6 MAY 1938, Page 6


THE indignation of Mr. Herbert Morrison and Mr. Lloyd George at the Prime Minister's reference to President Roosevelt's comments on the Anglo-Italian agreement in the House of Commons on Monday are really a little far- fetched, in spite of the air of austere virtue with which their reproofs of Mr. Chamberlain were charged. "A state- ment that is really a misrepresentation of the President's statement," declared Mr. Morrison, adding severely "he ought not to have done it." "Someone must have misled the right honourable gentleman [Mr. Chamberlain]," said Mr. Lloyd George, "because I am sure he would not have wished to mislead the House." Now what did the Prime Minister, in fact, say ? He said :

"The Press of Europe, with hardly an exception, has given a sincere welcome to this agreement ; and it will not have escaped the attention of hon. members that the President of the United States has expressed his sympathetic interest, and considers that this affords proof of the value of peaceful negotiations."

And what had President Roosevelt in fact said ? He had said : "It [the U.S. Government] does not attempt to pass judgement on the political features of accords such as that recently reached between Great Britain and Italy, but this Government has seen the conclusion of the agreement with sympathetic interest because it is proof of the value of peaceful negotiations."

Where is the misrepresentation ? It does not conspicuously help good relationships to suggest that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is misrepresenting the President of the United States.