiate the pledge he had given-the pledge that the
plebiscite should be held in 1948. I have here the authority of the hon.,
Members who recently visited Greece to repeat what was told to them by
M. Sofoulis in their interview with him and the permission of M. Sofoulis
himself to the Foreign Secretary, that if he gains his desire to hold the
election on 31st March, he, the Foreign Secretary, would see that the
plebiscite was not held until 1948. I think this House has a right to know
whether that pledge was given to M. Sofoulis, and, if so, why it has been
repudiated. Now we are going to have on this basis a plebiscite on 31st
September. It is going to be a "heads I win, tails you lose" plebiscite be-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. P. WABBEI]
cause it is not about the monarchy; it is going to be, according to the
Greek Prime Minister, on the question of whether or not King George
shall return to Greece, so that even if the Greek electors say "No," the
Greek Government-the Greek Monarchist Government-can still call in
another puppet through which to achieve their dictatorial aim.
Why have we done nothing about this? Why have we not insisted
that a census be taken before the new electoral lists are compiled, as
A.M.F.O.G.E. has very strongly advised? Why do not we obtain the con-
currence of the French Government before agreeing to this distinct altera-
tion to our policy Why have we parted company with France in this
matter? Why have we allowed this extreme Right Government, of highly
doubtful legitimacy, to deprive the Greek citizens of their rights, to flout
the elementary principles of justice, and to make all preparations for
turning Greece into a police state? The answer to this is, "We cannot
interfere with the sovereign Greek Government." Then I say, what on
earth are British troops and British missions doing in Greece, if we can-
not use them for the purpose for which they were sent to Greece? For
goodness sake, let us bring them out of Greece before they are again in-
volved in a civil war, fighting on the wrong side in a quarrel not their
own ....

The Minister of State (Rt. Hon. Philip Noel-Baker): At this late
hour I do not want to spend a long time discussing the way in which events
in Greece have evolved over the last four years. But to understand the
situation we must go back at least as far as that. The fundamental fact
about the political situation in Greece is that, thanks to the contribution
which the Greek people made to the Allied cause, thanks to the price
which they paid for their resistance to the Nazis, they have suffered as
I believe no other people in the world suffered during the war. They
have paid a greater price in deaths, in wounds, and in famine, in the
break-up of their social, political and economic systems, than any other
Allied nation. When liberation came, their economic system was smashed
to pieces; their transport system was smashed to pieces, and in a moun-
tainous country, a country which has many islands, when you are without
your railways and without road transport, when bridges are smashed and
ships are sunk, it is extremely difficult to reconstruct the Government
administration, the political system, or the social life of the country.
That, however, was not the worst of it in the case of Greece. The
worst of it was that political passions had been very deeply aroused. The
resistance movement, and the example of the Nazis, had brought cruelties
into Greek life which were utterly alien to the Greek character. The re-
covery has been very slow. It has been retarded by the most unhappy civil
war-the responsibility for which I do not wish to discuss tonight-and
by two inflations and.a threatened third inflation. In such a situation
it is the duty of everybody, Greeks and friends of Greece, to think of the
long-term interests of the Greek people. Any Greek politician who puts
his party interest before that long-term interest of the Greek people would

Greek Elections and Plebiscite
be no patriot; and any British politician who put ideological considera-
tions before that long-term interest, would be no friend of Greece. I
am convinced that the Greek people, in overwhelming mass, detest vio-
lence and are longing fbr the return of real stability and for the rule of law.

