Today, Tomorrow, and Forever
Britain First speech by Sir Oswald Mosley at Exhibition Hall, 16 July 1939
FELLOW BRITONS, tonight the British people are here, (Cheers) and tonight from this great audience will be heard the voice of British people telling Parliament, telling Parties, telling Government something it is time that they should hear. (Cheers.) This is a demonstration of “Britain First” (Cheers) and, therefore, is a demonstration of world peace. (Cheers.) This, the greatest gathering of the English under one roof assembled, tells Government and tells the Parties: “At last we have had enough.” (Cheers.) We are here to tell them there is something for them to do here in Britain, and when they fail to do it, as again and again they have betrayed our people, we, the British people in British Union, will do it for them. (Cheers.)
Enough we have had of alien quarrels, enough threats of foreign war, enough diversion from what matters to the British people, our own land, our own Empire and our own problems. (Cheers.) We say to the Parties who betray, we say to them here tonight: “When you speak of war we tell you this, if any country in the world attacks Britain or threatens to attack Britain, then every single member of this great audience and of British Union would fight for Britain.” (Cheers.) But just as straight this too we tell them. We say to the Parties who clamour for war, we fight for Britain, yes, but a million Britons shall never die in your Jews’ quarrel. (Loud Cheers.) And before you drag a million Englishmen to doom, we of British Union, we, the British people in sacred revolution, will sweep you by the declared will of the British people from the seats of power that you disgrace. (Cheers.)
We will deal with them, every argument they advance, every trick they try, deal with them and deal faithfully in this great audience here tonight. But before we come to that, fellow Britons, I have something of which to remind you that you may have forgotten. All of you here to-night, this vast audience here assembled, all we Members of British Union, all we people who hold the principles of this British revolution, according to the Press, my friends, you don’t exist at all. (Laughter) So every one of you to-night in this great hall is just dreaming that you are here, and when you wake up in the morning you will learn the truth in your precious National Press. You will learn you were not here to-night. You will learn that there was not such a meeting, or if there was, of course nobody at all bothered to go.
My friends, what does it mean? I want those who are not with us in British Union, I want those who come to our creed and our cause for the first time, to understand something of what we are up against; to realise, to begin with, that this great meeting here to-night is the first large indoor meeting for over three years that British Union has been permitted in London (cries of “Shame”), because the halls of this great city are owned by rich Conservatives and the parks of this great city are owned by the Labour majority on the L.C.C., and both of them use their power corruptly to forbid speech to their opponents. Well, I take it as a tribute. I have never tried to forbid them speaking in Britain or to prevent it in any way. The more they address us, the more they address their fellow countrymen and the more they are seen by audiences of Englishmen, the more support we get for British Union. (Laughter)
There is every kind of corruption that their money power can afford, and they will go to any length to forbid us halls in which to speak. (Cheers.) And then, when they forbid us halls in which to speak, their papers are able to turn round and say: “Of course, they don’t exist. You don’t see them speaking in big halls, you don’t read about them in the newspapers, and, therefore, it’s all imagination that this revolution of the British people is taking place at all.” In fact, my friends, we are faced by a coalition of the money power in Press and in Parliament and in the ownership of the great halls of Britain, who are so mortally afraid of the British people being permitted to hear the truth that to any length they will proceed to forbid even me speaking to them.
Well, fellow Britons, if a Movement which has been born and has run for less than seven years, a Movement started with thirty two men, without newspapers, without Press, without money, and without resources, with nothing in the world except the English spirit alive and flaming in their souls, if in less than seven years we have driven the Parties together in this corrupt conspiracy to prevent us speaking to the British people, how much longer before we win and they perish? (Cheers.)
Now let me ask anyone here, who thinks that we have been unfair when we have attacked the ownership and conduct of the Press of this country, on what grounds do they behave as they have behaved? Do they tell us any longer that there is no news value in British Union, that the people of Britain have no interest in British Union? If they say that, let them glance round this great hall to-night and say whether or not the British people are interested in British Union. And yet any little Labour politician who cannot fill a schoolroom, any little B.B.C. crooner who bores you on a Sunday evening, (Laughter) any of these little creatures who have been made by the Press of this country, when they fill their little schoolroom, they get a headline in the newspapers the next morning.
We were told there was no news value in British Union. That excuse cannot hold water any longer. What other excuse then has the Press got for its treatment of British Union? There is one excuse, and one alone, a reason of which I am proud. The Press believes that in our principles and in our persons we are so reprehensible that we are unworthy to be reported. I am glad that they think that of us. But let us examine their position. When they say that a Briton, when they say that people of whom they do not approve, shall not be reported, what then becomes of the talk of the free Press in Britain? It vanishes. There is no such thing.
When they say that censorship exists in foreign countries but does not exist in Britain, we give them the lie direct. We say by their own admission, by their treatment of British Union, they admit the censorship of money. (Cheers.) The only difference between the censorship in Britain and the censorship in the foreign countries they denounce is this: In foreign countries the people concerned have decided by an enormous majority that their Government shall be vested with power to prevent the publication of lies which destroy the life of their nation. But in Britain we have censorship given not to any Government, censorship in the hands of money and money alone, (Cheers) and censorship used by money, not to suppress anything damaging to the life of the nation, but to promote everything that is damaging to the life of the nation, to sell to the people false news, to sell to the people lies, to push the vested interests, to raise the interest of the faction and the section above those of the people and of the nation. So if we have to choose in the modern world between the right of Government elected by the people to rise above even the power of the Press Lords, if we have to choose between that and the right of money to tell Britons what they should know, what they should learn and how they should live, I say: ” Government of the people, by the people, for the people ” every time. (Cheers.)
But when they tried these tactics upon us what did it avail them? My friends, it availed them nothing, because the great affairs of this great country are not settled in that square mile that stretches from Fleet Street to Mayfair. We did not go to them to make our appeal; we went to the back streets of Britain, we went to the homes of the people before they denied us great halls such as this in the West End of London. We went to the homes and the streets of the people whence we have drawn our strength and whence ever we draw our inspiration. In their masses and in their thousands the people came to us, and the force and the weight and the fury of the people behind us now rocks the Press Lords on their golden throne. That is why I am proud to have the enmity and the hatred of the Press.
