- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 13 Mar 1941, p. 402-418
- Stewart, Herbert L., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- First, paying honour to one of Toronto's sons, Flight-Lieutenant Lawrence Wilkins Skey, the first Toronto pilot to win the Distinguished Flying Cross, and some words from him.
The time, as Mr. Churchill has said, to act rather than to speak. The need to exchange thought frequently and earnestly, about what it is we are aiming to do. What is at stake. Fighting for our British heritage. The change in the minds of the dictators that led to the events of 1939. Reasons that this could be expected. The slowness with which Great Britain accepted the dire reality, and acted upon it, and reasons for that. Events over the three years, 1936 to 1939, when successive events deepened suspicion into certainty. What we are in this war for. First, to end international blackmail. Second, to finish the practice of international bad faith. Ways in which the present situation is demoralizing to us all, and signs of that demoralization. Thirdly, fighting to make life again safe for a small people. Fighting to make the small country among large countries as secure as the poor man with little means of self-protection among the rich and powerful. This fight not for Britain alone but for all freedom-loving mankind. The determination to win because what is at stake is what we dare under no circumstances lose.
- Date of Original
- 13 Mar 1941
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- Full Text
- WHAT IS NOW AT STAKE IN EUROPE
AN ADDRESS BY HERBERT L. STEWART, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S.C. PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY, DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY.
Chairman: The Third Vice-President, Mr. E. F. Thompson.
Thursday, March 13, 1941
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: The Empire Club today desires to pay honour to one of Toronto's sons, Flight-Lieutenant Lawrence Wilkins Skey. (Applause.) Flight Lieutenant Skey is the first Toronto pilot to win the Distinguished Flying Cross. (Applause.) This was awarded to him for services rendered in a patrol on the North Sea and was given for astounding endurance and courage. I am sure you would all like to have a word from Flight-Lieutenant Skey, D.F.C.
FLIGHT-LIEUTENANT SKEY, D.F.C. (upon rising to his feet was greeted with prolonged applause): Mr. President and Gentlemen: I must say this is the finest thing that has happened to me since I left England last, including many very pleasant experiences, but to come home and to be welcomed as I have been since I arrived here has made me very happy, and I have met all my friends again and come back to my family, and I really feel as if this is the biggest moment of my life.
I would like to be able to tell you today some of the stories that come through on the grape vine, you might say on the Royal Air Force, because our news is censored heavily in the Old Country, but they will all be written some day, they will be written far better than I can tell them to you, and I would like to leave the feats of courage and bravery of such men as Cain, Darwin, Leroy and Hanna for better men than I to deal with; but I would like to tell you just one story, the story of an airman. His name was O'Reilly. He was an Irishman, serving under a Canadian officer in a Welsh crew, with a Scotch observer. Now that is the type of crew and company that is making up the Air Force today, and that is, I really think, making world history.
Now O'Reilly was sitting in an aircraft at his gun post. He had been there for hours, and it was a most important patrol, and enemy action, the possibility of enemy action had been signalled to the air craft, and there were enemy fighters out, and everything looked as if it might be zero. Well the captain of the boat went aft to check over his gun position, and he saw O'Reilly sitting beside his machine-gun, and he was trembling, shaking in every limb. The captain thought, this is no good, I can't have a gunner who is frightened to death: it will ruin the morale. He tapped him on the arm and said: "You go below for a while, O'Reilly, and get a cup of tea. I will take your gun." O'Reilly turned to him and said, "But, Sir, this is my gun," and he would not desert his post under any circumstances.
Now it is men like this man, like O'Reilly, that are making history today, not the men that are in the limelight--the men that are on the ground, that are building the aircraft, maintaining them, and working with all their strength and suffering as much enemy action as the men who go up to fight, because they are being bombed on the--ground and they are being harassed and strafed by machine-gun fire, and they are the men that are making this Air Force that is getting so much publicity, go. It is men like O'Reilly who won't desert their guns, it is an Empire crew that produces men like this.
