We Stand at Armageddon
PAX BRITANNICA OR PAX HITLERICA
By the MOST HON. THE MARQUESS OF LOTHIAN, C.H., British Ambassador to the United States
Delivered to the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, April 19, 1940
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol VI, pp. 488-493.
IT is now more than eight months since the second world war of the twentieth century began. I feel that it is right that I, as the Ambassador of Great Britain to the United States, should try to put before you why we are against a patched-up peace, and the kind of peace we are fighting for. I think you have the right to know this because, unfortunately, the war is affecting you and other neutrals more and more every day.
In making such a speech I may be accused of propaganda. If propaganda means the telling of lies or the making of suggestions and innuendoes designed to mislead or prejudice other nations into doing things which they would otherwise not do there will be no propaganda in this speech. But if it means telling you the real facts about the way my countrymen think, and that is what I am going to do, then I am performing an essential function in the international relations of Democracies. For how can free nations arrive at sound policies in international affairs unless they are honestly told what the others think?
Why do the Allies go on fighting? Why are they uninfluenced by the many "peace offensives" which directly or indirectly come from Berlin. They are fighting, of course, first for their own existence. But they are also fighting because they are convinced that not only a victory by Nazi Germany but a truce with Nazi Germany now would be the end of most of the civilized values which Christianity and
Western democracy have laboriously built up in recent centuries.
A great many people in England thought at first that Hitler was righting for equal rights for Germany, was fighting to remedy those clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which implied discrimination against Germany, such as unilateral disarmament.
But gradually it became clear that Hitler and the Nazi regime were not concerned merely with equal rights for Germany; that what Hitler really wanted was not equality but domination. So long as he was seeking to recover what might be called equality—that is to say, the right to fortify the Rhineland frontiers, to have an army equivalent to his neighbours, to incorporate in Germany the Austrian Germans —he was able to get his way without serious opposition or war. If we had realised then what we know now about the true nature of Hitlerism there would probably have been opposition from the Allies before. As it was, it was only when he demanded the incorporation of the Sudeten Germans in the Reich under threat of war that our people fully awoke to what Nazism meant and that a war crisis arose. For, by the end of 1938, there was no possible excuse for his attempting any further revision by force, if he was thinking only of security and equal rights for Germany. It was the conviction, which dawned on everybody after he tore up the Munich settlement and marched into Prague, that what he was really after was not equal rights for Germany but the political and economic domination of Europe that stiffened Polish resistance to his demands and made Poland itself the test case on which France and Britain decided that they had to halt Nazi aggression, if need be,
For the plain fact, now obvious to all thinking people, is that what Hitler and his regime are after is something entirely different from what the liberal and democratic nations, indeed Western civilization, have been working towards for the last 150 years. The underlying motive of Western civilization has been the extension of human freedom. The first step was to secure to the individual the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, to freedom of religion, to freedom of political opinion, and to a share in responsibility for the laws he is called upon to obey—that is, to the principle that government shall be with the consent of the governed. Nowhere have these ideals, based upon the rights of man, been more fully worked out in the internal sphere than in the United States. More recently Western civilization has sought to establish another form of freedom, the right to national self-government. We have come to believe that the era of the conquest and control of one race by another is over, that war is fratricide and that some stable security must be found for all nations so that they can have both liberty and protection against war.
It is quite true that these ideals have so far been only imperfectly realised. But we in Britain are still profoundly convinced that the great war of 1914, which it is now often the fashion to regard as a blunder, was a successful war of liberation. As a result of it every nation in Europe, for the first time in history, obtained its freedom, including Ireland. The old British Empire became a Commonwealth of free nations. Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand became completely independent of London control. India took immense strides to self-government, considering the enormous difficulties of democracy in a country containing 360,000,000 million people with deep divisions in religion,
language and methods of government. The Arab territories were freed. The Nine-Power Treaty gave China the prospect of an independent future. You took long steps towards the independence of the Philippine Islands.
There is no doubt that the war of 1914 was in fact a war of liberation. The real reason for the breakdown of the peace settlement was not the defects in the peace itself, though they were many, but the fact that the democracies, while they were right about national freedom, has not yet thought out how the new order of national freedom was to be effectively maintained. They did not realise what your ancestors learned between 1781 and 1789, that the condition of freedom is unity under the reign of law and freedom for trade and that without them both freedom and prosperity rapidly disappear. It was not enough that the thirteen original States in America cast off the authority of George III. They did not make their freedom and prosperity secure until, after great difficulties, they established their unity in your wonderful constitution, a constitution which created the largest free trade area in the world. So in 1918, it was not enough to multiply the number of free nations, to raise, for instance, the number of European nations from 17 to 25, and the total number of nations in the world to over 70. That had to be balanced by some form of unity, if it was not to degenerate into anarchy, imperialism, unemployment and war. It is the real explanation of the tragedy of the last twenty years.
