160 Mr M. MacDonald, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 24 March 1938

Following are the more important amendments proposed in Prime Minister's statement [1]:-

2nd paragraph. After 'shaken confidence' insert 'to maintain this rule of law in international affairs'.

6th paragraph. Delete words from 'and I cannot but feel' to end of paragraph and substitute words 'acknowledge that in the present circumstances the ability of the League to fulfil all functions originally contemplated for it is reduced; but this is not to be interpreted as meaning that His Majesty's Government would in no circumstances intervene as a member of the League for restoration of peace or maintenance of international order if circumstances were such as to make it appropriate for them to do so, and I cannot but feel that the course and development of any dispute, should such unhappily arise, would be greatly influenced by the knowledge that such action as it may be in power of Great Britain to take, will be determined by His Majesty's Government of the day, in accordance with the principles laid down in the Covenant'.

9th paragraph. Delete words from 'and His Majesty's Government cannot conceal' to end of paragraph.

10th paragraph. Amend the fourth sentence so as to read 'The inexorable pressure of facts might well prove more powerful than formal pronouncements and in that event it would be well within the bounds of probability that other countries, besides those which were parties to the original dispute would almost immediately be involved.' 13th paragraph. Amend the first sentence so as to read 'Great Britain has repeatedly asserted the principle on which she considers the peace of the world depends. We do not believe that any stable order can be established unless by one means or other recognition can be secured for certain general principles.'

1 Document 154.

[AA : A981, GREAT BRITAIN 8B, ii]