TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 170 No. 5093

LONDON DECEMBER 18th. 1937

SIXPENCE

IN THIS ISSUE

THE THEOLOGY OF ALDOUS HUXLEY

A Study of “ Ends and Means,” by E. I. Watkin THE GENEVA INTERNATIONAL

By “Augur” HISPANIA RESURGENS An Original Drawing by Thomas Derrick

THE WILFRID WARDS

by Algernon Cecil Full List o f Contents on page 828.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Note to Japan

The British and American Governments have addressed severe notes to the Japanese, making plain the inadequacy of the Japanese excuses that when British or American ships in the Yangtse River were fired on, it was all a mistake. There have been too many of these incidents, and it reflects very poorly on Japanese military precision if they are continually mistaking their targets. It is thought much more probable that these incidents are not accidental. They are designed to test the public temper in Britain and America, as a guide to Japanese policy. It is a question of the greatest importance, how far democracies can be effective imperialisms. Both Britain and America are full of comfortable idealists who want the incomes of imperialism while disapproving of the force on which the system has been built up and rests.

The ineffectiveness of the Brussels Conference suggested very plainly that neither Power was ready to be very energetic in defending its Chinese interests. Mr. Cordell Hull has explicitly denied that there has been any discussion of a joint action of Anglo-American naval demonstration. All the European Powers have, in different degrees, the same interest in maintaining their trade with China. This is also the interest in the United States, and the initiative rests with Britain and America. The Japanese victories continue on the mainland, and a puppet State on the Manchukuo model is being set up in Pekin. The test for British interests in China will come further south, if the Japanese continue their expansion and move against Canton. A sense of extreme necessity may lead to effective Anglo-American action in the Far East, but Mr. Roosevelt has to reckon with a public opinion extremely suspicious of joint action with Britain. The two Powers blame each other for the events of 1931. Then the attempt to use the League machinery, while America would have nothing to do with the League, was a difficulty in the way of a common policy which does not exist today. Japanese national feeling can only be hardened behind the military party if the issues are crudely and over-simply presented in terms of Japanese aggression. There is too much similarity in the conduct of all the great commercial Powers in dealing with the weak Chinese Governments. The Chinese Republic of quarter-of-a-century back was supported by outside finance. It was intended to consummate a policy of forcing the Chinese to open their country to the operations of international capital. The Communist operations of the last twenty years have followed the model of the earlier capitalist penetration, and what is being attacked today by the Japanese is not a country, but a welter of conflicting interests. Meanwhile it is an important element in the situation that both English and American money has played a great part in building up the strength of the new Japan. American investment in Japan is more than twice as big as American investment in China, and it would not be worth salvaging the one at the risk of totally losing the other. These are the insoluble problems which weigh on the statesmen of this transition period, when national feeling is asserting itself in a world whose economic order presupposes its subordination to international finance and the free movement of capital in quest of profit. Italy Leaves the League

Signor Mussolini’s announcement that Italy has finished with the League of Nations has not caused any great surprise anywhere. It is a disappointment to British policy, because it was immediately followed by a German declaration that Germany would not be returning to the League. British policy has always envisaged an eventual reform of the Covenant, and in particular the removal of automatic penalty clauses, to be invoked on the application of certain rules which might or might not have any relation to the requirements either of abstract justice, or of statesmanship. It was hoped that both Italy and Germany would