- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 11 Feb 1943, p. 348-366
- Hambro, Carl J., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- What is really meant by the term "Government in exile." Norway as the only country in Europe that has continued after the invasion to pay the full interest and amortization quota on all its external loans. One of the first duties of Norway's Government in exile to try to build up again the fighting forces of Norway. The Government of Norway as the only government in exile which is under the specific protection of its Constitution, and how that is so. The attempts to build up an Air Force, Navy, and Army. Details of successes. What the Norwegian merchant marine has meant for the war effort. The home front in the occupied countries in Norway and Europe. Resistance to the Germans by Norwegians. The bravery and resolve of the Norwegians. How the Norwegian Church took the offensive against the Germans. The futility of the Germans killing leaders in a democratic country where any man or woman is a potential new leader. The desire to build a future world organization based on practical hard realities. The role of the smaller countries in a future world peace. The fear of a premature peace. The lack of demand for revenge or private retaliation. Who must be heard at any future Peace Conference. Reconciling the tortured nations of Europe and Asia through a just Peace. The need to win the Peace as well as the War.
- Date of Original
- 11 Feb 1943
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- Full Text
NORWAY IN WAR AND AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE
AN ADDRESS BY CARL. J. HAMBRO,
Former President of the Parliament of Norway.
Chairman The President, John C. M. MacBeth, Esq., B.A., K.C.
Thursday, February 11, 1943
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Gentlemen of The Empire Club: One may well say that the darkest day in all Norwegian history was April 9, 1940. It was on that day that the Nazi hordes, barbaric descendants of their cruel ancestors, the Goths, the Visigoths, and the Huns, by treachery and foul deceit, under cover of false flags, false uniforms, and false faces, slipped into the harbours of peaceful Norway, and, without warning, without provocation, without a declaration of war, before a stunned and incredulous people, took possession of the country. It was indeed a day of national crisis.
But at the head of the Government, as President of Parliament, was a man who had gripped the imagination of the people and had the utmost confidence of all classes. His great concern was to keep the invaders from forging their way into Oslo, the capital city; from capturing the King, the Parliament, and the Government; and from preventing the legal life of the country- from functioning.
Acting upon his advice, the Government was moved about eighty miles inland to the town of Hamar, and, for the next two months, until, through difficulties and dangers, lie succeeded in getting King Haakon safely to England, the very existence of his country was largely in his keeping. It should be noted, also, that gold reserves of some hundred million dollars and a merchant navy of four million tons, were safely removed.
That man of resource and destiny, Gentlemen, was Mr. Carl J. Hambro, who not only then was but also for sixteen years had been, President of Parliament. He was also a student of International affairs, was Chairman of the Norwegian Committee on Foreign Relations, and, since 1926, had represented his country in the League of Nations, being President of the last League Assembly in 1939. Even today he is Chairman of the League's Supervisory Committee.
But Carl J. Hambro did not confine his efforts to statecraft and politics. He is, or rather was, a mountain climber and a football player. It is interesting to note that he was first Captain of the International Football Team of the University of Oslo and one of the heads of the National Football League. He is a linguist, having translated some fifty books from English and French into his own language; he is a prolific writer with some twenty volumes to his credit: is an editor having been Editor-in-Chief of the leading Conservative newspaper in Norway, and, mirabile dictu, of the leading humorous weekly. Here, Gentlemen, is a "consummation devoutly to be wished": the leading Conservative newspaper and the leading humorous weekly from the desk of the same editor.
Carl J. Hambro, otherwise Dr. Hambro, is presently head of the World League of Norsemen, Chairman of the Norwegian-American Foundation, Vice-President of the Institute for Co-operative Studies of Culture, Editor of his own Political and Literary Review, known as Review of the Week, and last, but by no means least, a member of the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament.
During the short time that Dr. Hambro has been on this continent, he has given many lectures on problems of government and on aspects of the New World Order, and is now resident in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is a special lecturer on International Affairs, at the University.
When one adds to all these activities the fact that he is the father of a family of five, one has no difficulty in understanding why he has already developed on this continent the reputation of being the most versatile and hardworking man in public affairs.