Now some of these men don't even know what they are fighting for, and Mr. Kennedy, the United States Ambassador, was right when he said the English have not been told what they are fighting for yet, and if they were asked they possibly would not know. But some of them know: they are fighting for their homes now, they are fighting for their traditions and they are fighting bitterly withal; they are fighting bitterly because they feel that they have been let down. They have been let down by the leaders who went ten years before them and failed to stop this thing that is with us now, this thing that men like O'Reilly have to see through. And I would like to appeal to you men here today who are leaders in this community and ask you to read the article written by Mr. Horace T. Hunter, the speech which he gave to the meeting of the Toronto Bank. It is in the March 15th issue of McLean's, and he has put these words to you far better than I could today, "We are suffering from dearth of leadership." And these men have suffered and will suffer and will die for that.
Now let us see if Canada can give this leadership to our Empire. England is wrapped in the arms of her opponent now, she can't think or feel beyond the grip that is on her. But over here I have seen more enlightenment more straight thinking and more real understanding of what this war means and what we have got to face in it, with it, and after it, and I think this country is coming into a tradition, a tradition that Sir Wilfrid Laurier gave them, "The twentieth century belongs to Canada."
I think it is from places like Toronto, from Montreal, from places like our great West, that we are going to find leaders in the future, who won't let clown the men that are fighting now-what is it our British Prime Minister' said?--"on the beaches, on the streets, on the farms, on the roads, we will fight to the last man." And they will do that, you may depend on it.
And in closing, I would just like to read you a bit of Tennyson,
"When I dipt into the future as far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be. Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales; Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue; Far along the world-wide whisper of the Southwind rushing warm, With the standards of the peoples plunging thro the thunder-storm; Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd In the Parliament of span, the Federation o f the world." (Applause.)
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: Lieutenant Skey, on behalf of the Empire Club, I desire to thank you very much.
Gentlemen, our Speaker of today needs no introduction to an Empire Club audience. He has been our guest on several occasions in the past, and we are delighted to have him here with us again today.
Likewise, to our radio audience he needs no introduction. His voice is known in every home as one of Canada's greatest commentators on today's news. With out any further introduction, I give you Dr. Herbert L. Stewart, who will talk to us today on the subject: "What is Now at Stake in Europe."
HERBERT L. STEWART, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.S.C.: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Empire Club of Canada: It was with special pleasure that I accepted your invitation to come and speak to you again this afternoon, at a time of Empire emergency. Memories of a previous visit which I greatly enjoyed are very vivid in my mind, and I am honoured to know from some of my friends who have mentioned it to me that it has not completely passed out of their recollection either. I thank you most sincerely for the warmth of this welcome, and for the very kind words in which I have been introduced.
The time is indeed one, as Mr. Churchill has said, to act rather than to speak. And yet, for our mutual encouragement just now, for the high resolve and enduring fortitude from which action comes, we have surely need to exchange thought frequently and earnestly, about what it is we are aiming to do. I was deeply impressed by the words of the Flight-Lieutenant who has just addressed us and who emphasized that aspect of the situation. In this, as in so many other respects, the British Prime Minister sets the supreme example to his countrymen.
In a sense, indeed, the time for discussion has passed. We know what has to be clone, and there is no real room for controversy or debate, except about the most effective method of doing it. Some have seen in that somewhat obvious reflection ground for the calling of a moratorium upon speeches and conferences of a character to which we have long been accustomed. They urge that war method is a problem for small groups of experts-experts in national defence, in factory organization, in financial adjustment--to settle among themselves with a minimum of talk; the sort of problems on which speech-making to a large audience can contribute less than nothing. There is force in that; we know that there is. The Empire is fighting for its life, and every other consideration in the world must be postponed, must give place, to considerations of the technique for victory.
