WHEN Hitler's troops reoccupied the Rhineland a member of the German delegation at the London Conference tackled a prominent Labor Member of Parliament. "The Labor Party has always been sympathetic to Germany's cause," he said. "What attitude are you taking up?" The Labor Member replied that in such a matter his party would undoubtedly support the attitude of the National Government. The Nazi threw up his hands in astonishment. "You in England," he said, "seem to have accomplished Hitler's work of unification without any revolution at all. You are united in spite of your party labels and without any National Socialist creed."

This is a revealing conversation. It provides the most important clue to that appearance of unity which has been commented upon by so many visitors to England during the period of the Coronation and of the Imperial Conference. Party bitterness and class antagonism have been even less in evidence than usual in Britain -- where they have always been comparatively mild. And the main reason is the menace and the warning of Fascism on the Continent. This, which might not at first seem strange, is in fact surprising; because it has come about under a Government which has not been hostile to the Fascist Powers, but, on the contrary, strikingly complacent before their aggression. In this article I want briefly to show how this anomaly has occurred.

I

Let us first take the example of the abdication of Edward VIII. From a distance it seemed that England could scarcely fail to be torn by so remarkable and shattering an event. British worship of George V had reached astonishing heights; to the outsider, British idolatry of Edward VIII seemed scarcely less extravagant. But the incredible happened. The King of England was dismissed "like an office-boy," as one Member of Parliament put it, or, if we prefer romantic language, he abdicated like a prince in a novelette because he preferred love to the throne. Could anything be more disturbing than his final broadcast? American visitors to England have asked me with astonishment how it was possible for the King to be driven off his throne in such a way and yet to leave no bitterness or party dissension behind him. Another King had "gone across the water." Yet in a few months, by the time of his successor's Coronation, there was no whisper of a King's Party in England or in the Commonwealth, no thought of a possible line of Pretenders. On the contrary George VI, emerging from something like obscurity and lacking those peculiar graces that had made Edward into a sort of fairy-story Prince Charming, had been built up to a peak of popularity to which his father had only gradually climbed after years of successful kingship.

In a recent book [i] I have tried to analyze the complicated factors that led to the surprising demonstration of unity at the Coronation. Here I am only concerned to stress one point -- the influence of foreign Fascism on the British mind. I do not refer to the story that gained currency in the final stages of the abdication crisis that Mrs. Simpson and her friends were too much at home in pro-Nazi circles in England. This had influence, but it was a minor factor. I refer to the far more important constitutional aspect of the story -- an aspect which has been widely missed by the world's press in its anxiety to exploit to the utmost the romantic possibilities of a great love-drama. Yet the constitutional point was the conclusive one in producing national unity.

When the King first stated his intention of marrying Mrs. Simpson, Mr. Baldwin -- as he still was then -- had no constitutional means of opposing his decision. He could merely make it plain that the marriage would be in his view disastrous and perhaps add that he would feel himself unable to go on as Prime Minister under such circumstances. This no doubt amounted to coercion of the King who, accepting it as impossible to make Mrs. Simpson Queen, suggested a morganatic solution. This proposal involved legislation and a Cabinet decision. After the Cabinet had refused to introduce the necessary legislation, any struggle to make Mrs. Simpson the King's wife without making her Queen would have been a struggle between the King and Cabinet and, since the Cabinet is a committee of the House of Commons, between King and Parliament. The final issue, therefore, was between a small "Cavalier" Party consisting mainly of irresponsible press lords and a handful of Fascists, and the Parliamentarians, who included the Labor Opposition. The Labor Party would have dearly loved a weapon with which to fight the Government, and there were advisers who urged the Opposition to snatch for itself the prize of royal prestige which had always been exploited by the Conservatives. Perhaps that was impossible in any case, since the Labor rank and file is still predominantly Puritan. But the decisive factor which made the party's official organ, the Daily Herald, support the Times and Mr. Baldwin was the constitutional issue. Professor Laski's articles, arguing that to support the King's request against the advice of his Prime Minister was to strike at the root of our democratic system, were splashed all across the Daily Herald. It was this same consideration -- that in view of the destruction of democracy abroad nothing should be done to weaken it in England -- that finally led Mr. Attlee and other Labor leaders to support the Prime Minister. I can speak with feeling on this subject because I edit a paper which has always taken an "advanced" view about divorce, and which yet in the end agreed that Edward's abdication was the lesser evil. I disliked giving way to the Archbishop, whose moral attitude seemed to me the worst possible morality. Everyone knows that he would have agreed to solemnize a conventional marriage with some important personage with a respectable past whether the King loved her or not. I disliked concurring with the Conservatives and with Mr. Baldwin, who were anxious to get rid of the King because of his failure to fit into his expected rôle as the conventional symbol of the status quo. But I could not range myself with the Fascist supporters of the King. In the issue between Cavaliers and Roundheads, in days when Parliament is in danger, I have to be a Parliamentarian, even though it again means being on the side of the Puritans.

