From Smoke To Smother

From Smoke To Smother

From Smoke  to  Smother  (1938 – 1948)  A Sequel to Insanity Fair    by    Douglas Reed    *  Then must I from the smoke into the smother;  From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother.  A comment on the twentieth century by  William Shakespeare  *    published: 1948 – this PDF prepared by CONTENTS      Foreword: Vienna, 1938        Part One – The Smoke: 1933 – 1939    01  Dinner With A Condemned Man  02  Delicate-Handed Priest  03  The Lonely Kings  04  The Wrecker  05  Between Two Thieves  06  Longest Night  07  Clamorous Harbinger  08  The Puppets Dance      Part Two – The Fire: 1940 – 1945    01  Warm September Eve  02  On Boiling Boots  03  Spirit Of Mischief  04  Husarenfieber  05  Crisis On The Isis  06  Moat Defensive  07  The Blessed Boskage  08  The Caves Of Caen  09  The Man At The Pyramid’s Peak  10  Charm The Narrow Seas  11  The War Behind The War  12  Fissionary Society  13  A Thief Or Two …  14  In Unknown England      Part Three – The Smother: 1945 – 1950 –    01  Nor Never Shall …  02  The Second Interregnum?      Part Four – The Fulminant Fifties: 1950 –        Epilogue: Ten Times April      Postscript                                     


FOREWORD    Vienna 1938  When this book appears just ten years will have passed since the publication of the one, Insanity  Fair, to which it is a sequel. The shape of events, as they have come about, may now be compared  with the shape of the forebodings and warnings which filled Insanity Fair; and, when that has been  done, the prospect of the next ten years, 1948-58 may be examined.  Has the enpested air of the twentieth century at last been cleared? In my opinion the answer is  plainly, No. The great choice between liberty and slavery remains to be made. We have merely  passed from the smoke of the Thirties, through ordeal by fire in the Forties, to the dark smother that  awaits us in the Fifties. Military victory in the second war was in the event turned against the  shining cause for which it was begun: Liberty. The second war brought great generalship, but no  statesmanship, only politicianship, and the acts of politicians, much more even than in the first war  and the years that followed it, were misguided by hidden groups hostile to liberty and nationhood  everywhere.  I find certain changes in my own mind, when I look back on the man who wrote Insanity Fair in  Vienna ten years ago. The memory of the first war and its huge carnage was lurid in me then and  the obsessing premonition of a new slaughter did more than anything else to drive me to write that  warning; horror and hatred of the tyrannies I saw rising in Europe were, I think, emotions  secondary to that overwhelming anxiety. After ten years I find myself reversing the order of those  fears. Though lives may be destroyed, life cannot be, for it eternally renews itself. Ruins are  relatively unimportant, since human hands can always rebuild what human hands have razed. The  annihilation of spiritual values now seems to me the most important thing to arrest.  The ones I chiefly mean are religion, patriotism, liberty, human dignity and honour. The process of  destroying these, begun in the Thirties, was quickened and extended through the second war. Its  continuance now seems to me a prospect more dreadful than even that of ‘the third war’ which I  hear people on all hands discuss. The worst prospect of all is that such a third war, like the second  one, would be begun in the name of Liberty and be stealthily turned into one for the final extinction  of liberty, while it went on. The mechanism of these twentieth-century wars has clearly been  brought under remote control, so that such transformations are possible. We have now seen the  trick performed twice.  A few days before Insanity Fair appeared its warning was abruptly borne out by the German  invasion of Austria, a thing which the public mind of the Thirties refused to imagine until it  happened; I received some credit for having foreseen the blindingly obvious. The second war began  then, although the fighting waited another eighteen months. We are in precisely the same state of  suspended, non-fighting but undeniable warfare today, ten years later. The same possibilities of  averting a fighting-war, of arresting the Gadarene process of the twentieth century, are open to us  now, as were open then.  That clamorous, fear-laden night in Vienna is foremost in my memory as I write this sequel, ten  years later, to Insanity Fair. Among my farewells at that time was one I paid to a humble ragman  who relieved me of the piles of yellowing newspapers which encumbered my lodging. He inhabited  three vast cellars beneath on old house near the cathedral, the Stefansdom; built one below the  other, they were the equivalent of a tall house buried underground, and from them passages led to  the catacombs of that ancient city. He lived there, in the gloom, amid great mounds of sacks, round  and on which prowled or sat innumerable cats. They were his skilled assistants: without them the  rats would have eaten his business; and as we talked their inscrutable green and amber eyes  watched us from all sides.  Down there the noise of the howling mob overhead was muffled, a distant ominous cacophony, the  theme-song of the mad twentieth century. This ragman was a civilised man; that was why I went to  say goodbye to him. He nodded to the muted clamour with his head. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘Heut’ Nazis,  Morgen Kommunisten, und allezeit Idioten – Nazis today, Communists tomorrow, and idiots  always.’  Were there more like him the Marats, Lenins and Hitlers could not prosper. I shook his hand and  made my way homeward, through the Kaerntnerstrasse. That half mile of roadway, between the  Stefansdom and the Ring, seemed to me the High Street of a civilised Europe then threatened with  destruction (and now almost destroyed). Not even Rome or London, in our two thousand years,  have seen as much of the process of alternating invasion, siege, battle, conquest, defeat, tyranny,  liberation, recovery and Christian progress which is our common story, as the Kaerntnerstrasse in  Vienna.  On that night the voice, face and noise of the mob filled High Street, Europe, which leads to  London as straight as it leads to Wiener Neustadt. How easy the mob has made the work of the  wreckers! That mob-face appals me. Of the Gadarene swine, I imagine that each stampeding one  wore the same expression of rapt admiration for the posterior view of the one in front. Why look  elsewhere, and should not one always follow the swine in front? In these ten years I have seen the  mob-face nearer home than I like.  Ten years ago! Babies born that night are still children, boys then ten years old are still youths,  youths of twenty are still young men: is it possible? It is fascinating to turn back the pages and in  1948 to compare the ten years, as they have been, with the ten years which that night loomed  menacingly ahead. Having made that comparison, and thus having so much experience to guide the  judgment, it is even more absorbing to contemplate the ten years which now lie before us all. To  the writer of Insanity Fair they appear more ominous than the ten years looked which lay ahead  that night in 1938.  ***                      PART ONE    THE SMOKE: 1933 – 1939                                            Chapter One  DINNER WITH A CONDEMNED MAN  It was but yesterday; it was at the other end of time. It was ten years ago. I did not know why my  host wished me to dine with him. Within a year or two his name was to be famous or infamous  everywhere, but at this time he was ostensibly just a solicitor, politically inactive and publicly  unknown, so that I had never heard of him. Some mutual acquaintance arranged our meeting. ‘An  interesting man,’ he told me, ‘a friend of the Chancellor, in whose battery he served in the war.  He’s not a Nazi but thinks Austria will have to come to some arrangement with Germany. You  should meet him.’  I studied him across the wine. Urbane, easy, humorous: that was the pleasant Austrian heritage.  Tall, well-built, and good-looking save for wary eyes, magnified by thick-lensed glasses. His stiff  leg, I supposed, came from a war wound. What did he want with a British newspaper  correspondent? Did he seek to pump or to prime me? Was he truly just an anxious and disinterested  patriot or could he be a political intriguer? He did not raise the mask. Perhaps he himself did not  clearly read the future and his own part in it. He knew what I could not divine: that he was a  conspirator among the powder barrels, but he certainly did not foresee, any more than I, the noose  that would end his life.  Behind him was a mural of Viennese wine-gardens, the reminder of happy times departed. He  talked with smiling flippancy about Hitler and the Nazis: if only all men were like you and me,  Herr Reed, he implied, these matters would soon be settled. The Germans? Ach, they were heavy-  handed folk, one knew their irritating ways, net wahr? But they had to be reckoned with now and  Austria could not play David if even France and England were afraid to stand up to Goliath.  Germany had the right and the might to demand a firm place in Europe and good-neighbourliness  from adjoining countries; the great powers could not expect these small ones to play the part of  sentinels posted against the Reich. But there could be no question of Germany swallowing Austria  and Czechoslovakia. They must remain independent.  Thus the pleasant, reasonable voice which, a few weeks later, would say ‘Agreed’ to a German  demand for him to usurp power and invite a German invasion. Suddenly unmasking, this unknown  man would appear on the balcony of the historic Chancery and smile on the howling mob while his  friend, the Chancellor, was thrown into prison. Soon after that, the second war, and like one of  Napoleon’s marshals he would be made ruler of a small realm, the Low Countries. Not long after  that: Nuremberg and the gallows.  This man, when I look back ten years later, seems to me hugely important. In his person and career  the course of the disease can plainly be traced, which is now laying Europe waste, like a plague,  and may bring the Christian continent to an end as loathsome as his own. He was of the tribe of the  traitors and when I met him they seemed extinct. Civilised man had come to hold treason as the  crime worse than murder, and it was as rare. Ten years ago, in fact, it was not only an abominable  but an almost unimaginable thing: I remember the shock of disbelief I had when I watched him  posturing on that balcony.  I know now that many of the men I met in those days were traitors, and that many of them  condemned this man, merely because his treason was in a different foreign cause from the one they  served. ‘Communism’ or ‘Fascism’: where is the difference, for a patriot?  An all-falsifying dishonesty is the mark of our century, and particularly of the last ten years. The  unquestioning public acceptance of the Communist traitor, immediately after the execution of Nazi  ones, in the countries which fought the second war, is its most repugnant feature. It is the worst of  the changes which the war, and these ten years, have brought. Treachery as a calling can now be  seen as a disease of the twentieth century. Earlier ones of the body, like leprosy, were in time  overcome. The traitor’s uncleanliness has polluted public principle and civic security everywhere.  I drove my new acquaintance home that night in my unforgettable Little Rocket. He lived in a  pleasant suburb, a place like Wimbledon, where good, substantial villas and well-kept gardens  spoke of good times nearly gone. I watched him as he painfully climbed the steps to his door. It  opened, showing a comfortable interior, and he was silhouetted against warm light as he limped in  towards the scaffold.  I rather envied him as the door closed. From the glimpse of his snug house I guessed at welcoming  sounds within and a happy family life. My own future was obscure. I was writing a book which I  expected to cost me my post; I knew the new war would soon drive me from Europe, which I  loved, and could not imagine when I would ever live in it again; I could already see the destruction  and the greater dangers beyond. Perhaps this mysterious man would fare better than I.  ‘Seyss-Inquart,’ I mused, as I drove away, ‘an odd name. I wonder why he wanted to talk to me?’   ***                                  Chapter Two  DELICATE-HANDED PRIEST  The shape of events and men often looked clear in the smoky Thirties, yet appears quite different  now that I look back ten years later. This agreeable fellow, in whom you could not suspect perfidy,  proved a traitor; that disagreeable one, whom you distrusted, was not. The daily judgments of  mortal men were shallow; Himalaya-like above them stands the truth of the old word, Vengeance is  Mine. Shakespeare said, ‘There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’, and this is  the greatest danger of our day, in which men’s thinking is done for them by the machines of mass-  misinformation.  Take this priest, whom I met ten years ago in a craggy old town, set bluff above the Danube. Set  angularly among its winding streets and ancient houses is the typical concrete hotel of the  Twenties, and in its big dining-room he sat, with respectful listeners leaning on his words, for he  was locally the great man. He had a bullet head, cropped hair, thick neck, fair paunch and jowl. An  instinctive antagonism to the priest-in-politics stirred in me.  ‘Thinking makes it so’; how wrong I was. The twentieth-century man, who can usually read and  seldom discriminate, inherits from ancient feuds a mass of written prejudices which he applies to  his own day. How many men’s minds are formed for them by other men, long dead, who cursed  others, also long mouldered? In my reading I had often met the ‘turbulent priest’, ‘fiddling priest’,  ‘churlish priest’, ‘pale-eyed priest’.  Over two hundred years ago one Jean Messelier wrote in his will: ‘This will be the last and most  ardent of my desires: I should like to see the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest.’  Voltaire seized on and published these words of unwisdom, probably in mockery; for Voltaire was  intelligent enough to foresee that the Common Man would be worse than the priests and kings. A  Messelier of today might as ardently wish to see the last Communist strangled by the guts of the  last Fascist; and such words, which might be inept fifty years from now, might still inflame  immature minds long after their truth was dead. Men who attack the visible enemies of justice and  liberty forget that their words may live on when new enemies have risen, and that these may turn  their fiery phrases against the very things they themselves love. They identify tyranny with distinct  classes or callings, when it is a disease of power and infects each successive group that comes to  power; just as the waves that break on the shore, though each is separate, yet are all one and eternal.  Such prejudices, obsolete but unwittingly absorbed, may have caused my vague aversion: those and  the nearness of the truculent Germans, which obsessed me. They were just across the bridge, a few  hundred yards away. Would this priest-politician have truck with them, I wondered? He had fine  hands. They stirred another memory: ‘the dilettante, delicate-handed priest’.  I see more clearly now than I saw in the smoke then. This man, whose neck also was to wear a  noose, was different from, indeed the opposite of, Seyss-Inquart. He never feigned a false  allegiance. He was a professed Christian and Slovak patriot, and died in that cause.  Slovakia! The Briton is insular (though I seldom met one as insular as any Frenchman), and I do  not know how he shall find his way among distant Slavs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Slavonians. Yet all  have their eigenart, their distinct speech, history and way of life, and hunger to live freely in their  own lands. A thousand years cannot quench this longing in even the smallest tribe. The Slovaks are  a peasant-nation; no people, submerged for centuries, can produce a ruling-class. Having no knights  they must needs turn for leaders to the only literate class, the priests, who are usually peasants’  sons. They have no longer even the choice which Viola made (in Twelfth Night): ‘I am one that had  rather go with sir priest than sir knight; I care not who knows so much of my mettle.’  Hence the emergence, as the second twentieth-century war approached, of this Father Tiso as the  Slovak leader. I suspected him of private parleys with Hitler, and was right; he may have had the  draft treaty in his pocket that night. In the Thirties I thought that a mad and evil thing to do. In the  Forties he was hanged for it, and this execution looks infinitely more evil to me when I look back;  indeed, his figure takes the shape of a Christian martyr.  Could we foresee the end of those with whom we dine there would be some grisly feasts. The  reptilian dishonesty of our century creeps with slimy trail through the trial and hanging of this man.  His crime was that he signed a treaty with Hitler! By that token nearly every politician in Europe is  as guilty (that I did not foresee ten years ago). The President of Czechoslovakia himself submitted  to Hitler, under duress from the British, French and Italian Prime Ministers, supported by all their  political parties! That transaction (the Pact of Munich) opened the way to the second war, which  was actually begun by a pact of alliance between Hitler and the Soviet dictator.  The Priest-President of tiny Slovakia, who under the impact of these terrific forces made a treaty  with Hitler, they hanged! The death warrant was signed by the Czechoslovak President himself.  How the outlines of men change, when I look back from the Forties at the Thirties. I held this  President Benes for a foremost champion of liberty and justice. Working-man, artisan, petty  bourgeois: here I saw the Common Man, triumphant at last, a fighter for liberation from alien rule,  even before 1914, who at last had reaped the reward of his and his people’s long struggle.  I have been looking at the record of things he said to me, about Germany, in the Thirties. Thus, in  January 1937: ‘If I knew for certain that England and France would not carry out their League  obligation I should make an agreement with Germany at once….’ And in December 1937: ‘If you  think we are of no use in maintaining this extraordinarily important geographical position in  Central Europe, on which all European peace rests, that means that finally our interests will be to  agree with Germany and to go with her in all German conquests.’  Thus President Benes, whose country in the event was ‘forced to go with Germany’; ten years later  he confirmed the sentence on President Tiso, whose dilemma was precisely the same. Today he and  his country have been forced to go with Soviet Russia, and this hanging was an act of Soviet  policy.[1]  Thirty years ago the world in which ‘thinking makes it so’ was being taught to think the Austrian  Emperors tyrants. Under their rule, however, a Masaryk and a Benes were free to fight for freedom.  The execution of a Slovak patriot was all the Czech patriots could offer on the altar of gratitude,  thirty years later.  The corpulent Father Tiso looks different to me now. The portrait of men is often made by their  background, and he has been given the background of a barbarous martyrdom for his faith and  patriotism. It is darkened by the hue of black hypocrisy in the charge: that he, like his executioners,  commuted with Hitler. His last message to the Slovaks, from the scaffold, was clear truth in  gathering darkness: ‘Be always united in serving God and the Nation, this being, by God’s explicit  command, the Law of Nature, which I have served all my life. I regard myself as a martyr in the  defence of Christianity against Bolshevism and call on you always to remain faithful and devoted  to the Church of Christ.’  That night, when I left him, I gave him little further thought, for Slovakia and he seemed but pawns  in the great game. In the streets Nazi Storm Troopers, barely bothering now to disguise their  allegiance, tramped noisily about. The war was near. These Germans, I thought, these Germans….   Chapter Three  THE LONELY KINGS  Two men of the smoky Thirties in Insanity Fair are quite unchanged now that I look back on them  after ten years: Boris of Bulgaria and George of Greece. Their conduct and their ends, in the  Forties, were what I anticipated. The flames consumed them, but to the last their motives and  loyalty remained clear.  Kings stand sharply apart from all others in politics, in my experience. They are professionals in a  professional calling. The professional statesman, the nobleman, cleric or scholar who gave his life  to public affairs, is extinct. His successor, the twentieth-century politician, of whom I met a  multitude, appears to me an amateur. He is always in origin something else: a lawyer, peasant’s  son, journalist, trades union official, professor, artisan; who sees in politics the road to material  gain, or enters politics to improve or ruin his country. In this century of the great masquerade his  true motives may only appear at the moment of unmasking, when a traitor may emerge. He is  sometimes the agent or dupe of half-hidden groups. His renown is as brief as snow; where are the  politicians of yesteryear? His posterity sinks again into the mass.  When I met a king I felt the respect I feel for a surgeon in an operating-theatre, or should feel if I  were in a ship’s engine-room with Kipling’s old McAndrew, who was ‘Alone wi’ God an’ these  my engines’. These are technical specialists; their detachment from parties is real. They are what  they seem. A chilly loneliness surrounded them, like that which encloses the front-line soldier in a  war.  The Balkan kings are front-line kings. A hundred years ago, when the Turks after five centuries fell  back to Asia Minor, Europe seemed at last secure for Christianity and the small nations. The  Balkan ones all chose kings, and most chose Germanic ones. Germany somehow bred men who  understood kingship and this island fared well enough after making a similar choice. But after the  Turks, Austria, Germany, and today the Communist Empire fell upon the Balkan kingdoms. Russia  under the Czars was their friend; the Communist Emperor made them again the dark shambles they  were under the Sultans. A century ago the Christians had to build underground churches to keep  their faith alight; one such faced Boris’s Tootingesque palace in Sofia. The words ‘resistance’ and  ‘underground’ were born there; they were Christian and patriotic words, not anti-Christian and  treasonable ones. That battle, too, was all Europe’s battle. The British islander will never know it,  but the Balkans are his front-line. Bulgaria and Greece inexorably mean him.  Boris perfectly understood this. The chill around him was tangible, and I wondered why any man,  having safety and ease within simple reach, should persist in this beleaguered outpost. I thought,  and now feel sure, that the specialist’s attachment to his job kept him and his brother-kings at their  posts. It must have been that, for the two figures behind his chair, though shadowy, were yet plain  to me. I wrote in Insanity Fair: ‘He has spent twenty years fighting the twin enemies of every  Balkan monarch, abdication and assassination … The thought of assassination (not the fear of it, he  is courageous) is always with him … He looks it in the face.’  He talked much of assassination, its methods and his counter-methods. He spoke as a specialist  calmly considering professional problems. He was a family man, with young children. His Bulgars  liked him, he did not see danger there. Whose would the hand be, Russian, German – whose? I tried  to draw him, and found the first man in a high place who spoke of other powers than these, of  hidden, super-national forces. He pointed to the assassination of his neighbour, Alexander of  Yugoslavia. A Macedonian gunman; Croat confederates; a murder-school in Hungary; Italian  money and complicity; a murder in Marseilles and the unaccountable laxity of French police  officials; British and French pressure, at the League of Nations, to shelve the inquiry….  He smiled. ‘Who, then, was the culprit?’ he asked me, ‘incidentally, I warned Alexander. No, Mr.  Reed, there are forces in the world which do not want peace and order in the Balkans, where the  future of Europe will be decided, but you cannot pin them down in any one country. They are  international groups, super-national ones rather….’  I wish I could discuss these things with him now, in the light of all that happened in the Forties. By  amazing chance he foretold to me the way in which he would himself be killed. He was speaking of  an attempt on his life which he had sidestepped, through advance information, at Varna. His  English was not perfect. ‘They wanted to send me with an aeroplane,’ he said, with an upward  movement of his hands. I missed his meaning. ‘In an aeroplane?’ I asked. ‘They wanted to blow me  up,’ he explained, repeating the gesture. ‘Oh, I see,’ said I. In the Forties he was sent in an  aeroplane, with an oxygen helmet adjusted for his suffocation. His brother Cyril told the story at his  own trial. Cyril was shot or hanged, for what pretended reason, I forget. The hand which killed him  was that of the Communist Emperor. Yet I think Boris, could he speak, would smilingly deny that  his own death was caused in that quarter alone. ‘There are super-national forces,’ I believe he  would say, ‘which do not desire peace and order here in the Balkans where the future of Europe  will be decided.’  I thought of his words when Peter of Yugoslavia, after enthronement by acclamation in the teeth of  the German invader, was dethroned by Britain and America and a Communist dictator set up.  When that happened I first saw that the second twentieth-century war was being lost before it was  won. Again, I think Boris, discussing this event, would have pointed to the dark combination of  forces in many countries at the time of Alexander’s murder, and have repeated, ‘There are super-  national forces which do not desire peace and order here in the Balkans …’.  He died at his post in the way he expected and he believed he knew the identity of his ‘enemies. He  loved his children, flowers, the study of insect life and his job. He wanted to keep his kingdom and  to keep the peace, so that his motives and interests were identical with those of the Bulgars. That is  why they chose a king and will recall his son Simeon if ever they are allowed.  George of Greece, quite different as a man, had the same alert aloofness and lived in the same chill  loneliness. I have never seen public rejoicing equal to that at his first restoration. ‘Ah, yes, but how  much does it all mean?’ he said to me afterwards, and his windows were shuttered by day. I do not  know if he shared Boris’s opinions about super-national forces, arrayed against him, but he  certainly knew the dangers surrounding him and I doubt if he feared a Greek assassin. A Balkan  king need seldom fear his own people.  His last years strengthen Boris’s theory, for a tremendous campaign of international hatred was  waged against this man who so well served the cause called ‘Allied’. The hostility towards him, of  those supposed to be his allies, points to the existence of forces and motives beyond and behind the  ones which were publicly proclaimed to the masses. It came from Britain and America, as well as  Communist Russia.  Twice-restored kings must be rare in history. This king’s two restorations, one in the shadow of the  looming war, and the other when it was ostensibly won, prove the real desires of a Balkan people.  His life was a panorama-in-little of the whole Balkan tragedy. In his youth he heard French and  British shells fall in the palace garden, saw Greek soldiers go out to press back French and British  landing-parties, saw his mother telegraph impetuous complaint to her brother, the German Kaiser,  and his father try to ward off a German descent on Greece. In middle age he led a victorious Greek  army against Italy and was driven from Greece by Germany. When he died Greece was besieged by  the hordes of the Communist Empire.  Thrice on the throne, he occupied it for barely a decade. He was schooled in England and spent  much of his life here. He was in manner and bearing English and Greece was a distant kingdom to  which he was periodically restored. ‘In fact,’ he told me, ‘I am everywhere described as an English  agent.’ More years in England awaited him, during which he would be reviled as ‘a Fascist’. I  thought he was wrong in 1936, when he suspended the Constitution and abolished parties, but in  the light, or darkness, of the Forties would not care to reaffirm the criticism I put in Insanity Fair.  ‘There is so little time,’ he said, repeatedly. For what, he did not say, but we both knew. The war  was near.  He must have done marvels in the little time he had, for on his first restoration he found a ruined  army, yet the victory over Italy of the one he led belongs to the wonders of history. I do not  suppose that he, more than Boris, could have been surprised by anything, or, more than Talleyrand,  have believed that gratitude existed; he was a professional ruler. He may have been mildly  perplexed when, after that fantastic victory, he reached England and heard its Prime Minister  announce that the Greeks must be consulted before he reoccupied his throne. By that time the  shadow of Boris’s super-national forces was spreading over the war and the hidden motives were  emerging. The result, as I write, is that the danger of a new war beginning in Greece is great and  the heirs of President Roosevelt’s ill-omened regime are trying desperately to prevent one.  However, the Greeks called him back, and the scenes of 1935 were repeated after ten years. Once  more, he had ‘little time’. One day he was found dead in the palace, after (it was said) asking for a  glass of water. I do not think this was a natural death. The organised campaign against him, through  newspapers and politicians all over the world, is too ominous; the resemblance to the case of  Alexander of Yugoslavia is in that respect striking. But for the moment he had saved his kingdom;  his brother succeeded him and has a son; another front-line outpost is held.  He seemed an especially lonely man, even for a Balkan king. He too stayed at his post to the end.   ***                      Chapter Four  THE WRECKER  Ten years ago I was coming to a different opinion, from that commonly accepted, of the part played  by one man in the events of our century, and today, ten years later, I feel much surer in my view of  him. I thought Hitler meant to ruin Germany. It was the only plausible explanation of the things he  did. The new crime of ‘genocide’ (destroying nations) was charged against his henchmen at the  great trial in the Forties, and was chiefly argued on behalf of the Jews, but I think the nation he  aimed to destroy was the German.  This key to the riddle of our times was discovered by a few of the men near to him, who recoiled in  horror when they opened Bluebeard’s forbidden room with it. The first was Hermann Rauschning,  who fled abroad before the war and sought to enlighten mankind in two books, Germany’s  Revolution of Destruction and Hitler Speaks (1939). In his reports of Hitler’s conversation I first  found confirmation of what I suspected:  ‘We are obliged to depopulate as part of our mission of preserving the German population. We  shall have to develop a technique of depopulation. If you ask me what I mean by depopulation I  mean the removal of entire racial units. And that is what I intend to carry out – that, roughly, is my  task. If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for  the spilling of German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that  breeds like vermin.’  ‘Send the flower of the German nation into hell without the smallest pity for the spilling of German  blood’: the train of his thought ran from blood, through blood, into blood. Depopulation[2] is an idea  which, I believe, first emerged as a political programme in the French Revolution. It is discussed,  as a deliberate motive behind that event, in Mrs. Nesta Webster’s book, The French Revolution.  Rauschning’s discovery was subsequently made by many other Germans, who tried to kill Hitler. If  the devil’s hand is potent on earth his power may be seen in the failure of their many attempts and  the fearful deaths which befell them, from the slow strangulation of Admiral Canaris to the public  exhibition of Field-Marshal von Witzleben’s body on a meat-hook. If, on the other hand, there are  mortal forces in league with ‘the revolution of destruction’, their strength may be indicated by the  fact that the German who could throw most light on this secret of Hitler’s work, and who tried to  kill him, received twenty years imprisonment at Nuremberg!  