HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 c1227

But they say why do not you let Germany in at once? Well, I thought a good deal about that, and had I thought it would have been better for the peace of the world, I would not have minded the clamour. But I do not think it would be better for Germany either. I think you must let some time elapse. It is very difficult to forget some things. It is difficult, especially for France. It is rather difficult for us, but it is especially difficult for France. More than that, I am not sure that, if you introduced Germany now, before all the questions that remain for settlement have been disposed of, you would not open up a field for intrigue, mischief and dissension, and harm would be done. It would be a mistake, in my view, for Germany to come in immediately. The date when Germany comes in depends on herself. She can accelerate it. If she places obstacles in the way, if she shows that the same old spirit animates her, she will put off that date. But if Germany shows that she has really broken with her past, if she shows that the fires of war have really purified her soul—if she shows, at any rate, that she realises that her policy for the last 150 years was a bitter mistake, then Germany can accelerate the date. I am hoping that she will find this mistake, and that she will realise that her defeat has been her salvation, ridding her of militarism, of Junkers and of Hohenzollerns. She has paid a big price for her deliverance. I think she will find it is worth it all. When she does, Germany will then be a fit member of the League of Nations. The sooner that comes about the better it will be for Germany and for the world.