THE planning of the peace appears to have begun in earnest. At any rate a group of M.P.s, most of thern.ConservaLive and with one Catholic among them, Sir Patrick Hannon, are first in the field with something of a detailed post-war policy.
Though these M.P.s begin with a protest that they stand by the Atlantic Charter in its intention n1 enabling the German and other defeated nations to take their place in a prosperous world economy, their intentions include the following:
The separation of East Prussia and the Rhineland from Germany proper; indefinite disarmament and prohibition of civil aviation and aircraft industry; inter-allied supervision " for a period " of German radio, printing, propaganda, university and school studies; the dismantling of heavy and chemical industries subserving the making of munitions; the preventing of military and pare-military training; the prohibition of private loans to Germany and control of her currency (to prevent tricks).
These recommendations go aide-by-side with the excellent one that a permanent peace treaty should only be made " several years " after the cessation of hostilities, but there is little attempt to distinguish betwegn provisions suited • to the pre-peace treaty period and the peace treaty itself; nor is any hint given as to the proper length of unilateral disarmament and supervision of German radio, education, etc.
Our readers probably realise by now that we believe a punitive peace designed to secure the world against Germany for the rest of time will prove a tragic mistake. In one way or another the story of Versailles and after will be repeated. A fresh set of hatreds will have been generated. Force will remain the only real sanction of peace. We recall that the Popes have considered the provisions oi Versailles to have been too harsh and unwise. Our view is :hat the only possible cure to German aegression is by treating the German oeople in exactly the &AMC way as other People so that the political, social and economic causes of grievances that Garman leaders can exploit are once and for all removed. Even more, we musi help them to parti.ipate fully in the building of a new world. This we believe to be the basis of the Christian solution. It may, of course, fail, but as it has not been tried, it so far compares favourably with the alternative which has been tried and has failed lamentably. It is " love your enemies " applied to practical politics. The only sound alternative to the Christian solution is a barbaric one: the virtual destruction of Germany,by a ruthless severity which would be quite inconsistent with the .Atlantic Charter and go infinitely further than is proposed in the present plan.