1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 1

Will Events Take Charge ?

While the Notes that have passed between Berlin and London have quite rightly not been published, enough is known of their tenor to make it clear that Herr Hitler has his mind obdurately fixed on the attainment of two incom- patible ends the acquisition of Polish territory and the maintenance of friendship with Great Britain. The latter desire appears perfectly genuine, though no doubt it is dic- tated by self-interest as well. Fortunately, there is no sign that the British Cabinet has moved an inch from the position it has maintained throughout, and in that it is supported by the country as few British Governments have ever been in anything. The negotiations may yet ease the tension, though on a sober survey there is all too much reason to fear that events will take charge. It would be easier to estimate that likelihood if more were known of the recent implications of the Russo-German Pact. What harm Germany has got from it is clear ; what good she may get is not. The Pact may represent a new partition of Poland—though Russia has never since the Revolution shown herself acquisitive of territory ; it may simply giv;. Russia a free hand in Asia and Germany a free hand in Poland ; or it may have done no more than checkmate thz Anglo-French negotiations in Moscow. More light on that may be cast by M. Molotoff in his deferred speech to the All-Russia Council of Soviets this week. Meanwhile, Herr Hitler has created a directorate —consisting of Field-Marshal Goering, General Keitel, Herr Hess, Dr. Frick, Dr. Lammers and Dr. Funk—to administer Germany. The effect of this on Herr Hitler's own position may be far-reaching. Apart from Herr Hess, who has no administrative experience, the Council consists predominantly of relatively moderate men.