Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 The labor government's first...
 The opening of the new parliam...
 Debate on the king's speech
 The "rebel" amendment
 The British zone in Germany
 The international inspection of...
 German preparation for invasion...
 The heritage of freedom
 Question time in the house...
 Other speeches and debates in November,...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: British speeches of the day
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076217/00045
 Material Information
Title: British speeches of the day
Physical Description: 5 v. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Information Services
Publisher: British Information Services,
British Information Services
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: December 1946
Frequency: monthly
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1945-   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- Periodicals -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Mar. 1943.
Dates or Sequential Designation: -v. 5, no. 5 (June 1947).
General Note: At head of title: British Information Services, an agency of the British government.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 1 (Feb. 1946); title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00076217
Volume ID: VID00045
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01412079
lccn - 45006482

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    The labor government's first session
        Page 679
        Page 680
        Page 681
        Page 682
    The opening of the new parliament
        Page 683
        Page 684
        Page 685
    Debate on the king's speech
        Page 686
        Page 687
        Page 688
        Page 689
        Page 690
        Page 691
        Page 692
        Page 693
        Page 694
        Page 695
        Page 696
        Page 697
        Page 698
        Page 699
        Page 700
        Page 701
        Page 702
    The "rebel" amendment
        Page 703
        Page 704
        Page 705
        Page 706
        Page 707
        Page 708
        Page 709
        Page 710
        Page 711
        Page 712
        Page 713
        Page 714
        Page 715
        Page 716
        Page 717
        Page 718
        Page 719
        Page 720
    The British zone in Germany
        Page 721
        Page 722
        Page 723
        Page 724
        Page 725
        Page 726
        Page 727
        Page 728
        Page 729
        Page 730
        Page 731
        Page 732
        Page 733
        Page 734
        Page 735
        Page 736
        Page 737
        Page 738
    The international inspection of armed forces
        Page 739
        Page 740
        Page 741
        Page 742
        Page 743
        Page 744
        Page 745
        Page 746
        Page 747
    German preparation for invasion in 1940
        Page 748
        Page 749
        Page 750
    The heritage of freedom
        Page 751
        Page 752
        Page 753
        Page 754
        Page 755
    Question time in the house of commons
        Page 756
        Page 757
        Page 758
        Page 759
        Page 760
        Page 761
        Page 762
        Page 763
    Other speeches and debates in November, 1946
        Page 764
    Back Matter
        Page 765
        Page 766
    Back Cover
        Page 767
Full Text

Qa86 (.
,Io, 10

His MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI, November 6, 1946
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
When I opened this Session, the first of a new Parliament, there was in
all our hearts a deep thankfulness to Almighty God for our deliverance
from the war and an urgent desire to do everything in our power to repair
the ravages which it had caused, both at home and abroad. A notable
beginning has been made with this task.
My Government have taken a leading part in formulating treaties of
peace with Italy, Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. The con-
ference of My Allies convened in Paris to consider the draft treaties and
to submit recommendations on them to the Council of Foreign Ministers
has concluded its labors. I have welcomed the thorough discussion which
has given an opportunity for a full expression of views by My Dominion
Governments and My many gallant Allies and has enabled the general
belief to be expressed that the treaties should be based not on vengeance
but on justice. I hope that these peace treaties will soon be signed and
will substantially contribute to the rehabilitation of a devastated continent.
It gave Me great pleasure to welcome to this country the delegates to
the inaugural session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. My
Government have given every possible help and .support to the United
Nations Organization, its Economic and Social Council and Security
Council, and the many international bodies which are to be associated
with it. Representatives of the United Kingdom have shared fully in the
work of the International Labor Organization.
My Government have accepted membership of the International Mone-
tary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-
ment, and it is My hope that these institutions will help to bring greater
security and a better standard of life to the peoples of the world. It is a
source of gratification to Me that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has
been selected as Chairman for the coming year of the Board of Governors
of the Fund and of the Bank.
Financial agreements have been concluded with the Government of
the United States and with My Government in Canada, under which
substantial credits have been extended to My Government to assist them
in overcoming the difficulties of transition from war and in moving towards
a freer and more stable system of international trade. Important economic
agreements have also been made with various countries.
In defeated Germany and also in Austria My Forces of occupation and
civil authorities, co-operating with those of My Allies, have continued to

British Speeches of the Day [HIs MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI]

carry out with great devotion and diligence the tasks of restoring ordered
government, repatriating displaced persons, preventing famine and disease,
and finally eliminating Nazism. I welcome the progress which has been
made towards the restoration of the freedom and independence of Austria,
and the close co-operation which is being established with My United
States Allies as a step towards the treatment of Germany as an economic
whole; and I trust that it may be possible to lighten the heavy financial
burden which the present state of Germany imposes on the people of the
United Kingdom.
The trial of major German war criminals at Nuremberg has been
carried through with dignity and impartiality, and in full accordance with
the best judicial traditions. The proceedings were a signal example of
inter-Allied co-operation and the principles laid down by the Court, which
represent an important development in international law, will, I earnestly
hope, prove a lasting deterrent against aggression.
One of the first concerns of My Government on the surrender of Japan
was the repatriation of all My subjects who had been held captive by the
Japanese. We give thanks to Almighty God for their safe return after
their many sufferings.
In Japan British Commonwealth Forces are making their contribution
towards the work which is being undertaken under the direction of the
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers for the restoration of a peaceful
and productive way of life in that country.
In other parts of the world My Forces are playing their part in helping
a return to the conditions of peace; and many members of them have been
engaged, both overseas and at home, on the difficult and dangerous task of
mine clearance.
It gave Me special pleasure to welcome the Prime Ministers and other
Ministers of the self-governing members of the British Commonwealth to
this country in April and May for discussions with My Ministers in the
United Kingdom on many important matters. These discussions con-
tributed greatly to the elucidation of many problems and to a mutual
understanding of the issues involved. Discussions have also taken place
in London with representatives of other parts of the Commonwealth on
other matters of common concern, including scientific collaboration and
commercial policy.
My Government have given their most earnest attention to the affairs
of India, where changes of unparalleled importance are taking place. The
visit of three of My Ministers to India earlier this year has resulted in the
election of a Constituent Assembly to frame a constitution for India on
the basis of the statement made by My Government on the 16th May last.
Provision has also been made for associating the Indian States with this
Pending the completion of the work of the Constituent Assembly, an
Interim Government has been formed which is representative of all im-
portant elements in British India. I pray that India will prosper under
their guidance and will achieve through the deliberations of the Con-

The Labor Government's First Session

stituent Assembly that freedom which it has long been the policy of My
Ministers and Parliament to promote.
In Burma the Governor has reconstituted his Executive Council on a
broader basis and with a wider authority which will enable the principal
political parties to make their contribution to the economic and political
reconstruction of their country.
In Newfoundland a National Convention has been elected to make
recommendations with a view to a subsequent referendum as to the future
form of the Government of the island, and it is My earnest hope that they
will be successful, in achieving their object.
I have made an Order in Council providing for a new constitution in
Ceylon under which responsibility for the internal affairs of the island
will pass to a Parliament of Ceylon. I congratulate My people in Ceylon
on this achievement and extend to them My best wishes for the future.
During the past Session the territories of North Borneo and Sarawak
have come under My sovereignty. I have been glad to extend a warm wel-
come to their inhabitants and to assure them that it will be the constant
care of My Government to promote their welfare.
Members of the House of Commons:
I thank you for the provision which you have made for expenditure on
reconstruction and other public services.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
Despite the heavy responsibilities of My Armed Forces, no fewer than
four million men and women have been released from them since June,
1945. During the same period the transfer of two and a half million work-
ers from war to peacetime production has been smoothly effected without
giving rise to any large measure of unemployment in the country as a
whole. Good progress has also been made with the rehabilitation of dis-
abled persons and their resettlement in employment.
The Merchant Navy is rapidly returning to its normal peacetime tasks
and My Government have taken part in an International Labor Confer-
ence designed to secure improvements in the conditions of employment of
merchant seamen.
Controls imposed during the war over labor, materials and other re-
sources have been relaxed, wherever the removal of restrictions could be
carried out without damage to the national interest; and arrangements
have been made for regular consultation with a National Joint Advisory
Council, representing organizations of employers and workers.
At home there has been an increasing flow of consumer goods and a
substantial advance has been made towards that great increase in exports
which is necessary to secure and pay for the imports of raw materials and
other commodities which we need from abroad. The Exhibition of
Industrial Design which I opened in September is an impressive sign of the
achievements of our manufacturers and designers.
In the face of a continuing and most serious world shortage of food My
Ministers have been concerned to maintain the essential supplies of My

British Speeches of the Day [His MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI]

peoples and also, so far as lies in their power, to help in preventing the
spread of famine overseas. In accordance with the policy of ensuring that
the necessaries of life are fairly distributed, My Government have been
obliged to continue, and even to extend, the rationing of the main food-
Farmers and agricultural workers have made great efforts to maintain
a high level of food production in the United Kingdom. They have had to
contend with exceptionally adverse weather conditions during the harvest
months and My sympathy goes out to them in the difficulties which they
have had to face.
The repair of war damage to schools and colleges and the return of
teachers from war service have helped towards the rebuilding of our edu-
cational service. Improved arrangements for granting assistance to students
at Universities will make it easier for young men and women to continue
their education. Milk has been made available free for all attending
school; and facilities for children to have meals at school are still increasing
rapidly. The provision of milk and vitamin supplements for mothers and
young children has also been continued with good results.
The financial credit of My Government has been fully maintained. In
the course of the Session rates of interest for both short-term and long-term
borrowing have been substantially reduced. This policy has lightened the
burden of the national debt and has assisted the financing of capital
expenditure on reconstruction incurred by My Government and by local
I have given My assent to a large number of important measures during
the Session.
A measure has been passed to nationalize the coal-mining industry.
Thereby it has become possible to set in hand the reorganization of this
great industry which is one of the foundations of our country's strength and
I have also given My assent to legislation to nationalize the Bank of Eng-
land, to regulate the borrowing and the raising of money and the issue of
securities, to enable guarantees to be given for loans for industrial recon-
struction or development, and to substitute cupro-nickel for silver in the
Provision has been made for a national health service in England and
Wales; for the creation of a national scheme of insurance against industrial
injuries in place of the present system of workmen's compensation, and for
the expansion and improvement of the existing schemes of social insurance.
A system of family allowances and the higher rates of old age pension under
the new social insurance scheme have been brought into operation.
I have given My assent to legislation to finance the production of houses
by My Government and to subsidize house building by local authorities. I
have also assented to a measure to control the rents of furnished houses.
Legislation has been passed to improve the procedure for the acquisition
of land for public purposes and to provide for the creation of new towns to
help in securing a properly balanced distribution of the population.

The Labor Government's First Session

Acts have been passed to improve the efficiency of the police services, to
increase the productive capacity of hill farming areas and to assist fishermen
in obtaining boats and gear for the white fishing industry.
I have assented to legislation to secure the development of air transport
services under public control, to bring overseas telegraph and wireless
services under public ownership, and to facilitate the provision of nationally
owned airports.
A measure has been passed to promote and control the development of
atomic energy.
My Government have welcomed the proposal of the Pilgrims Society to
erect in the gardens of Grosvenor Square a memorial to that great and far-
sighted statesman, the late President Roosevelt, and by a measure to which
I have given My assent they have undertaken the duty of maintaining the
statue and the gardens.
I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon us in the com-
pletion of the arduous tasks that-lie ahead.
[House of Commons Debates]

His MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI, November 12, 1946
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
During the Session that lies before you My Government will seek by
all means in their power to promote the well-being of My people and to
enable the nation, by its example and leadership, to play a worthy part in
the advance of all nations of the world towards greater freedom and
My Ministers will shortly meet representatives of the United States,
Russia and France to discuss the future of Germany. It will be their aim
to establish in Germany conditions which will foster true democracy, will
guarantee the world against further attempts at world domination, and
will remove the financial burden which the occupation has laid on My
I trust that at an early date a treaty will be concluded with Austria
which will enable all forces of occupation to be withdrawn from that
The control of Japan and the measures taken to bring about a stable
and just settlement in the Far East will remain the concern of My Ministers.

The General Assembly of the United Nations has resumed in New
York the session begun in London last January. It will be the policy of

British Speeches of the Day [His MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI]

My Government to share fully both in these discussions and in the meet-
ings of those other international bodies which have been created to foster
mutual help and understanding among the nations of the world.
I earnestly hope that the preparatory work for an International Con-
ference on Trade and Employment which is now proceeding in London
will lay the foundations for an increase in international trade over a wide
area and for the maintenance of a high and stable level of employment in
all the countries of the world. My Government will use every endeavor to
bring these and wider international discussions to a successful conclusion.

My Ministers will continue to develop the existing intimate understand-
ing and close working relations between this country and the self-governing
members of the British Commonwealth.
My Government will forward by every means at their disposal the policy
with regard to the governance of India laid down in the statements made
by them and by the Mission of My Ministers which recently visited India.
Steps are being taken to hold elections in Burma early next year, as the
necessary preliminary to further constitutional progress.
In the territories for which My Government are responsible they will
seek actively to promote the welfare of My peoples, to develop the economic
life of the territories and to give My peoples all practical guidance in their
march to self-government.
The Queen and I are looking forward with the greatest pleasure to the
visit which We propose to pay to South Africa early next year.
Members of the House of Commons:
Estimates for the public services will be laid before you in due course.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
My Government will press on with the conversion of the national econ-
omy from war to peace and will endeavor to ensure that the resources of
the nation are effectively employed for the common good.
It will be an urgent task of My Ministers to encourage an increase in
the productivity of industry and so to secure the greatly increased flow of
both consumer and capital goods needed for the raising of the standard
of living of My people and the expansion of the export trade. In particu-
lar, My Ministers will, in fostering the growth of industry, continue to pay
special attention to the needs of the development areas.

My Ministers recognize the urgent need for securing an adequate flow
of volunteers for the Regular Forces, and their efforts to stimulate recruit-
ment will be intensified. The reconstitution of the Territorial and Reserve
Forces will be begun at an early date and My Government will bring for-
ward a measure providing for the continuation of national service from the
date when the present transitional scheme comes to an end.

The Opening of the New Parliament

My Ministers will do all in their power to increase the supply and
variety of food and to see that it is efficiently and equitably distributed.
They will also prosecute with the utmost vigor the task of providing suit-
able homes for My people, and will seek to ensure that those most in need
of it have first claim on new accommodation. They recognize that the
housewives of the nation have had to bear a specially heavy burden owing
to the shortages of houses, of food-stuffs and of other consumer goods. It
will be their constant endeavor to alleviate the hardships and inconven-
iences caused by this legacy from the years of war.
All necessary action is being taken to enable the school-leaving age to be
raised in April of next year.
A measure will be laid before you to bring inland transport services
under national ownership and control; and you will be asked to approve
proposals to deal with compensation and betterment in relation to town
and country planning and otherwise to improve the machinery of planning.
A Bill will also be submitted to you to bring into national ownership
the electricity supply industry as a further part of a concerted plan for
the co-ordination of the fuel and power industries.
Valuable reports have already been received from working parties
appointed to make recommendations for the better organization of a num-
ber of important industries, and you will be asked to approve legislation
to enable effect to be given to their recommendations.
A measure dealing with exchange control will be placed before you,
and you will be asked to approve legislation to provide for the amendment
of the Companies Act and for the establishment of a commission to pur-
chase, import and distribute raw cotton.
Proposals will be laid before you to give effect to the plans prepared
by My Ministers for the efficient development of agriculture in this coun-
try, based on the system of guaranteed prices and assured markets for the
principal farm products, and to give permanent effect to the transfer of
wage-fixing powers from the local agricultural wages committees to the
central Wages Boards.
Legislation will be submitted to you to provide for the establishment
of a comprehensive health service in Scotland, and to consolidate, with
amendments, the local government law of Scotland.
You will be asked to approve a Bill to provide for the establishment of
a Ministry of Defense.
Measures will be laid before you providing for the arrangements con-
sequent upon the termination of the National Fire Service and for em-
powering local authorities to operate civic restaurants.
A Bill will be introduced to give effect to the Convention on Interna-
tional Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on the 7th December, 1944.
Other measures will be laid before you if time permits.
I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.
[House of Commons Debates]


HOUSE OF COMMONS, November 12, 1946
The Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill): This is
the second King's Speech of the Socialist Government. They have been 16
months in office. We have had one of the most laborious and protracted
Sessions-fruitful, hon. Members may say, but at any rate productive of
something which is on record. At this moment, in reply to the second
King's Speech, we may profitably attempt to take stock of the position.

The world situation has not improved. The Prime Minister, at the
Mansion House, drew a somber picture from which I cannot dissent. At the
General Election, we were assured that a Socialist or Left-Wing Government
would get on especially well with the Soviet Government of Russia, but rela-
tions have steadily deteriorated. The British and American Forces in Europe
have melted away, as was inevitable-I am not making it an accusation-in
the case of governments resting upon the popular will, after a great victory.
The Russian Armies, based on the despotic form of Government, have been
maintained in Europe in vast strength, and mostly on a war footing. More
than one-third of Europe is held under the Russian Soviet control. The
Soviet military frontier is on the Elbe, and it is impossible to forecast what
the future and the fate of France will be. No fruition has yet attended the
peace negotiations even about the smaller satellite enemy Powers-perhaps
the Prime Minister will be able to make some statement on this point
The United Nations organization, as he has so forcibly pointed out at
the Mansion House, has not, so far, fulfilled our hopes; it remains however
-and in this I agree with the mover of the Address-our citadel, and we
are in full accord with His Majesty's Government in their loyal and faith-
ful support of this institution, whose reign and ascendancy are an earnest
of the desire of the overwhelming majority of mankind. To record these
melancholy facts which we see around us, is not necessarily to blame His
Majesty's Government. The difficulties have been enormous, and the
forces which confront them are intractable. British influence abroad has
greatly diminished since wartime days. It is not to attack the Government
that I mention these facts, but in order to survey our own position. The
Foreign Secretary has done his best, and we on this side have given him
whatever support was in our power-we have even sometimes supported
him to an extent which caused him embarrassment in other quarters.
We cannot charge the Government with being responsible for all the evils
ot the situation abroad. They have certainly not been guilty of any wrong-
ful or provocative action. We readily believe that their motives are as
innocent and virtuous as those which are set out in the mellifluous lan-
guage of the Gracious Speech, with large parts of which we are in full
agreement. It was the duty of the Socialist Government to take office when
called upon to do so so decidedly by the electors. It is not their fault if they
are not equal to the job, though it may be our misfortune.

Debate on the King's Speech
It cannot be claimed, however, that even a National Coalition Govern-
ment would have successfully surmounted all the adverse tides which have
been flowing. The Conservative Party cannot of course accept any responsi-
bility for Potsdam, as matters were taken out of our hands in the vital
phase of those discussions. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Oh."] These are facts, but I
am sure, whoever had conducted Potsdam, it would have left behind it
many grievous legacies for the future of Europe. Nevertheless, the fact
remains that 18 months after the surrender of Germany, and more than
a year after that of Japan, and in spite of the firm, helpful attitude of the
United States based on the joint action-what they call "bi-partisan"-of
their two historic parties, the world scene is still dark, anxious and con-
fused. No decisive improvement can be recorded, except, of course, in the
mercy of God the cannons have ceased to fire.

In the forefront of any survey of the world stands Germany, a van-
quished nation. "Stands," I said-no, prostrate, shattered. Seventy or 80
millions of men and women of an ancient, capable and terribly efficient
race are in a ruined and famished condition in the heart of Europe. This
confronts us with problems which at present are quite unsolved by the
victors. We and the Americans continue to rule and administer the German
people in our zones at extravagant and almost unbearable cost-I think in
this I carry the Chancellor of the Exchequer with me-to ourselves, and
with increasing dissatisfaction to the Germans. We have not been told,
and I will not attempt to discuss what is happening in the Russian zone.
We are all agreed that the proper course is, as I said before we separated,
to make the Germans earn their own living, and make them manage their
own affairs as soon as possible, and to give them all possible aid while
preventing every form of rearmament. If we are agreed on that, let us
enforce it. Let us stick to it and enforce it on every occasion as opportunity
serves. Though we have not been informed of any attempt which has been
made to forecast the form of the peace treaty with Germany, surely it is
urgent to make a peace with the German people, or as many of them as lie
within our spheres of responsibility. There must be an end to vengeance
and retribution.
I am told that Germany must be punished. I ask: When did punish-
ment begin? It certainly seems to have been going on for a long time.
It began in 1943, and continued through 1944 and 1945, when the most
frightful air bombardments were cast upon German cities, and when the
general exhaustion of their life under the cruel Nazi regime had drained
the last ounces of strength from the German race and nation. The Nurem-
berg trials are over, and the guilty leaders of the Nazi regime have been
hanged by the conquerors. We are told that thousands yet remain to be
tried, and that vast categories of Germans are classed as potentially guilty
because of their association with the Nazi regime. After all, in a country
which is handled as Germany was, the ordinary people have very little
choice about what to do. I think some consideration should always be
given to ordinary people. Everyone is not a Pastor Niemoller or a martyr,

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL]

and when ordinary people are hurled this way and that, when the cruel
hands of tyrants are laid upon them and vile systems of regimentation are
imposed and enforced by espionage and other forms of cruelty, there are
great numbers of people who will succumb. I thank God that in this
island home of ours, we have never been put to the test which many of the
peoples of Europe have had to undergo. It is my hope that we shall pres-
ently reach the end of the executions, penalties, and punishments, and that
without forgetting the hard lessons of the past, we shall turn our faces
resolutely towards the future. There is much to be said not only on the
general problem of Germany, but on the character of our administration
in the zone confided to us since Germany surrendered. My right hon.
Friend the former Foreign Secretary will deal more at length with the
whole German question, and also with British administration of the zone,
in the course of the general Debate on the Address. He will speak either
tomorrow or the day afterwards, according to what the course of our affairs
may render convenient and necessary.

Coming now to the affairs of the British Empire, or former British
Empire, with its Commonwealth possessions and mandated territories, I
was struck by a statement which was reported to have been made by Mr.
Clayton, an official of the United States Government, about Imperial
Preference. The statement was made at the end of last week. This subject
has often been thrashed out and the facts are common knowledge to every
Member who studies our affairs with due attention. Everything is on
record. We were repeatedly assured by His Majesty's Government, notably
at the time of the acceptance of the American Loan-for which we must not
be ungrateful-that no commitments to the prejudice of Imperial Preference
had been entered into by His Majesty's Government, and that we are
entirely free in any discussions which may take place on the future of
world trade or world economy. I ask the Prime Minister to say, when he
replies in due course, if he is in a position to renew these assurances on the
present occasion in order that we may consider, on this side of the House,
what action we should take. I thought it right to give the right hon.
Gentleman, whose official position alone prevents me from describing him
as "my right hon. Friend," due notice of the question which I have asked
on this point.
I may, however, hazard, for my own assurance, and that of some of
my hon. Friends on these benches, the personal opinion that it would be a
great surprise to me, at least, if a Republican Congress were to embrace
Free Trade so wholeheartedly, completely, and passionately, and to promote
such a casting down of tariff walls of all kinds as to call in question, even
as a matter of discussion, the comparatively small, modest Preference duties
which have been built up in the British Commonwealth of Nations, which
have become part of our supreme common life and which are even more
important to us as symbols of our indissoluble union than for their com-
mercial advantages, which are, none the less, considerable. However, I
await the declarations of the Prime Minister upon this point.

