Speech to Erith UN Association
|Document type:||public statement|
|Venue:||Electricity House, Erith, Kent|
|Source:||Dartford Chronicle 9 September 1950|
|Themes:||Foreign policy (International organisations), Foreign policy (general discussions)|
PARTY LEADERS WERE IN AGREEMENT
Pledged Support for United Nations Association
International Brains Trust At Erith
Dartford Division's three Party leaders, Mr. Norman Dodds, M.P., Miss Margaret Roberts, M.A., B.Sc., and Mr. W. G. Phillips, spoke in support of the United Nations Association at Electricity House, Erith, on Thursday last week.
They were "observers" at an International brains trust, organised by Erith U.N.A. Spokesmen for China, South Africa, Russia and U.S.A. took part with Mr. P. H. Ennals, from U.N.A. headquarters, as chairman.
Mr. Dodds, said the job of world peace could not be left to statesmen alone. The people had to take an interest in it. He had been behind U.N.A. from the beginning and would continue to support it.
Nations could go on for ever arguing as to "who started what first," but it was no good going round saying "who-done-it." Peace would not be won on the battlefields, but in the rice fields.
"The United States poured thousands of dollars into the Chinese Nationalist Army for weapons, and what good had it done them? How much better it would have been if they had distributed that money among the people on the land," declared Mr. Dodds, and added: "Whatever one thinks of Communism, one must realise that the people of China looked upon it as liberation from misery."
Miss Roberts (Conservative prospective candidate) stressed that like their national Party leaders, the three local Parties were in complete agreement on the question of the United Nations. When all the nations had the right to "turf their government out when they got fed up with it," the world would be well on the road towards peace, she said.
Peace was an essential of Liberalism, said Mr. Phillips (President, Dartford Liberal Association), who detailed UNO, the World Council of Churches, Rotary International and the Scouts as units in the fight for peace.
OUTSPOKEN VIEWS ON COMMUNISM
Opening the brains trust, Mr. Ennals said the world was facing a grave situation, the full implication of which were not realised in this country. Wherever he went he found serious ignorance of the situation.
The trust were Mr. K . Lo (China). Mr. Jan Koens (who claimed to have been on every foot of South African soil), Mr. R. N. Cotton (London organiser of the British Soviet Friendship Society) for Russia, and Mr. G. A Cottingham (exchange teacher in Britain for a year) representing the U.S.A.
The opinions expressed are not necessarily the views of nations, but of the individuals unofficially representing those nations.
REDS AT UNO?
First question was whether the Chinese Communists or Nationalists should represent their country at UNO?
Mr. Lo although he had worked seven years with the Nationalists in Britain, he thought the Communists should have UNO representation. The Nationalists did not represent anybody but themselves, and even then not completely. It also had to be realised that the CommunistGovernment was the most humane (and he emphasised that) his country had had for 50 years.
Mr. Cotton said that it did not matter how much one disliked Communism, this was a real world in which real things happened. One could not get away from the fact that a great many of people had a Communist Government.
The chairman agreed with the speakers that the people who represented a country should also represent the majority view.
On the 38th
What should the U.N. policy be if and when its forces reach the 38th parallel?
Mr. Lo thought that would be the time to stop, for the East could no longer be impressed by material weight, but by morality. The weight of the world was slowly shifting East, so that East and West were becoming equal, but the former still had a lot to learn.
Miss Cottingham said if she agreed with the President the decision would be left to UNO, but in her opinion it should be decided by the American people.
Mr. Koens (South Africa) asked the Chinese representative whether there was much difference between South and North Koreans?
"About as much difference as between Kent and Yorkshire," replied Mr. Lo, and the chairman commented "That is a deal of difference."
The only solution, thought Mr. Cotton, would be for UNO to hear representatives of the Korean people. It was wrong to think that Stalin could say "stop fighting," and everybody would down arms just like that.
"The North Koreans are fighting fanatically, as The Times says; they are fighting bravely, as The Times says, for what they consider their independence. You cannot stop people like that," declared Mr. Cotton.
It was wrong to say Russia was arming North Korea, for the Japs had industrialised it so much that they produced their own planes and motor transport. Anybody with a knowledge of chemistry could tell from the descriptions of factories destroyed that North Korea was capable of producing its own means of war.
Other questions dealt with concerned education, conditions in the Soviet Union and the colour problem. Mr. Koens pointed out that many Africans did not want education, and that it was impossible to Westernise some tribes.
The trust was thanked by Councillor W. F. Alford.