12 APRIL 1935, Page 18


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Miss Charlotte Cameron bases her advocacy of the restoration of the former German Colonies on the fact that she travelled through all of them in 1913. Apparently her picture of Africa in 1935 is the same as it was before the War, She sees " vast hinterlands of Africa, practically untrodden, of no benefit to anybody," and would allot them to "the dis- contented German to appease him and give him once more place in the sun," and because she believes that the former enemy of the Allies—who, she admits, " may sometimes have

treated their Natives with harshness '—•tnight thus be pre- vented from planning revenge.

There is no part of British East Africa at any rate, and pro- bably not of .British West Africa, which lies within economic range of railway or river transport, and which has the popula- tion and natural conditions to produce crops, which lies " practically untrodden, and of no benefit to anybody " ; and since Great Britain has repeatedly assured the Native in- habitants of Tanganyika Territory (formerly German East Africa) that their former masters would never be allowed to return and exercise domination over them, Miss Cameron's proposal, in so far as that country is concerned, would involve a clear breach of faith with those whom we have undertaken to protect.

If she had seen, as I did, the systematic brutality which during the East African Campaign the Germans inflicted upon their own Native subjects, and upon European, Indian, and African prisoners in their hands, she might realize that her plan would be tantamount to a gross betrayal. There is great public danger in the repetition by unthinking or uninstructed publicists of the question, " Why should not Germany receive back her colonies'? " I hesitate to inflict a lengthy reply upon you, especially as the April 4th issue of East Africa contains a leading article which supplies the answer from the East African standpoint.—Yours faithfully,

East Africa, Editor. 91 Great Titchfield Street, W.1.