HL Deb 06 May 1953 vol 182 cc247-62

2.35 p.m.

THE EARL OF DARNLEY rose to ask Her Majesty's Government whether in foreign affairs a lead from strength will necessarily win the game, and whether it is the only lead; and to move for Papers. The noble Earl said: My Lords, I speak to-day somewhat sitting on the horns of a dilemma—in fact, two horns. The first one is that after five years of absolutely unaccountable deprivations, miseries, torments and deaths, we were informed that we had overcome the chief enemy, and that we had therefore won a glorious victory. Yet our tax returns show that not only are we to-day finding another enemy, but that in "downing" the first enemy we have created another who is even more powerful than the first. The second horn of a dilemma is more a Church one. I hope your Lordships will not accuse me of trying to sermonise, or "doing a pijaw," as we used to call it in my private school, because I do not approve of that any more than you do. But we do say every day in our daily services: Give peace in our time, O Lord. And the answer is: Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only Thou, O God. It seems to me that that is saying, in so many words, that there is an answer to our requirements in the Christian religion; that if we treat it properly we shall get the answer that we require; and therefore, there is no need for the Almighty to be armed with an atomic bomb, as our London daily papers would show us after the service.

The general opinion to-day is that increased power gives you increased strength, and that any villains and evil people who arise will be frightened if they see that the other side has more atomic bombs, more submarines, more cruisers, more anything, than they have. Possibly, that is true. But it does not follow that they are twice as right, but merely that they are twice as strong—anyone can see that. And it is quite possible that the side, or country, that really wished to inflict the evil on another country might wait until some fortuitous chance gave them superiority in that particular weapon. What I am going to ask for to-day is anything but small; I am going to ask for something jolly big. I am asking for an era—for a period of fifty years if you like, if the human mind wants to measure it—for discussions without bloodshed; and I say there is nothing against that at all. There is nothing that you can prove against it. Supposing there are villains, supposing there are people who "will not play," as the expression is, then they have got to be made to play; they have got to be talked to, and you have got to continue talking until they do play. That is the only answer to it. The whole of the life of the Founder of Christianity was a struggle against odds of this kind, which should concur to right thinking and right action. There is no doubt that the successful means of keeping the peace have got to be psychological as well as material. Take, for instance, a war like the wars we have nowadays: it damages every branch of human endeavour; it brings the world to a ridiculous state of futility, such as it is in at present, when all prices are up and commodities are mostly indifferent in character, although expensive to buy.

Let us see what our friend Southey, the poet I quoted last time, says about the near to accompaniments of a great battle: My father lived at Blenheim then, Yon little stream hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground. And he was forced to fly: So with his wife and child he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head. With fire and sword the country round Was wasted far and wide; And many a childing mother then, And new-born baby died; But things like that you know must be At every famous victory. They say it was a shocking sight, After the field was won; For many thousand bodies here Lay rotting in the sun; But things like that you know must be At every famous victory. You can see, from the poetic point of view, at any rate, that war brings with it horrible things. Everybody knows that war is a disgusting and horrible thing, and will say that if everybody does not play, co-operation does not work. All I say is that first of all you have to put out a projected era of fifty years in which peace will be kept in this sort of way, and anybody who apparently will not play has to be made to play. Unless some country gets up and sets that example—which this country has every possibility and every right to do—it is unlikely that we shall ever start it, and so the world will merely drift on until some kind fate stirs it into a nova or flash and it disappears in the way the noble and scientific Lord, Lord Cherwell, recently spoke about in this House.

I want you to promise me an epoch—just an epoch—in which these things will be settled in a proper way, will not be settled by force, and will not involve the use of force at all. I am asking you to give this method yourblessing—if possible to send it out into the world to test its efficiency, and while it is there to support it to the utmost limit of your veracity and courage; to cease looking for villains and tyrants and look instead for temporary evil which is brought about by possibly wrong treatment. It is obviously, apart from anything else, a prime farce to consider warfare in a light of throwing atomic mountains at each other and killing many millions at every throw. That gets one nowhere, nor does it solve any of the problems likely to obtain between peoples of different nationalities. A little realisation of the impasse to which the use of force has brought the world is likely to facilitate the fulfilment of my wish for the new era to descend on humanity. We have to substitute the dictum, "Live and let live," as asked for by the Prime Minister of Canada, for the dictum, "Disagree and be killed," which has been the custom so far. I beg to move for Papers.

2.46 p.m.


