THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 174 No. 5198

LONDON, DECEMBER 23rd, 1939

SIXPENCE

IN THIS ISSUE LUMEN DE LUMINE

By R. H. J. Steuart, S.J. THE OX AND THE ASS Their Place in Christian Tradition and Art: By Nesta de Robeck EUROPEAN UNITY AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS

By Christopher Dawson

II. THE NATION-STATE AND THE EUROPEAN UNITY

VIRGIL AND THE WAR

By Christopher Hollis Full List o f Contents on page 7 1 6 . __________________

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK Count Ciano’s Speech the danger of the British guarantee to Poland was

The great moment of surprise for the audience pointed out to the British by the Duce as likely to lead which assembled last Saturday to hear from Count to war, but the very reason why the guarantee was such Ciano a survey of Italian foreign policy, came when a profoundly wise policy was that it stiffened the Poles he announced that it was only at ten o ’clock on the and enabled them to resist dictation. Herr Hitler evening of August 21st that Herr von Ribbentrop had either to slow down his pace and accept combroke to him the news that the German-Soviet Pact promise, as it was hoped he would do, or fight Britain was to be signed on the 23rd. The Italians had relied and France at the time chosen by themselves and not on opposition to Communism and the Soviet as funda- by him. The risk was quite deliberately faced and the mental with their German allies. The Italian Government calculation has not been falsified, knew, of course, as did every other government that the Soviet had deeply resented being left on one side Three Years or Five at Munich. That was undoubtedly the right policy When Germany and Italy signed their military for the European Powers to pursue. If the Munich alliance in May, said Count Ciano, the Italians made Settlement had been observed by Germany, that policy it plain that they wanted at least three years of peace, could have been continued. which the Germans capped by wanting four or ve.

Count Ciano did not sufficiently allow for the complete This did not mean, we are assured, that at the end ot transformation of the situation by the German invasion such a period there would be war. But if the periods of Bohemia and Slovakia in March. He attached, meant anything at all, they meant that the Axis Powers on the other hand, too much weight to the movement would be in a position to make stronger demands of opinion in France and Britain against the Munich than in 1939. Central Europe would have been settlement. In both France and Britain the Governments completely dominated and the German War against which made the Munich Agreement had nothing to the West could have been unloosed at any moment fear from public opinion. After Munich, M. Daladier without the Allies having that invaluable interval which went from strength to strength, and his position in Polish resistance gave, and was intended to give. T e December, after defeating the attempted general strike, impression emerges very strongly from the Ciano was as strong as that of Mr. Chamberlain. What changed speech, from its statements about what happened in the attitudes of both Governments was a progressive May and August, that Herr von Ribbentrop and realization, which came out very clearly in Mr. Herr Hitler with him, deceived the Italians in May. Chamberlain’s speech to the Foreign Press Association They were resolved to go to all lengths against Poland, in December, that Munich was not being taken by but they were confident of being able to confine the Herr Hitler as a fresh point of departure for moderate War to a short and victorious overrunning of the policy but merely as a stepping-stone from which Poles. The Nazi leaders must appear in Italian eyes to press on, and claim and take more and more. In as people with whom it is a great mistake to get too December, Mr. Chamberlain judged it necessary to closely connected, men making great mistakes ot make a significant reference to Napoleon. What judgment and proving singularly lacking in straighthappened in March was not altogether a surprise, forwardness towards a military ally, but it was a show-down. It was a German declaration When it is recollected how very recently Count to the world of an intention forcibly to incorporate Ciano himself has repeated the Italian opposition to and exploit subject peoples, and to expand the Greater the Soviet, his speech was singularly lacking in any Reich until stopped by force. Count Ciano said that reference to the People of Finland, and not as emphatic