War on Reich Not Motivated by Desire to Avenge Jews, Commons is Told

Imposition by Germany of her tyranny upon neighboring states rather than a desire to avenge Nazi treatment of Christian and Jewish minorities, moved Britain to war on the Reich, the House of Commons was told today by Sir Archibald Sinclair, leader of the Liberal Opposition.

Supporting and amplifying a statement of British war aims by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Mr. Sinclair said:

“If the Germans want Hitlerism, have we the right or the power to demand its destruction? Surely the answer is that we recognize the right of a nation to govern itself in its own way, even to choose dictatorship if it wants to. We may be horrified by the results. We may see the loathsome spectres of racial and religious persecution rearing their ugly head, and secret police, oppression and concentration camps.

“We have the right and duty to condemn these manifestations of barbarism, but it is not for us to chastise any people for their own misgovernment or to go to war on behalf of Pastor Niemoeller or the German Jews. The German people must find their own means to settle their own house in order, and we must recognize their rights. But when they seek to impose their tyranny on their neighbors, the peace and freedom of every nation, including our own, is threatened, and to shrink from any sacrifice to stop Nazi tyranny would be to destroy not only our own country but the democratic ideals and hopes of establishing peace in the world. Accordingly, if the idea of conquest is inherent in Hitler’s policy and system, it follows that Hitlerism must be destroyed. There is only one man who can prove the contrary. That man is Hitler himself.”

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