10 MAY 1935, Page 26


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

Ein,—On Friday morning, May 5th, appeared reports pf speeches by three statesmen, containing passages holding .a promise of future understanding and peace that might well receive the concerted attention of all workers for peace.

First General Goering, whilst announcing Germany's accomplishment in having built so speedily an efficient air fleet, also stated that Germany was willing to enter into Air Conventions and was willing to scrap this fleet within two years if other Powers would do the same. Then Mr. George Lansbury asked if the Foreign Secretary would state whether the Government would be willing, in eon- junction with other governments, to abolish all aerial warfare —in Europe, in Asia, in Africa and everywhere else. Do we insist that we must retain the right to engage in aerial warfare at certain, places on the borders of the Empire ? ,

Thirdly, Sir -John Simon categorically confirmed the. attitude of the British Government as desiring complete- pro- hibition of military and naval aircraft, coupled with the effective supervision of civil aviation to prevent its misuse for military purposes. "That was the unqualified proi os:- tion by which the. Government stood." Thus, Sir J(..1i amplified his comments on aviation contained in his speech.

on the White Paper. — - - This proposal of the British Government was first stated in the Draft Convention placed before the Disarmament Con- ference by the Prime Minister in March, 1933, and confirmed in their note to the Powers in January, 1934. -

More than half the delegates to the Air Commission in 1933, including France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Jugoslavia and Turkey declared that to make complete air disarmament possible they wou:d accept a sound plan of internationalization. Schemes -for such '' supervision" have been prepared, including schemes for internationalizing civil aviation, but unfortunately, the Air Disarmament Conunission has not met since March, 1983.

Could not our Government implement their expressed desire for peace by pressing for the calling of • that Com- mission, with a view to arriving at a Disarmament Conven- tion, which by getting rid of Military and Naval aircraft would go a long way to removing the menace of war ?Yours