- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 28 Apr 1949, p. 341-354
- Mann, Major-General C. Churchill, Speaker
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- A presentation of the principal factors which will influence the course of events for the next decade in our relations with Russia, and the drawing of clear, concise, and unmistakable conclusions. The speaker has organized his presentation under the following headings, with a brief elaboration after each point. Our Two Fundamental Choices; The Paramount Objectives of the Two Opposing Ideologies; The U.S.S.R.; The Western Democracies; The Vital Question; Conditions Governing the Answer; The Prospects of a Real, Evident and Accepted Change in the Long Term Objectives, Basic Policies and Methods of Operation of the Present Soviet Government; The Russian People Must Overthrow the Present Soviet Government With or Without Outside Assistance; Success Must be Achieved in Evolving International Control, With Adequate Safeguards, In the Field of Atomic Energy and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction; The Prospects of a Substantial Change in the Balance of Power in Europe With a Revival of Military Strength Beyond the Present Limit of Russian Control; The Western Democracies Must Establish and Maintain a Definite and Perceptible Military Strength in Relation to the U.S.S.R.; Conclusions. The proposition that war is inevitable and that sooner or later we shall enter World War III with the Russians as our implacable enemy. The next set of problems are discussed under the following headings. When Must We Expect World War III to Take Place?; What Will be the Circumstances of World War III?; The Situation Which Would Probably Arise if the Use of Atomic, Chemical or Biological Weapons were not involved; The Situation Where Both Sides Plan to Take Advantage of any Weapons at Their Disposal Including those Capable of Mass Destruction; What Course Should be Followed in the Problem of Ensuring the Continuation of Our Way of Life in View of the Situation Which We Face in the Years Ahead?; Courses Open to the Democracies; The Course of Action Which I Recommend; The Development of Public Opinion; Conclusion.
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- 28 Apr 1949
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CONCLUSIONS AS TO THE FUTURE
AN ADDRESS BY MAJOR-GENERAL C. CHURCHILL MANN, C.B.E., D.S.O.
Chairman: The President, Mr. Thos. H. Howse
Thursday, April 28th, 1949
HONOURED GUESTS AND GENTLEMEN
I feel that I should first apologize to our guest speaker for encroaching somewhat on his time with the formalities of our Annual Meeting; if you need to take a few extra minutes I am sure you are forgiven.
Our guest of honour today is Major-General C. Churchill Mann, C.B.E., D.S.O., former Vice-Chief of the General Staff at National Defense Headquarters. Ottawa, and he has requested that his address be regarded as strictly off the record.
When war broke out he was attending the Staff College at Camberley, England. Recalled to Canada. he was appointed General Staff Officer, in charge of Intelli gence for the 1st Canadian Division and proceeded overseas with General A. G. L. McNaughton, in December, 1939.
General Mann took a prominent part in the Dieppe raid and much of the knowledge secured at that time was based on his reports.
He was appointed Chief of Staff of the 1st Canadian Army in January, 1944, and held that position throughout the Normandy invasion, the battles of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and until the Army's dissolution.
It now affords me very great pleasure to introduce Major-General C. Churchill Mann, who has chosen as the title for his address "Conclusions as to the Future"-341
Introductory: My object is to present the principal factors which will influence the course of events for the next decade in our relations with Russia, and to draw the conclusions clearly, concisely, and unmistakeably.
Our Two Fundamental Choices: Different social and political systems have, for centuries, existed side by side. Wars do not necessarily result unless there is a basic clash of vital interests. However, I believe that a calm, sober comparison of the paramount objectives of the U.S.S.R. with those of the Western Democracies can lead only to the conclusion that, at some stage, we are bound to have to face up to armed conflict, unless either-we surrender our way of life completely, and come under Soviet domination, or the Politburo comes under the influence of those members whom it is rumoured support the idea of rapprochement between capitalist Democracy and the Russian dictatorship in the belief that these two systems can co-exist.
The Paramount objectives of the Two Opposing Ideologies: Let me summarize the paramount objectives of the two opposing ideologies.
The U.S.S.R.: The continuation of Communist control in Russia, the extension of Communist control leading eventually to world domination, and the security of Russian territory,
The Western Democracies: The continuation of our way of life, national sovereignty, the security of our respective territories, and international co-operation within the United Nations Organization.