Debate on the King's Speech

There is a paragraph in the Gracious Speech about India. This para-
graph has the advantage that the Government accept and take upon them-
selves, as is their duty-it is no more than their duty-the responsibility for
what is happening in India, and base their policy upon the statement made
by them and the Ministers of the Crown who were recently employed on
the mission to India. This is not the time to debate the character and
consequences of the British abandonment of India. We have been prom-
ised two days' Debate on this subject. I do not consider that anything
has been lost by its postponement up to the present. It may well be, how-
ever, that before Christmas we shall ask for a formal Debate. We may be
forced to ask for it on account of the increasing degeneration in the life
of the Indian peoples, and the bloodstains which are already appearing, in
wide and numerous areas, on the Indian map.
I will content myself today with one remark, one passage, designed to
illustrate the gravity of the events which are now in progress in India. Sup-
pose Europe had been ruled-and this may appeal to the mover of the
Address-for several generations, I may even say many generations, by a
European Council, and had dwelt in internal peace and safety from external
aggression, without any wars, with hardly anybody killed during all that time
by steel or lead, except common criminals in the course of common crime.
Suppose peace and order had been maintained by an impartial organization
seated, let us say, at Geneva, and that it had required to maintain its
authority only fifty to sixty thousand armed council or international troops,
and had carried on all its work with little more than 1,200 officials. Sup-
posing this long reign of peace had endured, that nearly a century had
passed, and immense increases of population had taken place meanwhile,
and that equal laws and justice had been given to all and observed by all
the many nations, races, and religions of Europe, so that the Russians and
Poles, French and Germans, Austrians and Italians, Protestants and Catho-
lics, Communists and Conservatives, had managed to get along for 60 to
70 years without flying at each other's throats, without killing each other.
That certainly would have been regarded as a blessed era, a kind of
Age of the Antonines in Roman history. And that impression would not
have been destroyed even though there were admittedly many shortcom-
ings, and also, admittedly, boundless need and hope and means for further
improvement. Suppose now, that, in the name of progress, it were decided
to remove the elements of stability and impartiality which had rendered
an all-European organization possible and had conferred such inestimable
blessings upon the masses of the European peoples, that would be a most
serious step; it would be a milestone in the history of Europe, and, not
only of Europe, but of the world, because we must remember how every-
thing is connected with everything else, especially nowadays. Suppose,
moreover, the preparations for the withdrawal of the central power and
guiding hand had already released many of the disruptive and rival forces
which lurk in every continent and that these were stirring again with age-
old animosities, long buried, so long held in neutrality; and suppose, in
particular, that the wars of religion in Europe between Catholic and Prot-

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL]
estant, which formerly ravaged Europe and which were the cause of the
Thirty Years War, again threatened to break out; suppose that already in
the last few months in Europe 10,000 Protestants and Catholics had mur-
dered one another. I think that the situation would be one which would
justifiably cause widespread anxiety, and which would, when the proper
time comes, afford justification for a full and deliberate Debate. We shall
hold the Government to their promise to give us this opportunity, but we
are quite ready to fix the time in accordance with their convenience, and
also with the situation as it exists in India.
I have spoken on recent occasions at length on the proposed abrogation
of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty and the abandonment by British Forces of
the Canal zone. I do not know whether the Prime Minister has any further
information for us on the negotiations which have been lately conducted
in Cairo and the conversations which have taken place over here, but if
he feels that the moment is not suitable, we should not demur to his view,
or press him in any way.
About Palestine, however, it is impossible to avoid expressing deep
regret at the many changes of tactics and method, at the needless disap-
pointment created throughout world Jewry by the failure to fulfill the
hopes which the party opposite excited by their promises and convictions
at the General Election, and above all, at the lack of any policy worthy of
the name. This absence of any policy or decision on these matters, which
have become more complicated as they proceed, has allowed havoc and
hatred to flare and run rife throughout Palestine for more than a year-and
no one knows where we are today. I have nothing to add to what I have
previously advised. Here, perhaps, I may speak for myself, because I have
always supported the Zionist movement, and many of my friends here took
a different view of it at the time, before the war. I cannot, in any way,
recede from the advice which I have ventured to give, namely, that if we
cannot fulfill our promises to the Zionists, we should without delay place
our mandate for Palestine at the feet of the United Nations, and give due
notice of our impending evacuation of that country. If this offer is accepted,
a burden, which has become too heavy and too invidious for us to bear
alone, will have been lifted from our shoulders and placed in international
If, however, the United States, which is so keenly interested in Jewish
immigration, would deprecate such a course on our part, it will be for
them to help us in the most effective way, not only with money but with
men, and with all that flows from a concerted policy advanced by two
great English-speaking Powers. I am not at all deterred in recommending
this course by the fact that it has been demanded by the Soviet Govern-
ment. I was rather glad to find that our minds are flowing in the same
direction in one aspect of international affairs. I am convinced that this
procedure would either relieve us from the most thankless of all human
tasks, from the reproach which attends our ill success, and infirmity of pur-
pose, and from the physical and practical difficulties of the task, or, on the
other hand, that it would secure us the support necessary from Jewish and


Debate on the Kings Speech

American sources by which alone our work can be accomplished and our
mission fulfilled. To abandon India, with all the dire consequences that
would follow therefrom, but to have a war with the Jews in order to give
Palestine to.the Arabs amid the execration of the world, appears to carry
incongruity of thought and policy to levels which have rarely been attained
in human history.
I leave these external issues in which, in spite of their melancholy fea-
tures, there is much common ground between the two main parties-after
all, we are all in the same boat in the result of many of these things-and I
come to the administration and political topics which are open at home.
Some of these are referred to in the Gracious Speech. The hon. Gentleman
who moved the Address spoke of his great desire to demobilize all the
Armed Forces after proper conditions had been established, and I am
sure that is a widespread desire-but not yet; like the cynical saying, "We
all want to get to Heaven but not immediately." The decision of His
Majesty's Government to continue compulsory national service for the
Armed Forces for an indefinite period after 1949 is one which they would
certainly not have reached without good and grave reasons. In a matter
like this, which affects in a vital manner the safety of our country, by avoid-
ing one-sided disarmament, and the maintenance of peace, it will be the
duty of the Opposition to support the Government, and we shall certainly
do so not only in this House but out of doors.
No one can say there is anything undemocratic about national service
for the defense of the country and for the preservation of our free island
life, and I assume, of course, it will be imposed equally and universally
upon all British subjects in Great Britain, without any distinction being
drawn between rich and poor. There is a question of some difficulty about
Northern Ireland. That must be discussed in a temperate spirit, in view
of all the past history of that question. I hope, however, that with the least
possible delay we shall be placed in possession of the Government's scheme,
especially in regard to the Army, so that we may know the part in our
future system which the Territorial Army and voluntary enlistment of all
kinds will play, and how these features will be reconciled with permanent
national compulsory military service. I hope we can also be assured that
there is no question of extending compulsory national service in the Armed
Forces, which defend the life of the State, to compulsory service in the
industries of the country. In time of war, this sacrifice may be made, and
was freely and voluntarily made, by the trade unions and by the people of
the nation, but anything in the nature of industrial conscription in time
of peace would be intolerable, and all tendency in that direction must be
resisted by all who wish to avoid the serfdom of totalitarian regimes.

I do not wish to trespass unduly upon the time of the House, but the
King's Speech covers many topics, and one may be accused of underrating
the value of some particular topic if it is not given customary mention in
despatches. I reminded the House recently that I suggested last November

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CHURCHILL]

that a total of 1,550,000 men should be maintained for the three Services
for some time to come. The Government informed us in February that
they hoped to reduce the figure to a total of 1,100,000 by 31st December
next. I now understand this process has been stopped-I only read it from
the newspapers-and that the 1,100,000 is to be increased by 200,000, 300,000
or 400,000 men. It is no part of my duty to search for points of agreement
with the present Government, but it does seem that a figure of 1,100,000
plus 300,000 or 400,000 more, if that is adopted, will bring them very near
the 1,550,000 which I put forward a year ago.
Here I must frankly deplore the mismanagement and maladministration
of the Armed Forces during the last year. All of the three Ministers
responsible have been removed, promoted or dismissed, and new men have
been appointed. The former First Lord has now become Minister of De-
fense. I would like to take the occasion of offering him my hearty con-
gratulations and of saying that we look forward with confidence to his
discharge of these duties. The right hon. Gentleman has a very special
ability and experience, and I, personally, have always felt the warmest
regard for him on account of the very rough times we went through together
during the war. But what with his long journey to India and his protracted
work on the Paris Conference, which was also quite good-I much preferred
it to his work on his previous excursion-he cannot have given much
thought to Admiralty business. We are told the Admiralty runs itself. I
am not so sure. Today we are told the Navy is undermanned. I saw
placarded in the newspapers about recent Fleet exercises-that the Navy
was undermanned, one battleship, or something like that, was all they could
manage. Yet the figures presented to us in February gave them no fewer
than 175,000 men on Vote A, or far more than were required for the very
large Fleets which were fully manned before the Second World War began.
There must be some mismanagement here, and although partial explana-
tions may be forthcoming, I should particularly like to know what is the
proportion of men in Vote A of the Navy who are seaborne tonight, and
how many of them are employed on shore, and to have comparisons between
that and the Navy in previous phases of its administration. A very search-
ing and severe review of naval establishments is undoubtedly required, and
I trust this will be undertaken during the Estimates Debates of this year.
I recognize, of course, that the Fleet Air Arm is an addition to the pre-war
Navy, and also may be counted as part of our air power.
The former Secretary of State for Air, Lord Stansgate, also has been so
much abroad, negotiating for our evacuation of Egypt and the Canal zone,
that he has not been able to bring his commanding talents to bear upon
the intricate problems and clamant problems of post-war military aviation.
Lord Stansgate has gone, and we now have a new Secretary of State for Air,
but he has gone, too, to the United States.
Finally, there is the War Office. The former Secretary of State for War
-I do not know whether my right hon. Friend is here today-is deservedly
popular and respected in all sections of the House. His many good and
charming qualities, high patriotism and public spirit, are admired by all.
That, however, does not in any way efface the fact that he was not qualified

Debate on the King's Speech

to discharge, or capable of discharging, the extraordinary and complicated
tasks with which the War Office is cumbered and pressed in the transition
period at the end of a great war. There is great importance in having a
political Minister constantly making his influence felt in each of the Service
Departments. It is one of the cases where that much abused class, the
politicians, is indispensable. Left to themselves, the Service chiefs will not
be able to produce solutions of many of the difficulties which occur, and
they would be the first to say how much they stand in need of political
guidance. This guidance they have not had, I think, in any effective form
-in any form worth speaking of-for more than a year, and we have paid
pretty dearly in all sorts of directions for the lack of this essential element
in our organization.
Take the Kluang court martial; and all that business there. With my
immense Army experience, with all the Secretaries of State for War I have
seen, criticized or applauded, I cannot understand how any Secretary of
State for War, coming into his office one morning and, presumably, reading
some of the newspapers, would not have said to the Army Council, or
whatever it may be, "Here you are going to try 240 men-since when has
there been a mass court martial like that? Look up the precedents." The
Cabinet would have to settle a question of that kind. Nothing of this sort
seemed to occur, and so we got into an extremely tiresome and vexatious
muddle which did not reflect very well upon the smooth and imperturbable
administration of our military law and justice, although I take this occa-
sion to say that I thought the first entrance of the new Secretary of State
to the House and his remarks upon this subject were by no means unbe-
I am sure that if he feels that he has to stand between the Army and
criticism and see that justice is done, there will be many opportunities for
him to make his tenure of the office praiseworthy and possibly even memor-
able. Far more serious is the total failure to produce a policy or scheme
in respect of the Army which can be explained to Parliament and which,
once understood by the country, can become a powerful aid to voluntary
recruitment. Failure, and failure worthy of censure, is applied to the
Government administration of the three Service Departments since they
came into power, and this failure has been demonstrated beyond contradic-
tion by the dismissal of two out of the three Ministers involved.

I have only a few more topics which I must touch upon, and these leave
the military, foreign, colonial, and Imperial spheres and come a little nearer
to our own affairs. We are relieved to hear that Ministers will
"prosecute with the utmost vigor the task of providing suitable homes for My people."
This is a day of rejoicing. Is this really true? Have they made up their
minds to turn over a new leaf?
Mr. Shurmer (Labor): Which is more than you ever did.
Mr. Churchill: I have passed more social legislation in this House than
any man before. I guarantee that it would have been possible to give a

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. CHuRCHIL]

far greater impetus and movement to the house building program. I have
more than once appealed publicly to the Minister of Health, and I am sure
that if he chose from now henceforth to be animated by the instruction
and statement in the Gracious Speech and let nothing stand in the way
of the largest number of homes of all kinds in the shortest possible time
by all methods for the largest number of people, he could even now regain
a great deal of the position and the hopes which were founded upon his
accession to office with his many undoubted abilities. Instead of that we
did not get the homes. We got insults every time. Every kind of insult
was flung out, not that we seasoned politicians mind what was said about
us by people for whom we entertain no respect. It is maddening for the
people who need the homes and houses merely to see the right hon. Gentle-
man working out his little party spites, as well as personal and class spites
which in the great position he now occupies he ought to have outlived.
I have heard him described as a new Lloyd George. Good gracious me, it
was certainly not by this kind of contribution that this former great Welsh-
man made his name a household word, which will long endure and be re-
membered in the homes of Britain.
We are also told that it will be the constant endeavor of His Majesty's
Ministers to alleviate the hardships and inconveniences of the housewives.
This again will certainly be a welcome change. Let me repeat the old
adage, "It is never too late to mend." There may still be a moment.
"Betwixt the stirrup and the ground,
He mercy sought, and mercy found."
So far during their tenure of power, in spite of the great power which they
wield and of the very severe measures that they are able to force upon the
working people, who have just voted for them in large numbers, and, there-
fore, give loyal obedience to much which they would otherwise not have
sustained and endured, they have in many ways made things actually worse
than they were in the war years. There have been arguments about food.
In the first year of peace it is worse than it was in the last year of war. I
am told that that will bear statistical and searching examination. By all
means let it be examined, and let us see what the figures are. I will even
put a question on the Paper if desired to elicit a written answer. It is very
gratifying to hear the Ministers in the King's Speech admitting their in-
tention to break with their evil past and to go forward and endeavor to
alleviate the lot of the housewife. But what is the substance behind these
declarations? The change of heart is very good, but what are the acts and
deeds by which they are to be accompanied? What is the first remedy for
all these misfortunes and for all these difficulties? What is the first step of
alleviation which we are promised in the Gracious Speech. It is the na-
tionalization of the railways and of inland transport.
Mr. Shurmer: You said that 20 years ago.
Mr. Churchill: I am not going to pretend I see anything immoral in the
nationalization of the railways provided fair compensation is paid to the
present owners. I profess myself, as the hon. Gentleman has reminded the

Debate on the King's Speech
House, in favor of this policy in 1919, but what happened? [Interrup-
tion.] . .
Sir Eric Geddes was placed in complete charge of the railways with all
the facilities and power which would have accrued to a State-aided na-
tionalized system. What happened? All that he produced in four years
was a very bad service for the public, heavy loss to the shareholders, and
the worst railway strike ever known except the one preceding the General
I must admit that this practical experience of nationalization-and we
do learn by trial and error provided we profit by our experience-damped-
I cannot say my usual-my early enthusiasm for this project. But the rail-
ways are only part of the problem. They were a very clearly marked out
public service, and one finds it difficult to see why the arguments which
have been applied to the Post Office could not equally be applied to the
railways, but now the whole problem is changed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]
It is changed by the enormous developments in road transport and haulage.
Here is a field of complications of the most extraordinary variety. Why
the Government should choose this particular moment to throw all this
new sphere into confusion and disturbance and make a large addition to
the National Debt in order to thrust the clumsy butter-fingers of the State
into all this intricate apparatus cannot be imagined, still less explained.
And that it should be represented as a Measure for alleviating the incon-
veniences and hardships of the housewife-that at any rate is a preposterous
fraud. The same is true of their projects for electricity and gas. We can
assure the Government that we shall meet the proposals for the nationaliza-
tion both of inland transport and of electricity with strenuous and uncom-
promising opposition.

The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I should like now to
turn to some of the points raised by the right hon. Gentleman opposite.
His speech started in one way and ended in another. I thought the end
was somewhat perfunctory. It seemed to me to refer to a number of mat-
ters which have been very carefully debated in this House-such matters as
houses, food, and the rest-and I am sure that if he had been present at
those Debates he would have known the answer to many of the questions
that were troubling him, and the reasons for some of our existing conditions.
The only thing I would say of the food situation is that everybody knows
that we are in the grip of a world food situation and that conditions are
much more difficult for this country than they were during the war; and
everybody-certainly on these benches-knows that despite all these diffi-
culties, broadly speaking, the mass of the people are better fed than in the
days of peace under a Conservative Government. There is far less mal-
nutrition, in particular of the children, the babies, and the mothers.

The Gracious Speech from the Throne dealt with some aspects of for-
eign affairs, of which I shall have a word or two to say later. I do not
intend to deal with it at great length, first of all, because we had a very

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]

extended Debate a very short time ago in which my right hon. Friend the
Foreign Secretary took part, and I do not think it is necessary for me to
add to what he said. I think he made very clear what our position was in
regard to Germany. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick
and Leamington (Mr. Eden) intends to raise this matter, and as he knows
very well it is not advisable to get up at a moment's notice without thought
and to make a speech on foreign affairs. With regard to what the right
hon. Gentleman said about Potsdam, I would remind the House that Pots-
dam was not the beginning of the chapter; there was a great deal said in
that chapter before at other Conferences, and when we arrived at Potsdam
we had to deal with the situation as we found it.

The right hon. Gentleman asked about the international trade Con-
ference, a matter that seems to trouble some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen
opposite however often we reiterate our position, which was made abun-
dantly plain at the time of the Coalition Government. I made it abundantly
plain again on 6th December, 1945, but, that being nearly a year ago, I
will repeat for the benefit of the House what I said then:
". .there is no commitment on any country in advance of negotiations to
reduce or eliminate any particular margin of preference. The position is that each
country remains free to judge in the light of the offers made by all the others, the
extent of the contribution it can make towards the realization of the agreed ob-
jectives. It is recognized that reduction or elimination of preferences can only be
considered in relation to and in return for reductions of tariffs and other barriers
to world trade in general which would make for mutually advantageous arrange-
ments for the expansion of trade. There is thus no question of any unilateral
surrender of preferences. There must be adequate compensation for all parties
affected."-[OFFIIAL REPORT, 6th December, 1945; Vol. 416, c. 2668.]
That is where the Coalition Government stood on that matter, and that
is where the present Government stand on it; and what somebody said in
another country makes no difference to the position we have taken up.

The right hon. Gentleman raised matters in regard to India and Burma.
I think he realized that those matters are better debated quite apart from
the King's Speech. Negotiations can go through the usual channels as to
when they should be debated. I would only say one thing. The right hon.
Gentleman drew a parallel between India and Europe, and suggested how
much better it would be if we had had some supernational authority, seated
at Geneva. I quite agree, but let us remember, if his parallel is to be exact,
that the people sitting at Geneva would not have been European. They
might have been Indians, they might have been Chinese; but if the parallel
is exact, they would not have been Europeans. It might have been much
better, but whether the right hon. Gentleman would have accepted it I do
not know. It is advisable to be exact in our parallel.
I must say that I regretted the right hon. Gentleman's statement with
regard to Palestine. No one knows better than he does the very great diffi-
culties. There has been no wobbling on this matter. We have been pur-
suing a policy which is in accordance with the Mandate. It may be said

Debate on the King's Speech

that the Mandate is impossible to fulfill, but we are bound by the Mandate
to have regard to the position both of Arabs and of Jews. We have been
striving earnestly for the co-operation of the United States in this matter.
We still hope that we shall get a representative meeting again very shortly
on this matter. It would be very ill advised for anyone in this Debate to
say anything that would exacerbate the position in that country, particularly
at a time when, as we all deplore, lives are being wantonly lost.
I would say one word with regard to the statement made in the Gracious
Speech and that is that we are continuing our dose collaboration with our
friends of the Dominions. I am sure that the whole House will welcome
the information of the Royal visit to South Africa. Their Majesties will
carry to South Africa the good wishes of the whole of the people of this
When I turn to the legislative program, the House will notice that we
make early mention of our need to increase our production, both for home
consumption, for capital goods and for export. A good deal of our legis-
lation is concerned with this problem. There are two matters which are
referred to which are specially concerned with our balance of payments.
One is exchange control. That is a difficult thing to measure and it will
be rather complicated, but it is vitally important that we should protect
our balance-of-payments position. We are, in effect, only going to carry
on the precautions that we had to take during the war, when the adminis-
tration was, as a matter of fact, carried on with remarkably little, if any,
Another Measure is also directed to a balanced economy, although its
purposes are more far-reaching. That is the efficient organization of agri-
culture. We must make full use of our land. We must have a prosperous
agriculture. We believe that the farmers and the farm workers should be
given a fair and square deal. We believe in fixed prices, assured markets
and a proper wagefixing machinery. I hope the House will welcome this
Measure, which is, I think, essential to our economy. We all know that
we have a very serious manpower problem. We have to utilize our man-
power to the best advantage. We want our workers to work well. We
want those who manage industry to manage industry efficiently. Hence,
we have the planning for the location of industry, to prevent again there
being the waste and misery of distressed areas. We cannot afford to have
wasted labor. We cannot afford to have large pockets of wasted labor in
which men stand idle for years.
There are two separate lines of advance indicated in the Speech. First
of all, there is the organization of two great services which are basic to in-
dustry and to the social life of the community, under national ownership.
First of them is electricity supply. Here we shall complete some of the work
begun in 1926 by a Government in which the right hon. Member for
Woodford (Mr. Churchill) was Chancellor of the Exchequer. That work,
unfortunately, was left incomplete at the time. The generation and main
transmission of electricity were very largely brought under national owner-
ship and control, but distribution was left out. The present system of a

British Speeches of the Day [MB. ATrrTEE
multitude of undertakings of varying size and efficiency is wasteful. Dis-
tribution is already half in public ownership. Although the right hon.
Gentleman says that he will oppose, I do not think there will be any oppo-
sition on principle, in view of the past of the party opposite on this matter.
We are really taking a further step forward to complete the integration for
the provision of fuel, heat and light. We took our first step in the Coal
Mines (Nationalization) Act. We are following on, on a good precedent.
On transport, again I do not expect any objection on principle. The
right hon. Gentleman has recalled his own past in this matter. He had
one of those flashes of insight which, unfortunately, are so often disregarded
by his own party. [An HON. MEMBER: "He was a Liberal then."] He was,
I believe, a Liberal; at any rate, it was disregarded by the party to which
he then belonged and by the party to which he now belongs. They were
often in coalition. The right hon. Member advocated the nationalization
of railways in 1918. He has had to wait 28 years for the Labor Party to
bring forward legislation to make a reality of his wise prescience. We have
to bring the right hon. Gentleman up to date.
The right hon. Gentleman justly pointed out that you cannot deal with
railways just by themselves. I recall that we had a London Passenger Trans-
port Act brought in by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the
Council. It was designed to deal with London, because if we had not dealt
with London, so far from it being the shoving of butter-fingers into a mess
the butter was so thick that nothing would have moved in it. Therefore,
that Bill, even after 1931, had to be adopted by the then Coalition Govern-
ment and put through, by a predominantly Conservative Government. That
Act gave expression to the truth that the various forms of transportation
must be complementary and not competitive.
We cannot afford to waste on competition services like that. In the
interests of the people and the industries of this country, we must have the
most efficient and economical organization of transport. A second line is
the effective organization of the area of industry which remains in private
hands. Very valuable work has been done by the working parties set up
by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. They had
the co-operation of employers and employed, and anyone who reads those
reports will learn a great deal. A Bill has been designed to give effect to
their recommendations-the recommendations of the trades themselves, of
the people who know how their trade should be organized.

Let me revert to the manpower problem. We are straitened in our man-
power. We must make up in quality what we lack in quantity. We are,
therefore, raising the school-leaving age. That will inevitably remove from
industry a number of young persons-it may be as much as 370,000 at first
on the average-but I am sure it will result in increased efficiency. We
cannot afford to waste our young life. If I am told that we cannot do this,
I am bound to remember that that plea was put up years ago when they
tried to remove little children from industry. I am quite sure that if this
country is to lead in industry, we must have a well educated population.

