1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 1


THE one hopeful feature during this tense week has been the transition from loud-speaker oratory to diplomatic Notes. Herr Hitler has been, so far as the public is con- cerned, completely silent. His Tannenberg speech of last Sunday was cancelled ; his Nuremberg speeches of next week are cancelled ; a broadcast address to the nation was announced but not delivered; a speech to a number of Reichstag members was kept secret. Instead there have so far been three Notes to the British Government, and the interchanges, it appears, are to continue, unless some sudden conflagration in the east transfers activity from the diplo- mats to the generals. That war is not raging at this moment is due primarily to two causes, the unflinching firm- ness of Britain and France, and the quite astonishing restraint of the Poles. It is hard to see how this can be maintained, for German actions are such as in ordinary circumstances would precipitate immediate war. Danzig, the main subject of contention, is virtually in German—as distinct from Danziger—hands, as the result of a series of isolated acts, each of them a gross breach of both common law and specific agreements, like the occupation of the Polish railway station, the seizure of Polish property of all kinds, and the perpetual arrests of Polish officials ; and in the south the massing of German troops, reported to be of the number of 400,000, in the nominally independent State of Slovakia is a strategic menace of the gravest kind to Poland. In face of that Poland has felt it necessary to complete her mobilisation, an action which Germany, already mobilised, denounces as provocative.