16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 16

* * * " Yes," he answered, " you see

the Americans are in a spiritual dilemma. They loathe war and they detest evil. They dread that the day may come when, unless they go to war, evil will triumph. They thus seek by every means in their power to reconcile their idealism with their isola- tionism. The German and the left-wing propaganda agencies have been quick to provide them with the excuses which their souls desire. They welcome anything which suggests to them that this is not in fact a clear-cut conflict between right and wrong, but some complicated `European' or imperialistic ' struggle for power ; that it is not an issue between democracy and tyranny, but the final struggle of capitalism in France and England. President Roosevelt's sharp and friendly snub to the Youth Congress last Satur- day will have done good. Since the sad thing about it is that even as they make these excuses, they know that they are not quite true."