13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 5

The criticisms which have been directed in some quarters against

Sir Robert Vansittart's Empire broadcasts on Germany seem to me unjustified. It is satisfactory in any case that scope is being found somewhere for the undeniably great abilities of the Chief Diplomatic Adviser to His Majesty's Government. Sir Robert's thesis, as the reprint of his broad- casts in the Sunday Times indicates, is that Germany has throughout all history shown herself brutal, aggressive and tyrannical towards other nations. That is indisputable his- torically. It was true of Frederick the Great—to go back no further—it was true of Bismarck, and his "blood and iron," and his deliberately fomented wars; it was true of the Kaiser, and it is true, in an exaggerated form, of the Germany of Hitler. To Sir Robert's argument that while a German may be one of the best of people, Germans as a whole have always shown themselves intolerable and impossible, and that unless there is real evidence of a spiritual change in them, there is no hope for Europe, I see no answer. It is an unpleasant truth, but a great deal more harm than good is done by ignoring it, Whether from sentimentality or any other cause. The first thing is to recognise it and then see how to deal with it.