26 FEBRUARY 1954, Page 4

The ordinary man will agree with the Archbishop of York

that all weapons of mass destruction ought to be condemned, but in fact until Russia changes its whole attitude to the rest of the world such arms will be cherished. This is the world we live in and these are the facts of life. Once there was vague feeling that atomic bombs would not be used. The change in the climate of Opinion was illustrated well by the blunt terms employed in the Defence White Paper in the sections on atomic weapons and the ease with which tilt country assimilated the statement: " We intend as soon at possible to build up in the Royal Air Force a force of model bombers capable of using the atomic weapons to the fullest effect." Those who build our defence. must plan for the worst that is for a war which opens with a mutual bombardment with atomic bombs, a war in which there would be no adequate defence against these and similar weapons, a war in which victory would go to the side that could drag itself first out oi the wreckage. It is a hideous prospect but there is no alternative to facing it. President Eisenhower has fa'ce..1 and the result was his Message to Congress last week callati for wider co-operation with America's allies in the matter 01 atomic information. The British Government is facing it. 11; the Defence White Paper and the Air Estimates show. And the man in the street, when he too faces it, need not be too despondent. Those things are done that have to be done,. and if they lead, as they may well do, to a situation in which neither side would dare to start a war, so much the better. This was the argument put forward recently in two persuasi elY optimistic broadcasts by Sir John Slessor. This is what Sit Winston Churchill meant when he said that " the annihilatini character of these agencies may bring an utterly unforeseeablt, security to mankind." This is what the man in the street