11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 22


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—It was quite comic to see, just under the splendid article by Miss Lindt in last week's Spectator, that you yourself had so little digested the purport of her message, that you called Britain " the most civilised nation in the world." Do you, Sir, measure civilisation in terms of " far flung battle lines, empires on which the sun never sets," telephones per too of the population, number of motors per mile of road, &c., or in terms of depth and width of education, absence of poverty and slums, Art and appreciation of beauty and truth? Surely the Scandinavians are far better educated than ourselves, both. as to poor and middle classes, and certainly they have a higher level of living among their poor. They have outgrown Imperialism, and seek the Great and the Good. The French are more appreciative of Art, and of Beauty, while even poor Japs will take a 5o mile train ride to see cherry blossom. To call Britain the most civilised nation is to sink into that hypocrisy of which Eva Lindt accuses us and to betray loose thinking about what constitutes civilisation.—