My Lords, most of us here have heard the noble Earl on a similar topic, in war time arid in peace time; and, of course, everything he says is absolutely true. He approaches this greatest of all questions to-day, if he will forgive my saying so, from the Christian pacificist angle. That is the right angle, and it is, I hope, what Her Majesty's Government are trying to do. From what I know of the members of Her Majesty's Government, I am sure that it would be their wish to approach these terrible and overwhelming problems from exactly the angle of the noble Earl.

I do not wish to extend this debate into a general discussion on international affairs, because I imagine that we shall have to have a regular debate, and a full-dress one at that, in the fairly near future. But there are one or two observations that I wish to make, and one or two questions that I venture to put to the noble Marquess who, I understand, will be answering for the Government. Let me say at the beginning that the noble Marquess, Lord Reading, has my complete sympathy, and I. hope the sympathy of all your Lordships, in an exceedingly difficult situation. Fist of all, the most regrettable illness of the Foreign Secretary at this particular time is nothing short of a misfortune, and the noble Marquess has to carryan additional burden to his ordinary duties; and the times are most difficult. We all appreciate that, and we all feel for him, from the bottom of our hearts. He knows that, and it is hardly necessary for me to say so. I think the noble Earl, Lord Darnley, has been perfectly justified in bringing forward this Motion, because he has touched on one of the two topics about which everyone talks at the present time. People talk either about the Coronation of Her Most Gracious Majesty or about the prospects of peace and war. Those are the two overwhelming subjects of discussion everywhere, in clubs, public-houses and homes, and therefore it is right that this matter should also be debated here.

I believe I am right in saying that there is considerable disturbance of the public mind at the way things have been going in the last few weeks. I do not want to enter into the much larger question of the apparent change of attitude of the Russian Government since the death of Marshal Stalin, and the feelers that have been put out from the Kremlin towards peace. I will not go into that in any detail at all and, as I say, I do not wish to enlarge the discussion, for various reasons. But there is profound disturbance at what is apparently the slow-motion act that is going on again at Panmunjom over the negotiations for an armistice in Korea. The ordinary mart in the street and the ordinary woman in the home simply do not understand, and if they are the unfortunate relatives of men who are either prisoners or combatants on the field of battle, their understanding is still less. What we do not understand is this—I speak here, I believe, for the man in the street. Why is it that the whole matter is being left to the Chinese and Korean Generals, on the one side, and the American Generals and Admirals, on the other? Why is not this all-important negotiation taken on the highest level of diplomacy? I was very glad to see that the American President was sending Mr. Murphy, a most experienced American diplomat of the very highest reputation, to Panmunjom, apparently to represent the State Department direct. I have not seen any news of Mr. Murphy's arrival, and I should like to ask the noble Marquess, Lord Reading, whether he can give us any information about this most important development.

Secondly, the noble Marquess will know that there is a general demand in this country that we should have a greater voice in these negotiations, on which everything may turn. They are of vital importance; and we, after all, have far greater experience of dealing on the diplomatic level with orientals than have any other people in the world. We have, in particular, a number of experts on Asia in the noble Marquess's department at the Foreign Office; we have several who are well versed in Chinese affairs. One or two of these, I should have thought, might have been sent out, if only as observers.

What gives additional cause for disturbance is this. The very idea that there was to be a thaw in the cold war seems to have aroused great alarm in certain quarters. I am not referring to the very important subject which was raised in the debate last week by my noble friend Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. I am not talking about commercial or munition-making circles; but there are some professional trouble-makers who are very worried. Your Lordships will remember that during the long troubles we had with Ireland there was a section of Irish-American citizens in the United States who made a very comfortable living by agitating for the release of their country from "British Imperialism" and by attacking and maligning England in general and demanding a settlement with Ireland. When the settlement with Ireland was in sight these people were in a state of panic. Many of them lost their livelihood. I feel that probably the thaw in the cold war—or even something better, some form of general agreement—might have that effect for many people, on both sides of the Atlantic, having a vested interest in this cold war.

One sees the symptoms of that in the atrocity stories which were apparently fabricated in the most shamefaced way, arising out of the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners. The moment that sick and wounded prisoners were released, the most fantastic stories of atrocities were put about. These stories found a place particularly in American newspapers, and thus began a psychological and political warfare of a most damnable kind. There were, no doubt, certain cases of ill-treatment: it was only natural. A certain amount of barbarism towards prisoners-of-war always occurs. But why were these stories put about and why did some great English newspapers carry them with great prominence? I am sorry to say that one English newspaper which many noble Lords, including myself, read for information—the Daily Worker—has started the same business on the other side, about the treatment accorded to Korean prisoners in United Nations' hands. I cannot understand why these things are spread about. They are disturbing to public opinion.

