§ Mr. Henry Usborne (Birmingham, Yardley)
Before I get into my speech this afternoon, may I preface my remarks by making one fact abundantly clear? When the North Koreans launched their attack, their invasion on the South, it was right and proper for the United Nations, by every means in their power, to oppose that flagrant aggression. No other course was possible. In their instant acceptance of the Security Council resolution the Government have my whole-hearted support. Let me assure the House that in this I am speaking with the unanimous support of the Parliamentary group which I represent, and also I think with the endorsement of the vast majority of my associates. Let there be no doubt where we stand on this: In opposing aggression in Korea, we are four-square behind the United Nations. But the burden of our appeal today is that more than that is also necessary.
This war in Korea has taught us many lessons, and before it is over we shall be obliged to learn many more. Whatever conclusions have already been drawn, I think it is reasonable to suppose that would-be democrats on all the potential battle-fronts may now be asking themselves, anxiously, whether it is worth opposing Communism to pay the second price for the awful privilege of liberation—and possibly atomic liberation. That is the pass we have reached; that is the drift of events:The best chance of saving freedom and achieving peace is in an action so challenging, so vast in scope, so practical in design and so sincere in purpose that it fills the moral vacuum in the world with new and reborn hope.Those were words which Walter Reuther, the President of the Automobile Workers Union, used last week when putting to an American audience much the same theme as that which I propose to discuss today.
To the ordinary citizen throughout the length and breadth of this distracted planet the message of Communism has two compelling attractions. It serves as a beacon to the under-privileged and to the oppressed; and it poses as the champion of the poor and the hungry against the power of the strong and the rich. It also offers an answer—specious 914 though it undoubtedly is—to that burning question which, since August, 1945, has been uppermost in everybody's mind: How can war be ended so that man may survive; and how can the scientific knowledge of our age be used for constructive purposes and prevented from destroying the world? To this second question the orthodox Marxist will reply: "War is inherent in the nature of capitalism, and it can only be ended when capitalism is overthrown." Western Christendom has not yet disproved that assertion. We have not yet exposed the fallacy of this spurious dialectic.
Now the tide of Communism cannot be countered unless the message with which we meet it answers those two questions with better, more noble and more convincing solutions than the Communists can give. There are better answers; there are better solutions; but they have not yet been demonstrated. In our hearts we know those answers but so far, publicly, we have not effectively asserted them. The democracies will not win this ideological struggle unless we fight openly and courageously for one single objective, for the creation of a world of peace and justice. And that objective must be repeatedly stated. But just to state the goal is not enough.
We must also be able to explain shortly and concisely how the solution for which we stand can, and will, provide the world with lasting peace and genuine justice. Right solutions to most complex problems are often simple. It is because of their very simplicity that we are apt to overlook them.
It had better be admitted that the standard for which we now are fighting is, in the opinion of most of the world's people, not sufficiently attractive. Today the West, that is the anti-Communist world, is fighting for the United Nations, and for freedom which, being interpreted, means political liberty. This is, indeed, a laudable aim. For us, who have already achieved release from serfdom, for our people, who no longer suffer from poverty and hunger, political freedom is a sacred flame for the maintenance of which most of us would die; for which, in two world wars, our youth believed they gave their lives.
But for the majority of mankind on this planet political freedom, as we understand it, is almost meaningless. 915 Moreover, if it means anything in Asia it means exactly the opposite to what we are doing. It means the expulsion of white hegemony. The mass of the world's people endure unending hunger and grinding poverty; they still suffer the paralysing indignity of being regarded, through accident of birth or colour, as second-class citizens, inferior and seemingly degraded.
It is against this intolerable injustice that mankind now stirs in indignant wrath. The cold war is not, as it sometimes seems, merely a struggle between Soviet Russia and Anglo-American forces. It is a world civil war bent on tearing down a social fabric which allows such things to exist. A civil war can only be ended when government, law and order, take its place. This government, which the world now so urgently demands, cannot be instituted on secure foundations unless it effectively redresses those evils, unless it alters the conditions which breed the anger and hostility which are the symptoms of the discontent. How to do that is our real problem.
Let me repeat. The root of this conflict, in which we are engaged, is a spontaneous revulsion against social injustice, and against inequality of opportunity. In the last analysis, it is against the domination of the many who are poor, and hungry and weak, by the exercise of power and privilege by the rich and the few. The majority of mankind, being hungry and under-privileged, look to Communism for their salvation. They will continue to do so until we give them better reasons to look to us. Because this is so, a mere military strengthening of the armed forces of the West offers no solution. Indeed, the stronger the West becomes, the more the under-privileged, the poor and hungry will hate us for our power, the more certain it is that in the end we will be defeated. We can never win by being powerful. Paradoxically, though, we can lose by being weak and woolly-minded.
Speaking to the United Nations in the autumn of 1948, Mr. Nehru used these words:We have got into a cycle of hatred and violence, and not the most brilliant debate will get you out of it, unless you look for some other way and find some other means."Hatred and violence," he said, "will not build peace." That is true. Let us 916 consider our problem, then, on the basis of first principles.
What is required? Peace, and with it happiness; life and with it love, justice, and freedom for all men—Peace; Justice; Freedom, in that order. But there can be no peace without justice, no justice without law. Nor can there be law without a legislature to make it, courts to interpret it, and a police force to enforce it. All of that is also true. Nor can there be any political freedom, in the sense we desire it, unless, in that legislature where the world law is made, there is due regard for democracy; government of the people, by the people and for the people. Lincoln's phrase can be re-stated thus: "Government by a freely elected representative assembly."
How far does the United Nations in its existing form fall short of these principles? How far are we honestly able to assert that the maintenance of the authority of the United Nations is the paramount objective for which we fight? Let us examine the U.N. Is its law, by any stretch of imagination, made by a representative assembly? According to the existing Charter, the U.S.S.R., India and China, together containing half the population of the world, cast only 10 per cent. of its votes. The 20 Latin-American Republics, regarded by many as the satellites of the U.S.A., represent 7 per cent. of the population of the United Nations. But they cast 40 per cent. of the votes. In the General Assembly of the U.N., which chooses the members of the Security Council, Luxemburg and India each have one vote. Luxemburg has a population of 300,000. India has over 300 million. This means that one white privileged Luxembourgois has the same representation as 1,000 coloured poverty-stricken Indians. It is hard to argue the case for the United Nations to an inquiring audience of young Asian students, as I had to do about this time last year.
