22 AUGUST 1941, Page 4


DISCUSSION of the Eight-Point peace-aim programme must inevitably bring up the question of the future of the League of Nations—which Mr. Churchill has always supported and to which many prominent American statesmen have always referred with marked sympathy. Mr. Winant, of course, was till he came to London Director of the International Labour Office. There must obviously be an international organisation to carry out the Eight-Point programme and it is the fact that the League of Nations Covenant contains everything or practically everything embodied in that programme. In spite of that there may be good reasons why the League should be abandoned and some new body created. But a good many people who take that view seem to rely on one thoroughly bad reason. The League, they say, has failed—as if that settled the matter finally. It is perfectly true, of course, that the League has largely failed—after attaining considerable success. But what move for peace since 1918 has not? The Washington Disarmament agreements failed after succeeding for fifteen years. Locarno failed. The Kellogg Pact failed. Everything failed. If initial failure is to be accepted as decisive the con- clusion is not that we give up the League but that we give up any attempt to organise peace at all. Any organisation on Eight-Point lines is bound to resemble the League closely, and it would seem on the face of it sound sense to adopt and adapt machinery already existing instead of scrapping it and constructing in place of it something different that is very much the same.