19 MAY 1950, Page 5


THERE has been a particularly distinguished party of Germans at Wilton Park this week—officials of the Federal Govern- ment at Bonn, Ministers of various Land Governments, editors of important papers, trade union leaders, a Bishop or two, Professors ind so on. Wilton Park, as most people know, continues under the general auspices of the Foreign Office, the admirable work done during the war in acquainting picked parties from the prisoners of war with the principles on which British public and Parliamentary life is based. There are lectures by high civil servants and authorities like Lord Lindsay, Mr. Harold Nicolson and Mr. R. C. K. Ensor, and last Friday evening was devoted to a kind of brains trust in which representatives of the weekly Press posed for the occasion as the possessors of brains. What was interesting was not their answers, but the visitors' questions. One subject in which they naturally showed deep concern was the Schuman proposal ; another was the Council of Europe, regarding which they clearly regarded the British attitude as deplorably lukewarm ; they wanted to know whether in Britain as in Germany thoughtful readers of the weekly Press were diminishing in number (the answer was in the negative) ; they asked searchingly about dismantling ; and a very pertinent question was put about whether the mainly intelligent young men now doing military service in Germany interested themselves in German problems and educating opinion at home about them ; it was difficult to give an affirmative reply to that. Having taken part in that kind of discussion at Wilton Park more than once, I am increasingly impressed by the value of it. It is, of course, the Germans' opinion on that that matters, not mine ; but there was little doubt what their opinion was this time.

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