The primary object of any world assembly—of the United Nations, therefore—as no one can or will deny, is the maintenance of peace. This is odd when, under its statutes, it is seen that the only way the U.N. keeps the peace is by making war, when the peace enforcement action it envisages can only be obtained by the application of force by national armies, when the individual instigators of 917 acts of lawlessness cannot be arrested or brought to trial before a jury because the only laws of this kind—the Nuremberg laws—have not yet been adopted by the U.N. Under the U.N. Charter the aggressor we must seek to indict can never be an individual, but must always be a nation-state. And yet, to quote the words which Justice Jackson used at Nuremberg:The idea that a state, any more than a corporation, commits crimes is a fiction. Crimes always are committed only by persons. That fictional being, the state, cannot be produced for trial, cannot plead, cannot testify and cannot be sentenced.To do just that, which Justice Jackson and Burke have said is impossible, is the solemnly declared aim of the United Nations. The United Nations Charter manifestly needs to be amended. If we are to be honest with ourselves and respected by the world I think we ought to admit it.
How then is the U.N. to be altered? I think that Britain, first, should declare its aims, and declare them unequivocally. This is no time for half measures. What kind of world authority and what kind of world justice are we really fighting for? It has been said that in war there is a danger of thinking too much about the fighting and too little about the object of the fight. Today we live in mortal danger of making that mistake. That is why on Wednesday, 28th June, I sought the Adjournment of the House in order to discuss this very urgent issue. I quote:Never since the beginning of recorded history has mankind been faced by so terrible a problem. Either we must within the space of a few years consent to an entirely novel form of political and military organisation or, if we fail in this, we must expect a worldwide disaster surpassing in its horror all that past misfortune enables us to imagine. One of the greatest difficulties is the shortness of the time during which preventive measures must be completed. There must be one central government possessing a monopoly of the more dangerous weapons and strong enough to insist on the substitution of law for anarchy. So long as no such central government exists, war is sure to recur.Then the author went on:If mankind can be brought, while there is yet time, to realise that the most elementary motives of self-preservation demand this revolutionary change as regards national sovereignty, a new era of unprecedented happiness and prosperity will almost inevitably result. Given a stable world Government, it will be easy to abolish poverty everywhere.918 Those words were used by Bertrand Russell when he spoke on the B.B.C. in a talk on atomic energy in March, 1947.There must be one Central Government strong enough to insist on the substitution of law for anarchy … So long as no such Government exists, war is sure to recur.No such central authority does exist. How are we to create it? It is a solution of this cardinal problem which I want the House to consider. We must act quickly. Time is fast running out. The first step, I think, can be taken here. This House should, I believe, say what the creation of such a central authority will demand in respect of the abrogation of national sovereignty, and, having said it, we should then admit with conviction and sincerity that we are ready, given adequate safeguards, to make those changes.
Now let me discuss for a few moments the nature of the powers which, given the safeguards—which are all-important—Britain would require to transfer from our Parliament in Westminster to a supranational world authority, if ever such a thing could be created. Determined to face the facts as I see them, I would make the list as follows:
Firstly, the central authority or world government, will need, as Lord Russell has correctly pointed out, to exercise the monopoly of armed force. This it would use, at its discretion, as an instrument of law enforcement; and the participating nations would thus be required to disarm down to the level of their internal policing commitments. Under such circumstances, be it noted, Britain would no longer control the British Royal Navy; it would become an integral part of a world police force. Nor, since foreign policy is an instrument of defence, would we require the present organs of diplomacy.
Secondly, the central authority would control the one integrated agency for atomic development, and no nation, except under licence, would be allowed to handle fissionable materials or to own weapons of mass destruction.
Thirdly, the central authority, having control of a world police force, being solely responsible for defence, and having control of the production and distribution of atomic energy, would need to raise revenue, presumably by some system of indirect taxation. And this, surely, involves the fixing by the central authority of the rates of exchange of our several national currencies.
919 Fourthly, and lastly, the central authority would need to operate, as one of its executive agencies, a world food board. It would thus be given the responsibility for planning, in broad outline, the overall production, and ensuring the equitable distribution of the basic raw materials of the union.
These four transfers of power from the national Governments to the world authority are, I suggest, fundamental and inescapable. They are also indivisible. Therefore, a step to world peace is for this House to admit that fact. We shall get nowhere by burying our heads in the sand. But it will be readily understood that no nation, least of all our own, could ever contemplate such phenomenal and revolutionary transfers of authority without ample and adequate safeguards. Nor could we do so until it can be seen without doubt that it is a wise and safe step to take. But we must not be over-cautious. Let me remind the House that to make no change, is to face the prospect of human extinction.
I come now to the question of the all-important safeguards. How are they to be discovered, and how are we to assure ourselves of their adequacy? Which brings me to the second step which I think this House might take. Either under Article 109 or outside the scope of the U.N., if that is thought to be preferable, a Peoples' Constituent Assembly should be convened; and, learning the lessons of Versailles, San Francisco and Strasbourg, the Assembly ought to be organised as follows.
First, the peoples of the nations, and not the nation-states themselves, should be represented, on a basis, I would suggest, of one per million of their inhabitants. Secondly, the objective of the Assembly should be to draft a new charter for the United Nations—one which, incidentally, makes some sense of the first words of its Preamble: "We the people." The Assembly, from the outset, should be asked to assume that a transfer of powers, much as I have already adumbrated, is desirable. It should be instructed to find, if it can be found, an acceptable constitutional formula by which such powers could be abrogated to, and exercised by, an elected World Parliament, formed on a federal pattern. The Assembly would, of course, also have to define the representation on this 920 Parliament or, if the description is preferred, on a reformed General Assembly of a truly United Nations—which representation incidentally certainly cannot be a simple per capita basis.
Thirdly, we should invite Mr. Nehru and Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, jointly, to sponsor this Assembly, and ask them to find a town in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent where it could conveniently meet. Fourthly, to this Peoples' Constituent Assembly, sponsored jointly by India and Pakistan, all the peoples of the world should be invited to send their representatives. The constituent assembly should reach its decisions by a majority vote and in its deliberations should adopt a Parliamentary procedure. Indeed, it might, in effect, be regarded as a "Select Committee of Mankind," set up to produce and to lay before the bar of world opinion, detailed advice for securing a world at peace.
