§ Sir DONALD MACLEAN
I do not complain of the absence from the Treasury Bench of the Leader of the House, because I know he is engaged at a very important meeting of the War Cabinet, and, therefore, cannot be here. And I am sure that other members of the Ministry will take note of the point I am raising and convey them to my right hon. Friend. There are three points upon which I wish to say a few words. The first relates to the general topic of the Peace terms. No one can have failed to notice recently that there has been a considerable amount of unrest as to what is happening in Paris; so much so that it speedily reflected itself in the House here by questions directed to the Leader of the House as to whether the Prime Minister is weakening or not on the terms which have been demanded from our defeated enemies. Again we hear that he is strengthening, or supposed to be once again firm in the faith. My point is this, that anything which the Prime Minister does he does on behalf of this country. His action can only be really strong to the extent that he feels confident that public opinion will be behind him. We are all anxious to back our representatives in Paris, but we have not sufficient data upon which to form our opinion.
It is true that we have had a summary of the peace proposals, but we do not know what is really causing all the trouble at present. Germany and Austria apparently know, the whole range of our enemies obviously knows, but we who are imposing these terms upon them and upon whom the Prime Minister depends for his authority in enforcing or relaxing these terms have not sufficient information on which to give him our support or our considered criticism, as the case may be. I think that the time has come, indeed it is long overdue, when we ought to know 2446 what the facts are, and, knowing them, then we can express an opinion for or against in relation to those critical matters which are in issue in Paris today. After all, one of the great demands of those who are engaged in supporting this War, and of course those who opposed it, was that we should do best in diplomacy by reasoned publicity. It is perfectly true that we cannot tell the public everything at the time, and it was a cause of controversy which was associated with the drawing up of Peace terms when certain publicity was tried, and it was evident that it was easy to go too far in that direction. But now the time has arrived, and is long overdue, when you want to take the public into your confidence and to give them the opportunity which they really seek of knowing what are the facts. As long as that is not done we are the prey of those who seek to make things difficult rather than seek to make them easy. 'I do not want to take my arguments from those who opposed the War. They leave me quite cold. Their tears have no particular effect on me, because I know that throughout the struggle they and those who worked with them addressed arguments which might just as well have been addressed to us by our enemies. But it is fully time, in the highest interests of the State, that we should know where we are, and, if the Prime Minister is right, let us back him with all our might, and if ho is wrong, let us criticise him with all due sense of responsibility.
Now one or two words on the general question of the Peace terms. As we know, they have been the cause of a great deal of doubt in well-balanced men and women about whose patriotism there can be no shadow of question. One cannot help being struck with the articles which have been written recently in such a paper as the "Observer," by such men as Mr. Garvin. They must mean something. Young Oxford, which at any rate cannot be accused of lack of patriotism in the War——
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Young Cambridge is waiting an opportunity, I have no doubt; but make what deductions you like. I am stating facts. Turn where you like to contemporary journalism of a responsible kind, and you will find the evil of unrest, and that opinion cannot be neglected. As far as the mere question of 2447 punishment is concerned, nothing that can be meted out to Germany is too much. If your object is merely penal, that is quite true. But if at the same time it is intended to be reformative, then you must be very careful as to the measures you propose to mete out, and as to the spirit in which you propose to administer them.
Turning from that, just a word or two as to our difficulties in Russia. I listened with the deepest interest to the speech of the Prime Minister some couple of months ago on that question. I agree with every word of it. It seemed to be based on the experience of history and in line with the best ideals of statesmanship. I quote his own words—I think I am right in the quotation that I now give—It is a fundamental principle of our foreign policy that we should never interfere with the internal affairs of another nation, however badly governed.And he went on to say that it is for the Russian people themselves to decide as to whether that people shall be Czarist, Republican, Menshivik, or Bolshevik. Those were the words of the Prime Minister, and we are entitled to assume that that is the policy of the Government. But if those were his words, what are the facts? On this question also it is no exaggeration to say that there is grave unrest throughout the country, and indeed throughout the Army. The Secretary of State for War a few days ago, in referring to the policy or impolicy of the circular which was issued to the troops, gave us a summary of the replies which have been received. I agree entirely with him in his criticism of the policy of issuing such a circular, but I also agree entirely with him as to the remarkable results which it produced. The remarkable answers which were produced show that, whatever criticism might be made about commanding officers, so far as I can see, they acted most fairly in the summaries of the replies which they gave. One of the questions was:Will they parade for draft to overseas, especially to Russia?I will take the second, third, and fourth of the replies. The others are not particularly important. The reply was:Troops will parade for drafts overseas with the exception of Russia. About which doubt exists. The chief reasons why service in Russia appears to be unpopular are:If those questions had been addressed to this House I think it is not unfair to say that the majority of Members, at any rate, would have given answers something like that. We are ignorant of the policy to be adopted. We are taking part in active warfare against an enemy who is undefined. We really do not know where we are; we do not know in general terms what the campaign is all about, or even if there is a campaign. There is not a war, but there are military operations. Let us see if we can get into our minds exactly what is happening so far as our Armies are concerned. They are engaged in active military operations in the Archangel and Murmansk regions. So far as I am concerned, I do not see how we can avoid that. Looking at the matter as carefully and impartially as I can, I do not see how that could be avoided, and the operations there for the restricted object for which they are undertaken have my hearty support. But we are also engaged on the Finnish and Polish borders and in Caucasia, Turkestan, and other places, and the British Fleet is imposing the strictest blockade in the Baltic, and at present also in the Black Sea. What does all that really mean? If it was meant to support Admiral Koltchak because he was winning, then that is backing the wrong horse, because, though I have no other information than is accessible to any other hon. Member, yet, as I understand, the position is that Admiral Koltchak has had to retreat well over 100 miles from Samara to somewhere in front of Ufa. The Secretary of State for War the other day admitted that recently on his right or left front Admiral Koltchak had sustained what the right hon. Gentleman described as a serious reverse. So far as such information as has come to me extends, it seems to me to have been a very severe defeat on the whole line. I do not know, but at any rate he has had to retire over 100 miles, and the whole position there is one I should think of a serious nature so far as Admiral Koltchak is concerned. What is happening so far as we can gather, as to our Allies. M. Clemenceau the other day, according to a Reuter telegram, had an important interview with what corresponds roughly to our Conference of the French Trade Union Congress, at which protests were made on behalf of organised French labour, and have been made constantly in this country by organ- 2449 ised labour here against armed intervention in Russia. He stated that French troops had evacuated Odessa, and I think they have also evacuated Sebastopol.