Gentlemen: Doctor Carl J. Hambro, who will address us on the subject: "Norway in War and at the Peace Conference."
DR. CARL J. HAMBRO: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of The Empire Club: I really am somewhat embarrassed after having listened to the eloquence of your President. It called to my mind a story of the man who was introduced by a distinguished gentleman and started by saying: "I hardly need to tell you that gentleman was not speaking the truth, but nevertheless I rather liked what he said."
To me it is a great privilege to have been asked to address you here today, particularly in the City of Toronto, for reasons which you all know. Norwegians here feel very much at home and feel that they are not only among allies but that they are among friends. (Applause.) And that kinship in spirit, which I think any Norwegian, who has travelled in Canada before and has had the honour of co-operating with representatives of Canada in International affairs, has always felt very strongly, has been developed in a modest way during these few years of war. Norwegians who have had the good fortune to come to Canada and to train for service in Canada will always feel very closely in touch with the life of Canada and will never forget the gratitude we all owe to Canada for her hospitality and friendship and co-operation during these last few years.
Now, many of you have probably often wondered what is really meant by the term Government in exile. How can it function? What does it mean? There has been a good deal of misunderstanding in this respect, particularly on this side of the Atlantic. Too many people have been under the illusion that a Government in exile is just a group of destitute aliens constituting, more or less, a financial burden on the United States and on the British Empire.
Now as you probably all know in Toronto, Norway so far has been able to pay her way all through. (Applause.) And incidentally Norway is the only country in Europe that has continued after the invasion to pay the full interest and amortization quota on all its external loans. Not only that, the Government of Norway, desirous of giving evidence of its faith in the future and of its will that no Americans should lose because they had confidence in Norway, has undertaken to pay for the duration of the war, full interest and amortization quota of such municipal or local Norwegian loans as have been arranged through American banks.
The people of the National City Bank and some other institutions nearly got scared when they realized that this was true. It did not correspond to their experience, and they did not fully understand that feeling of loneliness which Norwegians very often have had at International Economic Conferences, because we still hold to some old-time superstitions, one of them being that debts should be paid. (Applause.)
We have been able to abstain from making any use of international philanthropy so far. We have been able to do business as we usually have been doing business by paying our way, and it has been the first duty of our Government in exile to try to build up again the fighting forces of Norway as far as such a thing can be done outside the country itself.
The Government of Norway is the only government in exile which is under the specific protection of its Constitution, because the Norwegian Constitution has an article declaring that with the consent of Parliament, the King and the Government can reside outside the soil of Norway in a national emergency without any time limit; and at the last meeting of our Parliament after the invasion it was unanimously decided to authorize the King and the Government to reside outside the soil of Norway if it should prove necessary for the future of the country. And it was no rump Parliament that assembled at Hamar that day. When the roll was called, of 150 members of Parliament 146 were present. And every decision taken was unanimous.
We have tried to build up an Air Force and to build up again a Navy and an Army. I need not speak here very much of the Air Force, because the Air Force has been speaking for itself. (Applause.) Both here, in France and Belgium, over the North Sea, over Iceland, and wherever it has been in action! And you know here in what way that Air Force has been recruited. All those boys have gone out of Norway at the peril of their life; if they were found out they were shot. Some have come across the North Sea in small boats; others have sneaked out over the border to Sweden some dark night and then by air to Moscow and round the world by way of Vladivostock, Japan, the Pacific Ocean, or by way of Odessa, the Black Sea, Ankara, Bagdad, Bombay and round the Cape to America. Boys who have gone round the world in order to fight for an idea make pretty good soldiers. You all know the Norwegian Air Force. But maybe few of you realize that the Norwegian Navy today ranks as Number 4 among the United Nations' navies, and that we have more men-of-war on the seas than we have ever had since the day of the Vikings. When we had to evacuate Norway on the 7th of June 1940 there were only eleven men-of-war that left Norway that day. Most of our ships had gone down in fighting the Germans. And fighting in Norway was pretty hard. There were more Germans killed in Norway than in France, and the German Navy lost between one-third and one-fourth of its capacity in the attack on Norway. A great many of their administrators and Gestapos on board the ships went down among the 25,000 Germans that were killed at sea.