At this point I know that I shall be asked whether I realise what might happen in this Assembly if the Communist delegates there present outnumbered the rest. As is the case with any Select Committee, a minority, if it feels impelled to do so, can submit a minority report. We already know in considerable detail the Communist plan for world government; and what we know we do not much admire. But what we have not had, and for the lack of it the world is now in danger of perishing, is the democratic alternative.
What form of World State do the democracies envisage? What would we consent to join? The United Nations, as at present constituted, is obviously now inadequate. It is not democratic. It cannot sufficiently speedily provide the redeployment of the world's resources so as to ensure their use for the benefit of man as distinct from the profit of investing nations. And—this is of paramount importance—the United Nations does not provide the tangible evidence of a world citizenship status without which that prevailing sense of under-privilege and injustice can never be eliminated from the minds of four-fifths of the human race.
Before concluding my speech I want to make a few observations which, I hope, will be helpful. In 1944 I moved at the Labour Party Conference, a resolu- 921 tion in favour of the creation of a United States of Europe. By January, 1946, I had discovered reluctantly that this idea, which seemed to me in earlier years to offer a reliable stepping-stone to world government, was no longer a practical possibility. Many of my federalist colleagues rejected my conclusions at that time. Most of them today, I think, have changed their views. Events have moved swiftly. That stepping-stone, a European Federation including the United Kingdom, if ever it existed as an independent unit, has now disappeared into the chasm of the cold war.
Nowadays much thought is being given to the alternative possibility of Atlantic Union. I implore those who are now examining this project to do so very carefully. The idea of Atlantic Union is undoubtedly attractive; but two factors should be carefully noted. Britain can never abrogate sovereignty in the full sense except to a Union which is big enough to contain the whole of the British Commonwealth; and this includes, India, Pakistan and Ceylon. Secondly, any union which contains, as founder members, India and her neighbours, can never be termed an Atlantic fraternity, unless one regards Indians as second-class citizens—and that they certainly are not, nor will ever consent to be. Which brings me to my final point.
The problem of world federal government, which everyone now knows is the only ultimate solution, is identically the same, in global proportion, as federation of our allies in the Korean war is in microcosm. If we were able organically to unit this group of States which supported the Security Council resolution we would meet and have to overcome all the problems which world unity presents. In this group of nations, which has supported the Security Council resolution, we will meet and have to overcome all the problems which world unity presents. In this group of nations we have at least three different civilisations, Indian, Islamic and Western Christendom. We have communities which are rich and numerically few, alongside the poor and numerically vast. We have communities who have found and treasured political liberty with those for whom this phrase, as yet, has hardly any meaning.
922 This, then, is a group it should be possible now to unite. We should work for this without delay. If it is within the compass of human ability to devise a constitution under which these vastly different races can live and work and. if need be, fight and die together, maintaining their rich diversity within a cohesive federal unity; if it is possible within such a structure to give hope to our Asian brothers in the union that the resources of all can and will be used for the common good of all; if it is possible for the cultural freedoms and legitimate aspirations of the minorities to be adequately safeguarded—if these problems can be solved within this group of allied nations, then we will have discovered, at long last, the pattern of global peace.
Without alteration this same system could be offered, and might reasonably be expected to be acceptable, to all the other nations of the earth. We shall then have something with which to confront the Soviet Union; a system that combines peace with justice, freedom with equality, and power with responsibility and true democracy. Sooner or later, as the right hon. Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) has said, we shall have to bring matters to a head with the Soviet Union. If ever we do so, there is only one ultimatum which is feasible. The alternative is utter destruction. There is only one proposal for "unconditional surrender" that makes any sense at all. It will be the offer to the Soviet Union of inclusion, as an equal partner, in a World Federal Government which has been tried and not found wanting.
Nor should we, the British, or the Americans for that matter, have the responsibility of proposing its acceptance. For nothing we can say to the Russians, it seems, is likely greatly to influence them. That, fortunately, is of little consequence. The pressure for acceptance for this new ideal will be applied, not by us, but by those Asians whose leadership and inspiration will have brought the Union to birth. Our contribution, which these Asians Will never forget, is that, when they asked for it, we gave them freedom. Their desire, and our only hope now, is that they in turn may show the world the way to peace. I believe, with God's help, that they could do it if we in Britain only have the courage and the vision to play our part.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Inverness (Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton) has lost his right to speak as he has already spoken. The Question before the House is the same, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ 3.25 p.m.
§ Mr. John Tilney (Liverpool, Wavertree)
Exactly five weeks ago, there was a Motion in the name of the hon. Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne), which was never debated, calling for reform of the United Nations and the formation of a world Government. At that time there were many who believed that the United Nations, as a force for stopping war was going the way of the League of Nations. Within a few days those fears were justified. For we are again smitten by the scourge of war. But just as justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done, so must the United Nations not only act unitedly when aggression takes place, but must be known to be united and to be going to act unitedly. That was not known several weeks ago.
When Korea was invaded the voice, albeit without that of the newly re-joined member of it, was the voice of the United Nations; but the hand was the hand of America, and we should all be grateful for her right arm and the surprising speed of her reaction. But government by surprise is not conducive to order or discipline in a bandit world and, in future, we must make it clear beyond a per-adventure that when a similar act of aggression takes place, the nations will take united action, which will be action and not mere lip service.
It may be that when South Korea is again in non-Communist hands the Communists will have learned their lesson. But the Communist campaign is like an iceberg; the bulk of it is not seen, and in the fog of cloudy thinking many who feel that their economic condition could not be much worse under any regime are attracted thereto. Yet despite the great difference in riches between the rulers 924 and the ruled in the Soviet Union and the domination there of the many by the few, I believe that unless we of the West reorganise our Governments and economies and produce a faith to counter Communism there may be further Communist successes. For we must now accept a divided world and concentrate on the world that is still free, in improving conditions therein, and making sure that the world of tyranny recognises our united strength and will keep within its bounds.
I have recently put down my name to a Motion which recognises the ultimate idea of world Government, because I believe that, without some supranational force, over the generations we shall be unable to prevent war. But however much the hon. Member for Yardley may preach, I fear it may be many decades before there is such a peace and many years before the last Communist tyranny comes to an end. But something can be done now. We can achieve a Government of the free world by the free world for the free world; the provision of security for those States that look to the free world for their protection and the guarantee of the frontiers of those countries which lie between the two world systems. Therein lies sane realist hope. But if we who share a common Christian cultural inheritance treat our sovereign rights in a miserly manner, we shall never attain united strength.
