23 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 19

Sm,—In seeking for a basis of permanent peace, I find

that in both England and the United States there are many people advocating a federated Europe. Already in your columns attention has been called to the fact that federation did not prevent our own very bloody civil war. In fact, it was what that war was about. Federation has its uses, but too close a tie, when ideals and interests differ, is evidently no way of insuring harmony or of averting war.

I cannot help asking why another model that seems to be working, and standing severe test, is so seldom referred to in this connexion. I mean the British Commonwealth of Free Nations. The very looseness of that organisation is the key to its strength. It gives full play to common interests and ideals, while, at the same time, preventing individual differ- ences from throwing the whole out of gear.

Is it not possible to look forward to a Commonwealth of Free Nations grouped about a detached independent fact- finding body whose decisions would command trust ; not bound together by entangling alliances, which my own country will never enter, but by common ideals and a declared common purpose to attain and maintain justice between peoples?

Is is not possible to conceive of world conditions that would make the recent brutal appeals to force seem futile and inexpedient? What would be the result if a common purpose to maintain order and justice should abrogate treaties, and close ports in the case of appeal to force by a nation that claims to be a law unto itself? It is evidently foolish to expect parallel action from small nations whose borders are close to those of the offender, and unanimous action is not probable, but a Commonwealth of Free Nations, acting on parallel lines, would allow for such things, and could com- mand participation from the United States and other countries of the Western hemisphere. A closer federation would not.

The Kellogg Pact is dead, and is forgotten by most English- men, but the spirit that inspired it may give the world pre- ponderating power on the side of peace.—Very truly yours,

6o State Street, Boston, Mass. R. M. BRADLEY.