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THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 168 No. 5038

LONDON NOVEMBER 28th, 1936

SIXPENCE

PRINCIPAL CONTENTS

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK

729 THE CHURCH ABROAD ......................... 744

WHEN BRITAIN WOULD GO TO WAR ; WHAT PEACE MEANS ; BRI1ISH UNCERTAINTIES ABOUT SPAIN ; A RUSSIAN ARMADA ; THE MOORS ; STRIKING AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR ; THE GERMAN-JAPANESE PACT LEADING ARTICLES ......................... 732 BOOKS OF THE WEEK ......................... LORD HALIFAX ; THE STRAIGHT PATH ; THE CORPSE ON PRIMROSE HILL ; DEBUSSY ; ON THE TRACK OF THE EXODUS ; ENGLAND

746

DOGMA AND THE STATE ; HERALDIC TAXES AND HOLY MOTTOES

ENGLISH CATHOLICS AND SPAIN 750

SOUTH WALES .....................................

By a “TABLET” INVESTIGATOR

733 TOWN AND COUNTRY .......................... 752

GENERAL FRANCO ..................................... 735 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR......................... 754 PAUL BERTRAND ..................................... 737 O B IT U A R IE S ................................................. 757 GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, in ROME LETTER ..................................... 739 741 CHESS AND CROSSWORD......................... 758 DUBLIN LETTER ..................................... 742 THE CALENDAR ..................................... 760 PARIS LETTER ..................................... 743 THE FOREIGN M IS S IO N S ......................... 760

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK When Britain would go to War

The Call to “ Organise Peace”

Mr. Eden made a welcome speech at Leamington, defining with some precision the present extent of British commitments, and the reasons for which this country would go to war. Those reasons are—first, the defence of the territory of the Empire, and secondly, the defence of France and Belgium in the event of unprovoked invasion in accordance with the existing guarantee of Locarno ; thirdly, to keep the promises made to Irak and Egypt in the recent treaties, by which Great Britain stands behind two places for which she has been wholly responsible in the immediate past. Mr. Eden added a fourth commitment which might be undertaken, the support of Germany against unprovoked aggression, if a new Locarno settlement should be negotiated. Such negotiations are now unlikely, and it may be taken as clearly established before Europe, that Great Britain is not likely to take part in war for any other reasons than these. There is no automatic obligation to take military action under the Covenant, though Mr. Eden said that Great Britain might, in special circumstances, do so. The speech had a very good reception in France, but French comment naturally enough, dwelt more on the promise of help against unprovoked aggression than on the limitations which accompany this assurance. It was not a profession of solidarity with French policy, and there is no British obligation to help France if France should be attacked through getting involved in the affairs of Central Europe. The French will have to choose between the line of action which envisages the separation of Western Europe on the lines of Locarno, from the tangled frontier questions of middle Europe, and the line at present being followed, but with increasing misgivings, of the pact with the Soviet and French commitments to Germany’s eastern neighbours.

The best part of Mr. Eden’s speech was the absence of any enthusiasm for military commitments in pursuit of collective security. We may count ourselves very fortunate, if we read the history of the framing of the Covenant and the last minute changes, that the wording is not more definite than it is, and that we can approach the immediate future with free hands. But the old spirit of rash commitment is still active in the country. The latest poster of the League of Nations Union is a typical example ; it runs “ If you want peace, organise peace.” It is a popular notion today that organisation is the key to everything. A poster like this prepares the way for questionnaires like the nearly disastrous Peace Ballot of eighteen months ago. The idea is first suggested that the great essential is the construction of an automatic system by which everybody shall fight on the same side against an aggressor nation. With a careful choice of words, it would be only too easy to get masses of people to sign papers in favour of making war to support the remotest geographical provisions of the Peace Treaty of seventeen years ago. Voting Without Meaning

It is one of the main weaknesses of democracy that voting systems take no account of intensity of conviction and readiness for sacrifice, so that a person who signs a ballot paper to oblige a friend, or from a general habit of doing whatever he or she is asked to do at the front door, counts in a numerical reckoning exactly the same as a devoted and fanatical partisan ready to die. A high proportion of the very same people who sign these ballots and vote for these resolutions in the hope that peace can be kept without much effort, will be foremost in the great cry to keep out which will go up in this country as soon as a stark issue is presented.

It is a curious combination of historical inheritances which has made an uninstructed and remote public opinion in Great Britain of such tremendous moment in

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