It is right that I should be hated by the enemies of the people, because throughout my political life, in a pilgrimage of strife and struggle such as few have known, I have ever stood for the people’s cause, and in their cause I challenge the money power. (Cheers.) The Lords of the Press are right to hate us, but we reply to them: “We are glad we are not among those little politicians whom the Press has made. We, of British Union, have not been made “by the Press; we have made ourselves.” (Cheers.) Because we had within us the truth, and because we had within us a love of England, our land and her people, our fellow countrymen, our English men and women have come to us in such thousands to-day that we can say that this Movement is established, this revolution lives, and no power of Press Lords or of money, no material force this world has ever seen, shall hold us down or stay our triumph. (Cheers.) And what have they got? — what have they got except money? What else? We have got the men and women; we have got the thousands of men and women who give their lives to this struggle of British Union. What have they got on their side except the money bags and the Press Lords? Why, if you changed these things over to-morrow and we got their money and their Press, the battle would be over — it would not exist. (Laughter.)
They talk of the coming Election — a fight between several Parties of the British people. Nothing of the kind — a fight between two or three big money combines. That and nothing else. Without the weight of money behind the Party machine, in an electoral battle to-day determined purely by principles and by the number of active workers at our disposal, British Union could fight and beat to-day the old Parties over the whole electoral field. (Cheers.) But you know and I know the battle is nothing of the kind — the battle is between big money combines who spend a thousand pounds or more on every constituency they fight. So when they speak of Democracy they do not mean government by the people or of the people; they mean financial Democracy in which money counts, and nothing but money.
Then you may say, my friends, how can the British people fight, and how can they overwhelm the money power against them? I will give you the answer. We shall get the resources with which to defeat them, not because those with money love us, but because before long they shall fear us. Then we shall breakthrough in our national revolution, break through all their money power; yet until we reach that point which now we approach, when the mass and when the might of the people is so great and so terrific that even the money power cannot withstand it, until then we know, from previous examples of revolution in the modern world, that right up until that last moment their newspapers and their money power will go on telling lies about us, will go on even telling you that audiences like this do not exist, will cover the leadership and cover the membership with every violence of filthy abuse that their lying hands can pen. Until that last moment their citadel of corruption will stand, and then suddenly the gathering force and strength of the people’s revolution will burst the bonds and will sweep them from their feet. (Cheers.)
Let us make no mistake; let us have no concealment at all. This Movement is a revolutionary Movement, a Movement which seeks no compromise, a Movement that will stand for no unity with the Parties of betrayal. We stand for union of the British people — yes, we do — the union of the British people in a new system of their own creation, but a system purged and cleansed of this corruption. Our Movement, therefore, is a Movement of revolution, a Movement which will be given its power by the declared will of the British people, not merely with their consent, but with a passion of enthusiasm behind it that the old Parties of Democracy have never known. We are a Movement of revolution in fundamental challenge to everything for which the old Parties stand. (Cheers.)
I have been told lately, reading their pretty speeches about each other in the Press, that the old Parties have a great respect for each other. Well, my friends, let us make it clear, in order to have no humbug at all, we have no respect for them whatever (cheers), and I will go further and say I very much hope they will never develop any respect for us, (Cheers) why on the day they develop any respect for me, do have me examined by a doctor quickly, if you please. (Laughter.) No, they are all together the old Parties. They have even got over the pretence of fighting each other. They are all in one camp, huddled together for purposes I shall analyse in a moment.
British Union, and British Union alone, is the challenger of all the old Parties, who to-day all mean the same thing. They are the Parties of the money power, the kept Parties of the money power engaged and employed by that international force to put up a sham battle in public, in order that the British people may be deceived into acquiescence. Some people may say: “What proof has he got of these allegations? These are crazy doctrines without proof at all. Good men and true are the statesmen of Britain, honestly fighting each other for the benefit of the British people.”
My friends, before I sit down to-night — in case there are any of you who think that I should give chapter and verse for what I say — I will prove to you that the policy on which the old Parties unanimously agree is a policy of Bedlam, a policy of madness, a policy of disgrace. (Cheers.) A policy which could not be pursued by the statesmen of Britain unless they were mad, or unless they were the servants of Jewish finance. (Cheers.) But before I prove this from the actual facts of their policy, which we can explain, in no other way, I want those of you who are not members of the British Union here to-night to understand how profound is the difference between us and the old Parties, how grave are the charges we bring against them, how insuperable is the gulf which divides us, how necessary in fact it is that this fight between us shall be a fight to a finish, in which we or they shall perish forever.
Of what, in brief, do we accuse them? We accuse them of making a sham battle. We accuse them of dividing the nation about issues in which they do not believe, and which, between them, do not seriously exist. We accuse them in their battle of Party and their battle of class of dividing the British people, because unless they can be divided the British people cannot be conquered, and we say that in this division of Party and of class the Parties have divided the British people, and the British people, for the first time in their history, have been conquered — not by the foe without, but by the foe within. (Cheers.)
The Parties are the servants of the money power and that money power is largely in alien hands. (Cheers.) We show you in detail in our literature how, under this system — I have shown it in fact in innumerable speeches — any Party or any Government can be broken at once by the money power, because, under this international system that every one of them supports, the infinite mobility of the money power, its capacity to move rapidly from one country to another, to break Exchanges, to create financial panic and chaos, can bring down any Government which dares for one moment to oppose it. We have shown again and again how in Britain once, and twice in France, the so-called Socialist Governments of the international Socialist persuasion have been broken by finance the moment they dared to lift a finger to gainsay the power of the financiers.
I have shown you in innumerable speeches how the power of money has reached out all over the world; how it has taken British credit, British resources and British wealth built up by generations of effort on the part of hard-working simple British folk; how it has lent or given our resources all over the world; how it has equipped our competitors against us; how the cotton mills of India, the cotton mills of Japan and the cotton mills of China have been created by British money for the destruction of Lancashire and Yorkshire. (Cheers.)
We have shown again and again in infinite detail how the money and credit of the British people, created by the exertions of the British people and by no other force on earth, has been used for their own destruction in the equipment of the Orient, with its sweated labour, to undercut and to destroy the West, in order that usury, international usury, may draw its dividends and its interest by destroying its country of origin, through the equipment of our world-wide competitors against us. We have shown again and again how the British Empire, as well as the British people, the British industrialist and the British worker, has been relentlessly sacrificed to this international power; how the whole of our international trading system, how our conflicting Party system, and our foreign policy, above all, is maintained for one reason and one reason alone; that the money power of the world may rule the British people, and through them may rule mankind. (Cheers.)
