Words & Speeches WW2, October 1939

Thursday, October 19th
King Gustave of Sweden and President Kallio of Finland in broadcasts for the Royal Palace at Stockholm:
My invitation to this meeting was a duty I had to perform. Sweden’s welfare and my warm feelings for the other Northern peoples guided me.  Our consultancies have confirmed the unity of the Northern Governments.  We consider it vital that each of our countries should be able to pursue in absolute independence its traditional policy of impartial neutrality.  We appreciate highly the warm-hearted greetings from all the ruler on the American Continent.  In maintaining our neutrality we depend on the mutual support and co-operation of all counties with the same policy of neutrality as outs.  I know that the Northern peoples unreservedly wish to live at peace with all the nations, and are inspired by a neutral will  to live as free nations.  Therefore my most heartfelt wish is that no one of the Northern countries shall be impeded in the exercise of its right independently to establish a peaceful existence.  My dearest wish is that these countries may be able to co-operate to re-establish peace and settle the grave disputes now separating the belligerents.  All countries long for peace and security.

President Kallio said:
The Finnish people are grateful for the diplomatic support given by the northern countries. This evidence of Northern solidarity ahs not stopped with words, but has found expression in action.  The Finnish people know how deeply the Northern countries feel their connexion with Finland.  Trusting in God and their just cause, Finland’s peace-loving people will defend their independence and integrity, although we only wish to live in peace in our own country.  We hope that our powerful neighbour will respect the treaties which hold explicit stipulations that possible disputes shall be settled peacefully.  Finland respects her obligations.

Tuesday, October 24th
Herr von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, in a speech at Danzig:
…..Among the whole of world public opinion there is not the slightest doubt that the French people did not want this war and would rather have peace today than tomorrow, but that the war has been imposed on them my Britain by negotiations in Paris with the French government.
With regard to Britain, it could be proved beyond all doubt that this war against Germany had been systematically and secretly prepared for years by the present British Government…..
The British people who, at heart, would like to live in friendship with the German people were by all possible means of propaganda and at the demand of the British Government brought to a state of hatred and panic in regard to Germany.
The aim of the British Government was by this means to bring Great Britain politically and diplomatically to the brink of an unbridgable gulf with Germany so that iw would be possible to unleash the war against Germany at whatever moment appeared most favourable to them.
This has to happen in such a way that there would be no way of retreat left open to the Government in face of its own people.  This situation was brought about by Mr Chamberlain guaranteeing Poland… That this guarantee was only an excuse is clear from the Governments declarations in the House of Commons that it was intended to be directed only against Germany.  Not the invitations of the Polish State, but armed assistance against Germany was Britain’s concern.
The policy can only be understood as an expression of Britain’s increasing will to furnish herself in all circumstances – and in a not too far future – with an excuse for attacking Germany.  The results of this nearly calculated Germany.  The results of this neatly calculated British policy followed according to programme.  The Poles fell into an ecstasy of megalomania.
Again the real intention of Britain’s policy were demonstrated.  Instead of advising Poland to decide in favour of a still impossible settlement with Germany, Britain, as we now know, incited the Poles to aggressive acts against Germany.
Britain, through a statement by the foreign Minister, Lord Halifax, rejected Signor Mussolini’s plan of September 2nd for a peaceful settlement of the Polish conflict, which had been accepted by Germany and France….
But the British Government showed its true face and its desire to annihilate the GErman people when it rejected the magnificent peace offer that the Leader made to Britain before the Reichstag on October 6th, and answered it, through the mouth of the Prime Minister, Mr Chamberlain, with abuse which called forth utter indignation throughout the whole German nation.
The Polish example had proved that it is not good to challenge Germany.
Chamberlain and his accomplices will have their eyes opened and filled with tears in due course.  There will come a time, perhaps, when they will have leisure enough to contemplate whether it was good policy to reject Germany’s hand of peace.

His Highness the Maharaja of Bikanir, at a Durbar in honour of his 59th Birthday:
We are fighting to resist aggression whether directed against ourselves of others, to break the bondage of fear daily encroaching upon the world.  And we must not forget that should Hitler win this war all talks of freedom and democracy for India will vanish like thin smoke and brute force and the doctrine that might is right will reign supreme…
It is my profound conviction that in these troublous time when everything is so much subjected to revolutionary changes and upheavals the great empire over which his Imperial Majesty reigns offers the one stable element, the firm rock on which a peaceful world order could be raised, the one institution in which under a beneficient spirit of peace human effort in every direction could find its fullest realisation.

Wednesday October 25th
Mr Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, in a broadcast:
….The war has been in progress less than two months, but already Herr Hitler has lost the initiative.  The aggressor’s early advantage is spent.  The road tot he east is blocked by Russia or barred by Turkey. In the west every week that passes adds to the strength of the free democracies.  With fast gathering momentum we swing into our stride. German attacks by air upon our Fleet, or upon our merchantmen, have failed utterly in their purpose. by comparison with the last War the submarine has proved to an indecisive weapon, while the percentage of losses among German U-boats has been infinitely higher.
…..The much heralded German offensive in the west still hang fire, while winter closes in, a winter no doubt difficult for all, infinitely dreaded by Germany.  In all this there is encouragement for the final victory.  British Commonwealth a doubt of the ultimate outcome. Strain and stresses there must be, and even moments of deep anxiety, but the issue cannot be in question…..
Every war is fought on two fronts. an army in the field depend on the spirit of the nation at home. The home front is not only a source of material supplied, but of spiritual inspiration. Our democracy is alive and active.  That is a healthy sign.  It is going to help us to win, but it is essential that we should be fully conscious of what we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.  This war has been thrust upon us and upon the world by the German Government’s flagrant breaches of faith and by the German Chancellor’s obsession that his will be prevailed at all costs . Even so, we are not fighting against one man, nor for any given principle, but in support of a principle.  That principle is good faith between peoples, and without it there can be no peace.  Nazi leaders are loud in their declarations that this was thrust upon them. The evidence is against them, the documents have been published, the world can judge.
We believe that, we have won through tot he end, a heavy responsibility, which will also be an unrivalled opportunity, will fall to the Allied Powers. It will be our task them to give practical expression to the innermost feelings of men and women in all lands where servitude has not starved or frozen them. Those feelings are for a closer European unity and a wider world understanding, for an international order that shall be respected, for religious toleration, for the denial and not the worship of an aggressive nationalism, for liberty, security and peace. The task will be arduous, the struggle hard-fought, but if we will keep the aim steadfastly before us we cannot fail, for that aim is the aim of the better part of mankind.

Tuesday, October 26th
Mr Chamberlain in the House of Commons:
I do not propose to waste the time of the house by commenting on the many details of the performance [Herr Ribbentrop’s speech at Danzig].  No one is this country will be deceived by its distortions of the truth, and there is already abundant evidence that Herr von Ribbentrop has been no more successful in his attempt to mislead impartial observes in other parts of the world.  Indeed I even cherish the hope that despite all suppression and falsifications there are still some in Germany itself who see where the real truth lies.
The main thesis of the speech is that it was England and not Germany who desired and plotted for war.  The whole world knows that this is not true.  The whole knows that no Government ever sought more ardently to avoid war or took greater risks to preserve peace than did te Government of this country.  We have already published with complete frankness all the essential documents relating to the causes of the war. We are content to be judged by the facts and to know that the verdict of the great majority of neutral observers is in our favour.

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