- (2) Ignorance of policy to be adopted about that country.
- (3) Taking part in active warfare against an enemy who is to them undefined.
- (4) They do not know what the campaign in Russia is all about or even if it is a campaign."
What is the position with regard to the United States? I gather from the Press— I have no other means of knowing—that their troops are also being withdrawn— some of them at any rate. I do not say wholly withdrawn, because it was stated that they were guarding a long length of line. They are being withdrawn, at any rate. I ask the question: Are not the French troops and the American troops being withdrawn in much larger measure, and much greater proportion than our troops, and is it not a fact that their contribution in munitions, and certainly in money, is not what should be their fair proportion, supposing it is a joint undertaking? Who is bearing the financial cost? A very important question was addressed by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) to the Financial Secretary to the War Office on 26th May, and he pressed the Financial Secretary very strongly to let the House know what the cost was. I press also for that information to be given to the country. It can be given because, of course, the War Office and Treasury are keeping careful account. They know what we are spending in France and in the various theatres of war. Why not let us knew what the cost is? I hazarded a guess, I think, in quite the early days of the Session that our intervention in Russia was costing us at least £100,000,000 a year. I should think that is a pretty moderate estimate. I ask again that we should be told what it is costing us in money. What is more important than money is what it is costing us lives, and we should be delighted to know that the fears expressed in that respect are ill-founded.
My point about the Russian business is this: Except for the sole purpose of extricating our own troops, our own nationals, and, where near the coast it can be easily done, refugees from the Bolshevik terror who are there, it is a huge mistake for us to go on with this indefinite policy of military intervention in Russia. The Prime Minister, in his speech on this question, drew a parallel between the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution. It was very interesting, but of course all parallels have their danger. One thing, at any rate, comes 2450 out perfectly clear in the Russian Revolution of to-day, and what happened in the French Revolution. It is this: One of the main causes which united the French Revolutionists and lashed the legions of Dumouriez into a highly efficient army, which subsequently swept over Europe, was the intervention of other European nations, and the fear and the national pride evoked by the armies which not only hovered along the borders of France but actually invaded their soil. That lesson, at any rate, we can still take to heart and carefully bear in mind, in the hope that no Russian Napoleon may arise on the ruins of this revolution to set up a military oligarchy which would repeat the devastation of the Napoleonic Wars. But there is the lesson for us, writ as large as history can make it, of the danger when a country is in revolution of unwise intervention of other nations, which they construe, rightly or wrongly, as intervention in their own national affairs. In conclusion, may I ask the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs if he will make one point quite clear with regard to the blockade? Where food is being bought by Germany, that, of course, necessitates the export of German goods to pay for it, because there is no gold and they can pay in no other way. Is that a necessary part of the entry of food, and is it quite understood?
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Cecil Harmsworth)
The situation in regard to the revictualling of Germany is that food is being sent into Germany very largely by the Economic Council in Paris. Any country may send food into Germany, and, of course, that necessitates certain business transactions in the way of finance; and any country can receive goods from Germany, but, as my right hon. Friend knows, in the countries of the Allies it is forbidden to trade with Germany at the present time in regard to commodities. As he knows, it would be absolutely illegal for anybody to trade in ordinary commodities with Germany at the present time, but in respect of food there is unlimited import up to Germany's capacity to pay for the import of food.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I am much obliged for the information which the hon. Gentleman has given. Generally, I would say this with regard to the blockade: This necessary severity must fall in the main 2451 upon those who are in no sense responsible for the iniquities of the War. That is the thing that troubles people. I do not think the time is far distant, whatever measures are adopted for supporting our Peace terms, when the blockade will have to be removed.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I wish to say a few words most seriously on the question of the Russian situation and our future policy. I beg the attention of the Secretary of State for War and the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs particularly, to this matter. I have taken every means to find out the true position of affairs in Russia as nearly as I could Let me, to start with, admit most fully and deplore the appalling atrocities and injustices committed by Bolsheviks. They have set back the cause of progress by their violence, and let me say, secondly, that the so-called Saviour of Russia, Admiral Koltchak, is a most admirable young naval officer, a man of high ideals, who is trying to do his best for Russia, according to his lights. Let me start with that basis at once, that the Bolsheviks have committed the most enormous atrocities, their system is impossible, and has already broken down, and Admiral Koltchak, and even General Denikin, are men who are patriotic, and are trying to do their best for Russia. The Bolsheviki started off with a very advanced programme of complete communism. After eighteen months they have abandoned the most advanced tenets they held. They have admitted the right of the peasants to own their land. That cuts at the very root of the extreme Bolshevik tenets. Certainly the railways, mines, forests, and canals are nationalised in Russia. There is a powerful party in this country which proposes to nationalise the means of production when they are monopolised in this country. Therefore that alone is no reason for attacking the Bolsheviki. They are being assailed by and are having a much harder time with their own Left Social Revolutionaries than they are with outside counter-revolutionary folk.
I said just now I have taken every means I could to find out the facts. I am not going to quote at all from official information which I have obtained as a naval officer. I am going to leave that out, unless I am challenged, but I have talked to Englishmen and Americans back from 2452 Russia, I have talked to Russian Cadets, Czarists pure and simple, men with no politics at all, men who are representatives of the Ukraine anti-Bolshevik Republicans men who are Right Social Revolutionists and men who are Left Social Revolutionists. I have talked to bankers, business men, landowners, farmers, ex-naval officers, ex-military officers, men who talk my own language, and I do say that our policy at the present moment is utterly mistaken. We have two possible programmes with regard to Russia. Having decided that the second social revolution in Russia was a danger to civilisation, we-could have invaded Russia, put down that Government by force, and restored law and order and held elections. That would have been an understandable policy. The other policy would have been to see if these people would listen to reason, and. make peace with us on reasonable lines, but we have done, neither one nor the-other, said neither "Yes," nor "No," but, instead, have wavered and wobbled in Russia, and sent weak detachments.
