14 OCTOBER 1938, Page 1

NEWS OF THE WEEK C ZECHOSLOVAKIA continues to pay the price

of the peace which other countries enjoy. The areas occupied by Ger- many now exceed those demanded at Godesberg ; and purely Czech districts have had to be handed over owing to their strategic and industrial value to Germany. The International Commission has proved a farce, except as an efficient instru- ment for registering and granting Germany's demands. The number of refugees from the occupied areas is estimated to be between 250,000 and 5oo,000. They include Czechs, German democrats and Jews, and their flight is intelligible after Herr Henlein's declaration last week that his late adversaries should be imprisoned " until they turn black." The flood of refugees has, naturally enough after the ruin of the democratic regime, aroused strong racial prejudices in Prague which, wholly unable to give the refugees a home, is preparing to co-operate with Germany ideologically as well as economically. A people which was, and desired to remain, free has bean forced t6 accept slavery to German ideals by the peace of Munich ; 20,000 of the refugees have been driven back into the Sudetenland at the point of the bayonet. Less than a fortnight after the Munich conversations it is impossible to discover any vestiges of justice or honour in the peace praised by the Prime Minister as honourable and the Archbishop of Canterbury as just. Such words have lost their meaning. The sufferings of the refugees are dis- tressing, and the sympathy so widely voiced in this country has not been translated into action on the scale that might have been expected. A Lord Mayor's Fund still below £70,000 is nothing to be proud of. One newspaper, the News Chronicle, is to be congratulated on having raised £32,000.