13 MAY 1943, Page 1

HE Prime Minister and the American President are meeting


once more at a dramatic moment ; it is enough to recall that ir. Churchill's last visit to Washington synchronised with the fall f Tobruk. Today the first-fruits—by no means all the fruits—of he more recent meeting at Casablanca are, being garnered. The African continent has been cleared of the enemy and cleared of war, xcept as a base for new conquests farther north. Von Arnim is a risoner, and with him 15o,00o of his men and all the equipment e has not succeeded in destroying. In these last weeks everything as gone not merely well but well beyond belief. Now the next step or steps on the road to victory wait to be taken. Some of them have been planned already ; some no doubt have not. Hence the need for, and the importance of, the Washington meeting. The subjects of discussion have not been announced and speculation on them serves no purpose. But one obvious conclusion can be drawn. The presence of Sir Archibald Wavell and other British and American commanders from India and China is evidence that atten- tion is being given to the eampaign against Japan. It was fully time. Developments in Burma in the last few weeks have been profoundly disturbing, and to no one can they bring greater dis- couragement than to our most gallant Chinese allies. The hoped- for reopening of the Burma Road is much farther off than ever, and farther west the Japanese are today less than twenty miles from the frontier of India. There is a situation here that needs to be firmly grasped, and the statesmen and soldiers at Washington should be regarding it as a major responsibility. No doubtthey are.