II

The oddest part of this story is that the Left was induced to support the Right because of the threat to democracy, even though it was well aware that the Right's loyalty to democracy is by no means certain. The Ulster crisis of 1914, when the Conservative Party supported and encouraged the mutinous army officers who were prepared for civil war rather than submit on the Home Rule issue, was sufficient proof of the lengths of unconstitutionality to which the gentlemen of England will go if their position is seriously threatened. Yet the Left, which really cares for democracy, had to support the Right because to fail to do so seemed likely to weaken Parliamentary government.

The same curious situation, in which the National Government has profited by the enthusiasm of the Left for a cause for which Conservatives cared very little, has occurred in each of the great international issues of the last six years. The postwar strength of the Labor Party arose out of the general hatred of war more than out of any other cause. Mr. MacDonald's immense popularity in 1924 was primarily due to the fact that he had been a pacifist during the war. Labor's greatest asset was pacifism. The nature of this pacifism was not clearly tested until the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Thousands of pacifists had been muddleheaded enough to pledge themselves never again to fight under any circumstances, and at the same time to support the League of Nations, which, if it was ever called upon to stop an aggressive war, could only do so if the signatories were prepared to run some risk of having to fight the aggressor. If the League Powers had held together the risk would have been negligible, and on that ground many pacifists, who could not face the prospect of having to fight again, were able to support the League.

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria called this bluff. It might be true -- indeed, I think it was true -- that firm diplomatic action by the League Powers in coöperation with the United States would at the outset have stopped Japan. And with Mr. Stimson as Secretary of State the United States was prepared to go a long way in coöperation. Moreover, Japan was not in a good position to withstand the threat of economic sanctions. But any such threat involved the possibility that Japan would turn round and attack British possessions in the Far East. This possibility had to be faced, and the Labor Party for the first time therefore confronted the actual danger that its peace policy of supporting the League might mean a war. The result was a searching of hearts in the Labor Party and a sharp division of opinion between those who saw that the cry of "collective security" might be used as a means of justifying a war, just as "poor little Belgium" and "the sanctity of treaties" had been in 1914, and those who pointed out that to hold by the League and run the risks envisaged in the Covenant was the way most calculated to lessen the risks of war and the only way of building up a peaceful system for settling international disputes. The latter argument won, and the resolution in favor of a "general strike" against all war which was carried in addition to and in spite of a resolution in favor of collective security at the Annual Conference of the Labor Party in 1932, was dropped in favor of definite support of the League at the Conference of 1933.

The significant thing was that the National Government openly supported Japan throughout the dispute. Sir John Simon at Geneva was so skilful in his interpretation of the Covenant, and so ardent in defending Japan, that the Japanese Ambassador remarked as he came out of the Assembly that the British representative had "put over" the case for Japan's aggression which he himself had tried for many weeks to put over without success. The story may be read from the American angle in Mr. Stimson's "The Far Eastern Crisis." [ii] Here my concern is to point out that its effect was to show the Labor Party that to implement the Covenant of the League might possibly mean having to go to war. The Party's pacifism was undermined. But it was a fruitless sacrifice. The National Government had not the slightest intention of risking any struggle with Japan; as Conservatives openly explained in the House of Commons, the Japanese aggression might produce order and better trading conditions in Manchuria. They soon discovered their mistake. Japan showed no tendency to share her loot in Manchuria. But from the point of view of British national unity the result was to put Labor in a position of having to admit that had the Government done what Labor demanded, and put sanctions on Japan's exports, a war might possibly have occurred in which Labor would have been bound to coöperate since it would have been the outcome of Labor policy.

