"I'mtired of listening to politicians too old to fight"
"I am getting rather tired of listening to politicians who were too
old to fight last time, or who for
other reasons didn't know anything about it, stul to those also who are too old to fight to-day," said R.. R. Stokes, Labour M.P. for Ipswich, when he spoke at a Stop-the-War meeting at Central Hall, Westminster, last Saturday.
The meeting, which was called by
an unofficial but representative group of London ministers of various denominations, passed a resolution urging that the Government should give a precise definition of its war aims, and call an international conference for the purpose of implementing them.
Mr R. R. Stokes, who was in the chair, was the Catholic representative on the platform.
" Russia Has Changed Everything"
He said " The war hasn't properly started, but when it does, the 1914-1918 war will seem a picnic in comparison. England went into this war for two very good reasons. One, to defend Poland; two, to stop the appalling aggressions on the part of the Nazi Government. But now the position has been entirely changed by the action of Russia. Stalin has blocked Nazi ambition in South and South-east Europe, and has occupied the eastern part of Poland. Does any straight-thinking person imagine we can put Poland back as it was? We should have to fight Germany to a finish, then Russia to a finish, and then negotiate. Why not negotiate now?
" With a complete defeat of Germany the triumph of the Godless influence of Moscow will be triumphant all over Europe from the Black Sea to the North Sea. . . . We must give a positive lead to our co-religionists in Germany; otherwise it is inevitable that Nazi and antiNazi forces in Germany will unite against the negative threat of invasion, just as the Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik forces rallied against the ill-conceived Invasion from the West after the last war.
" I Was Dissatisfied "
" I was profoundly dissatisfied with the answer we gave to Hitler's so-called peace proposals. • Though I disagreed violently with almost every point of these proposals, I feel that at least we could have given some constructive counts r proposals.
" I feel we should have based sonic proposals on the ideas of general disarmament, free trade, fair distribution of raw materials, and a monetary system foundcd on the confidence created by the work of the people everywhere—for this
last measure a restriction of the dealings In international exchange except for legitimate trade purposes would have to he imposed."
All these points were greeted with a good deal of cheering. Finally Mr Stokes said that "really it doesn't matter to whom the colonies belong provided the adminixtration is primarily for the welfare of the people who live there."
Great War Lasted 1,600 Days The Provost of Southwark, the Very Rev. F. D. V. Narborough, spoke on the need of bringing pacifist and non-pacifist Christians closer together, and the Rev. Leslie Weatherhead told of how young men and women of his congregation had gone to Germany in the summer and were deeply impressed by the friendliness of the people and their longing for peace.
" The Great War lasted 1,600 days," he said. "Every day 7,000 people were killed and 14,000 wounded, At the end of the war there were 9,000,000 orphans and 5,000,000 widows. There was also a conference. We demand a conference now."
He attributed the uncertainties and crises of the last twenty years to the Peace of Versailles, and suggested that it was imperative to convince the German people that we did not intend to seek a repetition of such a Treaty.