We have today around 100 war ships. Of course most of them are small ships, but active, practically all over the world. We cannot publicize the names of our fighting men as some nations can, because they have their families in Norway, and if their names were given out, their families would go to the concentration camps or to the torture chamber, so that perhaps too little is said in the press. And even those among us who should know, are sometimes surprised. I received a letter some time ago, the stationery of which surprised me to a certain extent. It was marked on the head, "Royal Norwegian Navy, Middle East Command, Egypt." Not until then did I know that Norwegian minesweepers have been on duty around Crete and Malta in those Mediterranean waters where the flag of the Royal Norwegian Navy has probably not been seen since the year 1103, when the big Norwegian Armada of Crusaders ran up to Constantinople. Some of the boys will have had an experience which they will never forget. In a letter which I received later from the same source was told the story of what to some of the sailors seemed the most extraordinary incident in their lives. They had been torpedoed in various oceans, and being torpedoed did not impress them very much, but what impressed them in Egypt was that one day they received an invitation from the Eighth Army to take part in a football match. Their English friends had heard that there were some good Norwegian football players, so they asked for a team from the Navy to be taken up in the Libyan desert. The boys from our minesweepers were taken up in trucks, and they had their football match with the British soldiers, and it was the proudest moment in their lives when they came out victorious, 3 to 2. It is the one thing they will never forget.
We have ships on duty around South Africa. We have a naval station in Australia, and some of you may think it is very surprising that we should be there. To us it is rather natural because we had grown accustomed to look upon the Antarctic as a sort of Norwegian lake, Every year we had some 10,000 sailors in the Antarctic on our whaling boats.
Now when you think of the war efforts of many of these small allied powers, their numbers are not impressive, but still it is of such a tremendous moral and psychological importance that they should be fighting as they are fighting. And when you think sometimes of the conditions under which men are doing their duty, I should like to send a thought to the Norwegian seamen. In a message from Australia before Christmas last year, General McArthur stated that the "backbone of morale in the American Army was letters, letters, letters." Now we have had between 25,000 and 30,000 sailors on board our merchant ships that have been unable to get any letters or to send any letters to their homes. They have no news. They know that the Germans have tried to confiscate the food ration cards of their families because the seamen refused to accept any orders from Germany, but still they have been carrying on all the time without any doubt, without any hesitation.
I had the honour to speak in the Town Hall in New York the other day, with a young Norwegian seaman who had spent 48 days and nights on a raft in the North Atlantic after being torpedoed. There were nine men on board that raft, where they had no provisions when they started out. He was asked from the audience, "What was your first thought when you were picked up alive?" And he said, "Our first thought was that now we could get out again and fight the Germans." (Applause.) That has been the spirit of all those people; and we have lost more proportionately than any other nation, because we have been more in the danger zone. We have lost more than 370 merchant ships that have been bombed or torpedoed, and we have lost some thousand seamen on board the merchant ships, but still we are carrying 40% of all the fuel used by the United Nations' armies and nations, and still we are carrying 30%0 of all provisions reaching England on Norwegian keel.
You will realize what that Norwegian merchant marine has meant for the war effort. The war could not have been carried on in the first year without that fleet, and the British Minister of Shipping could say in full and perfect truth that the service rendered by the Norwegian Merchant Marine meant more for the war effort than an Expeditionary force of one million men landed on the Continent of Europe. (Applause.)
When the war broke out, just to mention a figure to illustrate, Norway had a merchant marine of between six and seven million tons, and most of the modern effective tankers in the world. The United States had 775,000 tons of Diesel motor ships. We had more than three million tons. In the Norwegian Merchant Marine 49% of the ships were under ten years of age, and you will find no such statistical figures in the Merchant Marines of any other country. We are an old shipping nation, and it is sometimes rather startling for us to hear explanations concerning shipping given in the United States and elsewhere. There was a lady speaking in Congress two days ago who told that the Americans had been suffering on the seas because they had to compete with subsidized under-paid ships from other nations with a lower standard of living. Now the only Merchant Marine in the world that has never been subsidized at all is the Norwegian Merchant Marine, and the standards of living are higher in the Scandinavian countries and in Switzerland than in any other country in the world.