You have first of all backed one reactionary party and then another. Now, apparently, you are fostering the civil war which is being waged by that high-minded patriot Admiral Koltchak. Supposing Admiral Koltchak reaches Moscow and sets up his own Government by force, then the Bolshevist idealistic philosophers will say that they have never had a chance of working out their theories, and that they have been put down by force. If he gets to Moscow there will be civil war for at least three years in Russia, for he will not be accepted by the mass of the Russian people. That is literally true. M. Kerenski, who has a right to be consulted, being himself a patriot, has stated that he will not accept the Koltchak Government. The anti-Bolshevist Government of the Ukraine, that is the present Government, are prepared to co-operate with Admiral Koltchak up to the point of freeing their own 'Country from the Bolsheviki, because they are anti-Bolshevists "but will not accept Koltchak, because they are not Russians. Their strong nationalistic feeling makes them desirous of setting up their own Government. Directly that is done the Ukranian people will resist Admiral Koltchak.
If events move as they are moving at present, the Ukraine, Siberia, Russia, and Finland, with all their vast possibilities in the matter of trade, will be cut off from British industry and commerce, and we 2453 will not get the material we so badly want. There is a tremendous dearth of manufactures in Russia at present, and it would be well if we could have trade free with that country. Definite Peace terms have been offered. I have seen a copy of them. They want to get the matter of peace settled so that they can work out their own programme, their philosophic and idealistic programme, and we should allow them, so that later they will not be able to say, "We have never had a chance."
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I answer that by saying, "in some respects, most certainly." I agree with the nationalisation of great monopolies—mines, railways, and so on, but not in the abolition of private property. If I am challenged I say I believe in these things—but the world may not accept them at the present moment.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. Churchill)
What about the suppression of representative institutions?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
They have decided that the Parliamentary system is unsuitable for Russia. [Laughter.] They have their own idea of the form of government they want, which I can explain later to the House. They believe they know what is the best alternative form of government possible in view of the illiteracy of a country like Russia. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bournemouth objects to the Constituent Assembly in India on much the same lines as for Russia. But I can not take up the time of the House explaining that aspect of the case. Hon. Members who do not know what Soviet Government is have no business to take part in this Debate. I am not defending every thing done. But Admiral Koltchak is not carrying the people in his rear with him. Many of them are joining for the moment for the sake of food and security. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If it is asked why Admiral Koltchak has not called the Constituent Assembly into being in Siberia, the reply is that he intends to; most of the voters there are small landowners, who, while they would support him on an elective basis, want to see better grounds for helping than the continued influx of outside money, munitions, and so on.
2454 The Bolsheviki, it will be admitted, in spite of the very severe blockade, are still fighting hard. The right hon. Gentleman opposite appealed for volunteers, and, of course, he got them—as we know he would —in order to save our troops in Russia. Most of the people in Russia are small peasant farmers, and peasant farmers are, all the world over, conservative. We will get no further by continually pouring in arms, munitions, money, and officer-instructors at great cost to support Messrs. Koltchak and Denikin. You will only bring about further bloodshed in the world—and we have had enough of this—misery, starvation, and the rest of it. It is time most seriously—it is of the utmost importance—to examine ourselves and our policy, and to see whether it is not possible to come to some efficient compromise in Russia so as to stop the civil war without recognising the Government. You do business with a man without asking him to dinner. Let us see whether we cannot bring about an influx of trade and commerce. Russian bankers, traders, and business men, who are the best judges of the situation, hold this view. I have talked with them. They say this will be the cure for Russia. The working classes of this country, those who have class-consciousness, the progressive working classes, are utterly opposed to this crusade. I do ask that we should pause before we go on pouring our wealth, in the shape of munitions, subsidies, and so on, into the abyss.
§ Sir COURTENAY WARNER
I should not have arisen to take part in this Debate unless I had thought it was necessary that some of us who are Liberals should dissociate ourselves with what I will not call pacifism, but what I will describe as talk that tends to weaken our powers of fighting.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am as anti-German as the hon. Member who is speaking, and I have proved it.
§ Sir C. WARNER
I never said the contrary. The hon. and gallant Gentleman fought well, but he says things which are injurious to his country, quite unconscious of the fact that he is doing a great deal of harm. It is our business to protest against such things being said. Every- 2455 body recognises the hon. and gallant Gentleman's high attitude, his progressive thought, and his progressive principles; but when he says that the Bolshevik government is a strong government I do not agree. There is one thing he does not say —that the Bolshevik atrocities are still strong, are still being carried out! What was said by the Englishmen who got away from the Bolsheviks—out of Russia the other day? They told us how they had been treated. Were they treated fairly like a civilised nation treats its prisoners? Is that the strong government with which we can deal? If it is a strong government surely it ought to deal with these thing.
§ 1.0 p.m.
§ Sir C. WARNER
I am not talking of those, but of the suggestion that we should make terms with the Bolsheviks. The hon. and gallant Gentleman found fault that, as one possible policy, we did not go in and conquer Russia. Would that have been in accordance with his principles? It certainly would not have been in accordance with mine, and, I hope, not in accordance with the principles of those who represent the Liberal party either on this or that side of the House. We do not mean to go in and interfere with the internal arrangements of other countries, or the government by those countries of their own people. But we have got a duty to perform, and I think it is necessary for our troops to do it. Ought we not to try to protect these people and to put them in a position to defend themselves. That is what our policy should be; and I believe it is that. We ought to put our Allies in such a position that they can defend themselves against the atrocities of the Bolsheviks. I should be very sorry to see this Government going on a conquering expedition—that is so far as I understand it—but I hope, later, we can have it made quite clear what is the policy of our Government, and that all that we are doing is to protect those who have been our friends in days of trouble, against the horrible atrocities that have occurred whenever the Bolsheviks over-run the country. It is, however, not that trouble, that I see. That is not our trouble. There are troubles abroad. But there are troubles at home and in these days of stress we ought all to be working together. There are people who get up in this House, and many of them outside, and 2456 write to the Press, and keep on saying how badly we do everything. It is always being pointed out to us how inefficient we are. We were not quite so inefficient as we were supposed to be, even with all our mistakes in the War. The one great cause of inefficiency is, distrust of your leaders. We do not absolutely trust—we may not trust them absolutely—but it is a sin and a crime against our country to stir up distrust all round. I do not think that those who make speeches of the sort to which I have referred quite realise what the effect may be. I do not think the hon. Member opposite realises that he is doing the very thing now, before Peace has been declared, which he agreed himself was the cause of much injury to this country during the War when the Pacifists tried to weaken the action of the Government in their foreign policy. The hon. Member said that was harmful, but he is doing exactly the same thing to-day when he talks about people being injured by the blockade who have no responsibility for the War. Does he mean the German women and children?
