26 JULY 1940, Page 6


IT was George II, I think, who said of his generals that he didn't know what effect they had on the enemy, but they frightened him. In a very different way the Prime Minister frightens me—badly. His dominance over every other figure on the political stage in this country is now such that there is a danger of the national cause depending on his personality far more than it ought to on any single man's. Dorothy Thompson, in the very striking Canadian broadcast which the B.B.C. arranged for us to hear on Tuesday, was perfectly right in depicting him as the embodiment of the cause of righteousness, no less than Hitler is of the cause of evil. His courage and confidence put heart into every man and woman and child in the land, his humour and his faultless verbiage make his every intervention in the House of Commons decisive, and above all he reveals at every turn his instinctive understanding of the temper of the common man. In that supremely important quality none of his colleagues comes near him. Mr. Morrison and Mr. Bevin appeal effectively to the wage-earners, and that is of vital importance, but the Prime Minister's words go home to the hearts of men and women of every class from castle to cottage. He carries almost intolerable burdens, including a second-class Cabinet, on his back. Where the nation would be if that back broke it is almost terrifying to think.