Debate on the King's Speech
There is another deduction from our working population which we
cannot afford to ignore. We cannot avoid it. We have large forces engaged
in clearing up the aftermath of war. Some of these commitments, we hope,
will be brought to an end in the coming year, but some remain. We hoped
to get some of these out earlier. If the course of foreign affairs had been a
bit smoother, we might have had some of them out. We have not exactly
realized our expectations, but we have to fulfill our obligations to our
Allies. The broad fact remains that whatever forces are allocated to defense
is a deduction from our manpower which is available for maintaining and
raising our standard of life. We have to calculate this out. Whatever we
do, that will be less than the wastage we had in the inter-war years through
unemployment. We have to strike a very careful balance. It is folly for any
country to try to keep more armed forces than their economy will support.
On the other hand, it is folly not to maintain what is necessary.
Our present position has been dealt with up to 1948 by the present pro-
vision for national service. It is extremely difficult to prophesy just what
forces will be needed in the future. We cannot look ahead. I was very
much impressed by what my hon. Friend the Member for Acock's Green
said. That is the policy of this Government and, I believe, of this nation,
to work for world government and to work for world security, and under
that, for disarmament. U.N.O. is the instrument we are trying to build up
to effect that. We want a great instrument of peace there, under which
all the nations will dwell in security, but that security has not yet been
achieved, and even at the start when it is, we must have some provision for
police forces-as you might call them-garrison forces to maintain ourselves
even under a United Nations organization, and we have got to make our
contribution to the United Nations organization. We do not know quite
what that will be. We cannot foresee it-there are these uncertain factors-
and yet we have at the present time to plan ahead. We must provide for an
embodied force-land, navy and air-and the reserves to be available in
case of need.
I would interpose one word here in reply to the right hon. Gentleman's
strictures on the Ministers in charge of the Service Departments. I shall
await with interest his substantiation of those charges. The Ministers have
been present constantly in the House, they have had numbers and numbers
of questions hurled at them and they have answered them, and I think that
the attack, particularly on my right hon. Friend the Member for Chester-
le-Street (Mr. Lawson) was really not worthy of the right hon. Gentleman.
The right hon. Member for Chester-le-Street had a most difficult task. He
had the task of demobilization. I have not the slightest doubt that he
contributed very largely to the success of that by the confidence the ordinary
rank and file had in him, and when the right hon. Gentleman talks about
failure and about our having to have a court-martial for mutiny, that is
not the first of its kind. Let him carry his mind back to what happened
in the year 1919. We have done a great deal better than that, and I do
not think it lies in the mouth of anyone to throw stones. The right hon.
Gentleman talks about monstrous maladministration. It is not an easy

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]
thing when forces begin to run down to keep them up to concert pitch all
the time. It is a very difficult process. When the time comes and the Serv-
ice estimates are before us, I am quite sure my right hon. Friends will give
a very good account of themselves to this House.
I want to advert for a moment to the proposals in the Gracious Speech
in regard to our Defense Forces. The old system was called the voluntary
system, composed of the Regulars. Part of these were men who liked the
life and were adventurous, but part of them-it is no good blinking the
fact-were recruited through their hard circumstances, their poverty and
their unemployment. Behind them were the Territorial and Reserve Forces
made up mainly of public-spirited citizens, though there was some pressure
of one kind and another even there. Throughout the inter-war period we
found a difficulty, particularly in the ground forces, in filling the ranks of
the Regulars and of the Territorial Army. We have now two new factors
to consider. First of all, the development of modern warfare has made
this country more vulnerable. We are now part of the Continent. We
can be reached by attack from the Continent. While in the past we always
had a long breathing space on which we could depend, that breathing space
is most unlikely to be available should any war arise in the future. The
logic of that is that while we keep our front line forces as low as we can,
consonant with efficiency and the jobs they have to do, we must have trained
reserves who can take their part right away without waiting for six months'
training. Secondly, we are faced today with a shortage of manpower. It
is the resolve of this Government, supported, I believe, by all parties, that
we shall pursue a policy of full employment, and therefore that economic
pressure that used to be the chief recruiting officer will not be applied.
On the other hand, we are making the conditions in the Services far
better and more attractive. In our Armed Forces we shall always need
the element of voluntary service, and I believe we shall get it. We must
have that voluntary recruitment. Conscripts are no substitute for long-
service people. In fact, voluntary enlistment and national service are com-
plementary. The Government's decision to continue compulsory service
is not due to a failure of recruitment. We want to do all we can for re-
cruitment, but having examined the matter and the position of our man-
power, we have come to the conclusion that we are very unlikely to be able
to depend on voluntary recruitment alone.
Secondly, we must have fully trained reserves. Now the details of the
scheme will come forward in a Bill in due course. The right hon. Gentle-
man indicated that it was right to give the country and the House an indi-
cation of our general proposals as soon as possible. I propose, therefore,
to set out briefly the features of the scheme which we shall propose to be
brought forward.
First of all, the obligation, as the right hon. Gentleman said, should be
general; there must be no getting out of it by anybody in a privileged posi-
tion. The only exemptions are that there must be provision for conscien-
tious objectors, but the conscientious objectors should not get a preferential
position through it-they must be treated fairly but not given preferential


Debate on the King's Speech

treatment.' Therefore, the obligation should be general. We do not in-
tend to apply compulsory national service to women.
There is the question of Northern Ireland. While the Government are
fully conscious of a desire of the majority of people in Northern Ireland
to take their full share of the burden of military service as partners of the
United Kingdom, they have come to the conclusion, after weighing all the
considerations that the best plan will be to follow the scheme adopted in
the National Service Acts and apply the new legislation to Great Britain
Now the second point to which I draw attention-the first was gener-
ality-is flexibility. The needs of industry vary very much, the needs of
the individual vary very much, and our intention is that there must be a
range of age of some six years for people engaged in apprenticeship or uni-
versity training-whatever the training may be. We shall have to go care-
fully into exactly what the conditions should be because, here again, we
must hold the scale quite fairly between those who are trained for profes-
sions and those who are trained in industry, and there should be an option
to take it within a period of years. It will suit some people to take it young
and then go straight on with their career. It will be better for others to
get their full training, particularly for a great many of the technical crafts-
men, of which the Services are in need now, and then go on with their
career. However, the point there is flexibility.
With regard to the period of service, we are working at the present time
to a period which comes down to one and a half years at the end of 1948.
It is difficult to lay down exactly what the time should be. We should pro-
pose to take power that it shall not exceed a period of one and a half years.
Whether we shall want that or not depends very largely on the amount of
voluntary recruiting and the condition in which the world is settling down.
I cannot insist too often on the fact that in all these matters we are dealing
with a vast number of entirely unknown factors. However, as at present
advised, I consider it will probably be wise to start at one and a half years
and to come down. I would rather not start at a lower rate and have to
go up. My hope is that it will be able to come down. Then, after they
have done this period of service, men would pass into the Reserve for a
period of years, into the Territorial Reserve Forces, and would be liable
for a certain period in the course of their period in the Reserve-not neces-
sarily so many days a year but such and such a time spread over the period
of their reserve, because the requirements are so different with regard to
the different Services and the different trades in the Services.
Earl Winterton (Conservative): Is that the voluntary Territorials?

The Prime Minister: I am just coming to that. These men passing into
the Reserve would pass into the Territorial and Reserve Forces. There
again you will need your Territorial and Reserve Forces, and you will have
your volunteer corps into which these will fit. The essential point is that
your Reserve Forces must consist of men who have had their full training.
Here again there must be close consultation with industry in order that it

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]
can be fitted in and do as little harm as possible to our industrial life and
to individuals and, of course, this training has to be something outside of
holidays. You cannot ask people to give up their holidays to do a national
duty. It will be something quite outside that. Let me say that time in the
Forces must not be considered as wasted. Much of the training today is
technical and it must be a training for citizenship as well as defense. In-
cidentally, also, during their course of training men will be doing the neces-
sary amount of training for A.R.P. so that in due course they will pass into
that Service as one of the available ones.
Now great steps have been taken already with regard to pay and condi-
tions. We have endeavored to bring the pay up to something comparable
with what people get in civil life. It is, therefore, utterly different from
anything we used to know in the old days when we talked of conscription
on the Continent, when people got about a farthing a day. They will get
pay which has been vastly improved, and increased amenities should go
forward pari passu with increased facilities for the increased population
under our reconstruction programs. Inevitably there is a time-lag there in
the provision of buildings, but, as has been indicated, the man who serves
in the Air Force, or in the Navy or in the Army must be given good con-
ditions. And then our Forces in this war drew more than ever on the whole
of the intelligence of the nation and on the whole of the powers of leader-
ship of the nation. We must have our Forces increasingly more and more
democratic. It is our resolve that this process shall continue, and thus there
will be a career open to the talents of those who wish to stay.
I am well aware that the proposals such as I have outlined are not likely
to be palatable. No Government would like to put these proposals forward
unless they were convinced that it was their duty to do so. Now we are
out to try to build up security in the world. We are prepared to make our
contribution to that security, but, as has been said, you do not get it by a
unilateral disarmament; you have to build up an ordered world, and a
world in which there are police forces able to prevent the rise of aggression.
At the present time we are not making as good progress, as quick progress,
as we could have hoped at U.N.O., although perhaps we have expected
more than was possible. We have to make provision, we have to plan.
The Services have to plan, business has to plan, education has to plan, in-
dividuals have to plan, and it is not fair to leave them in the dark. There-
fore, before the present National Service Acts run out, we have taken this
early opportunity of bringing these proposals before the country. We can-
not afford to take risks with the safety of the country. I am aware that
some of my friends have very strong conscientious opinions on this matter.
I cannot argue. We have to face squarely the new conditions that are far
different from those of the days before air power and long range projected
missiles. We should be much happier if we lived in the days before there
were these many inventions, there is nothing undemocratic in national
service. We are steadily increasing the rights of the citizen in his own
country. The picture of the proletarian with no rights whatever is out of
date and departed. The more rights we can give our people, the better;
but rights involve obligation. . .


HOUSE OF COMMONS, November 18, 1946

Mr. R. H. S. Croseman (Labor): I beg to move at the end of the Ques-
tion to add:
"And express the urgent hope that His Majesty's Government will so review and
recast its conduct of international affairs as to afford the utmost encouragement to,
and collaboration with, all nations and groups striving to secure full socialist plan-
ning and control of the world's resources and thus provide a democratic and con-
structive socialist alternative to an otherwise inevitable conflict between American
capitalism and Soviet communism in which all hope of world government would
be destroyed."
In view of the great public interest which has been aroused by the
tabling of this Amendment, I should like to start by stating to the House
as briefly as I can, the motives which impelled us to put this Amendment
on the Paper. I think there is no one who has failed to notice one remark-
able contrast between the Government's domestic and foreign policies. In
domestic affairs, the Government have pushed through with vigor and
determination the policy to which they were pledge. They have done it
a great deal faster than many people on the opposite side of the House
like, and without being afraid of being called doctrinaire, ideological,
totalitarian or even Communist by hon. Members opposite. The Govern-
ment have done this job with the full, enthusiastic support of hon. Mem-
bers on this side of the House, and the full, enthusiastic opposition of
Members on the other side of the House.
In foreign affairs the position is, obviously, different. No Government,
of course, could lay down before entering office a full blueprint of the way
they intended to go, but there was one central point in everything which
we, as ordinary candidates, and which the Government spokesmen them-
selves said. They affirmed that if a Tory Government were elected that
Government, in their view-and I entirely agree with it-would drift into
close association with the United States of America, and would, thereby,
render inevitable a division of the world into two ideological blocs which
would be a danger to civilization. They claimed-and I entirely agree with
them-that only a Labor Government could stop that drift into two world
blocs, and only a Labor Government could mediate fairly between Russia
and America-that only a Labor Government would want genuine friend-
ship with America, and genuine friendship with Russia. That was the
center-piece of foreign policy, on which the Labor Government fought the
Election. Hon. Members opposite may disagree with it. [HON. MEMBERS:
"Yes."] I am very glad that we are having disagreement at last. The fur-
ther we have drifted away from that central piece of policy, the more en-
thusiastic has been the support of the Tory Party for the Government's
foreign policy, until at last we get the impression on this central issue, that
not only is there a complete and exclusive Anglo-American tie-up, but a
tie-up between the two Front benches.
We are told now that one must be a crypto-Communist, if one criticizes
this foreign policy. Indeed, a Member of this House, according to a Sunday
newspaper, described us as "Communistic lickspittles." I think as a

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CROSSMANJ

Socialist he has managed to copy Communist abuse fairly well. Do we get
very much further by calling each other names on this sort of issue? Was
it not quite clear at the Trades Union Congress Conference in the debate
on foreign affairs that it was not crypto-Communists only who were dis-
mayed and distressed on this issue, but that this controversy was a burning
problem throughout the Labor movement, that there were certain circles
throughout the Labor movement who viewed with alarm this departure
from the central thesis on which we fought the Election. Then at the Con-
ference came the announcement on conscription which confirmed the delay
which was known to exist in demobilization. Consequently, hundreds and
thousands of people outside the Labor movement began to see that foreign
policy matters and began to see the relation between conscription and
delayed demobilization, and what was going on at conferences all over the
world. Foreign policy became a matter of life and death for the children
of ordinary people all over the country.
The reason why we tabled this Amendment was because we felt the
time had come to discuss this thing, not secretly, but where it should be
discussed, frankly and openly, on the Floor of this Chamber. We want to
focus attention on foreign policy and not to spread it to the issue of con-
scription. I should like to tell the House perfectly frankly that if the
Government's foreign policy is wrong, I think we should need conscription
all the more, and I am not prepared to deny this country arms because its
foreign policy is wrong. That is why I plead that it is essential, that the
issue of foreign policy should be differentiated from conscription, so that
we should be able to discuss this matter in one Debate, and the conscription
issue, which is a technical issue, in another.

In order to express myself briefly, I want to concentrate on one aspect
of this subject-the relationship of this country with Russia and America.
We all know that when the war ended the real test began. There had been
a great deal of publicity and propaganda during the war about the love
and amity between the countries, but under that propaganda, as we who
worked at headquarters know, the amount of actual detailed co-operation
between East and West was very small indeed. Compare the amazing
achievements of Anglo-American co-operation during the war, with the
pitiable achievements of Anglo-American co-operation with Russia during
the war, and we all realize that during those four years, while we were
allied in war, virtually nothing was achieved to break down the suspicion
which divides East from West. Directly the easy wartime propaganda of
love for the Red Army, love for the American Army and love for the British
Army was removed in Russia, America and in this country, there emerged
those two ideologies which, to my mind, have bedevilled international rela-
tions in the last 18 months.
Everyone knows that we here, with the possible exception of two Mem-
bers, dislike the Communist ideology. Why do we dislike it? Because
Communist ideology destroys democracy, because the Communist enters
democracy in order to get domination for his party, because he uses and

.The "Rebel" Amendment

exploits the freedom of democracy to achieve domination. If he does not
like a Government, it becomes to him a Fascist Government whether it is
democratically elected or not. We in the Labor movement know what the
Communists did for the Labor Party. In 1918, they destroyed the German
revolution, which, if it had succeeded, might have saved the world a lot of
suffering since. In 1933, it was largely responsible for the divisions in the
Labor movement. I remember the time in Berlin when we had Com-
munists and Nazis engaged in a joint strike together, because it was a strike
against the Social Democratic Government. Once again, it has started to
bedevil democracy.
I also want to speak on a second ideology, which a lot of people do not
recognize, and that is the ideology known as anti-Communist. That is
called a dangerous ideology to democracy and Socialism. It is the old trick
of saying that one is attacking Communism and then attacking everything
else to the Left of free enterprise. It is the ideology of anti-Communism
which I watched ten days ago in the American elections, in which the
pinkest liberal, the palest person in a trade union, was condemned as a
Communist and therefore voted against. Anti-Communism is as destructive
of true democracy and of Socialism as is Communism, and one of the jobs
of a Labor Government-and I believe that I speak here in complete agree-
ment with everyone on the Government Front Bench-is to fight the battle
not only against the Communist ideology, but against the anti-Communist
ideology which, while pretending to defend democracy, just as the Com-
munist pretends to defend democracy, demolishes it and destroys it in the
name of free enterprise, and destroys the trade unions, in order to enthrone
reaction and Fascism.
We have a double battle as a Labor movement at home and abroad,
and it is on the subject of that double battle that we have tabled this
Amendment and asked for the discussion this afternoon. There is only
one way to fight Communism and anti-Communism, and that is to provide
people with something better than either free enterprise or a Communist
regime. The Socialist knows quite well that it is not possible to suppress
either by force. Force is the medium through which Communism breeds.
Hon. Members opposite were in favor of intervention in Russia in 1919,
and that consolidated the Bolshevik regime if anything did. It cannot be
countered by force, but it is possible to put something better in its place,
and I have always believed that the job of the British Government and
particularly of a British Socialist Government, was to show the world that
it was not faced with the bleak and blank alternative of American free
enterprise or Russian Communism, but that there was a better way of
living, and one which all the peoples of the world would rather have, a
better way of living I believe which could be squeezed out by the struggle
of those two great Powers. That is what we believe, and we fought the
Election on saying that it was essential that a British Government should
remain free and independent to propagate the cause of the independent,
Socialist, democratic, constructive solution which everybody really wants,
and is afraid he will not get, because he may be compelled to join an ideo-
logical American bloc, or an ideological Russian bloc.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CnOSSMAN]

I do not believe that there is any dispute that we fought the Election
on this, or, on this side of the House, that that is the aim of our foreign
policy. I believe also that what divides this side of the House from the
other is that the aim of our foreign policy is to carry out in foreign affairs,
what we are doing in domestic affairs, and to offer to the rest of the world
that astonishing constructive experiment which we are carrying out at
home. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] One begins to observe the differ-
ence of opinion on foreign policy. There is nothing but enthusiasm for
this declaration of a principle which the Government share with me. That
was the policy of the Labor Government. What has actually happened?
In the course of the last 18 months the drift into two ideological blocs-and
they are now regional blocs also-has gone on steadily. One small country
after another has either had to make up its mind to link up, very unwill-
ingly, or, alternatively, is still being struggled over, being undecided to
which group it shall belong. A great war is going on in China. It is a
polite, Chinese war, but we all know that it is a war, on the model of the
Spanish war, between two groups fighting for the soul of a China which
does not want to be either on the American model, or on the Russian
model, but on its own Chinese model. That would be something which
they really want to have for themselves, but it is not happening.
In the second place, not only is the world thus divided but the rest of
the world outside this country believes that we have taken sides in the
struggle. It is no good just looking in England for this point of view.
Go to Paris or to any other capital in the world and it will be found that
there is no doubt there whatsoever that in the course of the last 18 months
Great Britain has lined up on the American side in the struggle. I am not
concerned for the moment to discuss whether that impression is correct or
not, but merely to record the fact that it is the impression which exists.
That is the reason for the widespread dispute with the Labor Govern-
ment of the people in Greece, Spain, France, and other countries all over
the world, who danced in the streets when the Labor Government came
into power-
Professor Savory (Ulster Unionist): They do not dance today.
Mr. Crossman:They do not today and that, in my opinion, is because the
Labor Government have given way to the views of the Opposition. An
even more disconcerting fact is that this gradual drift into the American
camp has occurred without any clear Government statement. There has
been only one really clear statement about British policy in regard to
America and Russia, and that was in the speech made by the Leader of the
Opposition [Mr. Churchill] at Fulton. That was a clear and downright
assertion of a certain policy. I can understand it; it is a constructive
alternative policy, stating that there should, be an Anglo-American alliance.
The Leader of the Opposition is consistent. He also voted for Bretton
Woods and the American Loan because he realized that there could not
be an Anglo-American alliance-[HoN. MEMBERS: "He abstained."]-he at
least understood that an Anglo-American alliance, as advocated from the

The "Reber' Amendment

other side of the House, was not consistent with Imperial Preference, and an
American Republican Administration. Hon. Members on the Opposition
benches will also have to make up their minds that it is completely unreal-
istic to talk of an Anglo-American-alliance unless they accept the economic
basis of that alliance which the American Republican majority in Congress
will demand.
What is the Government's attitude to the Anglo-American situation?
All we know up to now is that the Government have refused to disavow
the Fulton speech, but we do not know what that means. I believe the
people of this country have the right to know whether or not there is an
Anglo-American alliance, whether or not there should be one, and where
the Government stand in this matter. At the present moment no one
knows the exact relations of this country and America. We can only guess,
on the basis of the somewhat inaccurate observations which we are able to
make, but we do the best we can. I suppose that one of the ways, in which
one can judge relations with America is by observing how we act in the
matter of rebukes. Russia and Russian-controlled countries have received,
in my view, wholly justified rebukes, and there have been similar rebukes
for similar acts to the Government of the United States of America. Of
course, some people who believe in United States private enterprise think
that no such act could be committed by a Government like that of the
United States, but let me give two examples. The Russians attempted in
Eastern Europe to integrate the States there into their economic system, and
to subject them to the economic thraldom of Russia. Very properly, we
protested and fought against that. A few days ago, a treaty between China
and the United States was signed. I have never seen a treaty which more
brutally asserts the right of economic interference. Not one word has been
said about that.
A few weeks ago the Russians started negotiating to get control of the
Dardenelles. Once again we rightly pointed out that what they were
doing there would endanger the independence of Turkey. A very right
nd proper check was put to Russian expansion there. What happens in
the United States? That country brutally asserts that it is going to hold all
the bases it won from the Japanese, U.N.O. or no U.N.O. and that if the
U.N.O. Trusteeship Agreement is to be acceptable to the present Admin-
istration, it must include the right of secretly arming the bases, and the
right of forbidding aeroplanes to fly over them. 'We have not heard one
word from this country suggesting that we feel that that statement under-
mines the whole basis of the Mandates Commission-as it does. We can
only draw the conclusion there, that we are more closely affiliated at the
moment to the United States of America, than we are to the U.S.S.R.
I turn to another question, the relationship between the Armed Forces
of the two countries. I was assured in America that the Combined Anglo-
American Chiefs of Staff Committee still exists. I was told on relatively
good authority that the most secret intelligence is still pooled between the
two countries. Germany, Italy and Japan have disappeared. About whom
is that most secret intelligence being collected? If it is being pooled, is it
not committing us, de facto, to an alliance?

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CROSSMAN]

I come to the third point. I read in the American press-there was only
about an inch in the British papers-that it has been agreed to standardize
arms and equipment between the British and American armies. Again,
I would like to know if that is true. If it is true, the standardization in
peacetime of arms and equipment of the two countries is a far more power-
ful alliance than any scrap of paper. American commentators have been
quick to point out that it is a remarkable convenience for America. It has
been suggested by one commentator-and I would like to know the Gov-
ernment's reaction to this-that Great Britain will have to maintain a
conscript army, an army too great to be supplied from her own economic
resources and that if she puts into her factories all the manpower necessary
to maintain arms and equipment for that great Army, she will go econom-
ically bankrupt. Therefore, it is suggested that American factories might
provide the arms for the British Army. In that case, we shall have the
pleasant and interesting situation in which Britain provides the soldiers
and America the guns.
If all that is true-and I am anxious to find out whether it is or not-we
have an alliance with Russia on paper, and we are fully and exclusively
committed to an alliance with the Americans in practice. I cannot help
remembering my reading of what happened in the years before 1914, and
of the staff conversations between France and Britain. I remember that
certain members of the Government were not apprized of those staff con-
versations. That was in the days before democracy had really come.
Surely we should demand of the Government that before they commit us
to a series of ad hoc decisions of that sort, we should be informed of the
So the first purpose we had, in framing the Amendment, was to put to
the Government three quite specific questions:
(1) Will the Government disavow the proposals for an Anglo-
American Alliance, outlined in the Fulton speech?
(2) Have the Government agreed to standardization of arms and
equipment between America and this country? If so, will part of the
British equipment be supplied from America?
(3) Are staff conversations now proceeding between Britain and
The answers to those three questions will enable the House, the country
and the whole world to appreciate the extent to which Great Britain is
committed to an alliance with the U. S. A. I only add that we should like
the House to imagine the feelings of the Americans if it were disclosed to
them, that staff conversations were proceeding between the British and
the Russian staffs.
Now let me turn from those questions of fact, and try quite briefly to
elucidate what our relations are with those great blocs. I would like to
make one point straight away, which is that the main responsibility for the
drift into two ideological blocs is not that of this country. It is that of the
Americans and the Russians. I think the time has come for some very

The "Rebe'l Amendment

plain speaking on this subject with regard to both those great Allies.
Remember that General Eisenhower himself used to say that diplomacy
was no use between Britons and Americans, and that the best thing was
to say what you really thought. The time has come when some things
which are thought on this subject should be said.
The death of President Roosevelt-as we see on looking back-was one of
the great disasters of the world. It brought with it the disintegration of
all the progressive forces in America. The Democrats turned from being
a great liberal party under his leadership, to being a collection of vested
interests. It was thrown out of office because it was only that. After it
was thrown out, in that upsurge following the war, an upsurge closely
similar to our own, a Republican majority was established, pledged abso-
lutely to free enterprise. That majority is firmly convinced that only free
enterprise will work at home and abroad. There are no powerful, pro-
gressive forces left at the moment in America, as an effective check on the
At the moment, foreign affairs go more and more, in my view, into the
hands of very powerful, ambitious men in the Army and Navy Depart-
ments. We cannot pretend to know what goes on inside the American
Cabinet unless Cabinet Ministers tell us. I do not think that Mr. Wallace
is a very great witness as regards Great Britain, but I think he was an excel-
lent witness as regards America. Mr. Wallace gave us a very clear warning
of the imperialist tendencies of certain groups close to the Administration.
We have seen evidence of it in the demonstrations at Bikini, which were
not concerned with science as much as with a display of force; and in the
demonstrations of the American fleet thousands of miles from their own
bases, in the Mediterranean. Again I would like the House to imagine
what would happen if any other fleet had done the same thing near Amer-
ica. We have seen it, when the Yugoslav crisis was blown up and magnified
in America almost into a state of war. We have seen it in the blunt state-
ment about the Pacific Bases.
We have to admit the fact that we are faced in America with very dan-
gerous tendencies. We have to admit that those tendencies exist. We must
do all in our power to check and to control them. America must work out
her own fate. She has to go her own way. We Socialists know what the
result will be. We know that in a period of time there must be a great
slump and a second New Deal, and that gradually America will work her
way round to where the rest of the world is going. In this great interven-
ing period, it will be unwise to have too great an expectation of Ameri-
can economic co-operation abroad, and it will be dangerous if we base any
policy on the supposition that we shall get it. We have to try to get it.
We have to try to work with the Americans and understand them, and not
be impatient with tendencies with which we disagree. It would be illusory
to believe that there is an economic basis there for Anglo-American alliance.
Now let me turn to the other side of the picture. The other main cause
of the present drift into two blocs-in my view the second main cause-was
the diplomatic and propaganda offensive launched by the Russians against

British Speeches of the Day [MR. CROSSMAN]

the British Empire and the British Commonwealth. There has never been
a more disastrous mistake. It was calculated by the Russians upon the
basis that Great Britain was weak and that America was powerful and
hated the British Empire, and that there might be a chance of disrupting
the British Empire, and so securing Russian frontiers and Russian safety
forever. Exactly the reverse happened to what the Russians hoped. The
net result was that America swung into line and began her countersqueeze.
We have this process of squeeze and countersqueeze going on between these
two great blocs. In the course of this squeeze and countersqueeze, so far
as we can see from the outside, His Majesty's Government, under almost
irresistible pressure-I do not deny the difficulties of the Government but I
have to admit the facts-succumbed to that pressure to the extent of lining
up very closely with the U. S.A. In my view, that was-a tragic mistake.
I want to state briefly the reasons why I hold that view. There are four.
The first is if we line up with the Americans, and consolidate this bloc, we
shall have a perpetual armistice and no peace. There will be a perpetual
state of tension between two worlds in which vast armies have to be main-
tained by both sides-a state of tension like that which existed during the
Thirties when we were trying to organize collective security against Hitler.
The real issue we have to decide is whether it is right and proper to assume
that methods of collective security, methods of caging the beast, which were
wholly justifiable in dealing with Germany-because Nazi Germany was
bound to make war, war was inevitable and the only thing to do was to
prepare for war-should be adopted in respect of a country which only 18
months ago was our ally in war? If that is the assumption, then the Anglo-
American bloc and alliance is common sense. If we are to assume the
worst, and to assume that, we are then forced into that position. I do not
believe that this party or this Government can or ever will make that
The second reason is that the lining up of the Anglo-American bloc has
destroyed the parties of the Center and the Center Left in Europe. We
have watched the slow decline of the Socialist Party in France, and we have
watched the weakness of the Socialist parties throughout Europe. It has
sometimes been owing to internal weakness, but one major element which
has caused the weakness of the democratic socialist parties in Europe has
been the sense that the world is splitting into two blocs-American free
enterprise or Communism-and that the choice is between joining the
anti-Communist bloc or the Communist bloc. In the process of that
squeeze, democracy-the thing we all accept-is squeezed out. Our best
friends are disillusioned and feel that the only thing is to join either the
Communist Party, or the Catholics on the Right. That is the second rea-
son why this ideological bloc is injurious to this country.
The third reason is the weight of military commitments. It is already
clear that even under the present arrangement we are being saddled with
military commitments, including conscription, far too heavy to bear. I ask
the House to remember the parallel of France after the last war. The
French attempted to maintain great armies and to build the Maginot Line.