The Vital Question: The vital question is this: Are there really any practicable measures which, if taken, would enable us to achieve our objectives, prevent the Russians achieving theirs, and still not involve us in war' Gonditions Governing the Answer: In my opinion, if we are to avoid war, and still achieve our paramount objectives, one or more of the following conditions must be fulfilled:-
(A) There must be a real, evident and accepted change in the long term objectives, basic policies and methods of operation of the present Soviet Government. (B) The Russian people must overthrow the present Soviet Government-with or without outside Assistance. (C) Success must be achieved in evolving international control, with adequate safeguards, in the field of atomic energy and other weapons of mass destruction. (D) There must be a substantial change in the balance of power in Europe.
The Western Democracies must establish definite perceptible military strength in relation to the U.S.S.R.
Now I am going to deal with each of these briefly. I believe you will find yourself in agreement with my conclusions.
The Prospects of a Real, Evident and Accepted change in the Long Term Objectives, Basic Policies and Methods of Operation of the Present Soviet Government: Many idealists believe there is an opportunity to convert the Russians to the principles of Western Democracy. They believe that if we press our programme of education, propaganda and cultural relations, we will make real progress. They feel that by demonstrating the capabilities of Democracy the Russians will decide to establish a more moderate form of government. However, we must remember that the Soviets have had thirty years to establish and consolidate their position, and this during periods of great internal violence, economic revolution and invasion.
Undoubtedly the Western Democracies should continue their- efforts in the faint hope that some success may be achieved before the crisis, but the hope of success is all too slim.
The Russian People Must Overthrow the Present Soviet Government With or Without Outside Assistance:
The great mass of Russian people are controlled by a very small minority. Some people offer the hope that the Russians will eventually realize the inadequacy of their form of government to provide them with the freedom and standards of living which obtain in the Democratic countries, and that the people of Russia will rise and overthrow their Government. Some suggest that on the death of Stalin, there will be a struggle for power which will present the opportunity to dislodge the Communist Party. In appraising such possibilities the strength of the Totalitarian Regime with complete control of the press, radio, police and military power must be taken into account. No substitute party exists in Russia today which would be capable of taking over the reins of government quickly. The "Iron Curtain" is sufficiently tight to preclude significant assistance from the outside.
Success Must be Achieved in Evolving International Control, With Adequate Safeguards, In the Field of Atomic Energy and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction: This means evolving a practical formula for the abolition of war itself. The discussions in the United Nations make it apparent that there exists an irreconcilable difference between the Soviet authorities and the Democracies.
The acceptance by the Soviet Government of the Atomic Energy Commission's proposals seems to be a very long way off at present; despite the fact that no people would benefit more from the peaceful application of atomic energy than the Russians themselves: and therefore perhaps a way will finally be found to overcome the Russian opposition--which at present is adamant.
The Prospects of a Substantial Chanqe in the Balance of Power in Europe With a Revival of Military Strength Beyond the Present Limit of Russian Control: In the past year substantial progress has been made. We have the Benelux Agreement, the Brussels Pact, the Arrangements of Western Union, in embryo the Council of Europe., and now the Atlantic Pact.
If these developments continue, and our peoples give more than lip-service to the undertakings involved, a really great stride will have been made. However, it is difficult to see how we can reach a position, within a few years, which would make it possible to withstand a determined Soviet offensive in Europe.
We must realize that morale and self-confidence, renewed physical stamina and well-being are not easily restored in countries which have been over-run twice in our life-time, and which have been on short rations now for about ten years.
Nevertheless, with the assurance of prompt and substantial military aid from the Western Hemisphere, an organized Europe resisting with determination would provide a cushion of time and distance of great importance which would make the establishment of Russian control over Western Europe more difficult.
We may conclude that all efforts to strengthen Western Europe should be pressed with a sense of urgency.
The Western Democracies Must Establish and Maintain a Definite and Perceptible Military Strength in Relation to the U.S.S.R.: It is unlikely that the U.S.S.R. will start a major war as long as the Western Democracies can inflict decisive damage upon the Russian homeland, Now, while military strength of itself cannot prevent war, it can serve to postpone its outbreak. It follows that the Western Democracies should maintain military establishments of the type, quality and quantity which will make it evident that aggressive military action by the Soviets will precipitate prompt, severe and ultimately decisive action by the forces of Democracy.