§ Sir C. WARNER
No, not the children. The innocent always have to suffer, and, whatever you do, you cannot save the children from suffering. Even now you cannot save the children suffering from the scarcity of milk in this country, and our children are suffering in this country today. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) forgets that our children are suffering.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I do not forget, but I object to kicking my enemy when I have got him down, and that seems to be the policy of the hon. and gallant Member opposite.
§ Sir C. WARNER
The hon. and gallant Member says that these women are the innocent people who are suffering. These are the women who spat in the faces of our wounded, who did everything to torture our wounded whenever they could. These women are the people who praised the Kaiser and everything that he did all through the War until they were beaten.
2457 It is quite true that the women of Cologne are now fawning at the feet of the British soldier now that Germany is beaten, and the men as well; but it was not until they were beaten, and if they got the upper hand again—and the sort of suggestions we have been listening to may in time give them the power again—they will be just as bad as they were in the past unless they learn that people have to suffer who commit atrocities, and unless they learn that there is something to pay for having broken every law of civilised nations. Unless they learn that, the people of the future will see these very people doing the same thing to them.
§ Sir C. WARNER
The hon. and gallant Member says we shall pay; but I would like to ask what law of civilisation are we breaking when we hold the blockade until the terms of peace are signed?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I really must ask hon. Members not to keep up a running commentary. They make very serious statements themselves, and are not interfered with. They take advantage when they are being answered, and when they get an answer they do not like, to keep up a running fire of comment. I must ask hon. Members whom I am addressing to behave in the usual way.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that when we are speaking you will prevent us from being interrupted in the same way. At present it is almost impossible for a minority to speak in this House.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member's statement is a reflection on the Chair, which I do not think anybody but himself in this House would support. He knows perfectly well that the minority, which behaves itself, will always be listened to in this House as long as I am here, and it is only when the minority does not be-have itself, and keeps up a running commentary which is totally irregular, that I intervene at all.
§ Sir C. WARNER
Personally, I do not object to being interrupted, although I think there is a good deal too much of it, and I am very grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, for stopping it. I do not want to say anything hard, but I do feel that 2458 the pledge I have given to my Constituents: —and I think it is also a pledge which most hon. Members opposite gave—that we would support the Government in carrying on the War and getting a. satisfactory peace is not being carried out in the spirit if it is being carried out in the letter. When such speeches of cavilling and finding fault with the details of our foreign policy are made, and when strong objections are raised to the methods we are using to enable us to hold our own until the sword is really sheathed; when the. Government are being found fault with by hon. Gentlemen opposite in this way it is, for those reasons I want to dissociate myself from such action. I claim to be just as strong in regard to my progressive feelings as hon. Members opposite, but we are not yet out of the-difficulties that this War has brought about, and we shall not be for many months. But those who cause unrest and distrust in our institutions, who back up the Press in calling for more publicity, and who cavil at every little detail the Government is supposed to have done in Paris are weakening the Prime Minister, and they are weakening the hands of our Allies in dealing with this most difficult question.
We are told of the action of the young students at Oxford and of various other people who want more publicity. We are told that in France the trade unions are asking for this, but has the right hon. Gentleman opposite forgotten that when the Prime Minister suggested there should be no publicity it was the French Government and the Allied Governments that objected. I do not think it is fair to raise these small points until they have got into a sounder and stronger position, and until we reach the day when Peace is signed. I have pledged myself to give all the support I can to the men. who are going to bring-about a good and honourable peace, and I am totally opposed to the men, and there are all sorts of them throughout the country, not only in the Labour ranks, who go about talking about peace and who in wartime were ready to make peace because they said we could not win.
I remember early in the War, and I do not know where it comes from, but it was a very apt phrase, and it said, "Pessimism in a civilian is equivalent to cowardice in a soldier." The pessimism which floated about during the War is still going on and increasing. It was the fashion amongst some of the smartest people in this country during the War to say that 2459 we could not win the War and we must make peace at once. It is now the fashion of these people to say that we are asking too much from the Germans, and that we are inflicting too hard terms. I have no sympathy with such people. I have lost too much in the War, and I have heard too much about the fighting at the front. I have heard soldiers say these things, but they are not the soldiers who fought in the ranks or in the front line, and who saw the atrocities of the German soldiers in the trenches. We cannot forget the bestiality of the German race in war-time, and we must remember that they are not to be trusted in peace.
§ Mr. MACMASTER
I wish to say at the outset that I will not refer to Russia, because, in the first place, I am not qualified by sufficient knowledge of the conditions in Russia to warrant me in referring to that subject. In the second place, on that question I do not think I should be justified in indulging in any prophecy. I want to say a few words with regard to the situation in connection with the offers of peace. I noticed the words of the Leader of the Opposition, and I must confess that I thought there was great force in what he said with regard to the terms of the treaty not being disclosed to this House. In the first place, it is stated by the Government that we have received an accurate summary of the proposed terms. If that is so, what objection can there be to publishing the terms themselves? It may be that there is some cryptic reason why the terms in full are withheld while we are told that we have been given an accurate summary of them.
For my part I must confess, it may be owing to deficiency of understanding, that I cannot comprehend the reason for this decision. Undoubtedly these terms are known to the, Germans and to all our enemies. It is stated publicly in the Press to-day, and during the last few days, that they are well known in the United States. One of the greatest political leaders in the United States says he saw the terms in an office in New York, and that he could have taken them to Washington if he had chosen. Our contention is that the terms should be stated at this stage, and they should have been stated before. I can perfectly well understand that up to the time that our representatives and those representing 2460 our other Allies in Paris had arrived at a decision the terms should be kept back, and under those circumstances and up to this point secrecy should be observed. But after our representatives and those of the Allies in Paris came to an agreement on the terms to be presented to the enemy, and put the enemy in possession of them, for the life of me I cannot understand why they should be made a secret afterwards. It has been stated by the Leader of the House that an arrangement had been come to that the terms should not be discussed. I can understand an agreement of that kind being arrived at, but that is not the position at the moment. We are not even in a position to discuss them if we cared to, because we have not the terms before us. Surely there is every reason why we should know with perfect accuracy what the terms are as regards the financial Clauses. I doubt the wisdom of anybody attempting to summarise a written document. If a thing is governed by a written document, it is the rule of the profession to which I belong that the document must speak for itself. I do not want any man's paraphrase of that instrument to tell me what is its meaning. Therefore, surely we should see the document itself.
