20 MARCH 1942, Page 12

Stn,—In reply to the letter by M:s. Tarr, published in

last week', Spectator, a few comments suggest themselves.

(t) Most of us have recognised that much is " rotten in the State o: Denmark." But fortunately most of us prefer other alternatives t( " defeatism " in the present, and hopeless pessimism concerning the future. " We fall to rise, are baffled to fight better " (and to learn to be better), sums up our attitude.

(2) The fact that such a letter can be published at all in this most fateful hour of our national fortunes scarcely suggests that we are the weaklings portrayed by your correspondent.

(3) Our past history has indeed been far from perfect, though others, besides ourselves, have seen some good that has justified our existence: " I am American bred, I have seen much to hate here—much to forgive, But in a world where England is finished and dead, I do not wish to live."

But, in any case, we are not fighting this war about Britain's past, but for the world's future.

(4) Is it not remarkable that "idiots" and " half-baked " as Mrs. Tarr describes us, led by fifth columnists, " as a charwoman said the other day," we still survive? For more than a year, in fact, we sur- vived whilst standing alone against the greatest of all military powers. Surprisingly indeed your correspondent opines that we " may in the end win the war satisfactorily." As no doubt we shall if we do not follow the example of France and lose faith in anything worth suffering for.

(5) No douot we nave in every class some dreadful people; we have also millions doing, and prepared to go on doing. their uttermost to . the end.

And are there really no signs that as " we have had no end of a lesson " we are not learning quite a lot, losing many illusions about ourselves assuredly, but gaining spiritually more than we are losing.

" The sins of omission are coming home thick and fast." Indeed S they are: upon many people cruelly. piteously. Let us not add, by

,word or example, the greatest of all such sins, the faithlessness, the P despair that must imperil our chance of victory, and destroy the hope of any true peace.—Yours, &c., THOMAS WILSON. St. Peter's Vicarage, Belsize Square. N.W.3.