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LAST NIGHT'S NEWS. PEACE CONFERENCE.

MR LLOYD GEORGE'S. SPEECH

; LONDON,' April 16. In'the House of Commons Mr Lloyd George emphasised the gigantic character, complexity,- -and gravity of the problems "to bo solved at the Peace Conference. Re- instanced the fact that ton new States had sprung into existence, '.some independent., spine semi-in-dependent, and same,, possibly, protectorates, and the boundaries of these must be indicated if not defined. The boundaries'of fourteen countries must be recast. This gave some idea of the purely territorial difficulties, but there were many other problems.equally effecting the poace of the world and destiny of the human race. The question of indemnities was, nob easily settled, •and could not be settled by telegram. Mr Lloyd George referred to the international arrangement for Labour, and the. great experiments on which the whole, peace hung, namely, the Society of Nations. All and each "of these separately, would occupy months. One blunder'might precipitate a ..universal war, In view of these things they wore justified in taking some time. It would have been imperative in some respects that they should take more time but for the • fact that they were establishing machinery capable of readjusting and correcting possible mistakes. That was why the League of Nations,- instead of wasting, had saved time. They had to shorten their labours, because,, while trying to build, they'had seen in many lands the foundations of .society tumbling into, the dust. No body of men had worked harder or more harmoniously. The journey was not yet ended. It was full of. perils for all lands. Mr Lloyd George referred to the intrinsic difficulties in dealing with'tho problems of a multitude of nations. He bolioved the difficulties had been surmounted i- There were questions never heard of, which had almost imperilled the peace while they were sitting in Baris. One question never heard of before, the war had. nearly produced a conflict between two Allied States. ' The Balkans: hud created an atmosphere of unrest, from which, the war arose, and one of the features' of the present situation was that, owing -.to the: .break-tip. of great empires, Central Europe had been Balkanised,into small States. Care must be:taken lest.the.causes of future unrest should be created, by the settlement, now being made.---.-' ' The Russian situation furnished one of the* most • complex' .problems ever.l dealt with'by any body of men.. There•[ was no Russia,'or'no"organisation .eon--j trolling Central Russia. There was not i even de facto a- government for the whole of Russia, which .presented a spectacle of a vast country in chaos, confusion, and anarchy. The best they could do was to ■• provide security for those dwelling on--'the-most accessible slopes of this' volcano, and arrest the devastating flow of lava, so as not to scorch other .lands. There was no question of recognition. It was never proposed or discussed, because no Government represented the whole of Russia, and because the Bolshevik Government had committed crimes against Allied subjects, which made it impossible to recognise; it, even under other circumstances, and because, at this moment, the Bolsheviki were attacking our friends in Russia. Regarding the proposal for military intervention, the the Premier declared that it was a sound, fundamental principle of our foreign policy never to interfere in the international affairs of other countries, however badly governed, and, notwithstanding the state of British feeling, the difficulties of a military enterprise into v. Russia were immense. Even* if military conquest were possible, political and practical difficulties remained. He was horrified at the Bolshevik teachings; but he would rather leave Russia to the Bolsheviki until she saw what Bolshevism' was dping than he would see Britain bankrupted by costly military intervention.

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Bibliographic details

LAST NIGHT'S NEWS. PEACE CONFERENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9589, 19 April 1919

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608

LAST NIGHT'S NEWS. PEACE CONFERENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9589, 19 April 1919

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