20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 5

The question whether some immunity could be secured for London

from German bombers by a considered warning of some form of reprisals raises a triple question, psychological, strategic and ethical. Crude reprisal there certainly will not be, though a neutral, thoroughly urbane in his general outlook, has just observed to me, " I know what I should do if I were in a position to send as many machines over Berlin as Goering sends over London." What Mr. Victor Ca7Alet, on the other hand, has suggested is something quite different, viz., that Germany should be given a list of twelve German cities, with the intima- tion that for every night the indiscriminate bombing of London continues we shall concentrate attack on one of the twelve and reduce it to ruins. The assumption, no doubt, is that each of the twelve would have the strongest inducement to bring pres- sure on Berlin to change its tactics regarding London. But it is highly doubtful whether Hitler would worry seriously about what happened to Frankfort or Cologne if he seriously believed the bombing of London was achieving anything. On the whole I think sound sense was spoken by a man whose business it is to know more of these things than I do, and who declared he would never divert to the bombing of Berlin a single machine employed in smashing Hitler's invasion plans.