19 JULY 1940, Page 3

erves About Morale

There are rather disturbing signs that the authorities who ke it their business to stimulate or sustain public morale er from more agitation of mind themselves than the pulace they are so solicitous about. The populace, in fact, eds no exhortations. With few exceptions the citizens of s country are as sound as a bell. They know what they are in ✓ and they are ready for it. The Prime Minister knows how talk to them a very great deal better than most of the morale- cialists sponsored by the Ministry of Information or the B.C. An anti-rumour campaign, no doubt, is all to the good thin limits, but it is utterly mistaken psychology to try and g the citizens of a democratic country by fines or prison tences for a loose or silly word or two that no sensible listener uld take the smallest notice of. A man of 74, with a blame- ss record, who had tried to join the L.D.V. in spite of his e, is sent to prison for a week for saying he had heard that e swastika would soon be flying over the Houses of Parlia- ent. A clergyman is sent to prison for a month for ringing s church bells on a Sunday morning in spite of the general oliibition. Disclosure of secret information is, of course, a tally different matter, but national composure must be in a bad v if a handful of garrulous nit-wits can endanger it. Even ay some fraction of the liberties we are fighting for must be eserved. Are we forbidden to discuss the possibility of ccessful invasion dispassionately with a friend?