The League of Nations was a gallant attempt to supply the element of unity and order, but as you all know, it failed for a large variety of reasons. Very likely the integration of the world, when it comes, will have to be on quite different lines. But the lessons to be drawn from the failures of the last twenty years are what we shall all have to study when we come to consider the peace which is to follow the war. If it is to last it must conform to the realities of power and national self-interest and idealism at least as well as did the Canning-Monroe system which laid the real foundations of the Nineteenth Century.
The conception for which Hitler and the National Socialist regime stand is something entirely different and opposite to these basic ideals of the great stream of Western civilization. The Nazi programme recognises none of the basic individual rights—freedom of person, freedom of speech, freedom of political association, freedom of religion. The citizen is given no responsibility for law and government. He is held to exist for the aggrandisement of the state to which he belongs. He is trained to obey without question the orders of the self-constituted rulers of the state. It is the same with nations. Might is right. The rights of nations derive wholly from their strength. Small nations have no rights as against powerful nations. Hitler has said "I hate these dwarf states." It is their duty to yield politically and economically to the demands of their stronger neighbours. It is the utter ruthlessness of his disregard of the rights of other peoples— first of the Czechs and the Poles and his treatment of them —once they are in his power, and now of the Danes and the Norwegians which has made the war inevitable and proves Hitler the real aggressor. The Nazi system is a system of empire building by the forcible subjection of the labour, territory and resources of weak neighbours for the benefit of the German ruling race. Whatever mistakes the rest of us have made in the past there is no hope of a reasonably free, peaceful and stable world for any of us until that purpose is broken, once and for all.
The objectives of Hitler-Germany are now pretty well understood. They are set forth in that highly indigestible book "Mein Kampf" which is why, perhaps, it took us so long to understand what Hitlerism implied. In its essential nature, it is the utterly ruthless use of violence and despotism for the purpose of territorial expansion and domination. It is of the utmost importance to realise what the Hitler technique implies.
The Germans have always been attracted by the dream of becoming the successors of the old Roman Empire. It was their pursuit of the mirage of the Holy Roman Empire in the later middle ages which prevented Germany from evolving into a strong national state as did France, England and other European nations, and kept it a congeries of over 300 little dynastic principalities, whose people never obtained any political training or responsibility at all. Napoleon at the beginning of the last century reduced the number of these little states to 30, and Bismarck reduced them 70 years later to one Prussian empire by fighting three wars.
The Hitler technique of empire-building has been simple. He set out first of all to create the model war state. He concentrated all political power in the hands of himself and the leaders of his National Socialist Party. He introduced conscription in its most complete and universal form. He organised the whole youth of Germany and indoctrinated them in a set of horrible dogmas, such as the cult of blood and soil, the nobility of war and sacrifice, the vileness of Jews and the worship of the German racial state. This gave him a steadily increasing proportion of the German people wholly conditioned to his leadership. He took charge of the press, publishing and propaganda, and undermined the independence and the influence both of the old centres of learning and of religion. He established control over the whole economic life of Germany and organised both people and industry at tremendous speed, for a single purpose, war. His strategic theory, as set out in "Mein Kampf", is simple. Hitler was convinced that if he could create in the centre of Europe a single disciplined, entirely militarised state of 80,000,000 Germans, obedient to a single dynamic will, using its gigantic power, backed by diplomatic deception and intrigue with utter ruthlessness, nothing would prevent Nazified Germany from conquering, or dominating and economically exploiting, its neighbours one by one, until he controlled, first, Europe, and in the end, the greater part of the world, as Rome dominated the then civilized world. The only thing that could prevent such a result would be the weakening of the morale of the German people, the rise of other despotisms as disciplined and as powerful as his own, or the combination of Germany's neighbours in an alliance for self-defence which collectively was stronger than Germany and its allies.
