The United States and Consultation SIR, —Mr. Noel-Baker's article is a
very great help, and it is especially welcome because there were very few leading articles about the debate. But the question whether we have a right to be consulted by America about the war in Korea seems to be still very obscure. Is it not a fact that at the time of the bombing raids to the Yalu river, Mr. Acheson said that he could not agree that we had a right to be consulted ? And at the present time there certainly seems to be a very strong feeling in America that we have no right to be consulted.
Perhaps the reason we have not insisted on consultation is that the matter is still being argued by eminent legal authorities, but it seems extremely dangerous not to put our case to the American people even if the legal right is doubtful. In the first place, if we abandon our claim to be consulted it means that we simply hand over our troops to. the Americans to be disposed of as their own. But our men are fighting for our way of life, and the whole point of our way of life is that we do have a say in our affairs, that we do insist on being consulted. Surely the Americans must see that our men are not slaves to be handed over to some other Power, not even to our best friends.
Secondly, it is extremely dangerous to drift on in the hope that the Americans will not go too far. Sooner or later we shall find our- selves in some impossible situation where we have to choose between going beyond the line we have drawn or leaving the Americans just when they are in a tight corner. I submit that we must insist on being consulted and that the time to say so is now.—Yours faithfully,
R. L. KITCHING.