Page 4, 26th May 1944

26th May 1944
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Page 4, 26th May 1944 — WE HAVE NO FOREIGN POLICY
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WE HAVE NO FOREIGN POLICY

THE first impression made by

Mr. Churchill's speech is that the Allies intend to maintain the strictest possible subordination of foreign policy to military needs. On the whole it is a strange position for this country and America to find themselves in during the fifth year of a war against " evil things " and at a time when their military superiority is 6o rap.dly rising If military happenings could be entirely dissociated from future trends of politics it might be defensible, but just as it is fallacious to argue that one can accept an economic dictatorship so long as one remains culturally and socially free, so it is a veal mistake to suppose that we shall one day be able to recover political ground now being lost because of military necessities. And in this war one can go further and say that our military fortunes themselves are to a considerable extent dependent upon our political attitude.

Apparently we are content because of military needs to iambic together authoritarianism in Spain ( ' we have no business with Spain's internal politics ' 1. some sort of democrucy in Italy (` we have business with Italy's internal politics ' ), monatehy and partisanship in Yugoslavia ( Tito is helping us, but he isn't King Tito' ), the status quo in Turkey ( ' Turkey won't walk into our parlour, but you never can tell ' ) and Rue ia wherever she wants ( ' we much regret that Russia is rapidly organicing a democratic conquest of our gallant Ally Poland, but there it is and it doesn't affect one bit the Atlantic Charter and pest-war plans to arrest ambitious and restless nations.' ) At the same time there were (per accidens) many heartening points in the Prime Minister's survey. The chief one perhaps was his revelation about the help which Spain had given us and the expression of a sense of gratitude in which, we hope, eien the Left will share. The second revelation as to the extent of the Greek troubles was bracketed with the substantial hopes that the courageous monarch can now unite his people. Lastly we deeply welcome the hops that Rome may not suffer in the development of the Italian campaign.

We still believe however that by sticking to principle and to the obvious original spirit of the Atlantic Charter we should now be in as strong a military position and one far more hopeful for the establishment of a just peace,

The Occupation of Europe THE vigorous and successful fighting in Italy is illustrating the value of allies and co-belligerents who in the political sphere may well have felt themselves to have been depreciated by the big Powers. That policy of neglecting the interests of the smaller or weaker Pi:AVM is often attributed to conservative, capitalist and military interests, arid it is contended that governments are actuated by a fear of popular forces on the Continent. This may he so, but it is equally true that the self-constituted leaders of the popular or revolutionary movements are involved in policies which wholly disregard the rightful claims of the smaller Powers and the varied interests which make up so much of the Continent.

No Western Government, for example, has made claims on other countries that remotely approach the claims being made by Russia on her neighbours, and these claims are directly or indirectly supported by the Left propagandists in Britain, America and

France. Nothing indeed could be more extraordinary than the way in which the alleged anti-Semitism in the Polish Army has been exploited to serve Russian intereete, by press and radio in this country espite the now established truth that arty offences were of a very minor nature and the whole business a clear conspiracy. the Polish Government and Army authorities having throughout acted in a perfectly proper manner If this almost automatic subservience on the part of a Marxist-led public opinion in Britain and America to the domination of Europe by totalitarian socialism is evident. what hope could one have that the Partisan or Left resistance movements in the Balkans, Italy and France will prove more jealous of their nwn national and popular tiaditions ?

The tragedy of course is thst Europe

ro-day is buried. The war itself is largely a struggle between rival forces to occupy a Continent whose mai forces have been paralysed Nazism contends with totalitarian socialism, and the liberating Powers are mainly concerned with their own military requirements The ultimate hone for Eurore and the world does not Fe in any of these. but In the true Eurooe itself if it is allowed to rise again. Unfortunately the struggle to occurs, Europe is so keen and so premature that no one can afford to wait and let Europe liberate itself THE PRISON SHOOT'NGS

IT will be wise to refrain from

premature iudgment on the tragedy in a German prison camp which ended with the shooting of 47 R.A.F officers, The news comes as all the more of a shock in that in a war in which so many of the humane conventions between civilised peoples have been forgotten. the customary respect shown for prisoners-of-war has nbienenn maintained even by Nazi Ger y The first publicised unofficial accounts supeesting that a number of guards lost their heads because they were unable to cope with attempted escapes in a camp that was insufficiently guarded owing to Germany's shortage of armed man-power has been officially denied. But even if the true account turns out to be worse. every effort should be made to restrain the feeling of anger and the seeking for retaliation which could only lead to another chapter like the shacklints of prisoners on both sides. The proper answer to all excesses cornmitted by the enemy is the even more rigid maintenance on our side of law and custom and the refusal to be sidetracked into courses which. while they may temporarily sntisfv outraged feelings, can only inflict further suffering on our own comrades in the enemy's hands But there is a special responsibility on press and publicists not to fan portlier indignation. A tragedy of this kind impresses its.eli sufficiently on the nublic mind without artificial stimulants FARMING FROM WHITEHALL