Hitler believes, and has repeatedly said, that he has created a Germany which will be stronger than the other despotisms and that the democracies are so degenerate, feeble and divided that they will neither arm or unite in time. His centre doctrine is stated in "Mein Kampf" as follows: "Do not ever permit there to be formed in Europe two continental powers. If there is any attempt to organise on the frontiers of Germany a second military power—even if only in the form of a state which might acquire such power— we should see in it an attack on Germany. Consider that it is not only your right but also your duty to prevent by all means and at need by arms, the constitution of such a state. If it already exists, destroy it." So much for Hitler's belief in the equal rights of all nations. This method was, in fact,the Roman method. The City of Rome knocked out its rivals one by one and absorbed their resources until, after the overthrow of its last rival, Carthage, it was omnipotent within the immense area which its road system enabled its legions to control. The secret of its success was ruthless violence. Cato used continually to cry "Delenda est Carthago" until Carthage was destroyed. One defect of the Roman empire was that it was a despotism. Another was that there was no room for national freedom within it. That is why it disappeared. These are also the defects of the Hitler Empire. But at least Rome treated its subjects well and eventually made them citizens, whereas its racial doctrines make the Nazis persecute and oppress them.
It is extraordinarily difficult for the democracies to grasp what the reversal of Western democratic ideals in favour of a return to the worship of imperialist power as an end in itself implies for themselves. When the gangster first appeared—the man that not merely threatened murder in order to appropriate other peoples' property but used murder as a method of social intimidation—society was half-paralysed until it organised itself to defeat the gangster by the use of his own weapons. It is the same in international affairs. It is difficult for us to realise that we are living in a world in which power alone counts, in which reason or justice or liberty are no protection against aggression, in which small nations, and for that matter quite big nations, have no rights against the military dictatorships unless they are strong enough by their own strength and valour and strategic situation, or because they stand together for collective action, to resist them. Yet the history of the last few years, of Manchuria, Abyssinia, Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, Albania, Finland, China and now Denmark and Norway all goes to demonstrate that that is the kind of world in which we live today. Whose turn will it be tomorrow? It is quite certain that the process will not stop until it is resisted by superior force.
On a long view therefore what the Allies, France, the British Commonwealth and their friends, feel that they are fighting for today is to prevent the extension of this new ruthless imperialist system first over Europe and later elsewhere, because its victory would be fatal not only to their own freedom but to free civilization itself. It would begin a new Dark Age. Indeed, we, the Allies, now feel that we are the last bastion of freedom in Europe. If we went down there would be nothing left in Europe, Asia and Africa which could resist totalitarian domination. There is not a small nation in Europe which does not feel this today. That is why the whole of Europe is waiting to see the result of the grim struggle which is now joined in the West and which will determine the kind of world we are to live in for centuries to come.
There is no doubt that the Allies being democracies, were late in making their preparations. Democracies hate war and are reluctant to accept the discipline or to pay the price. They put welfare before power. We were certainly late in combining for mutual protection in Europe. If the Scandinavian countries had had a firm pact of mutual assistance Russia would probably never have attacked Finland and if it had it would have been easy for the Allies to have sent assistance. The Allies, therefore have been caught relatively unprepared. Our first task is to make quite sure that Hitler and his allies, whoever they may be, cannot win victory over us. By entering the war when we did we have gained
eight invaluable months for preparation. We have never been under any illusions that the task we have set ourselves will not be a long and formidable one. From the beginning we have said that it would take three years. You must not expect immediate miracles all over the world from a nation which numbers only 47,500,000 souls, a third of your own size. In the last war the Allies had Russia, Italy and Japan and at the end the United States on our side. To-day the Allies are fighting alone, though with the sympathy of the vast majority of nations behind them. It may be, as in other wars we have fought, that our only really victorious battle will be the last.
Despite appearances we have already, as General Ironside has said, passed the most serious danger. There was a time when we were short of nearly everything. We introduced conscription only last June and our aeroplane production was low. It is certain that if Hitler believed that by an unlimited Blitzkrieg he could destroy Britain or France he would unloose it, because the destruction of the French army or the British navy would open the shortest and most decisive road both to the conquest of Europe and to dominance in the world. Indeed General Goering still threatens it. At the beginning of this month he declared in a speech that "having their flank and rear secure the German armed forces are in one firm bloc facing England and France. It is here that the decisive blow must be struck and for this decisive blow the Fuhrer has mobilised all his resources. It will fall when the Fuhrer has decided to "put an end to the war." The Scandinavian campaign may be the beginning of this attack.
But if Hitler does not launch the attack on the West in the next few months it will be proof that the Allied blockade has already sufficiently diminished his stocks and his power to replenish them that he does not dare to face total war, and that the development of air strength by France and Great Britain has been so rapid and so efficient that the German air force, long as it has been in development, recognises that it cannot overcome it.