This man, Albert Speer, the Minister for Armaments, was in Hitler’s innermost group, and  eventually made Rauschning’s horrifying discovery: that Hitler’s aim was the destruction of  Germany and universal destruction. When he heard Hitler and Goebbels (these two, and Martin  Bormann, were, significantly, the only leaders who did not fall into British or American hands)  order the Germans to ruin and ravage their country themselves, he tried to gas the arch-wreckers in  their dugout. The last broadcasts from that dugout were nihilist paeans of triumph:  ‘The bomb-terror spares the dwellings of neither rich nor poor … the last class barriers have had to  go down … under the debris of our shattered cities the last so-called achievements of the middle-  class century have been finally buried … there is no end to revolution; a revolution is only doomed  to failure if those who make it cease to be revolutionaries … together with the monuments of culture  there crumble also the last obstacles to the fulfilment of our revolutionary task.. Now that  everything is ruined, we are forced to rebuild Europe … The bombs, instead of killing all  Europeans, have only smashed the prison walls which held them captive … In trying to destroy  Europe’s future, the enemy has only succeeded in smashing his past; and with that, everything old  and outworn has gone.’  Nihilism, anarchism, communism, fascism: the ape’s or the infant’s joy in destruction, of friend or  foe, by no matter whom. That was the meaning of it all.  The long interval between the French and Russian revolutions blinded the public mind to this  meaning; the skilful trick of presenting the Hitlerist revolution to the world as something different  from those, and as their opposite, concealed the continuing process from the perception of the  masses.  The word ‘wrecker’ is in the dictionary and means a man who by showing false lights on shore  brings about shipwreck. The mass-wrecker in politics works by the same method, but seeks  something greater than monetary gain: power. I like to think that I saw three of the wreckers of this  decisive century in the flesh (Lenin dead, Hitler and Mussolini alive) and moved among the peoples  they ruined. Mussolini may have been an unwitting agent of destruction, a man corrupted by the  disease of power itself, after he gained it. Lenin and Hitler, I believe, were both fully enlightened  destroyers and depopulators. The mass-mind, however, seems only able to comprehend the multi-  murderer in private life, for instance, those respectable Parisians Landru and Dr. Petiot who, like  minor vermin on a huge field of carnage, prowled about during the first and second wars; the great  mass-murderers of public affairs, from Robespierre and Marat to Lenin and Trotsky, Hitler and  Goebbels, remain outside its understanding.  Hitler I met, and watched, on a hundred occasions. He was shadowy, and as distinct from the  millions he ruled as if he were of another species. I think this separateness came from the secret he  carried, the secret which only an odd German in a million ever learned, then recoiling from or  trying to kill the monster. He played a part, and the mob never knew that; it saw in him the heroic  image of itself and was infatuated.  I felt the need to laugh when I talked with him; or rather, when I listened to his rasping  rodomontade, while the uneasy, worshipping Hess sat beside us. In Hyde Park, I thought, the  balloon of this verbosity would quickly be pricked by some sharp Cockney interjection. Today, I  am less sure about an English crowd, and know I was wrong about him. He skilfully suited his  acting to his audience. ‘The furious German comes, with his clarions and his drums’: Macaulay  was right, the German can be stirred by this appeal, and Hitler mastered it. Moreover, his rages,  which were so transparently artificial, like those of a barn-stormer tearing Lear to rags, became real  and lethal paroxysms when power to shed blood was his.  That great student of the French Revolution, Lord Acton (were he alive now, I think he would trace  the unbroken thread from it, through Soviet Communism and German National Socialism, to the  World Nihilist State which threatens us today) said two things which seem to me to explain Hitler  and the process of our times:  First, the famous verdict: ‘All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ It  has been repeatedly proved true in our century and means that even a man who does not  consciously set out as a wrecker of nations, becomes one when he reaches out for power beyond  public and parliamentary control.  Second: ‘The appalling thing in the French revolution is not the tumult, but the design. Through all  the fire and smoke we perceive the evidence of calculating organisation. The managers remain  studiously concealed; but there is no doubt about their presence from the first.’ This, also, seems to  me to have been proved true, much more by the events of the twentieth century than it was when he  wrote it, towards the end of the nineteenth, about the great upheaval of the eighteenth. It means, to  my mind, that men who seize power find ‘a design’ and ‘managers’ waiting and become the  instruments of these; they are only allowed to rise so far because their usefulness in ‘the design’ is  foreseen. Some of them, however, are privy to the design from the start, and among these I would  include the man Hitler, alongside those he pretended to hate, like Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin.  There Lord Acton’s reading of the times comes near to King Boris’s and to my own today. When I  look back on the smoky Thirties, and around me at the smouldering Forties, the appalling thing is,  not the smoke, but the design. It is that of destroying liberty and justice and the plant from which  these grew, Christianity, in all countries. Contemplated in the light of such a design, Hitler’s war  was a triumph. After he went the shape of the ‘design’ spread over a larger field than he ever  conquered, and now enshadows this island.  In the Forties no doubt remains about that effect of his work. The only question unanswered is, was  he the witting or unwitting agent? Did he consciously desire the destruction of all Christian Europe,  which has been almost completed since he went?  I think he did, because of the mystery which surrounds his early life, his appearance on and  disappearance from the scene. There appears to me to be design, and the presence of managers, in  this.  The formative years of his life were spent in Vienna before 1914. Hardly anything is known of  them. Since I last wrote Berlin, Munich and Vienna have been captured and every archive  ransacked. Nothing has been heard of his Viennese police dossier. In my opinion it should show  what manner of man he was, and with whom he consorted, in those years when the great Eurasian  migration to the West was beginning; when the nihilists and anarchists from Russia were gathering  in the mean streets of Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London; when Peter the Painter and his dark band  vanished in the flames of Sidney Street.  In 1919, again, he was a German soldier, still serving, under the Bolshevist Government, in  Munich. He did not fight against it and yet, after its overthrow, suddenly became leader of an anti-  Bolshevist ‘National Socialist Party’! In our century such sudden appearances in politics have  otherwise only been made by Communists, long secretly trained in the schools that bred the  anarchists and nhilists of 1900-14. In age, origins and suddenness of appearance Hitler much  resembles the mysterious, pseudonymous and previously unknown ‘Tito’, who in the second war  descended on Yugoslavia from Russia and was soon enabled by means of British and American  gold, arms and supplies to set up a Communist dictatorship there.[3] The manner of Tito’s  apparition and the support he thus received from super-national sources, again, recall the arrival of  Lenin and Trotsky in Russia during the first war, with German and American help. If there is no  ‘design’ and ‘management’ in all this, then the arm of coincidence in our century is endless.  Hitler, then, appeared in German politics as if released from a spring-trap, like the demon king in  pantomime. Ten years ago, when I was forming these theories about his real allegiance and motives  (one can only theorise about conspiracy until Guy Fawkes is found among the powder-barrels, and  in our time any proposal to search the cellars would be dismissed as Fascist, or ‘a witch-hunt’, or  anti-something) I looked forward with interest to his end. If there were managers and a design, I  thought, he might disappear as he had come.  Ten years later he passed from the visible scene. A British intelligence officer in Berlin Mr. H.R.  Trevor-Roper, was charged with the investigation and had all available evidence. He published a  book, The Last Days of Hitler. The title is conclusive, but the facts do not seem to me final or to  establish more than the end of some black trousers. Several points occur to me:  In the week before Hitler committed suicide (if he did) on April 30th, 1945, thirty-two persons  lived in his dugout or in others near. Only eleven of these fell into British or American hands, and  these included none of the ten or eleven men who claim to have waited in the passage outside  Hitler’s suite while he and Eva Braun killed themselves. The solitary man interrogated by the  British or Americans who claims to have seen Hitler dead on a sofa is Artur Axmann, head of the  Hitler Youth. He also asserts that he saw, later, the corpse of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s second-in-  command of the Nazi Party.  Bormann was included in absentia among the accused men of Nuremberg and thus was apparently  presumed alive. Hitler, ‘that wicked man’, was not included among the accused.  The only other witnesses in British or American hands who claimed indirect knowledge of Hitler’s  end were obscure persons, policemen or guards. One policeman ‘saw the body being carried out  with a blanket concealing the bloodstained and shattered head … and easily recognised it by the  familiar black trousers’. Another by chance came upon the two bodies burning; they were ‘easily  recognisable, though Hitler’s head was smashed’.  Certainty might exist had the British or Americans reached the scene first. By some high order, the  reason for which was never published, the Americans appear to have been halted to ensure that the  Soviet troops should be first on the spot. That is where uncertainty begins.  Hitler drew up two wills, one of which announced the intention of suicide and desired that his body  and Eva Braun’s be burnt on the spot. This, if it was genuine, was a public message to the German  people and the world. Yet ‘careful precautions’ were taken to conceal the cremation, and only by  accident did ‘two unauthorised persons’ witness it. One, a policeman, ‘was shouted at by Hitler’s  SS adjutant, Guensche, to get out of the way quickly’. Later the senior police officer, Brigadier  Rattenhuber, ‘gathered his men and made them promise to keep the events of the day a holy secret;  anyone talking about them would be shot’.  Why? This Rattenhuber would be a useful witness, but his testimony is not available. The Soviet  commander announced that Rattenhuber was in Soviet hands, together with the man who is  supposed to have carried Hitler’s body out of the dugout (his personal attendant, Heinz Linge).  British and American requests for the identification of these two men, however, were refused.  Hitler’s body was never found.  Another strange thing happened on ‘the last day’. If Hitler died, he was buried just before midnight  on April 30th, 1945. At that very moment Goebbels, Bormann, General Burgdorf, Artur Axmann  and one other were ‘working out the project of a treaty with the Russians’!  The one other was General Hans Krebs, ‘who had served for a long time in Moscow before the  war’. This General Krebs, then, who knew all about the Hitler-Stalin Pact which began the second  war, at midnight on April 30th was on his way from the dugout with a letter from Goebbels (who  had already announced his own impending suicide) for Marshal Zhukov, the Soviet commander,  informing him of Hitler’s death and inviting him to sign an armistice! Twelve hours later he  returned and said the answer was ‘not satisfactory’. At least, we are told so. General Krebs has  never been seen again; Bormann is missing; Burgdorf has vanished; Goebbels was said (by the  Soviet authorities) not only to have committed suicide, but even to have left his body behind,  though in his case no photographs were published to my knowledge.  Truly, if Hitler had not died his death would have had to be invented, for those negotiations on his  ‘last day’ with the approaching ally of 1939 would otherwise have needed much explaining.  Are they dead, he and his companions of the last days? If he is dead, it is an irrelevant accident.  ‘Satan with a small moustache’, one tin-pan troubadour sang of him in New York, during the war.  Perhaps; but his satanism was directed more against Christian Europe than against the Jews. With  his disappearance the revolution of nihilism was not annihilated, but made its greatest advance.  I think the missing Viennese dossier might supply the missing link in our knowledge of his early  associations, and that it might lead to Russia. My theory is that Hitler, between 1908 and 1914,  received his political training in the Russian schools of anarchism and nihilism; and that these have  now bred the ostensibly opposed factions of ‘Communism’ and ‘Fascism’, in order the better to  work, behind this screen of pretended mutual hatred, for the aim of continental destruction. I think  these forces have been clearly shown, by the events of the Forties, to be internationally organised,  and to have friends in the ‘capitalist West’ as in the ‘communist East’. I think he was their agent  and had as many protectors as enemies in the eastern armies which were given priority to capture  Berlin. I think he sprang from those secret, nationless, conspiratorial ranks and, with his chosen  initiates, may have been spirited away by them. If he still lives, I would look for him first behind  the dark curtain; if he is dead, I think his secret might yet be found there. If there is ‘a design’, he  furthered it; and if there are ‘managers’, they may claim him as their man.   ***                                    Chapter Five  BETWEEN TWO THIEVES  There is one man of the Thirties who, I realise ten years later, owes me compensation for my  wasted time (an indemnity which he himself then claimed from the German Supreme Court), my  misplaced faith and my misinformed readers. Georgi Dimitroff moved me, a hard-driven journalist,  to write my first book, The Burning of the Reichstag, and I squeezed the night dry to do it. Daily  reports in newspapers would never clearly show people at home the horror that was coming on  Europe, I thought; then perhaps a book? And here was the theme: innocence persecuted by guilt, a  brave man defying bullies, the eternal People against eternal Tyranny.  I shudder to think of it now. Our century is all a masquerade and how can you compile a truthful  Who’s What when all men wear a mask? How his features changed, when he unmasked! He only  wanted power to do to others what he denounced when it was done to him; he did not wish to  cleanse Europe of the Gauleiters, but merely to rename them Commissars.  Chance was kind, to send me past the Reichstag as it took fire. A man who saw those flames, and  what followed, has the key to the riddle of this century. A Major Breen, who on that fateful night  was at the British Embassy in Berlin, fifteen years later wrote to The Times, ‘The Reichstag hoax  was the atomic bomb which blew our continent to pieces’, and the words are exactly true. Those  flames lick at the lives and liberties of every man, woman and child in the British island today.  The chain of events is plain. The fire was attributed to ‘Bolshevists’ and in that pretext  parliamentary government was abolished and ‘emergency powers’ over men seized in Germany.  Thus the area of ruined parliaments and rule-by-terror was extended, at a single move, from Soviet  Asia to the largest country in Europe. Later the war was begun in agreement and alliance with ‘the  Bolshevists’; this spread the regime of savagery over all the land between the two, so that the  Asiatic despotism reached to the Rhine. When the alliance was broken this area did not shrink, nor  did it diminish when victory was won. As a result of the victorious war against Germany,  ‘emergency powers’ (which mean that parliament rests on half-ruined foundations) were  perpetuated in England. In the British island, therefore, this twilight of insecurity derives directly  from the Reichstag fire.  That seems to me to prove the continuing truth of Lord Acton’s dictum about ‘design behind the  tumult’ and the ‘calculating organisation’ of unseen managers. Who fired the Reichstag, shot the  Archduke at Serajevo, murdered Alexander at Marseilles or killed Boris? We shall not know, but  now can clearly see that all these and other pieces fit into the pattern of destroying nationhood,  parliamentary government, justice, liberty and the rights of man (which were most nobly defined by  the prophets of the French Revolution) everywhere.  Having seen the gibbering, slavering van der Lubbe I know the petty minion in these affairs. But  Dimitroff was different. He was a leading and enlightened conspirator; that is now clear. I admired  his courage, and today think the writer should be wary in extolling this quality. Like Mark Twain  (who began a book by saying that if his readers wanted weather they could turn to the end, where in  an appendix he included samples of the more lurid weather reports from contemporary writing) the  political writer should keep courage out of his portraits, which this trait may falsify. Göring, who  seemed the image of a cowardly bully when he threatened Dimitroff with a private hanging, died  calmly enough when Dimitroff himself was erecting gallows in Sofia.  I even wonder now about Dimitroff’s courage. May the managerial hand have been even in the  Reichstag trial? It puzzled me then that the Nazis allowed him to give so effective a public  performance, when they tried their own people secretly in ‘People’s Courts’ or put them away  without any trial. I now recall an episode which may mean more than I then thought.  Before the trial began an acquaintance in Berlin casually told me I might be visited in my hotel at  Leipzig by a friend of hers, whom she merely called ‘Heinrich’. (I was not then familiar with the  Communist method of using aliases.) This man duly appeared. He was a Jewish Communist from  Russia, yet seemed at ease in that Gestapo-ridden town. He wanted me, after each day’s hearing, to  give him a brief résumé of events in court, and for several days he awaited me, sitting in the lounge,  to collect it. Since I was reporting the trial anyway I saw no harm in telling him what went on.  What interests me now, in the light of all that has happened since, is that before the trial began he  told me ‘Dimitroff will make a big show in this trial’ (Dimitroff wird in diesem Prozess sehr gross  auftreten). How did he know that Dimitroff would be allowed a grosses Auftreten?  Dimitroff was but a name to me then and Communism an unanswered question. I knew he was a  member of the ruling coterie of International Communism, but in 1933 did not know what that  meant; in 1947 I do. I knew then that Communist and National Socialist methods were the same,  but thought Communism might remain in Russia; my objection to National Socialism was the  certain knowledge that it did not mean to stay in Germany. Communism could only spread through  war and the condition of Russia, after fifteen years of Communism, was so miserable that I thought  Communism must dread war. I foresaw, and said in Insanity Fair, that Hitler, when he was ready  for war, would seek alliance with Stalin. I did not foresee the second murderer’s alacrity to agree.  Had I seen so far, I would not have imagined Dimitroff to be the pitiful victim of Hitler (his  subsequent release and restoration to Russia, at a time when innocence meant nothing in Germany,  should have foretold me of Stalin’s complicity in 1939).  I thought his plight heartrendingly forlorn in the Thirties. Exactly ten years before he had led an  unsuccessful rising in Bulgaria; exactly ten years before Hitler had led an unsuccessful rising in  Bavaria. What changes the ten years had wrought! The one man a friendless prisoner before the  German Supreme Court, the other (by his own declaration) the Supreme Magistrate of Germany!  Let another ten years pass, and Dimitroff was to behave in Bulgaria exactly as Hitler behaved in  Germany. ‘Communism is not cruel and brutal’, I heard him cry from the dock. Another  decade,’and he would set up in Bulgaria the selfsame ‘People’s Courts’ which Hitler established  after the Reichstag fire! I attended the first German People’s Court and feel the creeping horror of it  now, when I go to a British court of law and watch judges, who cannot be coerced, still doing  justice. There is something godly about these courts, and everything devilish about those where The  Party deals out death to The People under the ironic device, The People’s Court. Hundreds of heads  rolled at the order of Dimitroff’s People’s Courts.  He mocked the charge that the Reichstag fire was the result of ‘a Communist conspiracy to seize  power’, he cried that it was an act of ‘political provocation’, he taunted his accusers with the  suppression of the Communist Party and the expulsion of its deputies from the Reichstag – in the  Thirties. But in the Forties he (like Hitler) held ‘elections’, and then arrested the Opposition leader,  Petkoff, had him put to death (‘To a dog, a dog’s death!’ he cried), expelled the twenty-three  Opposition deputies from Parliament. Why? ‘They have been conspiring’ (he gravely told the  British Minister) ‘to seize power by force of arms.’  One thing I divined when I wrote about him in the Thirties: ‘Those who take a long view of history  may ponder the fact that the Communist Party, as an organisation, alone survives in Germany of all  the parties that National Socialism has destroyed. Conservatives, Socialists, Catholics, Democrats,  Liberals have all been swept away. The Communist Party, which it was the primary purpose’  (today I should write ‘professed purpose’) ‘of National Socialism to destroy, remains – a skeleton  force, working underground, its members still apparently in organised relationship with each other,  its activities pursued in spite of obstacles – waiting for its opportunity, waiting for National  Socialism to collapse in the stress of a new war….’  How valorous he seemed, in the Thirties, and what a fraud he was. Where, in that smoky  masquerade, was a man who really fought for what he claimed to fight for; who sincerely wished to  free his fellow men, and not himself to enslave them? I see few in the smoke of the Thirties and  fewer now. Today, when I watch a ‘Fascist’ and a ‘Communist’ haranguing the idlers in Hyde  Park, I think, of the first, ‘You are Dimitroff’, and of the second ‘You are Hitler’, and of the twain,  ‘You are robbers both. You both work to the same end and behind you stand the same managers.’   ***                                            Chapter Six  LONGEST NIGHT  It was exciting, in the Thirties, to go to Russia, in the train of a Mr. Eden, from whose journey to  the hermit-crab of the Kremlin good islanders at home hoped for peace and goodwill among men.  The signatures in the visitors’ book have multiplied since then: Davies, Eden again, Roosevelt,  Churchill, Truman, Bevin, Marshall; and where are goodwill and peace?  It was exciting to reach Moscow, this dream metropolis of ‘the great Soviet experiment’ (for some)  and nightmare capital of Red ruination (for others). The shape I had seen from afar was the real  one: ruination was right. Today, ten years later, the shape has not changed.  I can check that by an all-revealing detail. In my Moscow hotel bedroom in the Thirties the  telephone rang and a woman’s voice said, ‘Wouldn’t you like me to come up and see you?’ (see  Insanity Fair). In March 1947, when another British correspondent (Mr. Herbert Ashley of the  Daily Telegraph) accompanied another Foreign Minister (Mr. Bevin) to Moscow his bedside  telephone rang and a woman’s voice spoke the same words. I do not know if it was the same  woman, but in ten years the Soviet secret police has not learned to vary the words, let alone the  method. This incident is the key to all else; the picture Mr. Ashley otherwise gave was the one I  saw, in every detail.  I can add, from the Thirties, a trifle to that tale. I knew the nice Russian girl could not enter the  hotel without her secret police card and declined her offer (she appears in Victor Kravchenko’s I  Chose Freedom, too). However, later the door opened and a girl came in. This was a different one  and had hardly a word of English, French or German. Perhaps, to earn food or clothing, or gain  freedom for a lover, she had told the secret police she spoke English; I do not know. She was  anything but a femme fatale, she was a poor drab and pitiful in this part. I was just leaving to catch  my train and recall that an American correspondent looked in to say goodbye and quickly retired,  thinking no doubt that I was a willing captive. I gave her some oddments not worth packing; a  piece of chocolate, some soap, two handkerchiefs and some revolting paper roubles. She burst into  tears, stammered, ‘You … good’, and, miming the need for haste, I went to catch my train.  Ah, mother Russia, mother of sorrows. The sufferings of the Germans and of their victims are but a  drop from the cup the Russian people have had to drink in these three decades. ‘This will last out a  night in Russia when nights are longest there,’ said Angelo, impatiently quitting a tedious debate.[4]  The simile has a meaning today which Shakespeare could not foresee; a modern Angelo, having  seen the endless night that has followed the red sunset of October 1917, might use the words if he  heard the British or American politician, cleric and professor of 1947 belauding ‘the great Soviet  experiment’. The humane man seems nearly extinct in the twentieth century.  The shape of Moscow was what I expected, not because I took hostility with me, but because I had  seen in Germany the replica of the terrorist state, of which the Soviet one was the prototype and the  Nazi one the facsimile, touched-up in different colours. To me the secret police headquarters,  whether in Moscow or Berlin, and the concentration camps, whether in Russia or Germany, were  not merely brick walls and barbed wire fences. I had heard the cries, seen the wounds, talked with  the weeping womenfolk, knew the all-pervading and all-degrading fear.  That was why, when I left the civilisation of Poland behind and entered Russia, I felt I passed from  life to death and wrote, in Insanity Fair: ‘Once across, that battened-down feeling fell upon you  that the discerning traveller experiences in a State based on terror and the secret police. You have  the same feeling in Germany, Italy or any other dictatorship State, if you live there. It comes from  the knowledge that you must keep your mouth shut, that you have no real liberty and are liable to  arrest and imprisonment without trial if you do not keep your thoughts to yourself … I saw the  universal sign of the terrorist State, whether its name be Germany, Russia, or what not. Barbed wire  palisades, corner towers with machine-guns and sentries. Within, nameless men lost to the world,  imprisoned without trial by the secret police. The concentration camp, the political prisoners. In  Germany the camps held tens of thousands, in this country hundreds of thousands’ (today  ‘hundreds of thousands’ should read ‘millions’). ‘I felt I would have loved Russia, but I could see  that you would never be allowed to love Russia. I knew the signs of a police State, from Germany,  and saw that here, too, a foreigner, though entirely surrounded by Russians, might stay for years  and never enter the life of the people. They would be too scared to know him. He would remain  perpetually alone, his circle confined to other foreigners, his life limited to Legation teas, an unfelt  flea on the hide of the colossus Russia.’  The words are as true now as then; W.H. Chamberlin’s Russia’s Iron Age confirmed them in the  Thirties, and Victor Kravchenko paints the same picture, still blacker, in the Forties. This one thing  has not changed in Europe, save that it has changed for the worse by spreading outward,  submerging half the continent and threatening England.  ‘The great Soviet experiment’: there is not, in the history of thirty Soviet years, one new thing.  Everything in it bears the features of reaction towards the pitiless savagery of times long before the  Czars. If there is one thing in it new to modern times, it is only the abolition of all rights of  property. Done in the original pretence of crushing great landowners, this has been the most  ruthless attack in history on the common man and, in a huge peasant country, has made every  peasant a landless serf.  Ten years ago I fell into a fault of which I was critical in others, when I gave dogmatic views, in  Insanity Fair, about something I had neither seen nor sufficiently studied: the beginning of the  endless Soviet night. ‘The Bolshevist revolution was born in the agony of Russia, an agony endured  in a common cause. It was a revolt against intolerable tyranny … It was the convulsive upheaval of  a nation tortured and exploited beyond endurance, a desperate effort to throw off an age-old  tyranny and achieve better things.’  No. In the Forties we have seen too much to believe any longer that power-over-people passes from  one group to another through uprisings of The People; were it so, the Russian people would have  convulsively upheaved long before now. The next sentence was correct: ‘In the event power passed  from one gang to another gang and none can yet say what will ultimately come out of the  Bolshevist revolution for Russia.’  In the Forties, however, we know what is coming of it for others than Russians. In no other country  has Communism gained power through a majority vote. It never will. Nevertheless, Communism  now rules over many other lands, through the presence there of the Red Army. (The only two  countries which, after a look at Communism, had a chance to express an opinion at a free election  registered loathing and repugnance; these were Hungary and Greece).  In the Thirties, when I was in Moscow, the good Litvinoff was blandly defining ‘an act of  aggression’ as that of the first country to set foot or aeroplane over a neighbour’s frontier. Stalin  was telling Mr. Eden that ‘two expansionist countries, Germany and Japan, threaten the peace of  the world’ (but did not add that he would join Germany in breaking that peace). In those days it  seemed that the rulers of Russia might desire peace and the enslaved Russians find happiness.  That was not so. The ruined area has merely been enlarged, and no doubt about the future intention  remains. The question-mark over the Kremlin in the Thirties has been answered, in the Forties, and  we are back where we came in ten years ago. Europe cannot remain bisected any more than a man  can walk through life with a broken spine.[5] It must either be mended or he must die. That  Communism might repeat the Hitlerist and Napoleonic bid for world domination was clear enough,  in the Thirties; what was not clear was that it would be helped by Britain and America.  Unhappy Russia, unhappy Moscow. How incongruously the Moscow-made Union Jacks fluttered,  as a British Foreign Minister for the first time arrived there, in the Thirties. How drab and silent  were the distant crowds, herded behind the watchful secret-police troops. They had nothing to lose  but their chains (they had once been told). Now they bore crueller chains than ever. Nothing was  left them but the misery of thought.  How good it was to pass back through the iron curtain[6] into civilised Poland. Poor Poland!   ***                                          Chapter Seven  CLAMOROUS HARBINGER  I give here some extracts from private reports which I sent to The Times as the Thirties darkened:   In mid-1933: ‘War in about five years, unless the danger be realised and  prevented….’  In 1935: ‘We are moving to a war which, unless it be prevented, will either be a  short one ending in German victory or a long one leaving Europe in a state of  deteriorating, Chinese confusion….’  In April 1936: ‘The Austrian Chancellor agreed with me that Austria and the world  must be prepared for anything at any time from now on … My own opinion is that  from now on one should be ready at any moment for events which will place Britain  before the immediate necessity to take a decision for peace or war … The possibility  of a German descent on Austria must be always borne in mind … At present the  depressing likelihood seems to be that nobody will take this situation seriously until  it is too late and that the muddle-into-war history of 1914 will be repeated for the  want of consideration in advance of the situation with which the world is likely to be  confronted before all too long….’  