What right, some may say, has this man to bring these charges? I say to them: Study our case and tell us the answer if you can. No man or woman in England has any excuse at all for not knowing the case of British Union, not merely from the speeches of our speakers at meetings more numerous, on the streets at least, than those of any other Party, but in literature, a wealth of literature and argument, which has now been published for years. Any men or women who say they do not know our case merely betray their ignorance of political and public life. I ask you, if you have not studied that case, to study it and ask yourself what is the answer to it. If you cannot yourselves answer it, if you cannot persuade the political leaders in other Parties to provide the answer, you are driven to this conclusion, that we are denied the opportunity to begin the task of building up the British Empire to be the greatest civilisation mankind has ever seen by one interest, by one force, and one power alone, the power of money which rules the political Parties for the reasons that to-night I have given. If we can, without reply, prove our case that such a system in the British Empire to-day is possible, am I not entitled to say, if the Parties can make no reply to us, that their motives are such as those which I have described to-night? Why do the Parties make no reply? They have debated with me quite often in the old days in Parliament when’ I was with them. I have been attacked in public by six Cabinet Ministers in the course of one week-end in recent years. I have challenged any one of them to enter the public platform with me before an audience of my fellow countrymen. (Cheers.) Tory and Labour leaders alike I have challenged, amateur wind-bags and professional wind-bags, (Laughter) both of them, to debate the issue before our fellow countrymen. They remain strangely coy; so to-night I make this offer, that if any outstanding figure in the old political Parties, a man capable of drawing even a quarter of the audience here to-night assembled, if he will come to this hall and debate with me we will take this hall and meet him face to face. (Cheers.) While these men fear to meet Our argument in fair debate before the great tribunal of our fellow countrymen, while they condemn our nation, masses and millions of our people to live in unnecessary poverty, while they seek foreign war and quarrel and expend money on things which are no concern of Britain, while they sacrifice every interest of the British people to the service of their financial masters, while they do that and dare not meet us, then I shall continue to denounce them as I do to-night (Cheers), for as long as these men forsake and abandon the interest of the British people, pursue foreign quarrels and controversy which suit their financial masters, and no other force upon earth, while they do that I am entitled to denounce them, and here to-night I do, — as the flunkeys of finance and the jackals of Judah! (Cheers.)
Now I state straight away the issues between us in order that none of you may labour under any misapprehension as to where we stand in relation to the Parties on their unity racket. But in case any of you think I have been unfair in the charges I made against them, I propose to-night to do two things: very briefly to describe to you in home and foreign affairs what we of British Union want, and then also briefly to analyse what all the old Parties do, and the reason why they do these strange things.
Very briefly, these are the principles of British Union at home and abroad, the principles which at home we are certain will bring peace, prosperity and happiness to our people, principles which abroad will bring not only peace but lasting, abiding peace, and happiness to all mankind. (Cheers.)
Our principles are summarised in the words, “Britain First” because we believe that we can solve every single problem of the British people in Britain or in the Empire. We remind the British people of something that nowadays we are asked to forget: that we possess an Empire which contains one-quarter of the globe, one-fifth of its inhabitants, which contains within it every single raw material, every material resource that mankind can possibly desire; that the output of our machinery can be enormously increased, and even multiplied. None can deny that we have got workers of skill, that we have got technicians second to none in the world, and we could have machinery second to none. No one can deny that we have got the raw materials. Not a single technician in industry either can deny that granted a market for which to produce, within Britain and the Empire alone, without any reliance on outside supplies, within the Empire alone, we can enormously increase our present production and wealth. Provided we have got a market for which to produce, there is no technician who can deny the possible increase of productive capacity. But everybody knows that the market does not exist, and if you ask any industrialist to increase production he simply tells you that the market is not there, and it is no good producing goods for people who cannot buy them. So at once we of British Union pose the question to which the old Parties have no answer: Why is it that the British people in this country and in the Empire lack the power to buy the goods which the British people themselves are capable of producing? (Cheers.) The Parties have no answer, but we of British Union have. We say that we are chained down to an international system 100 years out of date, and that, under that system, on the home market and on the foreign market alike, British labour has got to compete with cheap sweated slave labour such as that of Japan, labour with only one-fifth of the production cost of British labour; and that this cheap sweated competition has been created by the financial power of Britain itself, which has equipped the slave-producing countries in order to undercut the labour of the West, and thus to supply the financier with a higher rate of usury. (Cheers.)
Under that international system, not only do we have to meet cheap sweated labour on the foreign markets, but on the home markets as well we are subject to such competition from the import of £350,000,000 a year of cheap sweated goods from foreign countries, undercutting and dragging down and down our standard of life. What on earth is the use of asking British employers under the present system to raise wages when to raise wages is to be undercut and put out of business by the sweated competition abroad, or even at home? Therefore, we say that this international system, 200 years out of date, is directly responsible for the low purchasing power of the British people, in that it holds down British wages and British purchasing power far below the level which is justified by Britain’s present power to produce.
The answer of British Union is a self-contained Empire. We exclude from Britain and the Empire the flood of cheap sweated goods which drag down our standard of life. Behind that insulation, by Law of the corporate system, we shall raise wages over the whole field of industry and give to the British people at last the power to consume the goods which the British people produce. The Finance and Credit system of the country will no longer be used for the creation of foreign competition and other purposes inimical to the British people. The Finance and Credit of Britain at last will be used for the purposes of the British people as laid down by British Government.
Within Britain we shall thus produce the maximum amount of goods which our industries are capable of producing for consumption in an assured home market; and what cannot be produced in Britain we shall purchase by direct bargain from our own Dominions and Colonies overseas. That bargain, which they have often offered, will be that for every pound’s worth of food stuff or raw material we purchase from them they shall accept a pound’s worth of our manufactured goods in exchange.
To study the scientific details of this constructive policy you will have to study our literature.* In this speech to-night, which must deal chiefly with other things, I can give no more than the barest outline. Now I can only ask you, who have studied it, what argument is presented against our detailed policy for the development of the self-contained Empire. Every technician in industry knows well that it is to-day possible immensely to increase British production provided that a market is available. That market will be found, that market will be created in the purchasing power of the British people. What interest loses by such a system? Not the industrialist who increases his turnover; riot the worker who greatly increases his wages. One interest and one interest alone stands to lose — the Usury system of the City of London.
