22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 3

* * * * The Question of Colonies The correspondence

that has broken out afresh in The Times on the subject of German colonies is adding, and could add, little to a discussion that was long since worn thread- bare. The sound middle course has been taken by Lord Astor and Lord Allen. Nothing could have been more unfortunate than the incident which caused the recrudescence of the correspondence, the action of the Conservative Con- ference in laying it down, without a voice being raised, or apparently a vote cast, in opposition, that never in any circumstances should the status of any ex-German colony be changed. Lord Astor is abundantly right in insisting that no door must be thus barred and bolted. The question of Germany's former colonies must be faced squarely at the right time, and the right time is when other questions, like Germany's readiness for international co-operation through the League of Nations (perhaps reformed in some respects), and her acceptance of a general disarmament agreement, are being faced too. To concede Germany's demands one by one because she makes them in reliance on her restored strength would be a fatal policy. When we can agree with Germany on what kind of world colonies are to exist in, we can agree what the regime for colonies, not necessarily only ex-German colonies, should be.

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