Our first task then is to prove once and for all that the primary Nazi plan of campaign which seeks the rapid overthrow of France and Britain cannot succeed. Our second is to mobilise the immense resources at our command so as to be able either to knock out the Nazi power, or to convince the German people that the road to freedom and prosperity for themselves also is substitution for the Nazi regime of a government whose main purpose is not aggression and in whose word the rest of the world can trust. I cannot tell you when that time will come. I am not in the secrets of the Allied General Staff. I can only say two things. The first is that the struggle is not likely to be short, unless the Nazi morale breaks, and that it is likely to be fought out quite as much on the diplomatic as the military front. A new friend may mean a victory without a battle for either side. The second is that it is sometimes said that we seek the break-up and destruction of the unity of the German peoples as an end in itself. That is not true. What we are fighting for is security, security for everybody against aggression and war, poverty and unemployment; security for Germany no less than for her neighbours and ourselves, if she abandons aggression, so that all nations will be free to live their own lives without fear, with secure access to the raw materials and markets of the world.
But we are clear that a peace at present would only playinto the hands of despotism. It would be no more than a truce—a short interval between two world wars. Now that the battle has been joined it must be fought out until one system or the other—the free way of life or the despotic way of life—has definitely and permanently a preponderance of power behind it. An indecisive peace would almost certainly mean a victory for the dictatorships, for it is the essence of the Nazi system that it is organised for instant war. Whereas the democracies genuinely demobilise in peace, so that it takes time to mobilise again, the Nazi system, by its nature, is always ready for those lightning blows out of a relatively clear sky which have been Hitler's most successful method of aggression.
Personally I doubt whether the end of this war will see another great Peace Conference like the last. The basic conditions of the post-war world will be settled by the terms of the armistice, by the question of power, by the fact of where the preponderant power will lie at the time when the cease-fire sounds.
Let me consider for a moment the two alternatives. If the Allies win, the foundations will have been laid for the kind of free and liberal world in which the democracies have believed, though they have not yet seen how to create. Nations and individuals will be once more free. War, of course, in itself constructs nothing. But war is sometimes necessary, as now, to resist aggression and clear the foundations on which the free spirit of man can build constructively and in peace. As I have said, where we failed in 1919 was in our constructive work after the war of liberation was over. We believed that peace would come from freedom carried to the point of international anarchy and from disarmament. It did not and it cannot. Peace only comes from superior power behind law. The dictators saw their opportunity, created power for themselves and began to remake the world in their own image. What matters more than anything else is that at the end of this war the superiority of power should rest unmistakably in the hands not of the dictatorships but of the free peoples so that it will be they and not the totalitarians who will determine the future.
But what would happen if Germany were to win the war. There would then be an entirely different picture. They can only win the war if they can defeat France and Great Britain and take sea power into their own hands for it has been sea power which for 150 years has determined the kind of world in which we live. The capture of sea power is, therefore, Germany's central objective, for it is the key to world power. The cat was let right out of the bag during Mr. Sumner Welles' visit to Berlin. You remember the statement which was issued by the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin at that time. Germany's terms for peace were that Great Britain and France should cease to interfere in Central and Eastern Europe, that the British "stranglehold" on the seas should be ended and that Gibraltar should be restored to Spain.
There was a time, in the fifteen years after the great war, when it was possible for Germany to argue that the French alliances in Eastern Europe were restrictive of Germany because they were the main support behind the discriminatory clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. But these alliances were also designed to protect the small nations of Eastern Europe from having their liberty and independence forcibly taken away from them. The need for them has become more clear now that they have gone and Czecho-Slovakia and
Poland are in consequence the prostrate victims of Nazi aggression. When France and Great Britain say that they are interested in Eastern Europe they do not mean that they want to restrict any of Germany's natural rights there. What they mean is that, partly for reasons of their own security, they want to see Europe organized not as a number of prostrate peoples enslaved by the Gestapo but as a company of free nations united by some form of federal organisation. What we think that Hitler means by demanding that France and England should renounce all future interest in Eastern Europe is that Nazi Germany should be allowed to destroy the independence of the smaller nations there, enslave their populations and organise their resources for the furtherance of its own imperialist and warlike purposes without let or hindrance by anybody else. We do not think that Hitler is interested in the rights of other nations. His conduct shows that. We think he is interested only in power for Germany. What Hitler really resents is that the word liberty should be pronounced at all in relation to Eastern Europe.