In April 1937: ‘The Chancellor said the worst thing that could happen for Austria,  and the thing they had most to fear, was the outbreak of war in Europe. “And who  can prevent war? Only England”….’  In June 1937: ‘Austria is now at the mercy of Germany and it is almost a matter for  surprise that she has not walked in long since. She could do it at any moment. If  Germany should march in there seem only two possible results: the rapid submission  of Austria and disintegration of Czechoslovakia or a European war….’  In June 1937: ‘The Minister for Home Affairs said Austria could not resist an  invasion by the Reichswehr; it would be hopeless. This was my estimate of the  possibilities in a memorandum sent two years ago … Did the seizure of Austria  inevitably mean, in his view, the immediate disintegration of Czechoslovakia,  provided there were no general war? Yes, he said, inevitably …. At the end he said,  “Well, let’s hope that some way out can yet be found without the great blood bath”,  but I did not have the impression that this hope was very strong in him….’  In September 1937: ‘Italy has agreed to let Germany have her way in Austria … in  return for support in the Mediterranean or in a major European conflict … Mussolini  is “contemplating early hostilities in Europe” … British foreign policy seems to be  moving drearily to the inevitable disaster, so long foreseen and easily predictable….’  In December 1937: ‘The Chancellor told me, “Any territorial expansion by Germany  in this area must lead inevitably to war” … A new war would bring Communism. He  thought it a mistake to think you could avoid war by seeking to propitiate Germany  with concessions in the Danubian area. He did not think England would be spared  the social upheavals which would follow a new war … I said I heard Germany was  reckoning with war in about two years (this was an allusion to a report, which I have  on good authority, that Papen between November 9th and 11th was told by Hitler  that Germany was calculating on war “in two years at the least” and by Göring, “in  two years at the latest”). The Chancellor said, without my specifically referring to  this report, that he believed Germany was working for “two years at the least”. His  use of the identical phrase I had in mind, but had not used, seemed to show that he  also had heard of this Hitler-Papen conversation….’  Austria was invaded in March 1938, Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and the second war began in  September 1939.  The reader may see that the diligent journalist of the Thirties was a clamorous, but truthful,  harbinger of blood and death. Not he alone, however: the files of nearly every British Embassy or  Legation in Europe must contain warnings similarly exact about Hitler’s Germany in the Thirties  (and, in the Forties, about Stalin’s Russia).  The pattern has not changed in the new decade. I am surer now than I was in the Thirties that the  second war could have been stopped by an unyielding stand over Czechoslovakia. We know now  (from evidence at Nuremberg, from von Hassell’s The Other Germany and Gisevius’s To The  Bitter End) that Germans were then ready to remove or kill Hitler. The Pact of Munich foiled them;  what could they do if the outer world made encouraging gifts of territory, man-power, food-power  and munition-power to Hitler? Today the scene is the same, with Soviet Russia in Hitlerist  Germany’s place. If ‘the men of Munich’ were guilty then, the men of Moscow are so now. Still the  wall of misinformation stands between the peoples and the truth.  The political leaders of our century remain a riddle. If Ramsay MacDonald, even before Hitler’s  triumph, foresaw the danger, why did he and his successors allow it to approach? Do politicians-in-  power come under pressures, which they cannot resist, from those forces ‘behind the scenes’ of  which Disraeli spoke? Do they only look to the next election, as Baldwin implied? Or do they  express an inarticulate desire of masses, to be told ‘Now go home and sleep safely in your beds’?  ‘And you all know, security is mortals’ chiefest enemy,’ said Lady Macbeth.  In the Thirties, if there were ‘guilty men’, they were in all parties. Not only some Tories cried, ‘The  King is clothed’ when naked dictatorship stripped for war. Snowden and Lansbury thought Hitler ‘a  friend of peace’; Lloyd George scoffed at German rearmament; Attlee and Morrison thought  British disarmament the sure road to peace. Alone of them all the Communists, who raised this last  cry most loudly, saw clearly what they wanted: a British collapse and universal destruction.  I find interest in looking back into the mind of a man (myself) who was in his own thirties during  the fantastic Thirties. The background to all my thoughts was the first war. It hung there, a great  grey backcloth, and when the monstrous new war took shape ahead it was like being between two  huge, closing walls; one’s puny arms tried to keep them asunder.  The first war, in my belief, was not just one of the innumerable wars of history. Now that the  second war may be seen appended to it, like wagon to locomotive, it appears unique. The two  together are one war, and this has been used, for the first time in history, to promote super-national  aims, quite distinct from those of the peoples which were thrown into the melting-pot. Before the  first one began (this is now clear) the seeds of those overriding schemes had been planted, and  these alone throve and blossomed through both.  Therefore the first war began something new in our planet’s history. For the first time that huge  mechanism was set moving which brought men from the ends of the earth to fight ‘for freedom’, as  they were told, but in the event to destroy it. I still see Chinese labourers and perplexed Portuguese  toiling in Flanders fields; they, like the Brazilians in the second war, might have asked what they  were doing in that galley. The omnipotent ruthlessness of that enormous machine, which clutched  up men from remote corners of every continent, was then first revealed. It seemed, in 1914-18, a  natural phenomenon, produced by spontaneous combustion, which could never recur. But we have  now seen it twice!  Then there was its insensate immobility and gigantic destructiveness. When I look back I am  astounded that the millions could be brought to lie down in mud for four years, merely waiting until  a shell burst near enough. The most lethal war in history was in a sense a non-fighting war. Were  the generals hamstrung by politicians (like the journalists between the wars) or was it a sterile  period in the military mind? The ‘war of attrition’ in the great quagmire seems to me a freak among  wars.  Nevertheless it was justified by its apparent results. It left Europe as near perfection as a human  community in an earthy continent will ever be. While it went on it was like a dinosaur weltering in  mud and blood, but when the monster at last lay still there was clean air and sweet hope. It was  militarily a fiasco and politically a brilliant success. In the Thirties the monster stirred again, and  the most evil of the dervish-like figures that danced through that smoky time, to me, were those  who cried, ‘This is all the fault of the Treaty of Versailles’. In the Forties men may yearn for the  Treaty of Versailles as drowning seafarers for a raft.  For the second war was militarily a brilliant success and politically a fiasco. The falsification of  causes and motives, which began in the Thirties, ran all through it like some war-born plague. The  pattern of the Thirties became plainer. A tyrant duke had only been removed in favour of a more  tyrannous brother. The great machine was set in motion, the second time, for ends quite different  from those which were proclaimed when the button was pressed.  As the Thirties ended, and the long-denied second war began, all this was hidden behind the  wavecrest of the onrushing Forties. I listened impatiently to a loudspeaker in Devon, which told me  that The War had begun. It had been going on for nearly seven years (and continues as I write).  Having nothing better to do at that instant, I sorted my papers and put aside the carbon-copies of  those reports of the years 1933-39.   ***                      Chapter Eight  THE PUPPETS DANCE  It was a devil’s carmagnole that began in the Thirties, when the mob gathered round the flags of  anti-Christendom. Swastika; sickle-and-hammer; it was no accident, but part of ‘the design’ that  both were in the shape of a broken or distorted cross, and this revealed their common origin.  Once the cross was in all the flags of Europe, of France, Prussia, Russia, Austria and the others.  Now it remains only in that of this country, the Scandinavian ones, Switzerland and Greece. Above  the darkness that spread over Europe in the Forties waves the anti-Christian symbol of the  destroyers. That is the exact measurement, in its simplest form, of the result of the two wars and of  three decades. They have almost undone the work of nineteen centuries; the passing of the crosses  is not meaningless. Through them the vainest warlord bowed to the limits of mortal pretensions.  The new ones acknowledge no authority higher than their own; theirs the vainglory of the  baboon.[7]  Pitiful were the mobs I saw, shouting ‘Stalin, Stalin’ in the Red Square, or ‘Heil Hitler’ in the  Wilhelmstrasse, or ‘Duce, Duce, Duce’ in Rome (they also shout ‘Tito, Tito, Tito’ now). Always  they have roared themselves from bad to worse since the first mob cried ‘Give us Barabbas’.  Forty years ago politics was a fairly safe occupation and the average expectation of an honourable,  peaceful end was high. Now it is a dangerous calling. Stalin killed nearly all the Bolshevist leaders;  Hitler killed hundreds of his confederates; dead Mussolini was hanged upside-down by his own  mob. All that will not deter a new generation of wreckers. The intoxicant, power, is too potent, the  unseen managers are too mighty.  They may die in thousands, these upstarts who are the curse of our century, and the mob in  millions. The pitiful ones are the others, those who try to keep hold of the Christian values and let  the mob rush by, but are caught in the maelstrom and swept away. What can they do against the  secret police, bread-tickets, forced labour, the informer and the all-powerful Party? These victims  of the devil’s machine are the ones I chiefly see when I look back at the Thirties. The survivors  today live in a Europe suspended between hammer and anvil; it cannot stay as it is, neither civilised  nor savage, neither wholly enslaved nor wholly free. In the darkness of the Forties those millions  wait, almost hopelessly now, for the final blow.  Where are my friends of the smoky Thirties in Insanity Fair? Most of them have vanished. Where  is Nadya the dancing-girl, who rode with me in the Little Rocket, who learned the crawl with me in  Budapest, who in exuberant mother-nakedness grilled a steak among the rushes of a lake, in  Mecklenburg, who sacrificed her waist-line to the pastries of Brussels and her good-humour to  regaining it among the cream-cakes of Vienna? Once I had news of her, a signed letter that came  out of Antwerp just before the Germans marched in. I still see the last words: ‘Es geht mir schlecht.  Dein Nadya.’ Good Nadya, I fear you fared still worse, but your laughter and the gay moments, in a  darkling time, remain eternal.  Strange faces and figures pop up in that crowded, confused, composite street which to me is mad  Europe of the lowering Thirties. There is Charles Chaplin, who lampooned the Germans in  Shoulder Arms during the first war and would again lampoon them in The Dictator, during the  second; there he stands before the Adlon Hotel, Berlin, and beams on a cheering German mob. The  time? For him, between two films; for the mob, between two wars; in other words, the Thirties.  How much he resembles Hitler, soon to beam on the same mob at the same spot. Not only in  feature: in the sad hearts of these two clowns is the same self-mistrust, the same aversion from  mortal mankind. The one man, who has a political itch, shows it in his pictures; the other, who  itched to paint pictures, shows it in his politics.  There were new noises in Nineteen Thirty Street. In every dwelling little boxes began to speak;  little did the millions who listened guess how much poison was to be injected into their minds  through them. The films began to talk. I see The Blue Angel now, and Emil Jannings and Marlene  Dietrich together in the Kurfuerstendamm. In the Forties Marlene, would still be Marlene, a little  finer-drawn, but still vom Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt, still a little guttural as she sang  American soldiers on to victory over the Germans (perhaps the German soldiers thought of her  when they mournfully serenaded the vision of one ‘Lili Marlen’.) Had Jannings stayed in  Hollywood he might, who knows, also have entertained American soldiers Germany-bound, but he  did not and, when they arrived, was arrested, ‘grilled’, charged with ‘collaboration’. Had he not  acted in German films? Why had he not remained in California and stayed an honest man?  Unaccountable tricks of destiny, cruel to some, kind to others. There sits lovely Lilian Harvey,  smiling at me through her film make-up. She danced through the smoky Thirties and through The  Congress Dances. She looked English, spoke English; I supposed her parentage was English. She  was loved by all, as she drove out of the Reichskanzlerplatz in her long tourer with the musical  horn and probably never suspected, when its name was changed to Adolf Hitler Platz, that this spelt  ruin. But I surmise that it did, for she was rich then, and yet was swept away by the whirlwind and  in the Forties suddenly reappeared, frail and ailing, in a Paris music-hall. She was ‘glad to be at  work again’, she said; the newspapers made ‘a story’ of her for a day.  Capriciously the Thirties sported with the public idols, around whom the mob cavorted. There goes  Bunny Austin, to play for England on the Rot-Weiss tennis courts in the Grünewald, and thereafter  to a queer, unforseeable assignation with ‘moral rearmament’ somewhere in America. The mob  loved to admire itself and forget itself in such champions. It gathered there to cheer two other  heroes of the day, the American Tilden and the German von Cramm. (In the Forties both these  manly figures passed out of the sunshine of public adulation into a reproachful oblivion.) There  through the Tauentizenstrasse, as yet unknown, goes the rising young novelist Christopher  Isherwood (the Forties will find him, too, in America) and beside him are the people of his books:  the scented and bewigged Mr. Norris, the self-squandering English wanton, Sally.  And there, in the Ringstrasse, is the King of England. His story seemed then to add the one piece  still missing to the pattern of Greek tragedy that was Europe in the Thirties. How ominous, I  thought: when the storm broke the British people would need, on their throne, a man who so firmly  united the devotion of that great family scattered over the world. It was difficult to see God’s hand  anywhere then; in the Forties, however, the British people might say again, there’s a divinity that  shapes our ends. The new king, starting with none of the huge advantages of his brother, by quiet  example strengthened the feeling of union within the British family everywhere.  The idols were caught up, tossed round, cast down; not for them the tranquil, continuing renown of  earlier favourites. There, through the Rue de la Paix, goes a boy, Lindbergh. He little knew the  storms he flew towards when he flew towards Atlantic storms. The mob, with the smoke thickening  round it, clutched at the dream-picture of itself: a golden youth, with gale-tossed hair, conquering  all hazards and safely reaching that Paris where good Americans go when they fly. Mass-adulation  swirled about him.  The hero became the mob’s captive; never again might he own his own soul; if he wished to ride  this storm he must follow the mob. He flew here, there, everywhere. Everything he said was  important – if it was what the mob wanted; mobs will not brook heresy since one cried, ‘Give us  Barabbas’. The sudden journeyings precipitated his mind into world affairs, and he formed his own  opinions. That was enough, or rather, too much: he was ‘A Fascist’. That a German murdered his  baby son brought him no mob-sympathy when he cried, ‘Keep out of the war against Germany’.  Men who form opinions about Europe without sufficient knowledge are usually wrong, and he was  wrong if he thought ‘Fascism’ and ‘Communism’ left alone, would destroy each other. That was  not in the plan. He may now, in the Forties, be half way towards the truth, when he is telling his  countrymen, ‘Get into Europe and stop Communism’. The whole truth, however, of these thirty  years is that a President Roosevelt is more dangerous to America than Fascism, Communism or any  New Weapon.  Here is a strange picture from the smoky Thirties: Ramsay MacDonald, with his fellow-socialist,  Sir Oswald Mosley, beside him, warning the Germans, in the Reichstag, against attacking Poland!  That was even before Hitler came to power! Looking back, I feel proud of that episode. Did he  ‘betray Socialism’? We know much more about the Communist Empire today and might wish to  see another such betrayal, rather than the hidden Communist domination of ‘British Labour’ which  wreaked such havoc in England in the Forties; that is a much worse betrayal of England than  anything this Socialist ever did. In the Forties those who most loudly reviled ‘the renegade leader’  have come to compare poorly with him.  And the wealthy baronet at his side? His figure, that day, seemed clearcut enough; the rich man  among our Socialists is as familiar as the American millionaire among the Communists. The smoke  of the Thirties must have got in his eyes, for him to have coupled the words ‘British’ and ‘Fascist’.  You cannot have a British Ogpu, a British Gestapo, a British Nazi or a British Communist, if there  is always to be an England, any more than you can have a pastor with horns.  I met many other men who to my eyes had no definite shape, in the smoky Thirties, but now are  gaining one. I seldom knew or cared what their politics were; they echoed my loathing of ‘the  Nazis’ and I assumed, as I then thought, logically, that they would loathe Communism equally. I  hated the things that both did, not their names.  I was often wrong, as I now see, in this assumption. I sat with a Mr. John Strachey in a Viennese  café and with him denounced ‘the Nazis’. To me he was but a name. I did not know he was (then) a  champion of Communism; or that he had written of the Invergordon naval mutiny of the Thirties as  revealing ‘the true spirit of the British sailor’, of ‘one Union of Soviet Republics reaching to the  Rhine’ and of ‘the centre of gravity of world Communism shifting westwards from Moscow to  Berlin’. Had I then read these words of his, I would have suggested to him that such a prospect was  just as evil as that of a Nazi Empire reaching to the Urals, with the centre of gravity of world  National Socialism shifting eastward from Berlin to Moscow, and that it was humbug to advocate  the one and denounce the other. I did not guess, that night in Vienna, that this shadowy  acquaintance would in the next decade become Food Minister in Britain and under ‘Defence  Regulations’ of a bygone war bring bread-tickets to this island. Had I been so clairvoyant, I would  have argued that despotic power over a people’s food is the unmistakable mark of dictatorship by  any name, and have asked just what he objected to in National Socialism.  Then there was a Mr. Richard Grossman, who moved about Germany in the Thirties and similarly  scarified ‘the Nazis’. He seemed a slightly lisping young professor, pleasant but nebulous. When  the war came I was puzzled to hear his voice each night, calling the German Arbeiter to rid himself  of Hitler. He, and the professorettes who broadcast similar fiery messages in Girtonesque German,  were not Arbeiter or Arbeiterinnen, I reflected; why this laboured stress on ‘the working classes’.  When the war was over this voice was to urge ‘understanding’ for the Soviet Power as loudly as  others had recommended it for the well-meaning Hitler, and again I could not reconcile this respect  for the devil in red with hatred of the devil in brown, or his support of ‘emergency powers’ in  England with his loathing of dictatorship in Germany.  Truly, men were seldom what I thought them, in the Thirties, and they often emerged, in the  Forties, in shapes far different from anything I foresaw when I talked with them. In Geneva, for  instance, was a rather vague figure, a Mr. Konrad Zilliacus. I used to surmise casually about his  unusual name and the origins it might indicate. The League of Nations needed men of languages, I  supposed, and there he was. Had my life depended on it I would not have guessed that, ten years  later, he would be elected by a majority of 19,000 votes to represent the Geordies of grey  Gateshead, or that this enemy of things ‘Fascist’ would become famous as an apologist of things  Communist. I never could see the sense of that and never will.  I knew some men in the Thirties whose faith was clear. They hated both devils, and usually died.  Here are two: Grada Kozomaritch, a Serb, and Sima Franzen, a Croat, both Yugoslav journalists.  Kozomaritch, who escaped to England in the first war and studied at Oxford, was long  correspondent of The Times in Belgrade. The Balkan man often sees further than the westerner;  possibly those five Turkish centuries sharpened his wits. Kozomaritch in his youth fought the  Germans in his native Serbia and hated the Nazis, their heirs. But he saw clearly that ‘Fascism’ was  only a stalking-horse for Communism. I did not, at that time, and we had many arguments. Because  he hated Communism Kozomaritch was defamed as ‘a Fascist’; when the Nazis reached Belgrade  they killed him. (He was convinced that the murder of King Alexander at Marseilles was  Communist in its origins; now that the plan of a Communist Empire stretching to the Adriatic and  beyond has been revealed, and the then unknown men who were in training for it in Russia have  emerged, his farsightedness is evident.)  His colleague Franzen was with me in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and joined me in trying to help  refugees, most of them Jewish, from the advancing Germans. Consequently he was ‘smeared’ as a  Communist, though he recognised the oneness and indivisibility of Fascism and Communism and  hated both. When the Soviet armies reached Belgrade he was shot.  The Thirties were the hey-day of the charlatan and the bully; the Forties, which were to prove even  more profitable to fraud and brutality, were yet to come (and the Fifties, which may yield an even  greater harvest, are still unborn). Masses of human beings showed that civilisation in Europe was  not even skin deep; it was a wafer-thin veneer laid over animal instincts and dictatorship found the  way to peel off the veneer. The mob turned blindly towards reaction in its foulest form when it bore  the features of Marx, Lenin or Hitler and put on the mask of The Common Man or The Working  Class. The great civilising minds, from the Nazarene to Shakespeare, from da Vinci to Goethe, in  two thousand years barely touched the mob-mind. Mankind was still a toad with the humane jewel  dulling in its forehead; the toad had not become a lovely prince.  Let me take a man to point my theme, a man who set up a ‘booth in Insanity Fair in the Thirties.  Through him we may look into the soul of a man who might have become a dictator. He was a  most sordid murderer, yet almost reached the seats of the mighty and had he done so he would have  seemed respectable, upright, religious almost to bigotry. If it is still possible to persuade any of the  danger of allowing a politician, who has climbed the party-rungs to a top place, to seize ‘emergency  powers’, the study of this man should convince.  Thomas John Ley appeared in Danzig in the smoky Thirties; he organised the then popular  sweepstakes. He had great strength of feature, muscle and will. The lust for power over men was in  him and by ambition he was a politician. A butler’s son from our West Country, he was taken in  infancy to Australia and there became a successful politician. Electors do not choose their  representatives today; in the twentieth century they are picked beforehand in the secret party  conclaves, and Ley learned the trick of these. It was the time of Prohibition in America and the cry  was likely to catch votes. He became ‘Lemonade Ley’, a temperance-crusader (had he been twenty  years younger, and come to politics in the Forties, he would probably have called himself a  Socialist and secretly curried Communist favour). He became (in New South Wales) Minister for  Public Instruction, Minister for Labour, and from 1922-95 Minister for Justice! (In that post he  refused reprieve to a man whose wife was certified insane and who, dreading the taint for his three  children, killed them; this man’s plea of insanity for himself was rejected and Ley, denying  reprieve, said, ‘Murder is murder and justice must be done’.)  This period, 1925, is the fascinating point in his career to the student of twentieth-century affairs.  The next obvious step towards power was the Australian national parliament. Ley took it; he was  elected to Canberra. A post in the Australian Government seemed sure. He might have become  Prime Minister. The second war was not far ahead and in wartime Ministers rule through  ‘emergency powers’. What might he not have become in the sequel? Take one possibility: he might  have become Commander-in-Chief of the World Police Force, with authority to send armies against  any he was prompted to name a transgressor.  But at that decisive moment things happened. His opponent at the election, who had said hard  things about him, disappeared and was never seen again. Lawsuits were begun against him in  respect of certain company-promoting transactions. The Australian Prime Minister would have  none of him. Suddenly he left Australia. The Thirties saw him, out of politics but rich, busy in  Danzig and Andorra. The war came and he returned to the island of his birth.  But for his opponent’s disappearance and those lawsuits he might have become powerful in world  affairs, a governor of the ‘United Nations’ or what not. In 1946 he was arrested in London, for  murder. The corrupting power of such a man is gruesome to study: with small trouble he picked  from London streets several persons who were ready for a little money to kidnap and deliver to him  a man unknown to them. I would not have thought this possible in London. The body was found,  and the trail uncovered, by merest chance; but for it the victim would have disappeared like the  man in Australia twenty years before.  Unlike the man whose plea of insanity was rejected, whose reprieve Ley refused, Ley was found  insane after conviction and reprieved (he died soon after in Broadmoor Asylum). Was he insane,  and for how long had he been? In my surmise his insanity was only that of the lust for power over  men, which is the worst form of insanity. How near he came to wielding it in great public affairs.  His case is illuminating for the study of Lenin, Hitler, and those men of the Forties who today seek  power-over-masses. The task of The Common Man is not to follow them, but at all costs to curb  them, for they seek to destroy him.[8]  A pandemonium of men and machines was Insanity Fair in the smoky Thirties. I see the first  rocket-car on the Avus track near Berlin, watched by impassive German general staff officers with  the forbidden red stripe on their trousers. My more sober British colleagues smiled at my deep  interest in this toy. I followed every scrap of rocket news with avidity. There was a man who  claimed to make a package-carrying rocket deposit its load within a prescribed area. There was talk  of an experimental ‘postal rocket’ to America and when I reported it a friend (who in the later war  was to be a senior intelligence officer in our air force) twitted me with wasting the space of The  Times on ‘a stunt’.  But in the Forties I thought of the rocket-car with its flaming tail when I leaned from a cottage-  window in Sussex and watched the first flying-bombs, with their flaming tails, come over the  shoulder of the Downs, London-bound. A newspaper-correspondent abroad, if he is allowed, can  do his country good service.  The Nineteen-Thirties seem to me to have been the ten most evil and fateful years in our twenty  centuries of rising civilisation. Whatever the temporary setbacks, the main tendency was always  clear before, and it was an upward one. In those ten years huge backward strides were made; very  few people yet realise how much was lost in that decade. When the Thirties began the Christian  principles of liberty and justice, in greater or lesser degree, prevailed almost everywhere in Europe  outside the small slice of Asiatic Russia which the map puts in Europe. When they ended unlawful  imprisonment, torture and death, mass deportation and mass depopulation were the methods of  government in three-parts of the continent; the rulers of imprisoned Russia and imprisoned  Germany joined hands to extend this plague-area until it infected nearly all of Europe.  The Thirties! How the herd, released into the pleasant prairie of a free life by the nineteenth  century, rushed to find the slopes of Gadarea again! Puny were the great men, many of them crying  ‘‘Ware wolf!’ only because they wanted to play a wolfish part themselves. Rare was (and still is)  the man who stood steadfastly by the principles of the New Testament, of British justice, of the  American Constitution, no matter which side seemed uppermost in the medley of the day.  As the smoke of the Thirties burst into the flame of the Forties, and the puppets danced faster and  more furiously still, the Sage of the Century gave it all a final benediction. When the two leaders of  anti-Christendom joined hands to destroy Europe, in the few moments before they jointly fell on  Poland, Mr. Shaw cried, ‘Hitler has put himself under the powerful thumb of Stalin, whose interest  in peace is overwhelming’. It was a fitting end to the mad Thirties.  ***                                  PART TWO    THE FIRE: 1940 – 1945                                            Chapter One  WARM SEPTEMBER EVE  The darkening cloud that overhangs our century suddenly cleared away for me (sad illusion) one  autumn evening in 1940 when I came into London by the Bedford road. The first nine months of  the Forties were ones of intolerable suspense. That evening the silent, brooding sky abruptly filled  with fleeting glints, like the sun on dragon-flies’ wings, with white trails, and the noise of fighting.  Aeroplanes fell, one so near that I saw black crosses. The battle was on at last and all at once I  knew we should win. The Forties, the twentieth century, cleared.  Some days stand bright in memory like illuminations in an old manuscript. I began that one in  Bedford, thinking on John Bunyan’s long imprisonment by the bridge. In prisons he wrote  Pilgrim’s Progress (through Vanity Fair) and Grace Abounding; in the prison of the soul, which the  Thirties were for me, I wrote books called Insanity Fair and Disgrace Abounding. I looked at his  jail and tried to count the English writers, from his time till now, whose lot has been persecution. I  felt a morbid loathing of my times. Then I thought of his words: ‘A castle, called Doubting Castle,  the owner whereof was Giant Despair.’ Saluting him, and throwing off an evil humour, I got into  my car. God bless old John, I thought, as I drove towards London. I counted my blessings. I was  not in prison, though some would have liked me there. My companion was the most charming I  ever knew. My car was unique in slender grace and power (I fear I shall not see its like again). I  bought it, perversely, after Dunkirk, thinking, at least I’ll ride this beautiful creature a few leagues  before nightfall. It was long, low, and of a blue which matched the scarf round my companion’s  hair, her eyes and the sky above. She had never read Bunyan, yet in her own words echoed him, for  she chided ‘the man that can look no way but downwards, with a muckrake in his hands’. It was  hard not to do that then.  So I had barely left Bedford behind when I felt the happiest man alive. I came, indeed, at a delicate  plain called Ease, and went with much content – but that plain was but narrow. Suddenly we came  on a scene that stays sharp-etched in my mind.  