Japan had laughed at the League, violated her signature of the Covenant and the Nine Power Treaty, and proceeded unchecked to the conquest of Manchuria. With this precedent to quote, Mussolini invaded Abyssinia in September 1934. He had given Britain and the League Powers ample warning of his intentions. Britain raised no strong objection when he broached the subject in January 1934, and did not even discuss the matter at the Stresa Conference a few months later. Official British policy was never at any time calculated to overthrow Mussolini. Negotiations, which culminated in the Laval-Hoare proposals, went on continuously between Italy and the British and French Foreign Offices. But the public was gloriously deceived. In the summer of that year the Peace Ballot was completed -- an inaccurate test of opinion perhaps, but an important indication that League of Nations propaganda had at last begun to have a real effect on the public mind. So seriously did the British Government take the 11,000,000 signatures of the Peace Ballot in favor of sanctions against the aggressor that Sir Samuel Hoare promised at Geneva unswerving opposition to unprovoked aggression. In the belief that the National Government was determined to stop the Duce's adventure, the electorate again swept it into power. But no sooner did it come to office than an old-fashioned imperialistic business arrangement emerged in the Laval-Hoare proposals. The Government had only adopted a League policy for the period of the election; it betrayed the League as soon as it was once again securely in office.

Logically, the effect of this betrayal should have been to intensify the war-resistance element in the Labor Party. The opposite, however, took place. Anger against the Government was weakened by fear of the Fascist Powers. In 1933, as I have said, the old war-resistance attitude of the Party, which alone means the possibility of real opposition in case of international danger, gave way finally to a demand for "collective security." The decisive reason was the triumph of Hitler. The Trade Unionists who in 1932 were prepared to vote for resistance to all capitalist war began to wonder whether any other than a warlike resistance was possible in face of Hitler's treatment of the German trade unions. By 1935 the mass of the Party no longer had doubts; they were prepared, if challenged, to run the risk of fighting against Fascism. At the Labor Party Conference at Brighton in that year the whole issue was debated in classical style. Mr. Lansbury's eloquent plea for pacifism was swamped by Mr. Bevin's vigorous exposition that pacifism meant a world safe for Hitler.

The final test was the question of rearmament. The Government which had sold out the League, thus in Labor's view making war more likely, now asked, in spite of electoral promises of "moderate rearmament to enable it to fulfil the duties of collective security," for money for the greatest expenditure on armaments the world has ever seen. Labor resisted this demand; and though it no longer votes against this expenditure, it still in 1937 abstains from voting for it. It argues that only in this way can it show its detestation of the Government's policy.

In the Spanish war the British Government's attitude is exactly what it was in regard to Abyssinia. Once again it temporizes, bargaining first with one dictator and then with another. Whether in the end the Foreign Office will prove to have been correct in assuming that it would have sufficient influence with Franco or with Italy and Germany to secure Britain's strategic position in the Mediterranean remains to be seen. The Foreign Office made a similar calculation in China and in Africa; in both cases it was wrong. Unquestionably the British Empire has been weakened both in the Far East and in the Mediterranean. Thus a strange and unreal situation has arisen today. The class interests of the British ruling class have been so far in conflict with its normal patriotism that the announcement of the capture of a British food ship in Spanish waters by General Franco arouses no anger on the Government side of the House of Commons, while the Opposition, anxious to enlist the influence of British imperialism upon the side of Spanish democracy, show a very conservative concern about the heavy guns reported to dominate Gibraltar and the German submarine base which is said to be under construction in the Canary Islands.

This clearly is an unstable and unnatural state of affairs. Determined though they are not to quarrel with Italy, and ready for any humiliation in preference to becoming engaged in a serious dispute with the dictators, the British Government will not be able to stand by and watch its entire Mediterranean position lost to the new imperial power of Italy or the growing naval strength of Germany. Sooner or later, if negotiations with the dictators prove fruitless or if Franco proves unable or unwilling to yield to British rather than to Italian or German influence, the National Government will be compelled to take a stand. If that occurs it will presumably find the mass of Labor ranged behind it in spite of six years of betrayal of all that Labor holds dear. For Labor, having demanded firm League action against the Fascist Powers, and having bitterly complained that the Government has yielded to the Fascist Powers, will no longer be in a position to object to a stand against these Powers, even if the League is gone, killed by the National Government, and even though the issue no longer is collective security or Spanish democracy but simply the British Empire.