Now I must talk about the last election in Greece because that is the
main question which my hon. Friend has raised. He said, in effect, that
the whole thing was an elaborately staged farce, that in spite of the fact
that M. Sofoulis was the Prime Minister, and that he had been conduct-
ing the administration of the election, and in spite of the fact that it
was supervised by a numerous and competent Allied Commission, repre-
senting three governments, with some Dominion help as well-that in spite
of all that, it did not in any way represent the will of the Greeks who voted.
I begin by saying that on 3rd April we had a report from our ambassador
in Athens that M. Sofoulis had called upon him and had asked the ambas-
sador to thank my right hon. Friend warmly. He said the election by and
large had been very fair indeed, though he did not agree with the deduc-
tions either of the Right, or of the extreme Left, regarding the lessons to be
drawn from the election. I think that is a useful introduction to what I
want to say.
Next I want to speak of the electoral lists, about which my hon. Friend
made some strong remarks-of which I do not complain, though I do
not think they represented the whole truth. Of course, it was difficult in
the time available to get the lists ready, but when the lists were available
they were printed. The lists were exposed to public view for five days,
during which time anyone could make complaints against them. If this
had not been a contested election, of course, that might not have been
of great effect; but it was a contested election in which two sides took
part, and in which the two sides at every stage took care to ensure that
the thing was not rigged against them. There was the Liberal Party, with
M. Sofoulis and those who worked with him, and there was, on the Right,
he others. There were many other parties. If my hon. Friend will read
.he whole paragraph on page 19 of the Report-which I should like to
read to the House if I had time to do so-he will find that it amply justifies
their main judgment that they found no evidence of deliberate fraud on
any important scale in the making up of the lists of qualified voters, nor
fraud in-[Interruption.] It is said in New York that the side that can
prevent the cemeteries from polling will win. There may have been
some fraud, but these experts found that there was no considerable fraud
during the election. There was complete freedom of meeting. .. Meet-
ings up to a size of 40,000 were held in Athens, Pireaus and other centers.
Broadly speaking, meetings were free throughout the country. The press
was free. It could say anything it liked. It said a great deal, and papers
were, in fact, distributed through most parts of the country.
Captain Francis Noel-Baker (Labor): Is my right hon. Friend aware
that I saw M. Sofoulis a few weeks ago, and he said that the tragedy was
that his party and supporters had not participated effectively in the elec-

British Speeches of the Day [MB. P. NOEL-BAKER]
tion, and that if they had made a real effort they could have had much
better representation in the Chamber?
Mr. P. Noel-Baker: I am much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend.
Those who abstained from voting in the Election made a great mistake,
which I hope that they will not repeat in the plebiscite.
I ask my hon. Friend who has raised this question to consider that
he is putting his word against that of the expert Commission, number-
ing hundreds of people who gave months to the work, who were, after all,
very well versed in electoral procedure in democratic countries. I offer
for his consideration what I have already said. During the polling and
counting, both sides were present in the polling booths and the counting
room to control what went on. In that way they had exactly the same
guarantee that we have in this country that elections are not faked. While
I think that, as the Commission said, there was in certain areas violence
on one side and the other, while there were terrorist bands which should
have been suppressed, while there were murders committed by both sides
in the months before the election-broadly, in spite of these lamentable
instances of terrorism, which cancelled out each other, the result was to
express the will of the Greek people who voted.

I turn now to the date of the plebiscite. I submit that the postpone-
ment of the plebiscite was not originally proposed, as has often been said,
by the British Government. But we came to think that it would be wise
to postpone it if certain conditions were fulfilled and one was that elec-
tions should be held in 1946. We still think that would be right. My
hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State stated the position of His
Majesty's Government not long ago. We consistently expressed the view
that it would be preferable that the plebiscite should be postponed until
1948, but that is a matter for internal decision in Greece. There was an
elected Government there and it was not for us to overrule the will of
that Government, when the Government and its supporters in Parliament
had made it an issue in the election campaign. [House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, June 26, 1946

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Rt. Hon. Emanuel Shinwell): The
Government have reached the conclusion that to get the coal needed for
our expanding industrial production and domestic consumption over the
next few years, it is essential that more boys and men should voluntarily
enter the coal-mining industry, than has been the case in recent years. I
have accordingly been considering what steps can be taken to attract
additional recruits, and, in particular, the proposals made to that end
by the National Union of Mineworkets in the Miners' Charter.