But, Gentlemen, in this war, beyond any other war of which we have knowledge, it seems to me that the technique of victory requires constant, insistent, well-planned operation upon the public mind. Influences are at work, some of them designed, others accidental, to create obscurity and confusion as to the purposes for which the war is being fought. You can see that very conspicuously in enemy tactics. He who does not realize the extraordinary difference as compared with experiences in the past, the development of publicity particularly through the agency of the air, as among the methods essential to winning wars, is courting a fate like that of some senior leaders in France who pinned their faith to the Maginot Line. The whole machinery of systematic deceit, which Nazis and Fascists have perfected under the name "propaganda" is there to show it. Here is the product of a cunning mind, which discerned how submarines and bombing planes and new chemical combinations are only part of the difference which the development of a generation has seen in the arts of war. Another change is in the subtler craftiness with which the public of all countries, now-through the medium of the air-so much more easily accessible than of old, can be subjected to varying types of imposture. To anyone, then, who asks "Why discuss further at this stage the fundamental issues at stake?" I reply: "Listen to the radio orators broadcasting from Berlin or Rome, from Hamburg or Milan. Observe the differences from week to week in that appeal not to experts but to the public. We must be ready to counter those propagandist artifices against us, artifices by no means stupid but often hatefully skilful, artifices for which it is sheer naive simplicity to cultivate mere contempt. That is why we must restate again and again, in terms changed with the changing situation, just what is at stake in Europe."
Fundamentally, what is at stake is our British heritage; all that this has meant in generations gone by, all that experience entitles us to expect from it in generations to come. Not, of course, the British heritage as distinguished from that of other free peoples--for example, from what Mr. Roosevelt so likes to call "the American way of life". But we think naturally in terms first of our national version of that heritage of freedom: the gospel of freedom as proclaimed in our British dialect, without prejudice to the American dialect, or the Scandinavian, or the Swiss. More and more clearly those who speak the different dialects are coming to realize that it is indeed a common language, all the richer for its dialectical varieties. But we use it, in the first instance, each in his own form. It is of the British that I speak this afternoon. And there is no audience to which, on that subject, I would rather turn at such a time as this, to share confidences and fears, enthusiasm and misgiving, than to the Empire Club of Canada.
On my visit four years ago, I took as title for my talk "The Present Challenge to British Imperialism". That afternoon I tried to show how the authoritarian movement in Europe would sooner or later attempt destruction of the British Empire. The reasons for thinking so were not in any proof yet given by either Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany that such was her design. Many good publicists were calling it an idle fear. Readers were being reassured by optimistic, care-dispelling books such as Lord Londonderry's Ourselves and Germany, Mr. Ward Price's I Knew These Dictators, or Mr. Washburn Child's edition of Mussolini's Autobiography. From time to time the composure of Parliament was invaded by the incisive tones of Mr. Churchill, but his was an unusual if not an altogether tone voice of alarm.
Gentlemen, I shall probably surprise you when I say that I think those who refused four years ago to be alarmed were right so far as this-that neither Hitler nor Mussolini at that time had any project of attacking the British Empire. One British witness after another, in intimate touch with each of them, expressed the same serene confidence, and to my mind it is perfectly consistent with what has happened since to suppose that their judgment was correct. What was it, then, that changed the dictators? As I see it, they believed steadily, until about a year and a half ago, that they could get all they wanted elsewhere, in other countries, not indeed with the approval, but with the acquiescence of Great Britain, and such peaceful inexpensive pillaging of the continent of Europe had then enough attractions to content them. It was the summer of 1939 that produced a tremendous disillusionment of the dictatorial mind. The result was an outburst of disappointment and rage, in which the policy of the authoritarian States was redrawn, so as to include, as it does now, the complete obliteration of the British Empire.