This, to anyone who remembers Labor's fervent oath "never again" to fight for a capitalist régime, never again to be trapped by spurious war cries about defending "small nations" or fighting "a war to end war," seems a remarkable dénouement. It has occurred partly because in aiding the Fascist cause, as in effect it has done in China, Abyssinia and Spain, the National Government has driven Labor farther and farther into the position of demanding strong action against Fascism. The psychological basis of the change, however, lies in the fact of Hitlerism. Hitler has destroyed pacifism and forced every "war resister" to ask himself whether in the event of a war with Germany he dare weaken Britain by opposition to his own Government. As a French Communist said in 1914 at the final meeting of his party: "Moi, je suis communiste, mais s'il y a question de la patrie, je suis français!" And so the mass of the French and British Left would say once again if war broke out. The one important difference is that the small disciplined Communist Party would today judge the situation by its effect upon the U.S.S.R. At the beginning of a war today with Fascist Italy or Hitlerite Germany, British Communists would be forced to support the war; they would no doubt make their own war demands and be ready to challenge the Government at the first opportunity, but like everyone except the extreme pacifist group, they would necessarily support the war against a Fascist state. The difference between the trained Marxist and the ordinary Labor Party Member would be that the former would be looking for a chance to turn war into revolution.

Fascism on the Continent, then, in spite of the character of the so-called National Government, has succeeded in producing something like a "United" Kingdom. What of the Empire? Have not the constituent members of the Commonwealth criticized the astonishing vacillations of British foreign policy? Once again the answer is that it is just these vacillations and the desperately dangerous situation to which they have given rise that have united the Empire.

The agenda of the Imperial Conference of 1937 included proposals for modifying the Ottawa Agreement in favor of freeing world commerce and in particular of including the United States in the circle of English-speaking nations with special trading terms. Of these wise and mutually beneficial proposals nothing came. The vested interests built up under Ottawa were too powerful, and it was Britain herself, the least willing party to the original Ottawa Agreement, which now proved the severest stumbling block to instituting freer trade relations. The constitutional discussions of the Conference were similarly fruitless: the Dominions are still too jealous of their new freedom to be ready to form coöperative institutions which might limit their new sovereignty. But on the main question that came before the Conference the Empire proved as united as the United Kingdom itself. New Zealand, with a Labor Government and a genuine belief in the League, was vehemently critical of the policy of the British Government which has betrayed the League. Australia, fearful of the effect of allowing Japan a free hand in the East, proposed a non-aggression pact in the Pacific to conciliate Japan, and at the same time discussed plans for developing an Australian navy. South Africa, seriously perturbed by the growth of the Italian Empire in the Mediterranean and East Africa, and critical of the policy which had failed to stop Mussolini when the League Powers were compelled to be Britain's allies for that purpose, yet found it too late for recriminations and discussed with the British Government the development of an African air route and the construction of a naval base at Simonstown. Thus once again the British policy of drift, of refusing to use the League to prevent war or to build a system which could prevent it in the future, has had the odd result of detaching Britain from her potential allies and so weakening her position that the Dominions, faced with the danger of war in isolation, are compelled to drop their complaints and unite in defense not of the League and world peace, but of the British Empire.

III

The result of external weakness and international failure, then, has been to strengthen the National Government. If there is anarchy abroad and a danger of Hitler and Mussolini dominating the Continent, the Englishman tends to forget how far the success of the dictators may be the result of his own government's past policy; he instinctively decides to support a cautious and Conservative administration that is intent on rearming. What this Government means to do with arms when it has them, on which side it is likely to exert diplomatic pressure, the average voter does not ask. He asks to be kept out of war -- which the Government has so far done -- and to be in a position to act in case vital British interests are attacked. These are simple, old-fashioned ideas with centuries of tradition behind them; they tend to unite people, while novelties like Leagues of Nations, pooled armaments and international economic agreements cause sharp divisions of opinion and therefore, in their early stages at least, fail altogether to produce the feeling of security which is the voter's principal concern. The new prosperity, due to rearmament, puts the desire to experiment at a minimum; supposedly Socialist leaders become more and more satisfied with reformism. Those few who have a thorough and theoretical grasp of Socialist doctrine and who realize that we shall certainly have another depression and probably another war before long, find it increasingly difficult to obtain a hearing. In these circumstances Labor's electoral appeal is not powerful, as recent bye-elections show. Some Labor leaders admit in private that they can scarcely hope to make much headway while the boom is on, and one may find in private conversation with the weaker Labor M.P.s something like relief that, in the present difficult stage of international affairs, the upper classes who have "muddled through" in the past should be in charge of the business of muddling through again. Of course there are more courageous ones who would welcome the chance to try to build up a system of collective security and to try to strengthen the forces opposed to Fascism on the Continent; but there are certainly many, among the Trade Unionists especially, who maintain a secret feeling of inferiority in everything outside their own sphere of industrial organization and who are very content for the time being to be in a minority. Hence their Opposition to the National Government is more vehement than sincere; while the full force of their hatred is directed against Communists and left-wing Socialists who expose their political weakness and who, in their opinion, jeopardize democracy by untimely attacks on the whole existing order.

