3 JULY 1936, Page 6

Mr. Duff Cooper's Speech Read in the fullest reports available

in English news- papers, the now notorious speech made by Mr. Duff Cooper at a dinner of the Association Franco-Grande Bretagne in Paris last week is by no means the irre- sponsible and provocative utterance which the Labour and Liberal Oppositions in the House of Commons held it to be. At the dinner of an Anglo-French Friendship Association Anglo-French friendship is a natural and proper theme. The Secretary for War dealt with it reason- ably, emphasising particularly the need for democratic and liberty-loving nations to co-operate in a world in which democracy and liberty are increasingly threatened. He may have committed errors of omission and com- mission ; few public speakers are infallible : but on the basic fact that Great Britain and France must at all costs stand together and work together no sane man can entertain a moment's doubt or hesitation. If we cannot count on that in Europe we can count on nothing. Mr. Duff Cooper enunciated no new policy. He said nothing that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister had not said in the House of Commons. And what he did say needed saying. No two countries could be less suspect of any temptation to aggression than Great Britain and France. Their union can only be for defence, on the basis of the principles of the League of Nations of which they are the leading members. The Secretary for War was quite justified in assuming that to be taken for granted by his hearers.

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