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ANOTHER WORLD WAR? IMMEDIATE DISARMAMENT THE ONLY TRUE PATH TO A LASTING PEACE, talk by Gareth Jones
  

NOTED WELSHMAN'S STIRRING MAESTEG ADDRESS:
Europe in the Melting Pot

The Advertiser, Wales
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1932

 

Mr. Gareth Jones's broadcast talk on international affairs last week - which was given in Welsh-was quite remarkably characteristic. The microphone for once preserved every iota of his personality, the enthusiasm and vivacity that mark every speech he makes, and that peculiar impression of intimacy, as of addressing a single listener across the fireside, which is a great part of their attraction. One could almost see his quick, eager gestures, and the changing expressions with which he illustrates every anecdote.

Last week he gave us a little tale which was told among the anti-Nazi Lutherans in Germany of a staunch Nazi priest who, before commencing service, ordered that anyone who was a Jew should leave the church. There was a brief pause and then the figure of Christ stepped down from the crucifix on the altar and silently went out of the building.

Well over a thousand people attended the annual peace demonstration organised by the Maesteg branch of the League of Nations Union which was held at the Maesteg Town Hall on Sunday evening. The chair was taken by Mr. Evan Williams, J.P., and added interest in the proceedings was provided by the attendance of the Nantyffyllon Juvenile Choir.

The speaker was Mr. Gareth Vaughan Jones (London), a young Welshman of exceeding promise. Mr. Jones has travelled extensively and spoke from first hand knowledge. Taking for his subject "Europe in the Melting Pot," he put forward an answerable case for peace and held his audience enthralled from beginning to end.

He said that not many months ago he was standing on one of the highest buildings Moscow, and next to him stood a young Russian idealist. As they gazed out upon the city the young Russian asked that what lie (Mr. Jones) saw was symbolic of what was going to happen to the rest of the world. There would soon be another world war, added the Russian.

FALL OF EMPIRES

Later he (the speaker) was on a skyscraper in New York in company with a renowned American business man, who said that the depression was not a trade cycle but a turning point in world history. The civilisation of the world was being rapidly impaired he added. Were these prophecies coming true? That was the question they had to face at the present time.

The valleys of South Wales had seen the fall of empires and ancient civilisation. Would they see the crash of the present civilisation? A shot in a small European country led to thousands men 1eaving the Maesteg station.

A revolution in South America meant the cancellation of orders for coal and misery the Maesteg valley. One ton of coal in Maesteg had an influence on the lives of dozens of people in the far flung corners of the world.

It would be realised then that Maesteg had millions of bonds with the rest of world and when they were shattered it meant suffering in the district. As a boy he used to look out of the window of his home in Barry and see the glow of the Dowlais works. Now when he looked out there was no glow; the works had closed down.

IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Forty-five out of every hundred miners in South Wales were out of work. The percentage iron workers unemployed was higher still, and in the shipbuilding trades sixty-five out of every hundred were unemployed. What was the position in other countries? Starting in Germany, there they would hear cries of "Up with Hitler!" and 'Down with the capitalists!" And in Southern Germany they would hear the schoolmaster read out the War Guilt Clause and the children reply that the name Germany would be borne in their souls until the day of honour and freedom.

Going to Poland, they would find sentries tramping along the frontier line. They never knew the minute a shot would be fired. In that country was being built what had been described as the finest aerodrome in Europe. If they asked a Pole why that aerodrome was being built he would reply that they were expecting another war.

In Russia the idea was prevalent that England meant to attack them, has starting another world war, while in Manchuria no one was safe. Since the attack of the Japanese the forces of disorder had swept across the country, and if they asked a soldier if he was for the new state he would reply, "My uniform is Japanese, but not my heart." Manchuria had been a boomerang hitting back at the Japanese.

In Japan itself they were in the midst an acute financial crisis. The Times, a paper not given to sensationalism, had stated that the country was starving to death. The military was in control and the result had not been a happy one. Crossing to America they would find that all the American battle-ships were concentrated in the Pacific.

SWIFT ACTION NEEDED

One great observer had stated that wars would some day break out between America and Japan and Russia and China, unless Britain and France acted swiftly. In Chicago there was a panic. They would hear that the price of wheat had fallen to the lowest level for 340 years. Wheat was as cheap now as in the time of Shakespeare.

They would find in. New York that one million of the city's inhabitants were unemployed. They would be told that the greatest ship in the world, the Leviathan, had been idle throughout last winter, and that was symbolical of what was happening to shipping through out the world.

What was the cause of this chaos? Many blamed the capitalists, and it was true that armament firms were working to create war scares throughout the world. They had bought up newspapers and filled them with patriotic hymns of hate. It was a fact that the Boers had shot down British troops with guns manufactured in England, and the same thing happened in the Dardanelles. The Churches had rightly protested to the Prime Minister against private individuals holding vested interests in weapons of death.

The root cause of the chaos, however, was nationalism. Nationalism was poisoning our whole system and the depression was nature's lash to teach us the follies of nationalism. The bonds that united the world were being cut. It had led to economic warfare, which had had disastrous effects upon the trade of the world. World co-operation was rapidly diminishing and this was leading to the downfall of the League of Nations.

One example was the failure of the members of the League to unite to stop the invasion by the Japanese of Manchuria. Shortly the fate of the League was going to be decided. A German, whom he had asked what was going to happen if the League failed had replied that Germany was bound to re-arm and she would struggle until she got a position in which war could again come about.

The fate of the League was now in the balance, and if nothing was done in the next few weeks in the cause of disarmament all hope of world co-operation would be lost. Economic warfare was daily getting more severe and world trade was being strangled. Tariffs were being raised in every country and soon trade would shrink to a vanishing point. The only hope he could see for the world was a bold policy of disarmament. (Applause.)

STRENGTHENING THE LEAGUE

Britain had made a pledge and she was in honour bound to disarm. The League of Nations should be strengthened and the assassin economic nationalism fought. Next year the Economic Conference would meet, and if that failed the prophecies he gave at the beginning of his speech would come true. He trusted that that conference would not show the same cowardice, as did the Disarmament conference.

One ray of hope was the American policy. That great nation was working hand in hand with the League. Another ray of hope was the French policy. That country's policy had undergone a dramatic change.

The brightest ray of hope would be a bold policy of disarmament on the part of the British Government. He trusted that they would not be too late for which millions had died in 1914-18. (.Applause)

In expressing his gratitude to Mr. Jones for such an excellent speech the chairman said it was hypocritical to pay homage to those who had died in the war unless they realised they had a sacred duty to perform. And that duty was to ensure that what had happened in 1914-18 would not happen again.

They should teach their children the truth of the war years, so that they would realise the horror and futility of war. To-day a greater desire was expressed for peace than ever before, but notwithstanding that there was a great danger of another war breaking out. They should purge the public life of the country and see to it that no public man held vested interests in armaments. The next war would mean annihilation.

He appealed to the people of Maesteg to take a greater interest in the League of Nations Union. The local branch, he said, had only 130 members, and this was not good enough.

It was up to all to play their part in assuring peace by joining the League of Nations.


ArtUkraine.com thanks Margaret Siriol Colley and Nigel Colley for furnishing this interesting article from their extensive Gareth Jones archives. Please check out the Gareth Jones website created by the Colley's:   http://www.colley.co.uk/garethjones/index.html
 
 

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