The "Rebel" Amendment

In the end that did not profit France, ourselves or America. We should
recognize that no policy which demands military commitments and equip-
ment which we cannot afford is tolerable or safe to this country or to
What is the real and basic problem? Underlying everything is the fear
of aggression. Every great Power fears aggression-the Russians, ourselves
and the Americans. I believe that every great Power today is more con-
cerned to prepare against aggression than to make peace. Who is going
to do the attacking? The only Power which has the economic and physical
potential is America. We know that democracy prevents a preventive war.
That is one of the great things about democracy-it prevents one commit-
ting that cardinal sin. Is Russia to commit the aggression-without the
atomic bomb or the economic potential, weak and devastated by war? It
is out of the question. We know that we are not going to do it either.
Why then is there this fear of war? I suggest, as one proposal to the
Government, that we should make the assumption now that there is not
going to be a war for some time at least, desist from staff conversations
outside the Commonwealth and not subordinate policy to strategy, and
put everything we have into the Socialist policy of building up Socialism
and democracy wherever we can.
Let us face the difference between the two policies. There is the Fulton
policy which regards Russia like Nazi Germany, and is seeking allies to
join in and suppress her when she tries to expand. The alternative is to
co-operate fully with Russia and America, refuse all exclusive commitments
on either side, and remain really independent, even at economic cost to
ourselves, and through that independence, to exert that moral influence
which alone can save the world. The great block and the obstacle to that
policy seems to me and to the other supporters of this Amendment to be
the impression in the world that there is an Anglo-American bloc. I beg
the Prime Minister to disown the Fulton speech once and for all. We
shall then have the support of all the countries in Europe which are waiting
for that declaration. France cannot move towards this country, while this
country is associated directly with America in an exclusive military under-
standing --
Hon. Members: Why not?
Mr. Crossman: It has been said that in putting this Amendment forward
we are forcing a Division which would weaken the Government. The Gov-
ernment know that that is untrue. We shall not force a Division today.
[Laughter.] Hon. Members on the other side who laugh might recall their
own tradition in the Thirties. If a Division is called and the Conservatives
support the Government, it will confirm the fear that the Labor Government,
despite their pledge, is acting in accordance with the Fulton speech. That
is not the wish of those on this side of the House. Our aim is different.
We realize the difficulties with which the Government are faced, especially
the economic problem which limits freedom of action. We believe that a
Socialist Britain which puts into effect an independent British policy and
refuses to join any ideological bloc is the only power which can break
the present deadlock and save this country and the world. We know

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]

freedom cannot survive in a world of either American free enterprise or
Russian Communism. We cannot, like either of those two Powers, seek to
dominate. We can seek to lead if we are bold and independent, and if
we put into practice abroad the principles of our domestic policy, we and
we alone can prevent the third world war. That is the spirit in which I
move this Amendment.

The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): I have listened with in-
terest to the speeches made by my hon. Friends the mover and seconder of
the Amendment, and I have read speeches made in the course of the last
few weeks by some of those who have supported it. I have heard some of
the other speeches delivered today. I think that this Amendment is mis-
conceived, is mistimed, and is based on a misconception of fact. If I had
known that all that was required was an answer to three questions, we might
have been spared this Debate, because all my hon. Friends had to do was
to come to me and ask me those questions.
I do not agree with the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S.
Silverman) in his estimate of what the people of this country and in other
democratic countries are feeling about this Government. I think that he
is projecting his own feelings too far. My hon. Friends have put down
an Amendment in which they condemn the policy of this Government as
being not that which a Socialist Government would pursue. The under-
lying suggestion is that the Government have not encouraged collaboration
with all nations and groups striving to secure Socialist planning. They
seek to support this thesis by calling attention to particular instances in
which they consider that the policy of the Government is wrong. In par-
ticular, some of them seem to condemn collaboration with the United States
of America-or suggest that we should not collaborate too much-and sug-
gest that instead, following a distinctive policy, this Government are being
subservient to the United States of America. That is entirely untrue, as I
shall show in the course of my speech.
It seems also to some that we are showing insufficient readiness to col-
laborate with Soviet Russia. That is also untrue. There seems to be some
third kind of thought in this Amendment that we should form a bloc or
group of Socialist Democratic countries standing up as a counterpoise to
Soviet Communism, on the one hand, and American capitalism, on the
other hand. Let me state emphatically that the Government do not believe
in the forming of groups and opposes groups-East, West or Center. We
stand for the United Nations. There are two other feelings which find
expression in this Amendment. One is that it is disconcerting to find that
British foreign policy secures support among members of other parties, and
therefore it must be wrong; and that there is a difference in the approach
of His Majesty's Government to home and to foreign affairs. It is suggested
that at home we pursue a Socialist policy, while abroad we do not. I will
deal with some of the particular complaints, and answer some of the par-
ticular questions that have occurred in this Debate, though a good many,
I think, have been answered before.

The "Rebel" Amendment

In my view-quite apart from a tendency to take a one-sided view of the
facts where everything that goes wrong, or a great deal that goes wrong,
is attributed to Britain-every gnat is magnified into troops of camels that
are swallowed. The fundamental misconception here is of the nature and
problem of international relations. In home affairs, a government com-
manding a majority can, as a rule-if they are all right with another place-
carry out their program subject only to the limitations of the conditions
obtaining at any given time. But in foreign affairs, however perfect our
policy, it can be carried out only in conjunction with other nations. We
can formulate a most admirable policy, the policy which we think the world
should follow, but we cannot get the world to follow it just by formulating
it because other nations have their views. We have to work with them,
and sooner or later, with whatever particular policy we go into foreign
affairs, we find that we are up against this question: "Shall I compromise
on this point, or shall I refuse co-operation and break?" That is the ques-
tion that every statesman has to face.
Take, for instance, our talks at Potsdam. Nothing would have been
easier than to have said to the Americans or to the Russians, "I disagree
with your proposals." Let me say, speaking from personal knowledge, that
I have known Jarge questions on which, as a matter of fact, the United
States of America and Soviet Russia disagreed with us-quite large ques-
tions. Hon. Members are entirely mistaken in thinking that there is always
a "ganging up": it is not true. It is quite easy to say, "I disagree with your
proposals; I refuse to accept them." What happens then? There is a break-
down, and one goes home glowing with virtue, but leaving the world in
Take San Francisco. A great many representatives disliked the veto;
we did not like it ourselves. The question facing us was not, "What is the
ideally best constitution for the United Nations organization," but, "Will
you have a United Nations organization with this disadvantage, will you
have no United Nations organization, or will you have a United Nations
organization without Soviet Russia?" Suppose we had come back from
San Francisco and said, "We have all the nations in, but we are sorry to
say we have not got Soviet Russia." What complaints I should have had
from my hon. Friends below the Gangway that we were "ganging up" the
whole world upon them. As a matter of fact we compromised and had
the veto. Then, of course, we are condemned for having the veto. If this
is so in major questions, it also arises in many matters of not such out-
standing importance. Compromise is the inevitable basis of any inter-
national relationship.

In these matters it is not just a question of obtaining agreement between
the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the U.S.S.R.-im-
portant as they are. There are other nations to be considered. We may
get agreement between a Big Three or a Big Four, but there are very many
other nations we have to consider. I was rather struck by a certain lack of

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE}
appreciation of the fact that there are more than three or four nations. The
other outstanding fallacy underlying this Amendment is that of over-sim-
plification of the problem-the idea that there is a cut-and-dried distinction
between the nations so that we should collaborate closely with some because
they are ideologically allied to us, and not with others. The fact is that
there is a very wide range among the nations. Some, notably Australia
and New Zealand, approximate closely to this Government both in their
economic and their political conceptions. Others are nearer our political
conceptions but further away in economy, and vice versa. In matters of
economic planning we agree with Soviet Russia. In certain specific points
of world economic planning, we find the United States in agreement with
us, but generally speaking, they hold a capitalist philosophy which we do
not accept. When it comes to a matter of what we consider to be democ-
racy-a matter of freedom of thought and of the individual-we agree with
the Americans and disagree with the Russians. Is it not inevitable, there-
fore, that there should be clashes of opinion, and that in order that the
affairs of this world should continue to march forward there should be com-
promise? We are, perhaps, more accustomed to compromise than some of
those with whom we have to deal, but compromise is the basis of a peace-
ful civilization. Conditions may oblige us to compromise and to yield to
the views of other nations, even when we consider our own policy to be
much the sounder.
There, again, we are faced with the question, "If you do not come to
an agreement, what then?" Let me add that in these clashes more often
than not it is not some matters of the interests of the United Kingdom, or
even of the British Commonwealth and Empire, which are at stake, but the
just rights of a small nation, or even the very principles of democracy and
freedom which we practice here, and which we wish others to have the
opportunity of enjoying. There, then, is the way in which I think we must
approach this question of our foreign policy and of how we are going to
apply our principles. In all these matters it must be remembered that we
are not acting as the representatives of an ideological abstraction but as
representatives of the people of this country. Some of my hon. Friends
are disturbed because the foreign policy of this Government is supported
on various points by hon. Members opposite. How could it be otherwise?
It was the previous Government, of which I and the right hon. Gentleman
the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) were members that
made the alliance with Soviet Russia. It was with the right hon. Gentleman
and other Members of all parties that we went to San Francisco and founded
U.N.O. Our policy is based on support for the United Nations organiza-
It was, perhaps, the most remarkable thing in the remarkable speech
of the hon. Gentleman who moved the Motion that he managed to get
through a speech on foreign affairs, giving the Socialist point of view, with-
out once mentioning the United Nations organization. But, in fact, the
principles on which this movement has always acted in foreign affairs-and
I have been some time in this movement-have been that we work for a

The "Rebel" Amendment

world organization, and not just for ourselves, or for one big Power or
one small Power. We believe in international organization in the interests
of peace, and we work for international organization for prosperity for the
whole of the peoples of the world. That was accepted, I think, by the whole
country when they accepted U.N.O. That is in the preamble of U.N.O.,
and since that is the basis of our policy, how can we prevent our being
There are other points of policy that arise from the geographical posi-
tion of this country and the British Commonwealth, and geography, of
course, is not altered by a General Election. It is the same with other coun-
tries. In France, whatever the color of its Government, there is always
anxiety about the Eastern Frontier. In Russia it is the same thing. She
considers her frontiers, the Black Sea, the Dardanelles, the Far East and the
Balkan Provinces. Not very much will be found to distinguish the policy
of pre-revolution Russia and that of post-revolution Russia. I am not say-
ing whether they are right or wrong, but I am saying that these things are
dictated by the geographical position in which a nation finds itself.

I rather got the impression from the speeches of my hon. Friends that
they have got a theory and they stretch out for facts to support it. I do not
think that they accept those facts which do not square in with the theory.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne [Mr. Silverman] quite honestly
put forward the point that he thought it was always the United States and
the United Kingdom against Russia. I tell him that it is not so but it is
just a mistake of fact. I notice from a speech of my hon. Friend the Mem-
ber for Luton (Mr. Warbey) that he had found it reported in a newspaper
that the Foreign Secretary had had a talk with Mr. Byrnes. My hon. Friend
jumped to the conclusion that we were "ganging up" with the United States.
There are plenty of occasions when the Foreign Secretary and M. Molotov
talk together, or sometimes Mr. Byrnes talks to M. Molotov. This is really
the ordinary practice, and it is not an exclusive conference in private be-
tween members of the Big Three, because any of the members of the Big
Three might have a talk with M. Spaak or any other statesman. That is
the way all essential business is done.
What are the topics discussed? I have very slight experience, but be-
lieve me, it is not a clash between these two against another at all. Some-
times one statesman has a suggestion to make to another as to how they
can best meet the wishes of a third. That third party may be one of the
Big Three or any member of the United Nations, but it is not just "gang-
ing up" whenever any ministers are seen together. That shows the kind
of suspicion which gets into the minds of people who adopt that thesis. The
talks may be with a Social Democrat or with a statesman of other views,
for in an international conference there must necessarily be talk with people
of different views. It is said that we are often found voting against Soviet
Russia and her near neighbors, and it is assumed that we are "ganging up"
with the United States against Russia. But in these matters it will not be
found that we have been "ganging up" with one country. An important

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE)

matter is discussed on its merits, and not infrequently we may be found
when the vote is taken, in the company of other democratic countries as
well, both inside and outside the Commonwealth. Our Social Democratic
friends overseas, I imagine, are just as good judges of our Socialist policy.
I think if our critics examined the question carefully, they would find that
when we have voted against Soviet Russia, although we may have been
wrong on one or two occasions, we were generally in the right.

What we endeavor to do in these matters is to try to reach a just and
fair solution. We put our case and it is voted on. Sometimes it is approved,
sometimes it is voted down, but we go on trying to get the best results we
can. After all these are democratic assemblies. We are working by the
methods of democracy. We cannot get all our views approved. I notice
there has been a great deal of complaint about our collaboration with the
United States of America in economic matters. Large parts of the world
are in great distress including the whole of Europe. Who are the people
who can help and who are helping Europe; the people who have the where-
withal to help us as we try to set the world and especially Europe on its
feet? It is the United States, and is it not natural, therefore, that we should
collaborate with the United States? Europe has been overrun, and indeed
almost every supply has been stopped. Large areas of Russia have been
made waste and that prevents her helping. Help comes from the country
that can give it, and yet this help is called American imperialism. I am
sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Luton for whom I have a great
respect should have allowed himself to be associated with that.
Mr. Warbey (Labor): The statement that I made in respect of Anglo-
American co-ordination was that it was a common practice for the British
and American delegates to co-ordinate their points of view prior to a gen-
eral discussion between the Big Three. Can the Prime Minister definitely
say that that is not the case?
The Prime Minister: Sometimes it is co-ordinated with one lot and some-
times with another and co-ordination of views before going into conference
is very, very frequent though the partners vary. I was dealing with another
point made by my hon. Friend. Large parts of Europe have been succored
and kept alive by UNRRA. The United States contributed 72 per cent
of those funds and this country contributed 155 million. A very large
amount of that has been spent in Eastern Europe. I have no doubt the
people of Eastern Europe are grateful, but it is a fact that their representa-
tives in Paris showed very little gratitude in applauding the accusations
made that these funds were used for political purposes.
Let me give another example that was put today. The United States
of America has concluded a commercial treaty with China. That was re-
garded as a terrible example of American penetration. I had not seen the
treaty so I sent for it. I have looked through it. It is an ordinary com-
mercial treaty, such as we make with other States, such as America makes
with other States and that Russia makes with other States. Why on earth

The "Rebel" Amendment

should this be singled out as an example of American imperialism, except
to support a preconceived thesis?
Mr. Crossman: It was singled out in order to show that the attitude of
America and China was not dissimilar from the attitude of Russia and
Eastern Europe.
The Prime Minister: I think if the hon. Member looks up his speech, he
will find that he said it was a gross example of penetration.
Mr. Crossman: Exactly.
The Prime Minister: It is not a gross example of penetration to have a
mutually convenient commercial treaty. Russia has treaties as well, treaties
of all kinds and they vary. I should also like to answer the other ques-
tions that were put by my hon. Friend. We are not pursuing an exclusive
Anglo-American alliance. We were asked why we did not deny the Fulton
speech of the Leader of the Opposition. Let me tell my right hon. Friend
again that it is not the business of the Government to get up and make
answers about speeches made by individuals however prominent. It would
keep us very busy. I should have to go through the right hon. Gentleman's
speech with a hair-comb, because as a rule, in his speeches, I find something
with which I agree and something with which I disagree. If the hon. Mem-
ber suggests that it has not been dealt with he is entirely wrong. The For-
eign Secretary has pointed out that we have no responsibility whatever. I
wish some people abroad would realize that speeches made by the Oppo-
sition are, quite properly, made on their own responsibility, and have noth-
ing to do with the Government. Secondly, we have over and over again
denied we were trying to form an exclusive American alliance. If the hon.
Gentleman does want it in black and white, I can say that if he considers
the theme of the Fulton speech was the establishment of an exclusive Anglo-
American alliance, then we do not agree with that point, and I really think
he ought to have found that out a little time ago.

The next point to be considered is our collaboration with the American
General Staffs. Surely people realize that we are still in occupation, jointly
with America, of parts of Europe? Is it so very strange that we should con-
tinue to collaborate with their General Staffs? Is not everybody aware
that during the war we integrated our armaments to a very large extent;
and is it not clear that if there is to be any standardization, it is a matter
that can be discussed? It is an extremely difficult thing to do, and it could
only be done and implemented under the security arrangements which we
are endeavoring to make under the United Nations organization. The
United Nations organization looks, in its setup, to this kind of collabora-
tion in regions. Then I am asked: "Why have you not had a similar ar-
rangement with the U.S.S.R.?" We should have been glad to have it; we
have been trying hard to get one. In February last we appointed our rep-
resentatives to try to get the Military Staff Committee of the Security Coun-
cil going, and again and again we have invited our friends of the U.S.S.R.
to come in. Unfortunately, they are still considering the matter, and they

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]

have not been able to come. But that is not our fault. We are trying to
work it under the United Nations organization. Why should it be thought
that' we are wrong if, in the interim, we have to make various arrange-
ments, as we have had to, all over the world?

Let me deal with another word that.has now been dragged in. It is said
that conscription has something to do with this problem. It really has
nothing to do with this problem. No one is foolish enough to suppose
that this country can measure up in armaments against either Soviet Russia,
or the United States of America. Our provision is for our ordinary de-
fense; and, as contemplated by the United Nations organization, for making
our contribution to the United Nations organization. Let me say that from
such talks as I have had with our friends among foreign statesmen I do not
think they would be awfully pleased if we said, "Yes, we will come into
the United Nations organization, but we are not going to put our armed
forces into the pool." We have to make our contribution, and we are pre-
pared to make our contribution. The idea of the conscription issue being
based on that is entirely false-as, I may say, is the suggestion that in con-
sidering what Forces we will have for defense we do not regard our own
economic resources. We have to do that. As I stated only the other day,
in considering the number of Forces one has to consider the economic power
at one's back. There again, a preconceived notion, leads the hon. Mem-
ber astray.
I have said that our policy has been based on a policy which, I am glad
to say, has been adopted by many people who do not hold our points of
view; that is, the need for world economic planning for prosperity. I can
remember the time-30 years ago and more-when I used to speak at the
street corners, and that idea was laughed at. It has been one sign of the
march of Socialist thought that in America, and in other countries, there is
the realization that if the world is to be spared the economic disasters which
often lead to war, there must be economic planning. We have supported
the various organizations designed to promote international collaboration
in dealing with these problems. That is sound Socialist policy. We have
always said it is no good just dealing with the question of war when it
arises. We must try to deal with the underlying causes of war, which can
be done precisely by positive, constructive world planning. Surely my hon.
Friend will agree we have taken the lead in that?
I regret to say that while our Russian friends come into some, they have
not yet come into all of them. I would like to see them taking part in the
Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Trade Organization
Preparatory Committee, the International Bank, the International Mone-
tary Fund, and the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization.
They have been warmly invited to come to all of these but have not thought
fit to come, which is entirely a matter for themselves. Are we thereby pre-
cluded from joining with other nations in trying to build up these things
which we need socially? It is the same with regard to the Emergency Eco-

The "Reber' Amendment

nomic Committee for Europe, with the coal organization and the European
Central Inland Transport Organization. I claim that in co-operating in
these social economic organizations we are carrying out Socialist policy.
Yet we never get a pat on the back for that. Why do not people call at-
tention to lack of co-operation by others?
We have encouraged, too, the Social Democrats in Austria, Germany
and Italy, but we have not done it exclusively, because we do believe in
democracy, and we do believe that people should choose for themselves,
even if they do not choose our way. It is conceivable that a number of
people might get together, even a whole nation, and might suggest that they
do not agree with our kind of Government, that they could not work it,
and that they wanted something different; they might vote 100 per cent
that for a whole year they should be under the rule of my hon. Friend the
Member for Nelson and Colne. That would not be the working of democ-
racy, but it would be the results of the working of democracy. That would
be what the people wanted, and they would get it. Therefore, in Austria,
Germany and Italy we have the position that all the anti-Nazi parties have
the right to organize and express themselves freely. Nothing could be more
disastrous for co-operation in the world than that for every nation, every
great Power, should select its own particular party as its protege. It would
very soon cease to be regarded as an expression of the will of a certain part
of the German people, or of the Italian people. It would be regarded as
an instrument of the occupying Power-and we know parties that are so
regarded today, and we know what influence they have.
We are facing immense difficulties in the world, only 15 months after
the end of a great war. No one who has studied history would expect the
course of events to be easy, or that any Foreign Secretary of any country
will have an easy time. The attacks I have seen made on the Foreign
Secretary are made often by people whose services to the cause of labor and
Socialism are as dust in the balance compared with his. He has the full
confidence of His Majesty's Government, and, I believe, of the great ma-
jority of the people of this country in all parties. I know this is shared by
democratic socialists in many countries of the world. You know, Mr.
Speaker, one meets foreign people, and one is perhaps a little apt to draw
too wide conclusions from meeting a few people. I am quite sure my hon.
Friend the Member for East Coventry was quite right in his view when
he reported what people in America were thinking. But America is a very
large place, and one can only see a few people. Now I could equally re-
port to the House what people in America told me they were thinking
about this Government; but I certainly would not like to make any sweep-
ing declarations as to what the whole of the United States was thinking
about this Government. Let me say again, with regard to foreign Ministers
and our Social Democratic friends abroad, that I meet a good many of them
and that they do not express the kind of views held by the hon. Member
for Nelson and Colne. On the contrary they often tell me how much sup-
port they have derived from the fact that we are facing up to things here
and from what we are doing.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is responsible not for his
own policy but for the policy of this Government which is based upon the
principle that we have proclaimed. In international conferences he has
shown great skill and wonderful patience. He has been subject to grossly
unfair attacks on his policy and to violent indictments and misrepresenta-
tions in this country. He has shown admirable restraint. I would not say
anything today to make his task more difficult. I am in very close touch
with him. I know how hard he is striving to get both our great Allies to
work together. He has never been one for ganging up one way or the other
but he has sought throughout to try to get results instead of merely the
satisfaction of dialectical triumph. Nothing could have been easier than
him to put in a devastating counter-attack against some of the little men
who are put up to vilify this country. He has a larger vision and a wider
aim. I have not the slightest doubt that if the policy put forward by my
right hon. Friend on behalf of this Government has proved acceptable, and
if it had been put into effect, the world would be a much safer and happier
place than at the present time.
There has been an allusion to the position in Germany. If we had that
for which we have been pressing all through, that Germany should be
treated as an economic whole, we should have a far better position now.
We have been pressing for that. Perhaps we kept hoping and pressing too
long, before we agreed to go in with the American zone and the French
zone. We have been criticized for waiting too long, but we still hope to
get Germany treated as an economic whole. We are seeking to work with
all our Allies, but I would say that if the policy of this Government as ex-
pounded by the Foreign Secretary had been put into effect, my hon. Friends
who are now censuring us would have been giving us their congratulations.
We have been doing our best. No doubt we have made mistakes, but I
would assure everyone in this House that we are devoted to the principle
of getting peace among all nations. You cannot do that by trying to divide
nations up into sheep and goats and having relations with one and not
with the other. You must bring them all in, on the democratic principle
that all those peoples have the right to decide their own lives.
After all, it was Britain who took the lead in the Social and Economic
Council. Britain gave the lead in submitting the Trustee Agreement.
Britain showed the way in the announcement on India. Britain and France
withdrew their troops from Syria and Lebanon. Why should we always
be criticized? My right hon. Friend has the right to know where he stands.
I hope that after this Debate my hon. Friends, who have ventilated their
views-I am sure sincerely held but views which I think do not correspond
with the facts and which are based upon profound misapprehension of the
inevitable conditions under which foreign affairs are conducted-will with-
draw their Amendment. It has been based upon a misunderstanding.
Therefore the proposal that we should change our policy is wrong because
we are today pursuing in the international sphere the policy of this Party,
which is based on international co-operation for peace, social justice and
freedom for all nations.