Beside the road was a great airfield, with aeroplanes about and big buildings black against the  green turf. Some alarm had been given and in groups of three or four, scattered over the sunny  field, stood soldiers, tautly alert, looking upward and southward. Of what they had been warned I  do not know, perhaps of a bombing-raid or parachute-attack. In these early days of airfield-defence  I think sergeants and corporals alone had bullets for their rifles. I never knew so infectious a feeling  of peril, or saw so many men so rigidly poised. No limb stirred or head turned as our blue car  flashed by and soon we ran again between placid, empty fields. But the glimpse told me what lay  ahead: battle over London.  London! It is all things to all men, or to the same man in different moods. A great wen, Cobbett  thought, as he rode from it, looking back, but he saw, not London, rather the gathering evil of the  century to come. ‘Hell is a city much like London’, cursed Shelley. ‘A man who is tired of London  is tired of life’, pontificated Johnson. ‘London is a modern Babylon’, suavely averred Disraeli, his  easterner’s mind full of false oriental images. ‘London is the Rome of today’, decided Ralph Waldo  Emerson.  Rome: that is nearer, but not exact, for there is nothing like London. Paul was Rome’s captive, but  St. Paul’s Cathedral crowns London city, and more proudly since the flames fell away from its  dome. To me even Rome offers a picture no lovelier than that which a man sees who today looks  from Waterloo Bridge across the Thames towards St. Paul’s. Providence is the master town-planner  and deftly uses calamity and ugliness in composing such a city scene. For centuries men toiled to  build London, and yet it took a plague, two great fires, a giant’s handful of bombs, and unnumbered  other man-made or natural disasters to complete that perfect symphony of outline and gap, dome  and spire, roof and river, sky, tree, bridge and barge. May Turner and Canaletto bequeath to some  prentice painter, now mixing his colours, the eye to capture the beauty of this moment in London’s  story.  A native Londoner, who came into London on such a night as that, does best to borrow the words  of another Londoner who wrote four centuries ago: ‘At length they all to merry London came, to  merry London, my most kindly nurse, that to me gave this life’s first native source.’ If merriness is  quiet courage under deadly odds, London was as merry that evening as when Edmund Spenser  wrote.  I knew a few of the young men who tilted at the dragon over London Town that night. One I asked,  just before the war began, what he thought of his chances when the Germans came. Pausing with a  tankard half way to his lips, he said easily, ‘Oh, we’ll take the pants off them,’ and drank. I winced,  for I knew how few he and his companions were. I met another in Prague in the Thirties, a young  man fresh from Oxford who dabbled in journalism; penitently I recall that I felt the prickly  superiority of the professional. I later found his name, John Dundas, beneath a review of Insanity  Fair. I wish I had then known that he was the hero of that immortal jest at Oxford, when a greased  pig was unloosed among the grave seigneurs of the Senior Common Room of an Oxford college (in  1947 a young peer, Lord Mancroft, casually mentioned in the House of Lords that he shared in that  exploit, whereon the Master of Balliol said sternly, ‘Oh, it was you, was it?’; after that I recant all  former jibes at The English Sense of Humour). John Dundas was killed in this fighting, and  possibly the other youngster.  It is a pity that such golden moments as that of September 1940 cannot be nailed to the immovable  wall of time, but are borne away by the flight of life. Their colours remain always bright to me, and  not because I see the sun glint on the Cloth of Gold, or on Spanish hulls, or Nelson’s signal flutter,  or Ney’s brilliant cavalry break, or Spitfires flash over London, but for a different reason. I see, at  each of those instants, the eyes and hearts of men far away turn towards England. Each time we win  such a fight hope is reborn in them.  I know these men, to whom the word England means that there is, somewhere, a small country that  has contrived to win, widen and strengthen its liberties from century to century. Hope finally dies in  them only with our capitulation. Pitt grasped this root of truth when he said after Trafalgar:  ‘England has saved herself by her exertions and will save Europe by her example.’ I know a man  who was in a Balkan town, Novi Sad, just before the Germans invaded it. He saw peasants, who did  not know an Englishman was present, drink to ‘England’ and then again to ‘Churchill’. Later these  men were cruelly disappointed in their hopes and could blame us for it, yet I wager they look to  England now, as ever. They know that statesmen make mistakes, but that we never yet made the  mistake of surrender, and that while we survive hope survives, if only for their grandsons’  grandsons.  I saw all that behind the battle over London. Today we know the words Churchill used when he  first gathered his Tory, Socialist and Liberal ministers round him (to our credit, a Socialist  adversary revealed them after his overthrow): ‘We must fight on, and if this long island story of  ours is to end at last, then, I say, let it only end when each of us lies choking in his own blood upon  the ground.’ A Socialist cleric recorded the words he spoke aside after his ‘fight on the beaches’  broadcast to the nation: ‘We’ll hit them over the head with beer bottles, which is all we have really  got.’ This rare and unportrayable man, seven years after that summer, would be writing his story of  the second war in classic English, and under a nom de pinceau paint pictures worthy of the Royal  Academy’s walls. Astounding life, that richens in colour, like a stained-glass window, as the years  pass.  That evening, cigar in mouth, he watched the map of the battle overhead. It was not a decisive one,  for there are none such, but it was among the greatest ever. It was not, like Waterloo, to give  Europe a century of assured, foreseeable improvement. I think mistakes he later made helped to  cause that, but we must await his account of the whole affair. Not even the dark sequel can dull the  hues of that brilliant moment, of which his was the heroic genius. The Forties were well begun by  it, and if all’s well that begins well, and we can yet make good the subsequent failures, it may  dominate the pattern of our world a century from now.  Whatever the future, a man who came into London at that instant could never wish to live in  another place or time. There are many big cities; few great ones. London then was both the largest  and greatest. It stood quite alone under the perfect sky, unafraid and, I think, not much alarmed. Its  millions went quietly about their business. Disraeli miscalled London ‘A nation, not a city’; that  night, however, it was the only true nation in the world: that of free men everywhere.  There was an invigorating spiritual calm and pride below the noise. My heart rose for the first time  in many years as we stopped by Regent’s Park to watch. ‘London Pride has been handed down to  us’; another Londoner, Noel Coward, found apt words for the moment.  When the sky darkened and the fighting waned we moved on, along Portland Place, excited and  happy. ‘I believe they are taking the pants off them,’ I said. ‘Of course they are,’ said she. At my  hotel an imperturbable porter opened the door of the car. ‘Good evening, sir,’ he merely said, as on  any other evening. He is still there, in the same uniform with the first war medals, though he now  lacks an eye of which a bomb later deprived him, at that post. Seven years later he might have  asked, ‘Was the battle for freedom?’ and have answered, ‘It was all my eye.’  But the return of the dark clouds lay far ahead that night. The twentieth century seemed clear at  last. ‘Good evening indeed,’ said I, handing my companion out. We were winning the battle; she  was lovely; it was September; it was a cloudless evening; it was warm.   ***                        Chapter Two  ON BOILING BOOTS  ‘Now, ‘ow do you decontaminate your boots if you’ve got gas on ‘em?’ he asked.  Vacantly we looked until a young woman with a parrot’s gift for remembering and repeating  absurdities answered, ‘Boil them for three hours.’  ‘Well, that’s half right,’ he said grudgingly, ‘but you’ve forgotten something.’ He waited  expectantly, but even she was dumb. ‘You steep ‘em in cold water for two hours first!’  ‘Oh yes,’ said the star pupil breathlessly. ‘If you don’t steep ‘em in cold water first they’ll shrivel to  nothing when you boil ‘em.’ We shuddered. ‘Steep ‘em cold first, then boil ‘em, see? Er, what’s  this?’ From a mound of leaflets on the table he took the top one, read it, and coughed. ‘Oh, that’s  cancelled,’ he said, ‘it’s just come through from the Ministry of Public Security. You don’t steep  ‘em cold, you just boil ‘em.’  A man who in one war has been at the apex of the pyramid, the front, feels out of place, in another  war, among the teeming throng at its mighty base. What, he thinks, have these self-important little  folk to do with war? ‘We’re all in this together!’ Are they? Many profitably pursue their own lives  and ambitions. They taste power-over-people and like its flavour.  I saw much of this process. It began with the ominous words ‘emergency powers’. Once they have  been spoken, from Hitler to Churchill, from the Reichstag fire to Dunkirk, no man can foresee the  end. In their name the scaffolding of State-control was set up. I saw that (and said it in earlier  books), but few others did. ‘This is different’ (they said), ‘this is England, this is war, this is not the  same.’ But it was and is the same. At every level, from Prime Minister to parish pump, men girded  on those emergency powers and said ‘I am the State’. Below the Minister in Whitehall was the  Regional Commissioner, beneath him were smaller despots, down to the ‘Emergency Committee’  in the hamlet. Through this system of pipes, stealthily laid down under cover of the war and behind  the back of the fighting men, the poison of power began to circulate through the body of England.  I knew a man in a small town, a barber and a poor one; his business was worth no man’s purchase.  But he had a friend who became a member of the ‘Emergency Committee’. The Town Hall became  a benevolent local Kremlin, the barber hung round it, read all the forms, and soon mastered (on  paper) air-raid defence, gas-warfare and the like. No imaginable prank of war could bring gas or  fighting to that remote place, but he knew all the forms by heart and soon joined the emergency  potentates. When ‘powers’ arrived to compel men and women to do this or that he exclaimed  gleefully, ‘Now we’ve got ‘em.’ When he lectured about gas he began to display his authority;  ‘Now, I don’t like using the word compulsion,’ he could say loftily, ‘but …’  I saw that the Fussy Folk (who so easily yield to the Commissar and Gauleiter) were unhappily  plentiful, and that they were often men of the inferior type I had seen rise by this means to  importance in other lands. ‘O that we now had here but one ten thousand of those men in England,  that do no work today’; thus Shakespeare’s Westmoreland, before Agincourt, swore the age-old  oath of the fighting soldier. These men would have been amazed had any fitted this cap on their  heads. Once inside the Town Hall you were doing ‘work of national importance’.  The size of the machine I saw built, however, disquietened me less than the fact that it was  obviously being set up for a permanent political purpose, that of transferring power-over-people in  England to new hands. Would it be dismantled when the war was over, and if not, what was the real  motive behind the war? Froglike they swelled, these emergency potentates who clambered on to the  war’s back (and barnacle-like they clung when ‘the emergency’ was over). Food controllers, light-  and-warmth controllers, travel controllers and dozens more: when will England be rid of these  parasites again?  I watched the fantastic rise of the ‘National Fire Service’. Formerly we just had local ‘fire-brigades’  and firemen, in great brazen helmets, who put out fires. When great cities burned and munition-  plants were threatened, expansion was clearly needed; an increase in the areas obviously  endangered would have been reasonable. But under ‘emergency powers’ such things become  uncontrollable. Not only did every remote township receive its permanent contingent of bored  firemen, but staff colleges, training-schools, headquarters and sub-headquarters sprang up, as if the  whole island were likely to take fire by spontaneous combustion at any instant. I knew one  headquarters in a large country-house where an idyllic time was had by all. Motor cars and girl  motor cyclists sped constantly to the nearest village, where were the nearest shops. There were  plays, concert-parties, good food (for this was Work of National Importance); for some years a  charming house-party lived there as in another planet. Gold braid appeared on peaked caps,  epaulettes and badges of rank on uniforms, there was saluting, and in time a special flag fluttered to  the masthead (these bodies loved flags; I think even the ‘National War Savings Movement’  produced one, with a Soviet-like star on it). The retinue and trappings reminded me of an SS  headquarters. It was a far cry from this to London burning.  Heavens, I thought, watching, how these growths sprout. This particular service shrank when the  war was over, because even The Planned State cannot use many more fire-fighting officials than  there are fires. But the others, which had taken powers over the people’s food, clothing, firing and  houses, went on; these were the things that mattered. Multitudes of men came to love employment  under ‘emergency powers’. Nothing but a battle in Britain would displace them again. The great  army of form-filling officials was bred which after the war would lie like lead on England’s  energies and exchequer. ‘We won the war by planning,’ they then cried, ‘let’s go on planning.’  That was what they meant by planning and observe, gentle reader, they won the war. Not ‘The  Few’ won it, but these many; that was why the clouds gathered again after 1940. The armies that  came and went might have come from and gone to another world. This other war was for self-  aggrandisement, privileges, power-over-people. Each man’s interest was to multiply the number of  his subordinates, increase the mass of paper, rise higher in the hierarchy. A ‘Tanks for Attack  Week’ in the village, when all the parish-pump potentates might gather on a dais round some  demigod from ‘Regional’, came to seem more important than a tank victory in Africa. The War was  but a backcloth.  Frantic efforts were made to keep up the great anti-gas organisation, despite this vapour’s refusal to  be used. The higher anti-gas potentates must have fought hard to prevent the paper-machine from  slipping out of their hands. To the last the villagers of Mudbury-on-the-Marsh paraded to put on the  gargoyle-like garb and then to ‘decontaminate’ themselves. Everything was worth a memorandum,  a leaflet, a form.  Long after The Battle of Britain there was the paper-battle for trousers for women wardens. I  remember, when this Battle of the Beam-end was won, seeing a well-upholstered lady warden fall  half way into a tub of water during a fire-fighting display, and struggle to get back. For an awful  instant of suspense, while taut convulsions went on, Time, which otherwise stands still, seemed to  shudder and shrink away from that stricken field. Then there was an infinitely tragic sound: it might  have been the heavens rending with compassion, but was not. Unable to avert my eyes I stood  transfixed. Reverently I murmured to myself, ‘This seat of Mars….’  This paper-chase behind the lion-hunt, this Battle of the Town Halls, became more remote from the  fighting-war as the years passed (I mean in those large areas where, it was clear, ‘enemy action’  would never penetrate). The Emergency Committees’ happiest days were those when powers  arrived which they could foresee would continue after ‘the emergency’ was over. The only  emergency they feared was an end of the Emergency; an emergency of war would have thrown  most of the emergency-potentates into frightful confusion.  In such conditions little men find easy foothold and quickly rise. The boot-boiler and the barber  soon ascended to higher things, and now, I surmise, are sternly ‘rationing’ men’s food, firing or  liberty somewhere. The regime of permanent-rule-by-emergency-powers was established. Outside  in the darkness the tanks and trucks rumbled, bearing dim forms towards that far-off, half-forgotten  thing, The War. The great mass of people quietly did their duty; put on their steel helmets when  they came from work and went out; and if danger or death came to them, in the places reached by  the enemy, accepted these as uncomplainingly as all else. They were ready to hold on for ever – to  win the war. They did not see the enemy who crept upon them behind its back.   ***                                      Chapter Three  SPIRIT OF MISCHIEF  This happened in the Forties and has nothing to do with war, save that in my mind everything  affixes itself to that dark background of our lives: The War which began in 1914 and was  interrupted in 1945.  It was winter, cold, dark, dank. I lived quite alone (solitude is sometimes the friendliest companion)  in a small, isolated, tree-screened house. Late one night I returned by train, among soldiers and girls  whispering in a dim compartment, to the station three miles away. There I collected my bicycle and  rode home through sable lanes between invisible hedges, in a drizzling rain. I groped to the door,  went in, read a while and then to bed.  It was a deadly still night without bombers. I was nearly asleep when, in the kitchen beneath, all the  crockery crashed in pieces. I think I rose horizontally from my bed and remained suspended an  instant, while my hair stood. Then I switched on the bedside light and listened. There was no  sound. I went downstairs.  Twice before I knew the startling chill of abrupt fear. Once in Paris, going to an attic bedroom, I  stepped from a dark hallway into a dark lift and trod on human flesh which moved. It was (a match  showed) a child. I think now that little boy was to have been Oliver Twist in a Bill Sykes burglary;  when I fetched light a friendly citizen, with open clasp-knife in hand, suddenly appeared from  somewhere, and I fancy he was Bill Sykes. He kindly offered to take care of the boy and I agreed;  they departed.  Once in London, mounting dark stairs to another mean bedroom, my hair rose and an  unaccountable foreboding chilled me at the last turn in the stairway. I went on and to bed,  wondering. Next morning another lodger, who came up later with a light, told me he found a man  pressed into the corner by the last turn in the stairs. This man, who made no reply when asked what  he wanted, was from the next house and had entered by a flat roof and the french window: my  fellow-lodger knew him. Two days later I heard shouts in the street and, looking from my window,  saw our neighbour being removed by burly men to an asylum. I was left pondering the sudden fear  that gripped me in the dark on the stairs. There were, then, vibrations beyond our knowledge.  Now I stepped with curling toes over the kitchen threshold, reaching before me to switch on a light.  Not a plate was out of place, or anything smashed. As I gazed round heavy, bludgeon-like blows  sounded on the door behind me; I judge that I jumped a foot and came down facing it. After a  pregnant pause, as They say, I opened it. The dim kitchen light reached into the black night and  caught the glint of rain, wet grass-blades, a wet treetrunk; otherwise nothing. By nature  improvident, I had no torch, so I slipped on gumboots and mackintosh and went round the garden,  striking matches which the rain put out. There was neither sound nor soul.  I went to bed and to sleep. Though I think it foolish to scoff at supernatural things, when so little in  life is within mortal understanding and so much outside, I am a sceptic about the spooks and spirits  of popular superstition, and no other than a natural explanation ever occurred to me. I thought there  must be some simple reason and did not trouble further; all my subsequent nights there were  undisturbed.  Long after I saw on a friend’s bookshelf a book, Unknown Brighton. There cannot be anything  unknown in Brighton, I said; let me look. Turning the pages idly I found a tale of a ‘haunted  house’. It described happenings identical with those I have related: noises of smashing china and  blows on doors. That made me think and led me to the encyclopaedias, where I found that the  playful or pitiful pranks of the Poltergeist, which I had never studied, are always alike, and have  been reported too often, from too many places, to be moonshine.  Yet where does that lead? The very fact that the happenings are everywhere alike suggests to me  that they must after all have a natural explanation, not a supernatural one. If spirit beings frenziedly  or frantically strive towards us from across the great divide, why are they always tormented ones  and why do they always use these mischievous ways of expressing their eternal frustration? Why  can they not imprint soft kisses on our cheeks, or squeeze our hands, tickle us under the arms or dig  us in the ribs? Is there nothing but misery even beyond the beyond? Can there be Planning there  too?  It was a startling, breathtaking experience, and somehow the all-pervading, unending war of our  century belonged to it, for the war put me in the lonely house at that moment and for all I know  may have brought that unhappy knocking on its door. When I later heard of the Poltergeister, I  wondered if this endless twentieth-century war itself might be the work of some super-Poltergeist,  graduated beyond china-smashing and gone into business on a big scale.  But no, I decided after much investigation: I feel certain the spirits behind it are on this earth.   ***                                  Chapter Four  HUSARENFIEBER  Somewhere in that waste of time, the Forties, I sat alone in a compartment of the last train from  Dorking for London. The door opened and an American soldier handed in a girl, who sat in the  corner obliquely opposite. I heard leave-taking chatter; he leaned masterfully in from the dim  platform and she bent towards him. To my horror he called her sugar and she used a bogus  American twang. ‘I guess’ and ‘I cann’t’ she giggled, and she called him ‘Urrl’, so that I knew the  shadow’s name was Earl. ‘Shure you’ve got my address?’ he asked, and ‘Shure I’ve got your  address,’ she answered, and he produced cigarettes as from air, but I knew from an open packet in  his pocket, and I went to sleep.  The train was rumbling through the Forties when I was awakened by a voice saying, ‘Pardon me,  have you a match?’  ‘So you want to talk?’ I said. ‘Well, all right, if you stop trying to talk American.’  ‘I cann’t help it,’ she said, puffing. ‘My mother was American.’  ‘You lie,’ I said amicably. ‘Your mother came from somewhere near Cardiff and you think it  impresses Urrl, and your handbag is full of Camels and Lifesavers and we won’t talk about those  stockings, and your name would have been Joan, Peggy or Betty if you were twenty years older,  but as you aren’t it’s Valerie, Jennifer or Marlene.’  ‘Are you trying to insult me?’ she asked. ‘Yes,’ I said.  ‘Anyway, it’s not,’ she said. ‘It’s Purrl.’  ‘Oh no!’ I said, ‘Urrl and Purrl! It sounds like a knitter’s nightmare.’  ‘But you were right about Wales,’ she said. ‘How did you know?’  ‘Second sight,’ I said. ‘But if you want that poor wight, stop pretending to talk American. You’ll  only make him despise you. Imagine the misery you are storing up for yourself if by some  mischance you should marry him. At the first quarrel he’d taunt you with it; it would be a scorpion  in his hand.’  ‘He likes it,’ she said defiantly, ‘and I am going to marry him.’  ‘He doesn’t,’ I said, ‘and I knew you would be; they all are. Where did you meet him?’  ‘At Rainbow Corner,’ she said.  ‘Ah, where the rainbow begins,’ I said. ‘What a shocking future awaits you: either to share a hot-  dog stand in Brooklyn or be left behind, A Remnant of Rainbow Corner.’  The careless phrase stung her. ‘What a horrible thing to say,’ she said angrily. ‘A Remnant of  Rainbow Corner! Where did you hear that?’  ‘I didn’t,’ I said. ‘It just came. You girls ask for it.’  ‘Why?’ she said. ‘We must have some fun.’  ‘Of course you must,’ I said, ‘and Rainbow Corner supplies it in all hues.’ I studied her, the girl of  a hundred dark cinemas happily rushing towards the golden youth, at last emerged from the flat  screen. So many dreams so suddenly come true! ‘Do you dance there?’ I asked. ‘Do you get turned  upside down and wave your silly little legs in the air in their silly little pants?’  ‘Oh, I don’t let him do that,’ she said primly. ‘And he hasn’t got a hot-dog stand in Brooklyn. He’s  got a garage in Chicago and he needs a wife like me to help him run it.’  ‘It sounds like paradise,’ I said.  ‘Why are you so sarcastic,’ she said. ‘Why shouldn’t I make him a good wife?’  ‘There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, or he a good husband,’ I said. ‘It depends what you are and  what he is. You might be very happy. Do you like him?’  ‘Yes,’ she said dreamily. ‘He’s so … different.’  ‘Oh help,’ I thought but did not say; then, ‘The trouble with you girls is that you’re all ill.’  ‘Ill?’ she said, in affront.  ‘Yes, you’re suffering from the oldest woman’s ailment in the world: Husarenfieber.’  ‘What on earth’s that?’  ‘It befalls women when the soldiers ride into town, with their eyes laughing beneath their busbies  and their chests stretching their braided coats and their thighs stretching their breeches. Soldier-  fever. It doesn’t matter who the soldiers are, friend or foe. They can be Germans or Italians behind  barbed wire. I think even a talking gorilla behind bars might do. It’s a biological thing….’  ‘Bio … what?’ she said, in the idiom of the moment. ‘Well, I’ve never seen a hussar and there  aren’t any horses in this war, so I can’t have it.’  ‘You have,’ I said. ‘It took you to Rainbow Corner. The symptoms are dilated pupils, quickened  breathing, unease and a loud giggling . It can’t be pernicious, since nature made it, and it’s  incurable. When are you going to marry Urrl?’  ‘Don’t keep calling him Urrl,’ she said impatiently. ‘His name’s Earl.’  ‘You began it,’ I said. ‘When is it to be?’  ‘As soon as the war’s over,’ she said happily. ‘I don’t think of anything else even when I’m asleep.  All day long I think of marrying him and going on that ship. When I fall asleep I’m thinking of it  and when I wake I’m still thinking of it, so it must be there all the time. It’s wunnerful.’  ‘I hope it works out well,’ I said.  ‘It will,’ she said confidently. ‘I’m not silly and I know my Urrl. And I’m all right. You may think  I’m not, but I am.’  ‘I do think you are,’ I said.  ‘I’m quite pretty,’ she said.  ‘My cue,’ I said, ‘you are indeed. Too emphatically mammalian perhaps.’  ‘Mamm … what?’ she asked again.  ‘I think you go a little too far in making the most of yourself,’ I said, gently glancing at her sweater.  ‘You stretch it a bit. I prefer implicit charms. The dance of the seven veils is most enjoyable before  the first veil is cast; after that the pleasure dwindles with each unveiling and vanishes at the last.’  ‘Coo,’ she said, wide-eyed. ‘Have you seen the dance of the seven veils?’  ‘In my foolish youth I once saw something like it,’ I admitted. ‘Now I should find a reading from  Ella Wheeler Wilcox more exciting.’  I liked Pearl by the time we reached Waterloo. She genuinely loved her Earl, I decided, and I  respected this. I thought of her often and hoped he would marry her and make her happy, but I  feared he might disappoint her hopes and felt apprehensive for her.  When the Forties were three years older I saw her again. Again it was at battered Waterloo, on a  miserable January day when rain fell through the unmended station-roof and London, all around,  was like a trampled flower that tried to lift itself from the mire. I was at the buffet, trying to eat two  large pieces of dry bread with little or nothing between, called a sandwich, when my ear caught  some talk between the steward, a fat, jolly man who had plainly been a sailor, and a lean, sardonic  Cockney customer, whose face said ‘There is nothing I do not know; nothing I do not disbelieve.’  ‘Ah, look at those lovely creatures,’ said the fat jolly man, gazing somewhither. ‘They’ll all be back  by the next ship, I shouldn’t wonder.’  The lean sardonic one looked indifferently over his shoulder and back. ‘I’d sooner ‘ave a pint,’ he  said briefly.  The fat man suited his rejoinder to the sceptic’s mood. ‘So would I,’ he agreed jovially. ‘Do yer  more good.’  Curious, I looked for what they discussed, and saw two or three score girls, surrounded by relatives.  There were smiles, tears, excitement, farewells. Then I remembered something in the paper that  morning; these were the ‘G.I. Brides’. Among them was Pearl!  She seemed alone. I went to her. ‘Purrl,’ I said, ‘you’re off to America? I am glad for you.’  She recognised me at once. ‘Hullo,’ she said, ‘I’ve often thought of you. You worried me with your  talk about Rainbow Corner and remnants. I felt like an old dishcloth.’  ‘Oh, that just slipped out,’ I said, ‘and you see how wrong I was. I’ve often thought of you too, and  hoped for the happy ending. How’s Urrl?’  ‘Who?’ she said. ‘Urrl? Oh, him! Oh, that was ages ago. I wouldn’t marry him! What do you take  me for? I’m marrying a wunnerful man with a restaurant in Brooklyn.’  ‘A restaurant?’ I said suspiciously.  ‘Well, a sort of café place, I suppose it is, really,’ she said.  ‘Heavens,’ I said, ‘a hot-dog stand. Goodbye, Purrl. Don’t ever let your daughter get  Husarenfieber.’   ***                                                  Chapter Five  CRISIS ON THE ISIS  Wrapped in blankets (my malarial ailment was with me) I wrote a play, during the second war,  about Hitler. I expected him to disappear when the Wagnerian heavens fell and thought this a good  theme for a prophetic melodrama. When it was done I loved it. Ugh, as They say.  It was produced in Oxford, where I arrived one bitter Sunday for the dress rehearsal. My sister  (whom the reader of Insanity Fair met as a pigtailed girl waving me goodbye in 1914) now  accompanied me as a seasoned artillerywoman. What times!  I never knew Oxford before. It may be, as somebody said, a half-way house to Rome. In this  tempestuous and tormented time it seemed to me a walled garden of the mind, where all the trees  were planted against the wall facing north. The brass-knobbed bedstead, floral wallpaper and jug-  and-basin in my hotel bedroom made me morbid: they so smugly said, ‘We’ll larn you you’re in  Oxford.’ Those who allotted rooms or served meals were pinched and austere; even in abundant  times, I felt, they would have begrudged such favours, and in these lean ones denials and frugalities  seemed to give them a perverse pleasure. I recalled Baron Coleridge’s observation: ‘I speak not of  this college or of that, but of the University as a whole; and, gentlemen, what a whole Oxford is!’  Oxford has bred many great ones who sing of its grace, but it seemed a dreary whole to me in those  bleak, blacked-out days. A man awaiting the first night of his first play is a pitiful sufferer who  needs comfort; Oxford, in its dank grey dress, looked at me as coldly as Torquemada at a heretic. I  shivered as, accompanied by the military branch of our family, I sought the theatre, and moodily  looked for its remote stage-door.  Perhaps this chilling town and day further stretched nerves already taut. Anyway, I jumped and  almost ran as a door opened and Hitler sprang into the wet empty street. It was he; brown coat,  black trousers, iron cross, forelock, wild glare. At this time the name alone was nearly enough to  make men start. The apparition startled me and for an instant I thought myself inexplicably in  Berlin. Hitler had been much in my mind, and I in his, while I wrote the play, and possibly I was  fey for him.  Then I realised that this was not the Hitler, but another desperate man, my Hitler, a refugee from the  dress rehearsal. Soon I understood his harassed mien and rush for air. He was an eminent actor and  only a few days before had been secured for the part. He liked it, too: ‘Lovely words, lovely  words,’ he said brokenly, when he knew I was the author.  Perhaps some of them were; but they were too many. Seldom had any stage known such long  speeches. Perfectly to memorise Hitler’s part was a labour of weeks. My Hitler had only had about  three days! He had good cause to wear the visage which Goebbels described as that of the real  Hitler when the climax later came: ‘The face of an Atlas, with the cares of the world on his  shoulders.’  