The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to participate in that work as a representative of my country, Canada, whose people have, I think, shown their devotion to peace.
It would be especially tragic if the people who most cherish ideals of peace, who are most anxious for political cooperation on a wider than national scale, made the mistake of underestimating the pace of economic change in our modern world.
And I have lived since - as you have - in a period of cold war, during which we have ensured by our achievements in the science and technology of destruction that a third act in this tragedy of war will result in the peace of extinction.
True there has been more talk of peace since 1945 than, I should think, at any other time in history. At least we hear more and read more about it because man's words, for good or ill, can now so easily reach the millions.
As for the promotion of peace congresses we have had our meetings and assemblies, but the promotion through them of the determined and effective will to peace displaying itself in action and policy remains to be achieved.
But while we all pray for peace, we do not always, as free citizens, support the policies that make for peace or reject those which do not. We want our own kind of peace, brought about in our own way.
I cannot think of anything more difficult than to say something which would be worthy of this impressive and, for me, memorable occasion, and of the ideals and purposes which inspired the Nobel Peace Award.
Of all our dreams today there is none more important - or so hard to realise - than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.
The choice, however, is as clear now for nations as it was once for the individual: peace or extinction.