30 SEPTEMBER 1938, Page 18

[To the Editor of THE SPEcrAroit]

SIR,—The critical factors in the European situation in your view seem to be the necessity of preventing German expansion, and of fulfilling obligations made to Czechoslovakia.

Do such principles, supported as they are by a sense of righteousness in all of us, take account of all the factors ? Is the prevention of Germany's aims or the promotion of European understanding our goal ? Is it clear that the former must precede the latter ? Are we to take the violent Press comments and the embittered speeches at their face values, or can we see in them the product of a state of insecurity, resentment, and disordered imagination which arises in individuals as well as in societies where embittered retaliation and distrust have underlain previous solutions of social or national disturbance ?

Is it too late to state in all humility that national boundaries which have been artificially formed as- a buffer under a sense of insecurity must be revised, and that in altering the arrangement of 1919 we are prepared to act in a co-operation of willing nations, relegating national jealousies, distrusts, and selfish economic strategies to their proper place ? It is all too easy to protest again German methods, and so difficult to confess our part in maintaining a state of national distrust which has tended to encourage such methods.—Yours faithfully,