Miners' Charter
Certain items in the Charter cover the reorganization of the industry
together with better provision for training, health and safety, and action
upon many of these is already being taken. There are also other pro-
posals of which the most important is that for a five-day week. This has
always been regarded as a specially desirable reform for the coal-mining
industry in view of the conditions under which miners work. An organ-
ized five-day week is also widely regarded by mining engineers as desirable
for the efficient working of modern mechanized mining. Normally, this
would have been for consideration by the industry through the estab-
lished conciliation machinery.
It is clear that the present owners could not be expected to undertake
the responsibility for negotiations with the union on a major issue of
this kind, on which any agreement reached must have far-reaching effects
on the future working of the industry for which they will bear no direct
responsibility. Nor are the members designate of the National Coal Board,
which has not been and cannot yet be legally constituted as such and has
not yet the necessary staff, in a position to embark on such negotiations.
On the other hand, in the Government's view an early announcement on
this issue is essential.
Accordingly, I take this opportunity of announcing that the Govern-
ment offer no objection in principle, provided that arrangements and con-
ditions can be established with the full co-operation of the miners, to
an organized five-day week of a kind which will secure the output of coal
which is necessary to meet the country's needs. It is vital to attract more
recruits to the industry to secure the coal supplies which we shall need
over the next few years. It is equally vital to produce as much coal as
possible for the country's )immediate requirements. While the Govern-
ment offer no objection to the proposal in principle, provided there is
acceptance of the conditions which will secure the necessary output, the
working out of the scheme in detail, including the date of application, is
a matter to be undertaken within the industry itself, and will proceed
as soon as the Coal Industry Nationalization Bill becomes law and the
National Coal Board is constituted.

The Miners' Charter also contained proposals for an additional week's
holiday with pay and payment for the six statutory and customary holidays.
The Government cannot support the proposal for an additional week's
holiday in addition to that for a five-day week, which, when it became
operative, would generally represent one day off each week. The sugges-
tion that payment should be made for the six statutory and customary holi-
days is on a different footing, provided payment for the holiday is made
conditional on full attendance during the week in which it falls. As,
however, it would involve payment being made before the constitution
of the National Coal Board, I have been in touch with the Mining As-
sociation, and, at my request, they have agreed to enter into discussions

British Speeches of the Day [MR. SHINWELLI
with representatives of the National Union through the established con-
ciliation machinery of the industry with a view to agreement being reached
in regard to the method and amount of such holiday payments in time
for the first payment to be made in respect of the Bank Holiday falling
on 5th August. [House of Commons Debates]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, June 27, 1946
The Minister of Food (Rt. Hon. John Strachey): The Government
have decided to introduce, as from 21st July, 1946, a scheme of bread and
flour rationing. I need scarcely emphasize to the House that the Gov-
ernment have only reached this decision because they are convinced that
to fail to ration bread and flour at the present time would be to take an
unjustifiable risk with the basic foodstuff of the British people. The
Government are determined that every family in this country shall be
sure of its share of bread and that that share shall be, in so far as humanly
possible, adequate to the individual needs of its members. In present
circumstances of a grave world shortage of cereals, the only way of en-
suring this is by a well thought out scheme of bread and flour rationing.
The scheme will cover bread, flour and flour confectionery. Measured in
terms of ounces of bread per day, the rations for different groups will be
as follows:
Children under 1 . . . . . . . 2
Children from 1 to 5 . ... . . . 4
Children from 5 to 11 . ... . . . 8
Children from 11 to 18 . . . . .... 12
Expectant mothers and women manual workers . . 11
Men manual workers . . . . . .. .15
All other adults . . . . .. .. .... 9
The men and women manual workers who will receive the higher
scales will number some 12 millions. The statutory scale of provisions for
seamen will be adhered to.
The above figures refer to the position if the whole ration is taken up
in bread, but the housewife will be free to take up any part or all her
ration in flour or flour confectionery, instead of bread, and to shop
wherever she pleases. The ration will be measured in bread units. One
1 lb. 12 oz. loaf will cost 4 bread units. 1 Ib. of flour will cost 3 bread
units, and 1 Ib. of flour confectionery will cost 2 bread units. Except in
the cases of adolescents of 11 to 18, and of manual workers, the necessary
coupons are already in the ration book, namely, L, M, G, J and F. The
adolescent group will obtain additional coupons from a food office while
manual workers will apply through their employers or, if they are self-
employed, through the local office of the Ministry of Labor and National

