28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 4


THE Home Secretary is among the Ministers who are shaping best, and he talked good sense last week about an Oswald Mosley meet- ing, or dinner, of which the popular Press—I suppose inevitably— made unnecessarily much. The price of liberty, as Mr. Ede emphasised, is eternal vigilance, and with fanatics about who are ready to pay £500 for a Hitler bust the case for vigilance needs no demonstration. But all sense of proportion need not be lost, as it palpably is when this hole-and-corner 18B reunion can prompt a Member of Parliament to urge that all political meetings should be notified to the police in advance. Vigilance, none the less, must be unrelaxed. There are types of persons who, finding no one else to dress them in a little brief authority, set about that business for themselves, and being incapable of wielding effectively any argument but force, substitute for reason and good citizenship uniforms and parades and violence. No recrudescence of the Fascist eruption that preceded the war can be tolerated. But any extensive middle- class unemployment, particularly among young ex-service men, might easily produce something disturbingly similar. If it does the Opposi- tion ought, in the nation's interest, to be as vigorous in denouncing and resisting it as the Government.