But even in 1936, while they still gave no sign that they purposed this, there was abundant reason to expect that they would sooner or later come to it. They had embarked on territorial expansion by methods which Great Britain could never tolerate, unless she had completely abandoned her historic guardianship both of international custom and of the balance of European power. The dictators thought that she could be induced to sacrifice both of these, partly to avoid the peril and the cost of fighting, partly to be left-as they were willing to leave her-undisturbed in her own possessions while others were being pillaged. They were convinced of this by the immunity they had enjoyed in certain experimental ventures with their new method. Emboldened by the success of the Japanese rape of Manchuria in 1931, Mussolini repeated it in all essentials and was rewarded with a like success, against Ethiopia in 1935. Contempt for covenants having triumphed twice, Germany in March 1936 ignored the Locarno Pact and re-militarized the Rhineland; this was no case of pardonable rebellion against a treaty such as that of Versailles which she had signed under constraint; it was the wanton violation of a treaty which her own leaders had exhausted every effort to secure and to which her seal had been set with enthusiasm. At length the theory of the procedure was being broadly hinted if not openly avowed-that these young and virile nations had but to show themselves resolute with their "New Order" and the effete, ageing Democracies would acquiesce rather than resist. The most daring development of the months just before that meeting of your Club in November 1936, was in the fierce broadcasts addressed in Arabic and Syriac from the Italian radio station at Bari to the tribesmen of Moslem countries, inflaming their resentment against British rule! That autumn we had been reading the reports of sharp remonstrance to Mussolini from the British Foreign Office regarding those Bari broadcasts, and noting the manifest equivocation of the replies. Still, many of us were reluctant to suppose that a fight a outrance was contemplated. It is my own belief that it was not even then definitely intended, either at Berlin or at Rome, and that these offensive, displays, which were indeed getting rapidly worse, were still meant to accumulate for diplomacy what is known elsewhere as mere "nuisance value".
Three years elapsed between that afternoon in the fall of 1936, when we talked about these perils, and the ever memorable September 3, 1939, when the storm burst. In that time every conceivable doubt about the clash of purpose was swept away.
Great Britain was even then slow, too slow, to accept the dire reality, and to act upon it. Her long deferring of rearmament, in at least one respect, did her honour. She would not believe in what came to be called "the ideological contrast", the essential wickedness of any group of powers, especially where the belief implied a high compliment to herself. Neville Chamberlain's anxiety to "appease" at least exemplified one good British quality, the quality of self-criticism, with a touch of self-suspicion. You remember how many mentors, during those years, bade us think of Britain's own possible faults; dwelt upon the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles, upon the unfulfilled pledge of general disarmament, upon the ungracious, inconsiderate attitude which--they said--had been adopted towards a moderate reformer like Stresemann or Bruning, and which had issued in German reaction to a Hitler.
We don't hear much of those explanations now. They have been exploded, not so much answered as rendered absurdly irrelevant by the action of Germany herself.
What should puzzle us is to understand how, in even the keenest mood of self-criticism, they ever seemed adequate. Harshness in the Treaty of Versailles? The chief fault found with it was its neglect of racial self-determination, in assigning such considerable German blocks to Poland or to Czechoslovakia. How long had huge blocks of Slavs been held under German dominance? If it was not possible to rearrange in strictly homogeneous groups, will anyone now argue, in the light of what Germany has been doing to Czechoslovakia and to Poland, that the Treatymakers at Versailles did not choose the more just side for inevitable disproportion? Neglect of general disarmament, in contravention of a treaty pledge? There was no such treaty pledge, despite reiterated statement of what the Versailles document contains, made chiefly by those who never read it. There was nothing more in the famous Clause than the expression of a pious hope that general disarmament might be found possible, and of a resolve to promote it, as a cautious qualifying phrase added, "within the limits of national safety". Or the reproach that British inconsiderateness to a Stresemann produced enthusiasm in Germany for a Hitler? The truth is that Hitler rose to power not in days when his country was suffering from the rigour of her conquerors, but at a time when concession had followed concession; not when the severities of a Peace Treaty were most keenly felt, but after all its punitive severities had been remitted and only its safeguards for the future had been retained.