Bread and Flour Rationing
Allowances to catering establishments and institutions will be similarly
restricted, but I am making special provision to safeguard the supply of
bread and flour to the "meal-on-the-job" scheme, whether in the form of
industrial canteens or of packed meals, which is already a feature of the
rationing system, particularly for workers engaged in very heavy manual
work. I am also making special provision for those workers who have no
access to canteens, and who now enjoy the special cheese ration. These
manual workers will be able to secure coupons for an additional six bread
units per week to assist them in providing packed meals from home.
Special authorizations, e.g., for the benefit of agricultural workers at harvest
time, will be granted for bread as for other rationed foods.
We do not consider, however, that even the above careful gradings as
between different consumers will sufficiently meet the wide variations
which exist in individual and family needs for bread. A special feature
of the bread rationing scheme will, therefore, be that the bread unit cou-
pons will be interchangeable at the food office with ordinary points. The
rate of exchange will be at the rate of one bread unit for one point, but,
for efficiency in control, the food offices will only make the exchange in
multiples of eight at any time during each four-week period. In other
words, you will not be able to change less than eight bread units into
eight points or vice versa. This provision will have two effects. On the
one hand, it will offer an inducement to families which use less bread and
flour than their ration to abstain from drawing their full ration and so
obtain some extra points on which they can draw other foodstuffs. On
the other hand, it will enable any family which finds that it needs more
than its bread ration to supplement that ration by sacrificing some of the
family's supply of points.
I do not for one moment underestimate the gravity of the step, which
conditions of world famine or near famine in many lands have compelled
us to take; but the Government would be unworthy to hold office if they
flinched from this measure and so risked a breakdown in the bread supply
of the people. I have one good piece of news to give the House. As the
supply of one foodstuff becomes more difficult it is sometimes possible to
provide some relief and variety in another direction. Our meat supply
enables me to announce that the meat ration will be increased by 2d. a
week, from Is. 2d. to Is. 4d., as from 21st July next. The increase will be
in carcass meat, so that the ration will then be Is. 2d. of carcass meat and
2d. worth of canned meat. In addition, we shall increase meat supplies
for manufacturing purposes, mainly sausages, by about 20 per cent as
from llth August.
The Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill): This
is one of the gravest announcements I have ever heard made in the House
in time of peace, and I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether
he is aware that no figures have been given to Parliament, or to the public,
to justify this extraordinary measure. We ought to know what are the

British Speeches of the Day [MR. STRACHEY]
figures of stocks, what are the facts and details of the arrangements and
movements of cereals in different parts of the world. We have been denied
all figures upon this subject. What further information has the right hon.
Gentleman to give us upon the figures? I have also to ask him this:
What saving does he expect to make in the consumption of bread by the
introduction of this extremely elaborate, serious system of bread rationing,
which we have never known before, even in the very darkest days of the
submarine war? What saving does he expect to make? What is his estimate
of saving, because I have seen it stated that there will be no saving? What
is the saving? Could he give us any figures and facts about that?
Mr. Strachey: I am glad to say that the rationing of bread at the levels
which I have just announced will not demand of the British people a large
reduction in their consumption of bread. The reduction will be in the
order of magnitude of five and 10 per cent. The important feature of
this-and this takes me to the other point made by the right hon. Gentle-
man-is that a system of bread rationing is a safety measure which enables
the country to ensure its bread supply on very much lower stocks than
that bread supply could be assured without bread rationing, and the prime
purpose of the scheme which is to be introduced on 21st July next is a
safety measure to ensure that with the current level of stocks every family
will receive its bread supply. [An HON. MEMBER: "It always has done."]
That is an entirely different point. As to the increase in the meat ration,
it is possible simply because our stock position is better and easier.
Mr. George Porter (Labor): Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the
House, as a result of his visit to America, what States in that part of the
world have adopted rationing for the purpose of distributing bread?
Mr. Strachey: Does the hon. Member mean in what States of the United
Mr. G. Porter indicated assent.
Mr. Strachey: There is no State or Federal rationing scheme in the
United States today. That is well known. But it would not be fair to say
that the United States are making no efforts and no sacrifices in this mat-
ter. The United States are suffering very considerably in certain areas from
difficulties of distribution. Certain mills are idle and, in certain places it
is difficult, on occasions, for housewives to buy bread. That is a very much
less serious thing for them than it would be for us, but the fact is there.
Mr. Churchill: Are we to assume that owing to some grave miscalcula-
tions or other untoward events we are to expect a far more stringent
diminution in the bread available to this country in the near future than
that which was mentioned, of five or 10 per cent? Is this the preparation,
the setting up of the machinery, so that the screw can be turned as events
occur? . .
Mr. Strachey: Nothing I have said carries that implication.
Mr. Churchill: Is the right hon. Gentleman ready to give us the facts
from which these tremendous decisions are made? Will he give us the
figures? We have had no figures, none whatever, on which a decision so
vitally affecting every single cottage home in this country-[Interruption.]

