22 FEBRUARY 1952, Page 18

Britain and Europe SIR,—I have followed with interest your informative

articles on the situation in Europe, but I must 'contest your comment last week on the crisis in the project for a European Army. You say : " No decision by the British Government can end this crisis of confidence. If France and Germany cannot solve the problem for themselves, nobody else can solve it for them." The fundamental motives behind the crisis are French fear of German domination, and German suspicion of French sincerity in offering Germany an equal place within the defence com- munity; there are other causes, but if these motives were absent there would be no crisis.

It is certain that if Britain were-to enter the European defence com- munity these fears and suspicions would be allayed. From among the many French deputies who implied in their debate that British participation would make all the difference to them, I quote only M. Faure : " Can we make Europe without Britain ? I refuse to believe it. There has been no lack of effort to bring Great Britain in, and these efforts will be continued." Likewise, the British counterweight would enable the Germans to look at such questions as that of the Saar from a different aspect. -If, therefore, the British were to partici- pate, by placing those troops which are already designated for the Continent within the European Army, we should be creating conditions in which the crisis of confidence could be solved. There would be no material cost to ourselves, and no change in the geographical disposition of our forces.

1 begin to wonder where our paralysis comes from. We seem content to wait until proposals are made elsewhere, and then turn them down with raised eyebrows. Complacent reiteration of our past leadership and our moral stature has taken the place of hard thought and decisive action. Can we not start this new reign with a new initiative in Europe, which can bring us so much good at so little cost ?—Yours faithfully,