19 OCTOBER 1929, Page 2

On the same night in New York Mr. MacDonald attended

a dinner of the Council of Foreign Relations. In his speech he uttered perhaps the wisest words of his visit, for he described very boldly and frankly the depth of the traditional feeling in Great Britain about the Navy. Such an exposition would be a commonplace here, but in America it was an essential contribution to any analysis of the difficulties. He pointed out that the Navy was the very life of the British nation, since a month's effective blockade would starve the people. " Great Britain's Navy is Great Britain herself." He suggested that at home he might have to meet the criticism that he was taking too great a risk ; and then he added, " If there is any risk I am prepared to take it in the interests of peace." Exactly. In all such matters there is a choice of risks, and the risk which the Prime Minister is taking is far the smaller. Some of those who followed Mr. MacDonald throughout his visit and heard all his public speeches think that his efforts at his second appearance in New York were his best. This was strange as he was by that time very near a breakdown from exhaustion.