Sire—Your diplomatic correspondent, Mr Sencourt, has held the balances so evenly in the all-important matter of an Anglo-Franco-Russian defensive understanding against the Nazi Internationale that I feel like a bystander, with some experience in the arts of personal defence, when seeing one person set upon —I feel as if I would like to divert from him some of the knocks he is undeservedly receiving from idealist correspondents who appear to think very little of the following real factors : (a) the power of Providence to " use the base things of this world to confound the mighty "; (b) the soundness of our Foreign Office and diplomacy when once awakened from past mistakes; (c) that the Premier and Lord Halifax are not only guided men, and themselves men of prayer and judgment, but our Hierarchy have told us to " trust the Premier "; (d) Russia's military organisation is more defensive than offensive, and will " hold " 40 German divisions and save probably 500,000 young English lives in case of war, a role which Czechoslovakia would have fulfilled if it had not been annihilated as a nation; (0) the argument that Poland and Rumania would not hear of Russian aid collapsed when King Carol sent a special envoy to Geneva to sag Rumania put no further obstacle in the way of an Anglo-Russian military alliance and none in the way of RussoRumanian collaboration (evidently the King has heard something); while Poland is of similar mind.
Critics of Mr Sencourt's facts—which have seemed satisfying to our F.O. chiefs, our H.Q. staff, our Ministers, and our own Bishops—should not, I submit, have it all their own way. Most noticeably, our responsible spiritual advisers have not joined in these personal atacks on a military agreement to which the correspondents have not had access.
My first point, given above (a) will be called "Beelzebub casting out Beelzebub", but, you know, that is not my text. And there is another, to my purpose, about making friends with the mammon, etc., for defensible or innocent purposes; and another, on being harmless as doves but wise as serpents. Please, why offend Russia and throw her into Germany's waiting arms? (See fully documented article in current Tablet). All this, if I may be allowed to say so, is discussed, with latest figures of relative strengths, in a book, Anglo-German Future, of mine, published in a fortnight by the National Book Association, which may have surprises for single-track controversialists in this delicate life-and-death matter, in which already our ally France has a military alliance with Russia virtually involving us, and in which we already have guaranteed Russia's frontiers when we guaranteed those of Poland and Rumania, her buffer states! It is always useful to consult a map.
Isn't it unbelief to suppose that Catholic " prayers for Russia " at every Low Mass ever said for over 20 years, are doomed to failure, and that our association (military, for defence), with Russia will have no good effect on her, but only a bad effect on us? That seems more like timidity or pharisaism than bold Christianity and hope.
Go on, Mr Sencourt, keeping the balances even.
W. J. Burros/. Hartley Wintney.