By The Editor
Spain: A Wanton Conspiracy SPAIN is by no means the most important question of the week : it is one of the very least important. This tact affords us sonic measure of the perverse mentality which is trying to bring it to the forefront oi internaticmal affairs. In view of the manifold and serious troubles elsewhere, there is a mysterious element of wantonness in the whole businees which in a way is even more disturbing than the behaviour of Russia, whose motives are at least clear and obvious. The present vendetta against Spain, moreover, betraes the kind of mental muddle and ineffectiveness which is to be expected if a policy is artificially worked up. If by chance it were not the case a few months ago the Powers by now have succeeded in persuading the great majority of Spaniards to stand by Franco rather than risk the effects of such foreign intervention. No aigument whatever has be..en brought forward to support the charge that the Franco regime in any way endangers world peace, while it is obvious that peace is being deliberately endanget red by Russia in Persia and elsewhere and by Yugoslavia on the Morgan Line, the two countries which are loudest in their denunciation of Spain. The breaking of commercial or diplomatic relations with Spain is more likely to injure other countries where politicel governiwnt and the economic position are * from sound than injure Spain, which has had a far longer • training in self-reliance. Lastly, unrest in 0,ny -part of the West of Europe must further weaken the solidarity of those who are agreed that Russian power and policy must he bal anced if Etwope is to survive. It is high time Britain and America put a SLOP once and for all to a dangerous and sinister conspiracy instead of feebly giving it a cautious blessiog Moscow's Anti-British Propaganda MORE serious than the Soiici breach Vr'l of the Persian Treaty is the maintenance, and indeed intensification, of the Moscow propaganda ''. against Britain. It is surprising that more is not made of this deliberate hostility which goes at least as far as the prewar Nazi and Fascist propaganda. Only with difficulty can one find refer ence to it in the press. It is mentioned occasionally as a passing and unimportant matter in Parliament The Government is silent, and no attempt to reply is made. Yet in international relations, as in personal ones, a confine/JAW policy of miech ief-mak ing against e certain party has to he interpreted as serious teed will. While this continues, damaging British prestige and authority at a particularly difficult time, it is quite idle to talk of Peace ful internatimed relations. And the fact that the propaganda centres on Britain, while neglecting the united States, whose direct pressure on Russian ambitions is even greeter, makes it all the more serious. It cannot be construed as an expression of Communist ideology: it is either a thought out attempt to render Britain ineffective as a world Power and as the potential leader of Western Europe and fhe smaller nations. Some means of self-plater:then must be devised, though indirectly we may profit to the extent Ihei Britain and .Amerioa must draw cheer together in defence of civilisation, a point emphasised by Mr. Churchill.
Britain and the Vatican rrHE Tahiez has noted that.the attatks oil Britain coincide with attacks on the Vatican (the latest example of which appears in the current iseue of the Soviet News. a paper officially published by the Press department of the London Soviet Embassy, where a leading article called " The Irmocence of Pius XI " ends with the following words: "It has been irrefutably established that in the harsh years when mankind was struggling in vain against the black forces of Hitlerism, the Vatican pursued a pro-Hitler policy. This policy remains the same to-day"). Our contemporary indicates that Moscow is in both cases attacking the same philosophy, The Vatican and Britain are defending the Natural Law as taught in the ChriStian tradition and from whose principles the right to personal and national freedom springs. So long as men hold by Christian morals or at least their still enduring inheritance. Moscow will be laced by a spiritual opponent who cannot be destroyed by weight of force or even weight of propaganda. In our view there is to-day a fuller coincidence between the cause of our country and the muse of Christian doctrine than during the war, and it is all the more tragic that this is so littlerealised in this country. If Christianity during the war was thought to be a valuable aid to morale and if Ton then spontaneously organised religious movements and meetings. for the realisatioe of victory, they most certainly met] to-day the same defences. Unfortunately there are too many in the public eye who have hut the smallest conception of the kind of denier that is facing Britain, Europe and the world, and therefore prefer to play with false and undsfendable secularist philosophies and indulge in mild anticlericalism, especially at the expense of the Vatican.
