LONDON (Dec. 3)
Prominent figures in all walks of life launched tonight, with a great mass meeting at Albert Hall, a significant non-partisan movement to organize public opinion the world over in active defense of democracy and freedom and to combat dictatorships and persecution.
Known as the “Defense of Freedom and Peace,” the movement is headed by outstanding personalities of all parties, including Winston Churchill, noted statesman; Sir Walter Citrine, secretary of the British Trades Union Congress; Sir Norman Angell, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Wickham Steed, former editor of The Times; Lady Violet Bonham-Carter, Lord Lytton and Philip Guedalla, historian and director of the World Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi Council.
In addition, the movement has the support of Sir Austen Chamberlain, Archibald Sinclair and other British public figures.
Before a capacity audience tonight, Sir Walter, who presided at the meeting, outlined the principles on which the movement was organized and which it intends to pursue.
According to a prospectus drawn up by the movement’s leaders at an organization meeting recently, these principles are embodied in the following declaration:
“The cause of ordered freedom is in danger. Peace itself is in jeopardy. The foes of both are vocal, organized and strong. ‘Defence of Freedom and Peace’ offers common ground to all who hold that without peace freedom cannot be sure; and that without freedom, there can be no true peace.
“The central mass of temperate, tolerant humanity must not be found feeble in action and leadership. Parliamentary governments of self ruling, peoples need, therefore, to know they are upheld by the resolute will of citizens who are ready to stand for the rights of man and for justice among the nations.
“The ideals enshrined in the League Covenant and the Kellogg Pact grew out of man’s bitten need for uncountable sacrifice. Those ideals alone stand between the world and nameless woe. Great Britain must be strong to bear her part in banning war from the life of nations, so that well-guarded peace may lighten the burden of the peoples and offer to states great and small just redress for proved wrong.
“British leadership and action may yet save peace and civilization. The aim of ‘Defence of Freedom and Peace’ is to prosper this work.”
In the course of his opening address, Sir Walter roundly condemned Nazi persecution of Jews as “without parallel in modern history,” and predicted that it would fail of its goal, although at great cost in “human suffering and misery.”
Sir Walter announced the three-fold objective of the movement as:
“To unite British citizens, irrespective of politics or creed–in defense of freedom, secured by democratic government and public law; in resistance to all efforts to diminish or destroy this freedom by violence at home or attack from abroad; and in support of our international duty to join with others in preserving peace and withstanding armed aggression.”
Others scheduled to address the meeting were Mr. Churchill, Lord Lytton and Lady Violet. Tonight’s meeting will be followed by others throughout the country.