23 FEBRUARY 1940

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The Spectator

O UTSIDE Norway and Germany the legitimacy of the rescue of the 299 British prisoners from the ' Alt- mark ' in Norwegian territorial waters is nowhere seriously challenged....

Swedish and Allied Volunteers

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To the announcement of the Swedish Prime Minister, Hr. Hansson, that his Government has rejected a Finnish appeal for direct military assistance, is now added a declara- tion by...

The Fighting in Finland

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During the last few days the principal military news from Finland has not been about the great battle on the Manner- heim line, but from the secondary spheres of war where the...

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Reform in the West Indies

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Two important statements on Colonial policy were issued by the Government last Tuesday, the one relating to the special problem of the West Indies, the other to the Govern-...

Evacuation Again

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About three-fourths of the children who should now be in reception areas have remained or returned to the evacua- tion areas, and the Government's appeals to the parents of...

A Victory for Mr. Gandhi

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The situation in India is modified to some extent by the election of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad as president of the Congress Party, by 185( votes as against 183 given to his...

The New Government .in Bulgaria

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The resignation of M. Kiosseivanoff, who was both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, at first caused some anxiety in the Balkans, coming as it did so soon after...

The Future of the Colonial Empire

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The West Indian case on its merits required quick action. But even if it had not it would be proper to deal with it at once in view of the Government's decision to face the...

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Several members are concerned about the position of applicants who

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appear before Hardship Committees seeking a postponement of their military service. The procedure is laid down in regulations issued by the Ministry of Labour. At first the...

The Week in Parliament

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Our Parliamentary Correspondent writes: This has been a lively week in the House of Commons. The distinguished strangers who sat in the Galleries at question-time on Tuesday saw...

There were no surprises during the first day's debate re

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Old Age Pensions. Mr. Walter Elliot is always master of his subject, but, like a precocious schoolboy at the head of his form, he suffers from too great a desire to impart in-...

Feeding the Factories

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The new training-centre plans for turning unemployed men into semi-skilled workers in vital industries will serve a double purpose. In the first place, they will pro- vide work...

The Muddle in Coal Distribution

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The Labour Party were abundantly justified in forcing the attention of the Government to the breakdown in the distribution of coal when the severe cold weather was at its...

Mr. Hore-Belisha's Journalism

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The questions asked in the House of Commons on Wednesday regarding the censoring of an article by Mr. Hore-Belisha in a Sunday newspaper appear little calcu- lated to serve any...

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THE ALTMARK ' AND THE LAW T HE Prime Minister's statement

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on the Altmark ' case in the House of Commons on Tuesday left nothing to be desired. It hit the mood of the House and the mood of the country. Something historic had been...

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The Spectator

T HE adjective " total " or " totalitarian " as applied to war has become familiar to everyone, but the task of ascertaining exactly what it implies is a con- tinuous one which...

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The scale of air-warfare up-to-date, and the potentialities of air-warfare

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in the future, will be put in their right propor- tions if it is realised that in all the fighting—North Sea, Heligoland Bight, Western Front—neither side has, in close on five...


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T HE Government has unquestionably done right in decid- ing not to withdraw the British pavilion from the New York Fair, which reopens for its second year towards the end of...

Not everything we read in the papers (so they will

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tell me) is true, so I hope there may still be a denial of the report that Sir Kenneth Clark intends making a propaganda film depicting the " admirably conducted action " in the...

" Like Oliver Cromwell, we would prefer our portrait to

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be painted warts and all." So the Evening Standard leader- writer on Wednesday. Why not? No reason. Every reason why. For the Evening Standard leader-writer is a son of Mr....

I find London members of Chatham House increasingly restive at

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the organisation's migration to Oxford, increasingly sceptical of the value of the work it is understood to be doing there, increasingly annoyed at the wholesale transportation...

Robert Smillie—though you never heard him called any- thing but

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Bob—was a great figure in the Labour world in his day. That day ended, for practical purposes, ten or a dozen years ago. Smillie sat in the House of Commons as Member for...

