Adolf Hitler’s biggest victory has been the conversion of The Times, England’s most famous newspaper, declares George Malcolm Thomson in an unusual article in the Daily Express.
"The newspapers tell us what the nation is thinking," says Mr. Thomson, discussing the effects on England of Chancellor Hitler’s latest speech. "They reflect the strength of the various tendecies in opinion. Let us try to estimate the strength of these elements.
"In the last few months Hitler has won two great victories. He has won the Saar territory and he has won the Times newspaper. The Saar is worth much to him. It has rich coal mines. The conquest of its people in the plebiscite has enhanced Hitler’s prestige immensely.
"But the conquest of The Times is worth more to Hitler than all the coal of the Saar Basin. It is the best thing that has happened to him in this country.
ITS VALUE TO HITLER
"Before The Times became the supporter of the Nazis, Hitler had only one adherent in the British press: the Daily Mail. A powerful ally. Determined in its advocacy. Sincere in its beliefs. Commanding allegiance from a vast public.
"But The Times is worth more to Hitler than the Daily Mail because the latter newspaper has always looked with favor on foreign governments of an authoritarian character. On that account its support for the Hitler regime was to be expected.
"The support of The Times, on the other hand, is support attracted from the opposite camp. It is a battalion detached from the enemy."
HOW OTHER PAPERS STAND
Mr. Thomson appraises other leading London newspapers as follows:
Daily Telegraph—"… its opposition to the Germans has been softened in recent months. It now takes up a middle position, detached from hard and fast allegiancv, from which it can easily move towards definite support for a compromise with the Nazis."
Morning Post—"alone among the national newspapers, remains true to the conception of a French alliance. Even the association of France with Soviet Russia has not weakened the loyalty of this Conservative newspaper to the old Entente."
News-Chronicle—"a Liberal organ with some Labor tendencies, is favorable to the German point of view. It proposes that if Hitler address soft words to us, we should return soft words to Hitler."
GUARDIAN STILL HOSTILE
Daily Herald — "Strongly anti-Hitler in the early days of the Nazi regime, it now has praise for Hitler. It finds comfort in his latest speech… the reason is not so much love of Hitler as hostility to the British government."
Manchester Guardian—"Remains hostile to Germany. But the attitude of this Liberal newspaper is determined not so much by fear of German intentions in the field of foreign policy as by hatred of the persecutions of Jews, Roman Catholics, Socialists and Communists which the Nazis have carried out and are still carrying out."
Daily Express—"… it got at cross purposes with his (Hitler’s) government over the persecutions of the Jews and the attacks on the Roman Catholics…. It urges the benefits of a policy of isolation…. It is obvious, therefore, that it can have no feeling towards Germany one way or the other."
SEES SYMPATHY FOR HITLER
Thomson’s summary of the newspaper stand is:
"Taken all over then, the British press shows much sympathy for Hitler. The Daily Express stands alone for isolation. The Morning Post lifts a lonely banner of alliance with France. The Manchester Guardian encourages no illusions about Hitler. But elsewhere kind words for Hitler, a belief that we should come to terms with that leader."
But do the newspaper accurately represent British public opinion?
"What is more," says Mr. Thomson, "the trade unions have eased up in their hostility to the Nazi regime. When Hitler destroyed the German trade union movement and sent its leaders to the concentration camps, bitter was the denunciation that went forth from the chiefs of the British unions. It seemed that an undying hostility had been proclaimed.
"But the hostility has been damped down. The reason is that Fascism in this country has failed to become a movement of any consequence.
DEPLORES SILENCE OF JEWS
"Harder to account for is the silence in the Jewish camp. They made an impressive start, but, as things have turned out, they have not fought well against the Nazis. Yet the cause is as urgent as ever. The persecution of Israel in Germany goes on with undiminishing severity. And the German government, at the same time, encourages anti-Jewish feeling in this country.
"The campaign against religion in Germany, accompanied by persecution of pastors and priests and by propaganda in favor of a pagan cult, has failed to excite the active horror in Britain that might have been looked for. The Nazis have escaped the condemnation which descended on the Bolsheviks for their anti-God campaign.:
"So here is the new fact which we must face: The existence in this country of a large body of opinion favorable to the German point of view, willing to make terms with Germany, offering concessions to the ambitions of Hitler. The movement goes very far….