Bread and Flour Rationing
May I ask him whether he cannot give us some figures or facts which
justify this?
Mr. Stokes (Labor): Before my right hon. Friend answers that question,
may I ask him, in regard to figures, whether it is incorrect to say that a
saving of the order of 1 oz. per head of the population-which is about the
reduction he is suggesting-gives a yield of the order of 360,000 tons; and
further, in order to comfort the Opposition, is he able to tell the House
whether there has been any recommendation at all from the expert com-
mittee on nutrition, and if so what, in regard to what ought to be the lowest
level of bread consumption?
Mr. Strachey: On the last point, of course we discussed it at very great
length over a long period with all our nutritional experts, and these are
scales which they fully recommend and accept. On the question of stocks,
that question was debated very fully in this House very recently, and
certainly now, at Question Time, would be a most inappropriate moment
to mention the question of our bread stocks. There are very great objections
to doing so. I can certainly assure the House, and I hope the world through
this House, that the fact that we have introduced-that we have faced the
necessity of introducing-bread rationing in this country is the best proof
that we are concealing no stocks of bread, flour or wheat in this country, as
we are very frequently accused of doing.
Mr. Gallacher (Communist): I want to be sure that the Minister is firm
enough with the rationing. I want to know whether this ration applies
only to loaf bread, or whether it applies also to cake bread?
Mr. Strachey: Yes, it includes bread, flour and flour confectionery, which, I
am told, is the somewhat clumsy term for bread and cakes.
Mr. Gallacher: It does not mean that if we are short of bread people can
eat abundance of cakes?
Mr. Strachey: No, not quite that.
Mr. Clement Davies (Liberal): The Minister has announced to the House
and to'the world a very grave decision, based only on general statements.
Surely he will admit that the House and the country are entitled to more
detailed reasons for this. Ought he not also to give us a further and more
detailed explanation of the result and progress of the negotiations which
took place on the occasion of his visit to America, and of what has happened
to influence this decision? . .
Mr. Strachey: The answer to the second part of the Question is, as I said
before I left for America, that I was very concerned with the long-term
problem of the world's cereals and other food supplies. I was attending the
first meeting of the International Emergency Food Council, but nothing
that was there decided could possibly affect our position over the next few
months. In answer to the first part of the Question, it is our position
over the next few months, as I said in my speech in the recent food Debate,
in regard to our stocks and supplies, and the degree of certainty or uncer-
tainty with which we regard our supplies during these critical months, which
makes it necessary for us to have such control over the distribution and the
rate of consumption of wheat and flour as rationing alone can give.
[House of Commons Debates]

British Speeches of, the Day

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
June, 1946, is included below, together with the Ministers' answers.