This was early afternoon and at midnight, when the dress rehearsal still continued ‘ I clung like a  drowning man to the adage that all would be well on the night (a few hours ahead). And as far as  this play could be all right, it was. Of all the stage-world’s brave heroes none can compare with  repertory players, who forget last week’s part while playing this week’s and learning next week’s.  Repertory may be the sure road to fame, but I wonder any survive it. All these players, save Hitler,  were members of the resident company.  Theirs was but one of the many problems. I wondered how the producer kept the quickly  succeeding plays separate in his mind. He was brilliant, and so was the girl who designed and built  the scenery. So were the magicians who supplied my Storm-troop-choruses, nightfalls, howling  winds and storms-among-the-mountain-peaks (Hitler simply had to disappear in a Flying  Dutchman-like tempest; I said this was my first play).  Producers and players so threw themselves into the business that they called each other by the  names of their parts, adding those endearments which are common behind the scenes. The dark  auditorium heard cries of ‘Hitler, dear, will you come a little upstage?’ or ‘Göring, darling, do that  again please’. I alone knew the living originals, and was made weak with suppressed laughter by  this. I came away in the early hours of Monday, leaving the good troupers still busy, and returned  through the black-out to my shocking bedroom.  My condition during the day was as good as could be expected and my pains began punctually in  the early evening, when I was taken to the theatre to be delivered. It was packed for the World  Première (and World Dernière) of Downfall. There was hubbub in the house and excitement behind  the curtain; a great critic resident in Oxford was in front and his verdict was eagerly awaited. I  hardly caught his strange-sounding title but think it was The Dane of Belial.  By chance I saw the curtain rise through a tiny window behind the dress circle. I could see all but  hear nothing, and the impression I received was so surprising that I watched most of the play thus,  as in a little peepshow. The way the players filled their parts amazed me. They truly put on the  characters of those who were moving to their doom in distant Berlin. They were physically well  cast, and looked remarkably like the real men. But mien and bearing were right, too; how did they  do it? I wondered. Hitler had borrowed Hitler’s own soul. I had the eeriest feeling, watching them  as through a telescope reversed: these were no players, but the men I knew.  I wish my experience in writing a play had been equal to theirs in performing. Those speeches were  too loose and too long. I marvelled at the way these affairs are made to come right on the night,  under the unsuspecting playgoers’ noses. Hitler, from his window, looked down and cried that he  saw the ghostly triumph of ten years before in the empty, blacked-out Wilhelmstrasse; he really  saw another player with the prompt-book. He sat at a table and harangued Keitel and Göring; the  tablecloth, which reached to the floor, concealed the good trouper with the prompt-book.  I had the novice’s trouble in bringing characters on or off. They came like the Burghers of Calais,  they left as if chased by bears. It had seemed, in the writing, simple to bring on a delegation of  leading Germans come to tell Hitler ‘Begone!’ At the dress rehearsal I must have been temporarily  absent during this scene, but had noticed, and wondered about, some people sitting in the  auditorium. I now found they were members of the delegation; the strength of the resident company  was not equal to my large cast and recruits had been enlisted from elsewhere for this brief episode.  Now the delegation trickled on and I thought it would never end. It was as if an undertaker had sent  enough men to handle an exceptionally heavy client; had the stage been a ship it would have listed  hard. So many men were not easily grouped, and if anything became the play less than their slow  appearance, it was the protracted manner of their leaving.  The great and gloomy Dane said the play was ‘singularly infelicitous’, I think. I would merely have  said ‘bad’; perhaps the branches of his mind had too long been trained against that north-facing  wall in the enclosed garden.  But what an unforgettable night that was, in the blacked-out Forties; what great players Hitler and  the others were; and what an enthralling experience was the puppet-peepshow I watched through  the tiny window, while the men in Berlin moved to their downfall.   Chapter Six  MOAT DEFENSIVE  In a long line, commodore’s ship first, tramps astern, sheepdog-like destroyers on either side, we  steamed under a pale sun that sadly glinted on the distant roofs of Deal between ghostly ranks: the  masts and funnels of wrecked vessels. ‘The Goodwins, I think they call the place, a very dangerous  flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many tall ships lie buried, as they say, if my gossip Report be  an honest woman of her word’: Shakespeare’s unageing poetry has a word for everything, and his  Venetian drew this exact picture of the Nineteen-Forties nearly four centuries ago. Mortal men may  think to change the world, but they cannot change the Goodwins.  High among my blessings I count the fact that I saw something of the two wars in all three  elements, land, sea and air, and particularly the chance that gave me brief acquaintanceships with  the Royal Navy. This was the first time I saw the Goodwins close.  When the twentieth century began, its huge confusion heralded by the great cynics crowing on the  dungheaps of their wisdom, a Mr. Shaw made a dying man in a play say, ‘I believe in Velasquez …’  Startlingly new and provoking, it seemed then, that a young artist, dying, should cry, not ‘I believe  in God’, but ‘I believe in Art’, and thus from the grave’s edge defiantly proclaim that Art was the  forked radish’s own creation and copyright. It was the nihilist’s voice, saying that the genius of a  Velasquez was his own making, not the product of his mother’s care, his great grandfather’s blood,  the food he ate and the climate he grew up in, the pencil he found and the master he chanced to  meet; or that, if all these threads led to his talent, they were spun by the worms of the earth.  After forty years of the nihilist century an older faith appears better. If God made the earth on the  seventh day, He made the seas in its evening, and among them that British moat, the all-importance  of which Shakespeare saw. In it Drake’s and Nelson’s navy always made its signals first to  providence, and acted as its instrument. The repeated preservation of this island, now for nearly a  thousand years, meant that the hope of ultimate freedom survived in men everywhere, and that  pattern might never be restored, were the moat to dry up or the British navy be sunk or scuttled in  it. My dying artist would put providence first and after that his country’s moat, ships and sailors, as  Shakespeare put them. But then, great artists usually appear when their countries are great.  That little voyage in the Forties began on Southend pier, where tramp-skippers in bowler-hats and  billycocks met to receive convoy-orders. They, their ships and the escorting destroyers were of  several nationalities. For many centuries this island led coalitions against a European conqueror.  This convoy under the white ensign, with its Poles, Norwegians and Hollanders, was yet another  little coalition.  My writer’s luck held good, for this brief trip was a microcosm of the huge battle that went on for  six years wherever there was salt water. The perils of war were present, and if the only shots we  fired were practice ones that may merely have been because man’s war had to wait on nature’s  eternal one. I never knew so much weather crammed into a few leagues. As the convoy weighed  anchor, fog came down until ships a cable-length away disappeared. With the Goodwins outside,  that lent interest to the day. But when we reached them it lifted and in a dead grey calm, that lent a  sombre mournfulness to the moment, this little coalition steamed between the two lines of hulks.  The Goodwins look as if a man cast into the sea might stand upright there until rescue came, yet if  all the mariners ever drowned wait on the bottom, a great throng must be waiting here, almost  within touch of England’s shore. Now those rotting masts and rusting funnels were practice-targets  and our red tracers sped into them like a firing party’s last salute.  As we cleared the dangerous flat the wind freshened and a howling night bore down. This added  hazard makes the seaman’s war a thing apart. The soldier and even the airman (unless a weather  forecast fails him) may wait while the storm passes, but the sailor’s peril becomes even greater  when the weather is so bad that the submarines cannot leave port.  This night was blacker than black. There were no lights either on ships or shore and in this almost  tangible darkness the infernal din was demoniac. Shrieking wind, lashing rain, crashing wave,  groaning plates, creaking planks, straining cables: the imps of the storm seemed to say, ‘You think  you can make loud noises, little man, but what about this?’ I could imagine no device which would  enable the ships to keep distance and station in this black bedlam; such a gale tears commodore’s  orders and convoy rules to shreds. Only God could help a ship holed or a man overboard in this  mad welter, I reflected as a destroyer missed us by inches; my landsman’s eye did not even see her,  but the lookout’s did. ‘Being in all respects prepared for war’, the orders ran (the wording has not  changed since Nelson’s day, and why should it?) the convoy was to ‘proceed’ from here to there.  ‘Proceed’! Man’s dispositions seemed petty against this enemy. I understood why sailors were  usually men of simple faith, and why men of nihilist mind seldom command a ship.  In this ship, steaming through Shakespeare’s moat defensive, I felt again the living tie with him, for  he might have chosen its company. Consider his four captains of King Harry’s army encamped  before Agincourt: Gower the Englishman, Jamy the Scot, Macmorris the Irishman, Fluellen the  Welshman; while they waited to do battle in the common cause they jibed at each other’s national  foibles and tricks of speech.  Here, in this ship, they all were again behaving exactly so. The skipper was an Englishman, the first  and second officers were a Welshman and an Ulster Irishman, in the engine-room was, of course, a  Scot (a disappointed one because the reek of his warm oil did not overcome me). Here they were,  Gower, Jamy, Macmorris and Fluellen, after four centuries still thinking less of the enemy than of  pulling an English leg or tweaking a Welsh nose. Had Shakespeare not lived too early, there might  have been an American at Agincourt; there was one in this wardroom. Fortunately, when we threw  a petrol-tin overboard for revolver practice, in the Goodwins, a Londoner with but one good eye hit  it before that cockahoop Yankee, and a landlubbing writer survived a shake-up which laid a Welsh  ship’s officer low with Nelson’s malady.  A great ambition of mine was fulfilled by that voyage. It taught me nothing new, but ever after I  followed with the eye of personal experience the endless journeys of the Royal Navy in the greatest  of its wars. The sea is in our blood, and if I were a hundred I should still go aboard a British ship  with the feeling of homage and happiness which is native to me; these planks spell freedom.  For years after that day the enemy at home was to renew the secret attack on the Navy which is  more dangerous to it than any visible enemy. But that is a later story.   ***            Chapter Seven  THE BLESSED BOSKAGE  The lush and leafy Norman lanes, through which my jeep crawled, were jammed with men and  machines. This country flows with cream and butter, cider and apple brandy, and is called The  Boskage. Here God most prodigally scatters the fruits of the earth and after each man-made war the  green things effortlessly win their eternal battle with the battle’s litter.  The place holds a spell for me. ‘Norman and Saxon and Dane are we’: William the Norman  conquered England, the English burned Joan of Arc in the Norman capital. For centuries men from  either side of the Channel have fought against or beside each other and in this island few can be  sure they have no Norman blood, whether from dark rapine or proud descent. The English House of  Lords has known a Socialist peer bearing the name of one of William’s knights of nine hundred  years ago.  Over these verdant, rolling lands once more sprawled the immense confusion of war. There was no  spot in this Eden but had a soldier sweatily striving at some task. Herds of fat cattle lay about,  stricken in mid-cud. From swollen, balloon-like bodies their legs rose in the air, displaying gigantic  udders. They seemed to have been killed, not by wounds but by blast. These placid ladies, who do  not budge even when the battle is close, must conceal a highly sensitive nervous system behind  their ruminant’s mask; they cannot support a loud detonation near at hand.  It was like a Hogarthian nightmare painted on a background by Watteau, or Grand Guignol in the  sylvan setting of Regent’s Park. But the senses reacted most alertly to something invisible and  intangible: a smell. The distinctive smell of war is mixed of warm oil, petrol, pulverised brick,  scorched rafters, explosives, dust – and death. Its chief ingredient is this faintly sweet odour of  fleshy corruption to which four-legged creatures seem indifferent, but which, creeping from afar,  quickly alarms the queasy stomachs of two-legged ones.  Now, as my jeep rattled through the lanes, it grew stronger and the traffic and noise of war  diminished. Soon the lanes were quiet and empty, because the war was near; only the smell  increased. Then, rounding a corner, I saw under tall, rich hedges tanks, trucks and waiting men.  Here there was only a whispering. These men wore earphones and into them came the voices of  their comrades further ahead. They were fighting; pushing on through further lanes and fields;  straining their eyes to detect an anti-tank gun in a coppice or a mortar behind the wheat; and  reporting back. Whisper, whisper, whisper came the little voices….  I saw I was among the Guards. Unwittingly I had kept an assignation. A few weeks before I had  been in Hove, where the broad avenues were filled with the Guards and their armour, waiting for  the grand invasion of Europe. Hove knew fighting-men of all arms and many nations, but the  Guards, when they came, excelled all. They wore the invisible panache of a unique tradition. They  are big men, yet gentle, friendly, unboastful. The specialist in all callings has an innate authority; he  need not exhibit his quality since it reveals itself. The Guardsman, whom I have met from Ypres to  the Boskage, is the specialist of his profession and a perfect gentilhomme.  In Hove, after a windy lecture to Guardsmen about Germans, I said I hoped I might meet them on  the other side, once the invasion began. Now I met them. In one of the first I recognised a listener  to that talk and reminded him of it. ‘Ah,’ he said calmly, ‘I wish we were in Hove now.’  Again I heard the voice of Shakespeare ring down the centuries and thought how little our Norman-  Saxon-Danish breed has changed. Those who saw Laurence Olivier’s superb film will remember  the English soldiers, Bates, Court and Williams, talking by the camp-fire the night before  Agincourt. ‘Brother John Bates,’ says Court, ‘is not that the morning which breaks yonder?’ ‘I  think it be,’ says Bates, ‘but we have no great cause to desire the approach of day.’ ‘We see yonder  the beginning of day,’ says Williams, ‘but I think we shall never see the end of it – who goes there?’  It is King Harry, cloaked, who explores the mind of his men. Bates tells him, ‘The King may show  what outward courage he will, but I believe, as cold a night as ‘tis, he could wish himself in the  Thames up to the neck – and so I would lie were, and I by him, at all adventures, so we were quit  here.’ ‘Methinks I could not die anywhere so contented as in the king’s company,’ says their  unknown visitor, ‘his cause being just and his quarrel honourable.’ ‘That’s more than we know,’  remarks Williams.  Thus the British soldier five hundred years ago, and here he was again in the Boskage,  recognisable, saying the same things in the same way. He is the Christian soldier, the opposite of  the man-in-the-mob, and the more dangerous in battle because his spirit remains calm and critical.  If this man survived he was soon fighting on the Rhine, still wishing himself in Hove.  We talked near a narrow, behedged field-path. On it, a few yards from the road, lay two dead  Germans and we went to look at them. They were both boys and lay in the contorted shapes of  sudden death. One, I saw from his book, was a Saxon from Halle. Saxon; Norman; Dane – time  wove its intricate pattern. They lay behind a hand-drawn anti-tank gun, a toy of a thing, yet they  had hit a British tank with it. Crippled and lopsided it lay on the far side of the field with a dead  Guardsman in it.  I got into my jeep and went on. The whispering fell behind and in the brooding Boskage not a man  or machine was to be seen. Here, where the war at last was, was a silence in which an ant’s  footfalls might have been heard. It was broken sometimes by a burst of machine-guns or the  explosion of mortar shells, whether to right or left, or how far away, I could not tell; in this  undulating, thickly wooded country all sense of sound-direction failed. It was a paradise on earth,  tense with silence, heavy with menace, eerie. Every bush was a natural ambush and every tree a  ready-made trap. It was ideal country for defence. A numerous, well-armed and well-led enemy  could have exacted a huge price for dislodgment. I thanked providence for the thinning German  lines, our own inexhaustible supplies, the generalship bred by the bitter lessons of the first war.  At length we came out of that oppressive woodland and to a village. The whispering men had just  cleared it. In the square a German tank burned and some dead Germans lay about. The villagers  were gathered there, their faces turned towards the liberators’ road. They were happy, but not  ecstatic; in the French soul, and particularly the Norman one, many old resentments towards les  Anglais lie near the surface.  The village was called Le Beny Bocage, which I suppose means The Blessed Boskage. We went  through and beyond it and at last saw the fighting. Across the fields went British tanks, their guns  spitting. One lurched, halted and burst into flames; a man jumped from it and tried vainly to haul  another out. Three Germans dashed across a field and two fell; from the shelter of a ditch four  others rose, holding their hands high.  I was standing near the last house of the village and in a pause looked round at it. It was also the  best one, I should think, a comfortable modern villa built where the rising main street reached its  highest point as it left the village. Through a big open window I saw a woman, dark, bright-eyed  and buxom, laying a table. Two children, boy and girl, played around her. Inquisitively I called,  ‘Have the little ones no fear, Madame?’  ‘None at all, Monsieur,’ she said amicably, pausing at her work. ‘And you?’ I said. ‘Oh me, of  course not,’ she said, as if the question were odd. A handful of mortar shells burst three meadows  away. She looked in their direction as she might have glanced at a passing motor bicycle and then  resumed her table-laying.  Ah, I thought, another war has evidently passed over this blessed boskage.   ***                                              Chapter Eight  THE CAVES OF CAEN  Brilliant sunshine lit the cave’s mouth; its furthest depth, where the graves were, was dark as night.  Hundreds of people, from dandlings to dotards, were huddled in it and as I pressed between them I  was arrested by a face, the beauty and serenity of which separated it from the gloom and uneasy  stir. It was childlike and old, virginal and ravished. Hair of dull gold framed a perfect oval and blue  eyes gazed, either vacantly or thoughtfully, at something or nothing. These eyes shone in the half-  light like lapis lazuli in a tomb. They were empty of the glints and shadows that usually show, like  little fish, in a child’s or a young girl’s eyes: shyness, curiosity, modesty, boldness, reserve,  invitation. They were like water in a shallow blue basin.  I had heard many nightmare stories in the caves, and wondered what, that I could not see, lay  behind those transparent eyes. I stopped beside her and said, ‘Good day, my child’. The  unresponsive eyes turned on me and she gave a hoarse, cackling laugh. An old woman next to her  said, with polite apology, ‘She is mad, Monsieur’. Then I saw around other pairs of eyes, none  quite so strange, but all filled with emptiness. I learned that these were lunatics from the asylum,  brought to wait while the storm of war swept by….  The tale of refugees is always and everywhere the same. In our century it has swollen, between  Siberia and the Channel, to an anthem of misery so deafening that mankind’s ear has become numb  to it. Nothing is gained by harping on an unheard air and the population of London’s shelters during  the bombardment in any case heard a snatch of this devil’s music. This, then, is not another tale of  refugees, but one of caves.  In that one word lies the whole threat of our future. We began, dark ages ago, as cave-dwellers, and  thought the caves lay remote behind us. In those caves I realised how quickly we may return to  them. The upward climb to a civilised condition is long and slow; the fall is as quick as that of a  suicide who throws himself from a cathedral tower. The people I saw clung to the poor remnants of  their bedding, clothing and kitchenware, the symbols of civilised lives. Had they stayed there, and  these worn out, they would in less than a generation have reverted to savage type and have peered  through matted hair out of the cave’s mouth.  The horrific picture had another side, if one sought it. These huge caves lie in a bluff that falls  steeply to a river. Nature did not make them, but men, working in the service of the Christian God,  who in this mysterious way saved their descendants’ lives centuries later. The stone of Caen was  famous through Christendom and was used by the builders of cathedrals and churches everywhere.  It was used for Westminster Abbey; the olden quarrymen who cut the stone for the place where  England’s kings would be crowned made a sanctuary for their townsfolk centuries later, in the  flaming Nineteen-Forties.  These caves, when I saw them, offered the picture of what all Europe might be by the century’s  end. Back to the caves, forests, mountains; this was the nihilists’ plan I dimly foresaw in the  Thirties, and here it was fulfilled, in little. The caves had long known only the tread of the  mushroom-growers. Now they became the coveted shelter of thousands of human beings. The  mushroom beds became the cemeteries of those who died, of age, of infant weakness, or from  bombs which burst outside and reached deadly fingers into the recesses. Yet each grave still bore  the cross….  The caves of Caen are empty again now. The cave-dwellers have gone to cellars and shanty-towns,  to await new homes – or a return to the caves! I watched the blue-eyed girl and her sisters go to  some temporary refuge. I had only seen her face before; now that she came into the sunlight, and  was lifted into a military truck, I saw she was malformed and could hardly walk.   ***                                                  Chapter Nine  THE MAN AT THE PYRAMID’S PEAK  I could not believe twenty-six years had passed; surely I had merely been on leave and now  returned to my squadron and the mess! Here were the same little comforts-in-misery: the deck  chairs, scrounged who knew where, the bottles, the gramophone. The record was almost the same;  it had merely changed from ‘When you come home, dear, when you come home’ to ‘When you  come home again’. Here were the bully beef (now called corned), the cheese, the biscuits. Here  were the same smell of petrol, the same intangible menace in the air, the same gripping of the  bowels at the irrevocable moment of take-off: shall we miss those wires – ah, good, we’re up and  away.  The last entry in my flying logbook read, ‘November 11, 1918. La guerre est finis. Patrol over  Mons, 10.30-11.30 a.m. Civilians waving to us in the streets’. The one I now made began ‘August  11, 1944. Reconnaissance patrol between Caen and Falaise …’ Even the aeroplane I rode in was  like the one I flew in twenty-six minutes, no twenty-six years, ago, save that it was unarmed and  that its slowness, which on my last flight meant weakness, was its defence. The hurtling fighters of  1944 could not draw a bead on it; if any drew near it just span on its axis and they flashed  impotently by.  A queer sensation, to feel twenty-six years fall away. Below was the identical war, the same  pulverised moon-landscape. This is where I come in, I thought, as the little ruined villages  pirouetted beneath. For now the great coalition had broken out of the bosky ambuscade and was in  the flat, open country beyond Caen. The captured ground grew like a stretching bow and the  straight road to Falaise, below me, marked the track which the final arrow would take towards the  enemy’s heart. This was the climax of five years, or thirty; or perhaps of twenty centuries, who  knows?  Three months before this, in busy, battered London, a message took me one morning, as a war  correspondent, to St. Paul’s School in Hammersmith. There I first saw Field-Marshal Montgomery.  It was a refreshing experience to a mind become sceptical. The first war left in me a cynical feeling  about military leadership; it was mainly fought in mire and at its end the soldiers still wore puttees!  In the Twenties cynicism became every man’s habit, and in the Thirties the actions of politicians  fixed it in me.  Now I saw a man who perfectly appraised the Germans, as I knew them and never wasted a word.  The German soldier, he said, was an expert with weapons, had a good eye for country and excellent  discipline; but the German general was vulnerable. This man, who had to gain a foothold on open  beaches, dislodge the enemy from a strong natural ambuscade and drive him across the Rhine, had  mastered the essential points of his enormous problem. By the time I flew over the battlefield I  knew that, before he set out, Montgomery had a plan to delude the enemy into dispersing his  strength, and a timetable for the advance, which were both fulfilled (until the setback at Arnhem)  almost to the yard and minute. The German soldier fought as well as he expected, the German  generals made the errors he counted on. In the first war the German announcement, ‘Our advance  continued according to plan’ became famous as a hoax. In the second, our great advance that went  exactly according to plan was never comprehended, in the beauty of its rhythm, by the masses that  mechanically switched on the nine o’clock news.  My own road marched with it for a while. I went one day by road convoy from Winchester to  Tilbury. The glory of the warm September eve in 1940, I knew, was departed, but this day in 1944  remains vivid to me for the beauty of England, which is poignant to a man who leaves it on such an  occasion. As the convoy passed London I looked on my native city from one more angle, in yet  another mood. It was no longer grimly silent, as on that September evening. It was the busiest place  in the world, seething with the bustle of invasion. The flying bombs sped into it with fiery tails as  we passed. From factory windows the work-girls waved. At last, like a man struggling out of a tight  jersey, we worked our way free of this enormous town and came to green fields, the glint of water,  Elizabeth’s brave Tilbury, and a ship. Downstream we saw fantastic shapes, like a giant’s reels of  cotton. From these spools the submarine pipeline would be unwound, to feed the innumerable  petrol-driven things in Normandy.  Then England falling astern once more and I began a fantastic voyage, across a thronged Channel,  to a fantastic destination. There are models of and books about Mulberry Harbour, that marvel of  engineering. I hope a permanent record exists of those harbours made by sunken vessels, where the  scene surpassed the most wondrous tales of ancient mariners. All the wrecks on the sea’s bottom  might have reappeared, all the ship’s designers in the world have gone mad, and a horde of lunatic  surrealists have flung themselves with paint and brush on the huge scrapheap; and then a giant hand  might have stirred the whole shambles. Ships down by the stern or the bows; ships rectangular and  rotund; small craft that sped or wallowed; hulks half on the beach and half in the water; boats that  walked out of the sea on to the land; the whole constantly rocked by wave, swung by wind, lashed  by rain.  Out of the shapeless molten mass comes the fine wrought metal, and out of this prodigal confusion  was forged the sharp arrow-head that pointed towards Falaise that day when I flew over Caen. In  Hammersmith I heard Montgomery say that the general’s chief task, next to estimating the enemy’s  strength and weakness, was to choose his own men. I saw now the men he chose, the arrow-tip.  Guards Armour and Seventh Armour, Highland troops, Canadians, Polish Armour: there was  genius in the mixture.  They were all poised that day, and reminded me of the waiting men I saw near Bedford, when the  Battle of Britain began. Now they were on the tiptoe of attack, not defence. I was particularly  interested in the Poles. They had come far, by way of France, England, Africa and Italy, from the  Warsaw I had seen and despaired of just before the second war began; despaired of, because its  spirit was too high. The Poles then still thought in images of dashing cavalry attacks – and had no  Channel behind which to recover. Instead, they had an exposed rear and a neighbour whom, rightly,  they distrusted. Nevertheless, that unaccountable optimism.  Now they had learned a bitter lesson. They counted among the best fighters in the world and the  Polish Armour was the tip of the arrow-head. Returned from my flight, I saw them, waiting with  faces turned to the battle. They were not simply Poles; they were the twentieth century in the shape  of men. They waited only for the great air bombardment which was to ‘soften’ the enemy before  they struck.  If there were in the mansion of providence a spirit of mischief, a king-poltergeist, war would be this  super-imp’s high holiday. Punctually at noon the thundering American squadrons came out of the  westward haze and passed over those tense attackers. The crackling shells burst round them and  one blew up; from the fallen wreck a mountain of black smoke rose into the still air. As they  dwindled into specks I vainly strained my eyes for the explosion of their bombs. I could not see  them; perhaps the haze was too thick. Anyway, the job must be done, I thought, for soon they  reappeared, returning. Now the great attack could begin.  Suddenly the air trembled and hell broke loose on earth behind me. I span round and saw fountains  of earth and smoke, each with a red core of fire, where the arrow-tip lay. This was carpet-bombing;  each explosion had scarcely erupted when the next grew from the same crater. Soon the wrecked  aeroplane’s funeral pall looked like the smoke of a garden bonfire against the monstrous cloud,  slashed and spangled with new bursts and rising fires, that spread between Caen and Falaise.  An immense dejection filled me as I thought of those poised and eager men. Many must have died  with their eyes still searching the hazy horizon for the signal to attack; huge protest must have filled  the hearts of those who just had time to understand. I cannot imagine what possible miscalculation  caused a commander to err so widely, or many bomber-crews blindly to copy him, when Caen lay  clear beneath, a child’s guide to accuracy.  When I reached the place the survivors were still cursing in soldier’s language. A British officer,  with bareheaded soldiers around, quietly said the burial service over fresh graves. Two bare-  throated Highlanders, bringing German prisoners in, made terse Scottish comments and went their  way. By the roadside lay blanket-covered forms; I watched a chaplain unbare their faces and saw  unmistakably Polish ones. They had come very far to end so sadly and their lot especially  oppressed me. Now I think they would not complain. Had they survived to Berlin they would have  found their country’s freedom more distant than ever; many more men will die before liberty is  won, and if it is for ever lost, much greater numbers will die. I already realised that on the Caen-  Falaise road. The Poles either did not, or they accept the fight for the sake of its cause and in that  faith do not mind where or by what mischance they fall.  