22 AUGUST 1941, Page 12


Sta,—In a pilot's story given on the front page of the News Chronic:: of August 14th occurs this passage: " The moment we got into Germany some of the lads beg blowing off everything hey had. One of us set a cornhe ablaze. We machine-gunned a mansion. We fired at even.

thing moving saw."

While this seems some way from the idea of the military objective, it is uncomfortably close to some of the exploits of our enemies, such as that of the German airman who machine-gunned and killed the little Polish goose-girl among her birds, and the doings in Abp;. sinia of which Vittorio Mussolini wrote with such relish. Many people will hesitate to suggest the smallest shadow of criticism of the young men to whom our cause owes so much, and this very naturally. But those who have watched with horror the debasing of the human coinage, the tall or ever} standard, which the Nans have accomplished, feel strongly that our cause is bound up with the resolve to 'dig our heels in and ref use to begin to slide down the slope which ends in the mire of Nazi methods. From the context of the passage quoted it is obvious that the aeroplane-crews wen mad with excitement, rather than deliberately sadistic, and one word from the proper authority would prqbably stop the tendency. Will it be spoken, or must we see the poison of our day infect even those of whom the nation is so passionately and so justly proud?—Youn