Page 4, 19th April 1940

19th April 1940
Page 4
Page 4, 19th April 1940 — Retaliation

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A LONG and desperate war under modern conditions A LONG and desperate war under modern conditions necessarily goes from bad to worse. Hitherto this tragic progress has been more or less confined to the economic phase of the war, which has demanded the capping of one breach of international equity with a worse one until, tired of what seemed to her like a parlour game. Germany put into operation one of her many plans for pouncing upon her peaceful neighbour's goods and person.

In this phase of progressive retaliation there is at least some progressive gain—at any rate to the belligerents. But sooner or later we may pass from this to direct military retaliation. We shall bomb one military objective, and the enemy will bomb another, but with a less accurate aim. We shall retaliate, and our aim will be even less accurate, until in time indiscriminate aerial warfare will have begun. Of such warfare it can only be said that. with modern weapons, the cost to civilisation is literally incalculable.

If it comes, it comes, and we must face it with all the courage and resolution at our command. But let us, while there is still time, avoid for our part any action which might begin a phase of the war in which the destruction achieved by both sides must infinitely outweigh any possible advantage.

Even the Nazis, whose policies are certainly not restrained by any moral considerations, have hitherto appreciated the force of this elementary truth of common sense. But voices are not wanting in this country which would appear to overlook it.

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