The Rev. R. W. Sorensen (Labor) asked the Under-Secretary of State for
India if he has any further information regarding food shortage in India;
to what extent progress has been made respecting supplies; and what alter-
native method of transport of food has been secured against the eventuality
of the Indian train service being affected by industrial dispute.
The Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma (Mr. A. Hender-
son): Shipments of cereals, excluding rice, to India in May amounted to
172,000 tons and not about 235,000 tons as I informed the hon. Member
on 3rd June. The difference of 63,000 tons represents quantities which,
according to my information on 3rd June, had been shipped in May but
which did not actually sail until June. Including this quantity, about
336,000 tons have been programmed for shipment in June. For July ship-
ment, about 108,000 tons have been programmed from Australia, and it is
hoped in addition to ship further quantities from North and South America.
As regards rice, about 42,000 tons are known to have been shipped during
the current quarter, and it is hoped that about a further 38,000 tons will
sail before the end of June. The food situation in India continues to be
precarious. But, on the basis of these supplies, the Government of India
anticipate that distribution can be maintained up to August, assuming that
there are no untoward developments. As regards the last part of the Ques-
tion, measures were taken to distribute food stocks as widely as possible
against the eventuality of a railway strike and to make the maximum use of
road and water transport and of coastal shipping. As my hon. Friend will
be aware,-the railway strike notices have now been withdrawn.
[June 24, 1946]

Mr. Scott-Elliot (Labor) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Burma
whether he is satisfied that the price offered to cultivators of rice is sufficient
to encourage maximum production; the size of the crop which he hopes to
obtain; and to what extent it is estimated that this will enable Burma to
have some surplus for export.
The Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma (Mr. A. Hender-
son): The Government of Burma have given most careful consideration to
the question of the price to be offered to cultivators and have promised a
market at a fair price for all rice that can be grown. They are satisfied that
this policy will encourage the largest possible production of rice this year.
It is hoped this year to obtain an acreage of eight and a half million acres,
an increase of two million acres over the last crop, which might, given

Question Time in the House of Commons
reasonable conditions, produce an exportable surplus of approximately one
million tons of rice. The hon. Member will, of course, realize that the
attainment of this figure depends on a number of factors which cannot as
yet be fully gauged, not least of which is the weather.
[June 3, 1946]

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the
Exchequer whether he will state the total amount of dollars spent by His
Majesty's Government on food and other imports, respectively, into the
British occupied zones of Germany, Austria and Italy, respectively, from
May, 1945, until the latest available return.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton): About 35 million dol-
lars on food for Germany and two million dollars on food for Austria up
to 31st March, 1946. Dollar expenditure on other imports to Germany and
Austria has been relatively small. No dollar expenditure has been incurred
on imports to Italy.
[June 4, 1946]

Mr. S. Silverman (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
for what purpose the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency have
been requested to state, in writing, their attitude to the proposals of the
Anglo-American Palestine Committee, in view of the fact that both these
bodies gave evidence before the Committee, in which evidence their views
were fully stated.
The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. McNeil): His
Majesty's Government are pledged not to enter into commitments regarding
the future of Palestine until they have consulted both Arabs and Jews. The
fact that the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency gave evidence
to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry is not a reason for omitting
them from the list of Governments and organizations which are being con-
sulted in accordance with this pledge.
Mr. S. Silverman asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what
proposals have been made to the U. S. Government for collaboration in
implementing the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee on
Palestine; and when he hopes to be able to announce the Government's
The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Bevin): No such pro-
posals have been made to the United States Government. His Majesty's
Government and the United States Government have agreed, as the first
step in their joint examination of the Committee's Report, to initiate
discussions between their respective officials. The policy of His Majesty's
Government cannot be announced until they have concluded their consul-
tations with the Government of the United States, the Arab Governments
and representative Jewish and Arab organizations.
[June 5, 1946]

British Speeches of the Day

Captain J. Crowder (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for War
if he has any statement to make regarding the kidnapping of five British
officers in a club at Tel Aviv, and about the attempt made to capture two
British majors in Jerusalem; and if he will say whether the injuries of the
latter are serious.
The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Lawson): At 1.15 p.m. on 18th June
a party of five armed Jews entered the N.A.A.F.I. Officers' Club in Hayarkon
Street, Tel Aviv, and held up all the officers present at the point of a pistol.
They proceeded to select four British Army officers and one R.A.F. officer,
and took them to a taxi. Two officers who attempted to resist were struck
with a piece of iron piping. The taxi in which they were removed was later
found abandoned.
At 2.40 p.m. on the same day, in King George Avenue, one of the main
streets of Jerusalem, two Army officers were shot and wounded by a Jew who
alighted from a taxi nearby. One of the officers grappled with the man,
whereupon automatic fire was opened up on the two officers from inside the
taxi. The Jew then jumped back into the taxi, which was driven off. Both
officers.were removed to hospital with wounds in their legs and lower bodies.
I have also received information about another officer who is missing. A
nursing officer who was on leave from Cairo at the Y.W.C.A., Haifa, is also
missing. Both are believed to have been kidnapped.
Investigations are proceeding and a further statement will be made as
soon as possible. British troops deserve the highest praise for the restraint
they have shown in the face of unprovoked attacks of this sort. I should
also like to take this opportunity of expressing my sympathy with the rela-
tives of those concerned in these outrages.
[June 20, 1946]

