VOL. 174 No. 5176

LONDON, JULY 22nd, 1939


IN Tins I S S U E


The documents, and an Article from our Paris Correspondent


An Anthropologist’s study, by H. W. Howes


By Hilaire Belloc


By Our Central European Correspondent

Full List o f Contents on page 100.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK General Ironside in Warsaw

The visit of General Ironside to Warsaw, for military conversations with the Polish Command, is an indication, like the recent flights of British aeroplanes over France, that Great Britain now fully accepts the position of being a continental Power, with all the attendant risks and obligations. When it is considered how much feeling there has been in this country against continental commitments, how gladly people would have believed that the present extreme measures were not necessary, the German mismanagement, so fatally repeating the German errors in the Great War, calls for no further emphasis. Statesmen do not do these things lightly, but only when they see no alternative. If the Poles continue to keep more than one million men under arms, at a cost of not less than £100,000 a day, if the British think it is their own vital interest to see that the independence of Poland is maintained, it is because the whole Danzig issue, when it was abruptly raised in March, carried an unmistakeable warning that the destruction of Czechoslovakia was a prelude and but one step in a succession of German coups deforce which must either be acquiesced in or forcibly halted.

One of the advantages of the highly centralized German Government is that plans can be and are prepared in all directions simultaneously. These preparations, noted by local observers, afford the basis for all sorts of rumours whose circulation also is not without advantages, although it increases the general distrust which the Reich inspires.

The status of the Free City, as of the Corridor, was accepted and covered by the Ten-Year Agreement which Herr Hitler made with the Poles in 1934. Yet the preparations inside Danzig become increasingly formidable and unconcealed. The Poles vigorously deny the current rumours of negotiation, rumours which followed immediately upon the payment of certain German debts to Poland, that payment was unexpected, though it is now considered to have been made in order to prepare the ground for a discussion which the Germans continue to suggest has taken place. The offer which Herr Hitler spoke of in his speech in April as “ made this once by me” and rejected by the Poles, for the German military road across the Corridor, and the return of Danzig to Germany under the specific guarantees, is put out as the basis for talks.

There is no sort of urgency about the future of Danzig except the urgency of Herr Hitler’s ambitions and impatience. Italy and Poland

The Italians, with every reason to want a peaceful settlement, are in a most difficult position. They have so welded their fortunes to those of Germany, that they cannot like to see the Axis held up or rebuffed, and yet the more thoughtful of them know very well that the friendship hitherto subsisting between Italy and Poland rested on something very real. Both Powers want a Central Europe not wholly dominated by the Nazi Reich, and the Italians are now in the unhappy position of having to aid and abet the Germans against the Poles. They have wholly lost that position as a mediatory Power on good terms with both countries, which they might so easily have made their own, and which Mr. Chamberlain’s policy endeavoured to give them. When Herr von Ribbentrop went to Milan the resulting declaration of military alliance was much more emphatic and free from loopholes than had been expected in Rome, even in any very high quarters. It is freely rumoured that the visit of the Italian Minister of Popular Culture, Sgr. Alfieri, to Munich, was not wholly to meet Dr. Goebbels, that he was also charged with proposals for a peaceful settlement over Danzig. He is a rather unlikely diplomatic emissary, although he has for the last year, during which the Duce has been increasingly unapproachable, been one of the few Party leaders enjoying free access to the Duce;