THE MENACE TO
PEACE and DEMOCRACY
IN August, 1937, the National Council of Labour issued this warning to the British people: "The present international situation is very ugly and dangerous. There is grave risk of a general war in the near future."
That warning was justified by the crisis of September, 1938, which brought the world to the brink of war.
The crisis did not begin with Czechoslovakia. It began in 1931-32, when Japan was allowed to defy the League of Nations and wage a war of aggression in China.
That aggression was followed by aggression in Abyssinia, Spain, Austria, and then Czechoslovakia. Every surrender to the aggressor has led to further aggression and has extended the rule of force and oppression in the world.
The British " National " Government bears a large share of responsibility for this terrible state of affairs.
At the last General Election it gave a solemn pledge of "steady and collective resistance to aggression" in any part of the world. That pledge has been shamefully broken.
China, Abyssinia, Spain and Czechoslovakia, all loyal members of the League of Nations, have been betrayed.
War has been averted for the time being by the cruel sacrifice of democratic Czechoslovakia, a vast mass of whose people have been placed under the iron heel of a brutal despotism.
The "peace" with Hitler was not a victory for reason and negotiation. It was a triumph for armed diplomacy and blackmail and a crushing defeat of democracy everywhere. As a result, Britain's prestige is lower than it has been for 250 years, while Hitler has become the Dictator of Europe.
Instead of "Peace for our Time," we have got a state of anxious suspense worse than in 1914. Every nation is feverishly increasing armaments. No one knows who will be Hitler's next victim. [P.T.O.