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VOL. 171 No. 5104



LONDON MARCH 5th, 1938




From 1800 till the Present Day : By A. A. Parker

GERMAN AUSTRIA The Stronghold of German Catholicism: By Edward Quinn


A Review of Professor J, B. S. Haldane’s “Heredity and Politics” : By W. R. Thompson, F.R.S.


Full List of Programmes Full List o f Contents on page 292.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Talks with Italy

Austria Still Independent

Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax have lost no time in instructing the British Ambassador in Rome, Lord Perth, for the immediately opening conversations with Italy.

What is in prospect is not a deal but a reconciliation. But any agreement will have to be fairly precise if it is not to be a source of mischief in the future. The gentlemen’s agreement of January, 1937, suffered from being couched in such very brief and general terms, that it was easy for the enemies of Italy in the country to pretend that a recognition of the territorial status quo in the Mediterranean, as between Britain and Italy, was equivalent to a promise to abandon General Franco. The garrison in Libya will obviously need a widely fluctuating strength in the next few years, apart altogether from Egypt and the Canal. The dispositions of forces in the Mediterranean must be determined all the time by the diplomatic outlook. Great Britain’s use of Haifa and Cyprus, for example, is closely dependent upon the attitude of Turkey and of Greece. What the agreement is to do, is something much more important and far-reaching than arranging for temporary concessions and recognitions of Mediterranean rights and interests. The Balkan countries have, in the last few days, recognized Italy in Abyssinia, and at the same time have sent trade envoys to Nationalist Spain. This tendency will become universal. In essence, we seek to expunge the animosities of the last two years, to recognize that both in the Mediterranean and in Europe there are extremely strong common interests which ought not to be sacrificed for the sake of phrases. The presence of Lord Halifax, in place of Mr. Eden, should be a considerable help.

When Mr. Eden addressed his constituents at Leamington he repeated his contention that the Italian communication amounted to a threat that negotiations must be now or never. He did not ask that the documents should be published, though we do not believe that the Cabinet would suffer whatever the interpretation the public might place upon the language used. If it is right to negotiate it is wrong, in a matter of such moment, to refuse, because of the other party’s way of expressing himself. But the real threat is that which arises from the state of Centra] Europe. Had these negotiations been begun, as they should have been begun, last summer, Dr. Schuschnigg would never have had his moment of apparent abandonment. The firm tone of his speech at the end of last week, with its vigorous affirmation that the essentials of Austrian independence have not been, and will not be forfeited, may reasonably be taken as the first fruits of the new policy in London. It is a policy which seeks to substitute the reality of Anglo-Italian accord for the repetition of Geneva phraseology. There is no doubt which policy is more heartening to Central Europe. If the talks with Italy go well, nothing can do more to prevent sharply hostile alignments in Central Europe than the active policy of the two Powers who want to prevent a stark opposition of Germany and France. This will not involve Italian abandonment of Germany, or British abandonment of France, but it will mean the effective reappearance of moderating influences at present stultified by recrimination. The Moral Note

The Labour Party is now holding a post mortem on its tactics, asking itself, as well it may, whether a vote of censure was ever called for, and whether Parliamentary opposition could not have been more successfully designed to achieve some sort of split in the ranks of the National

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