The frontier of the free world is now on the Elbe. Though we must keep open the door to those beyond when they are free, and to others elsewhere, there can be no seats in the federation of the free for any State voting as a tyrant party dictates, nor for one which is too backward for real democracy. The free world is then reduced to little more than the Commonwealth, America and Western and Mediterranean Europe. The greatest danger which that free world now faces is from the new secular religion of the East, some of whose prophets have already declared a holy war.
It fights openly against us in the Far East, and in our home countries its apostles and proselytes prophesy the break-up of our economy once Marshall Aid ends or whenever a slump, however long delayed it may now be, comes in America. Yet the communications of that free world, with all its common inheritance and ideals, have been so contracted by science, that it is relatively 925 smaller than England was a few centuries ago. With all, our vast areas and potential power, the Western world is in danger of being "Balkanized" in our constant frontiers and in our dollar poverty.
How are we going to confound the Communist prophets? How, in the past, did the world adjust itself in similar circumstances of potential suspicion? In the case of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was by marriage between Royal Families, but in most cases by conquest, by the law of "might is right." The first is precluded to us, because other countries have been less happy than we in our Royal dynasties, and the second is unacceptable to all save the conqueror. Surely there is some other way, a way that has been tried by that great Union of States across the Atlantic. The catalyst then was fear, fear of domination by a far-off Britain as, I believe, in the immediate years the catalyst will again be fear, fear that unless we get together we shall all fall separately before the new imperialism of the East, which is out for world domination. Whatever we now create, we must base it on the people rather than on the separate Governments of the free world.
This House has frequently discussed the three circles of our relations—with the Commonwealth, with America, and with Europe. If one is divorced from the other how great can be the misunderstanding? No one knows yet how the Schuman Plan will work and what effect it will have on our own country or on Commonwealth economy. Even if Western Union is achieved, our problem is not solved, because our countries have, largely, supplementary, rather than complementary economies. We compete with each other in our exports, in the getting of our raw materials and of our food from America and from out of the Russian storehouse. If any of us turn inwards, on our Empire, as many of us would like to do, how are we to find those vast capital resources that we need to make that Empire self-sufficient? Fresh capital is what we deny ourselves today out of our own production, and if we are dependent on dollar aid, how are we to produce that fresh capital?
America is almost the only country in the world that has, up to now, had a 926 surplus of production over consumption, and how are her citizens to lend their money in currencies, in the control of Which they have no share, which may be blocked, as we found ours blocked in South America? Are they going to build up with their money an integrated Empire, which, ultimately, will be self-sufficient, and will no longer want to import American goods?
Nor can the solution be found in anything like a 49th State. National pride and other interests will always dictate against that. In our youth we have seen a conjurer take three interlocking steel rings, and, with the aid of a magic wand and with great dexterity, make them one. I have often wondered whether some magic statesman might not do likewise. Surely there is nothing unworthy in a partnership. All my business life I have been a junior partner, and every day as I come through St. Stephen's Hall and look at the picture of Queen Anne in the Palace of St. James receiving from the Scottish Commissioners the Articles of Union of the two Kingdoms, I wonder whether those Commissioners ever thought they were giving up their sovereignty or if they ever foresaw that my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Boothby) would remind this House that the Scots not only govern Scotland, but have most of the worthwhile jobs in England, in the Commonwealth and in large sections of America. If any member of the federation should object to being a junior partner, I suggest that surely that is better than being pensioned off as an old retainer.
What, in point of fact, should we have to give up? There is defence. Already, in large measure, that is done, though I suspect that with a single, integrated Defence Force there would be immense savings on overheads. There is foreign policy. Once we accept a full working defensive alliance, surely a joint foreign policy becomes inevitable. But if the foundations of the Western world are to be so sure that, whatever the Communists do, our house will stand, there must be economic as well as military union.
If trade is to flow freely and in an expanding manner, it will mean one Customs, one citizenship and one currency—"stollar" or "derling," whatever the name may be—for that honest coin which 927 must be legal tender in New York, London, Paris or Berlin. It means one financial policy—and this is vital—so designed to stimulate the production of wealth in an expanding Keynesian way, with the emphasis on the partnership income rather than on the partnership debts that there are no pools of economic distress in countries, as there has been in the past in some cities and counties of the United Kingdom.
There must be some court of appeal for partnership disputes. The International Court at The Hague may well evolve into that. It is not as if the system has not in large measure been tried already. It was tried in the closing stages of the war in the work of the combined boards at Washington. We have already had much support for the idea both in Congress and in the Senate of the United States. Recently, in Canada, the Senate passed, with only one dissentient, a motion calling for a convocation of the Atlantic Powers to consider federal union.
Beyond what I have outlined, little else need be delegated. States and people would be free to run themselves and to grow rich in so doing. If there are some so wedded to the past as to believe that Socialism will work, there is no reason why they should not continue to try it in their own area. Such a partnership would solve not only the German problem. The economic problem of Canadian triangular trade would be no more, and even the Irish might no longer consider themselves divided.
Of course, there are constitutional and other difficulties. The United States of America might think that they would not gain relatively as much as the junior partners, but I suspect that any senior partner in an expanding company does better than he ever did as a one-man concern, however rich and prosperous he may have been by himself. I suspect, too, that he would prefer partnership to the position of being a permanent rich uncle to poor relations. Atlantis, Oceana—for the friends of freedom are found on the shores of all the oceans—whatever the name may be, here is an opportunity, in our defence against Communism, of attaining world peace by arming ourselves now with powerful new economic weapons.
928 Here is a chance to fill our Western ports with an expanding trade, a chance of looking forward to a time when taxation will no longer press upon the people and when all can enjoy the free world's immense potential riches. Finally, here is a faith that Western Christian civilisation can so compose its differences and give up to a greater family some of its own particular patrimony, that war within itself will become as unthinkable as war between England and Scotland, and we shall have a union so strong that none dare challenge our supremacy. So armed, the partners and the people may well go forward to the attainment of a world peace and to the enjoyment of an Augustan or, perhaps, an Elizabethan age.