WHEN. in the Debate on the

Food and Drugs (Milk and Dairies) Bill, Sir George Court-hope said that he had come to the conclusion regretfully that Mr. Hudson's proposals were sound, he was speaking for a very large number; he might have added, for the farming community itself, Few of us. least of all agriculturalists, want to see farming placed in the hands of a centralised national authority, thus realising the policy summed up in the phrase " Farming from Whitehall." Even in a small country like ours the preservation of local government is an important principle In this case, however, facts appear to be too strong for the regionalists. As thc Minister for Agriculture pointed out, the situation has greatly changed since these local bodies were appointed To mention only one point: supplies to-day often come from farms 60 or TOO miles away. and over these distant sources of supplies the local atitherities of the great consuming towns have no authority: it is impossible for them to supervise the conditions under which milk is produced. and. for the most part, neither they nor their medical officers of health know the areas. much less the individual farms, from which the town's milk supply is drawn. The whole system under which urban Centres are fed has changed, and this necessitates a corresponding change in the form of government.

NEW START IN INDIA MANY people who do not neces sarily go so far as the signatories will regret the implacable nature of the Secretary of State for India's genially-worded reply to Mr. Rhys Davies and his fellow M.P.s, who asked that Gandhi's release might be used to open a fresh chapter in oui relations with the Congress leaders.

Of the complexity of the problem which India presents there is ro doubt in the minds of anyone, but the funds. mental issue to-day is not between the diferent policies proposed by different interests The fundamental issue is one of lack of confidence in one another as between those interests The present state of affairs white it may ensure temporary security for military and other war-conditioned needs. is hound to strengthen still further the mutual lack of confidence, sieth tht result that we are inevitably preparing for a post-war chaos that will force a continued policy of harsh restraint to be judged by the rest of the world as imperialism at its wont. In other words it is a dead-end We have urged before that there is to-day a way out which we may never again have the opnortunity of antslying ft is to ineite the United Nations to associate themselves with us in shaping India's future. And the decision to do this white it would remove the main Congress grievance. would afford the chance of eoina bark 011 the unfortunate sequence of events since 1941. It would provide the new start that everyone surely desires.

Industrialism for India THE visit to India of the Secretary of the Royal Society and his report oil the possibilities there for scientific progress, referred to in a recent issue,

is a sign of the times, And now comes the news that nine Indian industrialists are to visit Cireat Britain and, prob ably, America. These visitors will look into the question of co-operation between industrialists in their own country and those in the West.

Many would deplore the transformation of India. land of peasants, into something resembling the industrialised nations of the West. Several considerations, however, tend to modify such opposition as there may be to present tendencies. In the first place, the plight of the peasantry. of whom there are about 135 million 65 million being landless workers, is such that almost any change should be welcome In the second place, the setting up of manufactures is going to improve the chances of native producers by minimising the need for imported goods and increasing the demand for native products. As usual with great national and indeed Continental revolutionary changes, It is not the evolution we need deplore :• it is the mode of the evolution we need to control.

There is a grave danger that the capitalistic exploita ion of cheap native labour may reproduce the horrors of our own industrial revolution But there need be no such exploitation If Individualist greed is checked and the world remembers that the teaching of the social encyclicals applies every bit as much to India' as to Britain.

AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION

ALTHOUGH the conference of

Commonwealth Prime Ministers has been considering the question of emigration, there is no indication that it has reviewed the problem presented by Australian immigration laws forbidding settlement in the Commonweelth of Asiatics These lows have been a prominent factor in provoking Japanese hostility, and in his famous speech General Smuts called attention to the straitened conditions under which Japan's large population finds itself, Recently the matter has been raised again by a resolution passed by the Victorian Presbyterian Assembly. This resolution demanded " a restatement on immigration policy in the iight of the new order after the war." A former Moderator is reported as saying that " the policy was bitterly resented in the Far East, where the peoples could not understand why a Christian nation

should erect such barriers." Other speakers asserted that the exclusion was based not on colour but on economic considerations They agreed. however, that, as respects relations with China and India, an improvement could be observed and that the Act would probably have to be amended, at least as regards these countries.

It is natural that priority should be given our Chinese Allies. but their admission and that of Indians disposes of objections based on colour, and should pave the way for a subsequent extension that would include immigrants from a Japan cured of its desire to dominate the East.




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