19 JULY 1940, Page 2

The Democratic Platform

Mr. Roosevelt's adoption makes the Convention " platform," and in particular its declarations on foreign policy, less im- portant than they might have been, for the President enjoys sufficient prestige and possesses sufficient strength of character to put his own interpretation on it. Otherwise the tendency of the Convention to compromise at any cost would be dis- quieting. A paragraph in the version of Mr. Bankhead's " key- note " speech circulated in advance, embodying a declaration of " the deepest sympathy with the British Commonwealth in its struggle for life," and a desire to furnish the Commonwealth with every material assistance short of war, was significantly absent from the speech as actually delivered. The platform as a whole represented an attempt, only partially successful, to conciliate the die-hard isolationist minority which exists in the Democratic Party no less than in the Republican. But the plain fact is, as every delegate must have recognised in his heart, that with the international situation changing so rapidly and unpredictably, it is idle to suppose that a candidate fighting in September and October can be bound by any declarations his party may put on record in July. The Democrats are fortunate in being represented by a candidate capable of handling the situation of the moment, whatever it may be, with so much ability and sagacity as Mr. Roosevelt can be counted on to display.