Let me turn now to the German thesis about the so-called British "stranglehold" on the seas. That "stranglehold," I suppose, refers to the fact that Great Britain possesses a navy larger than that of any other country except the United States and that the British Commonwealth has naval bases all over the world. It is quite true that British naval power was the ultimate power behind the nineteenth century international system. That system rested on four foundations:—currencies based on gold and therefore creating a stable basis of exchange; free trade or low tariffs; free immigration; and the prevention, not of all wars, but of world war by the fact that there could be no world war until some other power built a navy capable of challenging that of Great Britain. It was not a perfect system. No doubt in some ways we abused our power. But it did not work badly. Never was there so great an expansion in human prosperity and human freedom as during that 100 years. The system lasted because it also suited almost everybody else. For so far from cramping and interfering with other nations, it promoted self-government and ensured free passage across the seas for capital, people and goods, and access to raw materials and markets everywhere to every nation, except in time of war. Do you suppose for one moment that if Nazi Germany or Communist Russia obtained command of the seas the world would be anything like as free as it was during that period of British control? Unless everything they have done in the past is misleading they would indeed "control the seas" and use their power to compel other nations to conform to their totalitarian ideas, both in the political and in the economic spheres.
Consider, too, the significance of the word "Gibraltar," so lightly thrown in by Dr. Goebbels. It sounds so simple and so fair that that historic rock should be returned to Spain. But supposing the principle were adopted that all naval bases should be controlled by the local inhabitants, the Straits of Gibraltar by Spain, Singapore by Malaya, Panama by the Panamanians, and so on, where should we get to? The plain truth is that the so-called command of the seas is what has given some elementary unity and order to the world. Until we reach the point foreseen by Tennyson when a federation of man comes into being which can keep law and order and maintain communication for everybody on equal terms, the real issue is not whether these strategicpoints should belong to the local inhabitants but whether they should belong to the democracies or to the totalitarians. And in the long run the world will be free or totalitarian according to which side holds them.
But this question of the control of the exit from the Mediterranean has a special significance not always realised. If it fell into Nazi hands it would be the end of the British Commonwealth because it would cut our communications both North and South and to the East. It would also profoundly affect the security behind the Monroe Doctrine. The first line of defense of the Monroe Doctrine has always been the fact that the leading naval power in Europe has supported its main principle—ever since Canning, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, proposed the idea to President Monroe in the days of the Holy Alliance. And that has meant that the exits from Europe to the Atlantic through the North Sea, the English Channel, past Gibraltar and past the Cape of Good Hope, have been controlled by a power friendly to the Monroe system. The security of the Monroe system has hitherto rested on the fact that the naval bases on both sides of the Atlantic have been in the hands of powers which supported it. The problem of defending it would be transformed if it had to be upheld from one side of the Atlantic and if the other side were held by a power hostile to it.
As a matter of fact the old British nineteenth century system has gone beyond repair. We are no longer strong enough to sustain it by ourselves. At the moment you and we share sea power between us, as the word parity implies. Under present conditions we are predominant in the Atlantic, you in the Pacific. The future depends largely upon what respectively we do with our power, each in our own sphere.
Anglo-American relations are always difficult to talk about, especially in time of war when one of us is a belligerent and the other is a neutral or when the question of sea power is discussed. There are, however, two sayings which each contain the proverbial half truth which I cannot forbear to quote tonight because they tend to put the question in a humorous perspective. One is the well known American gag about the attitude of Great Britain "England expects every American to do his duty"—that is, come to the assistance of the British Empire when it is in trouble. The other is the British gag about the attitude of the United States: "America expects the British Navy to defend her right to be neutral."
I have tried to explain what we in Britain think we are fighting for and why we cannot accept a trumped up peace. We believe that we are fighting not only for our existence but to ensure that the basic institutions and ideals which have been the guiding stars of Western civilization for the last 150 years shall not be wiped off the face of Europe and Asia and Africa by the military victory of the totalitarian dictatorships.
In our struggle, unfortunately, we cannot help inflicting hardships on neutral nations. The European neutrals are hit the hardest. The ruthless German submarine and aerial campaign has already sunk 500,000 tons of their shipping —more ships than we have lost ourselves—and killed or drowned more than a thousand of their seamen. At bottom, all European neutrals are on our side because they know that if we win they, and with them the Czechs and the Poles, the Danes and the Norwegians will retain or recover their free-
dom, but that in so far as Germany wins one and all lose their freedom and become dependents of one or other of the dictatorships.
