30 DECEMBER 1972, Page 5

Unacceptable surrender

On January I this country creeps, unwillingly, like a snail, into Europe. Neither the supporters nor the opponents of the Continental Policy have yet fully grasped the profound reluctance °f the Steps that now, under political duress, are being made. The Welsh, the Scots and, above all, the English are being forced into a supranational system which spits contemptuously upon their 'histories 'and traditions. Mr Heath, whipping through Parliament the European Communities Bill, demonstrated the force of bis will. It is doubtful whether any other Politician could, or would, have done what he has done. The Prime Minister has not only proved, to himself and to the rest us, the strength•of his angry will: he has also demonstrated his ignorance of, and• contempt for, the people he rules. That C?ntempt may be justified by the present apparent triumph of his 'Continental Policy; but his ignorance will be rewarded with the contumely of the people„ who, if they are to keep their national identity, sooner or later will vomit out the foreign /natter of the policy with which Mr Heath has force-fed them.

Our accession to the Treaty of Rome and the associated treaties 'is a formal act of surrender. No fanfare for Europe can, or Will, disguise from the great majority of the public the nature of that which is being celebrated by a minuscule minority of the satne public. There is no doubt, even now, before the first note .'has been blown, that the fanfare will be totally out of tune. The FestiVal of Britain 'may have had Its foolish aspects, but at least Herbert Morrison was attempting to celebrate not only a national survival but also a national revival; Mr Heath's Fanfare for Europe, a lilliputian paean for a brobdingnagian folly, commemorates instead a national disaster. The Romans conquered Britain, but left lit far less influenced than Latinised Europe; it never occurred to Charlemagne, in re-creating the Empire, to incorporate this, island; between William the 'Conqueror and Napoleon, 'only for 'brief aberrant 'times did England seek to establish a substantial physical presence on the continent or the continental powers to subjugate and occupy England; Napoleon vaingloriously dreamed of con tiering England and of incorporating the realm within his Continental system, and was dbfeated; 'Bismarck had more sense than to try; Hitler tried and failed. Although there were thrtes when nobody ruled, and long times of 'misrule, and many t„iines: of disputed rule, at no time since the Romans departed as this country been ruled from abroad; and at all times it has sticcessfully resisted foreign rule, either by absorbing its con11.1erors or by defeating and scattering its enemies. It is there!ore no 'wonder at all that Mr Heath's Fanfare will sound a false note. How can a trumpeter 'make a joyous 'sound, when srle is sounding the retreat? How can there be national cele'44lon, when the nation's leader, 'abrogating the letter of his il3irotnises, flouting the spirit of the constitution and the laws, _eedless of the national interest, careless of the national stdentity, and ignorant of the nation's history, wills a national ,urrender? Heath 'has done what Napoleon and Hitler aspired Nt failed to do. Heath has defeated us.

he nation is obviously unwilling to accept the terms of the 8..urrender negotiated on its behalf 'by its Prime Minister. At the fle 'time, the Prime 'Minister 'is at least right in the poor Pinion of his countrymen which 'his policy requires and des cribes. We are at a very low ebb 'indeed in our history, brought to that ebb in small part by the Prime Minister and the propagandists of the (European policy, and in far greater part by the tidal defeatism which 'has made possible the successful enactment of that policy. It follows th'at for a while, until we again regain 'our nerve, we will acquiesce in the terms we 'are unwilling to accept. The parallel is in its way quite close with Germany in the early 'twenties: the Germans did not accept the terms of the treaty of Versailles, but they put up With 'those terms for the time being. The combination of inflation, defeat and an unjust and unacceptable settlement led, in Germany's case, to the collapse of law, order and democratic control, the destruction of liberal institutions and practices, 'and the triumph 'of Nazism. In 'this country we have prided ourselves on our insular freedom from such 'infection: our robust constitution, we have ;believed, would withstand pressures that, in continental coantries, led to physical, moral and political c011apse. We have relied upon the sturdiness of our commonsense. In our worst moments, we have been fortunate enough to have produced men of liberal genius who have led us away from the edge of chaos or disaster. This knowledge of our past strength contributes to our present weakness. Our robust constitution is enfeebled, emasculated indeed by those very members of Parliament whose prime duty it was to preserve its vigour; our commonsense has left us; and there is no man of liberal 'genius to be discerned. We now therefore face a double threat: within Europe, things may well fall apart 'and the centre may not hold, unless it be held by some continental dictator's iron fist; alternatively, the dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Rome and the Heathian settlement, together with the evident growing disillusion with parliamentary institutions and political parties, May provoke savage reaction such a's this island has hitherto, with its good fortune, avoided. It will matter little, in such events, whether the ensuing dictatorship be 'European or domestic, or 'be of the left or of the right. We will have lost our liberties: as already, due to Mr Heath and 'his exploitation of our defeatism, we have given away our sovereignty in order to join a club whose interests are not ours and whose purposes repudiate our own.

The threat is neither immediate nor apparent. We face no Armageddon. There is no reason 'why we 'should not muddle along for another year or two, finding out in the process what is the nature of the club we 'have joined. 'Germany's extreme reaction to Versailles was disastrous. An extreme readtion by the British 'public 'to the Brussels settlement would, likewise, bring disaster. It may prove to .be the case a-at 'the Prime Minister's contempt for his countrymen is justified, and that the independent life of the country is, in fact, drawing to its close. In this case, Mr Heath's Eurcipean policy is tantamount to 'an act of euthana'si'a, rather than being essentially suicidal. If, however, 'Britain's present sickness is temporary, then there can be no doubt at all that our repudiation — preferably amicably negotiated —. of the Treaty of Accession to the Treaty of Rome, 'and the repeal of the European Communities Act, must, and indeed will, become the duty and the pleasure of every patriot, and the prime purpose of every politician who 'believes it to be his chief justification to revive and uphold the laws and liberties of this country.