They have lent British money all over the world in order to draw a high rate of usury by the equipment of our competitors. They draw the interest on their foreign loans in the import of sweated goods. If we keep out the cheap competitive goods that destroy British industry we keep out the usury of the City of London. British Union challenges that corrupt interest of Jewish Finance and declares that within Britain and the Empire we will build a system, with a productive power far beyond anything yet conceived by man, with a level of prosperity, of material well-being and moral happiness for our people, beyond the previous dreams of humanity.
What is the argument against that system? I have not yet heard it and I shall not hear it. Obviously, to plan that system requires a revolution in our national life. To carry through such a complete transformation of our whole system of politics and industry it is necessary to have peace. We cannot be diverted from such a task by being dragged into foreign quarrels.
How can we begin to carry through the greatest revolution in material circumstances that man has ever known while our whole system of politics and of industry is dragged into foreign adventure, while British statesmen never give even a passing thought to British problems, but are ever chasing round the world finding what dago they can guarantee next? (Cheers.)
When we say: “Mind Britain’s business,” we mean it. We want peace. We want to concentrate upon the British Empire because we believe that within the British Empire we can solve every single material problem of our people, and, therefore, we advance the policy of peace, again as straight and as direct as our economic policy itself. I have advanced four points of a peace policy, to which again I challenge an effective reply.
Point 1: Disinterest in the East of Europe. (Cheers.) I care not what happens in the East of Europe. It seems to me as natural that Germany should have a Monroe Doctrine in the East of Europe as that America should have it on the American Continent. We have had enough Balkan wars. If someone will keep them in order, well good luck to that someone, but I do not envy them their job. (Cheers.)
Point 2: Disarmament in the West of Europe in return — and I mean this — we shall be in a position to say to Germany: “We have no interest whatever in the East of Europe; that is, your nightmare of encirclement has gone forever; you will never have to fight against Britain and France on one front and against Russia and any one “they can collect on the other front. Encirclement is gone. Your fear is banished. I ask something of you in return. Meet us round the table and let us all be relieved of the burden of armaments, British and Germans alike.” (Cheers.)
They want to build houses in Berlin; we want to build houses in Britain. What folly to use the resources that can be spent in building houses for our people in arming against each other when we have nothing in the world to fight about. (Cheers.) And I am as certain as I stand here to-night that if we said to Germany: “We won’t interfere on your Eastern borders and you leave us alone in the British Empire and in the West of Europe,” I could immediately get a disarmament conference relieving the stricken people of Europe, not only from the threat of war, but lifting from their backs for our time and beyond it the crushing burden and fear of arms for war. (Cheers.)
Point 3: Return of the mandated territories we do not want, because we have a quarter of the world already. “Oh,” says the Labour Party, “You can’t do that. Why, we big boys who stand up for British Empire, we would not let you do that.” We reply to the Labour Party: “We can well believe that you think this territory is part of the British Empire because you have only discovered the British Empire in the last six months because you want a war with Germany.” (Cheers.) Anyway, who is the Labour Party to tell us we should not hand back to Germany territory which always belonged to them and never belonged to us when the Labour Party in its published and declared policy is willing to give the open door and to throw open the whole of the British Empire to anyone in the world who wants to come and take it? (Cheers.) But Labour is not our only enemy. Labour, of course, while it is willing to give away the British Empire to anyone who wants it, wishes to hang on to German territory just to have a war, if they can possibly get it.
There is poor old Tory too. Tories say: “Oh, you can’t let them back into Africa. Why, if you let a Pickelhaube appear in Africa again we would have to clear out in double quick time.” “AM right, Tory,” we reply, “you may have to run for your life every time you see a German, but not us, not us.” “But,” the Tories bleat, “if you let them back into Africa in their old colonies they will start building bases and they will use those bases in order to take the whole of Africa from us.” Well, when the British Navy has been in the charge of the Conservative Party for some years there may be some force in that view, but there will be no force in that view whatever when the British Navy is in the charge of British Union. (Cheers.) Let the Tory Party remember something they have forgotten, something they may well forget and hide their heads in shame because for so long they neglected it. Let them remember the British Navy. Then let them look at the map of the world. They will find the blue sea dividing Africa from Europe, and as long as that blue sea is commanded by the British Navy then the Continent of Africa is in British hands.
There is not one single continental power that could carry supplies across the Mediterranean to fighting armies in Africa provided that the Mediterranean Sea was held by the British Navy, and as long as British Union rules, Britons shall rule the seas. (Cheers.) Because we do not fear, because we shall be strong, because being men, we can understand men, we will make peace with Germany and all great nations. (Loud Cheers)
I will give you one last point of peace to which I have referred already in briefly describing our policy. At long last we say: “Mind Britain’s business. Concentrate on the British Empire. Say to the world, as I do to-night, if any nation in the world sets foot across the frontier of British Empire, as one man, we English will fight for Britain. But Britons shall die in no other quarrel.”
I say to you, my friends, from the very depth of my inner knowledge and consciousness to-night, that this policy declared by Britain to Germany, and the world, will bring peace and the friendship of men for our time and beyond our children’s time as well. Why not do it? What is the argument against it? I am told that Germany just wants to swallow up one or two little countries in Eastern Europe and then turn round and overthrow the British Empire.
I am told that Hitler wants the whole world. In other words, I am told that Hitler is mad. What evidence have they got so far that this man, who has taken his country from the dust to the height in some twenty years of struggle, (Cheers) what evidence have they got to show that he has suddenly gone mad? Because any man who wants to run the whole of the modern world with all its polyglot population and diverse peoples and interests, such a man is undoubtedly mad, and I challenge my opponents to produce one shred of such evidence about that singularly shrewd and lucid intellect whom they venture so glibly to criticise. “Oh,” they say, “any man who gets to such a supreme position must go mad.” Well, of course, any democratic leader would (laughter), but then we knew before they told us that they had got weak heads. (Laughter)
They say: “The Kaiser went mad; he tried it on. Nero went mad. Anyone who gets to a position of great power goes mad.” Well, my friends, that may be true of their Kaisers, that may be true of their hereditary princelings, that may be true of some of their little Dukelings in the English House of Lords. (Laughter) Any man who is hoisted, not by his own exertions, but by the efforts of his forefathers, to a great height which he is not fitted to occupy is very likely to get dizzy and to topple over. That is an argument against the hereditary system which we condemn but they support. But, my friends, never yet in history has it been true of a man who has climbed to a great height with his own hands and with his own feet, who has clung to the mountain face against the tempest and has fought every inch and foot of the way until he rises from the depths to the height where he can see the sun of a nation’s glory. Men who have made themselves do not lose their heads; it is only those whom others have made. (Cheers.) So, when they base their war incitement on evidence as flimsy as that, I ask them to read their history and study their human nature.