In these circumstances and because we believe you are opposed to a victory for dictatorship we hope that you will be able to take a lenient view of the interferences that we reluctantly make with your normal peace time rights. We realise that when we examine your mails we cause you irritation, and were the positions reversed we should no doubt feel a similar irritation. But I ask you to accept my assurance that examination of this important channel of communication with Germany is a vital part of our economic warfare which we could not give up without serious prejudice to our prosecution of the war. German trade continues and German agents are at work trying to defeat the blockade. It is of essential importance that we should watch the mails everywhere. The examination of mails is not and will not be used to obtain information about ordinary commercial competition and your private affairs. In the present stage of the war the blockade—mainly of materials necessary to the military conduct of the war—is our principal weapon. Every channel into Germany helps to prolong the war, or, if it is a large one, to endanger victory. As regards examination of ships, delays and other inconveniences have now been greatly lessened and I think it is now accepted that there is no discrimination between American and other ships.
When we come to the question of agricultural purchases the situation is more difficult. We are severely rationing our own people, as are the French, partly to reduce consumption at home, partly to compel savings so that they can be lent to the Government. That means the reduction of some of our customary purchases in the United States. On the other hand, we are buying far more in the United States of America than usual. Our purchases in the first year will probably be increased by some $400,000,000 over our average purchases during the last five years and in the second year by a much higher figure. We are selling our dollar securities back to you to help to pay for these things. We cannot in addition buy as much of your agricultural products as usual. We cannot afford them. Even if we bought fewer aeroplanes we should not want more agricultural produce because our reduced consumption at home and the need for buying from countries who are willing to take our exports makes it impossible. We have great sympathy with the difficulties of American farmers because our own farmers have been in depression for years. Over the whole range of agricultural products we are buying a good deal—about 75 per cent of normal—and we shall continue to buy what we can. But we cannot buy at the old level. We can buy some corn from you if your prices are competitive. In the case of the much criticized treaty with Turkey, our indispensable ally in this war, the tobacco we have undertaken to buy from her annually for 20 years is less than 10 per cent of our normal purchases from the United States of America. The object of this undertaking is to enable Turkey to meet interest on war-time loans and to provide analternative market for her most important product which hitherto she has sold mainly to Germany and the United States, for you in America buy and smoke far more Turkish tobacco than we shall ever do. Finally, in imposing these restrictions we are not thinking at all about post-war trade. They are purely war measures. After the war we hope to return as quickly as possible to multilateral trade, for that will be the best guarantee of prosperity for all and against unemployment.
We would only ask you, in considering our actions, to realise that our people and the French people are submitting to hardships which are already very formidable and will certainly become more so and to weigh the troubles we cause you against the tremendous issues which are at stake in this war.
I have almost finished. I have endeavored to explain to you the present views of Great Britain about the war in Europe—as fairly and honestly as I can. We are convinced that in the end we are going to win, though not perhaps before the world has become a different place from what it is today. We do not believe that individual freedom can be permanently extinguished or national freedom permanently destroyed. The world is going to remain a free world, though before that objective is made secure and unemployment abolished for good the nations which believe in freedom may well have to face more far-reaching changes than any of us yet realise. For the real remedy for the present tragedy is not mere victory in the war but wiser thinking and better organisation, both political and economic, among ourselves. In the long run, example is more powerful than the sword.
But for the moment victory comes first. The menace of Nazi international gangsterdom must be defeated as much in the interests of Germany as of the rest of the world. It is the condition of all else. The British people and the people of France are much closer to each other in every respect than they were in the last war and are prepared to lay down their lives for the cause of freedom not less readily than they did then. The overseas nations, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many other peoples are mobilizing their forces rapidly in support. The inexhaustible resources of the territories we control, supported by the machine industry of the United States, ensures in the end an overwhelming mass of offensive power. We believe, too, that there is another power fighting on our side. Whatever may have been our mistakes in the past we believe that Principle is now on our side. As compared with the Nazi regime, the Allies stand for tolerance, for liberty, for self-government, for decency in the conduct of international affairs. And, as history has repeatedly proved, what force alone constructs has neither permanence nor life. Nothing lasts which is not built on justice and consent. We are sure that in the end, and perhaps after much sacrifice and suffering, we shall win because we believe that Principle is on our side. To quote words once used by one of your great Presidents, "We stand at Armageddon and the battle for the Lord."