18 APRIL 1952, Page 1

Eisenhower Decides

Now that Gerenal Eisenhower has at last asked to be relieved of his duties at S.H.A.P.E. in order to go home and stand for the Republican nomination, and now that he has been given the further encouragement of success in the New Jersey primary, a number of new questions about him must be asked and answered. One of them—the most important of all—is so elementary that it is almost embarrassing to have to ask it. What is his programme ? The coloured voters of New Jersey brought the subject up, partially but bluntly, before their State primary this week, by asking for his views on civil rights. They received the reply that the General could not, while still on duty in Europe, set out his position in detail on a big question like that. No doubt there will be more such answers, which are no answers, until June comes and General Eisenhower is at last free to campaign with all his might. For that reason the critical statement will be awaited with all the more interest. Perhaps even a serving General might have found time to make a short statement of his position on major issues before now. For instance, in the matter of civil rights he might 'have taken a leaf from the book of Calvin Coolidge and said "he was for them." But since General Eisenhower has not taken this course his statement of policy when it comes will have to be a very impressive one. At the moment all the world knows that he is an extremely able man, particularly in the organisation of large-scale enterprises; that he is whole- heartedly in favour of Western defence and has strong views on the need for European unity; and that a lot of people like him. It is not quite enough. For many American electors, intent on questions which are of purely local and even personal interest to themselves, it is far from being enough. General Eisenhower may stand aloof from the political arena for a long time, but that means that when he once descends into it he will have to pack a tremendous amount of action into a short fight.