Now I go on and ask them this: Supposing that we withdrew from Eastern Europe, supposing that we did not have King Carol on Colonel Beck as an ally, supposing then everything our opponents said came true, which I deny and utterly deny, — but supposing it came true — supposing Germany turned round upon us and said: “All right, we challenge you for the British Empire; we want your quarter of the globe; we fight you to the death,” supposing the Germans said that, which I am convinced they would never do, but supposing that what is said by our opponents came true, why are we to be told that the British Empire is unable to stand and face Germany or any other nation upon earth? Why do the democrats thus suggest that Germany is so superior that we cannot hold the British Empire without the help of King Carol of Rumania? (Laughter) Why is it? Is it population that makes Germany so superior according to the democrats? — not according to me but according to the democrats. Is it population? We have got 70 million white British people in the British Empire.
Before the Anschluss Germany had precisely 70 million people in Germany. Since then they have picked up a few million Austrians and a few million Czechs. All right, let the original 70 million white people in the British Empire face the original 70 million of Germans. Then the other 430 million of coloured population in the British Empire can look after the few million Czechs and Austrians that they picked up the other day. Is that a fair deal? (Laughter.) In man power we are certainly equal to them. We are immeasurably stronger in material resources. In counting our material resources we must remember we have got a quarter of the globe, and Germany is lacking in many vital raw materials owing to the Peace Treaties of injustice. In material resources the British Empire alone is immeasurably stronger than Germany. If in man power we are equal and if in material resources we are superior, who dares to deny that the British people in war, if war came, could face either Germany or any other nation upon earth? (Cheers.)
But what is the democrat admitting when he is so afraid of Germany that he runs round the world looking for Turkey, Greece, Rumania, Poland, or Soviet Russia to save him? What is the financial democrat admitting except this, the truth of what we have told Britons and the world for seven years past; that our system of government is out-worn, that our system of Parties is corrupt. (Cheers.) Give to the British by British methods, character and policy, born of our own national inspiration, give to them a system of the modern age, and light again the heart of the British people with their own great spirit; then, it will not be a question of other nations leading us, but we, the British, again will lead the world. (Cheers.) Therefore, when the financial democrat says we cannot pursue the national policy of Mind Britain’s business, when he tells us we cannot live in the world unless we pick up any little ally that is going in Eastern Europe, I say he is doing one thing and one thing alone: he is admitting the decadence and corruption of the system which he supports; he is providing British Union with the most powerful argument that we could have. (Cheers.)
Now, fellow Britons, I have proceeded on the assumption that our opponents’ argument is true when I myself know it to be untrue. I say to them even if your wildest fears were true, there is no reason for Britain to be afraid, or for Britain to make war certain by the absurd policy of encirclement and intervention in places which are nothing to do with us. But I go beyond that and say to them: “When you accuse Germany and its Leader, Hitler, when you accuse them of the intention to attack and overthrow the British Empire, what shred of evidence do you possess? Name it.” I will not refer to the fact that the German Leader has again and again disclaimed any such intention, because you have only to mention the name of a foreign statesman for a large section of British Press and Politics to join in one great shriek of, “Liar,” although they whine and complain, of course, if the courtesy is ever returned. (Laughter.)
But I challenge a reply to this question. If it is the aim and intention of Hitler to attack and overthrow the British Empire, why in heaven’s name did he not take his chance last September? Last September Britain was helpless. My evidence for that is Mr. Winston Churchill. It was Mr. Churchill who told us that last September Britain was helpless, and I will give you a very brief quotation from Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates of October 5th last. Mr. Churchill said this: “After all, there are no secrets now about what happened in the air and in the mobilisation of our anti-aircraft defences.”
These matters have been seen by thousands of people. Who pretends now that our anti-aircraft defences were adequately manned or armed? ” I could read you other damning admissions from Government spokesmen on the state of our defences last September. Owing to the criminal neglect of our defences by the system of financial democracy and by all the Parties in Parliament, we were a helpless nation. Therefore, I challenge these parties to answer this question: “If it be the intention of Hitler to attack and overthrow Britain, why did he miss his great opportunity last September?” (Cheers.) A great many hard things have been said about Hitler by his opponents, but I think his worst enemy has never yet said that he was a man who in life had missed very many chances. So when Mr. Churchill tells us: (1) that it is Hitler’s intention to attack and defeat Britain; (2) that we were helpless last September; we have got to believe one of two things: either Hitler is a man who misses big chances, or Mr. Churchill is a big liar. (Cheers and Laughter.) The British people, perhaps know the answer to that one. (Cheers.)
Now, to summarise my argument, in a sentence, it comes to this: if the wildest fears of our opponents were true, and Germany did attack Britain, provided that Britain had a Government and system of the modern age, Britain has nothing in the world to fear even if she fought alone; and, secondly, and beyond that, no evidence in the world exists of any such intention on the part of Germany although, on the other hand, I shall produce evidence in the policy being pursued in Britain of the intention on the part of some of the vilest forces this world has ever known, forces of paramount power here in Britain to-day to bring world war if they can; I denounce the forces of Jewish finance. (Cheers.)
Now when I turn in my final argument to analyse the policy of the Parties I shall ask this great audience to examine this policy of Bedlam, as it seems to me, this policy of madness and this policy of disgrace, and to ask themselves what other explanation could be given except that which British Union gives: that the Parties and political system of Britain is subordinate to an international force which seeks to pursue its world vendetta, if necessary, in British life and British blood.
