3 MARCH 1939, Page 15



0 NE of the interesting things about the Munich settle- ment is that it should have proved so unsettling. Even in our own temperate country friends still eye each other with a certain wariness. It is far, far worse abroad. The Germans are asking themselves in smouldering fury whether our Prime Minister was in fact the Prince across the Water, or only the Old Pretender. French opinion, since the days of the Dreyfus case, has seldom been so sensitive to the touch: the most kindly use of the word parapluie is apt to provoke shouts and tears. Many a Stockholm luncheon- party has dissolved in a crash of hurtling crockery; the wine- waiter at one of the more tranquil restaurants in Helsingfors has (it is credibly reported) been slapped quite suddenly in the face ; the Masai and the Kikuyu are at loggerheads on the subject of peace in our time, and sharp cries echo through the Kenyan night: and it is said that the municipality of Amsterdam is considering a scheme for traffic control under which the Chamberlainites and the anti-Chamberlainites will be obliged to keep to opposite sides of the canals. To such an extent has Munich managed, within five months of its birth, to set reasonable people by the ears. It has provoked something more than party or political controversy ; it has aroused what Byron aptly styled " the wine of passion: rage."