6 SEPTEMBER 1946, Page 13


Sut,—Very opportunely does Mr. Harold Nicolson, in his Marginal Comment in your recent issue, remind our public opinion of the success of the mighty engine of German propaganda in destroying the Peace Settlement of 1919; in effect, in reducing, one after another, every British position on the Continent of Europe until we entered the war of 1939 without a single friend or true well-wisher," in contrast with our great prestige in Europe, in America, when we entered the war of 1914. Mr. Nicolson might well have added to his list of German suc- cesses the success of the German General Staff in 1935 in persuading our Cabinet and our public opinion that already in that year the German Air Force was the equal of the British, with all the disastrous conse- quences of the coup in 1938. The facts were that the German Air Force did not attain parity with our own until the end of the year 1937.

The period between the two wars was significant for the insidious attacks which developed with almost mathematical precision on those of our Foreign Secretaries who manifested a disposition of any kind to hold Germany to her obligations under the Treaty of Versailles, to stand in the way of German aspirations. In this connection we should do well to recall the warning delivered by Lord Grey of Fallodon at the annual banquet of the Royal Institute of international Affairs, in July, 1930, as to all the importance which attaches to the Foreign Secretary in relation to our national security—in other words, the truth that if that control comes to be put out of gear, as it was put out of gear in the years immediately preceding 1939, there is nothing which can prevent our ship of state from meeting with disaster.—I am, Sir,