It is of equal importance for our own peoples to realize that practical measures of real significance are bound to require some sacrifices from everyone. Adequate military establishments capable of acting quickly and effectively as a cohesive force cannot be made effective unless there are both the equipment and the personnel in the necessary quantities, and these in a state of training which will give pause to the Kremlin.
Conclusions: My conclusions are as follows:
(A) That there is little prospect of altering the objectives, basic policies and methods of the present Russian Government. (B) That the chances of the Soviet Government being overthrown by the Russian people in the next few years are slim. (C) That there does not appear to be any likelihood of establishing effective international control of atomic energy in collaboration with the U.S.S.R. (D) That the prospects of a substantial actual revival of Western European political, economic and military power in the next few years are only moderately encouraging, although progress is being made, (E) The establishment and maintenance of definite and perceptible military strength by the Western Democracies in relation to the U.S.S.R. is of paramount importance, but depends for its effectiveness on the realization by our people of the necessity of so doing as long as the threat to our security remains,
Summing up these conclusions leads me to the conviction that the present conflict between the Western Democracies and the U.S.S.R. whether arising from mutually intolerable political philosophies alone, or from the Soviet concept of the ultimate organization of the world, or from a combination of both, will eventually and inevitably lead to armed conflict-unless we are prepared to be submerged as satellite countries under the dread rule of the Kremlin,
I shall therefore continue on the proposition that war with Russia is inevitable, and that sooner or later we shall enter World War III with the Russians as our implacable enemy,
On this proposition, the next problems are: When must we expect World War III to take place? In what circumstances will it occur? And what course should be followed, in the problem of ensuring the continuation of our way of life?
When Must We Expect World War III to Take Place? Although it is possible, it is unlikely that World War III will commence for a few years. No major power desires war at present, all will go to reasonable limits to avoid it. Both sides prefer to exhaust all methods short of war to achieve their objective and ambitions. It is unlikely that Russia, on her initiative, will permit war to develop until she calculates that the chances for success are m her favour. At present, the Western Democracies still have relative advantage due to our superiority in technical, scientific and industrial power, in the control of oil resources, in our superiority in sea-power, long range airpower and the sole possession by the United States of the atomic bomb in quantity. Finally, the terrific devastation in the Russian homeland resulting from the German occupation must be taken into account.
The 1947 report by the U.S. Air Policy Commission suggested 1952 as the earliest date for a planned war on Russian initiative. My only comment is that this is now 1949. Certain it is that the attitude displayed by the Western Democracies in the next few years is of great importance. If we adopt a firm posture I believe we shall go far towards giving cause to the Kremlin in this matter.
My answer to the question--"When must we expect World War III to take mace" resolves itself as follows Probably not before 1952, and thereafter the date will depend to a large extent on the firmness of public opinion in the Western Democracies in giving support to actual measures calculated to deter the U.S.S.R. from war.
What Will be the Circumstances of World War III?: We must consider the probable developments of World War III under two sets of conditions. (A) During the period, if such occurs, not involving the use of atomic, chemical or biological weapons. (B) Under the circumstances where both sides take advantage of all weapons at their disposal.
The Situation Which Would Probably Arise if the Use of Atomic, Chemical or Biological Weapons were not involved: It seems that the Russians would not find it difficult to over-run Europe and major strategic areas elsewhere. One immediate effect would probably be that Great Britain would be forced into an immediate fight for her own survival. The difficulties of organizing effective retaliatory action without the facilities of the United Kingdom would certainly add greatly to our problems.
In any event, a vigorous air offensive would be a prerequisite to other operations. In order to force Soviet submission our offensive would require air forces of tremendous size. The air offensive would have to be brought within effective operating range of the vital areas of Eurasia. This would involve ground forces in many cases, but I believe that the general strategic employment of ground forces would be considerably different than in World War II. However, such matters can best be left to those who are still concerned with strategic responsibilities. The weight of attack and the logistic support (supply maintenance and security) would have to surpass by far similar efforts in World War II because the target objectives would be greater in number and more effectively dispersed.
Despite the problems which would result in the Post World War III period, it might be necessary to destroy again much of the industrial and transportation complexes of all Europe and Asia in order to accomplish the successful conclusion of the strategic air offensive because these facilities would be worked for the benefit of the Russians if over-run by them.
