23 NOVEMBER 1962, Page 16

Boothby and Europe Lord Boothby Central Africa T. R. M.


No Licence to Kill

R. E. Hunter, 'General Practitioner'

Reporting Africa Colin Legunt, George Edinger New Money R. 0. Whiting Rare Excellence Trevetzen Peters The 'Spiegel' Case J. S. Rippier


SIR,—Mr. Henry Fairlie's violent attack upon this 'ageing and unsuccessful politician' demands an im- mediate reply : but his abysmal ignorance of the his- tory both of the European Movement and of the Council of Europe (which I do not remember him gracing with his presence) makes it difficult to know where to begin.

He says that the original idea of Western Union had no connection with the idea of a united social- democratic Europe; and that the idea of an East-West detente never formed any part of the campaign for European Union. This is quite untrue. When Sir Win- ston Churchill formed his United Europe Commit- ., tee, of which I was an original member, our main objective--to which he gave frequent expression— was the unification of Europe as a whole: and the same applied to the international European Move- ment. It was only when the flood-tide of Stalinist Communism was loosed upon the world, with the coup d'etat in Prague and the blockade of Berlin, that we were reluctantly compelled to lower our sights. Even so, there was a suggestion, seriously made, that seats for the missing delegates from the countries of Eastern Europe should be reserved in the Consultative Assembly at Strasbourg.

If Mr. Fairlie 'chooses to think that men like Pro- fessor Carlo Schmid, Herr Gcrstenmaier and the late Signor de Gasperi were embryonic 'authoritarians,' he is entitled to his foolish opinion. He now seems to think that, by smashing the constitution designed by himself, and—to all intents and purposes—abolish- ing Parliament, President de Gaulle has created 'work- able institutions' in France. But even be can hardly maintain that the handling of the Der Spiegel affair by Dr. Adenauer's Government has been either adroit or democrati. Does he now want both France and Western Germany to have 'independent' nuclear forces? If they do, the chances' of human survival will be slim indeed.

There remains the filthy personal smear against my- self. I have, he says; 'allowed myself' to become associated with two firms which 'are interested in ex- panding trade with East Germany.' This is another lie. I am a director of two consortia, consisting of highly reputable British engineering companies, which are interested in a general expansion of East-West trade. So far, our activities have been confined to Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. We have not touched East Germany for the very good reason that the West Germans have already collared 90 per cent. of this trade. I make no complaint—they have done it by sheer efficiency and drive. But I have been a consistent and life-long advocate of an expansion of East-West trade, because I sincerely believe it to be the best method of diminishing the rigours of the cold war. In January next I hope to accompany the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of which I am Chair- man, on a tour of. Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. No doubt Mr. Fairlie will then dub me a 'fellow-traveller.' He is welcome to do so.

As for To/vision, it is a company that has been formed, with a nominal capital, and with the technical assistance of IBM, to develop this kind of television, within this country and in co-operation with others, if and when the Government give it their approval. It has nothing whatsoever to do with East-West trade.

In conclusion Mr. Fairlie suggests that Western Europe no longer needs us, and that we no longer need the United States. Here again he is utterly wrong. An Atlantic Union, of which the United States must certainly take the leadership, is the essential prelude to the kind of international agreement which alone can save mankind from destruction.

Mr. Fairlie's article is, in short, a pack of untruths, deliberate distortions and false innuendoes, well spiced with malice. l am surprised that you have thought fit to publish it in the paper which, under the auspices and with the encouragement of the late St. Loe Strachey, I made my journalistic debut over forty years ago.

House of Lords, SW I


[Henry Fairlie writes:

'I am sorry that my piece should have hurt Lord Boothby personally, when it was intended only to do some damage to his views, as expressed in his first letter to The Times. Nothing he says in his letter persuades me that those views were not irresponsible and irresponsibly expressed.

1. Lord Boothby says that the main objective of the United Europe Committee, formed early in January, 1947, was "the unification of Europe as a whole.' The Annual Register for that year describes it rather differently: "Based upon the motto 'if Europe is to survive it must unite,' the professed object of this committee was to foster, in a way that Governments were unable to do, the formation of a European Union, hostile to none. . . . It was seized upon in Russian-inSpired circles as part of an anti-Russian campaign." The Annual Register also

„ points out that there was "bitter comment in Russia itself at the formation of the Committee. 'From the beginning, indeed, the Committee and

the movement were, whatever their professed objec- tive, among the bodies which most strikingly con- firmed the division between East and West, if they did not actually make it more rigid.

'2. This was, in fact, almost inevitable given the circumstances of their origins.

'Lord Boothby implies that "the flood-tide of Stalinist Communism was loosed upon the world. after the formation of the United Europe Commit- tee. This is hardly how things looked at the tune. The events which led up to the formation of the Committee included: in February, 1946, the arrest by the Canadian Government of a number of Rus- sian spies; increasing friction with Russia throughout February, over Iran, Manchuria and S.E. Fen:oee, Mr. Churchill's Fulton Speech in March; the widen- ing of the gap between the Soviet Union and the West in the Security Council in April; and so On, right up to Mr. Molotov's philippic of October 29, delivered at the United Nations Assembly, when he launched his attack on "aggressive imperialist circles" and the "warmongering" Mr. Churchill. It was the warmongering Mr. Churchill who two months later formed the United Europe Committee.—

when line across Europe was already clearlY


'3: I did not--and do not—deny that there were

at the time considerable social- and Christian-demo" cratic parties in Europe and considerable social- democratic figures. My point was solely that the United Europe Movement did not examine the political credentials of participating countries, in the way that he suggests we should now examine those of France and Germany.

'4. The Gaullist victories in the first ballot of the parliamentary elections this week do at least suggest a belief among a majority of Frenchmen (including those who abstained) either (a) that President de Gaulle is seeking to provide the country with

able and stable institutions or (b) that there is at present no alternative to him. As for the handling of the Spiegel affair, I can find no more to say' 'n defence of it than Lord Boothby. But the reactions to it amongst Germans—both politicians and the general public—at least give some grounds for eorr .fidenee in the growing stability of democratic leel-

ings in a country scarcely used to them. In both cases, I can think of nothing more disastrous than to force or allow France and Germany to become still tore introspective and isolated, still less open to outside (including British) influences. '5. As for the alleged "personal smear," there was

none. If the facts are as he now states them, one can only wonder that Lord Boothby did not replY 1° the far fuller criticism of his activities in Encounter. I still believe that the lending of a political name to "normal" trading activities with Eastern Europe does suggest a predisposition to support an insufficiently considered political accommodation with the Communist bloc. Otherwise, as Mr. •Waller asked in Encounter, why should the politicians be there' accompanying the trade delegations: for there is no doubt they are used by their hosts for political pur- poses. Anyhow, I must repeat that, far from there being any smear, I went out of my way to anticipate and _refute any possible implication that Lot Boothby's business interests involved anything nwre than the quite respectable (though, I think, wrong- headed) predisposition I have mentioned. In general, I would like to say this: througho"t most of my piece I emphasised the fact that whit puzzled me was that 1.ord Boothby's new views on Europe did not seem consistent with so much else that he has professed and still professes. His ConsisteneY in these matters has always been admirable' some of us have, over the years, benefited by its i

example. Perhaps there was something of aggrieve

d. isappointment in some of the words I chose : s°, it was only because I. along with others, expect s° much of Lord Boothby, when he writes and sneaks

seriously. I hit hard, 1 know, and I perhaps

c a little how to during my appearances with Iliirn n learned a Speech. But would, indeed, be sorry if I s° inaccurately that I hurt him personally.' —Editor,