Our ships are manned by Scandinavians practically without exception and they are better paid than any other seamen in the world except on some of the United States ships.
So we are not particularly impressed by the claim that at the Peace Conference it must be necessary to grant certain privileges to protect the merchant fleets of the nations who have a high standard of living. We do not demand any privileges. We only demand to be allowed to compete on equal terms, and we will be ready to do that without much doubt as to the outcome in our minds.
A leading ship owner in Norway some time ago, the head of the biggest individual shipping firm in the world today, the Wilhelmsen Lines with a fleet of some 600,000 tons of ships, most of which are over 10,000 tons, and none of which is over ten years of age, was threatened by the Germans that they would confiscate everything that he had in Norway, his property, his fortune, the houses belonging to members of his family, etc., if he did not comply with the German demands. And the very unspectacular man, who is the head of the firm, said to the German High Commissioner, "You can confiscate all that I have. Five years after the peace I will be a greater ship owner than any firm in Germany, because we are better shipping men; but if you confiscate my Honour, I will be unable to continue when the war is over." (Applause.)
And that has been the spirit all along.
The ships have been put under Government operation partly to protect the individual ship-owners in Norway against German reprisals. They can answer in perfect truth that they "have nothing to do with the ships." They cannot influence a single man on board any ship. The Government took over the merchant marine also to protect the ships in all neutral harbors and on every sea.
Now, when the Norwegian Government has been able to finance its budget of the day it is mainly on account of the Merchant Marine. Not that ships are making much money today--the administrators in England and in the United States have looked to it that freights are very low, only the best of ships can sail with any surplus today, and that very modest. But all these ship owners in Norway continue to pay from the income of the ships, all the taxes and duties levied by the Norwegian government under ordinary circumstances-and shipping was pretty heavily taxed in Norway. And all the people on board the ships pay their taxes. We have not touched our gold reserves, they are kept for the work of rehabilitation and reconstruction after the war, but Norwegians all over the world have been willing to make their contributions. Norwegians in South America, for instance, have spontaneously and voluntarily paid taxes to the Norwegian Government in London. They have taxed themselves and are paying a very high income tax, and they have shown their understanding of the exploits of the Royal Air Force by sending four fighting planes from Norwegians in South America to Toronto, and we ought to get more before the war is over, even if, as we trust, the war will not last as long as some people are inclined to think.
To build up an army is of course much more complicated, but gradually more and more people are slipping out of Norway and over to England by way of Sweden or going across the North Sea. Some 11,000 men have crossed the North Sea in open boats, knowing the dangers, for everybody is shot if he is observed by the Germans. And we have some thousand young boys that are waiting in Sweden to be taken over by air to England and over to Canada to join the fighting forces of Norway, and more and more are getting across the border.
It has been a very romantic way of recruiting Armed Forces and every man who has got out and every woman have had their own odyssey. In the Museum outside of Oslo you can see, when you come to Norway after the war, and you are heartily invited, you can see some of the original Viking ships that have been taken out of the big mounds in Norway where kings were buried in their ships one thousand years ago. In that Museum will then be included some of these small open boats in which people have rowed or sailed from Norway. There is one little boat with two pairs of oars, in which three men rowed more than 500 miles across the North Sea, to arrive in England.
One of the stories told from this museum might interest you. One day a group of German naval officers had been looking over those ships and some small Norwegian boys had been following them around, one of the urchins asked a naval officer what he thought of those Viking ships. The German spoke in a condescending way and answered that historically speaking they were not uninteresting, but of course they had no importance today and were very crude. The little boy grinned and said, "Well, sir, on board those ships my forefathers used to invade England successfully every year." (Applause.) Some similar stories will be told of some of the boats that will be in the museum when the war is over.
