22 JANUARY 1965, Page 8

No Bonn In the event, Mr. Wilson cannot be unhappy

that he has had to postpone his visit to Bonn. It might give him time to think. Anything he might have had to say has been clearly pre-empted by General de Gaulle and the German Chancellor did not demur. Clearly the Germans are unen- thusiastic about Wilson/Healey defence proposals in their present form. It is small consolation that anything the General proposes on defence is likely to be unacceptable. A wise Chancellor will delay any final choice between Washington and Paris as long as possible and he will probab:y get away with it, for the Germans are beginning to realise their own bargaining power. He will play along with Washington, but he will also play increas- ingly with de Gaulle. The worrying point is, where does he play with Britain? For with Paris there are other spheres for co-operation, and both the French and Germans know their final dependence on the American deterrent. Yet with London at present the common ground is strictly limited. The British government pursues a lofty Atlanticisin and an outdated concept of summitry that run counter to real developments in Europe. Germany watches the British scene very closely: she sees the chaos in the docks, the weakness of the pound, the export situation and very little resolve to do very much about them. Most of all she-sees the British refusal to recognise that Europe has come to stay. Economic and political union may pro- ceed slowly, but they still proceed. It is all too clear to the Germans that the British government regards this with a mixture of indifference and dis- pleasure. Until it changes its attitude, it will be hardly surprising if the Germans come to look at Britain in much the same way.