THOUGH it was difficult on this occasion entirely to forget foreign affairs during the General Election excitements, it is certainly high time to bring them back into the centre of the
picture, now that the domestic issue is settled. And the new Government is to be congratulated on making it its immediate business to study the possibility of fresh initiatives in the Persian and Egyptian quest ions.
But neither Persia nor Egypt is of the first importance for its own sake or in relation to this country at the moment, and not least of the irresponsibility of the Labour electoral tactic in accusing the Tories of being warmongers was to be found in this isolation of the crisis in Persia and Egypt.
Today the whole problem of foreign affairs must be governed by the pattern of resistance to the policy of Moscow, and this pattern of resistance in its turn depends on the whole attitude of the West to the problem of Communism. It is utterly vain to suppose that any special question, whether it be in the near East or in the heart of Europe itself, (mn be satisfactorily resolved except in terms of a pattern agreeable to all whom the spread of Communism under Moscow's direction threatens.
To say as much is also to say that the problem cannot be resolved in terms of Anglo-American unity and force alone.
For there are two aspects of any possible solution. The first is the ability of the free world to resist any attack and consequently to he able to back any constructive solution by physical strength. This indeed is primarily a matter of Anglo-American 'agreement and of American force and wealth. But the second is to work out what the free world wants to achieve under cover of its armed force and, above all, what it really believes to be an adequate line of counter-Communist propaganda and inspiration.
We may take it for granted, however, that Britain and America alone, and for that matter even America and Europe alone, will never be able to solve this second problem. It can only be solved by agreement among all the countries and peoples in the world who ace threatened by Communist propaganda and Moscow aggression.
That is why we ,should in a sense, welcome, rather than be horrified by, explosions of national feeling such as have occurred
in Persia and Eqpt. Such explosions indicate deep running sores within the non-Communist world, and they indicate trouble that must be cured within the terms of the general anti-Communist prescription.
More urgent still at the moment is the problem of Germany where Russian initiative is having success because of the appalling slowness of the West to respond to the healthiest German aspirations for equality within a uniting. if not a united Europe. In Germany we are actually losing ground to Russia at the most vital spot.
The Labour Government. it must be said, had some inkling of these truths, hut petty prejudices. especially in regard to doctrinaire socialism, coupled with curious relics of the old imperialism and capitalistic preoccupations, imposed upon it a vacillating, inconsistent and weak foreign policy in the absence of any single great mind in the party's leadership. It was hither hampered by American suspicions of its real aims.
In one sense, the true solution stands further away from Tory outlook and traditions than it does from Labour's. But the Conservatives are led by a great international statesman who has shown himself more than once capable of large and constructive ideas, whether these accord with party prejudice or not. And the party as a whole is capable of aetine more independently and straightforwardly than Labour with the diversity of vested interests that compose it.
Now is the great chance. Mr. Churchill has pledged himself to work for peace at all costs. He declares that he remains in public life for that reason alone.
We believe that there is only one way of fulfilling that pledge. It is to took forward. and to refuse to look backwards into the prejudices and interests of a dead past.
The free world must now become morally one world —a world of which Germany and Spain, for example, are honoured and equal members, whatever their past, whatever their domestic present. Let those who cavil at the word Spain remember that the sole chance of fuller freedom in Spain lies with a solution to the problem of peace and world settlement. And it must be a world within which the countries of the near East can feel themselves to be of equal consideration with others. assured of the fact that their feelings and problems will find relief on precisely the same terms of autonomy within the common lot as Britain. France or America expect.
No one could pretend that this is an easy task today after the wastage of so much time and opportunity. But it is the only possible approach.
Let those who are physically and financially able to do so defend the Right; but let all who look to the Right for their peace and salvation share equally in working out what precisely it is we should all be doing if there is to be a Right to defend.