Remarks at a Meeting With Conservative Members of the British Parliament

June 6, 1984

[Inaudible] -- meeting with Conservative M.P.s. I thank you, Mr. Peter Viggers, and I thank all of you for your kind words and for your strong support for our efforts to preserve peace with freedom in our troubled world.

Your remarks are particularly timely, today being the 40th anniversary of D-day, as the Ambassador said. In all the 20th century, D-day stands as the shining example of what free nations can do when united and inspired by mankind's highest ideals.

I understand that your group is composed of Members of Parliament who were elected for the first time last June. And please accept my congratulations on the honor you've been accorded in joining the Mother of Parliaments. As younger Members of the House of Commons, you've reached maturity in a divided world. You may have heard that I come from a slightly older generation. Ours lived as adults through the most severe test in history for freedom-loving people.

So, I'm very gratified to see that those vital lessons learned by my generation -- lessons about the wisdom of collective defense and about the need for allied strength and unity to defend free institutions -- have been learned as well by all of you.

Today in Europe, peace through strength is not a slogan; it is a fact of life. There is another important lesson we've learned: While we remain strong, we must always be ready for reconciliation, ready to resolve differences with our adversaries and resolve them peacefully at the negotiating table.

I want you and your fellow citizens in Britain to know the United States is seeking, and we will continue to seek, cooperation with the Soviet Union to make our world a safer place. Continued public support for collective security in all NATO countries is absolutely essential. I thank you for all that you're doing to foster that support. You can be proud that you're members of a fraternity within the free nations who have assumed the heavy burden of working for both peace and liberty.

Just recently in Washington, I met with 16 Foreign Ministers that make up the alliance. And I couldn't help but think, as we sat around the table, there has never in history been such an alliance, dedicated to the preservation of peace and freedom.

With wisdom and courage, peace and freedom will not be lost again. They can and will be preserved. We can live up to Winston Churchill's vision of freedom in 1941. He looked at the past and saw light which flickered; he looked at his time and saw light which flamed; but he looked at the future and saw ``a light which shines over all the land and sea.'' He had another statement. He said that ``When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that there is something going on in time and space and beyond time and space which, whether we like or not, spells duty.''

Well, I thank all of you very much, and I feel greatly honored. God bless all of you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:33 a.m. at Winfield House, where he met with a group of 25 Conservative Members of Parliament, who presented him with a letter demonstrating their support for the U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance.

Peter Viggers is the Conservative Party spokesman for defense affairs.

As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.