10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 14

I myself agree with people such as Herr Hider and

Mr. Quincy Howe who contend that we are the most subtle of all propagandists. Italian propaganda is too strident ; German propaganda too gruff ; and French too intellectual. The still small Oxford voice of British propaganda does not attempt to dominate or to impose.; it seeks to persuade. Yet the difference between the British and the continental school of propaganda is more fundamental than one of mere method. Herr Hitler has himself indicated the true nature of that difference. He contends, in Mein Karnpf, that propa- ganda should appeal, not to the "so-called Understanding" (Verstand), but to emotion (Gefahl); and it cannot be denied that he has himself put this theory into practice. Yet emo- tional propaganda, powerful though it be at the outset, defeats its ends. The drug ceases with time to produce the required stimulus and ever stronger doses have to be injected In order to become more virulent, it has to be directed towards the lower emotions, such as fear, hatred and greed—which, I am glad to think, are temporary rather than durable springs of human action. British propaganda, in that it addresses itself to the reasonableness of the individual rather than to the impulses of the herd, has a more retarded but more permanent effect.