Federal Union and World Peace

November 16, 1939

Report Outline
Federation and Anglo-France War Aims
United States of Europe and Regional Federation
Proposed Federal Union of the Democracies
World Federation and World Peace

Federation and Anglo-France War Aims

He suggestion that some kind of federal union be formed as a foundation for enduring peace among European countries, at the close of the present conflict with Germany, has been projected into almost every recent discussion of the war aims of Great Britain and France. Clement R. Attlee, leader of the Labour party, told a conference of Labour members of Parliament, November 8, that Europe must federate or perish. In a statement of Labour's principles for a peace settlement, he called for constitution of “an international authority superior to member states and endowed with power.” Foreign Secretary Halifax, in a radio broadcast the previous evening, had noted that “there are some who believe that the new order will only come through surrender in some measure by the nations of their sovereign rights, in order to clear the way for more organic union.” Without ruling out the idea, he added the ambiguous comment:

But if it is our hope to create a more truly international system out of independent states, we must learn the lessons of the past. No paper plan will endure that does not freely spring from the will of the peoples who alone can give it life.

A project for European union brought forward ten years ago by the late Aristide Eriand of France was accorded official consideration by all the European members of the League of Nations but soon passed into oblivion. Those who now advocate federation feel that conditions were not then ripe for such a project, but that the subsequent decline of the League system and its demonstrated inability to prevent the outbreak of a general war have brought proposals for a federal union within the range of practicality.

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Nov. 16, 1939  Federal Union and World Peace
Apr. 12, 1933  European Political Alignments
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