12 APRIL 1940

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The Spectator

T HE period of so-called quiescence is over. Herr Hitler has struck, and the early predictions that he would prove to have made his first capital blunder may soon prove...

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The Anglo-French Task in Education

The Spectator

Lord De La Warr's last task before he moved from the Board of Education to the Office of Works was a visit to Paris to confer with the French Minister on Anglo-French...


The Spectator

T W0 votes cast by the Senate of the United States in the past week are of considerable domestic and external importance. On April 5th, by a margin small but sufficient, the...

The Soviet Government and the Farmers

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Agriculture, which after all is the basic industry in Soviet Russia, has never ceased to be the thorn in the flesh of the _Russian Communist system. In another effort to extract...

Trade with the Balkans

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The announcement of the Government's intention to set up an English commercial corporation to assist in the development of British trade with the Balkans synchronised with the...

The Human Machine in War-Time

The Spectator

There will be no excuse for a repetition of many of the mistakes which were made in the employment of labour during the last war. "Emergency Report No. t," just pub- lished by...

Britain and Dutch Trade

The Spectator

The publication by the Dutch Government of decrees giving effect to the Anglo-Dutch trade treaty signed last month shows how useful an instrument the treaty may be in tightening...

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The secret session to discuss the economic blockade has been

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postponed until next week. There was widespread surprise when the Prime Minister agreed to it in the first place, for he has not in the past been favourably disposed to debates...

A few back-benchers, greatly daring, ventured to take part in

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the discussion on Tuesday. Mr. Gallacher, oblivious of the record of the Soviet Government, dilated on the general futility of war. Mr. Maxton pointed out that it was the...

There seems to be no special disposition to criticise the

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Ministry in general or the Admiralty in particular. It is generally felt that, in conditions of low visibility, it was practically impossible to prevent a few individual German...

Decency on the Stage

The Spectator

The conference next week between representatives of the Lord Chamberlain and the London County Council on the subject of decency—or more properly indecency—on the stage can only...

The Unemployment Fund Surplus

The Spectator

It was expected that the Labour Party would raise objec- tions to the recommendations made by the Unemployment Insurance Committee as to the disposal of the Fund's accu- mulated...

The Week in Parliament

The Spectator

Our Parliamentary correspondent writes : It is not easy to describe Tuesday's proceedings in the House of Commons. Members listened grimly to the Prime Minister's terse and...

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The Spectator

Fr HE seizure of Denmark and Norway, by the same methods as marked as the seizure of Austria, Czecho- Slovakia and Poland, demonstrates once more the folly of supposing that...

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The Spectator

M ONTHS have passed since the country became conscious of the fact that intensive production of food upon our own soil is one of the major factors in the waging of total war. It...

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My paragraph last week on the questions put to certain

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candidates for commissions in the Guards consisted of a statement of fact, which was interesting and relevant, and a rather light-hearted line of comment - , which I never...

I have heard of this, but needed ocular demonstration before

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mentioning it; now the demonstration has reached me. The business notepaper of a London firm (run, inci- dentally, by a lady) bears in the corner the legend "Our tele- graphic...

I cannot let the memory of C. F. Andrews die

The Spectator

without paying my tribute to that ardent and most attractive person- ality. However, Andrews, in his association with Mr. Gandhi, and his adoption of all the simplicities of the...

It has been observed quite rightly that the isolationist Middle

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West of the United States is the part of the Union where citizens of Scandinavian extraction most predominate. I discovered that the first time I was in Minneapolis. Scandi-...


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S TRAW-VOTES, even those taken by Dr. Gallup's organisations in this country and the United States, must be accepted with every kind of reservation. It is claimed, of course,...

The presence of Miss Dorothy Thompson, at present un- doubtedly

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the most distinguished of American "columnists," in Europe arouses keen expectations, for Miss Thompson will certainly not fail to set down in due course her im- pressions of...

Not, I suppose, since Elisabeth Bergner made her name in

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Escape Me Never has an actress on the London stage leaped so decisively into sudden fame as Barbara Mullen has done in the past ten days. I shall be singularly surprised, and...

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The Spectator

By STRATEGICUS W HATEVER has actually happened in Scandinavia, the war has entered upon a new phase and must in future proceed with a quickened tempo and an enlarged scope...

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The Spectator

By ERWIN D CANHAM T HE most ancient sport in the American Republic is twisting the lion's tail. We began before the American Revolution, and we continue to this day. On the...

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The Spectator

By PROF. LIONEL ROBBINS M R. WILSON HARRIS concludes his most recent con- tribution to our friendly argument by posing two rather technical questions. I think it will be...

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The Spectator

By HERBERT ROS1NSKI T HE attack launched by Germany against Denmark and Norway under cover of the plea of their inability to maintain their neutrality effectively comes as no...

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The Spectator

By THE DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S A FEW days ago I returned from a tour in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland. My main object was to visit the English chaplaincies in those countries,...

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The Spectator

By G. H. GRETTON O N few subjects are the middle classes of this country less well informed than on that of population policy. Nobody with any real knowledge will question the...

