THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

VOL. 170 No. 5094

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

LONDON DECEMBER 25th, 1937

SIXPENCE

IN THIS ISSUE

THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH

By R. H. J. Steuart, S.J.

A LETTER ABOUT CHRISTMAS

By Ronald Knox

St. NOEL : THE PATRON SAINT OF MISFITS

By J. Brodrick, S.J.

“NATUS EST HODIE” “QUIA AMORE LANGUEO”

By T. S. Gregory

With Woodcuts by Eric Gill

Full List o f Contents on page 864.

T H E W O R L D W E E K B Y W E E K Japanese Plans

Good Yen after Bad

General Matsui made an important declaration soon after the taking o f Nanking, that he thought the time had probably come for a lull, to give the Chinese time to reconsider their hostility and the Japanese troops time to rest. In the West we are not accustomed to Commanders in Chief expressing such clear views on policy. But Japan is virtually a dyarchy under the Mikado, governed by agreement between the high command and the civil cabinet. It is Japanese policy now to build up a puppet Government in Pekin and to extend control to Canton. This is a decision o f extreme importance. A Japanese Nanking would deprive Shanghai of most o f its value. A Japanese Canton would make Hong-Kong o f very little worth. Siam, where the Japanese arc well entrenched, now begins to figure importantly in Far Eastern calculations, because on its attitude the future o f French Indo-China will depend. In America there has been a certain stiffening, ,and Governor Landon, as a spokesman for the Repub­

lican Party, which considers itself the chief inheritor of Washington’s advice about no foreign entanglements, has indicated to the President that there will be a united country for firm action in the Far East. Mr. Eden said in the Foreign Affairs debate that he was in close consultation with the United States, and it will be remembered that when he spoke in the last debate he said he would go to extreme lengths to secure such consultation. The two fleets may well act together.

The Japanese are playing for very high stakes. For some years now the country has been attempting too much. It has been trying to develop the huge areas of North China over which it has obtained effective control, while building up an army to shelter development. The five years o f this double strain have been years of constricted world trade and foreign lending. The insecurity o f the mainland of China is as much the effect, as the cause, of Japanese policy, and the Japanese are now making a great bid to eliminate that insecurity by conquest. It is an adventure which is further straining their resources. The political opposition in Japan has been suppressed lest the adventure should be approached with a divided will. A Continuing Blunder

A recent article in the Manchester Guardian gave a traveller’s impressions of American opinion today, and brought out what this paper is continually saying, that it is the gravest psychological blunder for the British Government to continue blindly to ignore the very real question of the British debt to the States. While we are spending such huge sums on rearmament we ought to consider this an essential part o f rearmament, a preparation for obtaining American loans and goodwill should we need it in another war. The American Government may appreciate the difficulties o f payment, the American public does not. We cannot talk o f our surpluses and our huge outlay on re-equipment, and then pretend we could not afford, at any rate gradual