Page 4, 23rd November 1951

23rd November 1951
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd November 1951 — THE TORY CHANCE

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People: Churchill, Eden


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/T k early days as yet to judge the quality of the policy which the new Government has in mind, both at home and abroad. But the first indications are disappointing. The Conservative chance has clearly been to give the country a fresh sense of inspiration based on an absolutely realist disclosure of the state of the country and of the world.

So far we have had very little in the way of new inspiration and very little in the way of realism.

The Government is perfectly justified in asking for time to prepare the details of its full policy. In modern times the complexity of governing is such that no serious plan of action can be worked out without the detailed information accessible only to ministers in power. But every responsible citizen has long known that the way out of our present difficulties must at best be very long and very arduous. What he is looking for is that feeling of uplift, that feeling of hope, which can help him along the uphill way. Nor is this a mere question of words; it is a question of vision, of understanding the psychology of men, most of all of realising the importance of those deep-rooted spiritual and moral principles whose awakening can alone enable men to rise above the level of grumble and drift.

MR. EDEN has insisted on the importance of concrete results, however small, in international affairs ; and his insistence has been couched in that urbane, civilised, language of which he is a master. This is indeed a welcome change from the propaganda and acerbities that fly around him from East and West. But Mr. Eden has also already expressed his bitter disappointment at the utterly closed mind of a Soviet agent like M. Vyshinsky. In other words, he is pretty well admitting that this gentlemanly approach, coupled with the hope of concrete progress, is not enough. The American toughness, distasteful and, in our view, hopeless in the end as it is, at least has its measure of effect. But there remains, we are convinced, a third and much better way. It is to offer the world a fresh and wider hope based on an imaginative and constructive review of the whole Western position. More and more we are digging our toes in, more and more we are deepening the trenches between rigid Western policies and ideas and the enigma of the East. Is it so surprising that the East, which has . been put on trial, should be content to remain with fixed unalterable gaze watching the measure of Western economic dislocation and shrewdly weighing it against an increasing military strength which the actual people of the West will never allow the West to use save in self-defence ? We believe that it is eminently the time for the genius and experience and vision of a Churchill to offer to the tired and petrified leaders of East and West fresh ideas, new approaches, more generous and up-to-date aspirations which will reflect in particular the feelings 01 the overburdened, imperilled people of Europe and which can break through the negative defeatism which, as every observer knows well. reflects today the continental mood. Uis not now a question of nicely weighing up chances or measuring securities; it is a question of the psychological factor— getting the best out of living human beings. This uncouth, top-heavy, U.N. Assembly, these endless commissions and organisations, they all have their place and importance; but these alone are so many dead-weight obstacles, sometimes malicious. to the growth of a fresh spirit. Only in a new atmosphere and with a genuine willingness on our side to consider fresh lines can we reasonably hope for the resumption of personal, human relations which, when taken to the highest point of informal conference at the top level, as in wartime, might break the deadlock and convert Vyshinsky's laughter into the beginflings of a smile 1. So far, alas, there is too little indication that Churchill, and much less Eden, are ready to seize the chance which their return to power offers. 4 A4 ND an initiative of this order would undoubtedly prove to be by far the best means of meeting the sense of dour, almost fatalistic, resignation on the home front. Austerities and sacrifices and, possibly, fresh loans from America may postpone yet again the crisis of a hopelessly maladjusted British and European economy. But in the long run there is only one solu tion. It is a break in the international deadlock coupled with a thoroughgoing revision of Western, and indeed world, economy now grown so ill-adjusted that whole peoples may well be ruined and , even crushed while the world capacity for production and distribu

I tion steadily impretves.

1. The world never needed a leader more. It is the fate and responsibility of the Conservative Party today to rise to this opportunity and demand, or to be condemned as no better, and maybe worse, than the visionless political parties which have everywhere emerged . in the postwar era.

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