This matter of psychological warfare is one which I consider of very great importance. In the absence of the right reverend Prelates I venture to remind your Lordships of a slightly blasphemous legend about the Devil and the Archangel Gabriel. They were both very alarmed at the apparent decay of orthodox religion: people no longer fearing God or the Devil. They met together in conference to see what could be done about it. The decision they came to was that the Devil should present mankind with the invention of the atomic bomb and that the Archangel Gabriel should develop political warfare. These two things may be the greatest curse of our time. I do not expect a very important pronouncement from the noble Marquess to-day, for this is not a full-dress debate. But I have ventured to put a question which I think is greatly agitating public opinion concerning these negotiations on Korea. I am sure that if the noble Marquess can give us any comfort and any useful information for the guidance of the people, he will be very ready to do so, and he will thereby earn the gratitude of a great many people outside this House and also, I hope, of some of us within it.

2.56 p.m.


My Lords, I think Her Majesty's Government are entitled to draw some consolation from the behaviour of the noble Earl who initiated this debate. In the time of the late deplorable Administration the noble Earl felt it his duty, with clockwork regularity, to come down and pronounce judgment upon the state of the world in no uncertain terms. Thus, in June, 1950, he spoke of human society as being "in imminent danger of collapse." In June, 1951, he spoke of everyone being "in a perfect inferno of misery and frustration." Well, My Lords, when I stood with 100,000 other people at the Cup-tie last Saturday, such misery and frustration were not apparent—except perhaps among the players and supporters of Bolton Wanderers during the last five minutes of the match.

The point is that June, 1951, was the last date upon which the noble Earl felt it his duty to address us—twenty-three months ago. Although the note of his speech cannot be said to be entirely optimistic now, I think that one may detect in it or infer from it a feeling that the noble Earl sees some slight sign of improvement. That does not mean that the noble Marquess, Lord Reading, and his Department can take much unction to themselves from that. After all, things could hardly have been worse than they were under Mr. Herbert Morrison; and if the best that can be inferred from the noble Earl is a slight improvement, then it is obvious that there is still a long way to go. But I think that that feeling of slight improvement may be gathered also from the terms of the noble Lord's Motion. In 1950 he called upon His Late Majesty's Ministers to organise human society in order to prevent the aforesaid imminent collapse. In 1951 he called upon them to sponsor a call to nations of all creeds and colours to bring about universal friendship. But he does not lay upon the noble Marquess and his Department any such herculean task on this occasion. He speaks on a note of what may be described as deprecatory interrogation, and he poses two questions.

I have always been an addict of card games of all kinds, particularly of bridge, so naturally I was intrigued by the noble Earl's two questions. As many of your Lordships know, bridge is a difficult game; and there is one particular characteristic about bridge players, which is that many of them think they are much better at it than they really are. Therefore, the noble Earl will not be surprised if I "butt in" to answer his two questions in advance of the noble Marquess whose official duty it is to do so. The first question of the noble Earl is: Will a lead from strength necessarily win the game? The answer to that is definitely "No, it will not necessarily win the game." But in nine cases out of ten it is the best lead, and in "no trumps" in nineteen cases out of twenty—and for three reasons: First, because it may give an opportunity for a second and more subtle lead after the opponent has exposed half his resources on the table; secondly, because it may strike a feeling of surprise, and even possibly of apprehension, in the breast of the opponent; thirdly, and most important of all, it will give confidence and information to your partner. Let us remember that, from our point of view a strong partnership in foreign politics is as all-important as it is in bridge.