Let us look, having examined our own policy, at the policy of these other Parties. First of all, of course, to the purposes of war, every interest of the British people is cast aside and every hope of reform, every hope of lifting higher the lot of those who suffer in Britain is abandoned, possibly for our generation, in pursuit of a policy of war. We are hardly allowed to-day to mention the lot or the condition of the British people. I, my friends, have been fighting their battle since I entered political life at twenty-one years old, and as long as life is within me that battle I shall continue to fight. (Cheers.)
Therefore, I make no apology here to-night, even when this country is faced with the war conspiracy, in referring to the conditions of our people of Britain and reminding you of their betrayal in the not distant past. To-day I read of £500,000,000 lent in the course of one year to arm Britain for a Jews’ war.
I remember but very few years ago when, as a Minister of the Crown, I asked for only £100,000,000 for the war of the British people on want and poverty, and I was mocked and derided by the Labour Government of the day. “When I went to them and asked them for £100,000,000 for public work, for re-housing, for destroying and re-building the slums, for carrying out great works of public reform, economic works, too, which would yield a return of wealth to the people of the nation, when I asked for £100,000,000 to bridge the gulf between the poverty of the present and the reconstruction of our national system, I remember the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Labour Prime Minister — and I remember the serried ranks of the Labour M.P.s behind him, saying: “You are mad. Fancy asking for £100,000,000! The City would never stand for it.” (Laughter.) The City would never stand for it; “that’s wild-cat finance.” (Laughter) But £500,000,000 is raised for a foreign War and gilt-edged securities do not fall a couple or three points. £100,000,000 I wanted to be spent for the British people, they said it would break our financial system. Now they find £500,000,000 for the financiers foreign war and we are told the burden is like water on a duck’s back.
So in pursuit of this policy of war every hope of re-building Britain, every hope of raising the lot of our people is abandoned, not only by the Conservative Party, but by the professed champions of the people, the Labour Party themselves. And all Parties are united — sinking all quarrels about social problems and social differences — for a policy of foreign war, for a policy of encirclement and intervention in Eastern Europe, supported by the loans of British finance.
Let us look first at the Labour Party, because always in the Labour Party you see the broad caricature of the financial democratic system. Labour leaders are a bit slower-witted than the Tory leaders, and so it is easier to catch them; that is all. Let us look at the Labour Party’s pretensions and what they do to-day. What has Labour told us? They were a party of revolution; they were a Party of peace; they were a Party that stood for the people. Let us look at their points. Revolution! You would find as much revolutionary spirit in a home for tame cats. (Laughter and Cheers.) Labour leaders, supposed to be fighting the capitalist system to the end, dropping in for tea, knitting parties and gossip at Downing Street twice a week, (Laughter) not even pretending to fight. Every time the bell rings some Labour Leader hops round to Downing Street longing to be patted on the head and told what a good boy he is. A little harder work and they may even be asked to dinner by the dear Duchess at last. Labour — a travesty, a Party of caricature in a revolutionary fight, forgetting even to mumble the old lines and strike the old posture; Labour, in practical coalition with the Conservatives even before the eyes of the people.
Now, Labour as a “Party of peace.” How many wars have the Labour Party wanted us to fight in the last two or three years? Let us try to count. First of all, they were all for a war in China when there was any hope of saving the great capitalist cotton interest. When it is only a question of Englishmen getting stripped and kicked in Tientsin we have not heard so much about it. Labour clamoured for a war in China.
War No. 1. — You and I were to put on khaki and go and save the Chinese.
War No. 2 — Abyssinia, a war for oil; a war for the maintenance of slavery; a war for some of the vilest capitalist interests which have ever disgraced this continent and its adjoining territory.
War No. 3 — in Spain. Oh, we had to fight in Spain, the British flag was being insulted, bombs were being dropped near British ships. Stop a moment. We said: “British ships?” We looked up the register at Lloyds and we found thirty of them registered that month, Greeks, Jews, dagoes. Not bad, a war for the cotton Lords, a war for the slave-owners, a war for the ship-owners.
Then Austria, War No. 4, and then Czecho-Slovakia, War No. 5; Czecho-Slovakia! We were informed by Lord Winterton, of the present Government, that the land of Czecho-Slovakia is not owned by the peasants who inhabit it, but by Jewish money-lenders; a war to maintain their land for the Jewish money-lenders. War for the slave-owners; war for the ship-owners; war for Jewish money-lenders.
Now, war in Poland for the great investments of the City of London; war for the Polish miners to be sweated for a wage of 10s a week to hew the cheap coal that puts the British miner out of a job but that fills the coffers of the City of London. And now, last but not least, is it the sixth or seventh war that Labour again wants us to fight? A holy crusade, something that will thrill the heart of every Englishman, if not the heart of every night-club proprietor (Laughter), a war to keep King Carol on his throne (Laughter), to say nothing about getting a good hand into those oil wells in Rumania, of course. Six or seven wars; count them up if you can; no wonder that Lord Ponsonby said the only trouble with his Party, the Labour Party, was that wherever there was a war going on they wanted to be in it. And what is this Party? Are they Colonel Blimps, old-fashioned Englishmen of a belligerent model? Are they boys of the bulldog breed who want to get into every scrap that is going on anywhere in the world? Not a bit of it.
Among the Labour ranks are to be found men who, in the last War, were conscientious objectors when Britain was fighting for her life, and now these men, among whom, too, were some who were stabbing us in the back trying to organise strikes in munition works while we were fighting and sweating and bleeding in the trenches, these men on their platforms to-day denounce us because we do not want to put on khaki and go to war with Germany in a Jews’ quarrel.
These men in the Labour ranks are denouncing us ex-Servicemen as lacking in patriotism because we do not want war with Germany about nothing. Who else is there who denounce us? There are those young intellectuals who were at Oxford five, or was it seven, years back, these mincing sissies who would not fight for King or country. They would not fight for King George, but they are longing to fight for King Carol — a boy after their own heart. (Laughter)
My friends, it would be funny if it was not so disgraceful to see such creatures, not only engaged in this conspiracy to send a million Englishmen to their doom — make certain they themselves will be missing on the day — not only thus conspiring, but also from their platforms denouncing, as unpatriotic, men who, in days gone by, gave all in their generation and risked all in their persons that England might live and might endure in greatness on the earth. (Cheers.) The Labour Party we can dismiss, not merely with the contempt the British people feel for them to-day, but with the judgment which the British people, in their own good time, will bring to the Labour Leaders in the days to come. (Cheers.)
