15 MARCH 1940

Page 1

Ribbentrop in Rome

The Spectator

Herr von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister, arrived in Rome on Sunday morning trailing a retinue of some thirty-odd officials after him, and on Monday evening trailed...


The Spectator

O NCE more the spectacle of the successful aggression of a great State against a small, preceded by the cynical denunciation of an inconvenient treaty of non-aggression, has...

Mr. Welles' Conclusions

The Spectator

Mr. Sumner Welles, having completed his perambulation of European capitals, is on the point of embarking for his native country. Whatever his endeavours here, in one, the...

Page 2

The Condition of the Army

The Spectator

Since the Army has not yet been heavily engaged in fight- ing, Mr. Oliver Stanley was not expected to give in his speech on the Estimates any such stirring account of...

The Puppet Government in China

The Spectator

In those areas of China which are occupied by Japanese armies it is easy for the Japanese to set up a Government and call it a Chinese Government. That is what is happen- ing in...

Farm Labourers' Wages

The Spectator

It is obvious that there can be no big expansion of agri- cultural output without a big expansion of labour on the land, and that cannot be obtained unless the wages paid to the...

America and World Economic Policy

The Spectator

The memorandum on " the bases of the foreign econom ic policy of the United States," which Mr. Sumner Welk; handed to M. Paul Reynaud during his visit to Paris, se out doctrines...

The Italian Coal Question

The Spectator

The difference of opinion with Italy over deliveries of German coal has been cleared up so successfully that the situation has been left better than if the difficulty had never...

Page 3

Mr. Keynes Under Fire

The Spectator

Sir Robert Kindersley, president of the National Savings Committee, passed some severe criticisms on Mr. Keynes's compulsory savings scheme in his address to the London Press...

Questions and supplementaries regarding the Behars and Captain C. P.

The Spectator

Davis occupy three columns of Monday's Hansard. Mr. Burgin could scarcely have expected the House to be satisfied with his bland reply that the head of a Department must, in...

The Cabinet, as we have recently been reminded in the

The Spectator

Sunday Press, is an elderly body. But outside their ranks there are remarkably few active politicians who were engaged in public life during the last war. One of the survivors...

C.E.M.A. and the Government It is an interesting and perhaps

The Spectator

a highly significant fact that the committee appointed to arrange the spending of the Pilgrim Trust grant of £25,000 to encourage music, drama and art has the co-operation of...

The Week in Parliament

The Spectator

Our Parliamentary correspondent writes : The vast majority of the House of Commons learned with bitterness and misgiving of the terms accepted by the Finns. Even on the Labour...

Page 4


The Spectator

S OME mystery surrounds both the beginning and the end of the negotiations that have substituted peace —or at any rate armistice—for war in Finland. What is clear, and it is of...

Page 5


The Spectator

T HE first of a series of talks on " Trade Unions in War-time " was broadcast last Monday by Mr. George Hicks, secretary of the Building Trade Workers. Mr. Hicks reminded an...

Page 6

When Mr. Sumner Welles told a questioner, who asked whether

The Spectator

it was true that he emerged from his interview with Hitler looking gloomier than ever, that " one of my great defects is that I can't see my own face," I imagine he was being...

" Oh, didn't you know? They heard Walter Elliot say

The Spectator

in a broadcast that every cloud has a silver lining." JANUS.

The letter from all the five Canons Residentiary of Can-

The Spectator

terbury Cathedral dissociating themselves from the public political utterances of their Dean has drawn attention once more to Dr. Hewlett Johnson, and many people are asking in...

The talk about the banned area of Scotland is being

The Spectator

a good deal overdone, which is a pity just when people are beginning to consider their summer holidays (if any). There is, in fact, no ban in any ordinary sense. What the...

I have tried in vain to find any reasonable explanation

The Spectator

for the decision to ration meat by value instead of weight. On the face of it there is everything to be said against the decision. If weight were the criterion people who could...

I have heard some misgivings expressed about the result of

The Spectator

the Kettering by-election, on the ground that the " Stop the War " candidate polled more than a quarter of the votes cast. I don't think there is much need for worry. In the...


The Spectator

PEAKERS are often misjudged on the strength of con- densed reports of their speeches, but when The Times reports that Lord Ponsonby said on Stinday that " dictators had no...

Page 7


The Spectator

By STRATEGICUS N OW that the fighting in Finland has ended, to all appear- ances finally, it is of some importance to recognise the tactics which have secured Russia her...

Page 8


The Spectator

By MALLORY BROWNE * W HEN Mr. Sumner Welles arrived in Naples, less than three weeks ago, to begin his European tour, a heavy veil of silver mist obscured, but could not...

