26 DECEMBER 1941, Page 9

Once we are agreed that the record of the American

and British Empires is marred by identical faults and follies, we can permit ourselves to notice, without self-righteousness, that it is also re- deemed by identical virtues. The character of each of the two Empires has been moulded by three identical beliefs—the belief in toleration, the belief in self-government, and the readiness to welcome varieties of type. I do not say that all of us have adhered to these beliefs ali the time, or that even today they find complete expression in either of the two Empires. Yet both in the United States and in the British Empire these beliefs have deter- mined the line of development, and continue to do so. The day will come when in each of our Empires the coloured races obtain full and untrammelled rights as free citizens. Meanwhile they are accorded the great benefits of law and order. The impartial investigator might conclude even that in these respects the British Empire had shown itself more progressive than the American Empire. Without question our theory is more scientific and con- scious than the American theory of Empire, since so many Americans fail to realise that they have acquired any Empire at all. The theory of " trusteeship " which the Americans have vaguely applied to the original owners of their country is, in our African colonies, the basis of a far more constructive programme ; we realise that our wards will one day come of age.