(To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.)
Sin,—May I respectfully point to one or two other conclusions in addition to those reached in your article of February 27th, with which I heartily agree ?
Most people no doubt look at this ease mainly as a quarrel between China and Japan. Having been a member of the League Secretariat for twelve years, I look upon it as the test case that was bound to corns. "Can the League stop a Big Power that has got the bit in its teeth ? "
I never thought that the League could stop a Big Power at such moments by persuasion alone, nor apparently did the framers of the Covenant, -for they put in Article XVI, which
the British and other Governments signed. The Council, and I am ashamed to say -not least among them,,. the British Government, seems to think that the risk of applying Article XVI is greater than the risk of letting a Big Power defy the League and get away with it. There I beg to differ from them. I admit the risk, but I reckon it a risk as against a certainty— a certainty of war in which we shall all be involved—either this time or next time. Japan is no different froth other Big Powers ; they all go mad at times and to let things slide now is to give an open invitation to all and sundry to have a go and trust to luck. This is the test case ; so far the League has not accepted the challenge, at which I should have liked to have seen it fairly jump. It is not too late even now, but surely this is as favourable a ease on which to stand as any the League can hope to get. The next case may well be nearer home and the facts less abundantly clear.—! am, Sir, &c.,
Horsey Hall, Great Yarmouth, Feb. 28th, 1981.