Words & Speeches WW2, October- November 1939

Wednesday October 25th, 1939
Leopold, King of Belgians in a broadcast to the United States:
In 1937 Belgium proclaimed her policy of independence.  Our large neighbours acknowledged this declaration and even went further by commiting themselves to respect Belgian territory.
Belgium is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in Europe.  She is thus dependent on her commerce and activities and on the free extension of her commerce and industry abroad.  Belgium has no territorial ambitions.
Nuetrality is vital to us.  Peace is for the Belgian people a matter of life and death.
If we were to become involved in the fray, is would be on our soil that the issue would be fought out.  That would spell utter destruction for Belgium, whatever the issue of the war.
Side by side with Holland, Belgium stands for a pacific island in the interests of all.  A strong neutral Belgium constitues a stronghold of peace and an element of consiliation which can alone save our civilisation from the abyss into which a world war would throw it.
We fully know our rights and our duties.  We await the future with stadfast serentiy and a clear conscience which nothing can perturb. We are prepared to exert our entire strength in order to to uphold our independece.
Exactly 23 yars ago, day for day, the Belgian army, under the command of my father, King Albert, checked after a hard battle the progress of a cruel invasion.
If we were attacked – and I pray God this may not happen – in violation of the solemn and definite undertakings that were given us in 1937, and were renewed at the outset of the present war, we would not hesitate to fight with the same conviction, but with forces ten times stronger.
Once again a single-minded nation would support an army.
Let me express the hope that the American nation, to whom we seem so closely drawn, will encourage and support the attitude we have adpoted for the good of peace in the service of civilisation.

Colonel Deneys Reits, South African Minister of Native Affairs, in a broadcast from London:
In the past we fought two bitter wars against the British.  I myself served for three years under arms against the British Empire, and I went into exile in a strange land rather than live under the British flag.
But Great Britain, after defeating us in war, treated us with a generosity unknown in history, and conferred on us an even greater measure of liberty than we had enjoyed under our own former Republics.
Today, as a voluntary partner in the British Commonwealth, we are not only free, but far safer than we could hope to be if we were on our own with the smash and grab policy which is now trying to dominate the world.

Tuesday, October 31st
M Molotov in an address to the Supreme Soviet Council:
The ruling circles of Britain and France have been lately attempting to depict themselves as champions of democratic rights of nations against Hitlerism and the British Government has announced that it’s aim in the war with Germany is nothing more or less than the ‘destruction of Hitlerism’
It amounts to this, that the British and with them the French supporters of the war, have declared something int he nature of an ‘ideological’ war on Germany reminiscent of the religious wars of old.  In fact the religious war against heretics and religious dissenters were once the fashion.  As we know they led to dire results for the masses, to economic ruin and the cultural deteriorations of nations. But there is absolutely no justification for war of this kind.  One may accept of reject the ideological system.  This is a matter of political views.

But everybody should understand that ideology cannot be destroyed by force, that is cannot be eliminated by war.  It is therefore not only senseless, but criminal to wage such a war as a war for the ‘destruction of hitlerism camouflaged as a fight for ‘democracy’….
The real cause of the Anglo-French war with Germany was not that Britain and France has vowed to restore the old Poland, nor that they had decided to undertake a fight for democracy.
The ruling circles of Britain and France have, of course, other and more actual motives for going to war with Germany. These motives do not lie in any ideology, but in their profoundly material interests as mighty Colonial Powers.
The possession of these colonies, which makes possible the exploitation of hundreds of millions of people, is the foundation of the world supremacy of Great Britain and France….
It is fear of losing world supremacy that dictates to the ruling circles of Great Britain and France the policy of fomenting war with Germany….
The non-aggression pact concluded between the Soviet Union and German bound us to maintain neutrality in the case of Germany participating in war.  We have consistently pursued this course, which was in no wise contradicted by the entry of our troops into the territory of the former Poland which began on 17th September.
It will be sufficient to recall he fact that on the same day, September 17, the Soviet Government sent a s special note to all states with which it maintains diplomatic relations declaring that the Soviet would continue its policy of neutrality in its relations with them.
It is known that our troops entered the territory of Poland only after the Polish state had collapsed and actually ceased to exist.  Naturally we could not remain neutral towards these facts, since as a result of these events we were confronted with urgent problems concerning the security of our State.

Friday, November 3rd
Hon. T.A. Crerar, Canadian Minister for Mines and Natural Resources, in a broadcast from London:
We now see a Britain at war, but, as always a Britain calm and resolute, not to be shaken from a high resolve which has not been lightly taken, and which will be carried through to the end.
May I pay a tribute here to the spirit of this ancient people and to that tribute add of this conviction that once again, as so often in the story of these islands, this spirit will triumph over the difficulties and dangers of the hour?
In the war we in Canada are with you, as you are with us, to the end, but we are fighting not merely because of a sentimental impulse to come to the help of our Mother Country.
That feeling, of course, is strong among us, but it could not alone account for the declaration of the strength and spirit of Canada to meet the challenge of this conflict.
Remember that to a great part of Canada, the United Kingdom is not a mother country, as approximately half of the people of this Dominion are of non-Anglo-Saxon stock.
We are made up of every race-even German-Canadian, which are now loyal to the best that is in German and are for that reason joining with other Canadians in the fights against the debasing creed of Nazism.
In this struggle we are as one… because use are conscious that we are fighting for our own ideals and for our own existence.

Monday, November 6th
Hon. R.G. Casey, Australian Minister of Supply, in a broadcast from London:
Many foreigners find it hard to understand why a remote self-governed country like Australia goes to war, without any pressure being brought to bear on her, just because your little island, on the other side of the world to us, is at war.  The answer is, or course, that we are all of the same British race and we belong, and willingly and gladly belong, to the same British Empire and that when this King is at war we are at war.
Although we in Australia are 13,000 miles away, we have seen, as clearly as you, the systematic destruction of three small European countries one after another, and like you, we realise that if this gangster business is not stopped normal life will become impossible for half the world, including ourselves.

This entry was posted in Words To Remember from 1939 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s