The enemy defensive efforts would probably be greater than those of World War II, thus increasing our loss ratios and, with the increased capabilities of modern submarines and the added difficulties of anti-submarine warfare, the enemy might impose material requirements for the control of the essential lines of communication which would be most difficult, if not impossible, for us to meet.
Due to the petroleum requirements for our air offensive and the war at sea, plus the needs of the ground forces, it is quite possible that we could maintain our air offensive at a decisive level by the use of conventional weapons alone.
In such circumstances it is evident that a situation of stalemate could develop in which both sides lacked offensive capabilities; Canada and the United States might be approaching material exhaustion; Great Britain might be neutralized and the U.S.S.R. would probably be in possession of all Europe and Asia.
The Situation Where Both Sides Plan to Take Advantage of any Weapons at Their Disposal. Including those Capable of Mass Destruction: We must concede that the
Russians will succeed, in the course of time, in solving the problems of atomic bomb production.
Now as we all know, nations at war may defer the use of weapons whose employment would adversely affect world opinion, but they will be likely, when pressed, to use all weapons at their disposal which offer real military advantage to them, after taking into account the reprisal aspects if such weapons are also in the possession of their enemies.
It seems doubtful therefore if either opponent would hesitate eventually to use any weapon at their disposal to attain victory or prevent defeat in the ultimate struggle for survival. A war waged with both sides in possession of atomic bombs in quantity would be catastrophic.
I believe that if the conditions I have just stated do occur, that any restrictions as to weapons will be withdrawn either in an effort to achieve victory or to avert defeat or exhaustion, and that we will then move into a state of total war, with no holds barred. If this situation develops we can. in my opinion. contemplate the collapse of civilization without having achieved the solution to our problem--namely the removal of the threat to our security and our way of life which is represented by the paramount objectives of the Soviet Government.
What Course Should be Followed in the Problem, o f Ensuring the Continuation of Our Way of Life in View of the Situation Which We Face iii the Years Ahead?: If we are to maintain and improve our standards of living we cannot continue on the basis of two major wars in each generation. While the threat to our security remains, we are forced into military preparations involving a large proportion of our national income. As long as we tolerate this situation leaving the initiative in the hands of those who would bring us to our knees at the first opportunity, we play into the hands of the Kremlin.
We hear and read much about the horrors of another war. Less is said and written of the horrors of life with liberty removed, and existence organized under the oppressive system prevailing in Russia itself, or those unfortunate countries within her embrace.
Much is said on the subject of fear of Russia and fear of war. Why should we take this attitude? Surely we should express our deeper feelings, that while we all share a revulsion toward the grim business of warfare, nevertheless we recognize that indeed it may yet be necessary once more if we are unable, by any other means, to achieve satisfactory security.
Surely the spirit which led to the development of the British Commonwealth and The United States is not now to be cowed by the men of the Kremlin? We have but to examine the application of the Communistic theories to see how poor a choice they offer. And yet, unless we are to find ourselves, at some stage, forced to accept them however unwillingly, we must continue to maintain an increasingly heavy burden of military preparedness until we are prepared to face the real issue-and compel the removal of the threat.
Possession and production of atomic bombs by a power intent on extending its domination by whatever means, employing the unscrupulous methods of Com munism, would create a situation utterly intolerable to the western democracies. In this connection it seems that possibly two years or more would be required by the Russians after they commence production of atomic bombs before they could produce enough to constitute an actual physical threat to our security.
If we are to retain the initiative in the choice of the pattern of our future we must decide the way in which we are to meet the threat so obviously being developed against us behind the Iron Curtain. The time factor, within which we must not only choose our course, but give effect to whatever preparatory measures may be involved is, in my opinion, the time required: by the Soviet Government:
(a) To discover how to produce atomic bombs, and (b) Actually to produce a menacing quantity of them.
To pharaphrase a popular radio programme "Times-Awasting". Just think how quickly the past ten years have gone by, and the developments which have taken place.
I am convinced that if we are prepared for war we may not have to enter upon such a course, but if we fail to make the preparation, including the development of a realistic attitude on the part of our peoples, that we certainly shall become involved in one, but then in circumstances where the enemy will have important and perhaps decisive advantages. Can any of us here contemplate with complacency the fate which would be ours if we were defeated?