During those three years, 1936 to 1939, for even the charitably credulous, successive events had been deepening suspicion into certainty. First came the Nazi Pact with Japan. 1936 had not yet closed when yon Ribbentrop flew from Berlin to Tokio, to cement the alliance of two nations with no interest in common, except their common substitution of violence and fraud for the earlier decencies of international procedure. When, in due course, Fascist Italy joined these two, the Pact of the trio was aptly named by some satirist, borrowing a phrase from Oscar Wilde, "the Confraternity of the Faithless". Succeeding months witnessed the imposture of Germany and Italy in common on the Spanish peninsula, the fraud called "Non-Intervention", about which I think the historian will some day be puzzled to tell whether it was a greater shame to the character of the Axis Powers which contrived it or to the intelligence of other Powers which somehow believed in it. Perhaps, however, the term will at length have one significant use. Those Germans and Italians who are puzzled just now to guess what Mr. Roosevelt means by "Neutrality" may be invited to recall what they themselves, in those years 1936-1939, meant by "Non-Intervention"! In 1937, at least, the intention of dictotors manoeuvering for bases so near Gibraltar had strained British trust to near its breaking point. The end of that year saw Japan's renewed onslaught on China, with the benediction of her triangle partners and the execration of everyone else. Already the purposes of the sinister trio were clear to any really searching mind, when they were put beyond doubt for any mind whatever by the sequence of 1938 and 1939-in the rape of Austria, the extinction of Czechoslovakia, and the unmistakable preparations for a like horror in Poland.
But, Gentlemen, though our Empire is indeed fighting for its life, though the seizure of its resources and the enslavement of its peoples are now plainly the master purpose of Fascists and Nazis, it is not solely, it is not chiefly, a national cause that is at stake. This time, we have got "to finish it", said Neville Chamberlain, on September 3, 1939. He had not reached that decision hastily-perhaps he should have reached it sooner-but he reached it very definitely. And what was it that this intensely peace-loving Englishman in the end resolved to finish, though it should cost a World War to do it? Not a mere menace to British Imperial interests, but a menace to all that makes life worth living.
As I see it, what has to be finished includes three sinister elements. One thing we are in this war to end is international blackmail. For years Nazi Germany's policy abroad has been that of exacting concessions with the threat that otherwise she will perpetrate a world horror by which the humane will be excruciated while she herself, not being humane, will be entertained if not exhilarated. Ransom to this international pirate was paid, several times-in Austria, in Czechoslovakia, in Spain. It could not continue to be paid forever. Like other blackmailers this one at length went a stage too far. And once the humane victim decided to resist, it was plain that resistance must be complete. The so-called "New Order", by which is meant, in plain English, international brigandage, has to be stopped, in the interest not of one people but of every people. Blackmail must be finished.
A second thing we are in the war to finish is the practice of international bad faith. At some coming happier time, the historian will record with amazement and disgust how in the second quarter of the twentieth century the progress of Christendom was for a time halted, the achievements of Christendom were for a time successfully reversed, by a chief bandit in Prussia bringing back the perfidies of Frederick the Great and another chief bandit in Italy starting again the diplomatic peculiarities of fifteenth century Italian republics. I suspect that the historian of a coming happier day will here be puzzled again: puzzled to say whether he is more shocked by the pirates who perpetrated all this or by the judgment of observers far away who sought for some mitigation-if not justification-by which to excuse it.