The noble Earl went on to ask: Is there no other lead? The answer to that, of course, is definitely, "Yes; there are a number of other leads." For instance, there is the "MacArthur club," which the General thinks is the only lead calculated to overcome Chinese opponents. Then there is the new American lead of the "diamond," designed to induce the young players to betray their hands. There is some controversy about the ethics of this lead, and it does seem to me an odd one to try just at the moment, when the rubber, which has been singularly unpleasant and hostile, shows just a faint sign of becoming slightly less bitter. Then there is the noble Earl's own favourite lead, from the "heart." As the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, said, we have great sympathy with that lead, and great affection for it. As a card player, I think I may say that my favourite suit is "hearts." But we cannot get over the fact that, until the rules are changed, "hearts" are junior to "spades" and "no trumps"; and, while our opponent specialises in those suits, we feel that being consistently loyal to "hearts" cannot possibly win the game. I listened most intently to my old friend, Lord Darnley, to hear whether he had any other new lead to suggest. Way back in 1950, he told us to disarm and hold out the hand of friendship to Russia. Well, of course, that is a lead from a "weak doubleton," an unsatisfactory and unproductive lead, as we all know. I told him at the time that my right arm was wearied with holding out its hand in friendship to Russia, and the only consolation I got from the noble Earl during his closing remarks was that in that case I had better support it with the left until both were worn out.

There is another lead which has not been mentioned by the noble Earl but which has been freely advocated in certain quarters elsewhere, and that is that President Eisenhower and our Prime Minister should seek a personal interview with those in the Kremlin. Well, that, of course, is tantamount to leading from a king. The disadvantage of that lead is that so often, by finesse, the first trick is taken by an inferior card, such as the knave, and the king may be either trumped or trapped in the second or third round. Personally, I am not at all enamoured of the idea of dignitaries of the stature of the President of the United States and our Prime Minister trotting along to the doorsteps of foreign dictators. A perfect example of the failure of that lead was furnished by the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain.

But, of course, bridge is not the only game that we are called upon to play in the international tournament. There is also poker. Poker, as your Lordships know, is a game of a lone hand, dependent for success largely upon a bold bluff. We have played this game in Great Britain, not without success, a great many times in our history. Perhaps the most notable occasion that we brought off a most heroic coup was in 1940, when we staked our all against an all-powerful hand, and all we had was a pair of aces—Hurricanes and Spitfires, slipped to us, with admirable and inadequately recognised foresight, by the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton. But of recent years we seem to have fallen off. Our game has been very much cramped by the presence at the table of a most aggressive player. We have been told by onlookers that he always holds most powerful hands—300 submarines, 3,000 aeroplanes, 175 divisions, and so on—but we seldom see his cards because he always raises everybody and keeps his cards tight-breasted. We have been led now and again to submit to his aggression. For instance, two years ago we threw in a hand holding 30 million annual tons of oil to a weak player, simply because we were afraid that the big aggressive player at his side might raise us to such a figure that we were unable to "see him." Yet there have been occasions when we have plucked up courage. Some years ago, for instance, our opponent became more aggressive than usual; we were very weak at the time, but we took our courage in both hands and raised him by the Berlin airlift. We were very surprised to get away with it and win the coup.


That was under the late Government.


Yes, I do not wish to deny that.


Which you abused.


I beg his Lordship's pardon?


The noble Lord began his most interesting speech by pouring scorn on the late Government, but the Berlin airlift was under the late Government.


No, not scorn: I just said that they were deplorable.

As I was saying, thought of the Berlin airlift leads one to wonder whether this opponent is quite so strong as we are led to believe. In the main, we are particularly impressed by the attitude of the little Jugoslav player, who sits just beside the great man. This little player consistently, if I may use a vulgarism, "cocks a snook" at him, and has been a thorn in his flesh all these years; yet the great aggressive opponent does not crush him, as one might expect. That leads some of us—certainly I am one—to wonder whether the tendency of all the players in the game is not to underestimate that player's difficulties and exaggerate his efficiency and strength.

My Lords, these games of chance and skill, and for high stakes, are very exhausting, and one likes to turn away, now and again, from the table, to seek rest and recuperation in something simpler, or at least less stimulating; and so one turns to a game in which we in Great Britain have plenty of experience—namely, patience. The most common and the most baffling form of patience is double-Demon. Russia and China, Asia and Argentina, Communism and Fascism, greed and ambition, fear and ignorance—there are any number of double-demons. The foundation of double-demon is 104 shuffled cards, the United Nations; and the object of the game is, by manœuvring the four suits and the cards of different value, and the odd and even numbers and the opposing colours, to build them up into a solid symmetrical, impregnable whole. But there are peculiarities about this game. For instance, although I spoke just now of card values, there are many circumstances in this game in which the two of clubs is of equal value to the ace of spades; and there are other circumstances in which one card alone can, as it were, put a veto on the solution of the whole problem—and the only recourse then is to pick up the cards and start again from the beginning. Consequently, there are many people who regard this game as a waste of time and take no interest in it. I do not subscribe to that opinion, because I think that patience is a valuable sedative.