Mr. Nutting (Conservative) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
whether he will make a statement regarding the outcome of His Majesty's
Government's recent representations to the Rumanian Government on the
question of political freedom in Rumania.
The Minister of State (Mr. P. Noel-Baker): On the 27th May the British
Political Representative in Bucharest presented a note to the Rumanian
Government, urging on them that they should fulfill the pledges which they
had given on 8th January, namely, that they would assure throughout
Rumania full liberty of press, speech, religion and association, and that they
would hold free elections as soon as possible. On 3rd June the Rumanian
Government replied to these representations in a note in which they
maintained that their pledges had been fulfilled.
His Majesty's Government cannot regard this reply as satisfactory. In a
note dated 14th June they have so informed the Rumanian Government,
and have asked them to take immediate steps to implement their previous

Question Time in the House of Commons
Mr. Nutting asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what assurances
have lately been received by His Majesty's Government from the Rumanian
Government regarding the holding of free elections in Rumania at an
early date.
Mr. Noel-Baker: In their note addressed to His Majesty's Government on
3rd June, to which I have referred in a previous answer, the Rumanian
Government undertook to draw up electoral lists with all speed and then
to hold elections. This note did not set any date for the elections, and the
attention of the Rumanian Government was called to this omission in a
note presented by the British Political Representative on 14th June. In a
reply dated 18th June, the Rumanian Government say that
"they believe that it will be possible to hold the elections not later than September."
[June 19, 1946]

Mr. Warbey (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what
is the size of the Corps of Observers which will watch the revision of the
Greek electoral lists; and whether their functions will include the observa-
tion of the plebiscite itself and of the conditions of law and order prevailing
at the time of the plebiscite and during the months immediately preceding.
The Minister of State (Mr. P. Noel-Baker): According to present plans,
the revision of the Greek electoral lists will be supervised by about 45 British
and 25 American observer teams. There will also be the appropriate head-
quarter staffs, including administrative officers and sampling experts. The
present arrangements cover only the revision of the electoral lists. In the
execution of their duties, the teams will, of course, observe the conditions of
law and order which prevail in Greece, and will report thereon.
Mr. Warbey: In view of the comparatively small size and the limited func-
tions of the Observers Corps, can my right hon. Friend say what guarantee
there is that the plebiscite will be a fair reflection of the will of the Greek
Mr. Noel-Baker: The task of these observers is to control the compilation
of the electoral lists, of the register, and those who supervised the general
election are satisfied that they can ensure that the register shall be properly
and fairly compiled.
[June 19, 1946)

Texts can be consulted in the Library of British Information Services:
those speeches delivered in the House of Lords or the House of
Commons are published in full in "Hansard," copies of which may be
bought through B.I.S. For prices see inside back cover.
Mr. Attlee. London, June 3.

British Speeches of the Day
Mr. H. Morrison. London, June 4.
Mr. Dalton (Chancellor of the Exchequer) at Labor Party Con-
ference. Bournemouth, June 14.
Mr. Strachey (Minister of Food). Broadcast, June 16.
Miss Ellen Wilkinson (Minister of Education) to Association of
Education Committees. London, June 18.
House of Commdns, June 19. Mr. Noel-Baker (Minister of
State), etc.
House of Commons, June 21. Mr. A. Henderson (Under-Secretary
of State for Burma), etc.
House of Lords, June 27. Earl De La Warr, Earl of Huntingdon
(Joint Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries), Lord Llewellin, Lord Addison, (Secretary of State for
Dominion Affairs), etc.

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