Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. The portion of Europe behind the Iron Curtain has typically been referred to as the Eastern Bloc. Come along as we Wander With Wonder… Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. Workmen from all countries must build that temple. These included East Germany, Poland, Hungary and other small countries in eastern Europe.
In Italy the Communist Party is seriously hampered by having to support the Communist-trained Marshal Tito's claims to former Italian territory at the head of the Adriatic. You step foot through the door of the very buildings that housed a half century of Soviet occupation tactics and experience life under Soviet rule which ended only 26 years ago. Again one cannot imagine a regenerated Europe without a strong France. There, you hear the stories behind the black and white photos of Latvians who were arrested at their homes, schools and worksites and never returned. An English tour guide will take you through the terrifying basement cells and dank, psychological interrogation rooms left exactly as they were in Soviet times. This might be started on a modest scale and would grow as confidence grew. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.
There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain - and I doubt not here also - towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We British have our twenty years Treaty of Collaboration and Mutual Assistance with Soviet Russia. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments. Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, that it might well be a fifty years Treaty so far as we are concerned. More than 100,000 Lithuanians answered the call to build barricades to protect their government buildings. Amid his heavy burdens, duties, and responsibilities - unsought but not recoiled from - the President has travelled a thousand miles to dignify and magnify our meeting here to-day and to give me an opportunity of addressing this kindred nation, as well as my own countrymen across the ocean, and perhaps some other countries too. For them all is distorted, all is broken, even ground to pulp.
Come wander along and experience Iron Curtain tourism in the Baltic countries. The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. The United Nations Organisation must immediately begin to be equipped with an international armed force. If the population of the English-speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the United States with all that such co-operation implies in the air, on the sea, all over the globe and in science and in industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure. It is also an honour, perhaps almost unique, for a private visitor to be introduced to an academic audience by the President of the United States. You can explore the story of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in its capital city of Vilnius. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful.
Countries like Poland, East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, and others were more or less controlled by the Soviet Union. I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organisation will achieve its full stature and strength. He was right to be concerned. Dig Deeper: Why did Churchill call it an Iron Curtain? Here again there is widespread agreement. It is because I am sure that our fortunes are still in our own hands and that we hold the power to save the future, that I feel the duty to speak out now that I have the occasion and the opportunity to do so.
Last time I saw it all coming and cried aloud to my own fellow-countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by time and custom. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war. This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances.
I do not see or feel that same confidence or even the same hopes in the haggard world at the present time. Now, at this sad and breathless moment, we are plunged in the hunger and distress which are the aftermath of our stupendous struggle; but this will pass and may pass quickly, and there is no reason except human folly of sub-human crime which should deny to all the nations the inauguration and enjoyment of an age of plenty. If there is to be a fraternal association of the kind I have described, with all the extra strength and security which both our countries can derive from it, let us make sure that that great fact is known to the world, and that it plays its part in steadying and stabilising the foundations of peace. An hour outside the city you can walk through a formerly secret Soviet military town. Photo by Ann Randall The Latvian Army occasionally uses the site for military practice and there are plans to eventually convert the decaying city into something useful. Iron suggests brute strength, and in this context, repression. Why cannot they share their tools and thus increase each other's working powers? Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where Communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilisation.
After its fall, a section of the Berlin Wall was transported to and erected at Westminster College. The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, and of large parts of Asia glares us in the eyes. Nor is it one which contains the essentials of permanent peace. I seem to have heard of it before. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future.