"For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who arenow our enemies. But it has been in vain. We have been forced into a conflict. For we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal toany civilised order in the world.
"It is the principle which permits a state, in the selfish pursuit of power, to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges; which sanctions the use of force, orthreat of force, against the sovereignty and independence of other states.
"Such a principle, stripped of all its disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right; and if thisprinciple were established throughout the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole of the British Commonwealth of Nations would be in danger. But far more than this - the peoples of theworld would be kept in the bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security of justice and liberty among nations would be ended.
"This is the ultimate issue which confronts us. Forthe sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.
"It is to this high purpose that I now call my people athome and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own. I ask them to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and warcan no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right, and reverently commit our cause to God. If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, ready for...