I must say that the Financial Clauses are by no means clear. I have read the Summary of them over and over again, and I confess that I have some doubt as to what is the actual meaning of the Clauses. I am a supporter of the Government, and, like the last speaker, I have given my pledges. I intend to observe them. But I am not here merely to say that I endorse everything that is done by the Government. I want to endorse what is done in reason, and I want to get the opportunity of understanding it. These financial terms are not clear from the Summary, and it is extremely important, not merely that the people of the United Kingdom, but that the people of the great Dominions overseas, who shared with us in the War, should know what the terms are. It is stated in the Summary that the Germans have undertaken, roughly, to pay the costs of the War. Then they proceed to say that they are to pay damages under certain different heads in the nature of reparation. I should like very much to be able to see what they are to pay under the heading of "Reparation" and what they are to pay under the heading of "Costs of the War," because the Reparation plainly refers to the damages to civilians and to 2461 the property of civilians, whereas the Costs of the War are the debt due by the enemy to the Allied nations engaged in the War. It is all-important to this nation that we should see what is to be the apportionment for Reparation and what is to be the apportionment for the Costs of the War, because if the great bulk of what is called the "indemnity" is to go for Reparation, I am afraid that 90 percent will disappear in the repayment for damages caused to our Allies in the immediate neighbourhood of the War itself, and that a very small proportion is likely to come to this country. However, we shall know more of that later.
There is another aspect. Our great Dominions oversea have incurred very large debts in connection with carrying on this War. How are they to be compensated out of the moneys that may be recovered from the enemy? How are they to be compensated for the costs of the War that they have incurred? If the bulk of the money goes for Reparation it will be applicable to the Allies in the immediate neighbourhood of the War, and there will be a very comparatively small sum, if any, to go to the Dominions overseas, because they are not in the neighbourhood of the War, and have not suffered damage in the nature of civilian damage. It may be, therefore, when the final account is adjusted, that the amount that goes to them for the costs of the War will be very small, if any, and that the costs that come to us may, also, be very small. I am not casting any reflection on the negotiators; I am assuming that they have done the best that they could. They are entitled to our confidence, and I have never withdrawn my confidence. All I contend is that we are the principals and they are the agents, and by every rule, Parliamentary, legal, or otherwise, the principal is entitled to know what his agent is doing.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman (Sir D. Maclean) who opened the discussion to-day would wish me to answer very briefly two or three of the specific questions which he has asked about the military forces in Russia, and that I will proceed to do, although I do not think that there is any advantage in our embarking to any extent upon a debate upon that subject to-day. Before I do that, I should like to say, in regard to what has fallen from my hon. and learned Friend who has just spoken (Mr. Macmaster), that the House will do well 2462 to continue to extend its confidence, generous and sincere confidence, to the representatives of the British nation who are working in Paris at the Peace Conference. These negotiations, long negotiations, are at the present time naturally approaching the climax before the settlement is reached, and those who are representing us have no other interest or idea than to do what is right and to obtain a lasting peace which will secure to the country the great position which it has obtained in the War, and which will also secure the means for all the nations or the world to work together and rebuild the shattered prosperity of Europe. It would be a very great pity if the full conduct of the negotiations by the representatives, not only of this country, but of the other victorious Great Powers, were not left entirely in their hands even if it means the non-publication of this or that document for so many weeks. They are endeavouring to reach a definite goal, and that goal is peace, and speedy peace, for which we all, friend as well as foe, stand in great need. Therefore, I do trust that the hon. and learned Gentleman, having made observations which are perfectly reasonable, will continue to join with the great mass of the House in leaving our delegates utterly untrammelled in all such matters of procedure as the publication of this or that document, and will continue to be patient until the results of their labours have been announced as a whole.
With regard to what fell from the Leader of the Opposition with reference to Russia, I would strongly deprecate making more of what we are doing in Russia than the facts warrant. One would think, to hear his remarks and to read certain very influential organs of opinion in this country, that we were engaged in large formidable operations in Russia which were absorbing a great portion of our military strength. I have given on several occasions a very clear account of what we are doing. We are endeavouring to wind up our affairs in North Russia, and it is our hope that North Russia will become self-supporting before the end of the summer, and that then we shall be able to come away, having honourably discharged our duty to those people to whom we committed ourselves during the time of the War. That is really not challenged in any part of the House. In the Caucasus our troops are 2463 not in contact with the enemy; they are hundreds of miles away from the enemy. They are occupying that country until it has been decided what its future is to be as part of the general Peace settlement. It has, however, already been decided that they are to be withdrawn. Plans for the evacuation have been perfected, and it is expected that before long the actual recall of our troops will begin. So far as Siberia is concerned, we have no troops in Siberia except the two battalions who remain hundreds of miles away from the fighting at the centre of government, where they act as a symbol of British sympathy and support, and as a support and a prop to the Omsk Government. None of our troops have been engaged in any of this fighting which" has taken place on the Siberian front. I warned the House the other day against exaggerated hopes being based on Admiral Koltchak's advance. I pointed out that a considerable set-back had taken place in the southern sector of his advance. That set-back the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Wedgwood) will rejoice to hear has become more pronounced in the interval; but, broadly speaking, of the ground gained since the advance began in March, between one-quarter and one-third had been lost again.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The advance was 250 miles on a front of 750 miles, and there has been a withdrawal of 120 miles on a front of about 200 or 250 miles. The. House will realise that this is an extremely attenuated form of warfare. A few thousand men are spread over twenty miles of front. The railways are few and far between, The rolling stock is limited and defective on both sides. Occasionally local concentrations are arranged which produce these changes. This line sways backwards and forwards. It is often a case of easy come and easy go with accessions of land in this kind of warfare. But, as I say, I have cot at all attempted to encourage extravagant hopes being based upon the advance of Admiral Koltchak, and I very much deprecate the kind of suggestion that I see in some of the newspapers that he is likely to be at the gates of Moscow within a short time. He is hundreds of miles from the gates of Moscow, and no such expecta- 2464 tion would be at all reasonable. Our share in these operations, as I say, is nil so far as men are concerned. We have no troops there at all. Our contribution to Admiral Koltchak's operations is limited to the supply of the munitions which we have sent for the equipment of his armies. I would like to ask my right hon. Friend: Were we right in continuing to supply the Omsk Government with munitions? Consider how they came into being. They were called into being by the Allies at the time of the German War, when there was every desire and every need to build up in Russia elements which would tend to prevent the whole country falling into the hands of the Germans as well as the Bolsheviks and all our intervention was based solely with the object of preventing a substantial transference of troops from the Eastern front to fall upon our men in the West. We called this Government into existence, and I am quite sure that my right hon. Friend, or anyone with the slightest sense of responsibility, would repudiate the idea, the War having been won and Germany having been defeated, that we should immediately disinterest ourselves in the fortunes of those who had been called into the field to aid us and who have compromised themselves on our behalf. The hon. and gallant Member (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) said that we had had enough bloodshed. Does he suppose, if the Allies cut off the supply of munitions to the anti-Bolshevik forces and left them to their fate, that the end of bloodshed would have been reached?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The hon. and gallant Gentleman puts more confidence than I do in the promises of the Bolshevik Government. It is very remarkable that a naval officer should be so very trustful of them when we think that, in defiance of every law and of the sanctity of diplomatic agreements, Captain Cromie was foully murdered at the Legation in Petrograd by these very men on whose tender mercies the hon. and gallant Gentleman is now urging that we should rely. I am surprised that the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not express his opinions more circumspectly in matters of this kind.