Page 9


The Spectator

From A BERLIN CORRESPONDENT T HE question whether we shall have the long-awaited offensive in March is answered very variously in Berlin. Besides all the well-known answers,...

Page 10


The Spectator

By WILSON HARRIS T HERE is no question about the hold the idea of federal union has taken on certain sections of opinion in this country, particularly that all-important...

Page 11


The Spectator

By A LEGAL OBSERVER W E are in danger of losing, if, indeed, we have not already lost, a sense of true perspective in looking at the enemy alien problem. Nourished and fostered...

Page 12


The Spectator

By GERHARD SCHWEITZER In Switzerland IT is an open secret that, whereas in the last war Swiss sympathies were divided very roughly according to linguistic groupings, today the...

Page 13


The Spectator

By DAVID S. UNWIN " H EIL Hitler!" The form master faced the class, clicked his heels and raised a stiff right arm. " Heil Hitler," echoed my new form-mates as we all rose to...

Page 14


The Spectator

By BERNARD DUFFY "rrHEM rats in the yard is gettin' to be shockin' I agreed that the rats were becoming very audacious. " I was thinking of getting something from the chemist...

Page 15

The Brightest Flowers

The Spectator

In a garden, neat and trim, and scientific beyond the ordinary, the loveliest flowers at the moment are the dwarf irises, one clump blue, the other yellow. They have flourished...

Lunar Superstitions

The Spectator

A countryman, whose concern as to the weather has been revived by the absence of general forecasts, said CO me " There will be a new moon on Saturday. We have had two white...

Fourteen Pullets Those amateurs who are troubled at all about

The Spectator

the duty of producing more food in war-time may be interested in the details of a very humble experiment. A householder (who dislikes hens) was told very firmly that he ought to...


The Spectator

Palm Botany " Palm Sunday " is celebrated in a great many country cottages. The people have decided that the nearest thing to the Eastern palm is the so-called pussy willow ;...

Page 16

Yet (and here is the main point of indelicacy) my

The Spectator

more constant day-dreams now centre around fantasies of power. I become Prime Minister: I have devoted much of my life to the study of physics and have specialised in radiology:...

It is a strange fact that most of my day-dreams

The Spectator

are archi- tectural. I find myself, when listening to some lengthy discussion in a committee, sketching plans for the rebuilding of the south side of the Thames. Covered...

I know that he was being truthful, since he is

The Spectator

a man who does not care for evasions. Yet is it really a fact that men and women of great intellectual power never allow their minds to soak in the warm waters of fantasy? Can...


The Spectator

By HAROLD NICOLSON T ONCE, in all innocence, asked a very intellectual friend 1 of mine what form his day-dreams took. He glanced at me in disgust as if I had probed some...

Since September 3rd, my day-dreams have suffered a change. This

The Spectator

change is significant. Until September 3rd last my fantasies were all projected into the future and were about things which might happen a few years from now. Since then, they...

I should like to contend that my day-dreams are of

The Spectator

the philanthropic and impersonal variety. I should like to be able to say that, in these rare moments when I am able to indulge my thoughts, they cluster like rooks about and...

It is only then, I suppose, that my day-dreams become

The Spectator

reputable: My difficulty is to decide what a high minded conqueror would do with his cosmic ray, I decide to keep mine for a period of ten years, after which it shall be...

Page 17


The Spectator

THE THEATRE .. Cousin Muriel." By Clemente Dane. At the Globe. Cousin Muriel typifies the sort of competent, unexciting play which has not got either any particular dis-...


The Spectator

" The Proud Valley." At the Leicester Square.—" Dead Man's Shoes." At the Regal. IT is unfortunate for everybody concerned in The Proud Valley that The Stars Look Down preceded...


The Spectator

Dickens Goes Gay THE photographs of Macheath in the top-hat and caped coat of a Regency Buck, which were displayed in the Haymarket for some weeks before the first night of The...

Page 18

Sickert, and Others

The Spectator

THE best paintings to be seen in London at the moment are the early Sickerts at the Redfern Gallery. As well as being beautiful in themselves, they act as chorus to the play of...


The Spectator

Carrics, you who praise, poets, Critics, you who damn poets faintly, Critics, you who earn your livings, Critics, you who by being critics Are damned eternally : Critics, you...


The Spectator

John Piper at the Leicester Galleries SOME of us find abstract painting, and the atmosphere in which it is produced, a little too rarefied, too removed from common interests....

Page 19

Sm,—With the greatest deference to Lord Eustace Percy I would

The Spectator

like to make the following comments on his letter published in your issue of March 8th. (I) The bulk of the boys who come here from public ele- mentary schools do so at the age...


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...