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By STRATEGICUS T HE position in Finland becomes daily more disturbing. While the Russians were battering away at the Manner- heim Line without making any impression, it was...

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The Spectator

From A CORRESPONDENT IN BERLIN I T is impossible to sum up the present prevailing mood in Germany in a word. Among the masses there exists a state of depression and apathy,...

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By CANON ROGER LLOYD O NE of the most hopeful figures of the last war never survived it. He was Gilbert Talbot. Toc H. is his memorial, but it might have been something greater...

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[The writer of this article, who has reasons for remaining anonymous, is one of the highest non-official authorities on international law in Great Britain} T HE official view of...

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By ERWIN D. CANHANI [by Air Mail 1 T is worth while noting in passing that a broad streak of sanity is now running through the official side, at least, of Anglo-American...

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By RICHARD M. TITMUSS W ITHIN recent weeks the phrase " the vicious spiral of inflation " has suddenly leapt from the comparative calm of economic text-books on to the lips of...

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The Spectator

By J. VIJAYA-TUNGA At Sea, Eastward-Bound. O F the European impact upon Asia that of England is far the greatest. English social conventions, English standards in literature,...


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By C. A. E. CHUDLEIGH TT is evident that in the matter of the salvage and re- ". utilisation of those surplus household products loosely known as " waste," a drastic revision...

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Indoor Spring A little taste of spring, more real than the Roman hyacinth or forced bulb, may be had by putting sprays of hazel or other nut in water. Though the catkins are...

Vain Foresight Most of us have had evidence of the

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migration of mice to our houses or sheds. Here is a quaint example of their in- genious ways of fending for the winter. A gardener, rendered idle by the weather, left his garden...

A French Lily A 'scarcely credible example of plant-migration reaches

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me from a soldier in France. The appearance of a strange lily found growing near the coast was reported to me last Septem- ber, but the description did not justify a guess as to...

A Summer Record It is difficult, as Shakespeare observed, to

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think of fantastic summer events while still wallowing in winter snows, but a record of butterfly immigrations last year makes the feat possible. We usually think of migration...

Why Not Weather ?

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The weather, as we all know, is a hush-hush subject, till it is old history, but that is no good reason for changing the word. Weather has become an adjective instead of a...

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By HAROLD NICOLSON S LEEPING in Sussex the other night I was aroused at dawn by the sound of a bugle, and in the field across the road I could see men in battle-dress hurrying...

Especially noticeable are these tides or waves in matters of

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sex. Oxford seems to undergo rhythmic variations between puritanisni and profligacy every ten years. The truly startling levity of the period between 1890 and 1900 was followed...

And how transitional, in truth, are these fashions in feel-

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ing. For the last thirty years I have constantly revisited Oxford and have invariably been astonished by the con- tinuity of types. Gazing down from high table upon the...

I am amazed by the acquiescence of this generation. Yet

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were the young men of 1914 so very different? Was there really so much faith and fire about us? I do not recollect that the men who marched away in the autumn dawns of 1914 were...

What do these young men think about when they stand

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there looking out upon the snow falling? Is there any faith within them or any fire? Or is it just a dumb acceptance of the snow falling, and the interminable sound of boots...

* * * *

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What are they thinking of, these men, as they crunch along the English lanes or kick their heavy boots against the door-step of their billets, jerking of the snow which has...

And then there is a difference in what we used

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to call " patriotism." In 1914 there may have been as many or as few disloyal people as there are today; but the loyal people who constituted the vast majority were all loyal to...

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Ninotchka." At the Empire. " On Your Toes." At Warner's.—" A Chump at Oxford." At the London Pavilion.—" These Children Are Safe." At the New Victoria. SEEING Garbo has always...


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MUSIC Herr Schmidt on Culture ABOUT the English broadcasts from Hamboorge and Bremen there are two schools of thought. But I can hardly imagine that the most timorous...

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The Spectator

SIR,—Sir Cyril Norwood is entitled to speak with authority on our national system of education, and few people who have given thought to the subject, and have the experience...

