15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 22

Shorter Notices

One King : A Survey of the Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire. By Derek Tangye. (Harrap. 12s. 6d.) THIS is a good book and one that is much needed, for the general ignorance of our own people about our Dominions and Colonies is astounding and, indeed, fraught with danger to the British Com- monwealth. As recently as the year 1906 it was possible for a prosperous resident of Dundee to welcome an Australian lady from Melbourne with the words, "It must be a surprise to you to see such a great city." The dear lady was quite unaware of the fact that Melbourne covered an area of about 3:25,000 acres as against Dundee's 9,000, and had a population of about a million as against Dundee's little more than a quarter of a million. The two wars have dispelled much but by no means all of this ignorance, and Mr. Tangye's book, with its mass of facts most skilfully presented, should do more, and ought to be in every home throughout the United Kingdom. Mr. Tangye has been exceedingly well briefed and he has contrived to cover his vast subject adequately and yet avoid dullness by an unerring selection of essentials. He tells us just what we want to know and, most important of all, he under- stands the point of view of the Dominioner or the Colonial. He writes as an enlightened Englishman who appreciates that the Empire is a whole, and that England without the Dominions and Colonies is like a trunk without limbs. In spite of all the precious individual differences which add virtue to this great organic Society it has a living unity because it shares a common tradition rooted in our history for the past thousand years. It is also changing under the eyes of the world, as every living thing does, and so it is impor- tant that we should become more and more fully aware of what so vitally concerns us. This book will do much to make us so.