§ 3.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Snow (Lichfield and Tamworth)
I suppose that, at this time, the minds of people are so pre-occupied with the danger of war that a Debate like this must strike a note which is very strange and even unreal. People will be asking themselves—those who trouble to think—what it is that the Russians really want. Is it world power as the way to domestic stability? But that was the argument that we always used in connection with the rise of Hitler. Or is it that we lack some sympathetic and intelligent understanding of the endemic national fear on the part of Russia?
When my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne) talked about world authority, I suppose he was thinking, as I think, that what we want to find out is whether there is any sort of world authority that would attract the interest and the sympathy of Russia but which, at the same time, would permit intellectual freedom—freedom which, in my view, can never be killed, whatever temporary oppressive measures may be taken.
Our job, and especially the job of those who seek the confidence of people at the time of democratic elections, must be to look ahead and try to get behind the minds of those whom we consider as aggressors. If I may digress, let us trace for a moment the reasoning behind Russian political thought at the present time. I do not think there is a better stepping-off stone than to take the example of the German philosopher Hegel, for it was he who developed the process 929 of dialectics to go further than the development of thought—that is to the developments in Nature and history to which could be applied the same dialectical process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Marx, when he extended that process of thought by thesis, antithesis and synthesis to material things, made it quite clear that material things, as such, should not be regarded just as a reflection of ideas, but as a development in their own right, as a process of thought. It is this dialectical materialism together, I think, with some evidence of paronia, which lies behind and is the controlling factor in Soviet policy and which remains the main threat to the influence of the United Nations.
I conceive the simple analysis of the present position to be that we have a thesis of control of sovereignty by pact or union, and a Soviet antithesis of over-influence by capitalist interests, or over representation by capitalist elements, and the synthesis that there is an inevitable reaction by what, I suppose, the Russians would call the proletarian elements of the United Nations.
This Union, as we have it at present with no reduction in national sovereignty or power to enforce decisions, cannot provide that which we all desire—peace. Nor can it, except by processes far too slow, provide any sort of confidence in what are known, I think very incorrectly, as the backward peoples. That was touched upon by my hon. Friend me Member for West Ham, South (Mr. Frederick Elwyn Jones) and my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) in the Debate during the last two days. The only solution we can get, before it is too late, is to replace that Soviet antithesis by something which will produce in the minds of the so-called backward peoples some entirely different reaction and give them some confidence in their own destiny.
It seems to me that in this British Parliament we never provide a very good example of how the Colonial peoples and their interests should be given proper consideration. Five or six times a year, in the British Parliament, we give consideration to the fate and the lives of hundreds of millions of people who have no direct representation here. To my mind, we have to show, by using the 930 example of our own Commonwealth, how the right principle can be applied in a world authority. I do not want to take up the time of the House any longer, except to say that I do not think we so-called "advanced people" have made such a great success of our affairs that we should think it beyond the realm of possibility that among those backward people there is some genius of administration and self-government which would make a very useful contribution to a world authority.
§ 3.46 p.m.
§ Mr. I. J. Pitman (Bath)
The hon. Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne) has given virtually the whole of his time during the last five or six years to an attempt to bring this subject to the attention of the world and of this nation in particular, and it is especially fortunate that he has today had the opportunity of developing a theme which ought to be very carefully considered by the nations of the world and, in particular, by this nation.
It seems to me perfectly clear that the United Nations has failed as a deterrent. We sincerely hope that it will not fail as a police force, and I reiterate what was said by the hon. Member for Yardley—we are all behind the United Nations in an effort to make it act as an effective police force and so, in time, increase its deterrent value in the future. But it has failed as a deterrent, and it has failed because of its inability to grasp the nettle of sovereignty. The United Nations saw the problem and introduced the veto, but sidestepped the problem by that very veto. The League of Nations pretended that the problem did not even exist.
In the same way, the United Nations has not yet really started on its positive functions. That is to say, keeping the peace is fundamentally a negative factor, whereas developing the potentialities of the community as a whole is a positive factor; and, there, they have not properly started—and for exactly the same reason that they have not grasped this nettle of sovereignty.
I want to draw the attention of the House to the astonishing Christian paradox in this field that, by renunciation, we actually gain. Within my memory, on the pegs behind you, Sir, there used to be tapes so that people could hang 931 up their swords. It is one of the astonishing evidences of the truth of Christianity that the moment man individually gave us his right of self-defence and his sovereign right to draw his armour, he actually gained. In the same way, as my hon. Friend the Member for Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) would say, the moment Scotland or England gave up the individual right of defence against the other, each gained as a consequence. The problem, as I see it, is how are the United Nations, as distinct from individuals, to be brought to agree to that great renunciation and how can we set up mechanism to make it effective.
There has been precedent in the past in the setting up of a central sovereignty, but in history there have been only two ways in which it has been achieved. The first, I am sorry to say, has been the result of chaos. The second has been the imposition of authority from outside, by an outsider. In this country we have had gradual evolution and, eventually, the gradual general acceptance of that authority and a full franchise. Do not let us ever forget, however, that the Communists want chaos because that is the way in which authority at the centre can effectively be attained. Every one then says, "By gosh, for goodness' sake, if we have to put up with this, let us have one person at the centre who is going to run the show and get on with it."
Similarly, the other possibility, I would submit, is debarred from us. The days of matrimonial matches between monarchs are past. It may well be we have a picture of Philip of Spain in our Lobbies. Equally is it not true he very nearly came to the establishment, with Mary, of a world authority for the world as it then was? But that is not on the cards at the present moment, and we have to find some method of achieving that desirable end.
How are we to create a central authority? How are we to select it and maintain it by renewal? This is possibly where I join issue with my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley—if I may call him so, for he is—in that I do not think for one moment one can do it on what I would call a purely nob counting basis. But I do think we can do it by instituting—provided it is instituted democratically—such a self-maintaining authority. 932 Then comes the question, Will the various nations, and the various people within those nations, submit themselves voluntarily to that authority, and will it evolve democratically over the centuries gradually, as people come to have the political ability not to wreck the central authority, and as the problem arises of acceptance of that authority?
Let us make it absolutely clear that there is no hope of a central authority's being permanently or even originally acceptable to the people of Europe which is based on a nob-counting basis, because the "have nots" of Africa and Asia so enormously outnumber the others on a purely nob counting basis, except in the institution of that authority, there is just no hope at all. I would then say that there is nothing wrong in asking millions of these people to entrust detail to the central authority. That is already done in justice in this country, and it is already done in administration in this country. I think hon. Members opposite would not say that this country is any less democratic by reason of the fact that we do not elect our judges, as they do in America, on a nob counting basis, or that we are any less democratic because we do not turn out the whole of the Civil Service—or, at any rate, the most important part of it—on the grounds that they have not got a democratic franchise behind them.