I was saying to the House, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman, that we are not at all involved in these operations of 2465 Admiral Koltchak in any military sense, except to the extent that, if these operations continue to prosper—and on the whole they have prospered greatly since the advance—it will facilitate our with-withdrawal from North Russia and will render it unnecessary for us to enter upon the very elaborate operations of safe-guarding the interests of the civil population in that part of the world. I have been asked also about the cost and scale of these operations that have been taking place in Russia. I exclude the Army in the Caucasus, because that has nothing to do with Russia, and is not engaged in any way with the enemy. There remain the troops in the North and the handful of men in Siberia. Taking these two together, we have scarcely more men there now than the United States of America has. We have a few thousand more men in Siberia and North Russia than the Americans, but that is because fresh relieving troops have just arrived and the evacuation of the tired, weary troops is only now proceeding. Broadly speaking, the numbers are very nearly the same. I do not wish to give the exact numbers. They have been quoted in the French Chamber, but I am glad to say the situation has somewhat altered since then. The numbers vary from time to time, and I see no reason why we should make our antagonists a present of information in regard to the location of our forces. Broadly speaking, the American troops are within a few thousand of our men in those two theatres, and our forces are, as is generally known, not at all large forces. I was asked particularly what the loss of life and other casualties had been. Of course the loss of even one soldier's life is a grave and serious matter, but we must have a sense of proportion. We have had to safeguard the existence of our force in North Russia all through the winter, and if we had not strongly maintained that force it might hare got into very great difficulties. But since the Armistice—more than six months have passed—there have been killed in all parts of the Russian theatre thirteen British officers and 116 rank and file, and there have been wounded fourteen officers and 152 rank and file, while two British officers and twenty-six rank and file were missing. Therefore, our total casualties in Russia in the last six months have been twenty-nine officers and 294 men killed, wounded, and missing.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The proportion of killed to wounded seems rather extraordinary. Has the right hon. Gentleman given the correct figures?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I have certainly given the correct number: I sent up to ascertain exactly what the figures were. I quite agree that the number of killed is out of proportion to the number wounded. It may be that that is owing to the ferocity with which the Bolsheviks are waging the war. At any rate, I think the House, while it deplores loss of life at any time, will see how farcical it is to pretend that operations which over seven months have produced that number of casualties are operations of serious important warfare which are likely to drain away the energies and resources of this country and commit us to vast overseas expeditions and journeys into the heart of Russia. Obviously what is going on is on a very small scale, and more in the nature of police work and skirmishing of a petty description than the operations of a war of a serious character. As far as the cost in money is concerned, I exclude, and, I think, rightly, the cost of the troops maintained in the Caucasus, because they are there as a result of the defeat of the Turks and to expel the Turks and Germans from those regions. They are waiting as a force discharging an international function until the general decisions of the Peace Conference are made known. So far as the troops in North Russia are concerned, they are, of course, an expense, and we have had to feed a large proportion of the population of that region from the sea. One of the greatest reliefs we shall get if a junction is formed between Admiral Koltchak's troops and the troops in North Russia, is the fact that that population will become largely self-supporting, and be able to draw upon the large Siberian granaries instead of being fed from the sea. But you must treat North Russia as part of the German War. The troops got there as an essential operation in the German War, and they have remained there because of the ice in the winter, and also because they are winding up our obligations in an honourable fashion. So far as the rest of the question is concerned, it is practically entirely the supply of munitions to the Armies of Admiral Koltchak and General Denikin. The money value of those munitions is now considerable, but they are all surplus to our prospective requirements.
