12 JANUARY 1940

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THE HOME FRONT'S PART T HE Prime Minister's Mansion House speech

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on Tuesday was essentially an appeal to the country to gird up its loins for war. The country shows no reluctance to do that, but the inevitable bewilderment caused by the...

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T HE battles in Finland, which have revealed the magni- ficent leadership and fighting capacities of the Finns, have at the same time exposed weaknesses in every part of the...

Finland's Need of Help

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Brilliant as the Finnish victories have been, it would be a delusion to suppose that a nation of four millions could stand out indefinitely against armies drawn from I8o...

Germany and the Neutrals

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Some time ago concerted newspaper attacks in Germany on a particular State were a danger-signal which no one could afford to ignore. Such attacks on Czecho-Slovakia and Poland...

Japan's Peace Efforts

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The efforts of the Japanese to bolster up a Central Government in China with which they can make peace have now reached the point where " peace " conditions have been agreed...

Goering as Economic Dictator

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In assuming a new office as supreme controller of the whole war economy of the Reich, Field-Marshal Goering extends and rounds off the sphere of authority which he already held...

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Necessity of the Black-Out

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Both the Prime Minister at the Mansion House and Sir John Anderson at Glasgow emphasised the fact that our comparative immunity hitherto from air-raids provides no excuse at all...

Persistent Unemployment

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The persistence of unemployment in this country is baffling to foreigners, and it must be admitted that it goes beyond what our own economists had led us to expect. The figures...

The R.A.F. and the Army

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The relationship of the Royal Air Force to the Army in the field is so intimate that the problem of achieving complete and harmonious co-operation without sacrificing the...

The New Ministers

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Of the three Ministerial changes announced last week that at the War Office is discussed in a leading article on another page. The appointments of Sir Andrew Duncan to the Board...

Misguided Economy

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It is reported that a city in the North of England pro- poses to restrict the supply of books to the public libraries as a measure of economy. It is to be hoped that it will...

The Problem of Torches

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The Central Price Regulation Committee has given satis- factory evidence of its existence by announcing on Thursday the prices at which torch-batteries may reasonably be sold....

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THE Prime Minister's speech at the Mansion House on Tuesday, with its comprehensive survey of the whole scope of the war, will, it may be hoped, among other good effects serve...

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T HERE is no social unit in Europe today so small that it may not become at any moment the centre of interest and a turning-point in the major struggle— military or economic. At...

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* * * *

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I hope the suggestion made by M. Giraudeux and sup- ported by Dr. Ernest Barker for the issue of an Anglo-French postage stamp is not going to be lost sight of. Symbols mean a...


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O NE reason why a se:-tion of the Press, particularly the Sunday papers, ransacked the universe for explanations of Mr. Hore-Belisha's resignation was that their editors pretty...

I hear of a very interesting move made by that

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valuable and enterprising body, the Rockefeller Foundation in America, which has initiated a project for the recording and documentation in film form of the social impact of the...

Wednesday of this week marked an anniversary which, so far

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as I have seen, no one in the Press noticed. Perhaps they had no heart to ; perhaps they forgot. On January loth, 1921:I—just twenty years ago—the Treaty of Versailles came into...

Australia parts with her best men rather lightly, but perhaps

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she does wisely in sending her best to represent her abroad. We are fortunate in having an ex-Prime Minister like Mr. S. M. Bruce in London, and now Mr. R. G. Casey, who has...

It is a great pity that émigrés whose whole interest

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it is to stick together so often bring their quarrels abroad with them. I have before this mentioned a publication called Inside Nazi Germany. It represents a far Left point of...

From a Correspondent " Can you not persuade those who

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arrange B.B.C. talks to instruct the talkers about the pronunciation of German? A gentleman lately told us that what Hitler wanted was " lie- bensraum," which suggested that he...

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By STRATEGICUS I is doubtful if the appointment of an Air Commander- in-Chief in-Chief in France will satisfy the claim that has recently been made for the Army. That claim was...

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By RANJEE G. SHAHANI DEAR GANDHIJI, Reckoning by years, you might be my father or my great- uncle ; and I do not know how, if you were the one or the other, I should couch this...

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By ROBERT R. HYDE I N July, 1933, the Council of the British Medical Associa- tion appointed a Committee " to consider the existing arrangements for the treatment of fractures...

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By DOROTHY L. SAYERS [Being extracts from the war-time letters and papers of the Wimsey family] Letters to the Ministry of Instruction and Morale (various dates). Dept. Public...

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By G. A. ROWAN-ROBINSON M ANY people are wondering at the present moment whether, in view of the introduction of conscription and the consequent impossibility in the future of...

