2 OCTOBER 1942, Page 1

General Wavell's Survey

General Wavell's review of the war situation bad that ring of sagacity and steadiness which one associates_ with his published words. His glance omitted none of the fronts, actual and_prospec- rive ; though he spoke, of course, with most authority about the Eastern and the North African. Regarding the latter, he said that the results of the fighting there had been " the most disappointing Of the war this yeitr." If that means that as cc spared with the loss Of Malaya, Singapore and Java, they were more contrary to what on a fair reckoning might have been reasonably looked for, the verdict will perhaps stand ; and it must be remembered that in some measure North Africa absorbed—and did not reward—the forces that might have lessened defeat further east. General Wavell com- pared the present situation of Japan to that of a boa-constrictor, which has just swallowed a large goat and needs time to digest it. In these circumstances he doubted whether she would attack either Australia or India. His forecast has sent up the price of Indian securities on the Stock Exchange, and may have a wider influence on the course of Indian opinion ; for there can be no doubt that expectation of a Japanese conquest underlay the action of many Congress leaders, and not least that of Mr. Gandhi himself. Mean- while Japan's recent withdrawals in China point to her concentrating for a new stroke somewhere else ; and if not against us, will it be against Russia? One would like to see simultaneous offensives against Burma and New Guinea, which would force her to hold her hand. A larger measure of American assistance in both these directions would appear desirable.