§ Mr. Usborne
Will the hon. Gentleman allow me? I want to make quite clear, if I did not make it clear, that I was suggesting this one per million for the constituent assembly, not for the world authority. I do not think myself that it is very important—the nob-counting basis—because I suggest that few people in this House would know what the basis was at Versailles or San Francisco when the Charter was evolved. Very few knew about the basis of nob-counting which went on at the drafting assembly.
§ Mr. Pitman
I think there is no real difference between us on that point, but I would say that I think there is possibly a difference in that I do feel absolutely convinced that this central authority must be as free as justice from sectional, nationalistic, class, industrial, or any other interest, and must be as free to do what it considers best as justice is. If it is, after all, that we are seeking a rule of law in the world, then it seems to me that 933 that law must be free, particularly in the early stages, until it has had a chance to develop, to get on with the job of administering law fairly and squarely.
Let us suppose that that is so. There are bound to be head-on conflicts. After all, in justice there are head-on conflicts; the two sides do not both expect to come away contented at the end; one or other must be extremely upset at the result. In the same way, in these world affairs there must be head-on clashes between nationalistic classes and all sorts of interests, but the important thing is that it shall be a rule of justice.
I am convinced that such a central authority can be democratically instituted. It would need to consist, I suggest, largely of Europeans, but it would be absolutely fatal if there were not a very large contingent from other continents—Africans and Asians—who have the same attitude to government by principle and government by justice. Whatever authority is set up, there would be two necessary limitations. There must be the limitation of continuance of survival, and the limitation of need for accessibility to interests that are seeking to gain recognition. I think that our Private Bill procedure upstairs shows how well in such cases the point of view of interests can properly be considered, and can be thrashed out by people who have got respect for principle and principles of law at their background.
§ Mr. Crossman (Coventry, East)
If we were to weight this assembly so deliberately against the coloured peoples, would they not be most unlikely to believe that we really believed in equality?
§ Mr. Pitman
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his interruption, but I am coming to that point later on, if I may, because I see its great cogency.
I would maintain that Bernard Shaw is, by and large, right in regard to limitation of survival; that the real advantage of democracy is that it does prevent tyranny because it enables the people who are in authority settling what is right and what is to happen to be kicked out on their ear, and in any similar arrangement we must have machinery for their discontinuance—the more so as we shall give them a continuing authoritative situation after their first appointment. 934 It seems to me perfectly clear that if they came up for approval every five years by the nations concerned—and I would support the need to continue national cultures, individuality and administration and would like to remind my hon. Friend the Member for Waver-tree of the parallel of the Highland Brigade, which still act very effectively in protecting the joint shores of Scotland and England—and if at the end of five years the nations of the world were so dissatisfied, notwithstanding the benefits of peace, and notwithstanding the positive advantages, that they did not renew it for another five years, then something would indeed be very wrong.
It will not be easy. There is obviously a movement the other way, not only in Ireland and Scotland, but in the two halves of India, and in the setting up of Israel; fresh constituent units are constantly coming forward to increase and not diminish the number of sovereign States. Anyhow, those details must be worked out by the United Nations. We want a truly democratically appointed authority, a truly democratically limited authority, and, as the hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) has said, we must have brought in the Asiatics and the Africans in that appointment in such a way that they freely of their own accord see the need of safeguarding the people who at present have most, and propose a constitution under which these important wielders of sovereignty and self defence shall not be at the mercy of the majority of people who are in the class of the have-nots. That seems to me to be absolutely essential.
It equally seems to me clear that the United Nations staff should help, not the Foreign Offices of the world but private individuals in working this out. I am not really differing from the hon. Member for Yardley, if I say that probably professional footballers would do better than professional diplomats, and they might as well hold it in Rio as in Africa. I would strongly urge that the United Nations—
§ It being Four o'Clock, the Motion for the Adjournment of the House lapsed without Question put.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. K. Robinson.]935
§ Mr. Pitman
I urge that the United Nations should take seriously this Clause 109 and should work out in some such way—we must not limit them—for instance whether it is to be a written or a flexible constitution like ours. There are most important issues to be worked out. I do urge that the United Nations be given the task of doing it.
§ 4.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Leather (Somerset, North)
I should like to make two points. We owe a great deal to the hon. Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne) for having brought this very important point before public opinion. Many of us feel that there is almost a conspiracy to prevent it being discussed in this country at all. We do not go the whole way with the hon. Member in his solution, but I agree with his diagnosis of the problem to be solved.
World peace is not something which can be easily achieved. It is something to do with bayonets and bullets. Most of us have had far too much to do with those in the past 10 years. That is how it concerns me and my constituents. I believe with the hon. Member for Waver-tree (Mr. Tilney) that there is a basis in the world today for something that is eminently practicable and possible, but, for some strange reason, it is a deep, dark secret in the United Kingdom. There is an advance towards the idea of some kind of Atlantic unity. I say that for want of a better term. The advance made in North America in the last five years is absolutely startling.
The hon. Member for Wavertree referred to a resolution passed in the Canadian Senate. Unless I am mistaken it is the first time that it has ever been mentioned in public in the United Kingdom, because it was boycotted by the London Press. They refused to print a word of it. I succumbed to the good old English habit of writing a letter to "The Times," but they felt it was quite unsuitable to be printed. It is really a world-shaking event that Canada and the United States, whose entire policy has been founded on the idea of staying out of Europe's trouble, should pass a resolution saying that they want to go right into Europe's trouble. I will read to the House the exact wording of that resolution in a moment or two.
936 We seem petrified in this country by the word "federal." That passes my comprehension, because I was brought up in a federal country and I have lived most of my life in a federal country, the United States of America. People think that it was easy for those countries to become federations, as though they just sprang fully armed, overnight, into being, as great federal governments. That is completely untrue. The American Union went through the greatest birth pangs, and for 11 years they tried a completely anarchic system. As my hon. Friend has said, they put through their federal union under the influence of fear. Let us remember also that members of the South African Union were fighting against each other only a few years before they went into their Union.