This state of mind is ably encouraged by the leaders of English Conservatism. A revolutionary movement would have developed long ago had not the ruling class evolved a technique of dealing with emergent Labor leaders. American employers still fight against the recognition of trade unions. British employers took the same stand for a century; but for the last sixty years they have known a better tactic.

Take the case of Mr. Ernest Bevin, famous as "the dockers' K.C.," a powerful and dominating personality. Once he seemed a potential revolutionary who might be dangerous to the ruling class. There seemed a chance of that even as late as 1931 when contempt for the futilities of the Labor administration drew him into association with Sir Stafford Cripps and others who are usually counted left-wing Socialists. Today Mr. Bevin is on the extreme right of the Labor movement. What happened? No one attempted to bribe Mr. Bevin. Instead they gave him a position of responsibility. They brought him into the complex task of solving the new problems of British transport. By coöperating with the Ministry, Mr. Bevin was able to secure better and more uniform conditions of labor and pay for the transport workers. At the same time he became a kind of unofficial civil servant, in a position of authority and responsibility, completely unable, even if he wished, to maintain a militant Socialism. Thus it came about that when a left-wing "rank and file movement" which had grown up among the busmen demanded a strike for shorter hours in London, these found themselves fighting much less against the London Passenger Transport Board than against Mr. Bevin. For a time just before the Coronation this left-wing movement had its way. It was strong enough to force a strike, and Mr. Bevin by virtue of his position was compelled nominally to lead it. It was unsuccessful, and in the end the strikers accepted terms which they could have had without striking. As soon as a settlement was reached it was Mr. Bevin who turned round and disciplined his unruly followers. The leaders of the left-wing revolt were expelled. In other words, the official Labor leader's authority and influence keep left-wing discontent in order, and do it far more effectively than could be done by bands of youths with rubber truncheons or by repressive legislation that would provoke widespread resentment throughout the working-class movement if it were introduced by a Conservative government.

The technique of conciliating and flattering Labor leaders and leaving it to them to suppress extremists works as satisfactorily in the political as in the industrial field. In some countries Labor leaders are silenced by being put into concentration camps; in others by bribery and corruption; in England by being asked to dinner. Mr. J. H. Thomas is the classical example of the change that can be induced by a white tie and tail coat. And men who would indignantly refuse "jobs," men whose integrity is unquestioned, can yet be bought by kindness.

One can see precisely how the process works in the autobiography, published two years ago, of David Kirkwood, the proudly independent Scottish engineer who first came into prominence as a shop steward in Glasgow during the war. He fought the authorities, was dismissed from the works, refused to make any promise of good behavior and looked like developing into a revolutionary. Then Mr. Churchill had the sense to get him reinstated at Beardmore's without conditions and he was so pleased with the victory that he kept all his comrades producing munitions as hard as they could until the end of the war. Then he was elected to the House of Commons with other Clyde-siders; they all came to London determined to revolutionize the social system. Kirkwood knew all about "the aristocratic embrace" and from the beginning was bent on showing the big nobs that he was not to be put down or bamboozled. He started off by calling Baldwin "Uriah Heep" and then felt thoroughly ashamed of himself when Baldwin very gently asked him afterwards if that was how he really appeared to him. He hurled every abusive epithet that Parliament allows (and probably some that it does not) at Neville Chamberlain. He says that he meant to hurt Chamberlain, but Chamberlain came up to him afterwards and said he was afraid he must have said something to hurt Kirkwood. And then Davie gave notice that he was going to make a bitter attack on Lloyd George, who promptly wrote him a note apologizing for not being able to be in his place in the House when Mr. Kirkwood made his speech! Kirkwood, whose notion was that one knock deserved another, was flattened out by all this courtesy. And finally he wrote an autobiography with a nice introduction by his old friend, Mr. Churchill, and another by George Lansbury (to show that he was still a Socialist and a hundred percent Labor man), and a concluding chapter in which he pointed out how much better things were for the poor than they used to be when he was a boy, and described with proper pride a long conversation he had had at Lady Astor's with Edward, then Prince of Wales.