The "Rebel" Amendment

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, in my experience, is putting
forward faithfully the policy of the Government. No Foreign Secretary
has, in all his public utterances, shown greater understanding of the inter-
connection of international, political considerations. The position of the
ordinary man, woman and child is always in his mind. He puts forward
the views of our Party, which are both Socialist and democratic. He repre-
sents the characteristic British method of approach. He is not the slave
of abstract theory. He is a practical man of affairs seeking to get things
done. He is always fertile in suggesting ways of reconciling conflicting
opinions. He seeks to serve the cause of the people everywhere. I hope
that this Amendment will not be pressed, but if it does go to a Division, I
hope the House will show in no uncertain way that my right hon. Friend
has the support of the House of Commons.
[House of Commons Debates)

HOusE OF COMMONS, November 14, 1946
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Rt. Hon. Anthony Eden): I be-
gin my observations on foreign affairs by plunging at once into a subject
which I am sure interests most hon. Members in all parts of the House at
this time, namely, the question of Germany. The situation in the British
zone in Germany rightly gives rise to the deepest disquiet in this country.
A little while back the Government claimed that they had won a victory
in the battle of last winter. I think that is so. But it is equally clear that
the battle of this winter is going to be infinitely sterner. I submit to the
House that it is difficult to exaggerate the importance to this country of a
successful administration of our zone in Germany. It is not merely a matter
of reducing the present heavy burden upon our own strained resources,
though everybody admits that is important enough. It is, as I conceive it,
a matter of maintaining in Europe, and particularly in Germany, the
British reputation for fairness, for honesty and for mercy. We won that
reputation with victory, and it was enhanced by the bearing and behavior
of our soldiers.
The first question to which I would ask this House to address itself in
connection with Germany is: What is it that we seek to do? I would
recall to the House, if I might, a statement which I made, with the full
authority of the War Cabinet at the time, in 1941, when our fortunes were
very low in the war and when we thought, for that very reason, that it was
desirable to define then, when hatreds were strong, what our policy was
towards Germany. This is what, if I may quote it, I then said:
"In the military sphere it is our bounden duty to ensure that Germany is not
again in another 20 years in a position to plunge the world into misery and horror
of total war. It would be criminal to neglect any precautions to ensure this ....
Our conditions of peace for Germany will, therefore, be designed to prevent a repe-
tition of Germany's misdeeds."

British Speeches of the Day [MR. EDENJ

That was one half of the problem. I then said:
"But while these military measures must be taken, it is not part of our purpose
to cause Germany, or any other country, to collapse economically. I say that not out
of any love of Germany, but because a starving and bankrupt Germany in the midst
of Europe would poison all of us who are her neighbors. That is not sentiment, it
is common sense."
Mr. Stokes (Labor): What was the date?
Mr. Eden: It was 29th July, 1941. Those are the words I then used
with the authority of my colleagues, and I think they should still be the
foundation of our policy. Of course, I admit at once that while we as a
country can express the opinion of what we want to achieve in interna-
tional affairs, we cannot always secure the results which we ourselves want
to see. Of course, that is true. Before discussing how to proceed, it is as
well to decide where we want to go. I suggest those words at least express
where we want to go.
What about the method of going there? I would like to put one or
two questions to the Government, under separate heads, about Germany,
about our policy and about our administration. In the first place, are we
pursuing a policy which is adapted to the present facts? The Government
have struggled to fulfill our engagements. But I suggest that the time has
now been reached-if it has not come long before-when the Government
must surely face the fact that we cannot fulfill our obligations under inter-
national instruments if others are not prepared to do the same. This
applies, I suggest, particularly to the treatment of Germany as an economic
I have seen a report today, which I trust is true, that some shipments
of wheat from Russia are being made to the British zone. I hope the
Government can give us some information about that. However, it is
essential that this supply should be continued on a really substantial scale,
for-and this is what I want to draw to the attention of the House and of the
Government-so far this vital balancing element of the Potsdam Agreement
has never been pressed at all-never. What we have been doing-and per-
haps the right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong-is to take,
or to destroy, plant from our zone to meet reparations claims, while that
plant is needed for current production to meet the heavy deficit on our
current balance of payments, which we in this country have to make good.
As far as I understand it, that is what is going on now. It seems that we
are still continuing these reparations deliveries, or at any rate still continu-
ing to dismantle industrial establishments for reparations deliveries.
This is quite apart from the fact that, until very recently, no contribu-
tion of any sort or kind, as far as I know, had been made by our Russian
ally to treat Germany as an economic whole. If I am right in my descrip-
tion of those conditions, it is not very surprising that they have given rise
to deep despondency in the British zone, so we are told, among all thinking
Germans and, in particular, among those Germans to whom we have to
look to establish a true democratic system in Western Germany. I hope
that the Government in the course of this Debate will give us a clear re-

The British Zone in Germany

statement of how we stand in respect of this question of the continued
removal from our zone in Germany of industrial plants which are essential
to the economic life of that zone.
The right hon. Gentleman may say to me, "That is all very well. The
analysis may be right. But what would you do about it?" I think we
have the responsibility of making some constructive suggestions, and I pro-
pose to try to do so. I would say, first of all, that, in my view, this question
of the removal of plant from our zone must be considered, first, in the
light of the contribution made by our Allies. Unless that contribution is
full and adequate and continuing, there should not, in my judgment, be
any further deliveries of plant at all. On the other hand, if others do make
their contribution in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam Agreement
-which has not yet been done, and there is much leeway for them to make
up if they are to fulfill the Potsdam Agreement-we should consider to-
gether how we can make an ordered plan-the Allies together-which would
ensure the continuation of Germany's economic life. The Potsdam Agree-
ment, whatever its merits or its demerits, must stand or fall as a whole.
It has no merits if it is applied only in half. That is precisely what is
happening at the present time, as far as we have been able to judge.
There is another aspect of the German situation to which I want to
refer. A great deal has been said about the Potsdam Agreement, but I
believe it is true-the Minister can correct me if I am wrong-that, at the
present time, the production in our zone in Germany is at nothing like the
level which the Potsdam Agreement and subsequent agreements allow.
Take, for example, the steel industry, in which, I think I am right in say-
ing, the production is only today something between 25 per cent and 30
per cent of what is allowed by the Potsdam Agreement; and I believe that
similar figures can be quoted about coal. In other words, I am beginning
to think that the Potsdam Agreement has been made the pretext for failures
attributable to entirely different causes; and that, indeed, appears to be,
in part, the conclusion of an article in the New Statesman to which I am
going to refer in a moment or two.
The third point I want to examine-and I think it is for us in this
House, perhaps, the most important of all-is the question of our admin-
istration in the British zone in Germany. I admit at once to the Govern-
ment that it is extremely difficult for those of us who have no access to
official sources of information to get proof of the true competence or other-
wise of any administration when that administration itself alone knows all
the facts. That sometimes applies to domestic affairs as well as to other
branches of activity. We do not know those facts, but I think it is not
unfair to say that there has been an overwhelming volume of evidence,
from reliable observers of all shades of political feeling, to the effect that
our administration of the British zone in Germany is falling down on its
I fear so. In the first place, I do not think we have got everywhere the
best men doing the job. The quality of the Control Commission's staff is
by no means uniformly good, to put it mildly. Secondly-and I would ask

British Speeches of the Day [MR. EDEN]

the right hon. Gentleman to consider this, for, I think, it is fundamental
to the difficulties into which we are now getting-in the manner of our
administration we seem to be falling between two stools. We have not
the resources in manpower to administer the zone in detail ourselves. On
the other hand, we have not taken the necessary steps to hand over the
administration to the Germans, subject only to supervision, at a high level,
by a small but efficient and competent British staff.
What has happened, as far as I can learn, is that the administration
shows signs of over-government in detail, while in some instances too heavy
a burden is being placed upon the limited staffs. It is difficult to produce
concrete evidence, and the statements of even responsible German leaders,
I fully admit, must be treated with the greatest caution. But I think there
cannot be much doubt in the mind of the House that the majority, the
greater part, of the evidence we have had to date has been to the effect
that we are not running our zone well.
A number of articles have been written in the press of all shades of
opinion, which I have been studying in the last few weeks, and which, I
admit, have greatly disturbed me. I should like to mention one in the
New Statesman-not a newspaper which I often quote-about the situation,
which has obviously been very carefully documented. There are just two
passages, very short ones, I would quote to the House. One says:
"The fact remains that, instead of improving, conditions in the British zone
have rapidly deteriorated; and that one reason why German industry does not revive,
in spite of Ministerial promises, is that the inefficiency of an administrative machine,
with no Ministerial authority resident in Germany, working with vertical branches
which run parallel and seldom meet, is aggravated by the prevalence of corrupt
That is a very serious charge to be made by any newspaper about any
British administration anywhere at any time. The next passage I would
read says this:
"In part, the trouble is bureaucratic. While in some branches, particularly the
educational and other cultural divisions, British administration is seriously under-
staffed, in others, above all in the trade and industry division, we maintain an
absurdly large army of officials. Responsible observers say that 5,000 trained officers
could do the whole job of German administration properly with the help of a
competent German staff, whereas, in fact, we have some 26,000 officers, a large number
of whom have no serious public duties to perform. In order to justify their posi-
and this has a ring of something nearer home-
"they multiply the rigmarole of permits, write countless letters, and perpetuate the
myth that recovery is retarded by fear of a revival of German nationalism, or by
agreements made under Potsdam. In fact, Military Government is itself retarding
the revival of peaceful German industry, which is necessary if Germany is not to be
a permanent burden to the British taxpayer. Factories are closed down in many
cases not because of Potsdam, but for other reasons, which are sometimes obscure
and sometimes disreputable."
I do not know whether those charges are justified or not. I have not the
information to allow me to judge, and I do not believe that hon. Members
of this House have the information. I admit that to the Minister, but I do
say to him that it is up to the Government to give us information on those

The British Zone in Germany

I would also make some other constructive suggestions which should
enable them to meet charges of this kind, because they cannot be ignored.
It is not only one paper. I have here the Manchester Guardian-and their
correspondents are always very well informed-which reports the dosing
down of what appears to be the last remaining soap factory in our zone in
Germany. It is dated 8th November, and gives a long account stating the
consternation which that is causing. Again, in The Times, certainly not
a newspaper which can be regarded as unfriendly to His Majesty's Ministers,
I find this quotation on the fuel position:
"It is, however, impossible to establish from British sources whether or not
there will be fuel in the homes of the region this winter. The provision of coal is
a zonal responsibility, the provision of wood is a regional affair, and at present there
is no British official in the region co-ordinating the two ends of the scheme."
That is a pretty serious indictment from The Times correspondent in Ger-
many. Finally, because I must go to the source which has the most effect
on Ministers, in the Daily Herald I read this comment about the general
situation, which, I think, as a comment on the situation, is pretty grim. In
the issue of 12th November, they say this, and I think the House should
consider it:
"British civilians now serving in Germany will man armoured cars under the
new emergency* instructions circulated to Control Commission and Rhine Army of-
ficers. A second set of instructions issued within the past few weeks-"
These are civilians, mark you-
"are designed to meet any German disorders arising in the British zone from famine,
and envisage the use of Bren guns, Sten guns, rifles and revolvers by British person-
nel in the event of mutiny."
I only say that if steps like that have to be taken there is something seriously
wrong. The right hon. Gentleman may say, "It is all very well for you to
quote all these things, but what do you propose to do about it?" Again, I
would like to make some concrete suggestions.

First of all, I would say to the Government that they should without
further delay send out to our zone in Germany a Minister, who should be
of Cabinet rank, who has had experience of administration, and who has
good political judgment, to assist the Commander-in-Chief in his most
onerous task. To do this, as the right hon. Gentleman knows very well,
would create no precedent. My right hon. Friend the Member for Alder-
shot (Mr. Lyttelton) served in that capacity with the Commander-in-Chief,
Middle East, and so did my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley
(Mr. H. Macmillan) with the Commander-in-Chief in North Africa and in
Italy. I am sure Members of the last Government would agree that there
is no doubt that those were both very valuable appointments. It was, as
a matter of fact, when I was in Egypt iii the spring of 1941 that the then
Commander-in-Chief, Lord Wavell, himself asked me whether it would not
be possible to send out a political Minister to assist him in his wide Middle
Eastern sphere and in his many political and supply problems. I know
that the military authorities have often welcomed such appointments in the

British Speeches of the Day [MR. EDEN]

past, and I feel sure that if the Government would choose the right man
they would get good value from his services now.
This is not offered in any spirit of criticism, it is intended to be a con-
structive suggestion, and I do beg of the Government to consider it. At
least I would say that it is indispensable that they should make such an
appointment in the situation in which we now find ourselves. Of course,
the Minister would reside in Germany, and his responsibility would be a
continuing one until the present era of anxiety is past. His first job would
be to examine the situation as he found it on the spot, and, if necessary-
and I think he would probably find it necessary-to call for further help
in the discharge of his responsibilities. It might be that he would want
to make an inquiry into the administration. I have not proposed an in-
quiry to the Government today because I think that they would do better
to send the Minister to the place to do the job for them, and to decide
whether he wanted an inquiry, and, if so, what form it should take. Some
action of that kind seems to me absolutely indispensable if the information
which reaches us in all the press of the country is really founded and jus-
Finally, before I leave the subject of Germany, I would like to ask the
Government one question about the food position, if they can reply. Last
May, on the 23rd, the Lord President may remember that he spoke in this
House about his visit to America and he said:
"So far as Germany is concerned they"-
That is to say, the United States Government-
"have accepted a proposition that there should not be a starving or more underfed
British zone in Germany side by side with an American zone which is getting
assured food supplies, but that both zones shall work to the same standard of ration-
ing and shall have the same degree of assurance that their supplies will not suddenly
come to an end."-[OrFFIIAL REPORT, 23rd May, 1946, Vol. 423, c. 542.]
I ask whatever Minister is to reply, what has happened to that undertak-
ing? As the House knows, or as we are told in the press anyway, there is
at the moment a grave food crisis in our zone in Germany, quite how grave
it is difficult to tell. I hope we shall have an official statement from the
Government today. I notice that the Daily Herald, again my final au-
thority in these matters, has described the situation in our zone as "des-
perate." I ask, if it is desperate, how does that square with the assurance
which the right hon. Gentleman got from the American Government last
Further, why it is possible that so soon after the harvest the position
should have become desperate in our zone? If we have an arrangement
with our American neighbors, and if, as I understand, the harvest was, in
fact, locally a good one, one could understand the food position becoming
desperate, say, next Spring, but it is almost impossible to conceive how it
can become desperate now unless there is maldistribution, which in itself
means bad administration. All these are matters upon which we should
like further information. . .

The British Zone in Germany

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hynd): I would
like to begin by saying how much I welcomed the intervention of the right
hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden).
He raised the subject of Germany, which I and every Member of the
Government agree is one of the most vital questions and, as has been said
by other hon. Members, is the keystone of the world situation at present.
It is, therefore, proper that concern should be shown in the country and in
the House at the situation which exists in Germany. But, if I may say so,
it is a situation which has not developed recently but which has been in
existence in an equal and even more intense form for a very long period.
When facing that situation and, as we and the press are entitled, trying to
find in which way the situation can be improved, and, therefore, looking
for points of criticism, we should bear in mind clearly the background of
the situation and the causes of the difficulties which the administration
must necessarily face. I have already referred at some length in previous
Debates to the conditions which met our occupation Forces when they
entered Germany. I do not propose to go over that ground again, but I
think it desirable that the House should be reminded of the colossal and
fantastic destruction and dislocation in all branches of life and economic
activity which existed in Germany when our Forces first entered the coun-
try and which continued to exist for a long time afterwards.
All who have witnessed the scene of desolation that is today, Germany,
have agreed, and have borne witness to the fact, that the conditions are
without precedent in any modern industrial country. Industry was non-
existent; transport was completely demolished, and a housing situation ex-
isted which was not comparable with anything we have known in this
country. There was the desperate food situation with which we were met,
the collapse of the coal industry, the destruction of the land, the destruction
of communications, the terrible shortage of valid manpower, the terrific
complications of the financial situation-which, incidentally, have not yet
received, possibly, the attention they might have had in the various Debates
on this question-and the breakdown of law and order. In addition to
facing that situation our occupation Forces, the Control Commission and
the occupation troops, had also to deal with such complicated problems as
the de-Nazification of this very widespread area, the problems of demobiliz-
ing millions of Wehrmacht troops, the terrible distribution problem, the'
question of maintaining and saving the health of the area, the question of
dealing with youth, education, juvenile delinquency, crime in general and
the vast question of scarcity. I think all of us will agree that, to develop
a planned economy or an expanding economy in the postwar world in any
country, even without any of the restrictions or any of the complications
existing in Germany, which I have mentioned briefly, is not an easy task.
I think it is true, and I think most hon. Members, certainly on this side
of the House, agree, that today it is in precisely those countries where strict
economy should be practised, that it is found sometimes most difficult to
organize and plan production and distribution. How much more so must
that have been the case in the scene which I have so briefly described?

British Speeches of the Day [Mi. HYND]

Added to that there were the world shortages with which our people had
to deal. It has been a commonly accepted theory that in these world short-
ages Germany and other ex-enemy countries must be at the end of the
queue. There were shortages of food, shortages of fertilizers, shortages of
seeds, and shortages of raw materials of all kinds. In addition to that we
had to consider, in the economic development of that country-which meant
to begin with, the development of the coal industry-the desperate needs of
our Western Allies. For instance, at that time France was not in the posi-
tion it is in today; and the other Western Allies were equally dependent
upon urgent supplies of German coal. Our coal policy-the exporting of
the vast quantities of coal from the restricted production that it was pos-
sible to achieve-was a deliberate policy, deliberately designed to assist in
the urgent reconstruction of our Western Allies; and I think that in that
policy we have been eminently successful. We have made our contribution
at considerable cost to this country, and at considerable cost to the imme-
diate rehabilitation of Germany, but we have no regrets for having pursued
that policy to date.
On top of that, we had the sudden emergence of a new problem, the
mass deportation of the Volksdeutsche from the Eastern territories, repre-
senting some million and a half people pouring into the overcrowded
British zone, where there was such a desperate shortage of accommodation
and production, and such destruction of the necessities of life.
I admit freely that we had delays and difficulties, inseparable from the
quadripartite administration. There were delays, there were difficulties,
and there continue to be delays and difficulties. But surely that situation
was inevitable? I do not think any hon. Member would suggest that we
should have gone into Germany, in the spirit of each of the four occupying
Powers endeavoring to establish a new State, and a new economic entity in
its own particular zone. We went in in the best of good faith, for the pur-
pose of establishing a central economic unity, and, as soon as possible, a
central German administration with whom we could deal. It was an
inevitable situation, and we have tried to keep faith. We have religiously
followed our obligations under the policy laid down at the Potsdam Con-
ference for the purpose of achieving these ends.
Mr. Stokes (Labor): My right hon. Friend says we went in for the pur-
pose of fulfilling the quadripartite arrangement. I have asked him Ques-
tions before-about why the other members of the quadripartite arrange-
ment should not fulfill their obligations. How long do the British
Government propose to continue to try to do so, when others are not
doing so?
Mr. Hynd: Obviously I will deal with that. I was dealing with the pur-
pose for which we went into this quadripartite setup, and I was proposing
to develop the theme in due course. As I said at the beginning, the present
situation is not a new one. The present problems which have arisen in
regard to food and in regard to the development of German economy are
not new. I think I have said enough to indicate that in the 12 months

The British Zone in Germany

which have elapsed-indeed, somewhat more, but I am talking in terms of
the establishment of the civilian Control Commission under my jurisdic-
tion-we have been engaged in a very difficult and very bitter struggle to
try to drag Germany out of this tremendous difficulty which she had to face.
I go so far as to say that in these conditions the maintenance of the present
health standards of the German people, low as they are, and the mainte-
nance of regular distribution of rations, low as they had to be at certain
periods, have been something of a miracle in the context that I have
Before today we have been faced with a situation where there have been
practically no stocks of wheat. On numerous occasions we have had to face
a situation where we had 10 days' supply, and even three or four days'
supply. Any Food Minister, in any country with transport and communi-
cations intact, and with a complete food ministerial organization, spread
all over the country, would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to
maintain regular distribution in such conditions. Whereas, the maximum
number of staff at any time in the Food and Agricultural Division-which
represents in Germany our Ministry of Food-has not exceeded 500 to 600
at the most, and the establishment is now no more than 386. With the
transport difficulties and other difficulties which I have described, the fact
that we have maintained distribution, that we have prevented a complete
breakdown, and that we have prevented epidemics, is, I think, to the credit
of our representatives who have had to deal with that very difficult situation.
At times we have had to have recourse to certain alternative foods.
When wheat broke down, we have had to make purchases of dearer foods,
and less substantial foods. But we have had no alternative, and that has
not assisted the reduction of the notorious 80 million deficit, of which we
have heard so much lately. We have had no alternative but to purchase
the dearer foods and distribute them in order to maintain life in the popu-
lation. At certain stages last year, when there was a threat of a complete
breakdown, we have been in a position where it has been possible to divert
to Germany a ship that was on its way to this country, and to pick up a
ship that was on its way to Germany a week or so later. However, that
situation has now changed, and it is not possible to do that, because British
shipments and British food reserves have reached a low ebb at which, even
if shipments were current, it would be extremely dangerous for this country
to engage in those operations. We have had to turn to many other methods
of meeting this situation from time to time.
We have heard a lot about fish. The House is probably not aware of
the remarkable fish operation that took place only a few months ago, when
it was known that there was a glut of fish in the North Sea, and when there
were no refrigerator vans in Germany, and no facilities for smoking or cur-
ing the fish. There were very inadequate transport facilities, but by Her-
culean efforts we were able to'mobilize all available transport, road, rail
and so on, and concentrate it at the docks to collect the wet fish and dis-
tribute the fish evenly throughout the zone over a period of weeks.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. HYND]

Mr. Boothby (Conservative): Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to in-
terrupt him? Is he aware that for the last week, herrings have been rotting
on the quay at Lowestoft; and, furthermore, that the herring fleet has been
tied up in port for the whole of last week?
Mr. Hynd: I am not aware of all of that. I am aware there has been a glut
of herring at the East Anglian ports, and I am also aware of the fact that
steps were immediately taken to deal with that situation, in so far as trans-
port was available. What we had to do was to try to divert trawlers from
German fishing ports, themselves catching fish, and to rush them over here;
and, when the ships were ready the surplus had disappeared, and there was
no longer a glut.
This machine is ready to deal with any such situation. We have faced
it before, and can do it again. It has been only by such methods that
we have been able to carry the situation until the present day. I, therefore,
have no apologies to make for the statement which has been thrown back
at me so often, and which I made at a press conference a few months ago,
that we had won the battle of the winter last year. We had more difficulty,
in some respects, with the battle of the summer, when the ration of 1,550
calories was reduced to 1,050, which was a very serious blow. But we had
no alternative. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for
Warwick and Leamington that we are now facing another grim winter, but
I do not share his apprehension that the battle is going to be so difficult
as the last one because we have cleared a lot of ground; we have restored
German transport, rail transport in particular, which did not exist last
winter; we have reached agreements with certain of our Allies which
should, if carried out faithfully, enable us to make much quicker progress
with the rehabilitation of German industry and with the production of
food. What I have said, I think, represents no small achievement. It is
an achievement that, I submit, could not have been made by any corrupt
or inefficient staff.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington
went so far as to say that there wai overwhelming evidence that our admin-
istration was breaking down. I do not think that the records, if what I
have said is accepted-or if it is not accepted-any records one may care to
examine with regard to what has been done in Germany with a rapidly
diminishing staff-bear out the suggestion that there is such overwhelming
evidence that the administration is breaking down. It is true, however,
as he said, that we have not in every post the best possible man for the
job. I think that would apply to this country or any other country, but
most of all, probably, it applies to Germany, because it has not been pos-
sible, in the situation which this country faces, for us to say that we must
have the best man for this or that job. But what we have been able to do
in pursuance or, at least, in line with the report of the Select Committee
we have done. We have completely overhauled the recruitment system.
We have tightened up very considerably the methods of the recruitment
and selection of staff, and we have cut down very considerably the numbers

The British Zone in Germany

of the staff; which makes it much easier for us to carry out the best possible
It is suggested in this connection that we are not devolving sufficient on
to the Germans or doing it with sufficient expedition. But, in fact, the
progress that has been made is, I think, fairly satisfactory in the circum-
stances we have had to face. I could not, of course, go over everything that
has been done, but there have been the establishment of local authorities;
the establishment of the bi-zonal boards with the American zone, which
are dealing with trade, finance, industry, economics, transport and com-
munications, and so on; the establishment of the new Kreis authorities; the
establishment of the Westphalianland Government, to be followed on 1st
January by the establishment of self-government for Hanover and Schleswig-
Holstein. We are handing over to these Governments the executive
authority for carrying out the administration.
I think the best index I can give, however, would be the quotation of
one or two figures of the cuts that have been made possible by this policy
of devolution in various branches of the staff of the Control Commission.
I take, first, the Finance Division, the original establishment of which num-
bered 1,250. The establishment is now down to 800, and we are proposing
to reduce it to 620 by April of next year. The Legal Division, which has
an immense task to perform, which is responsible for dealing with the
colossal job of de-Nazification and the cleansing of German law, and the
establishment of German local courts which can be cleared of all Nazi
influences-that Division, originally with an establishment of 1,250, is down
to an establishment of 597. The Transport Division, which has been
responsible for the progress towards the rehabilitation of the German rail-
way system, originally with an establishment of 2,000, is now down to one
of 945, and it is proposed to reduce it to 700 by April of next year. And
so on. There is in particular the Trade and Industry Division to which
reference has been made. That Division, which was necessarily very heavily
staffed at the beginning-because there was the tremendous job of the
reorganization of German industry, which could not be left with the Ger-
mans in control-had an original establishment of 6,800, and that is now
cut to 3,555, and is being reduced by the complete reorganization of that
particular Division, by April of next year, to 1,800. I think that is the best
index that can be given of the progress in the devolution of responsibility
on the Germans. . .
If I may turn to the brief which was so largely quoted by the right
hon. Gentleman the Member for Warwick and Leamington, the New States-
man, I am afraid he has picked up the wrong copies. The New Statesman
generally maintains a much higher standard than that of these articles to
which he referred. I could cite quite a lot of points made in those articles,
but I do not want to weary the House with them. I will mention one or
two. They referred to "26,000 officers" doing unimportant work for the
Control Commission. There are not 26,000. There are not anything like
26,000 officers. As I have already mentioned, the majority of the staff in
Germany at the present time consists, not of administrative officers, but of
clerks, typists, chauffeurs, domestic supervisors-who are necessary so long

British Speeches of the Day [(M. HYND]

as food difficulties exist, for it would not be possible to leave the distribu-
tion of food in messes, and so on, entirely to Germans-and people of that
type. The maximum number of people who could be called officers cer-
tainly does not exceed 10,000, and those are being reduced considerably in
the new establishments which we anticipate will be applied by next April.
The right hon. Gentleman suggested that 5,000 should be sufficient. Maybe,
but I do not know at what stage he intended that 5,000 would be suffi-
cient. Obviously this must be a developing situation; at the beginning we
required a very considerable staff, but as the situation develops it will be
greatly reduced, and I do not know at what stage he meant that 5,000
should be enough or on what he based his assessment. There is no one
more concerned than myself, if it is not the Commander-in-Chief, with the
necessity for cutting down the unnecessary elements in the staff to the very
lowest figure as speedily as possible. The assessments we have made have
been arrived at on very close experience of the situation and of its require-
The number in the Industrial Division, to which I have referred and
which I think is generally the target of the criticisms made, is already being
cut from its present level by 1,700 by April next. That is a pretty sub-
stantial reduction. Here again it must be borne in mind that the really big
reductions which can be made are not reductions in the administrative
officers, but are the reductions made by the withdrawal of complete staffs
of clerks, typists and others who may be working in British administrative
offices where it is necessary to have British personnel who speak the same
language, when those branches of activity are handed over to the Germans
and when the entire staff can be replaced by a German administration.
That will happen from time to time.
The right hon. Gentleman again referred to the question of the civilian
defense force in Germany and the circular that has been issued, and he says
that something must be seriously wrong when it has been necessary to issue
such a circular. Why should there be something seriously wrong? Is it
not a normal thing that, in a country so disorganized, occupied by our
Forces which are diminishing as demobilization proceeds, a country where
from the beginning it was not certain that there would not be at some time
or another an attempt to revive Nazism-is it not a perfectly normal thing
that we should endeavor to organize the civilian officers in some kind of
emergency defense force, most of them being in any case ex-military men
who have some practice in arms? That was done, but it has not been done,
as was suggested, by the Daily Mail for example, in connection with the
present food position. It was done at least six months ago, and the circular
quoted in the Daily Mail leading article the other day was issued on 15th
Mr. Eden: I referred to the Daily Herald.
Mr. Hynd: I cited the Daily Mail because the leading article in question
went out of its way to criticize the Government publicity services for
endeavoring to suppress information, whereas what had been done was that

The British Zone in Germany
they printed this story, and suggested that the force had been organized
suddenly because British wives were in danger arising from food disturb-
ances, mass riots and so on. When this was reported in the Daily Mail our
office endeavored to put them right, and pointed out that this circular had
nothing to do with this particular situation, but had been issued on 15th
July. That is why I mention the Daily Mail. I know it was reported in
other quarters as well.