The great blunder blunted the arrow-head, but only for a moment; soon the attack was launched  which began the end of the second war. When I next went down that road the war was quickening  and opening out, and I passed from bedlam into the same thinning activity and deepening silence.  At the apex of the pyramid, war, was again a hushed and empty world. Yet somewhere in it,  crouched in a slit trench, kneeling in the corn, was the man at the pyramid’s peak.  He is the lovable orphan of the twentieth century, this man who comes from the ends of the earth to  play the chief part in a deserted theatre without an audience. He makes his little way across  continents and oceans, through the swarming throngs that surround bases, commissariat, supply and  transport, through camps, barracks and depots, amid a deafening clamour that imperceptibly  dwindles as he climbs the huge pyramid and ceases when he stands on its summit. Behind him now  all the pandemonium; any noise he hears may be his last. There is no sign of life, but he feels  watching eyes as if he were in a cell drilled with peep-holes. The heat of battle, in this chill void?  The phrase is obsolete, if it was ever true. The orphan finds himself, after long journeyings, gazing  into annihilation from the pyramid’s lonely peak.  How little it changes, I thought, as I went cautiously along that road with memories of St. Julien  and Vlamertinghe. The mortars came quicker than the whizzbangs, but were fewer; happily the  German gunners had to count their rounds in the second war. I went through a battlefield scorched  black by flame-throwers; the wars of antiquity knew boiling oil. I saw men as flat as pennies, for  the machines had roared over their corpses; well, that was as old as juggernaut.  I loved them, whatever their uniform, and they no longer horrified me. The twenty-six years had  brought that change and I wondered if I were only older, or perhaps wiser. During that time I had  learned, from Russia and Germany, that dictatorship kills many more people, in peace, than any  war, and I knew by now that this war was for dictatorship, not against it. The horrors of war seemed  petty to me against the horrors of a cause betrayed. These dead men were genuine and admirable.  I came to a very lonely place where a French Canadian, with bayoneted rifle, did outpost duty by an  abandoned German first-aid post in a slit-trench. A dead German, a middle-aged, handsome fellow,  lay on a stretcher in the entrance to the German medical officer’s dugout. An open book there  showed that a few hours earlier he had given Hans Schmidt and Johann Braun ointment for scabies  and pills for diarrhoea: the soldier’s afflictions do not alter. In the road lay a burned-out British  tank. The dead gunner hung upside down in it, his blackened face nearly touching the roadway.  I had not noticed him among the wreckage until the French Canadian rifleman pointed to him.  ‘Look at dat poor guy,’ he said, indicating the tank with his head. I looked and in spirit saluted.  Then the French Canadian, creasing his eyes against the sun, looked along the silent, straight, dusty  road he had yet to travel. ‘It’s a funny ting,’ he said, nodding towards Falaise, ‘my folks came from  dat place.’  I followed his gaze and wondered where the road really led.   ***                                          Chapter Ten  CHARM THE NARROW SEAS  On a day I took jeep for Mulberry Harbour and home. Dearly though I loved those armies, I was  glad to go. I alone seemed to see the shape the war had taken and the great hoax at the end of the  road, and the atmosphere of illusion was hard to live in. In such circumstances reporting became  misreporting and I preferred not to write.  Another thing I keenly felt, because I thought that the root of our twentieth-century unhappiness  was planted in France in 1789, was the chronic sadness of the French. I felt it in France during the  first war, in the years between, and again in Normandy. It was not caused by the German  occupation or by the ruination which our invasion brought; the Normans know better than any how  quickly nature defeats all conquerors. It is a deep spiritual malady, a despair of the soul. My belief  is that the French have never been happy or confident since their revolution. At all events, the  travellers’ tales of France before it give a picture of a country almost unrecognisable, from the  present one, in its strength and pride.  Thinking, as I thought, that a straight thread ran from France of 1789, through Russia and Germany  in this century, to the ordeal which I foresaw for my own country, I found Normandy a place of evil  omen.  When I reached Mulberry Harbour night was falling and a full gale was rocking that lovely floating  port. I found my vessel. I do not know how my Lords of the Admiralty would describe it, but if it  was a packet it was a very small one and might almost have gone by letter post. It had no berths or  bunks for passengers and hardly standing room for the six of us, all at one time, on its decks.  I love a gale, but to put the matter in a cockleshell, I do not like sailing in one without lights, in  waters crammed with cruisers, destroyers, corvettes, convoys, and tugs towing dry-docks or spare  sections of Mulberry Harbour. I prefer to play blind man’s buff ashore. My love for the British  Navy, straight or wavy, increased when the skipper said he thought he should not start. My respect,  but not my affection, for the British Army rose when a staff-major, with important dispatches, said  his orders were to make the utmost haste, and the skipper prepared to leave immediately. Then a  signal from the Senior Naval Officer forbade our departure until daybreak, and my feeling for the  Navy approached adoration. Simultaneously my respect for the Army grew even higher, for the  staff-major, hearing of this overriding command, said he was greatly relieved because he was the  world’s worst sailor, having once been ‘sick in a Duck on a pond’ (a Duck is that small boat which  waddles out of water on to land).  This trip was the most memorable of my puckish journeyings through the Forties. It was  invigorating to return, once more, to England in a little ship with a company of strangely assorted  men, thrown together by chance for a few hours. The tiny shell was a fragment of England, chipped  off and now restored.  When we sailed the gale still blew, but it was day. I do not recall even in Shakespeare the eternal  words to describe the feelings of an Englishman who sees a ship’s bows turn towards his native  island. I loved every instant and every man aboard. The skipper, a lieutenant in the Volunteer  Reserve, was a Cornishman with brown, curly hair, brown eyes and a beaked nose. He and a  Cockney steward are all I remember of the ship’s household. The passengers are difficult to  assemble in order of rank. Was the lieutenant-commander, R.N., superior to the full commander,  R.N.V.R., and where did the staff-major come in, who was sick the moment we left and reappeared  only when we arrived, then asking me wistfully, ‘Weren’t you ill?’ and on being told no, saying,  ‘Oh, good show, good show.’  The lieutenant-commander, R.N., was tall, dyspeptic, and dignified. I seldom admired a man so  much as he, when he was sick. He made his offering over the stern and, being so tall, and the ship  so small, nearly put his nose in the sea. A lesser man might have felt shamed: he performed with  grace and without embarrassment. Between disgorgings he held distant but unruffled communion  with us. At one moment the Cockney steward appeared lithely from below with two platefuls of  thick fat bacon and baked beans, swimming in grease, and (I suspect, not without intent) said to  him, ‘Breakfast, sir?’ The lieutenant-commander, R.N., answered calmly, ‘I shall not require any,’  but I thought his bilious eye said, ‘Ah, if I only had you in my ship.’  I wondered if this armoured man were a sea-going or a desk sailor. I thought he might be a person  of influence or affluence, and smooth paths; he wore no medals and his rank was less than a  professional sailor of his age might easily reach in a great war. The calm victory of his self-  assurance over the weak flesh was admirable. The full commander, R.N.V.R., who looked like a  peacetime solicitor, was annoyingly immune. Yet the lieutenant-commander, R.N., when he  brought his head back from the rail, contrived without effort to imply that, among the men in that  tub, he belonged to a higher order. He saw no equal among them, save possibly the staff-major,  who was prostrate below. Especially, I thought, he disapproved of the young subaltern and the  Scottish sergeant (who also kept their food down).  These two I greatly loved. They had been dropped by parachute behind the German lines. Always  in uniform, so that the Germans would have no pretext to shoot them if they were caught, they lived  for weeks behind haystacks and hedges or in barns, helped by the French peasants. Lonelier even  than the man in the fighting-line, they gathered information and sent it home by radio. Their only  friend was the Royal Air Force, and tenderly as any mother it dropped food, supplies and news to  them, at some pinpoint in a dark field. On the subaltern’s very birthday his own mother’s greetings  came swaying down to him at the end of a parachute. Gradually the Germans fell back past their  hiding-places; the battle waxed up to and waned away from them, and one day they joyfully came  into the open and met men in their own khaki. Now they were bound for England (forgive me,  sergeant: Scotland) and leave.  I was possibly happier for them than even they for themselves, as I imagined their homecoming.  They stood together; their adventures knew no distinctions of rank. I liked their red bonnets and  their language. Their hair had not been cut for many weeks. The subaltern’s was so long that it  curled upward, over his collar, like an inverted question-mark, and I divined the feelings this curl  would arouse in his mother when the youngster returned to her from such an excursion. Prompted  by me, they retold the story of those days and nights.  Two greenish eyes watched us with disrelish from the rail: the lieutenant-commander, R.N.’s rule  was silence. I imagined with what relief he would sink into a leather armchair, somewhere in Pall  Mall, with cronies from Dartmouth around him, and order a pink gin; far from R.N.V.R.  commanders, war correspondents, and fly-by-night subalterns, he would feel reassured. I must not  misportray him; he was a very strong character, of a type invaluable to the institution I put among  the best of our world and age – the British Navy.  It has played a great part for so long, I thought, watching him. Some learned man said that if a  moving-picture were made of the history of our planet the two thousand years we know would  occupy but a half-second at the end. The implication, that since time is infinite all else is too petty  to take seriously, seems to me wrong. If the half-second were better than all the preceding 119  minutes and 59 ½ seconds, that would still justify our 1948 Christian years, and I think it is so. For  half the half-second the British Navy has done more than any one thing in the world to raise human  affairs to a level, at all events higher than anything we can surmise before the year A.D. 1. The  story of Europe could not have been written without it. ‘Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of  Cathay’; I do not know what vehicle a cycle of Cathay is, but two thousand years of Europe have  on balance been a story of worse becoming better, not bad becoming worse, and for that the British  Navy is chiefly to thank. Thus the half-second ought to be prolonged to a full one, to a minute and  an hour. A disbelief in human effort, merely because Time is beginningless and endless, is foolish.  I watched for the shoulder of England to thrust itself between the high, storming seas and scudding  low clouds. ‘To France shall we convey you safe, and bring you back, charming the narrow seas to  give you gentle pass.’ Shakespeare’s words are still true, after four centuries, and suddenly I  remembered that hardly anything else in our world remains that then was true. Four hundred years  ago Austria, France and Spain were mighty names, the rise and fall of a Prussian Germany lay far  ahead, Russia was a barbaric word, America barely discovered. The winds of time had not begun to  inflate the bubbles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, some of which have been, while others  yet may be, quickly pricked. But the British Navy could say then, and can say yet, ‘To France shall  we convey you safe and bring you back …’ A man who seeks a shoreward light in our storm-tossed  time might find it here.  A line of darker grey dimly appeared between grey cloud and grey wave. That breathless instant  once again. The sun broke through, too; God’s spotlight has this sense of theatre and often loves to  fix the homecomer in its beam. Then some great broom swept away the clouds, the gale put on a  smiling blue face, the grey line turned to green. A lovely little naval craft, a flying-fish of a thing,  flashed by on curving wings of silver foam. We came to Portsmouth, a little pier, and girls of the  navy waiting with white caps on abundant fair hair, blue trousers fluttering, white singlets drawn  taut over round breasts. But for them, the picture was that which has met every homecomer there  for centuries; they were new, and a pleasant novelty.  The Navy alone among the three Services, I think, succeeded in clothing women in uniform. It  devised one perfectly becoming, serviceable and in tone with tradition. The women’s uniforms of  horizon-blue and khaki remain to this day a poor imitation of the men’s. The Navy also contrived to  implant its quiet, confident, competent and proud tradition in its women.  Looking at those girls I thought of the astonishing change that has come over women in this island  in my time. Forty years ago they often lived in repression and frustration, those legacies of the too-  secure nineteenth century, with its walled parks, enclosed gardens and concealing shrubberies. In  Miss Harriet Guy de Maupassant mocked the unfulfilled English spinster; to the giggling Parisian  Mistinguette’s excellent legs made titillating appeal because they pretended to belong to one of  those cloistered virgins, escaped (Miss Tinguette); in France and Germany they were supposed to  know but one word, ‘Shockang’ or ‘Schocking’.  After the first war a violent reaction from those inhibitions sometimes produced symptoms of that  form of mania in which the victim divests herself of clothing. The death of so many men was one  obvious cause, and until the fever subsided the English Miss, in her homeland and abroad,  occasionally squandered herself with an abandon which would have given Miss Harriet shrieking  hysterics. In Somerset Maugham’s Razor’s Edge the type appears (though there given the  American shape of Sophie).  With these pictures in my mind, the development of the English Miss in the second war was of  absorbing interest. Ours was the only country to conscribe women for the uniformed services, and I  deeply distrusted this, seeing in it again the foreshadow of a permanent political plan to disrupt  family life and enslave women in peace (as I write, the attempt is being renewed). However, well-  laid plans, or even plots, often go agley, and the effect of this experiment may be different from  what its authors hope: we cannot yet see.  It produced astonishingly hard and fearless women. To me they resembled the men of Elizabethan  England, or at least the picture we now make of those. Many, I think, would not have demurred had  they been put in tanks, bombers or battleships. In their readiness to venture anything they seemed  often more manly than the male, who in this island still is frequently a creature of retiring habits  and longings for ‘security’. They were tigerish in the pursuit of man, and indomitable in their  defiance of any public gibes about their hunting. From Miss Harriet they had travelled but fifty  years, but in spirit they were her opposites.  They dropped by parachute into France and sometimes were tortured or killed; they manned the  guns against the bombers; they almost tore prisoners-of-war from the camps if they wanted them;  they swam, shinned up hawsers and stowed away to reach a departing Canadian or American. If  they loved husbands overseas they were admirably loyal and if they were not they despised public  reproach for their transgressions. Whichever path they took, they did not shiver, shudder or shrink.  Like bloodhounds they sought fulfilment. Shades of Miss Harriet, her stays, her privet-hedged life,  her downcast gaze!  These women later gave almost the only example I recall, in the past thirty years, of successful  resistance to absurd and unnatural laws. They showed how simply governments gone rabid or vain  could be brought to heel, how easily the ruination of nations could be prevented. They were  forbidden, long after the war ended, to ‘fraternise’ or ‘amorously consort’ with prisoners-of-war.  Here was a lunatic edict, offending against all natural justice and common sense. They ignored it;  fraternised, amorously consorted, publicly besieged the captives, walked out, abducted them,  eloped. The edict collapsed. By public contempt, similarly expressed, all the other inflictions of  1945-47 might as quickly have been defeated.  Looking at those girls on Portsmouth Pier I wondered what effect they would have on the future of  the nation. They would have sons, and these might have much of their mothers. In the Sixties, if we  were yet free, a roystering, rollicking generation of filibusters ought to be rising in England. These  young men might refuse to be denied freedom if their fathers failed to uphold it; the last laugh  might yet be against these who thought, through the conscription of women, to ruin nationhood in  England.  The little gangway ran out. Green-gilled but unbowed, the lieutenant-commander, R.N., stalked  ashore, followed by the staff-major, towards a waiting motor car with a smiling girl driver. Two  figures of authority were borne comfortably Londonward. The full commander, R.N.V.R., was  hauled aboard at the last moment, an honorary member of the exclusive club. The subaltern and the  sergeant waved me goodbye from a jeep and vanished, one towards some pleasant English home,  the other to a wife in Glasgow. The Cornish skipper went to get his head down, the Cockney  steward gazed thirstily towards Pompey and its pubs. Between two pretty Jills I went ashore. I had  in my mind the picture of a green thicket by a Norman road and of a few small white crosses  springing like the first snowdrops from the rough graves of British soldiers buried where they fell.  I had not seen Portsmouth for nearly four years. Then it was little damaged, now quarter-ruined.  But I felt at once the dogged staunchness. A century before, in a similar time of ordeal and  hardship, an American, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said: ‘So I feel in regard to this aged England … I  see her, not dispirited, not weak, but well remembering that she has seen dark days before; indeed,  with a kind of instinct that she sees a little better in a cloudy day, and that, in storm of battle and  calamity, she has a secret vigour and a pulse like a cannon.’  I hoped it was still true. I took train and travelled eastward through the verdant southern  countryside, and came in the evening to a station. At the barrier, waiting for me, was a man I knew.  One of those too old or unfit to serve, who plied a hire-car. Over the open Downs and down  through the green-walled lanes we went. As dusk came up out of the west I reached the haven  where all men fain would be: home and welcome.  Lovely land, and lovely homecoming.   ***                                                Chapter Eleven  THE WAR BEHIND THE WAR  For nearly six years the millions marched, they knew not whither, and the multitudes fled, they  knew not from or towards what. Then the fighting war stopped. Hostilities continued. The second  war, the pendant of the first, went on: in truer words, the one twentieth-century war remained in  being, its result still undecided. The issue is still the destruction or survival of Europe. The babblers  who began to say that ‘another war’ or ‘a third war’ would be ‘the end’ might as well have said the  house they lived in would be ‘the end’.  It was possibly the greatest hoax ever played on mankind. The cessation of the fighting war merely  left Europe in the state of camouflaged war that went on from 1936, when Hitler seized the  Rhineland, until 1939, when it broke into an open fighting war. We merely returned from the  smoke, by way of fire, into the smother. The armed occupation of other nations’ lands and the  setting-up of puppet governments in them were rewarded; the enslaved were more numerous and  hopeless than before. The great liberators, Britain and America (or their wartime rulers), used their  strength to bring this about. Before hostilities broke into open fighting in 1939 Germany had  annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia, and Italy Albania. When fighting gave way to the  camouflaged war in 1945, Communist Russia had in fact annexed Poland, Lithuania, Latvia,  Estonia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Hungary, Rumania, part of Finland and Czechoslovakia,  and by arms dominated the rest of Czechoslovakia and half of Germany.  When the cease-fire was given the purpose of destroying Europe and Christendom had been greatly  advanced with British and American support, and the fate of the rest of Europe depended on the  further course of hostilities. The war behind the war, the political one, had run counter to the visible  war, like a locomotive on another track.  This change of direction in the real purposes of the war occurred after Communist Russia and  America entered it, through German and Japanese attacks, in 1941. I began to discern it in 1942 and  from that moment watched our armies move towards the fighting war with feelings of compassion  and futility. This was wrong, because they achieved that priceless thing, our survival, which gives  us the chance yet to win the twentieth-century war; if we lose it the fault is ours, the survivors!  From then on, however, my own feelings about the future were exactly those which led me to write  Insanity Fair ten years ago; we were being taken back to where we came in and the immortal  victory of September 1940 was being stood on its head.  Between 1938 and 1943 I wrote a book each year. Up to All Our Tomorrows (published 1942) I  only feared one thing: that the victory of 1940 would be wasted by allowing Germany to make a  third war. By Lest We Regret (written early in 1943) I had perceived the master moves behind the  fighting-war; a giant was to be supplied with arms and encouraged with gifts of territory, but it was  another one, Communist Russia. I then wrote: ‘Our honour is bound up with Poland. We cannot  acquiesce in its partitioning. We cannot surrender Europe, either to Germany or Russia, without  surrendering ourselves. Are we fighting this war merely for another Munich?’  After 1943 I did not write another book. It would have been useless, perhaps impossible, to  challenge the huge machine of wartime propaganda. The bludgeoning and intimidatory effect of  mass-propaganda on the mass-mind is staggering; the power of thought sometimes seems almost  extinct in the run of men. Nevertheless, the informed and experienced few recognised that those  moves of 1942 and after would leave Europe, after ‘victory’, in the state of camouflaged war, of  non-fighting hostilities, which prevails as I write.  In an earlier chapter, ‘Clamorous Harbinger’, I have for a special purpose quoted from my reports  of the Thirties. All informed persons, officials and writers with my background, in 1942-43 gave  similarly precise forecasts of the results which those moves would bring. They were denied a  hearing in the same way. In 1947 Mr. Churchill, warning England of its new peril, said his earlier  warnings had not been heeded. The fresh danger, however, arose from those actions for which he  was largely responsible. He himself listened to no warnings, if they reached him, and under his  wartime regime they could not reach a broad public.  The master moves behind the fighting-war were, chiefly, two: the British-American agreement to  give Communist Russia half of Poland (which was exactly what Hitler did) and the British-  American erection of a Communist dictatorship in Yugoslavia. They meant that, in 1942-43, that  ‘iron curtain’ was prepared, running through the middle of Europe, of which America violently,  and this country less loudly, complain as I write.  A glance at the map should show their meaning. They meant, as all men experienced in those parts  and these affairs knew, that the entire region behind this line would merely pass from Nazi German  into Communist Russian hands. How large that area would be depended solely on how far the  Communist armies were allowed to advance into Europe. To expect, or pretend to expect, that they  would stop at a paper-line drawn half way across Poland was to delude the public. They would only  halt where they met the British and Americans. The British and Americans, in the event, were by  obvious prearrangement halted on a line running from the Adriatic through Berlin to the Baltic, that  cleanly bisected Europe.  The story of those two master moves, made behind the fog of war, is instructive. They began with  the gradual repudiation of the Polish Government in London, which brought so brave an army to  share the Battle of Britain. By what right Britain and America upset this legal and loyal government  of an allied nation, history may vainly inquire. But by March 1943 The Times, under the amusing  headline ‘Security in Europe’, declared that ‘The sole interest of Russia is to assure herself that her  outer defences are in sure hands; and this interest will be best served if the lands between her  frontiers and those of Germany are held by governments and peoples friendly to herself.’  This was also Hitler’s argument, and to me the reality, that the war would not end when it was won,  immediately became clear. The Times in 1938 (see Insanity Fair and Disgrace Abounding) made  similar recommendations about Austria and Czechoslovakia, in favour of Germany. Both were  repudiated by the British Government of the day, which then promptly did what it had repudiated  and what The Times recommended. The same repudiation and subsequent action now repeated  themselves in the case of Poland. I have always recommended those who seek to know what may  befall them in coming years to study The Times.  The next unmistakable move was in Yugoslavia. The Serbs had risen round their king against  Hitler. The king was with us; the remnants of his army, under his general, fought on in the  mountains. Suddenly the propaganda machine launched the word ‘Partisans’ into the controlled  news. Who were these newcomers? Why, Communists formed their ‘hard core’, announced Mr.  Churchill. Then ‘Marshal’ ‘Tito’ (neither the rank nor the name were his) popped up. Observe the  hidden hand. This man, who like Hitler appeared from nowhere as if released by a spring-trap, was  about Hitler’s age, was born somewhere in the same old Austro-Hungarian Empire, was quite  unknown in the world – but had for years been trained in Soviet Russia.  Were his credentials, then, so good that he should be treated with such respect? Will it be claimed  for him, as the foolish claim for Hitler, that he shot into power by the mere impulse of his own  personality. His training was in Moscow, but he was enthroned by London and Washington. Soon  British and American arms and money were denied the legitimate allied king (he was even  dethroned in London and Washington), and his general; all went to ‘Tito’. Golden British  sovereigns rained down on him in parachute-borne canisters. What induced a President Roosevelt,  who cried ‘Down with dictatorship’, to set up one, or a Mr. Churchill, who would lament the chaos  which the war left, to help spread it?  The iron curtain was erected, the camouflaged war of the period after 1945 begun. These things  were done under the regime of the Three Emperors: the years 1942-45. The first war knew nothing  equal to it, and public acquiescence in it would have seemed inconceivable before it happened. The  mortal danger of the twentieth-century war seems to be this mechanical acceptance, by free  peoples, of the new dogma that when the open fighting begins the politicians-in-office must have  untrammelled, dictatorial powers. It is more perilous in war than in peace that one man should  assume the divine right to dispose of countries and populations far away.  The peaks of this period were the imperial conferences of Moscow, Teheran and Yalta (at the last  the American President was visibly a dying man). Where all is done in secret, public surmise alone  is possible; we can but consider what these three men did, who talked in continents and millions.  Stalin has long been the unchallenged ruler of imprisoned Russia, prisoner only to his own fears,  which prevent him from ever leaving the area of his armies or from showing more than his head to  the Russians in the Red Square.  The prudent and far-sighted makers of the American Constitution did not see so far as a repeatedly  re-elected President, who would wield autocratic powers, potent far outside the Western  hemisphere.  Mr. Churchill, in war, was fully-empowered. I judge him to be the only one of the three whose  heart really loved free institutions and free men. Yet he was carried far from these ideals, in his  eagerness ‘to win the war’, when he took those emergency powers which are the asp in liberty’s  bosom. He once said something in Parliament which suggested he felt himself, all-powerful as he  seemed in England, caught between two greater powers – and who knows what powers were behind  those others? Did he, from pressures which he thought overwhelming, acquiesce in a mutilation of  Europe which he himself, later, would most clamantly denounce?  It is all mystery, unless his memoirs lift the veil when they appear, but the results are plain, and if  behind either of the other men were the forces that desire the destruction of Europe, their ambition  was greatly advanced. Stalin certainly foresaw a Europe neatly cut in half; the Communist half  gorged with British and American supplies and gold; and the continuation of hostilities. Is it  possible that President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill did not foresee this? It seems to me that this  President was the prey of acuter minds and the tool of purposes he did not comprehend[9] (if he is  politically classifiable, he belonged to that school of ‘Liberalism’ which makes countless millions  mourn) and that Mr. Churchill, fighting inch by inch for his own country, believed himself unable  to withstand pressures too powerful for him, unless he was ill-advised.  At times he seemed to see what was being brewed. After the master-moves in Poland and  Yugoslavia one move remained that could yet ‘win’ the war; it was an early invasion which would  take British-American armies to the countries needing liberation before the Communist ones could  occupy them. At one instant I hoped he saw that, for he told America (at Washington in May 1943):  ‘We have surmounted many serious dangers but there is one grave danger which will go along with  us to the end. That danger is the undue prolongation of the war.’ It seemed that he admonished  someone in Washington with those words.  If there was one way to curtail and win the war (see Lest We Regret) it was an early invasion; if  there was one certain to prolong it, and ensure the continuance of hostilities in Europe, it was delay.  The invasion was delayed.  In this matter the confusion of public opinion in England revealed itself again to which I pointed in  Insanity Fair, in the Thirties. I wrote there that the sole way to avert the war and prevent the spread  of Communism was an alliance with Russia; if we did not make one Hitler would.[10] People in  England could not see that. In 1942-43 they could not see that the only way of stopping the spread  of Communism was the early invasion for which Stalin clamoured; they thought it would ‘help  Communism’! I hope, but doubt, that these good people have seen both errors today.  The invasion was delayed: or rather, it was wastefully diverted to Africa and Italy. Launched at  Europe while great German armies were bogged down in Russia, it would have produced true  victory, not the false one which Mr. Churchill later mourned.  Who converted whom, who yielded to whose pressures? The moves in Poland and Yugoslavia and  the year’s delay in the invasion set the stage for the melodrama of the Fifties: Bisected Europe, or  East against West, or Communism against Capitalism, or Asia against America – or whatever mob-  deluding name you choose.  