Stn,—Lord Eustace Percy's letter in The Spectator of March 8th

The Spectator

should surely give the final " quietus " to the fallacy that the t t + break is founded upon physiological and psychological considerations. Lord Eustace, an ex-Minister of...

Page 20


The Spectator

Sut,—The West India Royal Commission proposals, recently approved by the British Government, and discussed in Parlia- ment, state that the rapid growth of population is a factor...

Sia,—In the correspondence on the above subject in last week's

The Spectator

issue of The Spectator, Capt. Liddell Hart, replying to General Edmonds, makes the following quotation from one General: " But, even against the right wing of the Fifth Army,...


The Spectator

Sia,—Captain Liddell Hart is always amusing, and he has not failed to be so in your last number. One is by now well accustomed to his method of controversy. When worsted in...

Page 21


The Spectator

Sra,—A correspondent finds fault with British Equity for not listening to the appeal of young actresses who are requested by managers to expose themselves on the stage more than...


The Spectator

Sut—The note headed " The Increase in Drunkenness " in your issue of March 1st suggests that there has been a con- tinuous increase in drunkenness since 1932. Even if it were...


The Spectator

Sitt,—May I briefly defend my " curious review " of Mr. Arthur Bryant's book? In the first place, Mr. Bryant makes a point of the fact that I have been his guest. At the time...

HITLER'S DESIRE FOR WAR SIR, —In your article " What Can

The Spectator

Mr. Welles Achieve? " you wrote that Hitler neither expected nor desired war with France or " Britain " (I don't use that last word myself ever), and Sir J. Simon said the same...

MR. BARR'S SPEECH must say that your Parliamentary correspondent did

The Spectator

me a great Injustice in your issue of March ist, in which, after referring to my numerous quotations, you added : " but whether his reading had included the Bill before the...

Page 22


The Spectator

SIR,—Opinion in this country about Germany would seem to be divided between those (a decreasing number) who believe the Germans to be a peace-loving nation in the grip of a...


The Spectator

SrR,—The American Ambassador, on his arrival in this country, is reported (according to The Times) to have said : " If isolation means a desire to keep out of war, I should say...


The Spectator

SIR,—My entrance into this discussion was a brief rejoinder to one of your correspondents who had waved aside the two- fifths of the " Drink Bill " annually taken by the State....

Page 25

Books of the Day

The Spectator

Europe on the Eve of War I Loved Germany. By Evelyn Wrench. (Michael Joseph. I2S. 6d.) SIR EVELYN WRENCH used to love Germany, and when she has purged herself of the Nazi...

The Discretion of an Ambassador

The Spectator

IN various public and semi-public capacities up to and including his term as Vice-President of the United States, General Dawes was-noted for a robust candour, which if more...

Page 26

The People of the Vistula

The Spectator

Is Poland Lost ? By Philip Paneth. (Nicholson and Watson. 6s.) " THE Polish Question," wrote Disraeli in 1863, " is a diplonntic Frankenstein, created out of cadaverous...

Page 28

Siegfried and Maginot

The Spectator

If Germany Attacks. The Battle in Depth in the West. 8s. 6d.) THESE two books have this in common : each maintains that, on land, the war is a deadlock. There, however, their...

Page 30

Theology and History

The Spectator

THERE has just appeared a work by the late Sir Edwyn Hoskyns, which not only makes an important contribution to the waxing mass of Johannine literature, but also enriches the...

Mrs. Boscawen and Her Admiral

The Spectator

BRIGADIER-GENERAL ASPINALL-OGLANDER could not have chosen a more propitious moment for bringing out his delightful book, just when our minds are full of the exploits of our...

Page 34

" Nothing Extenuate . . ."

The Spectator

The Autobiography of Havelock Ellis. (Heinemann. r5s.) To some few men in every generation is given the power to change the mental or moral climate of their time. Such a power...

Page 36

Philanthropy and Elegance

The Spectator

Jonas Hanway : 1712-1786. By John H. Hutchins. (S.P.C.K . 8s. 6d.) IT is typical of the English delight in eccentrics that Han- way should be remembered, not so much because of...

Page 38

Dickens, Billy Bunter and Jonah

The Spectator

Inside the Whale. By George Orwell. (Gollancz. 75. 6d.) Tins is vigorous, informed, exceedingly honest left-wing social-literary criticism free of all the " smelly little ortho-...

Trent Himself

The Spectator

Those Days. By E. C. Bentley. (Constable. rzs.) THE author, a man of unusual distinction in many fields, is probably best known to the world for his Trent's Last Case and for...

Page 40

The Liberator

The Spectator

Simon Bolivar. By Thomas Rourke. (Michael Joseph. 15s.) MR. ROURICE'S work has been done for him—more than is usually the case—by his subject. Bolivar created Bolivar. • From...

