: Bones Of Contention (9781406755497) : Lord Vansittart : Books
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Bones Of Contention

by Lord Vansittart
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Vansittart Press
  • Publishing date: 20070315
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781406755497
  • ISBN: 1406755494


Text extracted from opening pages of book: Bones of Contention BY THE RT. HON. LORD VANSITTART P. C., G. C. B., G. C. M. G., D. LITT., LLJD. NEW YORK : ALFRED A. KNOPF 19 ^^ 45 FOREWORD I HAVE brought these bones of contention Into a collection not because I hoped it would vex somebody, but because I hope they are food for thought. As in Lessons of My Life though in simpler form I have written them in unconnected chapters into which readers may dip at random. Personally I do not regard these chapters as controversial. They are merely a contribution to Security. As controversial, however, they will certainly be taken, and neither I nor, I imagine, my publisher will mind. The experience of trying to tell the English-speaking publics the truth about the Germans has been an interesting one. My chief impression has been the strong hold of German propaganda, and the reinforce ment that it has received from the German refugeeswith a few outstanding exceptions. These Germans are all brothers under their skin, and they are marvellously well-organized everywhere. To have gained added insight into their racket has been well worth their abuse. These years of effort, however, have been worth while in many another way. For the first time I have myself taken part in the rough and tumble of politics, instead of trying to advise politicians. The game is not clean, but in the mud of the scrim mage I have learned much that I never knew before as a mere expert. I am glad of the knowledge but also glad that I did not possess it sooner. It is an absorbing game, but I should not have wished to play it professionally or to have begun it earlier. It will be a relief to be eventually free to write of something else, free also perhaps to speak of something else or, if I wish, to keep silent. Nearly every speech I have made in the House of Lords these recent years has been on one aspect or another of the problem of Germany, the problem of preventing her from gaining again in peace the victory she could not gain at war. And nearly all of my speeches outside the House have been on the platforms of the Win the Peace Movement, of which I am president a Movement that from its near-cloistered headquarters at 4 Dean's FOREWORD Yard, Westminster, has recruited and enlightened many scores of thoiasaaijsr of the men and women of this country in support of the aims, ideals, and practical policies I have advanced. For the encouragement and support of these people, for the friend ships I have found in this cause, I am grateful. I am grateful, too, for new friends* in many countries. They are the recompense of uphill causes though ' why this one should be uphill is still a mystery. The English-speaking world has so long been lapped in caution, so long unused to heightened voice and unhedged opinion, that I am hardened to the charge of extremism, and to the instinctive repudiation of my doctrines by those who have never read them. At first even bolder ac quaintances, with a reputation to lose, nearly always worked in somewhere their insurance policy: Of course, I wouldn't go so far as you, before I had gone anywhere. That was their way of feeling safe, uncommitted, respectable. In exchange I have struck rich veins of spontaneity inaccessible to diplomacy. Unity with the sufferers from these two German wars is my most valuable possession. I hope that I shall be able to leave it to someone in my will, since this struggle for a safe world will far outlast my day. At present, even at the end of five years of war, we are perhaps more likely to lose the peace than to win it; and we shall be still more likely to do so five, ten, fifteen, years after the signature of another treaty, which every defeated German will strain every nerve to violate. We may well lose the peace because we shall shrink from occupying Germany long enough. We may well lose the peace because once again we shall eventually cover our own sloth by making excuses for the inexcusable. In that word lies the k

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