Was it all a chapter of errors, once more? The explanation grows hard to accept. What is clear is the  consistent part played, all through the twentieth-century war, by super-national support in setting  up the Aunt Sallies which the peoples are later called to knock down, only to find when they have  done this that others have been put up in their places. The money-power appears always and  everywhere to work against peace and the liberty of the peoples, and while one tyrant duke is being  overthrown, it has already transferred its help to another. Money from Britain and America  financed German rearmament and Hitler was encouraged by gifts of territory to begin this war;  when he attacked Russia all this succour was simply carried over to the new aggressor. It is useless,  in considering the future, to ignore the part played by British and American money in bringing the  Communist Empire to the middle of Europe. From the moment of the moves in Poland and  Yugoslavia the ‘Tanks for Attack Weeks’ in England were in effect tanks for Communism weeks.   *  The amount of British and American treasure poured into Communist Russia, when its intentions  were well known, was stupendous, and this was no paper loan or book-keeping transaction, but  goods and gold. It was given without any public supervision and could only have been justified if it  produced a ‘common victory’. Foreseeably, it did not.  It is remarkable how the acts of Hitler fall into the same pattern. If he was unable to invade this  island the war was not worth his beginning it, unless he desired to destroy Germany. The same  thing happened at Moscow.[11] I believe the order to withdraw there was Hitler’s own, and point  again to the mystery of his origins and motives. Then there is the inexplicable episode of Pearl  Harbour, left open to Japanese attack in spite of many warnings.[12]  There was one other master-move which could have prevented the war, or have curtailed it once  begun. This was the removal of Hitler. The evidence now seems conclusive that every attempt by  Germans to bring that about was thwarted in Moscow (the German Communists were ordered to  remain aloof from such undertakings), London and Washington. If hidden hands worked to pervert  the course and result of the war, and to prolong it, this appears to have been their triumph.  The story covers at least six years, from 1933 to 1944. In 1938 leading German generals and  politicians, headed by General Beck, Chief of Staff, and Karl Goerdeler, Mayor of Leipzig, decided  that Hitler was about to begin a European war. General Beck circularised the entire German  General Staff, urging that Germany was incapable of winning a European war, while a world one  would ruin Germany. Beck and Goerdeler informed the British Government of Hitler’s intentions  and recommended a clear British announcement that any move against Czechoslovakia would  mean war. Beck also asked the German army commanders, should war break out, to rise against  Hitler.  There was no response from London. Instead, Mr. Chamberlain’s three flights to Hitler followed  and Czechoslovakia was ordered by Britain and France to capitulate to Germany.[13]  With the rebuff of that offer and the Pact of Munich, war became certain if Hitler and Stalin joined  hands, as they did in September 1939. From then on for six years, or four in the case of Russia, the  propaganda machine told the masses that the evil man responsible for the war, whose downfall  would end it, was Hitler. Yet every approach made by those who alone could kill him, Germans,  was rejected and kept secret.  In 1940 an English visitor in Rome, a Mr. J. Lonsdale Bryans, met the son-in-law to be of Baron  von Hassel and learned that Hitler’s enemies in Germany were still anxious to strike if they could  have British support. He informed the British Foreign Office, was given facilities to return, and in  February 1940 met von Hassel in Switzerland, who gave him the plan of a reformed Germany, with  free institutions, to be set up after Hitler’s removal. When Mr. Bryans returned with this to London,  however, he could only obtain, for his second meeting with von Hassel, a letter expressing the  British Government’s ‘appreciation of the very considerable risk’ this doomed German had run by  writing and signing his proposals. Von Hassel gave further proof of good faith by warning Mr.  Bryans that Germany would attack the Low Countries and Italy declare war. (I believe Mr.  Lonsdale Bryans, from whom I have this authenticated account, has written a book about the  episode and hope it may appear.)  Ah, if only Hitler were dead, yearned the politicians, columnists and song-writers in chorus. But  Hitler was less friendless than those who wanted to kill him. By 1941 they included men from  every social, political or religious group in Germany.[14] In 1942 Pastor Dietrich Bonnhoeffer gave  the Bishop of Chichester, in Sweden, a message for the British Government. ‘Only tell us that you  will treat reasonably with a Germany rid of Hitler’ (they pleaded) ‘and we will act.’ The Bishop  (Observer, July 20th, 1947) informed the British Government; the American one was also  enlightened. ‘But to the conspirators’ bitter disappointment nothing was done.’  Instead, came a meeting of two of the war leaders at Casablanca in January 1943 and a demand  (presumably meant to mollify the absent third one, who was already training a German army) for  ‘unconditional surrender’. Mr. W.A. Dulles says: ‘It sometimes seemed that those who determined  policy in America and England were making the military task as difficult as possible by uniting all  Germans to resist to the bitter end.’  It does seem that the war was by all means prolonged, so that the state of continuing hostilities  should result from it. But who ‘determined policy in America and England’?  The American and British leaders seemed all-powerful, but were they? The limits to Mr.  Churchill’s power, I opine, were set by the need, as he saw it, to propitiate Croesus, the mighty,  unexhausted ally. President Roosevelt was the stronger, then, but was his power absolute? If it was,  this was dangerous, because his son’s book shows a man ignorant of Europe and of a strange,  arrested adolescence in thought.  His power seems to have been hedged about by ‘advisers’. During his long presidency he revived  that mysterious and dangerous functionary who first appeared at Woodrow Wilson’s side in the  1914-18 war: ‘The President’s adviser.’ This office is not provided for in the American  Constitution, and these advisers appear to me to have wielded great power without any  responsibility. President Roosevelt was surrounded by men, often of Eastern European origins, to  whom he delegated, out of his oft-renewed exceptional powers, vast authority over humanity far  outside the United States. When he died such non-elected men emerged as the heads of various  bodies claiming to dictate the affairs of European millions in the name of ‘The United Nations’. If  there was a master plan, the shape of it showed then; in the confusion of war and through the  emergency potentates, power in the world was being transferred from elected governments in the  diverse countries to the departments, all domiciled in America, of a world government. The world  governors, it seems to me, began to appear from the shadows.  The plan apparently was, through ‘emergency powers’, to set up a world dictatorship on the ashes  of the other dictatorships. It has not succeeded,[15] but has made substantial advance. It can only be  completed through the continuance of the twentieth-century war, and that, in my judgment, is why  its continuance has been arranged.  Assume for discussion’s sake that there was no war behind the war; that there were not (as I believe  there were) master-moves, enforced on an uncomprehending American President and a hard-  pressed British Prime Minister, to pervert its purposes and ensure the continuance of hostilities  when the fighting ceased. In that case, there remained at the fighting’s end one master-move by  which the truthful war could still be won and its original purposes achieved. That was, to leave the  British and American armies in Europe, undiminished, until the Communist Empire signed a peace  treaty and honoured its bond by withdrawing at least to the middle of Poland; and to tell the British  and American public all this.  The opposite occurred, and this was the first master-move in the war behind the peace. The British  and American armies were hurriedly withdrawn (the mass-mind was held occupied by a  Nuremberg trial) until small garrisons remained, incapable of worrying the thief-in-possession.  Immediately after, the situation of the Thirties was reproduced in facsimile, when Hitler was  simultaneously scolded and encouraged. Loud complaint began about Soviet unreason and bad  faith! By July 1st, 1947, General Marshall, now American Foreign Minister, ‘with reproachful  looks towards the Soviet delegate, was declaring that ‘The American Government has demobilised  the greatest concentration of military power the world has ever seen’, until only small garrisons  remained on occupation duty, and that ‘no conditions were attached to this withdrawal’.  ‘No conditions’ in 1945! Then why the complaints in 1947? The mystery lies not in Soviet  behaviour, which all experienced students could have foretold, but in those unconditional gifts of  treasure, first, and unconditional withdrawals, clearly leading to a new war situation, next. Surely  the political gentlemen cannot be so simple, after these thirty years! Whose hand makes the master-  moves? For that matter, America, if it wished to make the Communist Empire keep the peace,  could easier do so in China than in Europe. But 1946 was spent in denying support to Chiang Kai-  shek, then trying to stem Soviet aggression, and in unconditionally withdrawing American troops  from China!  If all these things were miscalculations it is a fantastic story. We could only learn the truth from the  documents of the period of the Three Emperors; all those agreements, protocols, minutes and  memoranda, now hidden in the White House[16] and Whitehall which record the transactions of  Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam, Cairo and Moscow.  We shall never know these things, but in my opinion the pattern of the twentieth-century war,  which continues, is now plain enough to see.   ***    Chapter Twelve  FISSIONARY SOCIETY  While the second war, or the second instalment of the twentieth-century war, went on, those  master-moves on the great chequerboard were made which (I hope I have shown) ensured that  hostilities would continue after its end: the Communist Empire was established, by huge injections  of treasure from America and Britain, in half of Europe. Another master-move determined the  shape which the continuing hostilities would take.  A new and formidable weapon was evolved, chiefly in this island. The copyright of it, and a  monopoly of its production, was transferred, without a word, to the British population, to American  ownership. This is a transaction matchless in history, I should think; hitherto all peoples have most  jealously guarded any superiority in arms which their national genius achieved. Only when  parliaments are in fact suspended, through the use of ‘emergency powers’, can such things be  secretly done. In this case the proceeding was revealed years afterwards and was then publicly  referred to, if it was mentioned at all, as normal and natural. Thus The Times, on September 24th,  1947, spoke of ‘this unique weapon possessed, so far as is known, only by the United States’. This  country, it added, ‘cannot be ranged unreservedly with the “haves”, because, although it has played  a leading part, perhaps the leading part, in the fundamental physical research, the construction of  the atomic arsenals was deliberately’ (my italics) ‘allotted to the other partner in the Anglo-  American alliance. But the nature of Anglo-American relations entirely relieves this country of any  share in the apprehension of the “have-nots”.’  The nature of relationships between States, I may interject, in the twentieth century is as unstable as  water and is very much under the influence of powerful groups which pursue separate interests  through the manipulation of these relationships. There is also the obvious question, what men in the  United States might in fact gain control of ‘this unique weapon’.  Anyway, ‘nuclear fission’ was ‘deliberately’ handed over, and its first-born was ‘the atomic bomb’.  Two of these concluded the second war. The reason why they were dropped on Japanese cities will  never be publicly told. Two good, and probably the best authorities denied any military necessity.  The British commander, Lord Mountbatten, in a speech recorded by the news-reels, said the Pacific  war was not won by them, having been on the verge of victory before they were used. The chief-of-  staff of the American commander, General MacArthur, said the same.  The decision, then, was taken, in the jargon of the day, ‘at the highest level’, among the emperors,  one of whom, through death and succession, was now a Mr. Truman, while another was in course  of being supplanted by a Mr. Attlee. The real decision was presumably that of ‘advisers’.  Presumably the assent nominally most necessary was that of Mr. Truman; imagination winces at  the thought of a former Kansas City draper, suddenly thrown into this vortex, being required to sign  on the dotty line.  The effect of the bombs was stunning to the mass-mind, because they were dropped in conditions  most favourable to their use: on thronged civilian populations, in flimsy houses, defenceless against  the unknown. The survivors may hold that they belong to those ‘crimes, against humanity’ and  ‘inhumane acts against civilian populations’ which were subsequently charged against the German  leaders (save Hitler!). In England one notable man refused to associate his church with public  thanksgiving at such a moment; this cleric of St. Albans Cathedral was wiser than The Common  Man, who did not see that the atom bomb was meant for his own, not the Japanese, intimidation.  The dropping of the two bombs was not a military act, but a political one, for future reference.  Hardly had they exploded (and the war ended) than a violent campaign of intimidation broke out,  and continues still, among the advocates, everywhere, of the World State. Phrase and argument  were everywhere identical and were used by politicians and newspapers of all parties.[17] ‘So now  you see’ (they said) ‘the unanswerable weapon has been found; there is no defence; mankind must  submit to a World Government or be destroyed.’  This island, then, ‘must’ surrender to a weapon surrendered by it!  Had the two bombs not been dropped, and had the monopoly of their manufacture not been secretly  given to one country, these arguments could not have been used; that looks to me, the reason why  they were dropped. Those who now demanded the unconditional surrender of all mankind, as the  result of the unconditional surrender of Germans or Japanese, used them for political blackmail in  the state of non-fighting hostilities which followed the open war.  The arguments are patently false, but in super-national politics you deal, not in truth, but in mob-  psychology. ‘Poison gas’, which in the event was never used, was the threat which the World  Statesmen used against mankind before the second war; now it merely took another name.  Obviously ‘mankind’ had no choice anyway; the first recipients of these bombs were given no  option, and the second ones would not be asked, should some committee decide to employ them  again. Clearly submission to The World State would no more bring peace or security than surrender  to the Ogpu or Gestapo brought it to the Russians and Germans. The ‘social security’ thus gained  would be that of Belsen, and the World State would enforce its will by a world Gestapo. In the  twentieth century, which has seen this process begin, that ‘Parliament of man, and federation of the  world’ of which the nineteenth-century poets dreamed looms up as the bloodiest tyranny of all.  The shape of this plan became clear to me in 1942-43, when all the other inexplicable things  happened. Then the great campaign began for ‘the abolition of national sovereignty’, a cry  forthwith taken up parrot-like, by all those good people who in their day had perceived peace-  lovingness in Hitler and liberty in Russia. The World Statesmen were coming into the open. They  clamoured for the peoples to defend their ‘freedom’ (which is ‘national sovereignty’) against  ‘Fascism’, and thereafter to surrender it to some anonymous super-national society. These people  were represented in governments, ministries and parties everywhere, and I think were able to exert  decisive influence on major acts of policy in many countries. I pointed to their existence, and their  plans, in that last book, Lest We Regret.  Their trump-suit is the International Police Force, and their ace-card, which was thrown on the  table with a bang, the atom bomb. ‘Now you must all submit,’ they said, ‘all of you, everywhere.’  The World Statesmen came thus near to the pinnacle of their ambitions through ‘emergency  powers’ and the emergency potentates of the two wars. Only when free and elected parliaments in  the various countries are set aside, public debate blanketed by wartime propaganda and public  scrutiny blinded, can such aims be pursued. Mr. Lloyd George and President Wilson were the first  men so to be used, but President Roosevelt was far more dangerous. He died before the second war  end but had already set up the skeleton structure of The World State, and placed at the head of its  many departments men descended from and trained by the shadowy ‘advisers’ of President Wilson.  The ‘United Nations Organisation’ is a fascinating study. It had dozens of committees, all  domiciled in North America and known to the world only by initials: UNRRA, COBSRA,  UNESCO and innumerable others. In theory, not yet translated into irrevocable fact, these initials  are the future World Commissars, who, backed by irresistible force, would dictate the diet,  education, housing and all other affairs of men throughout the world.[18]  Such a regime, like any other dictatorship, can only be maintained by force. The world’s  acquiescence in this use of force was in due course demanded. The World Statesmen claimed the  right to enforce obedience to their edicts in the way Hitler enforced Czechoslovak, and Stalin  Polish, submission. The events of June 1946, which are still uncomprehended by the masses  concerned, seem to me the most remarkable of our twenty centuries.  At a ‘United Nations’ meeting in New York the American spokesman for affairs atomic, a Mr.  Bernard Baruch, one of President Roosevelt’s advisers, proposed the formation of a body called the  ‘Atomic Development Authority’; in other words, of a new set of initials, ‘ADA’. For this  committee were claimed:  (1) A world monopoly of atom bombs; (2) worldwide powers of inspection to prevent their  manufacture by any others; (3) authority to use ‘teeth’ (atom bombs) ‘for the immediate, swift and  sure punishment of those who violate the agreements that are reached by nations’.  This was the open plan, magnificently audacious, for a world dictatorship ruling the planet by  atomic terror. If none but this masked woman ADA were to have atom bombs (and only in that  event) the atom bomb would indeed be irresistible force; if all others were forbidden to defend  themselves against it (and solely in that case) there would truly be ‘no defence’. The meaning of the  threat, ‘mankind must choose’, became clear.  The future student may ascertain, by referring to the files of British newspapers, that this monstrous  proposal was presented to the British public as a selfless one to destroy all atom bombs, thus  leaving everybody without them. It was exactly the opposite. We came near to the World Terrorist  State.  The ‘Security Council’ (the student should observe that in the twentieth century the word ‘security’  always means ‘danger’) of ‘The United Nations’ has five members: America, Britain, China,  France and Soviet Russia. Had five men said yes, ‘mankind’ would have ‘surrendered national  sovereignty’ to the atomic threat. The proposal was American; the British representative gave it  ‘unqualified approval’; France and China were unlikely to be obdurate. There remained Soviet  Russia.  Now this proposal to hold the world in thrall by a monopoly of atom bombs had one more clause. It  required that even the five Security Councillors, once they had enthroned ADA, should have no  further right to demur to any atomic expedition that ADA proposed. Behold, then, Ada, Queen of  the Earth, and her handmaiden, the monopoly atom bomb. Here was the first open bid for  unbridled, unchallenged power over mankind.  At that point, for the moment, the great Plan suffered setback. The ‘United Nations Organisation’  was from the start a great fraud, because each of the five Security Council States (and only they)  had the right to ‘veto’ punitive action against itself if it were declared an aggressor. This meant in  effect that any of the great ones could attack a small state, in the Stalinist or Hitlerist manner, and  forbid action against itself. This ‘right of veto’ was inserted in the ‘United Nations Constitution’ at  American and Russian insistence.  Now America demanded, in the interest of Queen Ada, that this right be abolished, and Soviet  Russia demurred. For that reason, the one London newspaper which correctly reported the proposal  as ‘one to place unlimited powers in the hands of a new international organisation’ was the  Communist Daily Worker.[19]  Thus, for its own motives, which cannot be counted on in future to help us, Soviet Russia opposed  an attempt mortally dangerous to this island. The proposal was that something called ADA (and  who knew what men that would mean?) should have sovereign power to use atom bombs against  ‘any violator of the atomic control’. The method is as old as political ambition and was known to  Shakespeare, who wrote, ‘Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.’ ‘Cry “Violator!” and let slip  the atom bombers.’  Thus the great Plan was temporarily checked, but is still being pressed as I write, fifteen months  later, and will be the real design behind the tumult if and when fighting-hostilities are resumed. The  design is to weaken men by the fear of war until they yield to dictatorship.  They do not see, until they experience it, that dictatorship is more lethal than any war and that the  World Dictatorship would be the most lethal of any. The concentration camp, the slave-labour  camp and starvation, as instruments of dictatorship against the population, killed more people in  Russia and Germany than both the wars and all the weapons. That is why men should fear  emergency powers’, ‘labour direction’ and ‘bread rationing’ more than explosives, and The World  State more than atom bombs.  Men are quick to tremble before imaginary dangers and slow to see real ones. In America in 1938  the mob panicked when the radio told it of a landing by Martians (though this was but a play) and  in 1947 it showed similar herd symptoms about portents in the sky called ‘flying saucers’. It could  find what it really has to fear in studying the employment of State-managed famine against the  population, in Communist Russia. W.H. Chamberlin’s Iron Age in Russia described this frightful  thing in the Thirties. Victor Kravchenko, a high Soviet functionary escaped, in I Chose Freedom  (Robert Hale, 1947) says: ‘The government hoarded huge reserves while peasants died of hunger.  Why this was done, only Stalin’s Politburo could tell – and it didn’t … The savagery of  collectivisation, the man-made famine of 1931-33, the gargantuan cruelties of the purge years, all  left deep scars. There was hardly a family that did not suffer casualties in the regime’s offensive  against the masses. Stalin and his associates were not worried about our loyalty to Russia; they  were worried, and with good reason, about our loyalty to themselves. Perhaps, in their nightmares,  they saw twenty million slaves crashing through prison walls and barbed-wire enclosures in a  multitudinous stampede of hatred and vengeance …’ David Dallin, a former member of the  Moscow Soviet, in The Real Soviet Russia (Hollis & Carter, 1947) estimates that the number of  concentration-camp workers (or ‘people subject to forced labour’) ‘is not less and is probably  greater than the total number of industrial workers at liberty, which was about 8,000,000 in 1938-  39’.[20] The famines of 1921-22 and 1932-33, he says, ‘were due to political causes rather than  natural catastrophes’. Of the second famine, he adds: ‘Since the state insisted on collecting its own  share’ (of the wheat crop) ‘first there was a terrible famine in many agricultural regions, with  millions of dead.’ He says that the Russian population was 170,000,000 in 1914 and approximately  the same (within Russia’s 1939 frontiers) its 1946, whereas it would by then have been  290,000,000 had the rate of population-increase after 1914 continued on the preceding level; he  includes the two ‘man-made’ famines and deaths in the labour concentration camps high among the  causes of this deficit of 95,000,000 Russians.  I have given these few statements, not to indict Communism in Russia, but to show the deadliness  of dictatorship, and to illustrate the comparative insignificance of any atomic or other weapon in  destroying human life. A thousand atom bombs, dropped on the vast emptiness of Russia, would  not in my judgment kill as many people as rule-by-terror and rule-by-starvation. The atom bomb in  our time is being used to further the plan of world dictatorship, which would govern by those very  means. The road to world dictatorship is through ‘the surrender of national sovereignty’.  After twenty centuries the plan is to convert mankind, not through the Christian mission, but  through nuclear fission, or the threat of it; and it is of the devil.   ***  Chapter Thirteen  A THIEF OR TWO …  Shakespeare faithfully reported nearly everything that would happen three centuries after his day  and among much else said: ‘The jury, passing on the prisoner’s life, may in the sworn twelve have  a thief or two, guiltier than him they try.’ Had he lived in the Nineteen Forties, and have written  thus about the Nuremberg Trial, he would no doubt have been dubbed A Fascist; indeed, he was  posthumously thus classified, his Merchant of Venice being banned, at certain promptings, in New  York, and in the American-occupied part of Germany.  In earlier books, written before the stealthy change in the purposes of the war, I laid emphasis on  the need to punish ‘war crimes’. Looking back into the Twenties-and Thirties in Germany, I  believed that their non-punishment, after the first war, was a chief cause of Germany’s quick return  to belligerence. I had in mind crimes against the code of war which had come to be widely, though  not universally accepted, such as the shooting of civilians and prisoners and sinking of unarmed  merchantmen. I did not foresee anything like the Nuremberg Trial, though by the time I wrote Lest  We Regret I had begun to fear some such mockery of the real cause.  In our century leading politicians (I think the word ‘statesmen’ has no current application) appear  repeatedly to surrender principles to what presumably appears to them a necessity of the moment.  By this process, bad constantly breeds worse. Those who, nominally at least, took responsibility for  the Nuremberg Trial set up a precedent of evil omen for the future. It appears to me to have  outlawed international law and to have legalised the savage victor’s rule of putting his captive foe  to death.  Of the four main charges, ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes against Humanity’ were the last. The first two  were new to any code of international law: they were ‘The Common Plan or Conspiracy’ and  ‘Crimes against Peace’. These included ‘the planning and waging of wars of aggression’.  If there was ‘a common plan’ it came into the open with the Stalin-Hitler Pact of 1939, and one of  the judges, Soviet Russia, was the accomplice in it and in the first ‘war of aggression’. This judge  congratulated the brother-criminal on a compact ‘sealed in blood’, and shared the swag. One of the  men in the dock, Ribbentrop, held his judge-confederate’s highest honour, the Order of Lenin,  which was awarded him for signing the aggressors’ alliance.  This seems to me a hideous paradox which no rhetoric or sophistry can justify, and it makes a  mockery of the great trial, at any rate under those two heads. It clothed aggression in a judge’s  robes. Great advocates can eloquently argue any cause, and one of the British prosecutors (Sir  David Maxwell-Fyfe, in his Introduction to R.W. Cooper’s Nuremberg Trial, Penguin Books,  1947) stated, as one reason for the trial: ‘After years of struggle, weariness of mind as well as of  body is always to be expected. One way in which such mental lassitude shows itself is in escaping  from unpleasant facts … It would, in my opinion, be a major tragedy in the history of the world if  the actions of the Nazis were to be allowed to escape in this way in the minds of mankind.’  The most ‘unpleasant fact’ of all, however, was the presence of the accomplice on the bench, and it  troubled, not those who were weary or lazy in mind, but those who were most alert. Of two thieves,  one was exalted to judgment on the other. If this is to be the procedure in future the Nuremberg  Trial itself may prove to have been ‘a major tragedy in the history of the world’.  Whose, indeed, was Vengeance at Nuremberg? Something else happened of which the world  remained quite in ignorance. The perjuror-among-the-jurors was clear for it to see, if it had any  memory for crimes. This other thing was concealed.  I had foreseen it in Lest We Regret. On December 17th, 1942, Mr. Eden, in the House of Commons,  gave a ‘Declaration’ about the Jews in the name of the United Nations. As far as I know this is only  the second time the word ‘Declaration’ has been used by a British politician; the first ‘Declaration’  was the undertaking to ‘facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish  people’ which Lord Balfour gave during the first war, on November 2nd, 1917.  Mr. Eden’s Declaration was specifically and exclusively limited to the Jews and said: ‘Those  responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution.’ These seemed to me the most ominous  words of the entire war, for they implied that retribution would be exacted in the name of one only  of the many communities oppressed by Hitler. I wrote in Lest We Regret: ‘No single word was  given to the crimes committed against Czechs, Poles, Serbs, Frenchmen, Hollanders, Norwegians,  Greeks, Belgians and others … We formally tell the Germans from our House of Commons that  anything they may endure at our hands will be solely on behalf of the Jews. The inference is that  they may with impunity oppress, deport and murder Czechs, Poles, Serbs and others. We have lent  our names to the threat of a Jewish vengeance.’  It seems to me that through the manner of the verdict and hangings, this threat was carried out.  What seems to me to have been a most significant event at Nuremberg, where the world’s press  was gathered, passed without mention in the mass-circulation newspapers. The dates of sentence  and execution were Jewish festivals. Rosh Hoshanni, the Jewish New Year and day of repentance,  fell on September 26th, 1946; Yom Kippur, the ‘Day of Atonement, on October 5th; Hoshana  Rabba (when the Jewish God, after an interval during which he considers his verdict on every  single human being, and may still pardon sinners, delivers his final judgment) on October 16th.  Judgment at Nuremberg was pronounced on September 30th and October 1st (between the Jewish  New Year and Day of Atonement). The execution’s were carried out just after midnight in the  morning of October 16th, Hoshana Rabba. For Jewry everywhere there was an unmistakable  significance in these dates. To Gentiledom everywhere they meant no more than any others.  The trial and the executions took place in the American zone. It appears to me that these symbolic  dates must have been deliberately chosen and that their selectors were in a position to prompt the  American authorities to do their bidding.  I believe the British newspapers were reluctant to print any comment on these things; indeed, I  know from experience that this is usually so. One journal, however (the Manchester Guardian)  gave space to a letter from a reader who said of the trial: ‘The four nations … have now openly  renounced Christianity through their leaders … There was a direct choice to be made between “an  eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and “hewing Agag in pieces”, on one side, and “Vengeance  is Mine” on the other. Britain, America, France and Russia have made that choice in favour of  savage pre-Christian rites.’  