22 MARCH 1946, Page 13


SIR,—Sir Christopher Robinson is probably right in believing that the essential purposes of Soviet Russia are less sinister than those of Hitler, but do such attempts to solve the riddle of the Russian mind make any difference to the expediency or otherwise of adopting the very policy (good old appeasement) which has already led the civilised world to disaster once and now, ironically enough, is being favoured by the very people who ridiculed the Chamberlain Government for not taking a firm line with the Nazi aggressors? It would really seem that such people have not learned the main lesson of European politics up to 1939, which is that the British people landed themselves and the world in a second, and altogether less necessary, world war through being bad psychologists. Even if one considers only those recent counts against Russian diplomacy which, being outside the range of speculation, are permitted to be mentioned in the public Press, surely no country in so short a time ever deliberately committed so many acts of offence toward another as has Russia against Britain in particular The Axis pre-war sinkings of our merchant ships by submarine in the Mediterranean seem pin-pricks by comparison. It is amazing that those people who rightly grew so impatient with Chamberlain's well-meant but misguided en- deavours to " understand " Hitler should now be telling us that the way to peace lies in patiently coaxing Russia out of her " fears " of Western capitalism (theoretical so far as we are concerned today) and her " suspicions " which are no endemic natural product but artificial and assiduously indoctrinated into the Russian masses by every device of propaganda which her rulers can command. When we add to this the fact that these rulers are also preaching a neo-Nazi legend of "encirclement" and realise in spite of it that of all her potential enemies the one which she evidently regards as the most deadly is—the truth, then the present reception given by the erstwhile realists of the Left to the warning given by " the first citizen of the world" is all the more extra- ^rdinary. What do they recommend? Another meeting of foreign

Ministers in Moscow? America, at any that to adopt any such course would be Yours, &c., rate, seems to have recognised to fiddle while Byrnes roams.— GEORGE RICHARDS. e. Blenheim, Mourn Pleasant Road, Pool