Now what of the Tory Party? Let us be fair. We have advanced our policy, we have looked at Labour — let us now look at what is called the Party of loyalty; the Party of patriotism; the Tory Party. What is the Tory Party supposed to stand for in the world? (Cries of “Jewry” — from the audience) We have got an answer here to-night which I am inclined to agree with. (Cheers.)
But first let us examine what they pretend to stand for. I do not think a Conservative in this hall, if there be one left, will disagree with me when I say that if the Conservative Party pretended to stand for anything on earth it was the Security of Britain and the Empire, the Prestige of Britain and the Empire, and the Maintenance and development of the British Empire. I do not think that any Conservatives would say that is an unfair description of the aims of Conservatism which were published in the past and to which thousands of sincere men and women still adhere, wrongly believing that they are still the principles of the Conservative Party, just as thousands of sincere men and women still adhere to the principles of the Labour Party, wrongly believing that the battle of the people is still being fought, while in fact it is the Party which best serves the enemies of the people, international finance.
Let us examine just briefly those principles of the Conservative Party in the light of what they have actually done. Take first the security of Britain and the Empire. The Conservative Party had been in power for seven years last Autumn. With two brief intervals they had been in power for twenty years before last Autumn, and yet that leading Conservative, Mr. Winston Churchill, and not only he but prominent Members of this Government, have had to admit that the defences of Britain last September were so inadequate that we were defenceless and helpless in an armed world. And when Conservatism was asked to give its reason for that policy, the reason was provided by their trusted leader of so many years, Lord Baldwin, who frankly informed us that he was well aware of the inefficiency of our defences, well aware of the danger of our position, but if he had asked the country to re-arm, he might have lost an election — so he did not. And that is a man publicised for years by the financial democratic Press as pre-eminently honest.
Now I ask any Conservative, apart altogether from their present performances, how can you, believing in the principles which they proclaim, remain in that Party with such a record? What reason have you got for remaining in that Party, except that it may be unpleasant to leave that Party? Some of your friends may not like it, and for the first time in your life you may have to do something rough and hard, fight for other people and fight for England. (Cheers.) Why, any young man who remains in the Conservative Party after a record like that and a confession like that admits to all the world that he would rather lose the British Empire than lose a dinner party. (Laughter.) Security! That is the security they gave us in the past! What security are they giving us now?
They are committing us to fight in the North Sea; they are committing us to fight in the Mediterranean; they are committing us to fight in the seas of the Far East all at the same time. They have antagonised Germany. They have antagonised Spain at one end of the Mediterranean, the Arabs at the other, Italy in the middle of our main route to our Eastern Empire. While in the Far East they are taking on Japan at the same time, or not taking her on but doing what they always do, bluffing and blustering into trouble and then backing out of it to the shame of Britain. Security is not there — fighting in three seas at once, against Germany, Spain, Italy, the Arabs and Japan all at the same time. And in whose quarrel have we antagonised any one of these people? — not once in a British quarrel; every time in a Jews’ quarrel. And now, having landed us in that mess, what security do they give us? The Tory Party goes cap in hand on their knees; “Great Comrade Stalin, come in and save your poor Tory friends.” (Laughter.) Security! We are told that security lies in the British Empire having a Russian alliance. We were told it was a matter of life and death to have the Russian alliance; that if we did not get it over the week-end Germany would overrun half of Europe.
Four and a half months since have been taken in negotiations. It is lucky it is not a matter of life and death, is it not? It is lucky it is just humbug and make-believe; otherwise Europe would have been overrun four months ago. (Laughter.) And what is Russia doing? — playing the old Oriental Communist game of the last twenty years and more with all the Oriental cunning and skill; luring the poor old Tory Government deeper and deeper into the bog of commitment until at last they have them where they will; dangling the carrot in front of the old donkey’s nose, who is plunging and blundering further and further and then, when she has guaranteed not only Turkey, Greece and Rumania, but all the Baltic States, when they have got Britain into any quarrel that is going on anywhere in the world, then they will provoke world war, let it loose upon us and at last achieve the objective of the Jewish Communist Leaders to overthrow Britain and Western civilisation in suicidal war. (Applause.) That is their Tory security. Now what about their prestige; what prestige have they brought us? If there is one thing lowering to prestige, if there is one thing the opposite of the Englishman’s character, it is forever to be blustering and forever climbing down, forever taking off your coat for the fight and forever backing out. (Cheers.) And that has been the policy of the Conservative Government for years past. They are certainly adepts at ignoring an insult. That is the only talent of Conservatism to-day.
It is reputed to have been said by an eminent French statesman, not long ago: “If we French are walking along the street and somebody comes and gives us a hard kick behind, we cannot help noticing it enough to turn round and see who has done it, but you British you have got such calm, such dignity, that if you are walking down the street and someone comes up and gives you a hard kick behind, you can pretend not even to notice it.” (Laughter.). That is the particular genius of Lord Halifax; (Laughter) the new strong boy of the Tory Party, by whom we might be impressed for n moment if we did not remember that Halifax was only an alias for Irwin; (Laughter) Lord Halifax whose remedy for the break-up of the British Empire in the East was to ask Mr. Gandhi round to tea. (Laughter.)
Now when they speak of prestige, let them bring against them in foreign policy the severest indictment I have to bring here to-night. Not since that Dutch Admiral sailed up the Thames centuries ago carrying at his mast a broom and boasting he had swept Britain from the seas — an insult that was avenged by our forefathers — not since that date has the British Flag been dragged in the mud and suffered such disgrace as in the betrayal of the English in Tientsin. (Cheers.) When you think, my friends, maybe as we sit here to-night, that Englishmen are being stripped naked and kicked — and some cases of English women are reported as well — and subjected to the mockery and derision of Chinese crowds by triumphant Japanese, and the only answer of the Parties in Parliament is to agree to “be patient,” can we deny that this is a disgrace to the British Flag and are we wrong to feel with passion? (Cheers.)
