MR. Churchill's review of the war on Wednesday falls into two parts of very unequal convincing power. His account of the now triumphing arms of the Grand Alliance did not disclose anything new, and no one will grudge the leader who has played the first part in Meeting the foe his rhetorical reluctance to overelaborate so congenial a theme. The man who held the people of this country together in days of atheraity so largely through his power over words has a right " to confess" that the latest news is very good. But in this part of the speech events were speaking louder than words. The figures relating to the " flying bombs " were sombre and interesting. It is curious, for example, that not far short of 200 houses have been destroyed or damaged for each person killed. But such news as this, however important to those who are in that particular battle/ area, cannot affect the sweep of the war as a whole. Nor can we for our part think that the Prime Minister's reference to the German punishment for the flying bombs was either very dignified or very intelligent. Is the man-in-the-street in Germany, trying to dodge our far heavier weight of bombs, personally responsible for the military tactics of Corporal Hitler?
the diplomatic and political side of the speech was by comparison with the military account hollow and verbose. We doubt, for example, if many readers of this paper will feel that the political background to what should be the great news of the liberation of Poland (the first object of the war) in any way justifies the Prime Minister's hope that Polish sovereignty, indgpendence and freedom will be vindicated ; nor his belief that after the destruction of Fascism and Nazism there will remain no obstacles to that justice and freedom that must be the foundations of true peace. And if Mr. Churchill is captible of such an interpretation in the case of affairs of which one knows a good deal, it is hard to give very much confidence to the hopes he ex-. presses in regard to other matters about which our knowledge is deficient.
A Divided World
IT would in fact be a serious mistake
to suppose that the coming German defeat will clear the way for any easily arranged world peace. Even if agreement about the fate of Germany is reached as between the Western Allies and Russig and even if there is nothing to interfere with the maintenance of the Anglo-American war against Japan, the world will still be divided into two major spheres of interest to which Germany and Japan will continue to hold a key. These two Powers certainly realise the fact, and Japan in particular, it has been stated, is already interesting itself in trying to prevent any too sharp ruptures between Russia and Germany on the one side and between itself and Russia on the Other. In particular it is reported that it was the Japanese who were responsible for the sensational story about peace conversations between the Germans and Allied representatives in Cairo to which Russian papers gave prominence. The dismissal of Toio is also interpreted as a Japanese move for a more moderate and flexible policy which in the long run would strengthen Japanese influence with Russia on the basis of some sort of patching-up of the Japanese-Chinese situation.
All .of this sounds very speculative, hut there is nothing speculative about the view that Russia is to a large extent keeping her own counsels about the future. We should not be surprised at. this. The Soviet has a tradition about secretiveness. Apart from this, however, the primary Russian interests are in an Eastern sphere, and Russia is not likely to welcome any Anglo-American interference beyond Western Europe, the American Continent and the route
to Ausualia. The notion of any really firm world understanding is still very much of a dream, and Mr. Churchill's
winds ..annot change realities. •
THE POPE AND THE KING
WE ardently hope that it will be possible to arrange a visit on the .part of His Majesty while in Italy to the Holy Father. We have little doubt that these two Sate-reigns, the one spiritual and the other temporal, to whom the Catholics of Britain and the Empire owe allegiance. would find themselves sharing many important hopes. The deep religious faith of the King and of the Royal Family has long been an object of admiration in Vatican circles, and the present Pope, who has sci often eapressed his personal love for Christians separated from the See of Rome, assuredly counts the many devoted members of the Established Church, headed by the King. as participating in a particular way in this sympathy. It is our guess. moreover, that the King, while precluded from expressing any views with political implications, would find himself in large agreement with the ideals for peace and international understanding based on a Christian solidarity for which His Holiness has stood Catholics, it is recognised, have a dual allegiance, but Catholics in this country are privileged in that rarely does any conflict arise through that dual allegiance. In most cases British policy in its broader aspects coincides with Christian values, and even when in the heat of the moment or through the exigencies of awkward situations we depart from this standard, a British commonsense based on a deep tradition of Christianity soon brings us back to the norm Politicians and othlicists do their utmost, but sooner Or later they arc defeated by the sense (called sentimentality) of John Bull. Moreover, it is our right and privilege as citizens of a free country to play our part in seeing to it that British policy does not stray from the teachings of the Natural Law or in bringing it back to that teaching. On the short view this may sometimes make it appear as though Catholics were not always as loyal as others who are content to view a Government as always being right ; hut even those most critical of us will recognise that on the long view the fidelity of Catholics to their spiritual ideals and their participation in an outlook tried by generations of Catholic experience constitutes a temporal loyaltyto King and country that is highly patriotic and highly valuable.