On the question of corrupt practices, which is again a question of staff-
ing, I say to all those who repeat this charge of widespread corruption,
"Where is your evidence?" On every occasion when this has been raised
in this House in previous Debates, I have taken it up with the Member
concerned, and I have said to him, "Please can you give me some evidence
we can follow up?" So far, I have been unable to get a single case, except
that in one instance, after several months of pressure upon the hon. Mem-
ber's informant in Germany, he was able to tell us that he had found one
case that had come to his notice; it is now being followed up. These
charges are made a little too widely, without sufficient evidence, and I hope
the House will remember that they find their way to Germany, and do not
encourage our people who are doing their best over there. Neither do they
encourage the recruitment of the best type of person in this country, because
it is not an attraction to the best type of person whom we are trying to
recruit, if they get the impression that everybody here thinks that they will
be going into a den of iniquity.
How the New Statesman got its information may interest the House.
According to the editor, the information was obtained as a result of a re-
quest by the control authorities to one of the reporters over there, who
had been repeating such allegations, to find out what evidence he could,
and to supply it to the Control Commission. He did that, but at the same
time he brought copies of the evidence to the New Statesman before it
had been sifted and before any check-up could be made. What is that
evidence? I have had copies of it; it is that certain British officers, of the
rank of colonel apparently in most cases, have gone to certain German
firms, and have said that they are inquiring after certain German processes
in connection with the particular industry or activity and have told the
Germans that they must deliver up those processes for the purposes of
British industry. Presumably the Germans have talked about it, and have
complained to their fellow Germans; it has reached the ears of newspaper
reporters and others, and eventually has found its way to this country.
We have made very careful investigation of these charges, and we have
found no single case yet where that has been done without proper au-
thority. What has happened, and I have no doubt that this may be found
to be the explanation, is that under the Board of Trade scheme for secur-
ing intelligence in regard to German processes for the purposes of manu-
facturers in this country, and in America and other Allied countries, offi-
cial teams have been going round for the purpose of ascertaining those
processes. It may be a coincidence that the officers on those teams are of

British Speeches of the Day [Mn. HYND]

the rank of colonel, but that is the fact, and it is, therefore, presumably
in this direction that we shall find the answer to those charges. . .
In any case, I am naturally concerned that the charges should be made,
and any such cases as may be brought to our attention are, of course, care-
fully and closely followed up. May I say, before I allow the hon. and
gallant Member to intervene, that if such incidents are going on unoffi-
cially, if certain of our officers are taking advantage of their position in
order to acquire information for the benefit of their particular firms, there
is nothing whatever to prevent the Germans from reporting it through
their representatives on the Zonal Advisory Council, for instance, where
they are entitled to represent these things, or through many of the other
German administrations. From 1st January next, when the bi-zonal eco-
nomic administration begins to operate at Minden, there will be a further
field through which the Germans can make any such representations.
Major Bramall (Labor): The hon. Gentleman has left the House with
the impression that there is no substance at all in the charges made in the
New Statesman. With regard to these particular cases he said that no
case has been discovered where the officers concerned had not the proper
authority. The New Statesman, I think I am right in saying, makes the
statement that the officials of one firm stood up to the officers concerned,
and refused to hand over the documents, because the officers could not
produce authority. Surely, if the officers had had authority, those Germans
would have been in great peril if they had not handed over the facts?
Is the statement that they did not hand the documents over therefore un-
true, and did this firm in fact hand them over?
Mr. Hynd: The answer is that I do not yet know, because we are making
inquiries in this particular case to see whether the facts are correct. I
would ask the House to bear in mind that complaints made by German
firms are not necessarily 100 per cent correct or without some distortion,
which may be deliberate or may be due to their lack of information about
the actual circumstances. Before leaving this point, I would point out
that the New Statesman has been guilty of quite a number of other in-
accuracies in these articles in connection with administration, which do
not add to the reliance which can be placed on the charges now being
made. I was charged in an article the previous week with deliberately
discouraging the development of trade unions in Germany, on the evi-
dence that only three trade unions are operating in the British zone today.
The fact is that there are over 200 trade unions, which is far too many.
That is the kind of information which is certainly misleading the British
public. Further reference has been made in the course of the Debate to a
similar statement, that the last soap factory in the British zone is now
closing down, which is just not accurate. I presume it refers to the sug-
gestion made in certain newspapers that the famous Fischer-Tropf factory
is being closed. The fact is that the factory is now nearly reaching full
production, and we hope that it will be in full production in the course
of the next few weeks. The only reason why it is not in full production
is that one of the essential elements of soap is fat, and fats are unfortu-
nately very short in Germany today.

The British Zone in Germany

I will wind up these references to staff and administration with a
quotation from an interesting article which appeared in the French news-
paper, Le Monde, on 13th July, 1946. It was one of a series of four articles
published by a reporter who had visited all four zones, and was headed
"The Gentleman Occupier":
"One has heard of the gentleman farmer who has learned to maintain the social
standing of a gentleman. The gentleman occupier is a more recent product due to
the contact of the British character with the realities and temptations of an occupy-
ing Power. The English soldier on occupation duties does not requisition-all requi-
sitioning of food is rigorously forbidden by the military government-does not indulge
in trade, avoids condescension and arrogance, vulgarity and familiarity towards the
local inhabitants. He knows how to keep to himself, make himself obeyed, respected,
and to do all this without hurting the susceptibilities of the inhabitants."
I have no doubt that I shall be told that that is too wide a generaliza-
tion, and I agree, but are not these too wide generalizations rather over
done, and is it not possible to pay tribute where it is due?

On the question of the destruction of plant, the right hon. Gentleman
has asked us whether we are destroying plant which can be usefully used
to produce goods for export or for use in Germany, which would reduce
the liability of this country. The answer is "No, Sir," and that we are a
long way from achieving even the level of industry which was agreed
upon last March. The right hon. Gentleman and other Members have
suggested that if this is so we should stop dismantling plant. After all,
Germany was heavily over-industrialized for one particular purpose. In
1938, it was over-industrialized for the production of steel, cement for the
building of fortifications and for other branches for war purposes. It was
a country which was built over with gun emplacements, pill boxes and all
kinds of war structures, such as submarine pens, torpedo practising equip-
ment and so on. These things have got to be destroyed, and they are
being destroyed. It is not to be surprised at that the Germans directly
employed in these concerns are expressing their indignation that these
things are being destroyed. If the suggestion is that we should stop dis-
arming Germany, then the answer to that is that that is certainly not our
intention. This may lead hon. Members to ask what is our policy. Our
policy is not directed towards reducing German productive capacity for
peacetime purposes. Our policy is based upon disarmament.
Mr. Boothby (Conservative): What about the Blohm and Voss yard?
Mr. Hynd: The particular installation in the Blohm and Voss yard, which
is associated with submarine pens and heavy shipbuilding yards, is con-
sidered to be surplus to German peacetime economy. The policy of dis-
mantling industry is based on the necessity for the disarmament of Ger-
many, and the policy we are following is either to destroy that which has a
war potential and is therefore considered surplus to German peacetime
economy, or, where possible, to use it for the German economy or for
countries which suffered severely from German military activity. Perhaps
I may take an example. The hon. Member for The High Peak referred
to the Huttenwerke plant, which was one of the first to be dismantled.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. HYND]
The dismantling has taken some considerable time. It is not proposed
to stop dismantling it because we are committed to dismantle and deliver
it to our Eastern Allies. Dismantling of the Huttenwerke plant does not
reduce the current production of German steel in any way. We have
more than enough factories standing in Germany today to provide for
the low level of steel production agreed upon last March. There is nearly
more than twice as much plant to produce the steel, if it was being pro-
duced, but the point is that we have not got the coal.
The reason why we have had to close down plant in production is due
to the policy of concentration, to get the most out of a particular plant-
to economize in fuel and so on-rather than to spread production over a
number of plants. The level of industry is, therefore, a long way from
achievement at the present time. It depends almost entirely on the pro-
duction of coal, which in its turn depends on the speed with which we
can deal with the food situation. I am not suggesting that when we have
reached that level we shall have found the answer to Germany's economic
problem. This Government was not enthusiastic about the level of in-
dustry agreed upon in March, but it was the only level which could be
agreed upon after considerable discussion by the four Powers. It was
recognized then that it would be a considerable time before we reached
anything like that level, and I am certain that as a result of the review
of the German situation, which will be undertaken by the Four Powers,
that that level of industry will be reviewed from an entirely new angle.
Already we have proceeded as far as we could unilaterally in certain di-
rections. We have been able to increase the production of coal. It has
been our deliberate policy in the past to export as much coal as we could,
but it is obvious that that policy must be reviewed. There was a cut last
month in the export of coal from the British zone, and it is our intention,
for December, to reduce the export by 350,000 tons. That amount will
be retained for the succeeding three months, until March next, and
whether or not modifications will then be necessary in the export policy
will depend on the developments of the situation.
Mr. Molson (Conservative): This is an extremely important matter. As
I understand it, less than 50 per cent was being retained in the British
zone when the select committee reported. What is the percentage?
Mr. Hynd: It is about 35 per cent of exports. The present exports have
been 900,000 tons a month, and we are now proposing to reduce that
figure by 350,000 tons.
I think it is quite clear from everything I have said that our main
problem-we are dealing expeditiously with most other problems, such
as de-Nazification and displaced persons-is that of the production of coal
which, again, depends upon the availability of food. Food must come
first. There is no one who excels myself, the Government, or the adminis-
tration authorities in Germany in enthusiasm for getting more production
in Germany. It is vital, but it all comes back to the question of food. We
must, however, face the fact that the United Kingdom is not capable of

The British Zone in Germany

maintaining the food situation in Germany alone. I think there will be
no difference of opinion about that. The capacity of the indigenous pro-
duction in the British zone is some 900 calories, which is a little over half
the amount necessary if we are to get industry going at all. The United
Kingdom is physically unable to produce and provide Germany with the
balance necessary.
In view of the fact that we have been in this situation for over 12
months, why do we now find this sudden excitement and publicity about
the food situation in Germany? I think the answer is to be found in two
directions. First, there is the physical fact that the United Kingdom's
resources have been run down, so that shipments are in arrears. There
is no question of switching British ships to German ports, as we have done
in the past. Secondly, for the last 12 months we have been busy building
up German democracy, encouraging the development of German political
parties, trade unions, and so on. We have recently had elections and
established local councils representing various political parties. They
have been handed responsibility for the collection and distribution of
food, and they have also been given the statistics. Having seen those sta-
tistics, they are very properly shocked at the difficult situation they have
to face. Being responsible to their constituents, they are now competing
in publicity and demands on the British authorities for maximum support
and sympathy. We make no complaint about that; it is the price of
democratizing Germany, and the Germans are doing their best.
There are other factors, one being that we deliberately increased the
ration of calories from 1,050 to 1,550 a few weeks ago, not because we had
more stocks, or more food, but because the situation in Germany made it
inevitable that we must do it. The deterioration of the people arising
from the cut in their rations last March made it inevitable that we should
increase the ration at all costs because we were facing another winter, and
it would have been inhuman to expect the Germans to live, produce, or
do anything, on 1,050 calories. ....
We have increased the rations. They were previously 1,050 calories, and
they have been increased to 1,550. Of course, there have been local break-
downs throughout the whole of the 12 months, because it is not possible to
maintain regular distribution of any ration standard with only three days'
supplies. There will still be local breakdowns until we have six or seven
weeks' supplies in Germany.
Mr. Stokes (Labor): When was the increase to 1,550 calories?
Mr. Hynd: I think it was on 15th October. In spite of the difficulties we are
facing now, I can assure the House that we have every reason to expect
that we shall maintain at least 80 per cent over-all of the 1,550 calories
until the end of this month, by which time the conversations going on
with our American Allies will have produced an answer.
Mr. Eden: The right hon. Gentleman told us that the railways are now
restored, and are working, and that there has been a good harvest. How
is it possible, therefore, that now, in November, there should be only three
days' supplies?

British Speeches of the Day [MR. HYND]
Mr. Hynd: The German harvest was quite a good one in the circumstances,
although we were not able to sow all the acres that were ploughed. The
harvest will produce 1.5 million tons of grain this year. That grain is
being collected and threshed as expeditiously as conditions permit, and
consumed concurrently because of the little coming in from outside. There
are certain amounts being brought in from the farms, but all cannot be
brought in because it would mean suspending operations on sugar beet
and other crops. Through shortage of manpower and machinery it is
not physically possible to bring all the harvest in during two or three
weeks. It is not an unsatisfactory situation that we should have the assur-
ance of something descending from 180,000 tons this month to nothing
by March of next year. We made the increase to 1,550 calories delib-
erately, and, to help coal production, we increased the miners' rations
even further. The results are beginning to show signs of justifying that
policy. Production of coal last week was 1,149,000 tons, as against the
previous highest figure of 1,090,000 tons before the ration cut of last
March. My hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks)
asked about nursing mothers. The rations issued for them and for other
special categories are special rations. They get 2,700 calories. . .

The main question which has been asked throughout the Debate is
when and where will a common ration standard and pooling of resources,
as between the two zones, operate? The agreement reached by the Lord
President of the Council last May will be operated, but I hope the House
will not press this matter too hard at the present stage, because we are
now discussing the implementation of that policy in full. The assurance
given by the Lord President last May, and the agreement made, we
stand by.
I need hardly add that unless that policy is carried out in full, it will
be entirely impossible to achieve any kind of progress in the development
of the British zone or the British and United States zones. We are pro-
ceeding on the assumption that that will be possible. We have not aban-
doned Potsdam, or the hope that we shall persuade the Russians and
French to come in and establish a central German administration. We
have not abandoned the hope that we shall see a central administration
operating, and that we shall achieve a common economic policy, which
is the basis of the Potsdam Agreement. It is true that until now that
agreement has not been operated by all four Allies. It has not been oper-
ated by any, because we have been exploring the possibilities and trying
to reach agreement. Because that agreement has not so far been achieved
we have decided to take the step of linking up with the American zone,
and proceeding to maximum production in the two zones in pursuance
of our common policy of rehabilitation of German life and industry. As
I have said, our Russian and French Allies will be welcome to join in the
scheme, and I hope that the statements made by leading statesmen of
those countries will eventually become practical politics, and that we shall
find them joining in this very necessary work.

The British Zone in Germany

A question directed to me by the right hon. Member for Warwick and
Leamington was, "What is the purpose of our occupation of Germany,
and what is our policy?" I do not think that I can express it better than
in the words he used: To prevent a repetition of German misdeeds. At
the same time, it is not our policy to allow Germany, or any other coun-
try, to collapse economically, because a starving Germany in the midst of
Europe would tend to poison her neighbors. We endorse that entirely.
Hence the reorganization of the'basic industries of the Western zones on a
basis of socialization; hence the conferences proceeding now in New York
between the Allies for the purpose of securing a settlement of the German
position; hence the policy laid down in the Gracious Speech, which says:
"My Ministers will shortly meet representatives of the United States, Russia
and France to discuss the future of Germany. It will be their aim to establish in
Germany conditions which will foster true democracy, will guarantee the world against
further attempts at world domination, and will remove the financial burden which
the occupation has laid on My people."
The key note of that paragraph is:
"To establish in Germany conditions which will foster true democracy,"
because we realize that true democracy cannot exist unless the living con-
ditions of the people are made tolerable and more than tolerable. I might
add a reference to the words used by the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr.
D. Marshall) when he said, "When we encourage industrial development
in Germany, we build up a war potential." He admitted that the indus-
trial development of Germany represents the building up of a war po-
tential. It is even more true that if we do not enable and encourage Ger-
many to build up a new standard of life, and to develop her industries
and economy, we shall be building up an even more potent menace to the
peace of the world.
[House of Commons Debates]

RT. HON. PHILIP NOEL-BAKER, at the United Nations
New York, November 25, 1946. Mr. Chairman, no one can take part in
this discussion without a deep sense of responsibility for the words he uses.
I believe that this debate may mark a turning point in history.
As our French colleague, Mr. Parodi, said so well the other day, it is
the first of our debates on the armaments and security problem. These
debates may last for years, before we reach the full system of security and
armament reduction which we are all resolved to have. Whether they
succeed or not will determine the future success or failure of the United
Nations, will determine whether mankind passes through atomic warfare
into another dark age.
At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Molotov at our last meeting said
that he desired, as all must desire, that we should reach unanimity on this

British Speeches of the Day [MR. NOEL-BAKE]
subject. He said: "The purpose pursued by the Soviet Delegation is that
we should arrive at a unanimous opinion on this subject, and we can,"
he added, "arrive at a unanimous opinion on that subject."
I fully endorse those words, and I am going to make suggestions by
which I hope we can reach the unanimity which we do all desire.
I am sure we shall agree that unless in these discussions beginning with
this first one and going on tomorrow, we can agree on this problem of
armaments, the future will be dark indeed.
Sir, none of us can enter in this debate without a desire to agree, with-
out a resolute determination to avoid the mere scoring of verbal points.
With the world in its present tragic aftermath of war, it would be a crime
to play politics on such a subject, or to seek a result which could be used
for propaganda but which would not advance the main object which,
from now onwards, we must all of us have in view. It is in that spirit
that we approach the draft Soviet resolution.

I say at once, as my Foreign Secretary said the other day, that in its
present form we do not find it quite adequate to the needs. We shall
propose amendments. We do not find it adequate for what Mr. Parodi
called "the first step toward the solution of the armament problem."
I think the fact that we are of full good faith in this matter, that we
need no forcing from any quarter, will be shown by what I said on behalf
of my Government in the opening debate of the Assembly, before Mr.
Molotov's first speech was ever made. If the Committee will forgive me,
I shall read my words. I said: "Perhaps we can give the Security Council
some constructive work to do. Under the Charter, it is the Council's duty
to organize the collective system by which alone aggressive war can be
restrained. It is its duty to prepare the plans for the regulation"-and of
course the word regulation in the Charter means also reduction-"of na-
tional armaments. That is an immense task, in which the Military Staff
Committee must take the early steps. We should like to see them pushing
forward with greater energy and reaching more practical results than they
have achieved up to now."
Now, Sir, we do not think that the present Soviet resolution is ade-
quate even to the limited purpose for which Mr. Molotov has put it for-
ward. I am not certain that even now we fully understood that purpose-
or perhaps I ought to say that it is not for one purpose only but for at
least two. But, in trying to make sure what the purpose was, Sir Alex-
ander Cadogan put a plain question to Mr. Molotov as to why this mo-
tion about information of troop disposition had been proposed. It was
a natural question, because only a few weeks before in the Security Council
the same proposal had been made, but for a totally different purpose. But,
in any case, Mr. Molotov gave us, as he said, "for the third time," a per-
fectly plain answer. He said: "At the present moment the Military Staff
Committee of the Security Council is, as it happens, studying the problem
of how to ensure the execution of Article 43 of the Charter. It seems to
me," he went on, "that if information were received from all States regard-

International Inspection of Armed Forces

ing the presence of their armed forces outside their own countries, it
would facilitate the preparation of the Agreements referred to in Article
43. Without these data, it would be difficult for the Military Staff Com-
mittee to cope with its task . and he went on to explain in greater
detail why he thought this would enable the Military Staff Committee to
get on with the job of making these agreements for collective security.
Now, Sir, I want to ask the Committee to consider whether in fact the
task of the Military Staff Committee in making these agreements under
Article 43 would really be made easier; whether Mr. Molotov's purpose
would be sensibly advanced if the information asked for in the Soviet
motion as it stands were made available; whether, in fact, Mr. Molotov's
resolution goes far enough to enable the Staff Committee to carry out that
We are in favor, as Mr. Molotov is in favor, of carrying out Article 43.
We want to make the agreements upon which, in the early stages, the
collective security system of the Urited Nations will primarily 'depend.
Much will be added to them later on. We want to do it, because we think
it is the first real step in freeing the world from fear and in establishing
security, with the least diversion of the world's economic and human re-
sources. Therefore, we welcome this, and all the resolutions which the
Soviet delegation put forward.
In this resolution, Mr. Molotov asks for three things: information about
troops in the territories of other Members of the United Nations, informa-
tion about troops in ex-enemy States, information about troops at air
bases in territories of other Members of the United Nations.
Now, Sir, we think that that is far too restricted. If I understood Mr.
Molotov the other day, he said himself that that would only bring returns
from four countries represented at this table-the Soviet Union and three
others. But, Sir, Article 43 says that all Members are to make agreements
with the Security Council.

