15 APRIL 1938, Page 19

[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR]

Sia,—As one who has to stand aside from active political work but who hears a good deal of political discussion I would like to thank you for your article entitled " Justice for Germany." In my judgement it is of vital importance that we should keep before our minds, irrespective of the demands of the moment, the principles of a just and generous world settlement. There is an obvious temptation, into which most of our political leaders seem to fall, to concentrate on the need for force. The Government emphasise the safety of the Empire ; the Opposition stress the doctrines of collective security and resistance to the aggressor. Both sides pay some regard to the need for appeasement but I recall no •speech from a leader in the recent debates which attempts to examine the situation in even so much detail as your short article.

I know that it is the fashion to say that no concessions must be made to Germany because she will regard them as tribute to her strength and forcible methods. This I regard as unsound doctrine. It is true that we may have to pay the penalty of misconception if we do now what we ought to have done years ago. But the situation remains that we are a great possessing Power, necessarily the object of envy to others. For us, the fundamental question is whether or not we are, as you suggest, to make sacrifices for the kind of settlement which may help to build world peace. For us, as a nation and, therefore, as individuals, this is a matter of right and wrong-as Mr. Keynes has recently urged us to recognise.

Some of us would have far more confidence in the govern- ment and would support rearmament less reluctantly if we could feel satisfied that the Government had some such moral basis for its policy. We need a world policy, not private bargains with individual dictators and you can do us no greater service today, Sir, than by helping to formulate the details of such a policy. I, for one, shall not he satisfied till I see the Government pursuing a positive peace, based on general principles, with as much fervour as they show for increased