The most impressive thing in Norway and in Europe, and to my mind in the world, today is the home front in the occupied countries, the passive resistance which is sometimes very active under incredible conditions. Nameless men and women are giving more than their lives every day to resist the German oppression, and it has been proved for the first time in several generations that the economic idea that material welfare and a higher standard of living was the most important thing in national and political life is a dangerous fallacy. Millions of men and women having been given the choice between the highest possible material welfare and security on one side and the torture chamber and firing squad and some invisible privileges like freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of religion on the other hand. There has been no hesitation. In their life and in their death they have given the proof that in the history of nations daily bread turns to stone unless they have those invisible privileges for which generations have fought and died in years gone by. (Applause.)
And nowhere has the moral and spiritual issue of this war been more sharply and clearly defined than in Norway where the Germans hoped, because they never understand the mentality of other nations, that they would get a free acceptance of their ideas. Of course, they had to leave at home a good deal of the ordinary German slogans-the Norwegians are far more Nordic than the Germans can ever become-and they came to a country with higher wages, better schools, with higher standards of living than in Germany, so they had to tell the Norwegians they could be part of Germany, they should be their Nordic brothers, and they should get back all their lands that had been Norway's in the Viking days-the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and so-they should just embrace the Nazi ideals, and teach them in the schools. But the Norwegians were unyielding. Thousands of teachers were sent to prison. A good many of them were tortured, some of them were shot. They were all treated in a way that is absolutely incredible. Hundreds of them were deported to labor camps behind the Russian Front in the extreme north. But-the Germans did rot find anybody who was ready to serve the Nazi ideas, and the school children and the parents kept up the fight, which forced the Germans to close the schools in Norway for three months. Then the Germans had to retreat. They had ordered that only teachers who were willing to become members of the Nazi teachers' organization should be allowed to teach, and as nobody was willing, their line of retreat was a proclamation that any teachers who taught any children should be looked upon by the authorities as belonging to the Nazi organization even if he protested.
And in Norway the Church did not stop to be attacked. The Church took the offensive, which will be of tremendous importance in every country when the war is over; and the Bishops of Norway have written one of the most glorious chapters in Church history. Their protests against Nazi doctrines were followed by all denominations in Norway-97Y2% of the population belonged to the State Church. But the Roman Catholic Bishop of Norway and the Council of Dissenters declared that they were behind the Lutheran bishops and, as you probably know, finally they resigned. Every bishop sent in his resignation in the same words, because the Germans were unwilling to respect the secrecy of the confessional and failed to fulfill the demands put to them by the bishops. This resignation meant simply that the church ceased to be a State church, that it severed all connection with the State. The bishops declared
"I now divest myself of that which the State has deputed to me. The spiritual duty assigned to me through ordination at the Lord's altar, is still mine with God and with right. To be a preacher of the Word, supervisor of the congregation and spiritual adviser of the pastors is and will continue to be my calling. I will in the future look after this so far as it is possible for a non-official to do so.
"But to continue the administrative co-operation which exercises might against the Church would be to betray the most sacred.
"With Luther, we have tried in our service to be loyal to the authorities as far as Word and Commandment permitted. But as it came for Luther, so also it comes for us, the moment when we must follow our conviction and exert the Church's rights against the State's injustice.
"Forms of Government may change, but with its Church father, the Church knows that against that which Luther called 'the tyranny' stands God himself in His Word and with His power.
"Woe unto us if we did not here obey God more than man."
All the members of the clergy followed the bishops. In the whole of Norway there were 20 and odd preachers who were willing to give some kind of co-operation with the Germans, some of them have already quit, and last Sunday a man who was a brother-in-law of one of the members of the Quisling Cabinet, announced from the pulpit that he broke and severed all connection with Mr. Quisling's party, that he repented having accepted to be nominated Dean of that Diocese, and that he agreed with the bishops and would try to do everything in his power to make good his mistake in being willing to a limited co-operation.
Since April of last year the Primate of the Church of Norway, the Bishop of Oslo, has been kept incommunicado in a little log cabin some miles out of Oslo with a bodyguard of picked German S.S. men with hand grenades and sub-machine guns and fixed bayonets, illustrating the German conception that the Word can be killed with bayonets and machine guns, illustrating their entire lack of understanding of the supreme fact that the spirit is stronger than the sword.