I still think, however, that the only way in which we shall attain supremacy in this card tournament is at the bridge table—and for this reason: that we are blessed there with a powerful partner. He is a generous, cheery fellow, a bit unpredictable in his bidding and leading, but true to the characteristics of the game which I mentioned before. We consider that we are much better at playing the cards than he is, and we are gradually improving him. He has one overwhelming advantage, and that is that he is a magnificent card-holder—and a great deal can be forgiven to anybody who holds the cards, for he, in the end, will come out on top. So we believe that if we continue to play regularly with this partner we shall eventually induce our stubborn and powerful opponents to give up the idea of winning the tournament and at least to cry quits. If and when that happens, we shall be able to invent a new game. Perhaps it will be played entirely in hearts, and in that event the noble Earl will certainly be its Culbertson, and we shall all sit at his feet without any anxiety in happiness ever after.

3.14 p.m.


My Lords, the blend of idealism and sincerity with which the noble Earl addresses your Lordships can never fail to impress all those who listen to him on these occasions. If I am not always able to keep abreast of him in what I may call, I hope without offence, the transcendental excursions upon which from time to time he conducts the House. I freely recognise that the fault lies, not in the least with his eloquence and conviction but only with my own pedestrian mind.

The Motion which the noble Earl has put before your Lordships to-day is phrased in metaphorical terms, and though I do not propose to follow the noble Lord, Lord Blackford, in his far greater range of information on the intricacies of card games than I possess, it is perhaps right that I should warn the noble Earl that if he pursues this matter to the end with his request for Papers, it seems to me that he is even more likely to obtain various publications of the Portland Club, rather than of the Stationery Office. His Question assumes that in the view of Her Majesty's Government the essence of foreign policy is that it should be based upon force, and force alone; and he suggests also that in our opinion such a policy must necessarily prevail. Indeed we hold to no such doctrine as that strength is the only lead, and it would require far more audacity, or, I hope may add, far more imprudence, than I possess to assert that in foreign policy there is any one course which will automatically and inevitably produce the desired result.

If the noble Earl looks at the course of events in the post-war world he must surely acknowledge that it was not by our desire or upon our initiative that we have been compelled to resort to a policy of rearmament—and I emphasise the word "rearmament," for at the end of hostilities we put into operation, promptly, methodically and trustfully, our plans for the orderly demobilisation of the great forces which had been gathered together in our cause during the war. But if a suspension or a reversal of that process was imposed upon us by events, none the less we have surely striven consistently throughout to relax tension, to promote negotiation, to avoid threats, and to substitute concord for discord in the whole international field. Nevertheless, my Lords, we have in the end to face the realities of the world in which we live, and it is, I fear, often a somewhat tough and truculent world, wherein not all nations, nor indeed all individuals, can be influenced by calm and reasoned argument. But I am sure that if this country were to be prosecuted under the Prevention of Crime Bill, recently approved by your Lordships, any impartial tribunal would find that it had fully discharged the onus upon it of proving that it was carrying potentially dangerous weapons solely for the purpose of self-defence.

Some two years ago the noble Earl said in this House that we must try to advance the co-operation between all types of human beings, in spite of evidence of their hostile intent. I respectfully agree, as a matter of abstract amiability. At the same time, if you see a man advancing upon you with an ugly look in his eye and a hatchet in his hand, while you are wholly unarmed, it requires great and, perhaps, excessive courage to endeavour to advance co-operation with him. But if you also have a hatchet in your hand, however little intention you may have of using it, unless you are attacked, there is at least a better chance of persuading him to co-operate than if you are completely disarmed. We can only continue to hope that true co-operation may emerge from the present situation, for unilateral co-operation is not only not a very fruitful but it is not a very feasible enterprise. If it takes two to make a quarrel, equally it takes two to make up a quarrel.

