YOUTH AND WAR [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—The
Principal of Hertford has undertaken a task wider and more difficult than mine. He writes of male Oxford as a whole. I confined myself to a relatively small section of Cambridge. There is, as we were taught by Forbes Robinson, no average undergraduate : there are in every generation a- number of men of outstanding quality—those whom I described as" the physically and mentally best." At Cambridge at present these men seem to me to share clear convictions about war : " the bold sweep of my generalisations " applied only to them. The Principal, like many of my critics, has ignored the limitations of my theme.
If I may now speak in more general terms, his account of Oxford is in my judgement appropriate also to the sister • university. We are almost certainly less politically minded and perhaps more distrustful of politicians : we arc possibly better acquainted with the resources of scientific warfare. and less beglamoured by the ride of the Air Force. It would be rash to predict what resistance would be offered by the mass of undergraduates to a measure of conscription reinforced by modern propaganda. But that there would be widespread opposition can hardly be doubted. My own belief is that it would be at present both general and uncompromising. With us, as at Oxford, " the attitude toward war is one of