They find not only in Norway, but in every occupied country, that in a nation with sound democratic traditions, it is of no avail to kill off potential leaders, as the Germans have been doing in every country, because every man and woman in such a nation is a potential leader, and for every one killed ten step forward to continue the work-nameless men and women, who are perhaps the most real heroes of this war. It is to be hoped that when the war is over monuments to be erected in the various countries will not be monuments to the victors but monuments to the victims--(Applause)--monuments that can make future generations understand how incredibly loathsome and cruel and filthy is modern war, monuments to commemorate all these nameless fathers and mothers who have been tortured, who have seen their children taken as hostages, who have been on the point of starvation but still have carried on.
At the future Peace Conference these small countries have no territorial ambitions, as you all know. They want to live in a world that will be secure against any repetition of what has happened, they will even more heartily than before support an intelligent world organization of countries built on a democratic basis. They will be willing to give up the fictitious ideas on which the Covenant of the League of Nations was framed, that all states are equal, equal not only in quality but in quantity. On the League, unanimity was required for every decision. Great Britain had one vote and San Salvador had one vote. The smallest national union of 200,000 souls had as great a formal power as the nation of 100 millions or 200 millions.
We want to build a future world organization on practical hard realities, and we are willing to make any sacrifice, not of sovereign rights (because that hardly existed in the world living in anarchy) but of sovereign prejudice if such a workable world organization can be built up. We know that in any such attempt we will have the full-hearted co-operation of all the peoples in the British Commonwealth of Nations. (Applause.)
We have found before this same conception of loyalties, of democratic ideas, of love of freedom and of liberty and of open and honest speech in all the Dominions, and we have been proud and happy to collaborate with them on so many occasions. All these smaller countries, not only in Europe, all the not too big units will be needed more than any others, because they are not under suspicion of having imperialistic ambitions (if such exist today), and they have a clearer understanding of certain problems in human and international life.
I was just reading on the train as I came up here an article by the American writer, Walter Duranty, who said it would be necessary after the war to have practically a United States control over the earth-because the U.S. had no imperialistic ambition. The United-States, he said, has to protect the world against Russian and English pride -it is a very sweet idea. And the longer the war lasts, the graver the danger that in certain Great Powers the official propaganda machine will call forth just those imperialistic ideas and conceptions against which we are fighting. Within every Great Power there have always been men willing to take over the rule of the earth to protect it against the imperialism of other nations. We are apprenhensive of such men, and we fear that the moral and spiritual issues of this war shall be gradually overshadowed by political and military issues and considerations of immediate expediency.
What is uppermost in the minds of so many people in the small countries can be said to be two things: They are afraid that there will be a premature peace. We never hear any complaint from the starving populations. We have not heard a single voice from any occupied country demand an immediate peace. They are afraid that there shall be a Great Power compromise with the principles of evil. They feel the necessity of fighting this war to an end, and dictate upon the aggressor nations our moral conceptions of right and wrong, of honesty and decency between man and man and nation and nation. They know that no written treaty has any lasting value unless the parties signatory to it have the same moral definitions behind the words of the treaty. If a contractual obligation is a matter of life and death to you and me and means nothing to the other party, there is no safeguard in any paper document. That is why we cannot accept any negotiated peace.
And there is also another thing that is very much in the minds of all the occupied countries. They do not demand any revenge or private retaliation, but they claim justice.
More organized crimes have been perpetrated in this war than in any previous war. And the victims and the witnesses are not morally impressed when people who have sacrificed nothing and not suffered anything declare their willingness to forget and forgive. It is a Commandment of our religion to forgive those who trespassed against us. But no human being has been authorized to forgive trespasses committed against others. And those men and women in various countries who publish their willingness to forget and forgive are looked upon as moral accomplices of the Gestapo, as accessories after the facts to the killing of hostages, to the wiping out of entire populations, to the murdering of millions of Jews and Poles and Czechs. Only those who have been active in suffering and active in fighting have a primary right to be heard directly at the Peace Conference. (Applause.) And the problem of reconciliation after the war will not be to reconcile the Totalitarion nations to their defeat but it will be to reconcile the tortured nations of Europe and Asia, to heal the moral and mental wounds that would fester the future of mankind. If all those nations should continue in the future under the impression that there was no justice, that nothing was more easily forgotten than the sufferings of others, that certain nations can kill, can torture, can burn and destroy with impunity their minds would be poisoned. That is why all the Governments of occupied countries, with the support of other United Nations, have put among the Aims of War and Peace, to set up international courts of justice to pass sentence on individual criminals who have violated national and international law, not in any sense of cruelty but in a deep sense of justice as far as human beings are able to see and understand justice. And if that moral and Puritan demand for justice should not be heard at the Peace Conference, blood, sweat and tears will have been shed in vain.
