3 DECEMBER 1937, Page 22


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sta,—Your article " From Axis to Triangle " was very interesting and logical, but I disagree with your statement that the delay in trying to get a general European settlement is not our fault. I maintain that the present situation as regards Germany has been brought about through France and ourselves delaying year after year since 1958 to bring forward any general scheme for a settlement. We disarmed it is true, but France did not. No effort, however, has been made by either of us to remedy any of the offensive clauses of the treaty of Versailles. I do not count the half-hearted efforts at a partial disarmament. Anyway the latter gets nowhere and does not affect the status quo. A general settle- ment must include tremendous questions, of which Africa is one of the biggest.

It is futile and dangerous to suggest handing over a Colony here and a Colony there to Germany, who would probably at once start making air and sea bases and recruiting black troops. A much bigger vision in required, such as handing over colonies of all nations, not only ex-German ones, to be mandated under the League of Nations, with free trade in all of them and no coloured soldiers, except for police purposes.

But even this would not ensure a general settlement. This can only come about if Nations are prepared to give up their sovereignty in certain matters and agree to submit to an inter- national tribunal backed up by force. This will come about eventually, but until it does, you, Sir, the readers of The Spectator and the citizens of any European nation are liable any night to be bombed without knowing the reason why.—


Silver Birches, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Herts.

[Our statement referred only to the last twelve months and is not in any way at variance with what our correspondent justly says about the earlier post-War years.—En. The Spectator.]