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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/222

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Studies in Socialism

cannot see two nations drawing closer together without speculating against whom or against what they are uniting. These people could not, I suppose, attend a wedding without asking against whom the marriage was directed. No, if the great free peoples, living under the parliamentary régime, England, Italy, and France, join hands and become friends, it is not with the idea of using the advantages of freedom to secure selfish ends. They do it to help on the great European and human alliance, by enlarging and extending national friendships. They do it to serve the cause of civilisation, of justice, and of peace, in Europe, in the Near East, and at last in the entire world!

And the workers of France and England long passionately for this great European peace, the peace of all humanity, stable, well organised, and permanent. In these quiet and smiling days I cannot forget that a few years ago, at the very height of the crisis that threatened the good relations of the two countries, delegates from the English trades-unions came to Paris and entered into a compact of brotherly friendship with the French unions at the Bourse de Travail. And they said then a wise and true thing: that we ought to build up a reserve of confidence and solidarity between the two nations in peaceful years, upon which we could draw during the trials and excitements of difficult times.

This is what we are doing to-day, gentlemen.