1 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 20


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sur,—There is no need to stress the importance of sending in this difficult hour the right man as Viceroy to India, when Lord Irwin's term ends. Several names have been mentioned : the decision has yet to be made. It is one which needs courage in addition to prudence, imagination as well as official discretion. A man with experience of great affairs is needed. Indians should be allowed to feel that the Empire is lending them of its best. Delhi ought to be able to give help to Whitehall—help and guidance.

Why does not the Prime Minister exercise his imagination and invite General Smuts to take the office ? He has the qualifications, he is a world figure, he is a great humanist. The one blot on his record, that unhappy effort to justify the inclusion of pensions in the German War Indemnity Bill may be forgotten. He has in all else proved himself a modern, an internationalist, a prophet of comradeship in the largest sense—and therefore a man peculiarly well suited to handle the problems which will face Lord Irwin's successor. I can think of few events which would help us more to straighten out the Indian tangle than the offer of that succession [We like Mr. Fyfe's suggestion. Some time ago in the Spectator a similar proposal was made. We suggested that a proof of British Commonwealth solidarity would be to appoint leading statesmen from the Dominions to other Dominions. Why should Governors-General in the past always have been taken from Great Britain and Ireland ? Why could we not have a kind of general post ? For instance, Sir Robert Borden might be sent to South Africa, General Smuts to India, Mr. Bruce to Canada, Mr. Tim Healy to New Zealand, and so on. But apart from personalities we think that it is essential that the best available man, whoever he is, in the British Empire should succeed Lord Irwin.— En. Spectator.]