Bishop George Bell and CEM Joad on The Federal Union

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“On what grounds did Britain appeal to justice? What was it now offering to a world of menacing dictators? The Peace Aims debate raised at one the vision of Europe as a coherent, geo-political entity, and also of Britain’s place within that beleaguered continent. In this Coupland finds Bell a distinctive presence: whilst it was true that there were other Britons – in government and outside – who also spoke for European unity, there were few that shared either Bell’s record of constancy or the radicalism of his vision of a federal Europe. Indeed, in the year that war broke out he joined a new organization, Federal Union, which was dedicated to pressing for that ideal in public life. Temple, too, became a prominent advocate. For them both, Europe was united by centuries of Christian faith, by the continuing worship of churches in every country, and by common Christian precepts observable still in the life of European institutions. Surely this represented a greater reality than the passing politics of the modern nation-state. Should they not stand squarely on such a foundation and look to a future together?” 

 (Source : “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler – Page 77)
“The principles I have mentioned are…the indispensable requisites of civilised life in a civil society. What is more, they are principles which are widely accepted among us. But though their acceptance is a necessary condition, both of European revolution and of the establishment of a civilised order after this war, it is by no means clear that it is sufficient. It seems to me inconceivable that after this war we should ever again allow a single nation to threaten the world’s peace…I deduce that if civilisation is to avoid destruction, it must set up a Federal Government to control armaments and foreign policy. This means adding to my four principles, which are accepted, the principle of Federalism…it seems to me difficult to envisage a durable peace in the world unless this principle is coupled with the other four”

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