12 JANUARY 1940, Page 15



SOME weeks ago I made an incidental reference in these 0 columns to the ease with which the conception of Federal Union has captured the hearts of the British and American peoples. I immediately received letters accusing me of snarling at a noble idea. It would seem that the Federal Unionists have already developed that excited sensi- bility which one associates with converts to a new religion, and that they hold that he who is not with them is against them. I am certainly not against them. I hope and believe that some pooling of political and economic sovereignty will be one of the few good things which will come out of this distressing war. I am not more against them than the British Medical Association is " against " a new cure for cancer. I share their aims. It is merely that I distrust panaceas, believing that there can exist no single or universal remedy for the varied evils of humanity, and knowing that the panacea habit produces flocculence of thought. Is it not, for instance, distressing to recall how many useful minds were deflected from reality, how much vital democratic time was wasted, by a refusal to regard the League of Nations as a duty rather than a pleasure? I hope that the same mis- take will not be made again, and that the Federal Unionists will not allow their flock to imagine that they have discovered a solution when in fact they have done no more than propound a most important riddle.

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