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The Spectator

By NOEL SIRCAR T HE long room, darkened in the afternoon, shuttered 1 against the scorching Indian sun, should have been cool ; cooled by the air filtering in through matting...

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Commonwealth and Foreign

The Spectator

CANADA IN 1915 AND 1940 By GRANT DEXTER Ottawa, March 28th N OW that the election is over, it is possible to write with some degree of certainty regarding the attitude of the...

IMPORTANT Dnacr subscribers who are changing their addresses are asked

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to notify THE SPECTATOR office BEFORE MIDDAY on MONDAY OF EACH WEEK. The name, the previous address to which the paper has been sent and receipt reference number should be quoted.

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Such quips and criticisms are little more than surface ripples

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upon a deeper tide of uneasiness. People are asking themselves whether in fact there are no new cards in the pack and whether this game of musical chairs must continue...


The Spectator

By HAROLD NICOLSON I T has been strange, both in the House of Commons and outside, to observe the after-effects of the Cabinet re- shuffle of April 3rd. The popular newspapers...

I can conceive that two alternatives, two prepared lines, will

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be necessary. The first necessity will arise when the Germans launch their offensive against our own Army and when the people of Great Britain will realise for the first time...

In my opinion the apparent lack of eminence among the

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Government back-benchers is due to subtler and more credit- able causes. In the first place, the more gifted among them are all Socialists at heart, and do not feel for the...

I find also that there exists a strain of defeatism

The Spectator

regarding the capacity of the back-benchers upon the Government side. This apparent dearth of rising statesmen is attributed to two separate causes, neither of which seems to me...

There are still many cards in the National pack, and

The Spectator

many discards, which might be used. The tough integrity, the ripe experience, of Mr. L. S. Amery cannot for much longer be disregarded ; Mr. Duff Cooper has returned to us with...

It is said, again, that the younger members of the

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Con- servative and associated parties have been subjected in recent years to too stringent discipline upon the part of the Whips. It is true indeed that some (although not all)...

Some indignation also has mingled with this merriment. Much as

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the House appreciated the promotion of Mr. R. S. Hudson, they would have appreciated it even more if his energy and strong will had been applied to some department other than...

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The Spectator

Mr. Ashton's Good Wine ONE of the programmes given by the Sadler's Wells Ballet last week included two of Mr. Frederick Ashton's latest produc- tions, Dante Sonata and Les...


The Spectator

THE THEATRE Rebecca." By Daphne du Manner. At the Queen's Theatre . THE character whose name provides the title for this exciting play does not appear on the stage, for she...


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"The Earl of Chicago." At the Leicester Square. THERE is a Chicago gangster who operates a whiskey dis- tillery, forcing sales on unwilling customers by the brutal methods of...

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The Spectator

[Correspondents are requested to keep their letters as brief as is reasonably possible. Signed letters are given a preference over those bearing a pseudonym, and the latter must...

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POLITICAL STRATEGY AND TACTICS Sia,—The confusion of arguments and ideas

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which was re- leased by the fiasco of the Finnish War and the wishful pursuit of new " trends " and " hints " which has accompanied the recent diplomatic events seem to reveal a...

SIR, —Mr. Lee appears to think that one of the deeper

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causes of the present war consisted in our imperialism. Now imperialism denotes the presence of an empire. Will Mr. Lee tell us where the British Empire is? I have consulted an...

THE ANTI-WAR MINORITY Sta,—In your last issue, my good friend,

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Richard Lee, stated that "in a delegate meeting of the Coventry Labour Party a resolution against the continuance of the war was carried by a good majority, although our...

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The Spectator

Sta,—Those who know our " democracy " are aware that social distinctions exist, even between neighbouring streets in the East End of London—indistinguishable to the Uninitiated....


The Spectator

sTR,—Mr. Spaight says that the total strength of the Air Force in all theatres of the war and at home never exceeded 300,000 officers and men. When Sir Hugh Trenchard left the...

PRUSSIAN AND SLAV Snt,—While approving of the fundamental idea of

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my article in your issue of March 29th, "Germany without Prussia," Mr. Henry Gottorp seems to misunderstand its statements concerning the Slavonic origin and character of the...


The Spectator

intervals during the past two and a half years I have had the privilege of interesting conversations about his country with a young Indian scientist. His course of study and...

make no apologies for imposing on you another school- boy's

The Spectator

effort. My only qualifications are that I am a friend of, and in the same class as, Mr. Bonham-Carter, and that, like him, I would defend the Public Schools while suggesting at...

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The Spectator

Sm,—The distinction drawn by Canon F. R. Barry in Your last issue between "a naturally Christian creed" and "Christian affirmations" may find a parallel, particularly for your...


The Spectator

SIR,—Some months ago you were good enough to print a letter from me, pointing out that the pacts of mutual assist- ance between the Soviet Union and the Baltic States should not...


The Spectator

SIR,—" No university ever did itself the honour of presenting hint with its degrees." "His first book marked an epoch in Economic Thought." Many besides myself must have paused,...


The Spectator

SIR,—I desire to protest against a sentence in "A Spectator's Notebook" in your issue of April 5th. After describing certain questions said to have been put to candidates for...

