Delivered at Conway Hall 15 May 1946. Chaired by Sir Frederick Whyte and presented by S. K. Ratcliffe.
The chief independence movements in Asia in the last 50 years have been nationalist. India’s has been the leading one, largely because India has been the most extensively subjected to western influences, through British colonialism.
Taken together, these movements are the most significant social phenomenon of modern times: a massive force aiming at world democracy, plus racial and economic equality. If victorious, they will de-throne Europe as a centre of world power.
However, newly independent nations must have political experience and the ability to defend themselves. Unfortunately, those in Asia would lack both, and so their freedom would require protection from more powerful states. That said, the Asian push for freedom retains its seminal significance, even if it is fraught with massive problems (especially in India).