There is an old saying that the House of Commons is the best club in England. So it is, in the sense that it is an astonishingly good mixing bowl for very different types of people. It is well understood that the success of Parliament depends on adhering to the rules of the game, on a certain superficial give and take, on courtesy in private, whatever may be said in public. If you've called a man an agitator and sedition-monger in the House and he's called you a blood-sucker and battener-on-the-poor, you must have a drink with him afterwards or you might begin to believe what you've said. This personal touch is the salvation of the Tory Party and the worst enemy of Socialism. Every now and again someone arrives who is difficult to manage. There is your Jimmy Maxton, the revolutionary orator, more on his guard against flattery of the conventional type than David Kirkwood and who resolved to maintain his political purity. He makes a rule always to refuse to dine with rich men. But the House of Commons found another way of dealing with him. They made a pet, a character of him, called him their raven-haired pirate, their "Captain Hook" who sounded very ferocious but who, everyone knew, was the most lovable of good fellows. They showed him off to foreigners as a proof that England could produce orators too, and made it a point of honor to appreciate Maxton's "sincerity" and "idealism." Everyone listened to Maxton, applauded, and forgot all about what he said -- really a much more effective way of destroying his influence than hitting him over the head.

The most troublesome Opposition leaders have always come from the well-to-do middle-class. They are used to good manners and do not confuse the small change of courtesy for real payment. Parnell, the great Irish leader, is the one conspicuous case of a really determined revolutionary who maintained his position in the House of Commons. Fortunately for the Tories, he committed political suicide by becoming involved in a divorce scandal. Joseph Chamberlain might have been dangerous to British Conservatism if Gladstone's lack of tact had not driven him out of the Liberal Party. The most recent example is Sir Stafford Cripps, whom the Tories hate because he is serious about his Socialism. He might have been difficult if he had ever become leader of the Labor Party. But he was too uncompromising, and once again, according to the behavior-pattern that I have been describing, it has been the Front Bench of the Labor Party, not the Conservatives, who have pushed Sir Stafford on one side. To work for a "United Front" of the working classes in England involves collaboration with Communists and for that crime the members of Sir Stafford's Socialist League were threatened with disaffiliation from the Party. The League was disbanded and Sir Stafford is once again merely a private member of the Party, personally influential, but a lone wolf without organized followers.

I have taken enough examples to make my point. The Abdication showed the Left even refusing to criticize the Prime Minister for fear lest in doing so they might damage democracy. In the story of six years of half-hearted and vacillating foreign policy in which Fascism has scored a long series of triumphs, we have seen Labor deploring the sabotage of the League of Nations, but compelled to abandon its pacifism, first by the theoretical need of perhaps having to fight for "collective security" and then by the very practical fear of perhaps having to fight against Fascism. Its last phase is to declare through the mouth of Sir Walter Citrine, the recently knighted Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, that if the Government abandons non-intervention in Spain and becomes involved in a war against Italy in the Mediterranean, Labor would be prepared to support it. Which is something of a joke, because the Government seems not to intend seriously to oppose Italy. Finally, I have explained how even the beginnings of serious potentially revolutionary opposition are either tactfully dealt with by the Conservatives or successfully disciplined by the machine of the Labor Party itself. The most recent proof of the friendly relations that exist between the Government and the Front Bench of the Opposition is the enactment that the leader of the Opposition shall receive a salary of £2,000 a year for his services. This is not a bribe; it is merely a recognition of the fact that His Majesty's Opposition, as the political alternative to the Government, would be unlikely to adopt a very different policy from the Government's if it came into power; its opposition is not to be regarded as dangerous but paid for as licensed criticism.

The impression of unity produced at the Coronation was correct. There are today more young men and women in Britain than ever before who are aware of the meaning of the class-war and who could pass an examination in the works of Marx and Lenin. Given a rising cost of living, followed by another economic depression comparable with the last, we should no doubt find that there were also a large number of working-class men and women who were not satisfied to accept a reformist Labor Party and who might follow a revolutionary lead. But, even so, as long as the spectre of Fascism remains unappeased on the Continent, the party of property will have little to fear. Hitler and Mussolini have united Britain at least as successfully as they have united Germany and Italy.

[i] "The Magic of Monarchy." New York: Knopf, 1937.

[ii] New York: Harper, 1936.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • KINGSLEY MARTIN, Editor of The New Statesman and Nation, author of "The Triumph of Palmerston," "The Magic of Monarchy" and other works
  • More By Kingsley Martin