27 JANUARY 1939, Page 14



THE only thing which I have in common with Napoleon is an almost morbid interest in the part played by chance in human destiny. How dull, in truth, are careers (such as that of the younger Mill), which are due to deliberate parental planning ! How fascinating are those vicissitudes in which the fortuitous has proved a determining factor ! Much has been written about Dr. Schacht during the last week, but insufficient stress has been laid upon that wire-thread of chance, almost of coincidence, which runs through the tapestry of his career. But for chance, Hjalmar Schacht would today be a Dane. But for chance, Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht would today be an American citizen. His grandfather was a medical officer in the service of the Danish Government. His father, after 1864, emigrated to the United States where he was naturalised. Had Bis- marck not seized the Duchies, had not Hjalmar's father failed to make good in the United States, it is questionable whether Field-Marshal Goring could have financed the " first epoch of German rearmament." It was almost a coincidence that Schacht was born on German soil and that the traces of his foreign origin should have lingered only in his strange Christian names : —" Hjalmar," reminiscent of the rape of the Duchies; " Horace Greeley," reminiscent of the founder of the first New Yorker.