Gentlemen, there is a side to this, whose gravity is not yet realized. The situation is demoralizing us all. Any university teacher who, like myself, is in daily contact with undergraduates, can tell you how much already there is here to be undone. He can tell you how hard it now is to convince students whose adolescent lives have been passed wholly in the atmosphere which these dictators have befouled, that there ever was a time when Great Powers could trust one another's word, a time when a Pact or a Covenant was safely held to close a question, a time when international diplomacy had not yet become a synonym for international deceit. We of an older generation know that there was such a time. We know it because we lived in it. It was a time when the Great Powers could, in general, trust one another's contracts. They were slow to make a contract, far slower than they are now-and for an obvious reason. Every man in business has a certain increased confidence in a customer who takes time to drive a hard bargain-this at least suggests that there is a purpose to carry it out-and those who bargain with no apparent hesitation at all are proportionately worth watching, especially in international affairs. But the young generation of students listen with scarcely concealed scepticism to those who, like myself, insist that there was, not so very long ago, a time of international dependability. They have heard from political scientists of subtle mind that in truth such Golden Age of diplomacy is a myth, that good faith in international relations was never more than a smoke-screen, an artifice by which the subtler deceived the more credulous negotiators. The great charm of many an historical course, in certain institutions of learning, has come to lie in such liberating of young minds from superstitions of the past. You know the sort of instructors I mean-approaching those who still retain belief that the horror of these times is-abnormal (and hence possibly removable) much as a biologist might deal sympathetically but firmly with some still surviving "pre-Darwinian" simpleton. We must get rid of this nonsense of our intellectuals, this slander upon human nature, still more absurd in our contemporaries who reproduce it than it was in Thomas Hobbes, three centuries ago, from whom they have borrowed it. Somehow such mood of paralytic scepticism must be dispelled, if our world is not to collapse in ruin. We are in this war to repair the moral breaches, intolerable not to any single national interest but to all interests. We are fighting to put an end to international bad faith, and-as a first stage-to the ghastly assumption that only bad faith was ever known in the relationship of nations. The wholesome earlier situation must be brought back.
A third thing for which we are fighting-as Greece knows well, and Poland, the Norwegians and the Czechs and the Hollanders and many more nationals of a small state-is to make life again safe for a small people. To make it unsafe, intolerable for a small people except by surrendering independence and cultivating a terrified submissiveness to a powerful neighbour-this is the avowed dictatorial purpose. We are fighting to end that-fighting to make the small country among large countries as secure as the poor man with little means of self-protection among the rich and powerful. In a civilized state-I mean those not yet within the range of the Axis-there is such equal security. It is not surprising, it is indeed altogether natural, that in countries where individual life is held so cheap as in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, there should be a like contempt for the plainest axioms of justice among nations. However far that corruption has gone, we must restore the ways of a healthier time. We are fighting this war for the rights of a small people. Success of the great state in competition with the small is natural. Outrage by the great upon the small is, for civilization, intolerable. A thing this war is being fought to finish is the monstrous presumption of the super-state.
These are the causes at stake--as the whole honest world now knows, and as neither a Virginio Gayda nor a Paul Joseph Goebbels can disprove, though from time to time each of them may make some headway, among minds easily confused, with a new brand of falsehood. That is why we cannot too carefully insist on restatement of war aims.
Gentlemen, though this fight is not for Britain alone but for all freedom-loving mankind, do we not realize with proud emotion how nearly coincident these causes have been?
They have coincided many times before Not once or twice in our rough island-story The path of duty was the way to glory.
In 1914, when Germany tried to bargain with Britain and would have bid high for a free hand against Russia and France, even as she tried to bargain two years ago for a free hand against Poland, she encountered the same disdainful refusal. Neville Chamberlain's reply to Hitler was like Sir Edward Grey's to von Jagow. Poles now, like Belgians a quarter of a century ago, for the time overwhelmed, have their hope fixed upon the British champion. Go back a hundred years further, to the days of Britain's leadership against Napoleon, in defence of the freedom which Power after Power had given up, but for which Pitt--like Mr. Churchill--though many European coalitions should collapse, would continue to lead his country, if need be, alone. Turn back the pages of history to a point a hundred years earlier still: note what country was first in the fight, carried the heaviest burden, faced the gravest risk, won the chief glory of rescuing Europe from Louis XIV. The Prime Minister at least must thrill at the remembrance not only of Europe organized for that fight by Britain, but of Britain's fighting strength then organized and led by General John Churchill. (Applause.)
