10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 20


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sm,—One of your correspondents recently referred to the Italian conquest of Abyssinia as "unashamed brigandage." How then will he describe our own annexation of the Sudan ? The two cases are absolutely parallel. Britain had to wipe out the disgrace of Khartoum, Italy that of Adowa. Only. mysticism and political intransigence prevent us seeing in Kitchener and Badoglio two genuine instruments for the accomplishment of national destinies. Myopia often stig- matises as barbarism that which history records later with pride.

Common sense and fairplay, once British characteristics, both demand that we " recognise " Ethiopia's change of masters. We shall have to do it eventually, with a bad grace.

Mr. T. S. Phillips, who also writes on this subject in your columns, is as obstinate as the Bourbons and as unreceptive, as wedded to his idols as Ephraim. Even now he will not admit that Sanctions were a mistake, and suggests we should continue to ostracise Italy until she acknowledges that our Midsummer Madness policy, which she defeated, was correct after all I Can anything be more extraordinary, to use a mild term, than such an unchanging attitude in face of adverse facts ? He loftily rebukes me for disrespect to the League of Nations, though it refused to administer Sanctions to the Japanese and Franco. He will doubtless scold the unhappy Chinese for ingratitude to Geneva which has done so much for them. Loyal to the end, he will still counsel Sanctions, when the portent of Shanghai is repeated nearer Pur doors.

18 St. Margaret's Road, Swindon. J. B. JoNEs.

[We cannot continue this correspondence.—En. The Spectator"