I want to make one quotation. If any hon. Member has heard it before I will bow humbly and say that I apologise. It is from a speech made in the American Senate on 29th June, when Senator Kefauver reported to the President what had happened on the same day in the Canadian Senate, showing that the administration in both those two great federations has undergone a complete revolution of public opinion which has not even been mentioned here. The Senator said:Mr. President, I have just received news from Canada which I hope will be a guide for all the free peoples of the world in the present critical situation. Particularly do I hope that the Senate of the United States will give pause to consider this development "—which is more than the Parliament of the United Kingdom has done.Just a few moments ago the Canadian Senate took action which I venture to predict will dwarf in history the aggression of the Communist puppets in Korea. The Canadian Senate, with only one lone dissenting voice, adopted a resolution calling for an exploratory federal convention to investigate the great benefits of Atlantic federation. The resolution was introduced by Senator Euler, and support came from Senator Robertson, the Senate leader for the Candian Government.This is the context of it:That the Senate of Canada do approve the calling of a convention of delegates from the democracies which sponsored the North Atlantic Treaty and representing the principal political parties of such democracies for the purpose of exploring how far their peoples and the peoples of such other democracies as the convention may invite to send delegates, can apply among them, within the framework of the United Nations, the principles of federal union.937 I suggest that throughout the Empire and in the United States of America there are a vast number of people who are ready to take the next step, and it would be the most crying tragedy in modern history if we in this country who have contributed so much and suffered so much should, at this critical stage, be found completely wanting because the opinion of our people is entirely unprepared, as they have never heard about it from their political leaders on either side of the House.
§ 4.7 p.m.
§ Mr. McAllister (Rutherglen)
The hon. Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Leather), has shown us that there are certain difficulties in fully comprehending and even in having full knowledge about what goes on in the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is a very salutary thing to be reminded that even within the British Commonwealth we have these difficulties, because, if they exist within the Commonwealth, to what greater degree must they not exist in the world as a whole? One of the excellent things which I have noted running through the Debate is the fact that Member after Member has, at least for a time, paused to remark on what Asia is thinking about the world today.
We are notorious for our insularity. At times in history it has had its qualities, but in a world divided into two, in a world where the Asiatics outnumber the others—we know little of Asia; we know very little of Korea and China, our greatest contact with Asia has been in India—it is time that the people of this country had some opportunity of understanding just what the other half of the world outside the Soviet Union thinks of world events today.
I hope that every hon. Member, especially every member of His Majesty's Government, read, digested and understood the article which appeared in last Sunday's "Observer" on the subject of India. It seemed to me one of the most profound contributions to the discussion of present events that has been presented to the people of this country. The article analysed the situation and suggested that the people of Asia did not quite see things as we in the United Kingdom saw them. They did not see a nice, clear-cut picture of black and white, with all the white on the side 938 of the social democracies and all the black on the side of Communism and the Soviet Union, but saw something quite different. They saw what they call "imperialism"—not our imperialism; we are exempt from blame—but imperialism, attempting once again to dominate the Asiatic Continent. These are important things to ponder. As Lord Samuel, the Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords, said the other day, we are now confronted with the fantastic situation that, from the Armed Forces point of view, the world is divided into two halves, each one of which is prepared to blow the other to smithereens in order to preserve world peace.
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne), with the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Pitman) and with the hon. Member for Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) that we in the Parliamentary World Government Committee are fully behind His Majesty's Government and the United Nations in their action in Korea. But Korea demonstrates that the United Nations organisation is not founded in such a way as successfully to maintain world peace. Therefore, we are calling for the amendment of the United Nations Charter, which amendment was envisaged, as the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) said the other day, by those who created the United Nations. The right hon. Gentleman said that he had accepted the best that could be done at the time, but that, quite clearly, the Charter calls for amendment and must be amended.
We are asking the Government of this country and the people of Britain to surrender some degree of British sovereignty to a world Government. I agree that there are two great problems confronting mankind today. There is the problem of war and peace—the problem of one world or none—and the problem of food for the peoples of the world or famine on an unprecedented scale. While I agree with that, I am not in favour of surrendering more sovereignty than is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the peace of the world. I would not agree to the handing over of the British Commonwealth to a world federal organisation. I do not think the Russians would agree to hand over their colonies to a world federal system.
939 I believe that we should hand over to such a world authority only that degree of sovereignty which is absolutely essential for the maintenance of peace, that is to say, that we should put it into the hands of a world authority, properly constituted and democratically elected, to maintain the peace of the world. That one stroke would lift from all the nations of the world—from the Soviet Union as well as from this hard-pressed island—a very large part of the fantastic burden of armaments that the world is now bearing. If we could get rid of that one thing we could immediately raise the whole standard of living of our people to a level never hitherto achieved, and the Soviet Union could do the same.
Senator McMahon has put forward a very modest proposal in the United States, whereby each nation should surrender some part of its expenditure on armaments for the purpose of creating a world fund with which to provide food for the peoples of the world. I think that is a proposal which all of us ought to welcome. That proposal, carried to its logical conclusion, would mean a new era for mankind.
The hon. Member for Somerset, North, made an important point when he referred to Senator Kefauver and his intervention in the American Senate. I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Kefauver in Washington a few months ago. He is not of my political persuasion, and we do not see eye to eye on many things. But this idea that if the world is to be saved it must surrender national sovereignty to a world government, is gaining support in the United of the Union have already agreed that this is the real solution. During the last fortnight I have met members of the French Parliament who are all for the idea. I met four members of the Japanese Diet, 200 members of which have backed the resolution in favour of world government.
All over the world the movement is growing, and I have no doubt that when present tensions are eased a little, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will implement what he has already said and will get the nations of the world together in order to sit down and hammer States. Twenty-six States out of the 48 940 out some method whereby national sovereignty can be abrogated to the extent that is necessary as the only sure way to achieve and maintain peace.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Davies)
I am very glad that at long last my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley (Mr. Usborne) has succeeded in obtaining time in the House to debate the subject of world government. Intentionally, I did not intervene earlier because it was our view that in the time at our disposal, as many Members as possible should express their views on this all-important and serious subject.
I think that the whole House will join with me in congratulating my hon. Friend on the deep sincerity of his speech, the seriousness with which he has tackled this subject, and on the devotion he has given to the cause in which he believes. All of us, I think, share the sentiments which he and other hon. Members have expressed this afternoon. We all detest the idea of war. We all want to do whatever is practical and possible to bring about a cessation of hostilities or of the threat of hostilities as it arises. But where we should probably part ways with those who are such keen supporters of world federation or world government, would be in the matter of timing and the manner in which world government can be achieved.