Sm,—Sir Cyril Norwood's articles on education are so sincere in

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tone that it may seem grudging in one of your readers to express disappointment at their content. May I plead in excuse my strong concern for the losers in the educational race...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR [Correspondents are requested to -ep their

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letters as brie! as is reasonably possible. Signed letters are given a preference over those bearing a pseudonym, and the latter must be accompanied by the name and address of...

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StR,—Many people contend that, for a long time at least,

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despotism and aggressiveness will remain as features of German national life, because of the peculiar structure of the German mind. From that assumption comes an uncomfort- able...

S1R,—Sir Cyril Norwood advances two doubtful arguments in his proposals.

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He says, " Competitive scholarship examina- tions for young boys in the form in which we have known them should be abolished: they have always done more harm than good." My own...


The Spectator

Sin, —A sentence in Miss Elizabeth Wiskemann's most interesting article, " Swiss Listening-Post," seems to me to deserve great prominence. I mean this sentence: " I have heard a...

THE PERILS OF THE BLACK-OUT SIR,—The increase of fatal accidents

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caused by the black-out during the months of September, 1939, to January of this year can be calculated, by comparison with the corresponding 1938-9 data, to amount to over...

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SIR, —Both Mr. Erwin D. Canham and Mr. Harold Nicolson in your last issue describe a critical condition in our rela- tions with the United States. An American friend has just...

Sm,—In seeking for a basis of permanent peace, I find

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that in both England and the United States there are many people advocating a federated Europe. Already in your columns attention has been called to the fact that federation did...

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Sta,—Most decisions in life involve the weighing of considera- tions, each of value. In one scale stands Canterbury Cathedral, serene and unharmed, its stonework and its organ...


The Spectator

Sm,—Mr. Harold Nicolson's comments on present trends of thought in America are disquieting enough, but her actions with regard to Finland are • surely a good deal more disquiet-...


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Sit,—It was with fascinated interest that I read, in your issue of February r6th, the articles by Mr. Harold Nicolson and Mr. Canham, your Washington correspondent. My personal...


The Spectator

Sra,—Mr. Oldmeadow's letter in your last issue comes as a ray of light in a darkened world. He shows us in a few words how to finance the war. " When I buy a dozen bottles of...


The Spectator

Sia,—The recent publication of a work on Marie Corelli, by George Bullock, seems to have afforded your reviewer, Mr. Derek Verschoyle, the opportunity of reviving and hand- ing...

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SIR,—You will perhaps permit me to observe, with reference to your note of February 9th on my proposals for the popularisation of Hansard, that it is an essential feature of my...


The Spectator

Sut,—Here is a fundamental and very practical question which seems to be worth debating in your correspondence columns. Ours being, happily, a "free country," its citizens enjoy...

SIR,—These letters from anti-Dean church-going Tories give me the greatest

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pleasure. Just think of it, there is actually a Dean in the Church of England who thinks it is fundamentally right for a great people to own all things in common. What- ever are...

SIR,—It is to be hoped that the correspondence—particularly of Mrs.

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Mozley, but also of others—about the Dean of Canterbury and his views does not give an accurate reflection or sample of your readers' intellectual probity. Dr. Hewlett Johnson...


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Sin,—A matter which seems to me to call for speedy action has come to light in the course of social case-work in an " evacuated " district From inquiries I have made from a...

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Books of the Day

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Anglicus to Aspidistra By H. E. BATES Contemporary with Turner and Lyte came Thomas Hyll, who issued, in 1563, what appears to be the first book in English devoted properly to...

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Recipe for Transition

The Spectator

ON a slightly narrower front, from a rather different angle, and in the light of altered circumstances, Mr. Strachey returns to the theme of his What Are We To Do? published...

Professor Haldane at Large

The Spectator

Keeping Cool. By J. B. S. Haldane. (Chatto and Windus. 7s. 6d.) ONE of the difficulties of growing middle-aged is to keep the palate fresh for experience. Herein lies the value...

