2 OCTOBER 1942, Page 13

trust you will maintain your vigorous opposition to the Conserva-

tive Party's Compulsory Youth Scheme. For a party which is the first to protest against State control, to oppose compulsory fuel rationing, &c., such a proposal comes ill. In fact, it is only explicable in terms of trying to control youth because it fears it. For what grounds are there for deeming such compulsion necessary? Our youth is not a body of delin- quent degenerates. Having had the privilege of looking after some of the Dunkirk wounded, I can testify at first hand that they are as fine a generation as ever.

What youth requires are opportunities for work, the abolition of un- employment and malnutrition, adequate educational and recreational facilities ; given these, it will look after itself (and us again) without any more compulsion than it has required to date. For compulsion also implies the inclusion of many talented individuals who have much to give individually, but have no taste or ability for the types of activities envisaged,, so succinctly described as 'designed to make us into militant apes.

Finally, we are assured that we have survived the dangers of this war in a way no other nation would have, and are likely to outlast the Axis because of the inherent strength of being individuals . and not mere numbers in a crowd. If this is correct—as I. believe it is—why should we so eagerly wish to imitate not only what we dislike about Fascism, but what we consider its weak point? However, if the assumption is correct, then mercifully if we do imitate it we shall perish in due course