April IS, 1936.

THE TABLET A Weekly Newspaper and Review

V ol. 167, No. 5006.

L ondon, A pril i 8, 1936

R eg is t er ed at the General P ost Of f ic e as a New s pa p er .

S ix p e n c e



P age

P age

WEEK BY WEEK .......... ...................... 481 THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD (R ome

LEADING ARTICLES .... ...................... 484 L etter) ............................................... ........... 492


...................... 485 THE NEW BOOKS ................... ........... 494

THE EMPTY PEW ( R onald K noxI ............ 488 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ... ........... 506 PARIS LETTER ............ ...................... 490 ST. ANSELM AND ST. GEORGE . ........... 510



HT' HE chief danger at the moment is that dis-

appointed idealists in Great Britain may stampede the Government into attempts to give a semblance of life to something which has never in fact been alive at all. Europe does not enjoy any system of collective security, and has not done so since the vast alliance of the powers which defeated Germany met together to divide the spoils. The cost in lives and wealth of that victory was so tremendous that something had to be done to safeguard the future. But British policy has moved uneasily from 1919 until to-day between two differing conceptions of the League of Nations. To the French the League has been the main guardian of the Versailles settlement, the form under which Franco-British co-operation to maintain the settlement was to go on. The clauses in the League Covenant fixing how an aggressor was to be defined and how condemned, and the pledges which bound the members to act against him were always bulwarks of the status quo. Many detached critics pointed out that the League was much better organized to stereotype existing arrangements than to provide for change in a peaceful way. To the French the great charm of the League was that it was so organized, and M. Sarraut, the French Premier, has just made a frank speech, primarily for home consumption, about the disappointment felt in France that the League was not proving the support for French policy which it had been hoped it was. Prompt sanctions against Germany would have fulfilled the requirements.

This speech is in line with M. Flandin’s recent pronouncement that the value of Great Britain to France is essentially bound up with saving what may still be saved of the Versailles settlement. Anglo-French co-operation, as it came into being ten years before the Great War was an ad hoc drawing together in the face of Imperial Germany. It had no deeper foundation. It endured while the

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peril gathered and when it broke. It survived the War and the Peace Treaty, and the growing friction of the post-War years, because it had a real basis of common interest which still exists. But no sooner had the War ended than a divergence of interests appeared, and the French saw the British handing round the flask to the man on whose chest they were sitting. The British view was that German militarism had happily collapsed, that the Revolution in Germany, once it was plain that it was a revolution of a moderate and constitutional type, deserved encouragement, and the Weimar Republic was fed with money from England and America in order that Germany might again become a great manufacturing country paying tribute as reparations. The French could not resist the argument that Germany must be put on her feet if she was to pay, and reparations in the French calculation were intended to go on as a permanent matter of holding down a dangerous and defeated neighbour. When Great Britain refused to march with France and occupy the Ruhr, the seeds of Locarno were sown. Locarno, from the French point of view, extended a principle already fruitfully employed to link the French with the little countries set up out of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, countries whose whole raison d’être and charters of existence were the Versailles treaties.


The present disposition of public opinion in Great Britain to consider that the time has come for a complete liquidation of those settlements is in the main a sound one ; but we lose touch with the realities of the situation, if we forget that to talk of free and frank revision of what was done in 1919, means, to the citizens of the Danube countries, to throw into the melting-pot all their frontiers. It is generally accepted that Hungary was the victim of great injustice. Mr. Harold Nicolson has explained in his study of that side of the Peace Conference work with which he was intimately associated, how it came about that Hungary was deprived, on each side, of far more territory than anybody had envisaged. Separate commissions considered the