GREAT sighs of relief went up at breakfast tables all over this country on Wednesday morning when we learned of President Johnson's landslide victory over Senator Barry Goldwater. The issues at stake went deeper by far than the "finger on the trigger" slogan, It is not enough to avoid nuclear war. There are positive values to be
Most of us want Johnson because he stands for the same things as his predecessor, the late President Kennedy. Those things can be summed up as a sense of world community, of the univereal human family; an urge for a closely-knit, well integrated comity of nations. Nationalism must have its rights to the extent of establishing and maintaining the identity and character of each human group—but with a view to contributing more, not less, to the human family as a whole.
There was a time during President Kennedy's term of office when one could begin to dream in terms of a close relationship between a united Europe, the United States of America, and the British Commonwealth—with EFTA and the Common Market merged and Britain as the common factor binding the whole of the union together.
These hopes have receded. President De Gaulle threatens to smash the Common Market, or at least hold it to ransom. He does not want it to develop into a political structure, and, even if it did, he would not have Britain in. Other European countries which have fought for Britain against him have now grown weary of holding the door open. and even M. Spaak now talks openly of a federated Europe Without the United Kingdom.
EFTA feels betrayed by our newly imposed import surcharge. The Concorde, which might have forged new bonds between France and Britain. seems to be a dead cert for the scrap heap. Many of us are now candidly facing the fact that, underneath the entente cordiale and rnore than half a century's waffle about. France our glorious ally, the truth is that Britons and
Frenchmen have never realty ceased to dislike, distrust and despise each other.
The threat to the European concept is as much our fault as anyone's, For a decade after the war Europe implored us to come in as leader, and we dithered until it was too late. Both main parties must take their share of the blame for the past. Today, however, it is our Labour government which, for all its valuable ideas for cementing the Atlantic alliance, cannot bed down with the essential Europe.
It can accept EFTA, mainly Protestant or secujarist, with strong leanings to socialism. It is, to say the least, profoundly uneasy about the inner ring, the Common Market area, with its Catholic background and its post-war history of Christian Democracy.
But a radical reappraisal is urgently necessary if Britain is not to find herself out on a limb. This is all the more true at a time when Spain, about to become a power to reckon with again. is being driven by our attitudes into the arms of De Gaulle. And where Spain goes, many Latin American elements are likely to follow.
Without Britain, Europe will always tend to look inwards instead of trying to acquire the Kennedy vision, Without Europe, Britain is abdicating her own traditions and nature, quite apart from the far-reaching effects on our economy and political influence.
Britain's outlook on the wider world is not characterised by a Gaullist egocentrism. We are the natural match-makers for Europe and the Americas, and, with France trying to go it alone and the United Kingdom on the circumference, an imperfectly united Europe cannot contribute adequately to the Atlantic Alliance.
The time has conic for this country to declare categorically its readiness to enter into a politically united Europe, without France if necessary, until such time as her leadership changes. There are many elements in the Common Market countries which, like Churchill, have had enough of the Cross of Lorraine, and might very well give us the warmest welcome even at this late date.