The small nations are not in any doubt as to the final outcome of the war, but they know that to win the war will be futile unless we also win the peace. They trust that all these smaller nations, all those who have come into this war with clean hands, and who remember all the time that the war is not carried on by the United Nations for any questions of political power or prejudice or privilege, but to establish a rule of honour and decency in the world, will make their weight felt at the Peace Conference. They feel confident that the common people in all democratic countries will unite to demand at the Peace Conference that, perhaps for the first time in human history, all those material and immaterial interests which build up nations will be given a direct representation. The International Labour Conference in 1941 unanimously adopted a proposal from the United States Government delegation and supported by every single United Nations government, claiming that organized labour and organized industry should be directly represented at the Peace Conference. And not only labour and industry, but agriculture, trade, education, the churches, the professions, practical men and women, because it is the outstanding experience of twenty years of international collaboration that where practical men and women meet to discuss practical problems they arrive at tangible results, and wherever diplomats and politicians have met we all know that the practical results have been hardly perceptible. May be it is not too much to believe that at a future Peace Conference even parents, fathers and mothers, the homes should have a certain vote when the future conditions of civilized human life shall be decided and laid down. The great Spanish writer, Ortega Gasset, wrote a few years ago that for two thousand years mankind has tried every experiment in government except government by intelligence, and it might be worth while to give it a trial.
The small nations hope and trust that they will prevail upon the nations that had bigger opportunities for sinning than had been allotted to them, prevail upon them to make this a kind of intelligent peace; and they believe in the common sense of the pioneer countries. The small nations have been forced to think internationally, because they have always been in danger, for them a peace is a matter of life and death, not something more or something less, but a question of survival. We have faith. in all the democratic nations of the world, and we want them all to understand that what is most needed for peace-making is time and patience. And when the tortured nations can afford to wait, certainly any nation can afford it.
Only a dictator needs immediate results. He has no dimensions. He is only a point in the history of his nation, he has no past and he has no future. Democracy is the very life dream of nations. Some years more or less do not mean very much in the history of any free nation, but it means tremendously much that when the war has been won in so near a future as possible, we shall stand united, and not slacken in any way our self-discipline, the feeling of a common destiny that binds us together until you and we and the rest of us have finally won the peace.
(The entire meeting rising to its feet applauded long and heartily.)
MR. JOHN C. M MACBETH: It is not hard to understand why, for sixteen years, Sir, you gripped the imagination and held the confidence of your own people. We have been gripped by your imagination and we have been inspired by your words.
May I say that it is unusual in this Club that an address should be interspersed with so much applause, and the fact that you received that applause is an indication of the thanks and gratitude of your listeners.
I was intrigued by the statement that you made with reference to the provision in your Constitution which made it possible for you to transfer your government, the seat of government, outside the territorial boundaries of your country. I was thinking of what happened here in Canada about two or three weeks ago when, for a certain purpose, being the birth of a daughter to the Royal House of Holland, a small section of Canada was made a part of Holland. Now I think that it would be just grand, Sir, if you would bring some of your four million tons of shipping and some of your hundred million dollars of gold reserves, and would establish a little section of Norway right in our midst, a section greater than that which is now established here and which we appreciate a hundredfold. And I would suggest further, Sir, that as head of that establishment you should send your charming Crown Prince and his delightful Princess, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday.
We are delighted, Sir, to have had you here this afternoon. No further words of mine could express to you the pleasure and appreciation that have already been expressed by the audience. (Applause.)