26 FEBRUARY 1954, Page 4

It was said twice in this journal, first while the

Berlin conference was still in progress and then at its ending, that the real question was, and would continue to be, not whether Western Germany would rearm but how. The Foreign Secretary affirmed this as he opened the debate on Wednesday. It was in effect the fulcrum of his speech. And there is no longer any doubt about the framework within which Western Germany should be rearmed. In that it openly demonstrated the present impossibility of coming to any terms with the Russians other than their own on the unification of Germany, the Berlin conference served a useful purpose. A neutralised' Germany would be a large tit-bit for the Communist anaconda. The leaders of the Labour Party support the Government's reso- lution. Mr. Morrison and Mr. Eden are at one: But it was a near thing for the Labour .leaders • -for all but half of the Parliamentary party are still shaking in the grip of their misgivings and would prefer to retire into wishful thinking You cannot paper over a chasm, said Mr. Eden about the doubletalk which characterised much of the negotiations in Berlin when both sides used the identical terms in antithetical senses. Mr. Morrison made a good shot at it on Wednesday when he pledged the Opposition's support for a West German contribution to European defence. It was a splendid perfor• mance, and a responsible one, but it could not conceal the width of the chasm which has opened up in the Labour Party' and into which a good many people may tumble before all is done. The Labour Party is uneasily committed to EDL, and the Bevanites grow stronger. There are fierce struggles ahead.