I hope the Committee will not think I am being academic if I argue
that is a point of supreme and fundamental importance. Of course it is
very natural to say, at the end of a war, only the four great Powers mat-
ter in armament discussions. They come through not unscathed, but with
great power, with greater power than when the war began. The smaller
nations have often had their power destroyed. But other Powers, smaller
and middle Powers, always play an immense part in resistance to aggres-
sion-and in the last two world wars have helped to save us; I might almost
say have saved us, from destruction by militaristic dictators. And I am
afraid of this distortion of thinking which comes after the war, of be-
lieving that only the four Powers matter and no one else. It is not irrel-
evant for me to recall the services of some of the smaller Powers in this
last war and the Committee will forgive me if I concentrate on the winter
of 1940-1941, which was the most anxious and terrible for us. It was Nor-
way. Norway put up a gallant struggle in her own country; it helped
us,' it gained us time. But when we came to the battle of Britain on which

British Speeches of the Day [MR. NOEL-BAKER]
everything depended, 40 per cent of all our petrol [gasoline] was brought
to Britain by Norwegian tankers. The Norwegian sailors paid more than
a 40-per-cent price in loss of life.
Yugoslavia: Who will ever forget the magnificent moment when the
Yugoslav people turned out the dictator who wanted to surrender to the
Axis? Who will ever forget the services rendered by Marshal Tito in the
last years of the war when he had had time to organize-I am glad to think
with our assistance-the troops by which he held so many German divi-
sions in his country? Who can forget the services rendered by Greece,
rendered by Greece when her troops were fighting in the Albanian moun-
tains, when orders were given that transport was for food and munitions
only and the wounded lay, perhaps to die, or to be mutilated for life by
frost-bite, in the snow? Who can forget what happened in March and
April, 1941, when the German divisions came down through Macedonia?
For three thousand years or very nearly, people have talked about Ther-
mopylae when three hundred Spartans went out to meet the Barbarian
invader. They combed their hair before they went into battle, knowing
that they would die. In Macedonia there were three Thermopylaes; the
garrison of Perichora, five-hundred strong, withstood two German divi-
sions for days, lost the fort and then re-took it and fought until not one
man remained alive. Was it wasted courage? Are there orphans in Greece
whose fathers might still be alive? I don't think so.
Could we have held Egypt if Crete had been in the hands of Hitler
from October, 1940? It is very doubtful. Suppose that Greece had sur-
rendered, that Crete had been in Hitler's hands, that his plan for flying
his airborne troops to Syria had succeeded, that from Syria they had
gone to Iraq and from there to the back door of the Caucasus and had
arrived there, as they would have done, before his attack was launched
on the Western front of Russia on June 21st of 1941. I do not think that
would have meant the defeat of the Soviet Union. I would never believe
it, but I do think that it would have made longer, bloodier, and far more
costly the magnificent struggle which the Red Army put up.
Mr. Chairman, I conclude, the Soviet motion in its present form is
certainly defective. It is wrong in principle to start on this great task
thinking in terms of four or five Powers only. It would falsify the whole
work of the Security Council, falsify the system of collective security of the
United Nations from the very beginning of our labors.

The collective system must be a genuine common effort in which we
all have the same right to full defense against aggression and the same
duty to contribute as best we can. If it is not that, it will be nothing at
all. And we must start from the beginning by consulting, making agree-
ments, with the full 54, and if we need information to make agreements,
we need information from the 54.
Therefore, Sir, what Mr. Molotov told of the picture that would re-
sult from his resolution would be gravely defective in that way. But
with respect, it would be gravely defective in another way as well. How

International Inspection of Armed Forces

many troops are there which are stationed in the countries to which he
makes reference in his Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3? Ten per cent of the total
troops in the world? Certainly not more than that. Twenty per cent of
the troops in the four Powers concerned? I should doubt if it is as much
as that. Sir, they would also be, in all human probability, among the
least mobile or the least suitable for general action in defense of peace.
In other words, the least suitable to bring into the agreement. And, of
course, we all hope that the members of these troops may-in accordance
with the spirit of what Mr. Molotov has put forward-be reduced in the
early future.
I do not need to remind the Committee that my Government has done
a good deal in that direction since it came to power. Let us take two
cases only. And we must look at this thing in terms of real cases, if we
want to understand it-Mrs. Pandit mentioned, the other day, the case of
Indonesia-that comes under Paragraph 1 of the Soviet motion. It is a
case in which my Government has been concerned. Long months ago,
long before the happy event which brought Mrs. Pandit to this table, my
Government decided that November 30th was the date on which all British
and Indian troops must be removed from Indonesia.
Supposing two months ago the Soviet representative in the Security
Council had raised this question on the same basis as that on which it is
being raised today, for the making of agreements under Article 43. Would
it have been of any use whatever for my Government to make a return
of the troops which there were in Indonesia, knowing that they would
not be there when the end of November came? Sir, the same is true of
other cases in which my Government is concerned. I won't weary the
Committee by going into detail.
Let me take a case under Paragraph 2 of Mr. Molotov's resolution.
And if I may, with all respect, I would like to put a question to Mr.
Molotov. Could the Soviet Union really make an agreement under Ar-
ticle 43 with the Military Staff Committee on the basis of the Soviet
troops which are now in countries other than his own? Take the troops
in ex-enemy countries. What use would information about them be for
this purpose? It may be very desirable to have the information. I am
not saying it is not, and I am not going to reject it, of course, but what use
would it be for the agreement?
We are all hoping to make the peace treaties, in a matter of days,
with five of Germany's satellites. Perhaps next week they will be com-
pleted. Within a matter of weeks after that, as Mr. Molotov himself said
on Friday, the troops will be withdrawn. They are no use at all for
making an agreement. Well, there is Germany, but in Germany the
troops will certainly be reduced to the minimum required for the task,
if only because of the great shortage of food in that country. In any case,
they will be tied down to the long-term task in Germany for which they
are there. They won't be available under the agreement.
But that leaves in the case of the Soviet Union whatever Soviet Union
troops there may be in other Members of the United Nations-in this case
the Ukraine and Byelorussia. I do not know if there are any gr whether

British Speeches of the Day [MR. NOEL-BAKER~
they are there for a long or short term, but I am very certain that in fact
they would not be sufficient to enable the Soviet Union to make an agree-
ment which would give us the proper contribution, the magnificent con-
tribution which I am sure the Soviet Union will make towards the col-
lective security system against aggression we are going to build up.
Now, Sir, this argument is not leading to the conclusion that informa-
tion about troops abroad should not be given; only that, while it may be
one element in some cases, some very few cases-one element of the informa-
tion needed to make an argreement-much other information will be
needed as well. For most of the countries represented at this table, the
other information will be the number of their troops on their own terri-
tories at home. For all countries represented at this table, the troops on
the territory at home will also be by far the most important element of
information which will be needed.
Sir, I won't argue it further. I hope it is plain. But on Saturday or
Friday-departing a little-if I may say so, with respect, a little from the
answer which he had given to Sir Alexander Cadogan, Mr. Molotov did
also put forward another reason in favor of his motion. He said that the
information should be provided so as to avoid any reason for rumors, so as
to make known the facts of the presence of foreign troops and bases to all.
Then, if this information is furnished, then every reason for rumor will
disappear. Well, as Mr. Bevin admitted-as we are always ready to admit-
it is most desirable to publish information by which malicious rumors can
be killed because such rumors create discord and suspicion. But do rumors
arise only about troops abroad? There is one country in the world of whom
it has been freely said that the military preparations now being put on foot
include military schools for the training of an Officer Corps of half a
million. I do not know if it is true; if it were true it would be extremely
relevant in all considerations of the problem we have got to face. It is a
most dangerous rumor which, if untrue, should be killed. There is another
country which has been receiving UNRRA help on a generous scale and of
whom it has been said that it was keeping up an army of six hundred
thousand. And some people argued: How could UNRRA go on pouring
in materials and food when six hundred thousand men belonging to not so
great a nation were diverted from productive enterprise and were kept
under arms instead?
Sir, I do not know if that rumor is true. I have every reason, in fact,
to believe it to be false. But certainly it is a rumor which deserves to
be killed. And again, therefore, I say on the second of the grounds
brought forward by Mr. Molotov, we ought to include home troops with
the other categories which he has mentioned in Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3,
of his motion.
Now, Sir, having explained that major point, what is my Government
prepared to do? We see a real connection between information of our
troop dispositions and agreements under Article 43. We see a real con-
nection between agreements under Article 43 and the long-term work

International Inspection of Armed Forces

of armament reduction and control. We are prepared to abandon our
previous demand that the two Soviet motions should be taken together,
debated together with a common resolution. We are prepared to have
a single resolution on this first motion which Mr. Molotov has put up.
We don't want to incur the charge which Mr. Molotov said we would
incur, that if we try to mix the two we should inevitably prejudice the
consideration of both. But, Sir, we do want a new preamble to his reso-
lution. His preamble only asks that the Security Council should take the
decision to the effect that State Members of the United Nations should
submit the following information to the Security Council. Well, Sir, we
want a preamble to which I am sure he won't object, marking the con-
nection between the supply of information and the wider problem of
security and armament reduction. And perhaps I may point out to Mr.
Molotov that our preamble would have this further advantage, that under
this the decision would be left to the Security Council, where it would
be open to the United Kingdom to exercise the veto, whereas under our pre-
amble we are perfectly ready to commit ourselves as from today.
Now, Sir, what about the substance of the information to be supplied?
Paragraph 1: troops in the territories of other Members of the United
Nations and other States. We accept the text as it stands.
Paragraph 2: former enemy States. We accept the text as it stands.
Paragraph 3: bases in the above-mentioned territories. We accept the
text as it stands.
We would add a fourth, the formula of which can very easily be found
without disagreement, a proposal for which I shall put forward, but which
I will be very happy to amend, covering forces stationed at home. I hope
I have shown to the Committee, and indeed to Mr. Molotov, that on both
the grounds which he has urged, both for the purpose of making Article 43,
agreements, and for the purpose of killing malicious and dangerous rumors,
that the information about the home forces is required. Indeed, Sir, I would
just add on home forces, in his own words, what reason could any of us have
to withhold that information? We keep the forces for national defense
which each of us believe to be required. We have nothing to be ashamed
of, nothing we are not all ready to furnish to the world. We have always
published that kind of information to the world. In recent times in the
Yearbook of Armament, the Yearbook of the League of Nations, and in fact
in our House of Commons, we published the fullest information about the
disposal of our troops. We are prepared to bind ourselves now in this reso-
lution to do the same in times to come.
Now, Sir, on the date. Mr. Molotov suggested November the first. That
was shortly after, if I remember rightly, he made his speech. Well, it is
some time ago now, and we don't think it would be very useful to choose a
date that has gone by. Our Czechoslovak colleague said that he thought this
business could be disposed of and the information gotten within a month.
So do we, and therefore we suggest that the information should be furnished
on January the first, 1947, and should relate to the situation, the troop
dispositions on that date. Again I hope Mr. Molotov and the Committee
will agree that is wise and sound.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. NOBL-BAKER]

Then, Sir, and here is the point which conceivably to some.minds may
raise a difficulty, we think that we should add a provision for verification
and control of the information which is supplied. We propose that when
the information has been received, it should immediately be verified by some
United Nations system of control to be devised by the Security Council.
We respectfully submit that verification is essential. In armaments, nothing
can be done without control. We all know how, under the old system,
general staffs are compelled to do their work in secrecy with mental reserva-
tions which inevitably lead to suspicion and to all that follows. To make
progress towards disarmament, the facts must be brought into the light of
day and everybody must be satisfied that they are facts. They must be
checked and verified and guaranteed by some impartial system in which all
share and which is fair to all. Even today, even on the morrow of our
common struggle against the Axis, that is true.
So far as we are concerned, we have nothing to hide either about the
situation on November the first or on January the first or at any other time.
We are proud of what our troops have done, of what they are doing, of
what they are going to do. We are ready for any commission to verify the
information we furnish, on the spot. We think that that verification may
be useful to increase confidence among the Members of the United Nations.
I am not thinking only of the Permanent Members of the Security Council.
The press never lets us forget that there is less confidence among the Per-
manent Members of the Council than we should desire. But there are other
countries, other groups of countries in the world, not only in one geogra-
phical region, but in more than one, where there are today so many sus-
picions, such a lack of confidence, that figures given would be worthless, or
regarded as worthless, by the countries there unless there were a check.
Sir, there is also a most important technical argument. We have got
to make sure that the numbers returned refer to the same kind of unit,
the same kind of troops. I have worked something like 20 years on the
armament problem from the Conference of Versailles in 1919 until today.
I know the very real difficulties which you will fall into if you concentrate
on numbers alone. You must know what sort of units are being included
and what sort of units are being excluded, and the difficulty is greater be-
cause the same words are used to describe different things in different
countries. But it is not only that. You haven't only got to know the num-
bers, you have got to know the terms of service. Long years of arduous
discussion proved that unless you know the terms of service, unless you
know how fast the troops were passing through the military machine, you
couldn't get information that was of genuine value, information of the
kind that we need to make those long-term security agreements under
Article 43.
The discussions in Geneva, after a fabulous period of time, led to the
famous formula about "average daily effectives" Those who took part in
those discussions will know that this is not a debating point. It is a matter

International Inspection of Armed Forces

of substance. So that, Sir, this proposal for a verification is not only a
question of good faith, which I should hesitate to propose in so brutal a
way, but it is one of technical necessity as well.
Again I ask, in Mr. Molotov's words, what reason can there be against
a system of verification? None of us wants to hide the facts; there is noth-
ing that any of us desires to evade. And would it really cause delay, as
someone is going to urge? Not at all. I believe the Security Council could
start on the job of preparing this system of control tomorrow. It could
ask the Military Staff Committee to put up a scheme restricted to these
numbers of troops. The scheme could be extremely simple. And the
Military Staff Committee wouldn't be starting anew on some subject that
hadn't been explored. I could produce in half an hour a scheme, agreed
to by the Soviet Government in 1933 at the time when Hitler was gather-
"ing his power, which would be more than ample to carry out this plan.
Even if you want to start afresh, there isn't a good week's work in this for
the Military Staff Committee, and if I may say so, it is about time the
Military Staff Committee did have a good week's work to do.
Sir, this isn't only a practical necessity, it would also have a great sym-
bolic value for all we are going to do.

The other day, in a phrase which I have already quoted, Mr. Vyshinsky
spoke of the League of Nations as the League of "vices and mistakes."
And I accepted, in the sense which I defined, his definition. Nowhere were
the vices and mistakes greater than the realm of armament, but the work
was not all wasted. When I went back to the Foreign Office at the end of
November, 1918, fresh from the battlefield of the First World War, the
very first thing I read there was an elaborate exposition by one of the
greatest of our pre-war diplomats, Sir Eyre Crowe, in which he explained
in 14 pages, that any international disarmament agreement was impossible
on technical grounds alone, because countries had strength in different
forms so that you couldn't compare a squadron of aircraft against a battle-
ship or a battalion of troops. Fourteen years later, Sir John Simon, our
Foreign Minister of the Conservative Government, admitted in Geneva
that all the technical problems of disarmament had been solved; only the
political decisions remained to be taken. Only the political decisions-
that was the point. Did the Governments mean business? Was it all
humbug or sham? Alas, over so many years when we were reaching the
point of decision, we saw Governments asking for returns which wouldn't
serve any useful purpose; finding some means for delay, for evading some
crucial point. And in the end of all, it became clear that the essential
political decision, the thing on which all else would turn, was whether or
not we should have a really effective system of international control.
Sir, if we are to do any good in armaments, if we are to do any good
with the wider problem to which we shall pass on tomorrow, we shall have
to have that system, as Senator Austin said for the United States the other
day. Mr. Stalin has already said that he will have it for the atomic energy
control. Well, can we do it for atomic energy and leave out the monstrous

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATTLEE]

machinery of war which we are pleased to call the normal armaments we
have been using in the last six years? Of course we can't. We have got to
do it. Therefore, we say that in this question we mean business; we want
no sham, no humbug. We want to begin as we mean to go on. We hope
that the resolution as we amended it may be accepted by this Committee
and by the Assembly, when it comes.
[Oficial Release]

HOUSE OF COMMONS, November 18, 1946
The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Clement Attlee): In July, 1940, Hitler
had outrun his immediate plans and was faced with the first major unex-
pected check to his strategy. If he was to avoid a prolonged war-with the
danger that, if forced to a final reckoning with Russia, he would be involved
in a war on two fronts-he had to find means of compelling Britain to
abandon the struggle. The military situation resulting from the fall of
France seems to have encouraged Hitler to believe that Britain would be
ready to accept a compromise peace. But concurrently with his efforts to
obtain such a peace, he directed that planning for the invasion of the
United Kingdom should be begun and pushed rapidly forward, both as a
threat to supplement the peace offer, and as a practical alternative to be
adopted if that offer should fail.
Until then the Germans had undertaken no long-term planning for the
invasion of this country, apart from certain purely naval plans which had
been elaborated by the Naval Operations Division since November, 1939.
On 21st May, 1940, Raeder discussed the subject with Hitler, and on 2nd
July Hitler ordered intelligence appreciations to be prepared and planning
to begin for operation Sealion (the invasion of England). The following
is an extract from a directive issued by Hitler on 16th July, 1940:
"Since England, in spite of her militarily hopeless situation, shows no signs of
coming to terms, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England
and, if necessary, to carry it out. . .The preparations for the entire operation
must be completed by mid-August."
The German staffs were, therefore, given little over a month in which to
make all preparations.
It is clear that the General Staff of the German Army were apprehensive
of the proposed operation. The German advance to the Channel Coast
had been unexpectedly rapid, and no plans had been prepared for such
an ambitious undertaking. Part of the Luftwaffe had already been re-
deployed elsewhere. Assault shipping was limited to such barges and
river boats as could be brought from Germany or the Netherlands. These
craft were incapable of standing up to anything but a calm sea, or of dis-
embarking tanks or vehicles without elaborate conversion. The troops had
no training in amphibious assaults, nor had the staffs any experience in
this unaccustomed technique. In the last resort, everything depended on

German Preparations for Invasion in 1940

the ability of the Navy and Air Force to transport and cover the invading
According to Doenitz, subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the German
Navy, it was generally accepted by the German leaders that their Navy
would be no match for the Royal Navy, which they expected to be sacrificed
to the last vessel and the last man to counter a landing. They thought it
essential, therefore, that the German Air Force should accept the double
role of both destroying the Royal Air Force and preventing the Royal Navy
from attacking a landing force. Goering was confident that the German
Air Force would be equal to both those tasks. Jodl and Keitel accepted his
view, and were prepared to make the attempt on the basis that the German
Navy would be asked to do no more than meet the Army's essential require-
ments for transportation. According to Doenitz, the German Navy, though
unequal to the larger task of protection, could have met these require-
The German Naval High Command appear, however, to have taken the
view, in spite of the confidence of Goering, that even if the Luftwaffe had
succeeded in defeating the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, it
would still have been incapable of carrying out its second task, namely,
preventing the Royal Navy from attacking a seaborne landing force. They
considered that the Luftwaffe had not the necessary weapons, and that the
bombs in use at that time were of far too small a caliber, to prevent heavy
ships from coming to grips with the landing force. In spite of the view of
the German Naval Command it is probable that, if the Royal Air Force
had been defeated, the operation would have been launched.
The preparatory phase of the whole operation was to be an air offensive,
whose objectives were the destruction of the Royal Air Force in the air
and on the ground, and the destruction of ports, communications, aircraft
production plants, and food storage depots in London. The air offensive
was to begin on 13th August, though owing to naval factors it would be
impossible for the invasion itself to take place until 15th September. A
decision would be taken later, in the light of the success gained in the
preparatory phase, whether the operation could take place at all that year.
This would depend on two factors, whether the German Air Force could
neutralize the Royal Air Force and so obtain air mastery over the whole
invasion area, and whether, given the inadequacy of the German Navy, the
German Air Force could provide protection for the invasion forces and
prevent attacks by the British Navy.
So far as it went, the general plan of operation Sealion was for landings
by two armies, with 25 divisions in all, between Folkstone and Worthing.
Ten divisions were to be landed on the first four days to form the initial
bridgehead. After about eight days an advance was to be made to the first
objective, a line running from the Thames estuary along the hills south
of London to Portsmouth. The course of the battle would then depend on
circumstances, but efforts were to be made to cut London off from the west
as quickly as possible. Parachute troops were to be used only for the cap-
ture of Dover. A third army might possibly be employed for a landing in
Lyme Regis Bay if necessary.

British Speeches of the Day [MR. ATrLEmi

The orders issued subsequently showed that Hitler was most reluctant
to take a decision on operation Sealion. On 16th August, an order was
issued to the effect that a decision was still delayed, but that preparations
should continue up to 15th September. On 27th August, orders were issued
to prepare for embarkation at Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre. On
3rd September, D-Day was fixed for the 21st September, but it was provided
that all operations were liable to cancellation twenty-four hours before zero
hour. On 17th September, Hitler decided on the further postponement of
the operation, and on 19th September orders were given to discontinue the
strategic concentration of shipping and to disperse existing concentrations
of craft in view of Allied air attacks. On 12th October, the operation was
called off until the spring, though deception measures were to continue.
The result of the Battle of Britain had been that the Luftwaffe had
failed to carry out the first of the tasks assigned to it, namely, the desfruc-
tion of the Royal Air Force. As this essential preliminary to invasion had
not been achieved, the whole operation was postponed.
The deception measures mentioned . above were maintained
through the spring and early summer of 1941. In July of that year Hitler
again postponed the operation until the spring of 1942, on the assumption
that by that time "the Russian campaign would be completed." The
project does not seem to have been seriously considered again.
It has been widely believed in this country that a German invasion
attempt was actually launched in 1940. This belief is based partly on the
fact that a number of German bodies were washed up on the south coast
of England in August and September, 1940; and partly on the knowledge
that the "invasion imminent" signal was issued by General Headquarters,
Home Forces, on 7th September, 1940. The facts are as stated in the
following paragraphs.
In August, 1940, the Germans were embarking their Army in the barges
in harbors along the French coast, but there is no evidence that they ever
left harbor as a fleet to invade this country. Bombing raids on those
harbors were carried out by Bomber Command and some barges which put
to sea, probably to escape the raids, were sunk either by bombing or on
encountering bad weather. During the next six weeks bodies of German
soldiers were washed up at scattered points along the coast between Corn-
wall and Yarmouth (amounting to about 36 over a period of a month).
On 7th September, 1940, the British Chiefs of Staff considered a report
on possible German action against the United Kingdom. The main fea-
tures-of this report were:
"(a) The westerly and southerly movement of barges and small ships to ports
between Ostend and Le Havre suggested a very early date for invasion, since such
craft would not be moved unnecessarily early to ports so much exposed to bombing
"(b) The striking strength of the German Air Force, disposed between Amster-
dam and Brest, had been increased by the transfer of 160 long-range bomber aircraft
from Norway; and short-range dive-bomber units had been re-deployed to forward
aerodromes in the Pas de Calais area, presumably in preparation for employment
against this country;
"(c) Four Germans captured on landing from 'a rowing boat on the south-east
coast had confessed to being spies, and had said that they were to be ready at any

German Preparations for Invasion in 1940

time during the next fortnight to report the movement of British reserve formations
in the area Oxford-Ipswich-London-Reading;
"(d) Moon and tide conditions during the period 8th/10th September were most
favorable for a seaborne invasion on the south-east coast."
This report indicated that German preparations for invasion were so
advanced that it could be attempted at any time. Taking into account the
German air attacks, which were at that time concentrated against aero-
dromes and aircraft factories, the Chiefs of Staff agreed that the possibility
of invasion had become imminent, and that the defense forces should stand
by at immediate notice.
At General Headquarters, Home Forces, there was then no machinery
by which the then existing eight hours' notice for readiness could be ad-
justed to a state of readiness for "immediate action" by intermediate stages.
The code word "Cromwell" signifying "invasion imminent" was there-
fore issued by General Headquarters, Home Forces, that evening (8 p.m., 7th
September) to the Eastern and Southern Commands implying "action sta-
tions" for the forward (coastal) divisions. It was also issued to all forma-
tions in the London area and to the 4th and 7th Corps in General Head-
quarters Reserve, implying a state of readiness at short notice. The code
word was repeated for information to all other Commands in the United
In some parts of the country certain Home Guard Commanders, acting
on their own initiative, called out the Home Guard by the ringing of church
bells. This in turn gave rise to rumors that enemy parachutists were land-
ing. There were also various reports, subsequently proved to be incorrect,
that German E-boats were approaching the coast.
On the following morning (8th September), General Headquarters,
Home Forces, gave instructions that the Home Guard were not to be per-
manently called out on receipt of the code word "Cromwell," except for
special tasks; also, that Church bells were to be rung only by order of a
Home Guard who had himself seen at least 25 parachutists landing, and
not because other bells had been heard, or for any other reason.
[House of Commons Debates]

LORD INVERCHAPEL, British Ambassador to the United States,
to the Pilgrims Society

New York, November 12, 1946. When Lord Halifax said goodbye to you
he referred to what he called a "kindly tradition" which the Pilgrims had
set up. I mean the tradition of inviting the British Ambassador to make to
you his first speech in New York in reply to the welcome which you give
him, and which I am privileged to receive tonight, and his last when you
speed him on his way home to the museum or the farm.
Unhappily I arrived at an inconvenient time of the year and I have
already been ambassador for nearly six months. Try as I might, I found
it well-nigh impossible to keep silent throughout these months, but I did

British Speeches of the Day [LORD INVERCHAPEL]

my best and, with one exception, for which I obtained your permission,
I have confined myself to what is very misleadingly called "a few words."
Before I set out on the road that I have chosen for myself tonight, I
should like to recall to you a practice of Lord Halifax which will, I hope,
also grow into a tradition. When he last spoke to you, Lord Halifax said
that he took every opportunity that came his way to visit the different
parts of the United States. In fact he visited all forty-eight States of the
Union. After a deliberate summer in Washington, spent in trying to get
my feet on the ground, I began modestly to follow his example, and at
the end of August I set forth on a journey by car which took me through
five States of the Northwest-Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washing-
ton. It was an exhilarating and highly educative experience. I was able
to meet and to talk freely and informally with people of all walks in life-
governors and officials, members of Chambers of Commerce, representatives
of Labor, both the A. F. of L. and the C. I. O., of Foreign Policy Associa-
tions, Rotarians, and so on. I must say that I was deeply touched by the
warmth of the welcome that I got wherever I went, and I was greatly
impressed by the intelligence of the questions I was asked, by the knowledge
of the world that I encountered, and the great interest everyone took in the
developments in my own country.
Lord Halifax was profoundly right when he said to you that it was
always the darker side of the picture, the differences between peoples, which
stood out in capital cities. By going and meeting the ordinary man in the
country you regain a sense of proportion. I hope that before I leave the
United States I shall have caught up on my predecessor's record and made
as many friends as he gathered about him in different parts of the Union,
for everywhere I go I find his name a happy legend.
But let me return to the Pilgrims of the United States and their tradi-
tions. Your Society is barely half a hundred honorable years old, but it
stands for ideas far older and far sturdier than age implies. I mean the
liberal tradition. These ideas fought their way out of, and overthrew, the
old and rigid system in which they were born; they won freedom of
expression and of action; and they withstood two formidable counter-
attacks in our day, before which the timid trembled and said, "We are lost."
That men are equal before the law, that they are free to do what they
will, provided that they do not harm their neighbors, that they may
worship their own conceptions of God, and, as we prove tonight, assemble
for whatever purpose may seem good to them provided they do not disturb
the peace; these, in terms of history, comparatively new visions of man's
dignity, have withstood assaults from the enemies of liberty, far more sav-
age and determined than those to which earlier social systems were exposed.
I do not hesitate to say that these clean and free conceptions of human
society are more deeply rooted and more tenaciously held than ever before
by our two peoples for the reason that together we have been through
the fire.
There are those who suggest that we have recently trifled with our
heritage because the Government now in power in my country was elected

