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Lancaster House, London. The North Atlantic Council meets in London. It is a fore runner of NATO.
MS Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary seated at table speaking (natural sound): "Mr Chairman, first of all allow me to thank you and my colleague in whose name you spoke, when opening this afternoon, when you expressed your gratitude to the staff of the Foreign Office, who have been operating the department of Secretary General of the conference. MS. The hours they work and the devotion to the duties of those special occasions are well known, but they will appreciate the kindly words you uttered in thanks to them in the opening of your talk. The British people have shown a great interest and are indeed proud to have had the meeting of the Council of the Atlantic Pact here in London. It has been a great and important conference. The decisions arrived at will have historic significance. I'm afraid we cannot arrive at sensational decisions. This business of building for peace is a very grim business, and it has to be worked for day in, day out, and we must never give up our faith in its ultimate triumph. In the last four days we've had the representatives of 12 free, independent sovereign nations working together to develop the great venture they inaugurated last year in Washington, when they accepted the principle of collective defence. They have been working to shape their national and international life, in order to give effect to this principle so that they may not only be able to call upon their people to support it but may feel that the people that they represent are conscious of its high moral purposes. In other words they've been engaged in the creation of great Atlantic brotherhood. This work was begun following the war, to a very large extent, in the treaty with France. It was developed in the Brussels Treaty on a comparatively small scale and now its grown into this great organism of the Atlantic Pact. I think this association has three main characteristics, first, it's a peaceful association. In the past we've had military alliances, either born of war, or directed to war. Our object now is to fortify peace not merely prepare for war. The very foundation and purpose of the Atlantic Pact is to bring its freedom leaving peoples together in such a way that they can prevent war. Secondly, it is an equal association. This means 12 nations great and small and the smallest nation among is equal to the greatest, all contribute equally according their means to the common effort. Thirdly it is a free association. Pessimists sometimes say that free democracies are doomed, because by their very nature they can never compete in efficiency and singleness of purpose with totalitarianism. Well I think the last war disproved that, and we, representatives of 12 free democracies, assembled at this table say most emphatically that that is not so. At the same time we recognise the need for well co-ordinated and vigorous action and the new organisation that has been set up, together with the direction that will be created for it, emphasises that need. But the system which we are creating will, not like the system of totalitarian states, rest on coercion and force. It is freely chosen, It will maintain the liberty of the people and its in this freedom of choice lies our great strength and our greatest hope. For we firmly believe that in the end, the free man can never be vanquished by the slave."
American Secretary of State Dean Acheson winds up the discussion.