- Browse by Issue:
It becomes clearer and clearer that January 14, 1963, is fated to go down in history as the "black Monday" of both European policy and Atlantic policy. What occurred that day was something much more significant than the mere dooming of negotiations between Great Britain and the European Community. It was, in plain fact, an attack on the Atlantic Alliance and the European Community-an attack, that is, on the two most significant achievements of the free world since the end of the Second World War.
After the events of the past six months, few people on either side of the Atlantic would dispute the view that the concept of Atlantic partnership and the imagery of "twin pillars" and "dumbbells" need reconsidering. As applied, the imagery has obscured the disparity in European economic and strategic strength; it has overlooked the contrast between America's genuine desire to see European economic strength increase and cohere, and its equally genuine reluctance to encourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons; it has assumed an identity of political interest between the United States and Western Europe which can, one hopes, be evolved but may not exist prima facie; and it has rested on an important confusion between the six West European countries of the Community and the 12 European countries in NATO, whose interests also are not identical with one another.
To judge from the daily news, the management of American foreign policy is the art of throwing ourselves into one crisis after another. By shifting the spotlight from one trouble spot to the next, the impression is created that the United States Government deals exclusively in short-range reactions to external emergencies.
Practically nobody in these islands understands the Party System. Britons do not know its history. They believe that it is founded in human nature and therefore indestructible and eternal . . . by the immutable law of political human nature.
Canadians like to remind their more turbulent friends that they have grown by evolution rather than revolution. In the language of the country, therefore, the present might be described as a pre-evolutionary phase. The change of Government from Conservative to Liberal in April may usher in changes, but politics are only the surface manifestation of a crisis which involves the whole fabric of national life. For several years there has been an intense examination of Canada's economic, constitutional and cultural foundations, conducted in a charged political atmosphere, by no means entirely rational, but a grand debate nevertheless. Canadians have been staring with less blinking than usual at the harder facts, even asking themselves whether the continued existence of the country is justified. They have been stung by criticism from abroad which reached beyond the acts of the Government to question Canadian institutions and traditions- criticism which was unqualified by the benevolent indulgence to which nicely behaved lesser powers have become accustomed. Canada has perhaps suffered too long from the illusion that it is a young country with the license of youth in world affairs, and its course may be firmer as Canadians realize that they are not only middle-powered but middle-aged. The sobriety which has followed a tumultuous election, with the world for the first time looking on, is a mood in which fundamental changes can be accepted. On the eve of the hundredth anniversary of confederation, Canadians in anguish have been discovering its worth and seem disposed to meet present challenges with restored faith-if only they and their leaders can work out some answers.
The Federation of Malaysia is scheduled to come into existence on August 31 of this year by the merger of the existing Federation of Malaya with Singapore, the British colonies of Sarawak and North Borneo and the British- protected Sultanate of Brunei, thus forming a crescent well over a thousand miles long from the borders of Thailand almost to within eyesight of the southernmost Philippine islands. Although many difficulties stand in the way, the British and Malayan Governments say categorically that they will not be deterred from pushing the plan through. Some of the difficulties are historical and local, for the new Federation will be a rather arbitrary assemblage of widely separated territories with mixed populations at different stages of development. More important are the objections raised by Indonesia and the Philippines.
Oscar Wilde is said to have observed that America really was discovered by a dozen people before Columbus, but it was always successfully hushed up. I am tempted to feel that way about the Peace Corps; the idea of a national effort of this type had been proposed many times in past years. But in 1960 and 1961 for the first time the idea was joined with the power and the desire to implement it. On November 2, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy proposed a "peace corps" in a campaign speech at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Thirty thousand Americans wrote immediately to support the idea; thousands volunteered to join.
More rapid economic development for the less developed areas of the world is something which most of us in the United States want very much. We want it for humanitarian reasons and we want it because we believe it is in our national interest. There is, therefore, great public concern about our programs of assistance to developing areas, and in recent months there has been considerable discussion of the appropriate roles of public assistance and private international investment in contributing to economic development. These are important issues; but it is also important to keep them in perspective. What developing countries do for themselves is more important than what others do for them. In the majority of developing countries the adoption of a framework of law and regulations conducive to the full use by their citizens of productive resources that already exist would probably make a greater contribution toward their development than is now provided by all external assistance from both public and private sources.
In 1962 the European enthusiasts in Brussels were explaining regretfully that although British membership would slow down the process of European integration-perhaps severely impede the whole movement toward a United States of Europe-it was a price that had to be paid for widening the geographical spread of the Community. No doubt these people, while regretting the manner of General de Gaulle's rupture of negotiations with Britain, are now privately relieved that the price will not have to be paid. Their view is that Britain's inherent weakness is such that she will be compelled sooner or later to come back and knock on the door again and plead for entry into the European Economic Community (E.E.C.). On the whole, better later than sooner. The European Community will by then have consolidated itself; it will be able to impose its terms with less difficulty and, in fairness it should be added, will be less niggling about making small concessions which may contravene the letter, though not the spirit, of the Treaty of Rome.
If, as the Labor Party hopes and expects, Britain will soon have its first Socialist Government since 1951, it may be of interest to know Labor's attitude to the Common Market-our attitude to the past negotiations which were suddenly ended by General de Gaulle's notorious press conference, as well as our attitude to the possibility of negotiations after the next general election.
Division is the heritage of the Caribbean. The separateness of the islands in the archipelago that curves for a thousand miles from the tip of Florida to the mouth of the Orinoco is reflected in the fact that they have no common name. Each island shares with the others the same startling beauty of sun-drenched mountains and peacock seas; each has the same social configuration resulting from the same techniques of production, the intensive cultivation of one crop, and slavery. Yet the keynote is contrast, the dominant theme competition. One reason for this is that the archipelago extends over a great distance; if Port of Spain were to be placed where Savannah is, San Juan would fall on Indianapolis and Havana in northeastern Wyoming. But history, not geography, supplies the chief reason, for even those islands which lie within easy reach of each other turn their faces toward Europe and their backs on their neighbors. The rivalries of Western Europe broke the region into segments, each tightly integrated into the trading system of the metropolitan power, sealed off in an almost watertight compartment and stocked with people brought together from Europe, a score of West African kingdoms and the central provinces of India. Nowhere else in the New World is there so sharp a juxtaposition of different races, languages, religions-different legal, educational and political systems.
Much of what is said about the Alliance for Progress assumes that up to now Americans have been indifferent to Latin America; that, in so far as they have not, the results have been bad-that the record in Latin America is one in which neither our Government nor private interests can take pride; and that the Alliance therefore represents an entirely new departure. One of the most learned men of the New Frontier, former Harvard law professor Abram Chayes, now the State Department Legal Adviser, has said, for example, that the condition of Latin America today "is in some measure a consequence of our own neglect. For most of the 180 years of our history, we looked inward, or eastward across the ocean to Europe, or, latterly, around the world. Only rarely have we looked south and then not always with a benevolent eye."[i] While these generalizations are not baseless, neither are they unquestionably true, and they play enough part in current thinking to be worth some review.