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[We have been permitted to print, as representing a French standpoint, of which it is essential to take full account, the following translation of the greater part of a private...

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By FRANK TILSLEY S HE was a few paces ahead of me as we made for the Air Raid Shelter—a thin-faced middle aged woman in a shabby blue raincoat. She clutched a shopping bag and...

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HER darkness fell, before her day was done ; But now, profounder light's illiterate cloud She needs no eyes ; she learns to follow alone The drifting seed whose random flower is...

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In the thoughtless little book which Mr. W. B. Curry

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contributed on this subject to the Penguin Series, many most relevant questions are dismissed as " mere matters of detail " or " doctrinaire." I feel that it would be of...

Their purpose, if I understand it aright, is to create

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a New World Order in which there will be less poverty and no war. That is a purpose which we all acclaim. From the economic point of view they hope to establish Free Trade among...

Let us suppose (and it is a tremendous assumption) that

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the fifteen countries so glibly enumerated by Mr. Clarence Streit were really prepared to surrender to a Federal Authority the decisions of peace and war ; that they were...


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By HAROLD NICOLSON SOME weeks ago I made an incidental reference in these 0 columns to the ease with which the conception of Federal Union has captured the hearts of the...

It seems to me that they are too readily impressed

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by analogies which, if not false, are certainly incomplete. The Heptarchy, which is often trotted out as Exhibit No. i, leaves me cold. I admit that there was a time when the...

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" The Real Glory." At the Odeon.—" Twenty-One Days." At the Plaza. This, we are tempted to exclaim at The Real Glory, forgetting for awhile men like Duvivier, who have brought...


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THE THEATRE " The Golden Cuckoo." By Denis Johnston. At the Duchess. --" All Clear." At the Queen's. The Golden Cuckoo is a curious play—at times seeming as improvised as a...


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After Four Months IN a letter printed in the correspondence columns this week, the chairman of the Music Committee of the British Council draws attention to an aspect of the...

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United Artists at the Royal Academy THIS experiment of a representative exhibition is not daring enough. The principle was to invite the members of twenty- four other...

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StR,—By thinking in terms of tokens (i.e., money) instead of in terms of real wealth (i.e., goods) your contributor has suc- ceeded in creating a confused and gloomy picture of...

SIR,—As an old reader of The Spectator, I would like

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to voice a strong protest about the depressing article, ".The Rest of Our Lives," which appears on page 4 of your issue of January 5th, 1940. At a time like the present, when...

Snt,—I have been disturbed to notice in your columns since

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the beginning of the war a deterioration of tone symptomatic of real danger in a country fighting for liberty. This air of frivolous intolerance was well exemplified last week...

SIR,—The University Labour Federation resolution declares that the Allies must

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share equal war guilt with Hitler because they rejected the so-called " Peace Front " suggestion, which emanated from Moscow. W. G. Krivitsky, in his book 1 Was Stalin's Agent,...


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[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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What great destruction of real wealth do you envisage that

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cannot be made good in a life-time? We are continually replacing our real wealth, almost without being aware of it. Even were the world at peace, how much of our wealth existing...


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SIR, —Sir J. S. Douglas raises an interesting issue in his letter, but I think his difficulty is not, as he suggests, an insuperable one ; in fact, we are by way of solving it...


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Snt,—I would like to support most wholeheartedly the con- tention by Mr. George Edinger in your issue of January 5th, that our morale is left entirely undefended while the much...

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Sit,—In his letter published by you last week, Mr. George Edinger refers to the British People's party as pro-German and pacifist, and remarks that we show a surprising tendency...


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Sig,—It seems to be a fairly generally accepted axiom .that music in this country suffered a terrible blow at the outbreak of war. I hold a somewhat' differcnt opinion. It is...


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SIR,—May I supplement in one respect Dr. Joad's interesting article? Conscientious objection to war rests finally on the com- mandment : " Thou shalt not kill." This leads ..to...

Snt,—Will you allow me to support Mr. George Edinger's admirable

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letter on the subject of propaganda in your last issue? It is earnestly to be hoped that the appointment of Sir John Reith as Minister of Information means that propaganda (or...


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Sit,—Much as I appreciate " Janus's " friendly criticism, I am bound to point out that his references to Italy's foreign and domestic problems are based, I think, on a misunder-...

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GENEVA IMPRESSIONS Sit,—Professor Power's reply to my comment on her

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" Geneva Impressions " shows that she has not even understood the minor point that a journalist " as a professional observer of contemporary events " may have opportunities to...

