YOL. 171 No. 5105

LONDON MARCH 12th, 1938





From 1800 till the Present Day : By A. A. Parker NATIONALISM AND THE CHURCH IN INDIA

By J . Vijaya-Tunga


From Our Paris Correspondent Full List o f Contents on page 324.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK Defence and Wealth

The White Paper on Defence ends with the words : “ It is expected that the total expenditure on defence over the five financial years 1937-41 will exceed the sum o f £1,500,000,000, ’’ mentioned a year ago. It is expected that next year will be the peak year for this expenditure, but the total cost will vary with the success or otherwise of “ the efforts of His Majesty’s Government to achieve some appeasement in international affairs.” Mr. Chamberlain, when he explained the White Paper, on Monday, made a speech notable in several respects, and deservedly acclaimed at its conclusion. He illustrated particularly the close connection between the normal fife of industry and the strength of a country in time of war. Staying power, he said, depends upon the maintenance of our commercial and industrial activities, in consequence the defence preparations, although they have had to be accelerated to make up for the long neglect before 1935, are not being put in front of everything else. It would be easier to achieve more striking results by a greater interference with normal industry, but what would be gained in the immediate possession of armaments would be lost in other directions. Trade, for example, would suffer a loss of goodwill through being unable to fulfil foreign orders, and that goodwill once lost could not be easily, or in emergency, recovered. The strength of Great Britain will not only be expressed in terms of ships and aeroplanes and guns, but in the maintenance of worldwide trading connections. No country, runs the Prime Minister’s reasoning, will lightly attack a people obviously so much better placed for securing eventual victory in a prolonged struggle. There are too many instances in recent history of the complete miscarrying of strategical plans, which looked like certainties on paper, for any modern Government to feel any confidence in programmes worked out to a timetable. Later speakers in the debate drew the conclusion that any Power making war on Great Britain would concentrate on endeavouring to paralyse, by attack from the air,

the great industrial centres, the factories and the ports, from a conviction that unless the industrial life could be paralysed it would provide continual reinforcements of supplies of all kinds, so that Great Britain, as happened twenty years ago, would emerge from a prolonged struggle less exhausted than either enemies or allies. Arms and the Men

One of the most important contributions to the debate was made by Sir Edward Grigg, whose point was that it is a fallacy to think that rearmament can take place purely in the material field. He was careful not to advocate conscription, indeed the raising of a large army does not play a big part today in British strategical calculations. But he did advocate the enforcement of a general duty to serve in a special constabulary, with a wide range of duties, for the defence of the country against air attack. The temper of the Opposition made it quite plain that they are not impressed by the fact that on the Continent of Europe the countries under Parliamentary Democracy are just as much countries with conscription as those with authoritarian regimes. From the time of the French Revolution conscription has been at the heart of modern democratic theory, so that it could be imposed very easily in the United States in 1917, but it is no part of modern English theory. It h;.d to be engineered with much political adroitness in 1916, and discussion of even the most limited forms of obligation always encounters, at the best, a highly conditional response.

Sometimes it is said, but rather less frequently now, that these extreme measures, like conscription, would only be accepted not for national purposes, but in the name of the League and international law. More often it is said that conscription of life and limb is an intolerable injustice, while private fortunes are not similarly conscripted. It may be assumed that in form some such general conscription of wealth would accompany any military conscription in a future emergency, but if it is granted that the industrial life of the country