Page 42

Madame Chiang

The Spectator

China in Peace and War. By Madame Chiang Kai-shek. (Hurst and Blackett. 16s.) Pr seems hard to deny that this collection of propaganda article s makes rather a dull book, but...

The City of Oxford

The Spectator

THOUGH Oxford lays its obvious architectural splendours at the feet of the most casual visitor, there are other and enor- mous riches tucked away in senior common rooms and...

Page 44

Prix Femina and Prix Goncourt

The Spectator

La Rose de la Mer. By Paul Vialar. (Denoel. 2 dr.) Les Enfants Gates. By Philippe Heriat. (Gallimard. 3ofr.) La Rose de la Mer is an authentic story of the sea and of seafaring...

A Pamphlet for the Stage

The Spectator

The Star Turns Red. By Sean O'Casey. (Macmillan. 7s. 6d.) SINCE Mr. O'Casey deserted Ireland and stopped writing the superb tragi-comedies of Dublin life on which he made his...

Page 46

Fi ction

The Spectator

The House in Haarlem. By Arthur van Schendel. Translated 8s. 3d.) THE first two novels on this week's list are of singular value and beauty. Literary virtue, lifting them clean...

Page 48


The Spectator

THE only previous recording of this Symphony-almost the most impressive, as it is almost the most popular, of all Sibelius' works-was that made for an early volume of the...

Schubert : Quartet in G Major, Op. 161. Busch quartet

The Spectator

(H.M.V. DB 3744-8. 30S.) IT is five years since this superb quartet was recorded, and this recording is preferable to the last, both in technical and in musical quality. The...

REPORT ON COMPETITION NO. 25 READERS were invited to compose

The Spectator

composite poems beginning with the line-" Who is the happy warrior? Who is he "- using not more than two consecutive lines from any one poem ; alteration of punctuation, but not...

Liszt : Concerto No. 2 in A Major. Emil Sauer

The Spectator

with Weingar- mer and Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire. Paris. (Columbia. LX 862-4_ i8s.) THIS is a fair performance of this familiar work, but hardl , ,...

Beethoven : Eroica Variations in E Flat major, Op. 35.

The Spectator

Lili Krauss. (Parlophone. RO 20470-2. i8s.) THE Eroica Variations were recently recorded - rather un- satisfactorily-by Schnabel for the Beethoven Sonata Society. Miss Krauss'...

Schubert : Quartet in B Flat major, Op. 168. Busch

The Spectator

Quartet. (H.M.V. DB 3737-9. i8s.) THIS quartet-a youthful composition in essence, despite the opus number-is of very varied quality. The first two move- ments, though possessing...

THIs is a cheerful farrago of familiar tunes, not all

The Spectator

of them incidentally " Sea Songs " and not all of them British. It in musical terms, something of the inspiriting quality of a speech by the First Lord of the Admiralty. The...


The Spectator

£2 2s. and Li is. are offered for the most entertaining publishers' blurbs designed to advertise either Hansard, Bradshaw, or the London Telephone Directory as a book for...

Page 50


The Spectator

As everybody hoped and most of us expected, the £300,000,000 War Loan has been launched successfully with very little fuss. The terms were right, in the sense of being closely...


The Spectator

One by one Britain's defaulting foreign debtors are coming to terms in the matter of debt service resumption. There is every reason why they should in view of their improving...


The Spectator

Now that we have detailed figures of the Canadian Pacific's earnings, I cannot say that as a preference share- holder I should feel at all satisfied about the passing of the...


The Spectator

While I find it difficult to muster much enthusiasm, from the capital appreciation standpoint, for many of our leading industrial ordinary shares, I cannot help liking the...


The Spectator

With characteristic enterprise the home railway market has lost no time in compiling a quick guide to earnings and yields on the more speculative stocks at various stages of net...

EMERGENCY SUBSCRIPTION RATES IN order to economise paper, the quantity

The Spectator

of newspapers and other journals supplied to newsagents on the usual sale-or- return basis has now to be seriously restricted. Readers of The Spectator are therefore urged to...

Page 51


The Spectator

THE HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION iworporated in the Colony of Hongkong. The Liability of Members is limited to the extent and in manner prescribed by Ordinance No....

Page 52


The Spectator

[A prize of a Book Token for one guinea will be given to the sender of the first correct solution of this week's crossword puzzle to be opened. Envelopes should be marked "...


The Spectator

N.0 A o /15 R R . P E V MIA N A P I .MIP•EIR , N!EIL 4 - a, i2H i w T U 'A ig"R IIINiS_ A l l I E 0.1114.3V 0 VIEiL . L10 N.OiSI'NC 5' R Y El NILIAlv 011 , 4 . POI!...