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the many millions on our continents may find his greatest opportunity to serve his country, his fellowmen, and his God.
There are those who think the world is based on force. Here, within this continent, we can confidently deny this. And the course of history shows that noble ideas and spiritual forces in the end have a greater triumph. Tonight especially we can say this, for on this night nearly two thousand years ago there was born a Son of God who declined force and kingdoms and proclaimed the great lesson of universal love. Without force His Kingdom lives today after a lapse of nineteen centuries. It is the principality of peace; the peace which we here hope in a humble measure to help to give by His grace to the continents of America.
Address Made at a Farewell Dinner to the Delegates Given by President Oscar Benavides on December 27, 1938
R. PRESIDENT: I am deeply appreciative of the honor of speaking on
behalf of the delegations of the
twenty American republics which have been guests of the Peruvian Government. Many of my colleagues could give more adequate and eloquent expression to the sentiments which I know we all share at this moment but none of them, I am sure, has a friendlier feeling, a greater faith in our common destiny, or a clearer certainty as to the eventual triumph of the principles and ideas which have guided us than I possess as a result of this conference. For all of us I wish to thank you for the graceful courtesy, the steady kindness, and the unexcelled hospitality which your Government has shown. You, Mr. President, and Mme Bena
vides, Dr. and Mrs. Concha, and every member of the Peruvian Government have seemed to speak to us from the heart. We have felt that our introduction to your life and your people was no mere official or perfunctory one. It was born out of a ready friendship which has become fuller and more deeply felt as the days we have spent among you have passed. We have felt the same welcome from all your people. I will say to you and to them that each of us feels he has gained a friend and that your country may know that it has twenty friends.
You have again tonight expressed the ideas and views which bring us together and which guide our common policy. Let me also, in the manner of a man talking with friends before parting, express most briefly a few reflections connected with the work on which we have been engaged.
We are primarily men drawn from the foreign offices of our countries. We know the tale that is written in the hundreds of despatches and cables that have come over our desks these
past few years. We know that there has been great bitterness between nations. We know that agreements that appeared to offer the foundation of stability and order have disappeared in the turmoil of events. We know that in much of the world trust in any form of agreement has completely vanished. We know that Might has stated it would have its way and that it would recognize no equal except Equal Might. We know that the ordinary ends of living are being subordinated in the attempt to create vast and terrifying military machines, whose first purpose might be to create terror and whose only final use could be to create the ruin of the world we have fixed in our thoughts during this meeting of ours. Such is the world we may have to deal with.
Our task must be cast in the opposite direction. We choose, instead, to strengthen the bases and principles of peaceful relationship, order, and equality among ourselves in the midst of this world. We propose to express our common desire to work together more effec
tively to resist the spread of these conditions and influences to our continents. Looking at each other across this table of friendship I believe we can feel that we have discharged the responsibilities satisfactorily.
The Pan-American method is not always too well understood outside, especially by those who feel they must form their judgment instantaneously. The very essence of our process is the quiet exchange of views among equals. In this matter-until a final decision is reached— each state has all the power of a majority. Never before, I think, has the conference process set to work so promptly and operated with more serious determination than at this congress. Within three days we were candidly expressing our inner views; within two weeks we have succeeded in embodying them in unanimous declarations. Less difficult and important matters have often caused prolonged delay, dissension, and confusion.
If it is forgotten, personal experience makes it completely evident how delicate a task it is to