Monday November 27 1939
Mr Herbert Morrison, MP Leader of the London County Council, in a broadcast:
Stage by stage Hitler built up his power. Piece by piece he swallowed up his neighbours. Each time, like the drunkard, he swore it would be the last. Each time he set about preparing the next daylight robbery. In Poland he used force instead of merely threatening it: but having seized what he wanted he made the old promise that now he would turn over a new leaf and settle down.
Today we stand, with France, prepared for what may come; today, owing to Poland’s terrible martyrdom, the Allies have had time to make ready. Germany has missed the aggressor’s best chance – a flying start.
But supposed we made peace now? How do we know that, when his strength was renewed and our preparations were dissipated, Hitler would not launch his Blitzkrieg out of a clear sky, and crush us before we could start?
Some seem to hope that Russia has Hitler pinned down and will not allow him to start a new war in the west. But has Russia ever said so? And what other guarantee of safety and freedom for Europe have we besides the word of Adolf Hitler?
The Nazi regime is, as it always has been, a poisonous growth, a wholly evil thing. A leopard of this kind cannot change its spots. It must dominate, or die. And what would happen it if did dominate, and if the threat of military defeat – which was drawing very near to us this summer – became a realised fact? A victorious Nazi Germany insists upon setting it up in its conquered territories governments of its own kind……
It we are fighting only to end the Nazi threat to our future, if we have no aim but to get back to pre-Nazi Europe, we are chasing a will-o’-the-wisp and we shall fall into the mire. The roots of war lie deep in our present ways of living, and we have the chance now to dig some of them out.
If we really mean to build a clean, ordered secure world after this war, we must be ready to sacrifice as individuals, as classes, as a nation. While we must be ready to surrender a measure of national sovereignty, we must maintain the cultural freedom of nations and a proper measure of independence in their political life. We must cling to an ideal of government, whatever its actual form, as something which exists to serve peoples, not to dominate them…
Tuesday, November 28th
Mr Chamberlain in the House of Commons:
There is one observation I should like to make on the subject of peace aims which I do not think has been made before. This idea of building a better world does not require a war to bring it into men’s minds. Every statesman who has any right to such a name has been hoping and trying to improve the general condition of the world whenever he has any opportunity of doing so, but the condition in which Europe has been kept for such a long period by the policy of Germany has made it absolutely impossible to make any progress in this task of improving world conditions on the scale which we should have like to see…..
When I spoke on this subject on Sunday I said that the conditions in which peace aims could be achieved could not as present be foreseen. I did not say that they were remote. I do not know. I said that they could not be foreseen, and I say now that none of us knows how long this war will last, none of us knows in what directions it will develop, none of us knows when it is ended who will be standing bu our side and who will be against us, and I say that in those circumstances it would be absolutely futile – indeed it would be worse than futile, it would be mischievous – if we were to attempt to lay down today the conditions in which the new world is to be created…..
First of all, we must put an end to this menace under which Europe has lain for so many years. If we can really do that, confidence will be established throughout Europe, and whilst I am not excluding the necessity for dealing with other parts of the world as well I feel that Europe could be settles the rest of the world would not prove so difficult a problem. If we can establish that confidence, then many thing which have seemed difficult, or impossible in the past might prove to be, if not easy, at any rate attainable.
We shall need all our courage, all our tenacity, all our patriotism to achieve our war aim, for let us not make the mistake of underrating the strength of our enemy. When we have achieved that aim, then indeed we may find that we may require an even greater vision, an even greater will to win the peace that it has taken to win the war. I do not doubt that when that time comes there will be those who will have that vision and that will.
Tuesday November 28th
Sir Samuel Hoare, Lord Privy Seal, in a speech to the Chelsea Conservative Association:
We were prepared for a sudden, a swift and staggering climax. In its place there have been three months of watching and waiting. People are saying that we are suffering from boredom. I believe myself that this feeling is altogether superficial. If we look impartially upon the story of the last three months we shall come to the conclusion that so far from nothing having happened things have happened that will leave for all time their mark upon the course of events in the world.
In the early days of September the German Government believed that the Russian agreement meant a preponderance, or at least a balance, of force in the world. Yet throughout these three months the German Army has been pinned to its muddy trenches on the Western Front. Hitler has been foiled of his knock-out blow, although it was the very essence of his strategy. Instead, there have been endless discussions at his headquarters. There have been rumours of wrangling with this advisers; and Czechoslovakia; there have been murmurs of discontent in Germany itself. I do not exaggerate the importance of these reports. I do not suggest that morale is likely to break in Germany. But what I do say is whilst Hitler was determined to finish his quick war in a few months, these twelve weeks have left him weaker and not stronger, and they have enabled the French and ourselves greatly to strengthen our military position in the world. The knock-out blow can never be delivered.
Only in one direction has Hitler attempted to act. Violating all treaties and agreements, contrary to every dictate of humanity, he launched his U-boat campaign and has followed it with the ruthless use of his much vaunted secret weapon, the mine that is dropped from the air. These inhuman attacks have led to the sinking of many ships and the loss of many lives.
We are beating the submarine, and so it will be with the new mine. We shall suffer losses and we shall bear them with resolution. They will lead to even greater sacrifice, and this new effort will show that Hitler’s secret weapon will end by doing him more injury that iw will ever inflict upon us.
If we hold firm, we are sure of victory, and look where I will I will see every evidence to show that we shall hold firm……
If I describe our economic policy in a single sentence I would say that is to interfere as little as the circumstances of war allow and to obtain a much co-operation as we can between the Government on the one hand and industrialists and labour on the other.
It is co-operation that we need everywhere if we are to have a 100% war effort. So as I am concerned as a member of the Cabinet, I can sat that we welcome the help of any citizen, to be a member of the Opposition, result of help is make our effort more fully effective. For in all these things we are determined to win the war; that is our first and over-ruling war aim.