The noble Earl will, I hope, acquit me of any discourtesy if I answer him some-what briefly. Indeed, the real reply to his Motion was given in the recent Foreign Affairs debate in your Lordships' House by a justly venerated figure, who is to all of us, I think, the incarnation of the pursuit of peace—and not an artificial peace decorated with a motif of dupes and duds, but a genuine peace deep-seated in the labours and hearts and prayers of an anxious and bewildered world. On April 23, the noble Viscount, Lord Cecil of Chelwood, in your Lordships' House, said this (OFFICIAL REPORT, Vol. 181, col. 1154): …it is still the case, as it always has been, that in foreign policy the greatest of British interests is peace. Nor is that true of this country alone. On the contrary, peace is the greatest interest of every civilised country in the world; and, as we all agree, there is no more urgent obligation on the Government of this country than that of maintaining peace. That does not mean that I am against what is called rearmament. So long as other powerful nations continue to build great forces, we should be mad if we did not make it clear that such forces can be used for attack on us only at very great risk to themselves. That is the first precaution we can take against war, and it follows that, large as the preparations may be for a possible attack, our precautions must follow suit. But, by itself, rearmament is not enough. We want peace, and not only victory. There, I suggest to your Lordships, in irrefutable form, coming as it does from such a source, is the case for the parallel policies of striving for peace and what is sometimes called, though perhaps not very happily, "negotiating from strength."

The noble Earl who moved this Motion asked Her Majesty's Government to promise him an epoch—an epoch extending over fifty years. How can any Government in any country make any such promise? He went on to say that those nations who were not prepared to enter into any sort of arrangements of this kind have got to be made to play. How do you make an unwilling nation play, in a matter of this kind, if at the same time you eschew the use of any force? How do you make a nation play if its Parliamentary institutions and its people are unwilling to enter into any such compact?

The noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, asked me a certain number of questions which I think I am entitled to say came a little unexpectedly in a debate of this kind, and without notice or warning of any nature. On a matter of the delicacy of these negotiations I hesitate, I confess, to say much without having greater opportunity than I have had to consider the very important matters that are at stake. But in regard to the whole aspect of the Korean armistice talks, I would say to the noble Lord that we are, of course, in close consultation with the United States, that policy instructions as to what is done at Panmunjom are issued from Washington. As regards the method of conducting these negotiations through military channels, we are satisfied that, these being armistice negotiations, that is the right method of conducting them. The noble Lord asked me about the position of Mr. Murphy. I think he has got that particular matter wrong. To the best of my recollection, he suggested that Mr. Murphy had now been appointed political adviser at Panmunjom. I think that that is a complete error. My recollection of the position is that Mr. Murphy has just ceased to be United States Ambassador at Tokio, and has been asked to continue to reside there for the time being, in order that he may give political assistance to General Mark Clark in Tokio, with no suggestion that he should be present at the discussions in Panmunjom. I think that the impression of the situation which the noble Lord had obtained from some source is in fact an erroneous one.


I am greatly obliged to the noble Marquess. May take the opportunity of apologising for not giving notice of that particular question. I meant to do so, but the matter escaped me. Some of the newspapers suggested that Mr. Murphy was going to Korea to take part in what is going on there. I am sorry that that is not the case.


My personal impression is the one which I have given. Mr. Murphy's duty is to advise until he returns to Washington. He is to remain in Tokio and to advise General Mark Clark on the political aspect. I have seen nothing of any intention that he should proceed to Panmunjom.

Returning more closely to the noble Earl's Motion, I very much hope that he will accept from me that his question is in truth based upon an entirely mistaken premise. It is not our aim to challenge or to provoke or to menace anyone, but only to endeavour to discharge our duty, to the past, to the present and to the future, by preserving the security and safeguarding the way of life of the people of this country and of the free world. We cannot, of course, guarantee the success of that or of any other policy. But we can, and I trust we do, make every effort, faithfully, patiently and single-mindedly, to achieve our predominant purpose of peace, first, by our firm and consistent support of the United Nations; secondly, by neither neglecting nor refusing any reasonable opportunity to arrive at least at an accommodation with those who differ from us; and, thirdly, by so strengthening our own defensive position both independently and in association with our friends, that we shall be able to speak in the world, not with arrogance but with authority, and to be heard not with servility but with respect.


My Lords, I thank the noble Marquess very much for answering my remarks so kindly. I still hope (I am that sort of pigheaded man, and I shall continue to hope) that in about fifty years time an era will be constituted in which it will become illegal or unfashionable or un-anything-you-like to solve difficulties by force, and that people who are supposed to be evildoers and aggressors will be proved to be not villians but fools. Of course, fifty years is only a nominal number, taken because fifty is half of a hundred and, after all, has some standing in the world of numerology. But even if it were twenty or seventeen or any other number of years, it would not be amiss. I hope that such an era will be constituted soon. I ask for leave of the House to withdraw my Motion.

Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.

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