The time may be coming when this country will find herself playing an international retle which will contrast in many respects with the ideals cherished at the beginning of the war. But we are confident that Catholic criticism of such policy will but anticipate the later
THE ARGENTINE AND TURKEY
THE Allied policy in regard to other countries still remains very topsy-turvy. On-the one side we have expectations of greeting Turkey as a gallant friend, while on the other we are engaged in insulting the Argentine. In the case of the Argentine the excuse is the '' Fascism " of the regime; the nature of the internal government of Turkey is never referred to. Moreover, while the Argentine has been a friendly neutral so far as its actions go, Turkey has never even pretended to do more than feel its way between the two belligerents so as to ensure its own safety. Obviously the difference between the treatment of the
two countries has little to do with the reasons outwardly professed in each case. The Argentine is not in a position to injure 'Allied interests, and she is therefore treated harshly for refusing to fall in with Allied ideology; Turkey is in a key position and therefore treated with every consideration — at least until the position becomes safer.
All countries have a right within wide moral limits to manage their own
affairs. Ostensibly we are struggling for the protection of that right. But
because the present ragime in the Argentine, even though it meets with the overwhelming support of the people, runs counter to the American Continental ideal diplomatic 'ruptures are expected. On the other hand, because there exist close and very important trade relations between Idritain and the Argentine, it is unlikely that we shall go to lengths that might imperil those commercial. relations. In the case of neither country is there any feeling of respect for the Argentine point of view and the Argentine hope of becoming the leader of a genuinely South American bloc with views of its own. It may be, however, that the Argentine will pull through and, despite virtual sanctions against it, take its place as the most important Power in South America. If and when that happens the foolishness of the present policy will be realised. Neither utilitarianism nor money count for everything Et the long run.
THE INDIAN DEBRItt LAST week's debate on India was one of the most dignified and informed which has taken place. (Ono is sometimes tempted to suggest that the vote should be restricted to citizens who can prove that they have taken the trouble to read the proceedings of Lords and Commons and thus have obtained some serious idea of the real political issues and how their tepresentatives tackle them.) This debate made it perfectly evident that the House is well aware of the immense complexities of the problem and absolutely determined to hold by the Cripps offer of Indian independence, the moment Indians themselves can agree on how, so to speak, to use it. It is equally determined to sec that nothing is left undone to enable India to develop economically and socially so that its independence shall be that of the one of the great Powers of the world.
At the same time the debate revealed many disturbing factors. How many of us cealise, for example, that to this day the average new-born child in India has an even chance of living to 22, whereas the figure for the same child in this country is seventy ? How many realise that even to-day only 8 per of the female population of India over five years of age can read and write 7 It is against this background that we must judge of the grandiose industrial and educational plans by which it is hoped to revolutionise the country in a few years. Mr. Sorensen was right to remind the House that Gandhi's desire to popuhuriee the spinning wheel and handicrafts and to develop the agricultural village life of India may well prove sounder than the large-scale ehforceinent of industrialism. Mr. Montague and Lord Wintcrton were also right in reminding the House that Congress was not India and it was not necessarily the truly progressive party. The Moslems come far closer to European deals in their religious and cultural history, while the workers of India will not necessarily find that Congress stands for their human rights.
Even so, Mr. Amery's reply was rather chilly. If it is true, as so many members agreed, that the futuie of India is necessarily dependent on the people of India becoming politically enthusiastic about their own fate, one mighi have expected a real spark of encouragement at this critical time to come from the Secretary of State.
THE demand which is being made for a Parliamentary enquiry as to the conduct of homes for orphaned or unwanted children has been accompanied by ample evidence showing that such enquiry is needed. One ,of the difficulties encountered is the unsuitability for the role of foster-mother of many engaged in that capacity. Motherhood is a distinct vocation, and no amount of preparatory training in mothercraft will make up for the lack of the maternal instinct.
It sometimes happens that an evil may be turned to good in helping to remedy another evil. 'The ravages of war have deprived vast numbers of women of the prospect of having a home and family of their own. Even in normal times among the unmarried. may be found many with an unmistakable vocation to motherhood. It is to
that class we should turn. This implies the raising of the status of the foster-mother and the recognition of the vocation as ranking with that of the teacher and hospital nurse. The deep interest shown by women was manifested in the correspondence concerning the matter earned on in the Times, to which, by the way, Mr. Bernard Shaw contributed a characteristically sane letter which contrasted the institution-child with Connemara infants "tumbling about half naked on the mud floors of cabins little better than cowhouses " much to the advantage of the latter. This correspondence gives a clear indication that the iostitution-rninded are not to have it 411 their own Way. The womanly woman is going to see to that.