14 JUNE 1969, Page 26

Now that the ball is over

Sir: Here we are, one-half century into the totalitarian age, and Mr Roger Franklin (Letters, 23 May) seems to have learned nothing. He still believes that a world war can be averted by appeasement and sur- render (preferably the other fellow's sur- render). How does he think we have escaped a nuclear war? Which one of us would have bet in 1949 that we would get to 1969 without one? Yet there has been no nuclear war, nor has totalitarianism advanced markedly—it has been contained so resolu- tely that the younger ones among us may expect to see a world in which it does not exist.

I do believe that the surrender of the Czechs brought a world war closer, because it encourages the totalitarian powers to try the same thing elsewhere. No one can blame the Czechs for not fighting—but they can and do blame themselves. I do believe that the defence of Vietnam has helped to post- pone a world war, because it has discour- aged the natural totalitarian instinct to expand. This instinct, if unchecked, must lead to a general war, because there are some nations which will not bow. England has proved she is among that number. So, I hope and trust, would the United States be.

Incidentally, Vietnam is not utterly devastated, as Mr. Franklin thinks. On the contrary the country is more prosperous than ever before.

Aryeh H. Samuel 708 Ames Ave., Palo Alto, California