2467 They are part of the enormous accumulation of munitions which were called into being during the last few months of the War, and which were gathered together for a great campaign in which all our efforts were to be exerted this year. They are there on our hands. No Army we shall ever have in the future will require munitions on this scale. The greatly reduced scale of our military establishments will, of course, require a supply of munitions, but far more munitions exist than we have any use for. What are we to do with them? The market for them is restricted. Where you cannot sell munitions you can sell horses and military vehicles, and so forth. The actual money value of the arms and munitions is very difficult to prove for effective purposes, but when we do give them to the Russian Governments of Denikin and Koltchak we, of course, keep a careful account and credit our- selves with their value. If at any time in | the future Governments in Russia come into being which fulfil the obligations which Russia contracted to her Allies, the cost of those munitions will undoubtedy be refunded to us. Therefore I do not consider that any great charge or burden is placed upon either the life or the wealth of this country by any of the assistance which we are willing to give to the anti-Bolshevik forces throughout Russia.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
If you take as the basis what these munitions cost to make, no doubt the figure would be a considerable one. More than £20,000,000 worth of munitions, on that basis, have been sent. But if we take what we are likely to realise in money value for them, I say you are more likely to get an Appropriation-in-Aid by proceeding along this road —though I admit it is not a very certain or hopeful road—than in any other way which can be conceived. Do not, therefore, let us have a lot of exaggerated talk about pouring out the blood of this country and draining away its treasure on vague and wild Russian expeditions. What we are doing has been most carefully and precisely limited, and has been definitely explained to the House, and the cost, as I have endeavoured to explain, is as limited as the scope of the operations.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
If it is such a negligible sum in a comparative sense why not 2468 let us know it? If it is not convenient to the right hon. Gentleman now, could he not do it when the House reassembles?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I do not see any insuperable difficulty in that, but, as I have carefully explained, any value that is put on them is perfectly nominal.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
If it is decided to lay figures on this subject there will be no difficulty about that. I am certainly not arguing against it, but I am deprecating. the absurd and mischievous exaggeration which is getting currency now with a view to working up a general prejudice against the policy the Government is pursuing. When I say the policy the Government is pursuing, that does not really describe the circumstances, because the Allies are acting in concert in these matters. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy), who took us for an excursion into the whole field of Russian politics and psychology, spoke as if the conditional recognition of Admiral Koltchak was a matter which was purely undertaken by the British Government. It is nothing of the sort. We are not taking any isolated action of any kind. We are moving in conjunction with the four other great victorious Powers, the United States, France, Italy, and. Japan. Any action which has been taken, or will be taken, and any policy in regard to Russia, is proceeding by united concerted action between the heads of those great Governments. Surely, if that is so, the right hon. Gentleman may be content, for the time being, at any rate, to allow the settlement of these most complicated and anxious matters to proceed on the combined authority of these great Powers, who are gathered together in Paris, and whose heads are engaged continuously in the study of these matters.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
I would like to say, before I begin my speech, that when I spoke on this question over a week ago I was interrupted nine times during the course of that speech. I wish to assure the House that interruptions of that sort are always welcome, I think, to every speaker in the House.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I should certainly stop all such interruptions. I think they are interruptions of the freedom of Debate. The only way we can get freedom of Debate is by allowing hon. Members freely 2469 to say what they have to say, and interruptions, whether made by the hon. and gallant Member or by others, are all of them bars to proper freedom of Debate. Accordingly I shall always set my face against them.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
That is your view, Mr. Speaker, but from my own point of view as a speaker I welcome any interruptions which are germane to the subject of the Debate. I object, however, to being howled at and prevented from making a speech, and against such interruptions I think the House ought to set its face. The question we are debating to-day is just one of those subjects in connection with which interruptions of the second nature are becoming over-frequent, that is to say, interruptions which prevent the speaker from expressing his views in any way whatever. It is felt very strongly by some hon. Members that any people who resist the recognition of Admiral Koltchak, or future entry of British arms into that struggle in Russia, are not only unpatriotic, but are supporters of the butcheries which are going on in Russia to-day. I very strongly deprecate the idea that we who resent the co-operation between British arms and Admiral Koltchak are thereby guilty either of want of patriotism or of support of or sympathy with the detestable butcheries that are taking place in that country. The reason why we oppose either recognition of Admiral Koltchak or co-operation with him on behalf of His Majesty's Government, is that Admiral Koltchak is evidently desiring to restore the Csarist Government in Russia
That has been made more obvious within recant days. I regret to see that the entire Government, directly their policy in Russia is criticised, absent themselves. Fortunately, it may be possible to extract some reply from them by means of question and answer when they are unable to be away. The point is this: In the Government's own publication, the "Weekly Survey of the Foreign Press," in the number that came out this morning, the Government, if they ever consult their own publication, will find news from Rou-mania corroborating exactly what I have always urged. The Roumanians have 15,000 or 20.000 troops it) Eastern Siberia at the present time. The troops have recently scat resolutions home to Roumania urging that they should be allowed to return, and saying that they would not 2470 co-operate in any way with Admiral Koltchak, who was in charge of Western Siberia, who was purely Czarist in his aims, and who could not be supported by democratic troops. The same line was taken by the Czecho-Slovaks, who did excellent work in Siberia in driving back the semi-Bolshevist force. Directly they saw Admiral Koltchak in his new colours and the new Government that he set up, they turned against him, and they say they will not have anything whatever to do with supporting Admiral Koltchak in Russia. They, too, are being kept in Eastern Siberia, thousands of miles from the conflict.
What is the reason why this position is taken up by all these troops with any semblance of democratic spirit among them? There are Roumanians, Czechoslovaks, and also Americans, for although the right hon. Gentleman spoke of there being many American troops in that country; they are all thousands of miles from the scene of the conflict. Our troops are at Omsk. The American troops are thousands of miles east of Omsk, and are taking no part in the conflict. The real reason is that Admiral Koltchak's Government is not the Government that upset Bolshevism in Siberia. The Bolshevist movement in Siberia was defeated, not by Admiral Koltchak but by the members of the All - Russian Constituent Assembly which met at Omsk jointly with the members of the old Siberian Legislative Assembly which was formed in the beginning of 1917. The members for Siberia came together in Omsk and set up a Government, more or less with social revolutionary views; that is to say, they had social revolutionaries of the Right and social revolutionaries of the Left. That Government entered into co-operation with Admiral Koltchak and with the Cadet element in the Russian movement in Siberia. They governed generally from Omsk for several months. At the end of that time Admiral Koltchak executed a skilful coup d'etat. Ho put all his colleagues in prison, arrested the Constituent Assembly or the people who represented the Constituent Assembly, and had nine of them shot. The fact that more were not shot was due to the presence of British officers, who objected to such steps being taken. Then Admiral Koltchak's dictatorship began in Western Siberia. To call that in any sense a democratic form of Government is to anyone who knows anything of Siberia absolutely ridiculous. It 2471 was a pure coup d'etat supported and maintained by force. Directly the Allies' support is withdrawn from Admiral Koltchak his regime must fall to the ground. He is attempting to enforce compulsory service in that region. The villagers who do not turn up to join the Army are shot, or flogged, or hanged.