This lone championship, illustrating again a great tradition, now fascinates more and more the imagination of the world. It has already proved, it bids fair to continue to prove harder than any in the series which preceded it. At the end of the first eighteen months, as we survey gain and loss, there is much to be reckoned on both sides of the account. One of the enemy partners has indeed been overwhelmed, but Britain's own great partner, on whom she depended for so much, has-at least officially--given up the fight. Thanks to the skill of the Royal Air Force, by which so much had to be improvised, and to the fortitude of the British people, which has never need for improvisation, the boastful threats about invading the Island have been made to share the general ignominy of Nazi forecasts. In the opposite column of the reckoning have to be placed the losses, necessarily great, to the merchant shipping on which the Island must rely, and for which the American aid so eagerly and already so lavishly supplied will require time to show its full strength. But, Gentlemen, it is part of the great tradition to which I have alluded that difficulty and hardship and danger do not weaken, they rather stiffen and intensify the British will to triumph. The British people at such a time are like those Puritan soldiers in the great English historian's description-though outnumbered by foes and abandoned by allies, never so sedate and stubborn as towards the close of a doubtful and murderous day. We are determined to win because what is at stake is what we dare under no circumstances lose. It is that for which down the centuries the British people have never judged any risk too great to take, and their acceptance of gigantic risk now once again has not only rallied to their aid the most powerful of all auxiliaries, but is also visibly reanimating and re-nerving for battle not a few who had despaired. The oppressed of three continents, not only the crushed vassal States on Europe's western seaboard, but those who speak for suffering millions in China, for native races which have writhed under the German or the Italian lash in Africa from Tripoli to the Cape-they at least have no doubt of the contrast between Nazi or Fascist and British rule abroad. They do not share the hesitant mood which so often haunts one of our own "intellectuals," always more concerned for the open mind than for the resolute purpose, and extending benefit of the doubt to every country but his own. Not being profound historians or subtle political scientists, the African tribal leaders have no difficulty about "ideological contrast." They are not sophisticated enough to find any puzzle about whether "after all" there is anything to choose between different sorts of European imperialism. Their simple minds, dependent only on their own experience, are clear on that point. From the Moslem tribesmen in Libya, from what was once German West Africa and German East Africa, from Bechuanaland and Somaliland, not less than from Poland or Czechoslovakia comes the unambiguous witness that with British victory the hopes of justice for all mankind, especially the weakest, are bound up. From Washington, especially in the strains of America's incomparable leader at the White House, comes the inspiring message-Since yours is the guardianship of what we not less than you hold precious, you shall not lose if, with the help of all we have to give, you can win.
Such issues being at stake, and such being the world's growing response, there can be no ultimate prospect for Britain but triumph. (Applause.)
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: Mr. Hector Charlesworth has kindly consented to express our thanks to Dr. Stewart.
MR. HECTOR CHARLESWORTH: Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the Empire Club: You have for the last half hour come to a realization of the lucid and well-informed mind of Dr. Stewart and of his strong past-mastery of our mother tongue. (Applause.)
I have a special personal pride in Dr. Stewart because I in 1933, when we were organizing broadcasting in Canada, was privileged and honoured to make him a household word in this country. We found him broadcasting in the city of Halifax, that fine city of which he is the leading intellectual luminary, broadcasting in the Halifax Herald station; those broadcasts then were so fine that we decided that he should go among the pioneers of the Canadian National network. It was my boast during the three and a half years when I had contacts with Dr. Stewart in my capacity as Chairman, that in Canada-and I made this boast in New York at radio conferences and elsewhere-that in Canada in our national network we had the finest news commentator on the continent of North America. (Applause.) Dr. Stewart is not heard weekly now, which I greatly regret, but on every occasion on which he is on the air, I think I have listened to him, and though the numbers of news commentators have increased almost one hundredfold since those days, I still hold that opinion.
Dr. Stewart, it is with the utmost pleasure I convey the thanks of this assemblage and of the thousands of listeners of the unseen audience who I know share my opinion. Thank you very much, Sir. (Applause.)
MR. E. F. THOMPSON: Thank you, Mr. Charlesworth and Dr. Stewart.