The Heritage of Freedom

to take control over a large part of our economy. I should like to try to
dispel any misgivings which may be brooding in your minds on that score.
We know what it is to give up our liberties. We did so during the war,
in order to be all the surer of the freedom that was to follow. We retained
free speech, but we surrendered the right to choose our jobs, and millions
of our people, both men and women, were directed by the Government
to work wherever their labors would be most useful to the cause. We know
all about that. Nobody liked it, least of all His Majesty's Ministers today,
who took immediate steps to restore these fundamental rights so soon as
Japan met its defeat.
The policy of my Government in dealing with the most difficult
economic situation arising out of six years of total war is simple enough
to define. Its purpose is to ensure that our people are fully employed in a
manner best calculated to produce goods for export in exchange for the
imports we require, and to restore as speedily as possible, and as fairly as
possible, decent standards of housing, clothing and general living for all
our people. To achieve this, the Government has set out on a program of
public enterprise for the development of certain basic industries and essen-
tial services. Nevertheless, in spite of all this State activity, 80 per cent
of our economy will remain in private hands when the present program
has been put into effect.
There will always be a few who see a threat to liberty wherever the
State puts its hand. But would it not be a denial of liberty to set aside the
vote of the British people cast in secret ballot on issues which have been
publicly canvassed?
This issue has, of course, been debated in your courts for years. And
here I should like to refer to Justice Holmes' famous dissenting judgment
in Lochner and the State of New York as long ago as 1905. He said: "I
think the word liberty in the Fourteenth Amendment is perverted when
it is held to prevent the natural outcome of a dominant opinion." We
have no written Constitution and therefore no Fourteenth Amendment,
but we most certainly have, as Justice Holmes went on to say, "fundamental
principles as they have been understood by the traditions of our people
and our law." I feel no doubt that my countrymen would react as sharply
to a threat to these traditions from within, as they did when they were
challenged from without.
No one in my country entertains any doubt whatever that Great
Britain, and the Commonwealth of which it forms a, part, occupies as
outstanding a place in the new world which is being born today as it did
in the old, whose painful death so deeply touched it. Ultimately the secret
of national revival does not lie in economic arrangements. National char-
acter plays a far more important part in shaping the destinies of peoples,
and that character found a dramatic and purifying new birth in the perils
of 1940. I am persuaded that our national character has almost everything
in common with your own. A certain gentle and engaging slip-shoddiness

British Speeches of the Day (LoRD INVERCHAPEL]

in time of peace which comes from our love of peace. A tendency to turn
our backs on trouble until it bursts upon us. Then, when we are angered,
a resilience and a vigor which prove to be the bafflement of our enemies,
and a toughness and tenacity which in the end are their undoing.
All this shone forth in you before and after December, 1941.
Whilst there are some who say that we in Britain are surrendering our
liberty, others chide us with being imperialists and oppressors of backward
races. If it had not been for that force which drove our people to seek new
lives in distant lands, how different would have been the lot of all of us
who are gathered here tonight. Of course, these early British pioneers and
buccaneers sought wealth and fortune when they braved the seas in
Elizabethan days, but reflect, I beg you, on the heritage and spirit which
they took with them and planted in the peoples they visited and amongst
whom they settled, for theirs was the ethos of the Renaissance, of the new
liberal age, of Shakespeare, of Marlowe, who still remain unmatched in
any land.
Had it not been for these men, what a poor story Anglo-Saxon peoples
would have had to tell If they had not lived, your great Union would
have taken a very different shape. Nor would there exist the British
Commonwealth of Nations, an association of widely scattered sovereign
states united only by the common spirit of liberal institutions under one
Crown. This Commonwealth is the first example of a United Nations
organization. Each part of it is willing to forego some of its sovereign
rights for the common good. It was the first, freely, to meet the challenge
of the aggressor. So free was this structure, indeed, that one of the mem-
bers chose to stand aside from the conflict. No one paused to question its
right to do so.
There were those who had grave misgivings on the coming of the
Statute of Westminster which put the Dominions on an equal footing
with ourselves, but no legal compulsion would ever keep such an organiza-
tion as the British Commonwealth together.
That was proved in 1776. Our Commonwealth exists in virtue of a
belief-belief in the essentials of liberty and respect for the dignity of man.
So long as we hold fast to these values, we shall remain together. We hold
them more strongly today than ever before, and let no man's unwisdom
tell him that we are a weaker force in the world than hitherto.
There is a tendency, particularly among the people who have inherited
Dr. Haushofer's ugly jargon of land masses and geopolitics, to look at the
United Kingdom, with its population of nearly 50 million, crowded into
a small island no larger than one of your States, and to say there is little
hope for it-half a dozen atom bombs and a score of rockets would finish
it. People who indulge in these morbid speculations miss the point. We
are not one nation-we are six-and if India chooses to remain in the
family, we shall be seven. We are scattered and dispersed all over this
planet in a manner that will, if the worst comes to the worst, give us a
far better chance to survive than if we were contained in one "land mass"
or whatever other inelegant expression these theorists may use. It is. because of

The Heritage of Freedom

this dispersal that, collectively, we as a Commonwealth face the future with
full confidence. I use the word "collectively" with deliberation, because
we wish to be thought of in this way.
We take pride in the fact that among the more vigorous pioneers of
the United States were men and women from Great Britain. They left us
then because our society was intolerant of their independence of thought
and habit.
If, in those days, we had learned to respect the dignity of man, in other
words, if we had learned the art of tolerance, which is the essence of a
liberal society, these people might never have left our shores.
Fortunately for us, many of the same stock did not go. They stayed at
home to fight the battle for freedom there. It is hardly one hundred years
since the founders of our trades union movement were treated as criminals
-and conspirators who, when they were caught, were transported to penal
settlements abroad. They won their battle, and today their descendants
occupy the highest offices of state both in the United Kingdom and the
Dominions. It falls to them to decide the destinies of our colonial empire.
This colonial empire we have inherited from the old days of imperial-
ism which ended with the nineteenth century. It has been scowled at in
many quarters, not least in Great Britain. Anyone familiar with the
career of that great nineteenth-century statesman, William Ewart Glad-
stone, will bear me out. It is perfectly true, and I should be the last to
deny, that much of it was gotten in circumstances and for motives which
we should shun today. But then, if you probe into the past of any title,
you are apt to turn up some pretty noisome things. For myself, I think
that it would be imprudent in any man to suggest that, at this stage, we
should walk out of the Asian, African, and Caribbean territories and leave
these people to their own devices. All these territories are in different
stages of development. Long ago we ceased to regard them as fields for
exploitation, and we hold them rather in trusteeship.
His Majesty's Government is more than ever determined to quicken
the process of teaching them to govern themselves so that they may take
their place alongside the Dominions.
Some of the Colonies have almost reached this stage. Take Ceylon,
for instance. This island has been given a new constitution which affords
her full self-government in internal affairs. Defense and foreign policy
alone are reserved to His Majesty's Government. Ceylon has a parlia-
mentary system, with a cabinet answerable to the peoples' representatives
on the same lines as in Great Britain.
In Africa, about which it is difficult to generalize because conditions are
so varied, the process of developing representative institutions is going
on very fast. New constitutional arrangements have been made in Nigeria,
the Gold Coast, Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar, which provide for ampler
African representation. More and more of the official work is being per-
formed by Africans themselves.
Parallel with the development of self-government is the immense work
of raising the standard of living of these colonial peoples. In the course

British Speeches of the Day

of the next ten years, my government is proposing to spend millions, in
addition to the colonial governments' own revenues, on improving health,
education, and the means of livelihood.
It is impossible for me to deal with these matters in detail. I shall have
accomplished my present purpose if I have been able to bring it home to
you that we regard the progress that these Colonies deserve as a major
British interest. Our prosperity, yours and theirs, is bound up with this
It is sometimes good to look at the horizon towards which we are
journeying. There we no longer see Colonies administered from London,
because their inhabitants are too ignorant and too poor to look after
themselves. We see this British Empire, now half Commonwealth and half
Empire, transformed into one great, free association of peoples, Anglo-
Saxons, Asiatics, Africans and Polynesians. We see these nations as equal
members of a partnership called the British Commonwealth. They will
be members of that Commonwealth because it means that they subscribe
to the ideas of liberty and human dignity. They will take their place with
you and the other members of the United Nations in the councils of the
world. It will be some time before that horizon is reached, but much
progress has been made during the lifetime of the Pilgrims of the United
States. I, for my part, feel no doubt whatever that the spirit which has
brought us stumbling down the centuries will surely bring us in good
time to our goal.
[Oficial Release]

The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is
devoted to answering questions which Members of Parliament put
to Ministers. A selection of some of the questions asked during No-
vember, 1946, is included below, together with the Ministers' answers.

Mr. A. Edward Davies (Labor) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster the respective rations in calories in the U. S. and British zones in
Germany; what is being done to achieve parity; and whether there is any
imminent danger to maintaining supplies consequent on the U. S. decision
to take no further action on behalf of foreign purchasers in her markets.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Hynd): In both zones the
official ration for the normal consumer has stood at 1,550 calories since 14th
October. There is great difficulty in meeting this scale in the British zone
but not as a result of the U. S. Government decision to which my hon.
Friend refers, which does not apply to grain, the only food we buy for
Germany in the U. S. A.
[November 20, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons

Lieut.-Colonel Sharp (Labor) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan-
caster what is the capacity of the electric power generating plant in the
British zone of Germany, and the actual amount now generated; what
amount is retained within the zone for industrial, domestic and other pur-
poses; what amount is now exported to France, other Allied countries, and
the U. S., French and Soviet zones, respectively; and what are the total im-
ports of electricity into the zone.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Hynd): The present
capacity is 2,024,000 kilowatts. Details of the electric power available for
the week ended 16th October, 1946, are shown in the following table:
Electric Power in the British Zone
1,000 1,000
Kilowatt Kilowatt
Hours Hours
Generated in British Zone ... 211,113 Retained in British Zone for:
Total imports from: Industrial purposes. 112,069
U.S. Zone .............. 636 Domestic purposes.. 28,300
Russian Zone .......... 9,474 Other purposes..... 37,294
10,110 117,663
Total Exports to:
France ............ nil
Belgium ........... 3,780
Holland .......... 1
U.S. Zone ......... 11,507
*French Zone ...... 25,133
Russian Zone ..... 3,139
221,223 221223
A proportion of the exports to the French Zone is re-exported to France.
[November 1, 1946]

Mr. Gammans (Conservative) asked the President of the Board of Trade
whether he will give the House any information of the British-Soviet trade
Secretary, Overseas Trade Dept. (Mr. Marquand): The agreement
reached at the beginning of September with the Soviet Trade Delegation
provided for the settlement of certain outstanding problems relating to the
supply to the U.S.S.R. of civilian goods manufactured in this country under
the Civil Supplies Agreement of 1941; for assistance by His Majesty's Gov-
ernment to the Soviet Government in concluding contracts for the purchase
of natural rubber; and for the supply by Russia to this country during the
remainder of the 1946 shipping season of 25,000 standards of softwood at
a price of 34 per standard. It was part of the understanding reached with
the Soviet Trade Delegation that the settlement of the difficulties outstand-
ing under the 1941 Agreement would open the way to full discussions about
the expansion of trade between Russia and this country. Talks on this
wider subject have already begun.

British Speeches of the Day

Mr. Gammans: Will the hon. Gentleman say what is standing in the way
of the conclusion of a comprehensive trade agreement between this coun-
try and Russia, and not merely one relating to the small range of articles
to which he has referred?
Mr. Marquand: We are now actively engaged in discussions with the
Soviet Government on the possibility of a comprehensive agreement.
Mr. Edelman (Labor): In view of the shortage of timber, would my hon.
Friend make as much shipping as possible available, in order that we may
receive this timber before the Baltic Ports are closed by ice?
Mr. Marquand: Yes, Sir. We have undertaken, and indeed it was a part
of the negotiations, which I remember very well, to remove as much of this
timber as possible before the winter.
[November 4, 1946]

Mr. Beswick (Labor) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount
of pounds sterling allowed to be taken from the United Kingdom; what is
the amount which passengers on trans-Atlantic liners are permitted to draw
from the ship's bank; and what precautions are taken to ensure that this
latter amount is not taken ashore.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton): 20 in notes. Subject
to review after a short time, the bank on the Queen Elizabeth may, by
previous arrangement, cash cheques for moderate amounts specifically
intended to cover spending on board. Notes so obtained may not be brought
into this country in excess of the 20 limit.
[November 6, 19461

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones): The Gov-
ernment recently had conversations with representatives of the Jewish
Agency on the serious state of affairs in Palestine and the possibility of re-
ducing the present tension. These conversations were reported by the
Agency representatives to the Inner Zionist Council meeting in Palestine
on 29th October. One of the resolutions subsequently issued by that body
was in the following terms:
"The Inner Zionist Council declares that the Zionist Movement has always re-
jected and continues to reject terrorist bloodshed as an instrument of political struggle.
The banner of Zionism must be kept pure and unbesmirched. The Inner Zionist
Council denounces without reservation the bloodshed caused by groups of terrorists
who defy national discipline and thereby place themselves outside the ranks of the
organized community. These deeds defile the struggle of the Jewish people and dis-
tort its character; they strengthen the hands of the opponents of Zionism and the
enemies of the Jewish people. The Council calls upon the Yishuv to isolate these
groups and to deny them all encouragement, support and assistance."
With this resolution in mind and the declarations of other leaders in
the past few weeks, the Government have considered the continued deten-
tion of the Jewish leaders and have decided to authorize the High Com-
missioner to release them. Their decision is being announced in the fol-
lowing communique, which is being issued in Jerusalem this afternoon:

Question Time in the House of Commons

"In view of the condemnation of terrorism embodied in the resolutions an-
nounced at the meeting on the 29th October of the Inner Zionist Council, which is
accepted as an earnest of the intention of the Jewish Agency and of representative
Jewish institutions in Palestine to dissociate themselves entirely from the campaign
of violence and to do their utmost to root out this evil, His Majesty's Governmem
have concurred in the release by the Palestine Government of the detained Jewish
The House will share my hope that this action will lead to an improve-
ment in the security situation in Palestine, and help to restore conditions
in which progress can be made towards a general settlement, which is so
urgently necessary.
I take this opportunity to inform the House that the release has also
been approved of certain Palestinian Arabs who have been undergoing
detention. The following announcement is being made this afternoon by
the High Commissioner:
"His Majesty's Government have now fully considered representations made
to them by the Arab delegates to the Palestine Conference on the subject of the
Palestinian Arabs detained in the Seychelles. In the light of these representations, and
as a gesture of good will at this time when important decisions on the future of Pales-
tine are in the balance, they have decided to release these detainees and to permit
their return to Palestine along with two other Arabs formerly detained in the Sey-
chelles, but already released on health grounds. In addition, an amnesty is being
granted by the Palestine Government to certain other Arabs."
[November 5, 1946]

Mr. G. Thomas (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies
whether he is aware that during this year two para-military Arab organi-
zations called "Najjada" and "Futuwwa," respectively, have been formed
in Palestine and have been holding parades of their uniformed members
in public places and training members in the use of small arms weapons;
and whether this has been done with the approval of the Palestine Admin-
Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones): The Arab
youth organizations in Palestine, to which my hon. Friend refers, "Najjada"
and "Futuwwa," originated as Arab scout movements, the former towards
the end of 1945 and the latter as far back as 1935. Their present activities
are being kept under close observation by the Palestine Administration,
and cases which have come to notice of unlawful drilling and interference
with the liberty of the subject are being dealt with. There has been no
reliable evidence that these groups have been indulging in small arms train-
ing, but the question whether or not they should be granted the requisite
permission to wear distinctive dress is under current examination by the
competent authorities in Palestine. [November 20, 19461

Mr. Rees-Williams (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies
whether he will state the policy of His Majesty's Government on the owner-
ship and operation of the mineral resources of the Colonial Empire.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones):
I have recently conveyed to Colonial Governments, in a memorandum

British Speeches of the Day

which I propose to publish shortly, my view that it is desirable for their
legislation to provide for the reservation to the Crown of mineral rights in
any future sale or alienation of Crown or public lands, and have suggested
that the desirability of re-acquiring for the Crown mineral rights already
alienated should be reviewed in the light of local circumstances. I have,
in addition, made it clear that Colonial Governments should, where neces-
sary, be prepared to undertake mining operations on their own behalf.
[November 6, 1946]
Mr. Skinnard (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies
whether he is prepared to make a statement on the proposal to develop
Cabinet government in Barbados; and whether he intends to extend this
experiment to other West Indian islands.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones):
As the statement is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission,
circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the statement.
In Barbados, the Legislature consists of the Governor, a nominated Leg-
islative Council, and an elected House of Assembly based on a liberal fran-
chise. The main legislative power, apart from the Governor's veto, thus
resides with the House of Assembly. The Governor has an Executive Com-
mittee of nine, including four members of the House of Assembly, but these
have hitherto been chosen by the Governor, and do not represent any party
in the House. They have had no collective responsibility, either for the
framing of policy or for explaining and defending Government Measures in
the House of Assembly. The result has been a tendency to deadlock be-
tween the Executive and the Legislature.
The Governor announced, in proroguing the Legislature on 1st October,
that in the hope of resolving this deadlock, it is proposed after the impend-
ing elections to ask the leader of the party which secures a majority in the
House of Assembly to recommend four members of the House for appoint-
ment to the Executive Committee. These members will be given charge
of the general policy relating to particular Departments, for the purpose
of dealing with the affairs of those Departments in the Executive Committee
and the House of Assembly. The Executive Committee will thus, it is
hoped, become an effective organ of Government, accepting collective re-
sponsibility for policy, instead of being merely a group of personal advisers
to the Governor. This change in practice involves no formal modification
of the constitution.
With regard to the second part of the Question, the experimental step
described above could not be applied without some modification in the
other West Indian Colonies, where the constitutions differ generally from
that of Barbados. In Jamaica, the Executive Council, which includes mem-
bers elected from the House of Representatives, is already the principal
instrument of policy. The question of constitutional development in all
these Colonies is kept constantly under review. [November 6, 1946]

Question Time in the House of Commons

Mr. Sorensen (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if, in
view of the pressing need, he will consider a greater expansion of West
African medical services by 1951 and after than is at present contemplated.
Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones): The expansions
of the medical services in the West African Colonies envisaged for the next
10 years are already considerable. Nigeria, for example, is devoting nearly
9,000,000 under its 55,000,000 development plan to these services, and by
1956 will have more than doubled its present annual expenditure of nearly
1,000,000. The number of hospital beds will be multiplied 21 times and
the medical staff trebled. In addition, over 8,000,000 is to be spent on im-
proved water supplies, and that should have a marked effect on the health
of the people. In proportion to its resources, Sierra Leone proposes ex-
penditure of a similar order; and although the plans for the Gold Coast
and Gambia are not yet final, they too provide for substantial expansion.
I have constantly in mind the pressing need to which my hon. Friend
refers, but having regard to the limitation of the available resources, and
the need of other equally essential services, I do not think it would be wise
Ato contemplate further expansions unless the future revenues of the terri-
tories concerned turn out to exceed our expectations.
[November 6, 1946]

Captain Crookshank (Conservative) asked the Minister of Fuel and
Power whether he can now make an announcement about fixing the Pri-
mary Vesting Date under the Coal Industry Nationalization Act.
The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Shinwell): Yes, Sir. The National
Coal Board have been working extremely hard in preparing for the actual
taking over of the mines at the earliest possible moment. The administra-
tive problems involved in an immense and unprecedented operation of this
kind are, of course, formidable. Suitable office accommodation has been
difficult to secure. A great variety of staff has to be engaged, and first class
personnel are never easy to find, especially for a new form of organization.
It will be some time before finality is reached in the case of many assets
for which options have to be exercised. The Board have also to make ar-
rangements to continue conciliation machinery and wage agreements in the
industry, and to provide for adequate financial arrangements and controls,
and so forth. In many ways the Board will have to make temporary and
provisional arrangements until their organization is fully staffed. Com-
posite undertakings will present special difficulties. In spite of the prob-
lems with which the Board are faced, there is, I am sure, general recogni-
tion in the industry, which I may say the Board share, that the mines should
be vested in the Board at the earliest possible date. I am sure, too, that
the Board can count on the fullest co-operation of the National Union of
Mineworkers, and of all those concerned with the industry in overcoming
the inevitable difficulties of the transitional period. After careful consider-
ation, and after consultation with the Board, I have decided that the trans-

British Speeches of the Day

ference of the mines to national ownership shall take place on 1st January,
1947, and I accordingly propose to make the necessary Order under the Act
to fix this as the Primary Vesting Date.
[November 18, 1946]
Sir W. Smithers (Conservative) asked the Prime Minister how many
persons have been killed and wounded, respectively, in India, Ceylon and
Burma since 29th June, 1946; and if he will give figures for natives and
Europeans separately.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee): The following figures are for casu-
alties due to civil disturbances exclusive of ordinary crime. Separate fig-
ures are not available for European casualties, but they may safely be as-
sumed to have been very small indeed. In British India, during the period
referred to, 5,946 persons were killed and 14,550 wounded. Practically all
of these casualties occurred in communal disturbances, but they exclude
those in Bihar during the present month and also those in Noakhali and
Tippera during October. For neither of these are reliable estimates yet
available. In Burma, no persons have been reported as either killed or
wounded in civil disturbances during the relevant period. In Ceylon, four
persons were killed and 12 wounded in an act of sabotage committed dur-
ing a strike for increased wages.
[November 18, 19461

Mr. Gammans (Conservative) asked the Minister of Supply if the Ger-
man scientists who have come to this country to work on rocket research
were engaged on a voluntary agreement; and what are the terms of that
Minister of Supply (Mr. Wilmot): The agreements, which are entirely
voluntary, offer employment to these scientists for six months in the first
instance and are subject to renewal by mutual agreement. The contract
may be terminated earlier on compassionate grounds or for other reasons
at the Department's discretion. The salaries offered are graded according
to qualifications.
[November 18, 1946]
Commander Noble (Conservative) asked the Parliamentary Secretary to
the Admiralty whether he will make a further statement on the recent min-
ing of two destroyers; what further mine sweeping of the channel between
Corfu and the mainland has been carried out since 22nd October; and with
what result.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. Dugdale): Yes, Sir.
The damage sustained by H.M.S. Saumarez was very severe, and she may
be a total loss. The damage to H.M.S. Volage was also severe, but it will
be possible to repair her. On 12th and 13th November, His Majesty's mine-

Question Time in the House of Commons

sweepers swept the North Corfu channel. During this operation 22 mines
were cut, two of which were recovered and sent to Malta for detailed ex-
amination. I regret that I cannot make a further statement until the evi-
dence produced by this examination has been fully considered.
[November 20, 1946]

Mr. Zilliacus (Labor) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
whether the announcement of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to
the Security Council on 23rd November to the effect that, as things stand,
the Government are not prepared to base their policy on U.N.O., repre-
sents the present foreign policy of His Majesty's Government.
Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew): My
right hon. Friend has made no such statement. He has, however, in the
course of the General Assembly in New York, expressed the anxiety of His
Majesty's Government, to which the Prime Minister gave expression in the
House of Commons on 23rd October, that the Security Council should be-
come an effective instrument for the maintenance of international peace
and security. I believe there are few Members of the House who would
maintain that the Security Council during the past few months has worked
as it was intended to work by the authors of the Charter. Nevertheless, as
His Majesty's Government have repeatedly stated, their foreign policy con-
tinues to be based upon the United Nations. They are continuing to seek
means of increasing its effectiveness and particularly that of the Security
[November 28, 1946]

Sir Ian Fraser (Conservative) asked the President of the Board of Trade
if he has granted the application for a license for the export of a haggis
for the St. Andrew's Day dinner in Chicago.
Secretary for Overseas Trade (Mr. Marquand): I understand that the
passenger was allowed to take with him the haggis to which this Question
[November 27, 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.

House of Commons, November 4. Mr. Bevan.

House of Commons, November 5.

House of Commons, November 19.

House of Commons, November 20.

House of Commons, November 26.

Mr. Attlee. London, November 9.

Mr. Silkin. London, November 25.

Sir Stafford Cripps. London,

Mr. Marquand.

Mr. Isaacs.

Mr. Morrison.

Mr. Dalton.

November 27.


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