We cannot do otherwise than welcome the idea as a grand ideal, but when it comes to putting that ideal into practice those of us who are concerned with the practicalities of world affairs today find considerable difficulties confronting us. I would remind my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary himself has endorsed this ideal and has stated that he is prepared to sit down with anyone and draft a constitution for world government. I can see him doing so with the hon. Members who have spoken today—the hon. Members for Bath (Mr. Pitman) and Somerset, North (Mr. Leather), and my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley. I can see difficulties immediately developing, as they have developed today, as to the manner in which the method of voting and similar details were to be worked out.
When my hon. Friend suggested that we should not bury our heads in the sand. I wondered whether that was 941 preferable to walking with one's head in the clouds, as I think my hon. Friend does on occasion; and I decided that his was By far the better course. But it is necessary this afternoon to bring him back to earth and to place his feet firmly on the ground, and to view the proposals which he has put forward so well, against for instance, the Debate during the last two days on Defence and in the light of the grave international situation which faces us today.
If one considers the proposition of world government against that background, it can be agreed that world government is a very fine target—but a target for tomorrow, and not for tonight. Too many obstacles still confront the practicability of world government, and there is certainly no short cut to it. The obstacles of nationalism and selfishness have been mentioned, and then there is imperialism, which uses as its weapon aggression and the employment of force. Those obstacles are not easily overcome, as we can see from the gravity of the situation today and the way in which it has developed for the worse in the last six months. But when we return to the general principles with which my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley began his speech, I am sure that we shall accept his thesis.
It is necessary to provide an answer to Communism and to find some way in which its spread throughout the world can be stemmed and, ultimately, a return to democracy accomplished. We all agree with that, but I doubt if he has given the answer and I think that the answer we have is the more practical one. The trouble is that there are millions today, tens of millions, who are forbidden to hear the answer, let alone practise it. I would say that the answer is our way of life, our political democratic system—democracy and not totalitarianism. It is democracy which provides the answer, it is the freedom of the individual against State oppression and the police State.
I think that democracy is showing that it has an alternative to Communism and that that alternative is succeeding to a large extent. I believe that in this country, through the form of social democracy we have been practising in recent years, our social democracy has resulted in encouragement and leadership 942 to a very large number of people in the world, who see something in it which offers hope and gives them faith in the overcoming of Communism and the opportunity of building a better and finer form of democracy.
I feel that my hon. Friend is inclined to exaggerate the appeal of Communism and not to give sufficient credit to the forces which are opposed to it today—the democratic forces—in making their appeal and. ultimately, in being victorious as far as countries which have not yet achieved democracy are concerned. After all, world government can only come, through the free consent of nations. There is no over-riding authority which can impose the unity of nations from above, and I think the arguments which have been put forward this afternoon—all of which are acceptable as a basis—the arguments which have suggested that we have just to believe in the idea of world government in order to bring it about—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—that once we believe in it, we can set up this world authority and then have agreement among the members of that authority—
§ Mr. Davies
I have only a few minutes left. Universal free consent cannot be accomplished simply by bringing the peoples together and saying, "Here is your form of self-government"—
§ Mr. Davies
It cannot be brought about by amending the Charter of the United Nations, as has been suggested, and making that body into a supreme authority. Surely it can only come about through an evolutionary process as communities develop a wider sense of fellowship and universal respect for the rule of law.
§ Mr. Davies
No, I would say that the United Nations' idea did, in the first instance, provide for a considerable limitation of national sovereignty and was based on the hope and belief that there would be co-operation among the different nations who were members of that organisation. Had full co-operation been obtained from all members of the United 943 Nations there would have been this voluntary surrender of sovereignty, and far more would have been accomplished than has been accomplished. Unfortunately, the history of the United Nations has been otherwise and the U.S.S.R. has unfortunately, taken up an uncompromising attitude and has destroyed its full effectiveness up to the present.
It is very difficult to believe that it is a practical suggestion to supersede the United Nations by world government. Will that offer the likelihood of closer co-operation and a greater spirit of conciliation? I cannot believe there is any evidence whatsoever that world government would succeed where the United Nations have failed. The present international situation might still be resolved—we all hope it will be—in the committee rooms and assembly halls of the United Nations. The support for the Security Council's action in Korea shows that, except for the Soviet bloc, all are willing to co-operate in condemning aggression, and I am sure we all welcome the support given to that action by members of the world groups.
The principle of collective security, on which the United Nations is founded, must, as my hon. Friend the Member for Yardley said, on occasions meet force with force. Sometimes it is necessary to make war to maintain peace. That is the basis of collective security, and it is the aggressor who causes the nations to revert to making war in order to overcome aggression. We still can resolve the present international situation, and let us hope that the U.S.S.R. will now act in a statesmanlike way in the councils of the United Nations, and co-operate to achieve peace in the world. But I cannot believe there is any greater likelihood of that occurring if we embark on this great adventure of world co-operation instead of by trying to work it out through the existing bodies which have already been set up.
944 The alternative to this world cooperation is to bring together the peoples of like minds in an alliance, and for them to co-operate in the purpose which we all share of bringing about peace and its preservation. After all, the basis of our foreign policy is to bring together people of like mind—the democracies in the Brussels Treaty, in the Atlantic Pact and in co-operation with the Commonwealth. This is the policy which we are pursuing, and it is only people of like mind, who share a common belief and certain ideals—in this case the democratic idea—who can approach it in a similar way, and who can co-operate and consent jointly in common interests. We feel that the policy which is being pursued is one directed to that end, and it is through the continuance of this policy that we are far more likely to achieve our object than by embarking upon some new experiment, such as has been suggested here this afternoon.
We welcome the views which have been put forward and they will, I am sure, be studied with great interest and care, but we have to face this matter in a realistic way and consider whether the pursuit of the policy on which we have embarked and the using of the United Nations' organisation is not the best way of bringing about world peace and preserving it. That is the aim of all of us.
§ Mr. Usborne
My hon. Friend has talked about collective security. Is it not a fact that it is based on an alliance, which all history shows never works? It is not collective; and it is not secure. But world government is both.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-nine Minutes past Four o'Clock till Tuesday, 17th October, pursuant to the Resolution of the House yesterday.