26 MARCH 1954, Page 3


When nto limit is complete13, inexcusable. House when the Prime Minister assured his questioners in the "ouse of Commons on Tuesday that the Government gives to Iltuestions of atomic weapons the predominant attention which obdeserves, he was stating what was, or should have been States viotts. When Mr. Dulles assured his questioners in the United __'Jtates that the policy of instant retaliation did not mean the wwhalscriminate dropping of atom bombs he was also stating b what the more responsible observers had already assumed to watchdogs the case. This is not to say that it is wrong for the public's misuse, to be on the alert for any sign of the hasty use, or ;isase, of these terrible weapons. But why is it that so many of b"‘.cse watchdogs, in Parliament and in the Press, always begin frY_ assuming the worst ? Is it absolutely essential to start ;um the premise that the present American Administration Winston up of blundering, trigger-happy morons and that Sir ninston Churchill and his colleagues are the kind of people '1,11.o cannot be trusted to maintain reasonable consultation . Was it necessary for Lord Hinchingbrooke to assume, even for the sake of argument that," for example, there might bo a Communist insurrection of insignificant proportions resulting in an atomic riposte by the United States which would be quite unwarrantable ? " Even the Opposition questioners, who at least had the doubtful excuse that the Opposition has right to whatever stick it can find to beat the Government, did not suggest. anything as discreditable to our allies as that. It is not difficult to imagine the outcry here which would follow any American suggestion of such murderous behaviour on the part of the British Government. Is it impossible for public spokesmen here to imagine how such suggestions in London must sound to ordinary, decent Americans, with the news of the Bikini hydrogen bomb test still fresh in their minds ?