Ministerial Changes.

Part of War Situation. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

That would be just too bad, but I could only hope that more appetising Members would be dealt with first. The Government I want is one that will start trying—I am not minimising the difficulties, not trying to say it is an easy thing; I am placing some hopes in the right hon. and learned Gentleman in this matter—to think in terms of other things as well as war. I think that the speech made by Premier Stalin yesterday is an infinitely more statesmanlike utterance than anything that has come from the Government of this country. It looked ahead, it showed vision, it did not think of slaughter as something to be gloated over but something to be regretted. It brings in alongside the war the element of a human intelligence and the element of human good feeling, and it thinks in terms not of maintaining old Imperialisms, nor does it think it terms of resounding successes. It thinks in terms of a world polity and a world economy. It is big thinking, thinking along the scope of the times in which we live, and it is something which brings common humanity more into the pre pest than the mere hammering of the guns and the dropping of the bombs. The only Government that I would be able to support would be a Government that definitely and deliberately went out to think in terms of how to bring peace to this shattered world, at the earliest possible time, on the fairest possible terms. Since that is not the present Government, as I see it, I do not feel that I can give it my support. I and my friends will continue to be a critical Opposition as we have been since the outbreak of the war, but that critical Opposition will not, I hope, be an Opposition that is mean, vindictive or directed towards the end of making the country's tribulations heavier than they are.