Courses Open to the Democracies: What courses lie open to us? There are some
(A) To adopt purely defensive measures and attitudes. Such a course would require the adoption of a cave type of existence, regimentation and some form of dictatorship in anticipation of the holocaust. (B) To await the time when both sides are in possession of atomic bombs in substantial quantities and to be prepared then for retaliation, while still retaining an attitude which leaves the initiative in the hands of the Kremlin. (C) To take such preparatory measures as will enable us to join with other peace-loving nations, in the assembly of the United Nations in a request-backed by sufficient strength to make it demanding, that the U.S.S.R. so alters its paramount objectives as to make them no longer a menace to the security of our way of life.
Such a demanding request would constitute, in effect, an ultimatum requiring, by a fixed date, the abandonment of the present Soviet objectives and practices, and Soviet submission to safeguards for world peace and human rights as the only alternative to war.
The Course of Action Which I Recommend: I believe that this latter course is the one we should choose. It is at least doubtful if the present rulers of Russia would bow to such a request by the United Nations, or a majority of them, and therefore it is almost certain that a recouse to arms would become necessary in order to compel compliance, and thus finally to achieve a basis for lasting peace.
If our freedom through the years can only be secured by a challenge involving the possibility of war let us prepare ourselves intelligently to face the issue. The simple logic of self-preservation surely leads to the conclusion that a show-down must be precipitated before the Russians can obtain a stock-pile of atomic bombs. Such a situation would constitute a Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads with the scissors in the hands of a ruthless and implacable opponent.
By adopting the course which I am suggesting, it may well be that our strength would be so apparent to the Kremlin as to make the application of that strength unnecessary, and it is possible that, faced with the request backed by the strength and obvious determination of our peoples, the U.S.S.R. might turn from its present path, and join in a genuine way, with the remainder of the world in the pursuit of peaceful co-operation for the benefit of mankind,
However, if we are to be in a position to precipitate a show-down and end this threat to our security we must do so in circumstances where our strength relative to that of the U.S.S.R. is at its maximum level. To create these circumstances requires that a number of preparatory measures must have been carried out. These would include
I. The continuance and acceleration of the measures of co-operation between the United States and Canada announced in February, 1947. II. The continuation and extension of the arrangements amongst the European countries outside of the Iron Curtain. III. The whole-hearted support of the Atlantic Pact by all countries invited to take part. IV. The development of an appropriate strategy which would take into account the need for offensive action when and if the U.S.S.R. declined to agree to the terms of our request which we would make known through the United Nations when we were in complete readiness to initiate an all-out war to compel compliance should this fateful step be necessary. V. Co-operation in an active political offensive, the aims of which, in my conception, would be as follows: (a) To force political capitulation by the Soviet Government. (b) To develop a positive and virile attitude amongst our own peoples which would ensure wholehearted support for the final act when and if required, and which would make possible the preparatory measures in anticipation of an eventual requirement for mobilization.
The Development of Public Opinion: This problem of the development of public opinion is of great importance. In order to be able to resolve so vital a matter in this way requires that many preparations must have been made in advance. Such preparations involve, first of all, the decision to carry out the required planning; secondly, in order that plans can be implemented effectively it is necessary that Parliaments vote the required funds. This, in democracies, will only occur if our legislators are aware of the insistence of public opinion, and the willingness of the public to accept the inevitable repercussions, including taxation, in order in the end, to establish security.
It may be that the re-action to these proposals is that it would be impossible, in Democratic countries, to accomplish such a programme involving the re-orientation of our national outlook, but I do not think that this is true. I believe that it is entirely within our capabilities if we are prepared to deal with the inevitable criticisms by a simple and courageous facing of facts and the evidence of Russian intentions which, in my opinion, are unmistakeable.
The problem is one which all of us would prefer not to have to face. However, it is with us and the choice is ours: but the initiative will remain in our hands for a comparatively short time--namely until the problems of quantity production of atomic bombs have been successfully solved by the Soviet.
Conclusion: No one with experience of war, or bereaved by it would wish for its recurrence, but it is well to remember that there are greater tragedies than war. Loss of freedom is one. I believe that it is better to press for a decision while we still possess a wealth of fighting experience. As far as I am personally concerned, I shall be within the age and physical category for active operations for some years yet. It is for this reason that I feel justified in presenting these views.
The basic problem comes down to this. Do we really want our way of life to continue, and if so are we prepared for the consequences of the adoption of a positive and virile attitude toward Democracy possibly involving war in order to ensure our security? Of are we to prepare, instead, for slavery?