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The Spectator

have no wish to argue with the review of my Roman Fountain in your paper, although, naturally, I am not in agreement with it and wish that your reviewer might have had a...

COUNTRY LIFE Epitomised Spring The late springs are the fairest

The Spectator

springs, and England today is more English than ever. Almost everything, except the earlier warblers and sand martins, have waited for April, birds and flowers, both. Some...


The Spectator

SIR, —There is probably a much better way to meet Lord Haw- Haw than, as Miss Byrne suggests, by factual refutation, and that is by burlesque. Already, of course, Haw-Haw is a...

Vulnerable Trees In a sort of tree census, taken of

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approved districts in the West of England, it appears that the common spruce, which had lost some of its old popularity, stood the winter with complete success, while its...

Garden Queries

The Spectator

A passing allusion to that small and lovely bush, the cerato- stigma has brought inquiries. The bush, which rather suggests a plumbago, is hardier than the comparison suggests ;...

Popular Land Girls

The Spectator

The highest possible praise of the land girls begins to appear in the local Press from one side of the island to the other, and different qualities are selected. The Yorkshire...


The Spectator

SIR, —The recent announcement by the Minister of Supply that 37 new munition factories are to be built immediately in Britain raises questions of real importance regarding the...

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The Spectator

IT is the resourceful custom of certain persons to mitigate the tedium of railway travel by improvising dialogues calcu- lated to intrigue their fellow passengers. The usual...

THE SPECTATOR COMPETITIONS No. 31 IF Shakespeare had lived in

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the twentieth century he might have written an historical play about the reign of King George the Sixth. Prizes of book tokens for £2 2s. and LI Is. are offered for the best...

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Books of the Day

The Spectator

Temporary Monarch "THE Presidential office differs from everything else. Much of it cannot be described, it can only be felt." This was the opinion of C4vin Coolidge, and,...


The Spectator

Life and Death 01 the Spanish Republic. By Henry Buckley. ;Hamish Hamilton. I2S. 6d.) IT would be entertaining rather than instructive to note the divergences between these two...

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A Voice of Yesterday and Today

The Spectator

THE publication in an English translation of successive works of the Danish preacher and writer, SOren Kierkegaard, who died in 1855, is both a remarkable achievement and a sign...

Lord Bute and King George

The Spectator

Letters from George HI to Lord Bute. 1756-1766. Edited by Romney Sedgwick. (Macmillan. as.) WE were nearly all, it seems, misled for years by those great corruptors of youth,...

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Aeschylus and Gilbert Murray

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Aeschylus the Creator of Tragedy. By Gilbert Murray. (Clarendon Press. 7s. 6d.) PROFESSOR MURRAY, who has already edited Aeschylus for scholars and translated and expounded him...

Novels in Transition

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The Novel in the Modern World. By David Daiches. (Cam- bridge. University Press 15s.) MR. DAVID DAICHES is a man - with a theory which, in his own words, is "that the most...

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The Spectator

Mr. Moonlight's Island. By Robert Dean Frisbie. (Heinemann. The Man Who Dared. By Niko!ai Gubsky. (Heinemann. 8s. 6d.) THERE is little that a reviewer can say about the above...

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STUDENTS of Canadian history have reason to be grateful to

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the Champlain Society for re-editing the early travel books and printing documents hitherto inaccessible. Robertson's correspondence is of the second kind. Taken from the...


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By CUSTOS MARKETS are back on the defensive, but they are putting up a tough resistance. News such as broke over the air on Tuesday morning was bound to impose an effective...


The Spectator

At last we have an official declaration of faith in the vexed question of the fall in free sterling. Sir John Simon assures us—many of us were already convinced—that the recent...


The Spectator

If it is certain that insurance companies are facing unusually difficult problems it is also well to remember that they are remarkably well equipped to stand the strain. A...

The City of London Livery Companies. By Bryan Pontifex. (Methuen.

The Spectator

6s.) The City of London Livery Companies. By Bryan Pontifex. (Methuen. 6s.) As a history of the London Guilds this little book needs revision. But as a summary view of their...

Shorter Notices

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The Irish Dramatic Movement. By Una Ellis - Fermor. (Methuen. los. 6d.) THE Anglo-Irish theatre has certainly not lacked its com- mentators, but there was room for a systematic...

Hollywood is the Place ! By Charles Landery. (Dent. los.

The Spectator

ed.) MR. LANDERY'S book is not about the reigning kings and queens of Los Angeles, but chiefly about the humbler studio employees—small-part actors, stand-ins, electricians,...

THis admirable quarto is one of the best of the

The Spectator

Phaidon Editions. All its illustrations are of fine quality, but what gives it its peculiar value are the clear detail reproductions, in particular those of the Sistine chapel...

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The Spectator

Step by step Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries is im- proving its position. Its capital has been drastically recon- structed, its fixed charges have been substantially reduced,...


The Spectator

Dividend decisions by Imperial Chemical Industries and Dunlop Rubber present a striking contrast. Both com- panies have done well, as one would have expected, but whereas I.C.I....