The Trojan Women
WHETHER by accident or design
V the B.B.C., in choosing Euripides' The Trojan Women for broadcasting in their World Theatre series, gave the public the profoundest comment so far on victory over. Germany. The moral of the great tragedy which contains some of the most poignant passages in Greek drama, is the dignity of the suffering of defeat and the comparative superficiality of the advantages of victory. The cause of Troy may not have been as bad as the cause of Hitler's Germany, but the sufferings of the German people are even more bitter • than those of the Trojan women, just es the fruits of victory to the victors themselves and to millions of others involved in the cataclysm of war are much emptier than those which Euripides could contemplate as he cast his mind eback to the legends of the heroic past.
Policy Towards Germany TO the immediate suite-rings of the A Germans, as well as to -many offiets, in the way of increased hunger, lack of houses and fuel, displacement and unemployment. there can be no adequate remedy, though we cannot contemplate with equanimity the virtual collapse of the heart of Europe. But in the long inn prospects have become darker its the Russian intention of forcing a Communist directed single party art QinTnany becomes clearer and more open. It is ironical dee to'day the resurgence of German nationalism should come chiefly from the Russian-directed Communist propaganda, so much so that the Tribune is forced to the conclusion that " we must regard ourselves at liberty to regain our freedom of action in our zone ' and to restore as least some measure of sanity where we have the power to act."
Obviously, to-day, the one sane policy is to do everything we can to build up Germany as a &Wen% of Western Europe and as a necessary unit in her economy. ,/Russia, which has never been troubled by ideological Vansittartion, has as usual stolen a marish on us. She knows perfectly well that the dangers of a German resurgence in these post-war conditions are infinitely less important than the advantages of German territory, wealth and spirit in her Eastern bloc. But if Russia has acted first. we have the advantage that Germany belongs to the West and is strongly anti-Communist. By an intelligent and sound policy, we could still ensure the open or secret allegiance of the great majority of the German people to what we stand for in the West. We are convinced that the French people realise this even if the truth be inconvenient to the French politics! leaders.
A Catholic International WE cannot altogethet sympathise with the suggestion made in Rome Catholic papers that a Catholic political international should be established on the basis of the Christian social-democratic pushes whose influleffic.e in so many countries is now considerable. These parties are doing and have done important and necessary work in the present political conditions, but they arc also inevitably committed, as pelitical parties, to much that falls very far short of the fullness of Christianity as witnessed to by the Hob? Father. Are we, for example, to take the attitude of M.R.P. to Germany, Poland and Spain as the internretation of the Pope's principles? Rather its attitude, we hope, is the condition of its survival as a political foice and therefore a choice between evils. But the creation of any Catholic political international to-day would tend still further to implicate the Church in disputable policies. What we need, rather, we suggest, is a nonpolitical Catholic international communed to the diffusion and establishment in every country of the Church's teaphing in morals, social questions and international relations Such an international would be less poweeful in the temporal sphere, but, unless our guess is very wrong, the time will come when its independence and its refusal to commit itsetf to the exigencies of the ..moment would. give it a spiritual effectiveness altogether more important than any political power.
The "Dunkirk" Spirit SATE are glad to rime that the Gv WV has been thinking along the same lines us ourselves in striving to create a Dunkirk spirit about British production and work in present circumstances. We have dole sympathy with the critics of continued austerity and food-shortage or with those who maintain that sufficient exports are only possible when they are a kind of by-product of borne production. All this is a matter of calculation, and it is fairly obvious that Our present resources will only permit of a heavy and specialised export drive in order to be able to import the raw materials or the maintenance of exports and the gradual replenishment of the home market.
Mr. Attlee spoke simply and clearly its his broadcast, -hut he lacks the emoLionel overtones which are absolutely necessary if the people's imagination is Do be caught. Either Mr. Bevin or Mr. Morrison would hose been more effective. But the Government has still a great deal to do if it is to bring home to the man in the street the reality of our present plight and the only road back to relative prosperity. Far more facts and figures are needed and ail intelligent publicity should be able to make them intelligible and stimulating.
Britain's Chance SOME of the back-benchers in the Labour Warty are constantly demanding a more constructive foreign, imperial and colonial policy. Though we disagree very heartily with the prescriptions they generally offer, they are on the right lines. The present Government, if it has taken over in miserable economic conditions, has a magnificent opportunity of making our people understand the moral Iced which they have the chance of giving to the world. If we paid less attention' to military security and strategic spheres and emphasised far more strongly that Britain's influence is everywhere on the side of personal and national liberties (not the Soviet type) and of wealth production through channels of free trading, our moral prestige would compensate for inevitable losses in power prestige. And this is in the long run the only answer we can give to the dangerous anti-British movements in India and other parts of the world,