12 JANUARY 1940, Page 15

In the thoughtless little book which Mr. W. B. Curry

contributed on this subject to the Penguin Series, many most relevant questions are dismissed as " mere matters of detail " or " doctrinaire." I feel that it would be of advantage if the Federal Unionists were to pay a little more attention to details, since details may constitute the submerged reefs upon which their fine ship may founder. It would be an excellent thing, as I have suggested above, if the more acute and experienced minds who are examining Federal Union were to approach the problem a little more inductively and a little less deductively. It would be interesting, for instance, were some research worker in the fold to take a single commodity, such as copper, and to trace how such a com- modity, and its consumers, would fare under either an Atlantic or a European Federation. It would be valuable also if greater attention were given to the problem of seces- sion. I see that in the official organ of the Union Mr. Patrick Ransome boldly announces that no right to secession can be allowed. Once a nation has taken its vows it remains bound for ever. I should wish to see this problem examined in connexion with a regional difficulty, such as Danish agri- culture or the immigration laws of Australia. What happens if Denmark or Australia refuses to obey the Federal Authority? By using such detailed and inductive methods of argument, the Federal Unionists would dispel many doubts and fortify further loyalties. And they should remember always that it was not cynicism which killed the League of Nations: it was optimism.