31 JANUARY 1941, Page 5


IF, as seems certain, President Roosevelt appoints Mr. John Gilbert Winant to succeed Mr. Kennedy in London, he will be taking a step that can evoke nothing but sausfaction. Mr. Winant is the kind of American whom Englishmen instantly like. He is of simple tastes, of pleasantly rugged appearance, and of obvious sincerity, slow of speech—sometimes almost inarticulate. There is no doubt where his sympathies lie ; he cares for ordinary people, for the betterment of their conditions, for progress by democratic methods. He fought as an airman for the Allies in the War of 1914-18; he fought for reform in his State of New Hampshire (of which he was three times Governor, a very rare distinction); he fought for the establishment of social security throughout the U.S.A., even resigning his chairmanship of the Social Security Board to oppose the leader of his own political party, Mr. Landon, when as Presidential candidate he attacked the New Deal; as Director of the International Labour Office, the first American citizen to occupy that unique post, he has fought hard and successfully for its preservation despite the war.

He is a man of means who came by his wealth almost by chance; he values his money rather for what it enables him, as a politician, to do for others than for what it enables him to win for himself. He is a student as well as a .politician; his particu- lar ideal, whom somehow his appearance recalls and whose phrases find an echo in his own less fluent speeches, is Abraham Lincoln. He is a man of charm, of courage and of integrity. He knows and likes this country, and his experience in Geneva has given him unusual opportunities for knowing Europe—and European strata with which professional diplomats are often unfamiliar.

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