Two years ago we warned them if you divide Europe in a financiers’ vendetta you would be impotent, derided and helpless in the East, and Europe divided has made Britain helpless in the East. It is perfectly true that we should not be in Shanghai or Tientsin at all. British Union has said so for years. We are only in Southern China serving the corrupt interests which have exploited the cheapest Chinese coolie labour in order to undercut and destroy the industries of Lancashire. We are only there because millions of British capital, if it can be called British, is there invested; but if you send Englishmen to a place you cannot permit them to be kicked, stripped naked and their women insulted, without lifting a finger to help them. (Cheers.) And while that happens in the East, while that happens in China, do not believe for one moment that the bazaars of India are not humming with the news. Do not believe for one moment that wherever the Flag of Britain waves over British territory that flag is not quivering in the storm of derision which is mounting against British power. My friends, it may take superhuman efforts, it may take terrible sacrifice, it may brand our time with anguish to win back the good name of Britain in places where once the name of Britain was held high in honour; that is the “prestige” of your Conservative Party. (Cheers.)
Now our Empire. When they talk of being the custodians of Empire, let me say this: Australia and New Zealand scarcely dare to ask for money or help, but courted and flattered and fawned upon are the oily Levantines who come as Balkan allies. (Cheers.) £60,000,000 was agreed this week for foreign loans to buy useless allies in worthless and unnecessary wars. While New Zealand wants money for her simple fanning population, while the Newfoundlanders are starving and freezing in conditions which disgrace the very name of the British Empire, while some of our African tropical possessions are sweltering in conditions which are inhuman, starving for the lack of capital assistance, money is poured out in millions to buy allies for their Jews’ war in Europe.
But we are told, of course, it is a moral duty to intervene in every single Balkan quarrel, but no moral duty to lift a finger to save a Briton from insults in Tientsin. Why is it a moral duty to go to war if a German kicks a Jew across the Polish frontier, but no moral duty to lift a little finger if a Briton is kicked in Tientsin? Is it only because English men and English women are being insulted that the Parties are indifferent? Is it only because the New Zealand farmer or the starving Newfoundlander who fought in the War is asking for a little money to get his industry going again that they are not interested, while the people who fought against them in the War, the Turks, are to be bought with the money that is denied to the New Zealanders? It is a strange policy of preserving and of developing a great Empire. And yet we are told that this is the policy of the Conservative Party which stood for security, for prestige and for Empire.
The Empire is sold and war is bought in British money to-day, in British lives to-morrow. (Cheers.) Then Lord Halifax announced a new departure in their policy in his last great speech. He said that, in the end, Britain might make some contribution to world peace by the policy of the open door. We have heard about the policy of the open door before. That is Labour’s policy again. You take the British Empire, won by the heroism of thousands of named and nameless Englishmen, and you say to every other country in the world: “Here you are. Wade into it. Get stuck into it. Take what you want. It does not matter to us.” The open door! We have had a bit of it already: East Africa under the Congo Basin Treaty, an instrument supported by Tory and Labour alike, made the dumping ground of cheap Japanese goods, with the result that Lancashire and Yorkshire has lost practically the whole of those markets. Carry it further, make it the open door for the whole world, says Halifax, but, of course, do not dream of giving back to Germany what belongs to her, the mandated territories. My friends, can we conceive a policy of greater insanity, heading more straight for suicide, than this, to be prepared to fight a world war over a few acres which do not belong to us, but to make a present to the whole of mankind of the land which was won by the sweat, blood and heroism of our forefathers? (Cheers.)
But it is not only the open door in the giving away of the British Empire. Let us turn at long last in conclusion to have a look here at home at the open door. Not only are their goods coming in, but they are coming in themselves, thousands of them; thousands of them coming in, not only undermining our standard of life, not only debauching our commercial practices, not only swelling the practices of criminal lawyers, not only changing the commercial outlook and morality of the British to the detriment of our simple and honest people; not on IT, that, my friends; this policy of the open door, this universal entry of alien standards and alien life if permitted to continue, is going to change the whole character of English life and English people, and is to complete the work which a century of capitalist production began, uprooting the English from the soil of their own native land and changing forever the life of our people. (Cheers.)
Some may say, those who do not yet feel as we do, that the entry of 50,000, 100,000 or 200,000 more does not matter, that we can swallow them, we can assimilate them. I deny it, but it is not only that — the money power that the big Jews command is changing every value, every morality, sapping every fibre, tearing up every root that still grips and digs deep in the English soil. Why, read their newspapers to-day. If you are fathers and mothers of young children, do you want them to grow up reading some of those newspapers? Do you want them to grow up going to their cinemas with their slick Yiddish American slang corrupting every standard of our life? (Cheers.) It is the open door, my friends, the open door, with Britain gone, the Britain we knew and loved. It is not your doing, because you are with us, but they are doing what the Empires of the past have done that have fallen in dust and ashes in which their civilisation and their glory have departed. They reached moments of greatness and heights of Empire. Then their moral fibre was destroyed and their manhood was sapped by the entry of alien peoples of the Orient, and evil forces marched triumphant to destroy the things that were noble and the things that were beautiful. (Cheers )
I ask this audience to-night whether or not we are going to give everything we have within us, not only material resources, our moral and spiritual being, our very life and our very soul. In holy dedication to England that she shall not perish, but shall live in greatness. (Cheers.) We are going, if the power lies within us and it lies within us because within us is the spirit of the English to say that our generation and our children shall not die like rats in Polish holes. (Cheers.) They shall not die but they shall live to breathe the good English air, to love the fair English countryside, to see above them the English sky, to feel beneath their feet the English soil.
This heritage of England, by our struggle and our sacrifice, again we shall give to our children. And, with that sacred gift, we tell them that they come from that stock of men who went out from this small island in frail craft across storm-tossed seas to take in their brave hands the greatest Empire that man has ever seen; in which tomorrow our people shall create the highest civilisation that man has ever known. Remember, we say to our children, those who have gone before you. Remember those who through the centuries have died that Britain might live in greatness, in beauty and in splendour. Remember too that, in the spiritual values that our creed brings back to earth, these mighty spirits march beside you and you must be worthy of their company.
So we take by the hand these our children, to whom our struggle shall give back our England; with them we dedicate ourselves again to the memory of those who have gone before, and to that radiant wonder of finer and nobler life that our victory shall bring to our country. To the dead heroes of Britain, in sacred union, we say: “Like you we give ourselves to England — across the ages that divide us — across the glories of Britain that unite us — we gaze into your eyes and we give to you this holy vow — we will be true — To-day — to-morrow — and forever — England lives.”
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Source: Oswald Mosley