Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/326

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Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill

us, whatever we do, fight for and work towards great and sound principles for the European system. The first of those principles which we should keep before us is the principle of nationality— [cheers]—that is to say, not the conquest or subjugation of any great community, or of any strong race of men, but the setting free of those races which have been subjugated and conquered. [Cheers.] And if doubt arises about disputed areas of country, we should try to settle their ultimate destination in the reconstruction of Europe which must follow from this war with a fair regard to the wishes and feelings of the people who live in them. [Cheers.]

That is the aim which, if it is achieved, will justify the exertions of the war, and will make some amend to the world for the loss and agony of suffering which it has wrought and entailed, and which will give to those who come after us, not only the pride we hope they will feel in remembering the martial achievements of the present age of Britain, but which will give them also a better and a fairer world to live in and a Europe free from the causes of hatred and unrest which have poisoned the comity of nations and ruptured the peace of Christendom.

"We are all together." I use these words because this is a war in which we are all together—all parties, all classes, all races, all States, principalities, dominions, and powers throughout the British Empire, we are all together. [Prolonged cheers.] Many years ago the elder Pitt urged on his countrymen the compulsive invocation: "Be one people." Well, it has taken us up till now to obey his appeal. But now we are one people—[cheers]—and while we remain one people there are no forces in the world strong enough to beat us down or break us up. [Cheers.] I hope, even in this dark hour of the struggle, that the unities which have been established in our country under the pressure of war will not cease and pass away when the great military effort on which we are engaged, and the great moral cause which we pursue, have been achieved; but I shall hope, and I do not think my hope is a vain one, that the forces which have come together in our land and throughout our Empire may continue to work together not only in the military struggle, but in trying to make our country a more equal, more happy, and more prosperous land, where social justice and free institutions are more firmly established than they have been in the past. [Cheers.] If so, we shall not