An American warning to Britain not to be duped by Nazi pledges and Nazi speeches and not to draw distinctions between Nazi domestic and foreign policies, atracted much interest here on its publication in the London Times.
The warning was in the form of a letter from Hamilton Fish Armstrong, famed authority on international politics and editor of the publication, Foreign Affairs.
Replying to a series of letters which have appeared in The Times from outstanding Englishmen, Mr. Armstrong states:
“Sir,â€”Some remarkable views about Germany have been expressed in letters to The Times during the past week. Mr. G. M. Young has asked the outside world to ‘suspend judgment’ on Nazi policy. Sir John Marriott has supported the plea so far as Nazi actions within Germany are concerned, though graciously reserving to us the privilege of continuing to hold and express views regarding Nazi action in the foreign field. Dr. John Murray has brought forward the novel idea that perhaps Hitler is the great democrat in disguise. To use his own phrase, ‘Hitler is not so very far from the kingdom of democracy.
“It is an old idea that we get the sort of government we deserve. The writer, who is an American, hopes that Mr. Young, Sir John Marriott, and Dr. Murray will not get a Nazi government or anything like it. But if there are very many professed Democrats who, like them, do not care really obstinately about the preservation of human rights and democratic processes of government, and who have paid no attention to the development of the technique by which those processes have been destroyed in one country after another, then there is ground for believing that that is precisely what they deserve.
“How long is ‘suspension of judgment’ to be continued? How long is to be the series of outrages against what in modern times has been considered honesty in act and truth in utterance, fair play for the weak, and a decent regard for contrary opinions before people may, without fear of offending against the amenities of gentlemanly conduct, express themselves? And what if those whom we do not criticize prove not to be grateful, but instead take silence for approval or as a sign that the rest of the world is already half beaten?
“What if they act in accordance with the precept of the present German Chancellor (written in a book sold by the million, and still being sold)â€”namely, that no treaty or promise counts except in the sense that it serves the tactic of the moment and tends to give the man making it the opportunity of securing absolute power, so that he may safely disregard that treaty and withdraw that promise?
“British policy should, and I have no doubt will, be directed in the manner best suited to the protection and preservation of the national interest. No man asks his government, or any government, to do more. If Great Britain is prepared to accept the well-defined political and military program of Germany’s present rulers (if Mr. Young, Sir John Marriott, and Dr. Murray have forgotten it, let them turn back to the full and conscientious dispatches of your Berlin correspondent during the past two years), it is not for an American to criticize.
“The attempt, however, to separate the domestic from the foreign policies of the Nazis is vain. According to Nazi doctrine tnd practice, domestic and foreign policy are very well integrated and form background and foreground of the same picture. As for the idea that in order not to hamper a government in possibly becoming reconciled to another government’s political program, citizens must mutely accept violence done, every precept ever uttered by enlightened philosophers or enjoined by Christian teachersâ€”that idea seems so fallacious that even a visitor may perhaps be permitted to intrude a meek but far from despairing ‘No!’”