30 SEPTEMBER 1938, Page 18

[To the Editor of Tim SPECTATOR] Sta,—The article of Christopher

Hobhouse in last week's issue of The Spectator sets forth the ideals of young men of a particular type in face of the present crisis ; if his generalisation had been based upon a wider survey, a horizontal rather than a perpen- dicular cross-section, his conclusions would possibly have been less dogmatic. His taunt of those, who by no fault of their own are older, whose attitude is, in his imagination, different and worse, is scarcely fair. Those who faced the agony of 1914-18 may not greet the possibility of war as a great adven- ture ; they do know that war settles nothing rightly. As for ethical judgements, these are not the monopoly of youth. There may be clearer perception of these on the part of those who hesitate to feign unconcern for consequences, knowing that the direct, though not the indirect, demands of war will not be made upon them.

There is one portent in the present situation that is significant. The women upon whom the brunt of sacrifice, anxiety, and suffering would come in war, so far as observation in a limited area is valid evidence, are today as positive in their antagonism to and denunciation of war as Mr. Hobhouse is positive that the young people of his generation are of another way of think- ing. Whether this mood would survive a strong surge of patriotism is another matter. Those who remember the last war will be aware that this is a new portent—Yours truly,