25 OCTOBER 1940, Page 1

Mr. Eden in Egypt and Palestine Air. Eden's journey to

the Middle East, where he has had consultations with General Wavell, the • Middle-Eaitern Commander, has visited Jerusalem, and been received by the Emir Abdullah of Transjordan at Amman, is important in more ways than one. First, public opinion has been impressed by the fact that Britain is no longer so pre-occupied with home defence that it cannot spare its War Minister to attend to the increasingly important military situation in the East Mediter- ranean. Secondly, Mr. Eden has been able to continue the Conversations which he had with General Wavell in England last August and study our Eastern defences on the spot. He has, morcover, had the opportunity of contacts with allies and friends of this country—Egyptians, Arabs, and doubtless also represen- tatives of Turkey and Greece. One could wish that he could extend his journey a little further and seize the opportunity to go on to the Turkish capital. His visit is not the only evidence of the importance which the British Government attaches to the Eastern Mediterranean front. During the last six weeks there has been a steady flow of powerful reinforcements thither. New Air Force units have arrived and are in action. The fleet is in such strength that tho Italians avoid action whenever possible, and have received some severe knocks. So far at least as the defence of the Suez Canal is concerned, Britain is ready for any attack that may be made by the embarrassed Italian army, already hampered by long and exposed communications.