VOL. 172 No. 5131





Impressions of a Visit by Douglas Woodruff THE “ VOLTAIRE” CASE

The Story of the Settlement


By E. R. Roper Power


Full List of Contents on page 324.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Newest Offers by the Czechs

The Sudeten Germans have suspended negotiations on the basis of the third and last series of proposals put forward by the Czechs. These proposals are decisively different to the earlier offers of a share in the composite government of the existing State. They accept the principle of autonomy, and are closely in accordance with the Sudeten demands as they were formulated in the eight points of Herr Henlein’s Carlsbad speech in May. More important, the reservations which the Czechs make are in matters where, in the nature of the case, it would be increasingly easy in the future for the Sudetens to take what had not been conceded. Thus the Prague Government cannot agree to allow the full practice of the National-Socialist creed by people who will still be its citizens, but it will not, in fact, be feasible to prevent the party deciding everything by cajolery or pressure in the German areas. Equally, while the Czech Government cannot agree to renounce its pact with Russia, its whole foreign policy will be profoundly changed once there is autonomy in the minority regions. Indeed, the grant of self-government to the minorities will so transform the outlook as to make the old alliances both insufficient and a source of danger. As the issue takes shape, for the Czechs, it is how they are to preserve their own independence while being almost completely surrounded by a people who outnumber them by ten to one. Germany and World Opinion

The Czech proposals having come so very near to the original Sudeten demands, those demands are announced as minimum requirements, and on Wednesday, just at the moment when negotiations were beginning, certain incidents at a small place called Marrisch-Ostrau, near the Silesian border, where some Sudeten M.P.s were said to have been beaten by the Czech police on their coming to investigate the arrest of Sudeten Germans for harbouring arms, were made into a reason for suspending, though not indeed for abandoning, the negotiations. An immediate inquiry has been promised by the Czech Government. The German attitude deliberately throws all the burden for maintaining an atmosphere in which negotiations can continue, on the Czechs. These tactics are not ineffective in the actual dour bargaining between Germans and Czechs. It is perhaps true that if the Germans gave any real evidence of an easier temper, the Czechs would at once draw back a little from their present limits of concession, as President Benes showed a disposition to do immediately after Sir John Simon’s speech at Lanark.

But what may be good tactics on the German point of view vis-à-vis the Czechs, are increasingly ill-omened for Germany’s relations with the western world. The history of the last war carries its condemnation of German diplomacy, particularly in the United States, which was not in the least anxious to fight in Europe, and yet was led by the way the Germans handled the submarine campaign into an intervention which proved decisive in the end. For all his emphatic recognition of the gross German errors, before the war in regard to Great Britain, and during the war in regard to America, the author of Mein Kampf is not, today, contriving to improve upon the Hohenzollerns. The T.U.C. Manifesto

The elements in Great Britain which are normally and by tradition most opposed to the notion of war, are today the elements most completely reconciled to the idea of it. The T.U.C. resolution calling for the immediate recall of Parliament, expresses an opposition attitude which is more anxious for a strong British line than for the preservation of peace, this year, at almost any price.

The British Government, if the worst is avoided, is pretty sure to be violently attacked in Great Britain for a mediation which has carried the Czechs very much farther than they would have gone or found it easy to go without the presence of a British mission. The tacit understanding between the Czechs and the British, the title by which Great Britain is playing so large a role in Prague today, is that in the last resort, if it should come to naked violence, the British Empire and the United States will both be found behind the countries formerly allied by defensive treaties with Czechoslovakia. The price of this support, which might so