An army which is composed of elements who are forced to join against their wishes, who are driven into battle, even though they have all our weapons, is bound to prove a broken reed when it comes to a determined encounter. In spite of the £20,000,000 worth of stores we have there to support either General Denikin or Admiral Koltchak, in spite of the English weapons with which we are supplying them, directly a force composed of men who do not want to fight, who have been conscripted not only by forcible means but by means involving the shooting of their fathers and relations, gets into battle and comes up against people who do mean business, it breaks to pieces. Thus we have seen the 150 miles' retreat of Admiral Koltchak's Army. It is because Admiral Koltchak is not in any sense an upholder of representative government that he has during the nine months he has been dictator at Omsk not attempted to resummon the Siberian Legislative Assembly which met in 1917 and which he turned out and imprisoned under his coup d'etat of last year. The right hon. Gentleman was very scornful in his criticism of the faith of my hon. and gallant Friend (Lieutenant-Commander Kenworthy) in the Bolshevists' intention to carry out their promises. I am sceptical of any promises of any Russians at the present time. They all make promises of what they will do if we will only do what they ask us to do. It is quite impossible to suppose that the Bolshevists will keep those promises unless those promises are in accordance with their own interests. But it is also quite impossible to have any faith in the promises of Admiral Koltchak, still loss in promises of the sort given by the ex-Russian officers who form his entourage. They have promised that they will have the Constituent Assembly summoned when they get to Moscow, but it will be obviously contrary to their interests to have that Constituent Assembly summoned, because they will go when it is summoned, unless they can so satisfactorily cook the election as to get representation, which will be even more a farce than the Soviet representation. 2472 Obviously there is no sort of security we can obtain that Admiral Koltchak will carry out his promise, which he has not made yet and which he may not make, to summon the Constituent Assembly as soon as he gets to Moscow.
When you see that all the people on the spot in Siberia who have any dealings with Admiral Koltchak regard him as being a pure reactionary and merely anxious to re-establish Czarism in Russia, can you wonder that there are still some people in this House who will do their very best, not only here but in the country, where we get very large meetings, to prevent the English name being sullied by association with the restoration of the Rasputin regime that used' to prevail in that country? We believe that we are doing service to our country and' to Russia by preventing or attempting to prevent any such fatal steps in the direction of the restoration of the autocracy in Russia. The right hon. Gentleman said in the earlier part of his speech, in which I heartily concur, that whatever we did in Russia would be in strict conformity with the views of the five Great Powers. That is good news. If we can be assured by an absolutely empty Treasury Bench that there would be no steps taken in Russia with which the Americans do not agree or in which the Americans do not take part, then, indeed, we on these benches may feel some confidence in what we have done. But I would observe that when it comes to supplying munitions of war to General Denikin or Admiral Koltchak, and when it comes to supplying these people with our surplus stock, we are not the only country that has a surplus stock of munitions, and it might be easier to get this surplus stock of munitions to Admiral Koltchak if it were sent from America, and was not sent by sea at exorbitant freights to the Eastern end of Siberia. If there is agreement of aims among the five Allies, we might get the surplus stock nearer to the scene of action, rather than send from here, at the cost of many millions of pounds, munitions which might possibly ultimately come into the hands of the opponents of Admiral Koltchak.
There is another point in this question. If there is this co-operation, can we be assured that we shall not recognise Admiral Koltchak and shall not be in cooperation with him unless warfare in the East is carried on by Admiral Koltchak and General Denikin on civilised lines? It must be notorious now to every Mem- 2473 ber of the House that warfare, as carried on in that country, is not civilised warfare. I do not know whether any hon. Member has seen in the "Daily Herald" an account of the death train that has been going up and down Siberia for two months, containing the prisoners taken by Admiral Koltchak at Samara and elsewhere. There were 24,000 prisoners locked up in a train and gradually starved to death as the train moved through Siberia. It is details like these, which are gradually coming to light, which will create a feeling of horror in this country against the atrocities committed by nominal Allies of ours in that country. The Red Terror is horrible, but the White Terror is even more terrible, because it is far more extensive and affects a far larger number of persons than the Red Terror. The sort of operations of war carried on by these rival bands of banditti in Russia is a form of warfare with which we ought not to be associated. If we are associated with it. it behoves us to protect the honour of our country by seeing that these troops, who are nominal Allies, should have with them British officers who will see that the methods of warfare employed are methods of a fairly civilised description. Prisoners are mown down by machine guns in bodies, and the decimation of prisoners is of frequent occurrence. When you have these towns changing hands over and over again, unless there is some firm hand kept on the victorious army, you will have re-enacted the butcheries which characterised the days of Tamerlane and Ghinghaz Khan.
I hope the five Allies will not recognise Koltchak, but I fear the right hon. Gentleman has committed us to a three years war in Russia. It has begun in a small way but before civil government is re-established it will certainly last for years to come. The only way to get out of it is' to change the Minister for War and change the Government which supports him. We have been rushed into it far more than any of the other partners in the Alliance. We have been taking the most prominent part. The French, Greeks and Italians have been withdrawn from the scene of action. We are still there, and it has become obvious that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Churchill) is the principal advocate of this war with Russia. It is not, I believe, the Prime Minister, who tried to get negotiations started at Prinkipo and elsewhere. It is 2474 the direct action of the War Office and the Minister in charge which has landed us first of all in the expedition to Archangel, secondly in the panic about the troops at Archangel, a purely imaginary panic, then in a further expedition to support the troops in danger at Archangel, then in an expedition, in combination with the Admiralty, and with the Finns, whose pro-German views are notorious. All these expeditions have been fanned and organised by the right hon. Gentleman. He has been a tool in the hands of the military authorities, and it is not only when we look here, but when we look elsewhere, we see that the military power everywhere, the militarists in every country, instead of accepting the Peace as the end of the War, have determined to turn the Peace of Paris into a lasting, a just and durable war throughout the world. They have made their arrangements in Russia and elsewhere. The Peace which is being made in Paris is not the Peace for which I fought or for which the majority of English people fought in this War. We fought for the Fourteen Points of President Wilson, but we have not got a peace on those lines. It has been changed and twisted by the interests concerned, the military and the diplomatic interests at Paris till we have got reconstructed before our eyes upon the basis of the just. Fourteen Points a peace such as was perpetuated by the great Powers 104 years ago. I will not hold myself responsible in any way for that sort of peace. The Saar Valley is an injustice. The occupation of the left bank of the Rhine is an injustice. The non-self-determination of the border districts of Poland and Prussia is an injustice. The dismemberment of the purely Turkish parts of the Turkish Empire is another injustice. All these are contrary to the terms of the Armistice as they were understood by both sides, and any peace that is formed upon injustice can never be maintained by a League of Nations. It is impossible to have a League of Nations which is a true basis of the international brotherhood of the future if it has to maintain a settlement which is unjust. These people who led us on to fight for the destruction of Imperialism and militarism and injustice have taken advantage of the enthusiasm they aroused. At the end they have tied up the people in the old bonds, and will preserve the opportunity for the wars they need in the future.