Cause of Small Nations Upheld


By ANTHONY EDEN, British Foreign Secretary

Delivered at The New York Herald-Tribune Forum, November 17, 1943

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. X, p. 160.

IAM glad to have the chance of sending my good wishes to The New York Herald-Tribune Forum. It has rightly become an annual institution of the highest value for the free exchange of ideas by which our democracies live. We exchanged such ideas at Moscow with the results that you know. They have greatly heartened the world of free men and they have greatly depressed our enemies. It was precisely because each representative at the conference spoke his mind freely and without reserve that success attended our efforts.

The Four-Power Declaration, which was one of the main achievements of the conference, made it plain that there was and there would be no attempt to impose a sort of great power dictatorship on other states. The declaration in fact recognized the necessity of setting up "at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to membership by all such states, large or small, for the maintenance of international peace and security."

That statement alone ought to quiet any apprehensions that the smaller states may be subjected to some kind of dragooning at the hands of the greater. But even if it had never bees made, It must surely have been evident that those countries which are leagued together* to overcome the Nazi and Fascist dictatorships would never betray the cause for which they are fighting by adopting anything resembling Nazi or Fascistmethods. Indeed, the leaders of the three states who are principally engaged in the struggle against the German and Japanese war lords have repeatedly made it plain that they propose to apply democratic principles in the organization of the post-war world. This does not mean that the United States, Britain and Soviet Russia have not got a very special, indeed a leading, role to play in peace just as in war.

The complexities attending a return to more normal conditions are admittedly formidable. To overcome them we should adopt certain guiding principles. One of the more simple of these is that in modern conditions we are mutually independent. It is good to know that this fundamental lesson is being driven home to all members of the United Nations who are playing their part in the present war.

An impelling necessity, in fact, has induced us to adopt the principle of the pooling of resources. It is not a question of one nation giving and the other receiving. It is a question of each nation putting everything it can into the common pool. It is the principle of mutual aid, I am convinced, that will go a long way toward founding the future world society. And it is this principle which will give, I trust, life and strength to the enduring conception of nations united not only to defeat the present enemy, totalitarian despotism, but also the almost equally dangerous enemies, fear, ignorance and want.