War or Peace? Mr. Paling Poses Question at Denaby Election Meeting

October 1951

South Yorkshire Times, October 20th, 1951

War or Peace?

Mr. Paling Poses Question at Denaby Election Meeting

Mr. Wilfred Paling, as Dearne Valley Labour candidate who began his election campaign in Denaby on Sunday, followed up with meetings in Wath, Mexborough and Conisbrough the same day

Mr. Paling said it had been difficult for the Government to carry on since the last election.  He wanted “more power in order to carry out the things we have already started, and that this country is still needing.”  Since before the war and in particular, since 1945, he said there had been something in the nature of a revolution in this country by virtue of the legislation that the Labour Party has put through. The legislation had been possible through the large majority resulting from the 1945 election, a majority that had fallen to a bare minimum last year.

“By and large” Mr. Paling continued “the standard of life of the people in this country is higher than ever before, in spite of the war and the difficulties we have had to go through since it. That is a thing worth keeping.”

“It should be that every working-class man and woman in Britain ought to vote for the Labour Party and send them back to continue their good work through the last four or five years.”

“Flood of Unemployment?”

“If the Tories get in, then watch out that their reign is not followed by a flood of unemployment, as it might easily be.  If you want to step into the position of having an army of unemployed, all you have to do is return the Conservatives.  My advice to you is don’t trust the Tories.”

Later Mr. Paling went on to say, “the question of the war outdoes every other question which might be raised in this election.  The one thing which overshadows all others, the one thing which could wipe out all the others things or make them relatively unimportant, is the question of war and peace.  It is one thing which everybody dislikes and wishes to avoid.  And it is up to everyone to try and find a way out of this threat of war, and to abolish it.”

“Today this threat overhangs all our heads, and affects the whole world. The world is in a disturbed state and only six years after the most terrible war we have ever known we are having to re-arm again.”

“We are having to spend millions of pounds which are needed in hundreds of other ways on re-armament to protect ourselves”.

“The Labour Party is looked upon as a peace party more than the tory party, and we look upon ourselves as capable of maintaining the peace more than they, that is the thing which should settle your minds in this election. War becomes more horrible each year and just as the second was infinitely worse than the first, so the third would be even more terrible.”

Persia and Egypt

Mr. Paling said he had been asked why the government had not taken a firm hand with the Persian trouble.  He said that the use of armed forced of any sort to try to influence the Persians would have been an “open-handed invitation” to the Russians, which would have inevitably resulted in war.  “Are there any mothers and women in Denaby who would pay the price of a third world war just to settle the Persian business?” he asked, “I doubt it.”

He added, however, that Britain, who was still strong enough to crush both Persia and Egypt, might eventually be forced to take action, He hoped not, but he also hoped that Britain would “never be labeled oppressors and put into the same position before the United Nations as the North Koreans.”