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King Pym

The Spectator

-John Pym. By S. Reed Brett. (Murray. 103. 61) FOR three years, from the autumn of 1640 until the end of 1643, John Pym was without question the most important man in England....

Mr. Pritt's Omissions Must the War Spread ? By D.

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N. Pritt, K.C., M.P. (Penguin Books, Ltd.) MR. Piurr's thesis is that " powerful influences among the ruling group in this country and elsewhere " are trying to create a front...

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Tudor_ Translations

The Spectator

Tudor Translations : An Anthology. Chosen by Judge Clements. (B3sil Blackwell. 12s. 6d.) THE Tudor translators have been compared to the voyagers of that age, and it is an apt...

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Out of the Saddle

The Spectator

This, Way Southward. By A. F. Tschiffely. (Heinemann. 15s.) Mn. TSC.HIFFELY will be gratefully remembered by lovers of adventure for his great ride with Mancha and Gate from...

The Matterhorn Disaster

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Edward Whymper. By F. S. Smythe. (Hodder and Stoughton 21S.) IT is doubtful whether the time has yet come when an ade- quate life of Edward Whymper could be written, for the...

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New Novels

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He and His. By Reginald Carter. (Cape. ros. 6d.) Mandragora. By John Palmer. (Gollancz. 8s. 3d.) IT is a happy circumstance when a novelist can address an audience or describe...

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THE British South Africa Company has celebrated its jubilee of

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last October by circulating a privately (and very beauti- fully) printed sketch of its history, written by the president, Sir Dougal Malcolm. The earlier part, up to 1923, is...

Science Front, 1939. By F. Sherwood Taylor. (Cassell. 7s. 6d.)

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THIS is a readable account of recent developments in various fields of scientific activity, ranging from industrial research to horticultural science and advances in the...

Handbook of British Chronology. Edited by F. M. Powicke. (Royal

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Historical Society. 7s. 6d.) THIS book brings together in a convenient form material otherwise obtainable only in numerous publications, and then sometimes in a less...

Shorter Notices

The Spectator

We Saw Him Act. A Symposium edited by H. A. Sainsbury. (Hurst and Blackett. 2 Is.) We Saw Him Act. A Symposium edited by H. A. Sainsbury. (Hurst and Blackett. 2 Is.) THIS...

Tins is a book which, popular though it might have

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been at any time, will be made doubly so by the black-out. It con- tains the rules of a great variety of card games, for from one to seven or more players, the majority of them...

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The Spectator

First among the railways to give us its 1939 figures, the Great Western has fulfilled our highest hopes. In, the eight months up to the outbreak of war gross receipts from rail-...


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SOONER than most people expected the Treasury has embarked on the requisitioning of dollar securities. Admittedly this first move is only a very modest beginning, covering a...


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Amid the excitement of the Government's deal with the main-line railways the less fortunate position of the London Transport Board has been overlooked. Unlike the main- line...


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In these days of high taxation record trading profits do not always imply an increase in the net amount available for dividends. The English Electric results for 1939 provide a...

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The Spectator

Last year was a trying period for the gas industry and especially for those companies serving evacuation areas. Here the serious effects of the black-out and rising costs, which...


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THE usual prizes were offered for a short story, of not more than 30o words, beginning with the words " I had not the slightest doubt " and ending " I think you will agree that...

PRIZES of book tokens for £2 2S. and Li is.

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are offered for a poem entitled " Finland," in any metre and of not more than 24 lines. RULES.—Envelopes should be addressed to the Editor, The Spectator, 99 Gower Street,...

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1 F.0.:;11'G%5 4 e_ 1 4 0-5 e. 'it '01.1 Y el A'''. 'ku'a,:i:47:sig441s `i.t (Pia T. R BI ,' 1 ., A rtillmit E I EARL dsplur ,,.., . L , I : k ni !pP.: i. !li eau Titleate A E...

" THE SPECTATOR " CROSSWORD No. 51 [A prize of

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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 " Crossword...