THE ALLIES' PEACE AIMS SIR,—Since your correspondent Mr. H. A.

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Kelso in your issue of January 5th misrepresents the Peace Ballot of 1935 by calling it a pledge, by saying it had an anti-rearmament bias and in other ways, in fairness will...


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Sut,—Mr. Harold Nicolson, in the last issue of The Spectator, informed your readers that a private soldier, who was eating a carefully chosen meal " at a table in a remote...

A STRANGE BIRD SIR,—There was a reference in your Country

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Life column recently to a strange bird said to have been seen in Sussex, the general description (which I have not seen) coming from a headmaster. As interested in entomology,...

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A Fine Distinction A recent cross-questioning of a conscientious objector

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may throw some light on the practical difficulties of humanitarian- ism. The man in question said that he objected to the taking of life in any form, and the following dialogue...


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SIR,—The enclosed has recently been sent to me by a friend in Singapore. I thought it might be of interest to you.— Yours truly, LILIAN E. MONRO. 7 Berwyn Road, Richmond, Surrey.


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Fens in Frost No part of England is so little known or appreciated by the general public as the Fens, that most fertile stretch of land, mostly in the shires of Huntingdon and...


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1. Socialism. You have two cows; you give one to your neighbour. 2. Communism. You have two cows ; you give both to the Government ; the Government gives you the milk. 3....


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SIR,—May a schoolmaster, who has already lost one former pupil on active service and is seeing countless others preparing for the insane slaughter which lies ahead, be allowed...

After Frost When frost leaves the ground it is incumbent

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on every gardener to tread the ground round any transplanted trees or shrubs. Hundreds are killed yearly, not by frost-bite, but by loosening of the earth at the roots. Another...

Wealth in Allotments A scheme, a woman's scheme, is in

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being for assuring the increase of vegetable production from allotments. It is to be hoped that it will be pushed forward with all celerity. " March is the month that blooms "...

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The Jesuits of Today

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The Hitler Cult. By Wyndham Lewis. (Dent. 7s. 6d.) THE first three of these books are not as exciting as they wish to be, and Mr. Garbutt is admittedly unable to write. But his...

Books of the Day

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The Trial of John Frost John Frost : A Study of Chartism. By David Williams. (Welsh University Press. los.) ON January 16th, 1840, John Frost, the leader of the Welsh...

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Modern Mythology

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AMERICAN writers on social subjects seem at present far more willing than their British counterparts to venture outside the conventionally limited field of a recognised...

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The True Chesterfield. By Willard Connely. (Cassell. iss.) CHESTERFIELD was one of those nearly-great men who never quite " come off," possibly through some scepticism as to...

A Portrait of Total War

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very, distant to most people ; but it is none the less a good thing that we in England, who have as yet experienced no horrors from the war in which we have engaged, should be...

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Fun With Words

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In a Word. By Margaret S. Ernst. Drawings by James Thurber. (Hamish Hamilton. 7s. 6d.) I WAS reminded after reading this book (Anglo-Saxon, boc, beech tree) of an old sailor's...

A Thin Yellow Line

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Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China. By Arthur Waley. (Allen and Unwin. 7s. 6c1.) To enjoy this, like other translations by Mr. Waley, it is not necessary to be an...

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Diego Rivera. By Bertram D. Wolfe. (Robert Hale. ars.) "AT times he would literally tear his hair and beat his head against the walls of his studio, then fly from himself to...

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PRIZES of book tokens for £2 2s. and LI Is. are offered for the best essays or stories written in words of one syllable on one of the following subjects : (a) a day at the...


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COMPETITORS were invited to state, in not more than 300 words, whom they considered to be either the most overrated, or the most underrated, English writer, living or dead, and...

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THESE are brave markets. Indeed, their behaviour in the opening days of 1940 must seem little short of reckless to those who regard the present quietude as a mere lull before...

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TURNER AND NEWALL PROGRESS • I wish all out large industrial companies produced accounts as informative as those of Turner and Newall, the asbestos combine. Here is an annual...

JUTE INDUSTRIES RECOVERY Market hopes of a larger preference dividend

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from Jute Industries are fulfilled by the raising of the payment from 3 to 4 per cent. In the full accounts for the year ended September 3oth, which cover a period ine4ding only...

GOOD BANKING DIVIDENDS As everyone had hoped and most of

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us expected, there are no cuts in banking dividends. In most cases, of course, published profits are lower than in 1938, which is not sur- prising in the light of heavier...


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My impression of the outlook for the Lancashire Cotton Corporation is fully confirmed by the report and accounts. It is made perfectly clear that the jump in profits from...