Benn, The Right Honourable Wedgwood
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A tribute to General Mitchell and Colonel Barker. Today Australia Day, the 31st birthday of the great Dominion of Australia. The growth of Empire on the political side as the speaker has seen it in the course of his 26 years' experience in the House of Commons. How, in the course of 100 years, our conception of the British Empire has utterly changed. Some words from Daniel Webster about the British Empire. Today an Empire resting on liberty and free associations. The principles upon which the British Empire has been founded. The absence of war within the British Commonwealth. Some words on war. The great development of the two Dominions. Four observations about the development of the Empire, with three examples: South Africa, the Free State of Ireland, and the British Government in India. This discussion proceeds from the personal perspective of the speaker, with an historical review of events in each of these three countries. What lies ahead. The situation in the Far East. Canada's interest in the Japanese-Chinese conflict. The question as to whether the East plays enough of a part to give the League of Nations a proper balance. The place of India. India as a link between the East and the West. The impossibility of holding India by force, and why that is so. Transforming India through a voluntary partnership. India within the world political scene. The speaker's review of the situation in India. The influence of Mahatma Gandhi. The institution of caste. Comparing the India situation with those of Ireland and South Africa. The acute clash between the Hindus and the Moslems in India. Patriotism as a solvent for the very difficulties India faces. Indian patriotism and Indian unity as a British interest. Some specific considerations with regard to defence, economics, Confederation, the communal difference. The need for the burden of responsibility in India to shift to Indian shoulders. The need to devise a Constitution which will enlist the service of the Indian patriots.