That appears to me the precise truth. The choice of those dates can hardly have been accidental and  thus the executions were given the nature of a tribal vengeance under Old Testament law. The  British and American political representatives whose names are associated with these events either  consciously or unwittingly accepted the implication, that European Christendom was in all this a  thing of secondary importance or of none. If these hangings were not performed in the name of all  the victims, but only of one group, the other victims are by plain inference put outside the law that  was dispensed, and it was neither justice nor Christian. They were posthumously outlawed just as  effectively by this symbolism as in life by Hitler’s decrees.  In the sequel this same hidden influence remained powerful in the region of Nuremberg. Many  Nazi organisations were adjudged ‘criminal’ en bloc at Nuremberg, and this meant that thousands  of Germans were imprisoned and held without trial for months or years, not for any specific crimes,  but merely for that of having belonged to bodies which they were forced to join. A British M.P.,  Mr. Nigel Birch, found nearly four thousand of them in one concentration camp in August 1947.  He reported that the first question put to them, if they ultimately came to trial, was always the  same, ‘Did you know the Jews were being persecuted?’ Their usual punishment is to be struck off  the voting lists, compelled to register with the police, have their property sequestrated and be  denied any but inferior employment.  Once again the support of American and British politicians for something quite unrecognisable in  the proclaimed purposes of the war is clear to see. The lengthening shadow of Nuremberg and of  the powers behind it reaches far into our future. People who are strong enough to arrange such great  affairs in the way that suits them clearly will not confine their ambitions to Germany.   ***                                      Chapter Fourteen  IN UNKNOWN ENGLAND  When the fighting ended I visited a country where I was born but which I hardly knew: the part of  the British island called England. During this journey I realised that I knew many foreign countries  better than my own.  The reasons for that, when I sought them, were simple. Before the first war, as a penniless  Londoner, I was tied to the city by six working days each week and a small wage at its end. Then  came four years in France and after them another battle for a livelihood, which left neither time nor  money for English journeyings. The Twenties passed thus and my calling took me abroad during  the Thirties; the second war brought me back, but its bans and duties hindered travel. When I was  fifty, then, though I knew mainland Europe well, I had not been much further north in England than  St. Albans, some sixty-five miles from the south coast. For six years I had mourned the  invigorating life of travel, which the war ended, and not known that beneath my feet was the most  exciting land of all, unknown and unexplored.  When the fighting ceased the outer world remained, in large part, closed to the traveller, unless he  were free of all ties, so that his path was limited. I began perforce to unfurl the Great North Road  and other ancient highways, and suddenly England opened like some enthralling book, left unread.  I am glad these journeys were so belated, because I now had an invaluable travelling companion: a  standard of comparison. I instinctively set everything I saw against memories of other countries,  peoples, cities and times, so that the picture I gained was stereoscopic, not the flat one which meets  the home-bound wayfarer.  When I went through Durham coalfields I saw the now ruined Ruhr and when I looked down from  the great suspension bridge on the teeming Tyne I thought of the havoc of Hamburg. The miners  and dockers I met were much like those I knew, in the clouding Thirties, in Germany, but the  twentieth century had not yet wreaked its devil’s will on them (I do not primarily mean by this  war’s ruination). When I watched men building some pretentious edifice for the Ministry of this-or-  that I recalled the Socialist obsession with such places in Germany and Austria of the Twenties:  where were they now? An old timbered farm-house and cattle knee-deep in the meadows reminded  me of Holstein or Oldenburg; an unexpectedly fir-clad hillside, of Thuringia; a sleepy residential  town, of Austria in the old days, when there was a future; a piece of flat fenland, of the road  between Budapest and Belgrade.  All these scenes, set against the picture of spiritual ruination that I carried in my mind, merged into  one overwhelming thought: that our country is the only great one left, in the two-thousand-year-old  area of Christian civilisation, that survives almost unscathed; is still free to make or mar its future;  and may yet build better on those good foundations. All the others are ruined houses or half-ruined  ones on a landslip’s edge. Russia, which moved towards the light of liberty thirty years ago, has  been driven back behind a black Asiatic despotism. In Germany the achievements of centuries lie  beneath a shambles guarded by disputing victors who forbid repair or renewal. Austria is but a tiny  name on the map. France for a century and a half has been a soul in purgatory. Nothing remains but  the British island and the final decision, for better or worse, which its example will bring.  I saw in England, not native weakness, but massive strength below surface confusion. I met people  who had suffered bereavement; looking across the Channel they lamented the futility of war. I  thought them wrong: while England remained free, all their loved ones’ hopes could yet be  fulfilled, and England was not yet quite enslaved. Its plight was that which Emerson observed a  century ago: ‘I see England, in her old age, not decrepit, but still young and daring to believe in her  power of endurance … Seeing this, I say, “All hail! Mother of nations, mother of heroes, with  strength still equal to the time. So be it.” If it be not so, if the courage of England goes with the  chances of a commercial crisis, I will go back to the Capes of Massachusetts and to my own Indian  stream and say to my own countrymen, “The old race are all gone, and the elasticity and hope of  mankind must henceforth remain on the Alleghany Ranges, or nowhere.”‘  Or nowhere. What was built in Europe in 1900 years, and has been almost destroyed since 1914,  cannot be transplanted to the Alleghanies. If England were now to fail, I think a great horror and  darkness would come on the Christian world for many centuries.  Had a man from Mars accompanied me, he would have smiled at any misgivings, for the outward  scene of England was fair and reassuring. The most enchanting thing was the revival of the  countryside. In earlier books I often mourned the decay of the land. Coming from the European  mainland, where wastelands were rare, the grey expanses of thistle and tussock, the dilapidated  farm-houses and barns, were alarming. They were in part the price we paid for the labourer’s flight  from field to factory; in another part, that of our great merchant navy, which an island nation must  have to survive, but which may return from foreign ports with food cheaper than the island farmer  can grow; this problem is still to be solved.  To me, coming from Germany in the Thirties, those wastelands held the threat of starvation in war,  but they disappeared in the years of siege, and in the Forties the countryside I saw was that of the  old prints again, green, brown and gold, but never grey. Good had sprung from evil in this matter.  The pleasant land was back again, and though I have found beauty in all countries I think none  matches England when the countryside thrives.  The second of three enchantments, which I discovered, was the improved look of the people, a  thing to gladden a man who knew England before. Returning in the Thirties, from the mainland  where war loomed, the physical state of our folk seemed alarmingly inferior to that of the Germans.  I quoted in pre-war books what C.E. Montague wrote in Disenchantment:   ‘… Battalions of colourless, stunted, half-toothless lads from hot, humid Lancashire  mills; battalions of slow-staring faces, gargoyles out of the tragical-comical-  historical-pastoral edifice of modern English rural life; Dominion battalions of men  startlingly taller, stronger, handsomer, prouder, firmer in nerve, better-schooled,  more boldly interested in life, quicker to take means to an end and to parry and  counter any new blow of circumstance, men who had learned already to look at our  men with the half-curious, half-pitying look of a higher, happier caste at a lower …  Perhaps the undersized boys from our slums and the underwitted boys from the  “agricultural, residential and sporting estates” of our auctioneers’ advertisements  would get to their goal, the spirit wresting prodigies of valour out of the wronged  flesh….’  True, when Montague wrote it in 1915 and when I quoted it in the Thirties. How good it is to be  able to write ten years later that it is not true. It was an abiding joy to travel the Great North Road,  the spine of England, and see the change for the better in the young people. The slow-staring, the  slow-witted, the stunted, adenoidal, toothless and rickety are vanishing. It is lovely today to see the  boys and girls from factories, shops and offices hiking and biking about England. They can well  compare with ‘Dominion battalions’ now (oddly, I had a strong optical impression in the second  war that Australian and New Zealand physical standards had somewhat declined).  I pondered the causes for this striking improvement and decided the main one must be better  housing. This was the third of the three enchantments. I remember from my youth the unhealthy  and overcrowded homes of the century’s beginning. Where I grew up, in a London suburb, I was  but a few hundred yards from the first fields. Today a man living in the same house must walk two  hours to reach them; a belt of the same thickness, right round London, was filled with new houses  between the wars, and the same thing happened, on a smaller scale, in other cities.  Probably a third or quarter of the population lives today in those houses. That means, roughly, that  between ten and fifteen million people today have airy bedrooms, gardens, bathrooms and healthy  surroundings, who lacked those things before 1914. In those houses, between i925 and 1935, were  born the babies that grew into the young people I saw in the Forties.  That, I think, must be the greatest single cause of the improvement. The jerry-builder may have  done more for the health of England than even the medical officers of health (though advances in  medicine obviously helped greatly) and now, when a new government seeks to exterminate him, a  new threat to England’s future health may be rising. The Forties showed me I was wrong when, in  those anxious Thirties, I railed against the jerry-builder and his ribbon-building. I reckoned without  the home-making genius of the English when I wrote of ‘new slums’ being hastily thrown up. I  make a hobby of suburbs and studied them in Vienna, Dresden, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw. In  England in the Forties I found that the ribbon-building of the Thirties had produced the most  attractive suburbs I ever saw. I recall none excelling them in cleanliness, spaciousness and the  beauty of homeliness.  Obviously other things helped to the improvement in looks and health. People understand hygiene  better. They do not use the bath to keep coals in, if they have a bath. Mothers no longer quieten  their babies with rubber-suckers dipped in an open pot of honey, kept in the baby-carriage for the  flies to feed on. The films may have helped: they showed the youngsters a high physical type which  prompted emulation, even if it by no means represented the average American. Moreover, these  young people of the Forties were the babies of the cynical Twenties and frightened Thirties;  physically, at least, these pre-natal and childhood influences had not hurt them.  Thus truth in the Thirties was no longer true in the Forties. The two wars left us with a reviving  countryside, improved health and a housing situation which, if it were not capriciously interfered  with, would soon be better than that of any other land.  However, the spirit counts, and while these three improvements were good to see, one could not  assess how much they meant. I recalled similar improvements in Germany between the wars. In  those days the people who make wars gave a false picture; they said the growing German  generation was undermined by the ravages of the first war. It was not true, as British soldiers who  later met those Germans on the battlefields, and British girls who cast admiring glances at German  prisoners, have learned. The Germans were physically fine; given a bad government, this availed  them nothing. Given good leadership, a nation physically poor may survive. Lord Montgomery, at  the Guildhall in 1946, said:   ‘The Industrial Revolution did its best to ruin our spirit, but the desperate struggle  for existence in the slums of Britain appears to have mentally toughened at the same  time as it physically stunted the people. Economic oppression has not broken the  spirit of the Briton. It has produced the Glasgow Scot, the lad from Lancashire, the  man from the Midlands, the London Cockney and with such men as these all things  are possible. Once set in motion they are unbeatable.’  In the land I discovered the wronged flesh had recovered; it was ridding itself of the ailments of  tooth, limb and lung bequeathed to it by the rise of the slums and factories and the decline of the  countryside. Just as the physical ordeal ended, however, a new government began a new attack on  the spirit, through ‘economic oppression’. England moved towards new trials. The tough spirit had  once overcome physical suffering; perhaps now the toughened body would help repel the onslaught  on the spirit.  The England I saw had survived, not only the two wars, but something more lethal: the Industrial  Revolution killed more than warfare. Looking at England in the Forties I foresaw that, if England  remained free, there would come a factory civilisation, as admirable in its field as the civilisations  of the countryside and the churches. In my youth the word factory meant dirt, darkness, and the  diseases of these. Now, as I passed through the new factory areas of the great cities, with their bold,  spacious architecture, their lawns and sports fields, their wide highways and healthy populations, I  foresaw a happy aftermath to the grim Industrial Revolution, as to so much that once seemed evil in  England’s story – provided that the land stayed free.  It was like a journey through a lost country suddenly restored. For six years England lay buried  beneath the litter of war. No corner was free from the machines, and armies. Men from other lands  swarmed into it in millions and put their own impress on it, so that an Englishman was almost a  stranger in it. Now, like the melting of snow, this all cleared away and beneath was the same aged  England, carrying its ancient history like a laden galleon in a storm, wearing its ancient grace like  the Cutty Sark her sails.  I chanced into Deal, and saw men preparing a memorial to an invasion: not the one the townspeople  saw beaten off in 1940, but the successful one of Julius Caesar 2000 years ago! Romans, Normans,  Spaniards, Frenchmen, Germans: England had survived them all, and I felt its deep-rooted, oaken  strength when I thought of the desolation that is Europe now. I went along the Great North Road,  which the Romans built, or rebuilt. Alongside it were the tracks of the armies that assembled for the  invasion of 1944; already the grass grew over them, the countryman went quietly to his work, the  gaffer to his inn. I found a town which I knew only from a line in Shakespeare: ‘How a good yoke  of bullocks at Stamford Fair?’ Hidden in the heart of England, it was a lovely place; had it been in  France or Italy the curious would have come far to see it. From a high road I looked on distant  Durham Cathedral; it sits in a deep bowl among hills, yet by some art of its builder seems to  dominate them. It spoke of a thousand years of gradual human progress; I thought of Dresden and  Cologne.  In discovering my native land I lost some of the hunger to resume foreign journeys, not only  because it was so lovely, but because it was the one which now was to say Yes or No to the  question of the twentieth century: Christendom or slavery, liberty or death. If it broke under the  strain, which would not relax until it won or surrendered, a book now nearly two thousand years  old would be closed, and Europe would face long travail through an enshadowed vale to a new  dawn ages hence.  Nations are not as a whole conscious, though a few people always are, of the great climaxes in their  lives. The England I discovered was unafraid of threatening doom and unaware of the way of  deliverance; it saw neither. I shall always carry with me a picture of peaceful and sunlit oblivion  from Sussex.  In England of the twentieth century we only have fine summers when a black cloud hangs between  us and the sun. The magnificent summer of 1940 could not warm a man’s heart who knew the  menace. The even better one of 1947 was darkened by the acts of a government which the gods  might have made mad. One day in that time I found a bathing-pool in Sussex, a place enclosed by  shrubs and trees so that it was as separate from the world as a monastery in Tibet. I loved the  bathers, their happiness, their looks, their unawareness of the black cloud.  I found there the kind of people who make England unique. There was an old gentleman, or young  man, of sixty-two, who in Toronto in 1907 heard Lord Roberts say that any youngster who wanted  to be ready when The Day came would be welcomed by the British Army. This ageless youngster  immediately crossed the Atlantic, thereafter serving until 1945. In the second war he went twice  round the world as ship’s sergeant-major, and was ready to put his age back twenty years for  anything new that might come along, in war or peace. He had no complaints, fears or regrets. Then  there was a youngster fresh from the army who could not swim, but could keep afloat for three  strokes on his back. He enviously watched the bathers hurtling down the chute into ten feet of water  and calmly calculated that his three strokes might just take him to the side, if he did not drown. He  tried this forthwith, just escaping suffocation. It was a most courageous victory of the spirit over the  flesh.  I climbed the high board. It was but twenty feet, but I found that, up there, bathers, pool and  enclosing hedge slipped away and the world opened. It might have been as tall as the Eiffel Tower,  so remote was it from the busy scene below. England stretched for miles in every direction, golden  with wheat, still, drowsy in the sun.  I looked down at the bathers, the old gentleman and the young one, and then at the broad prospect  around. Ah, lovely people, I thought, and lovely land, and still this black cloud that began in 1914:  you have not escaped it yet. You still have to beat the twentieth century and your enemies; you are  the last defenders and this is the last citadel. May you win through again, as uncomprehendingly as  before.  Then I dived back to them.  ***                              PART THREE    THE SMOTHER: 1945 – 1950                                            Chapter One  NOR NEVER SHALL …  In July of 1945 I began a protracted nightmare: a book I thought done with long ago stood up, took  legs, ran after me and forced me to write it all over again. In the moment of victory a British  Government began to inflict on my own country all the penalties of defeat which a conquering  Hitler would have imposed, and to set up in England, stage by stage, the regime I had watched  Hitler build in Germany. Thus the sequel to Insanity Fair, after ten years, is in fact Insanity Fair  again.  I have shown the physical picture of England after the second war, as I saw it. It was strong and  firmly founded, the countryside throve, public health was greatly improved, and but for the war’s  damage and delays there would have been no housing problem; the one which remained would  quickly have been overtaken had the building of the Thirties been resumed. The social gaps which  angered men of my generation were greatly diminished. The money qualification, which closed the  exclusive schools, and consequently the professions and services, to the unmoneyed youth and girl,  was much reduced.[21] I never saw a land where a free man had a more hopeful future than the  England saved by a few fighting-men in 1940. In 1945 its elected government began to destroy  freedom and the hope of a future.   Snap Election  The election of July 1945 in its results much resembled the Reichstag fire. A free parliament needs  contending parties which alternate in office. A Socialist victory in normal conditions would have  been health-giving for England; it would have tested the Socialists by giving them the  responsibility of government, and have invigorated the Opposition. Only by this competitive  process can free institutions survive. But this was not a normal time because parliament’s authority  was in fact in suspense. The wartime government ruled through ‘emergency powers’, taken ‘to win  the war’. A Socialist victory before those powers were given back to the country opened the way to  that bourne from which no nation in the twentieth century has returned: dictatorship, which in  practice means imprisonment, impoverishment and destitution.  The weary fighting-man and civilian alike calculated, quite simply, that ‘it’s time the other party  had a chance’. They saw no warning in Russia or Germany, did not believe that ‘emergency  powers’ were dangerous, and walked into the spider’s parlour. The first majority Socialist  Government immediately prolonged these dictatorial powers for five years of peace. They derived  straight from the Reichstag fire, which Hitler used to paralyse Parliament in Germany and to  prepare a war, in the name of which they were introduced in England. The still unbroken curse  which fell on Germany in the night of February 27th, 1933, in July 1945 spread its shadow to the  English coast.  ‘Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom; it is the argument of tyrants and  the creed of slaves,’ said William Pitt as the enlightened nineteenth century dawned. In opposition  the Socialist leaders had often echoed this warning. Foreseeing what would happen in 1945, I  quoted in All Our Tomorrows (1942) Mr. Attlee’s words of 1937:   ‘In the necessities of modern warfare there is at once a great danger and a great  opportunity. There is a danger lest under the excuse of organising the nation for  defence and security, liberty may be destroyed and the Corporate State introduced.  The greater the danger, the greater the opportunity, of persuading the people to  accept all kinds of restrictions.’  To that I appended, in 1942, my own comment: ‘How clearly, they see the dangers, when they are  in opposition! How gladly they profit from the opportunity, when they are in office. Mr. Attlee, and  many another Labour leader who was in opposition with him when he spoke, today draw tighter  and tighter the bonds which they have helped to put on the British people. Will they urge for them  to be struck off, when “the necessities of warfare” are past? They already speak of the need for the  continuance of “control” after the war … These men seem more avid for autocratic power than Lord  Hardface and Colonel Portgout. But these are “necessities of warfare”. Well, then, let that be the  test. Mr. Attlee formerly perceived the danger, clearly enough, that such powers might be retained  and misused. I commend vigilant citizens to watch how far politicians, of both parties, are ready to  go, after this war, in fulfilling the promise to restore the liberties that were taken away.’  Under these prolonged ‘emergency powers’ of the war England was ruled by ‘defence regulations’;  that is, by the arbitrary orders of various ministers, not discussed in Parliament. The ‘defence  regulations’ were used by the Socialist Government against the liberties they were supposed to  protect. Once in power, the politicians of our century always behave as if some memory-killing  drug were given them. They forget, or turn their backs on, what they declared before: that even if  their own intentions are good they cannot say what future use will be made of these despotic  powers, since they themselves may fall ill, die, or be overthrown. They are a knife held at the  country’s throat and the men who hold it do not know whose hands may seize it next.  The edicts which ministers do live after them. The Socialist ministers blithely began to recreate in  England the ruinous shape of Germany in the Thirties. The end, to my mind, was beyond doubt. If  they were not checked, England in the Fifties would look like Germany now.  Their other first acts were ominous. They increased the salaries of Members of Parliament from  £600 to £1000 a year (and later stubbornly resisted the suggestion that these should be cut when all  else was being cut). Ministers prolonged for themselves the ‘emergency’ practice of using publicly  paid motor cars, which in effect meant an even more substantial addition. The confiscatory taxes of  the ‘emergency’ were continued, but £4000 of the Prime Minister’s salary was exempted from tax,  which meant that he received an annual sum impossible otherwise to earn in England.  These self-made awards and reliefs reminded me of the Nazi leaders, swarming round the fleshpots  in 1933 as freedom died. When the Socialists sang the ‘Red Flag’ in Parliament, and their women  colleagues put on red dresses, I heard the Horst Wessel song and saw brownshirts.  On this government lay a heavier responsibility than on any other I remember. Twentieth-century  Europe could recover from a barbarian interlude in Russia, from two or more German collapses,  from the disappearance of Austria, from the chronic sickness of France, only if England remained  free. The Socialist Government began to imprison England; it behaved as if it were the first  Socialist Government of all time, anywhere, and England a newly created island. Yet prudence  demanded a careful step between the pitfalls where the corpses of all other Socialist governments  mouldered. Everywhere else the earlier Socialists dug their own and their countries’ graves;  everywhere they had played in politics the part of him who gets slapped. In Russia the long dream  of ‘the working classes’ seemed in the Kerensky Government of 1917 at last fulfilled; it survived  but an instant and was buried beneath a worse tyranny than any; Kerensky’s fate should have stood  before Mr. Attlee like a red light; his government’s actions indicated that he had never heard of  Kerensky. In Germany, Austria, Italy, the period of Socialist power or importance led to the same  end. In France it dwindled into the ignominious collapse of 1940.  In one important matter the Attlee Government resembled Hitler’s first cabinet of twelve ministers,  of whom only three were Nazis. For the delusion of Germany and the world the other nine were  non-party bankers, conservative politicians, professional diplomats and non-political economists.  This respectable façade offered deceptive reassurance. Similarly the frontal figures of the Attlee  Government were men, some rough and some polished, who could not be suspected of evil  intentions. Attlee, Bevin, Morrison: these older men were Englishmen and had sworn hatred of  dictatorship on a thousand platforms. When Churchill cried ‘‘Ware dictatorship!’ the cartoonists  hastened to show Mr. Attlee in Gestapo uniform, and John Citizen chuckled. How ludicrous to  suggest that this modest, home-loving man, with his comely wife and agreeable children, could  deliver his country to such a fate!  John Citizen forgot, or more likely never knew, that politicians in office apparently become the  victims of forces they cannot control, so that the only safeguard against their capitulation is to deny  them ‘emergency powers’ and keep their acts constantly under public audit. In two years the Attlee  Government did very much towards the ruin of England.   Nine Months of Doubt  Its first winter, that of 1945-46, was a period of suspense. Bored overseas soldiers, impatient to be  gone, loitered in the battered city; rain drizzled on the miry debris; placards, ‘Vote for Labour and  Prosperity’, sadly peeled from the hoardings. Revival from the war was prevented by ‘defence  regulations’. The human instinct to rebuild was suppressed; all repairs, renewals, new building or  fresh enterprise were forbidden save under licence. The great army of officials feeding and  breeding on paper, which I have shown in formation during the fighting, swelled daily.  The British islander tranquilly submitted. After the first war life had revived like crops after a  storm; food and goods quickly reappeared and prices fell as supplies multiplied; human energy,  unchained, produced the healthier and well-housed England I found in 1945-47. The islander had  expected this to happen again, but he remained unsuspecting when it did not. The Government said  these vetoes were necessary to A Plan for Prosperity; well, he would wait and see.[22]  I think now that the ministers of the façade did not know where they were going during the first  nine months, and that those behind, who clearly knew what they wanted, prepared their strategy in  this time. By April 1946 I, at least, saw clearly what was coming and found myself more alone than  I was when I wrote Insanity Fair in perceiving the blindingly obvious. The great Plan was not a  new one to bring England to prosperity by untried paths; it was the age-old one of reducing a free  nation to serfdom.   The Plan Takes Shape  With my experience I could not mistake the signs and they became clear when a sudden clamour  began for the removal of the Food Minister, one Sir Ben Smith, and the word ‘bread-rationing’ was  uttered. There are no great independent editors now, and I doubt if there remains one who discerns  the purposes to which his own columns are put. Through anonymous ‘political correspondents’ the  cry abruptly arose in all newspapers[23] that Sir Ben Smith’s failure to give the British housewife  more powdered eggs was intolerable. Sir Ben Smith was portrayed as an incompetent minister who  stood between the population and the return of plenty; the afflictions which promptly followed his  removal indicate the real motives for it. He belonged to the façade of benevolent Socialists in  whom ruthless ambitions could not be suspected, and he held an all-important post. His  displacement was necessary for the great stroke which ensued. He was a symbol, immensely  significant and entirely uncomprehended by the British people.  The inspired attacks on him also recommended a successor, who was duly appointed. This was the  Mr. John Strachey who once, in a Viennese café, joined me in cursing ‘the Nazis’ and their deeds.  At various times in his career he had been a Conservative, an Independent Labourist, an associate  of Sir Oswald Mosley in the short-lived ‘New Party’, and a champion of Communism; he was now  a Socialist minister.[24] He immediately announced bread-rationing, saying in a broadcast that such  a thing ‘must never happen again’. It was the first of a long series of tormenting inflictions.  The date, July 21st, 1946, should count with the future historian as the birth of the dictatorship in  England; I hope he may be able to record that a later miracle of Dunkirk brought our salvation. It  began the process of torture which the Chinese call the death by a thousand cuts. Mr. Churchill saw  this, crying: ‘Evidently what we are asked to do is not to acquiesce in the announcement of the  imposition of bread-rationing with the various scales set out, but in the setting up of machinery  which will enable it to be screwed down and geared down with every variation in the gravity of the  situation.’ The Socialists roared ‘Rubbish’ and were jubilant at this decision to deny The People  bread.[25]  Bread-tickets, as I knew from observation abroad, are the recognisable keystone of dictatorship, a  word which means starvation, destitution and imprisonment brought about by governmental action.  Without them, the edifice can never be built. Their importance is that no man can be starved if he  may freely buy bread, while if he cannot, his submission to every decree can be enforced by  denying it to him. That is probably the reason why ‘our daily bread’ is the only material want  expressed in the most famous Christian prayer. We never had bread-tickets in England before, even  in war. They were only previously known, in peace, in Soviet Russia.  The ministers of the façade appeared to be men struggling against forces they did not comprehend.  Their retreat can be traced. Mr. Herbert Morrison, on May 17th, 1946 (in Washington, inevitably),  said he did not want to introduce bread-rationing in England ‘if I can help it; it does not smell good  to me’. Yet by May 31st (in England) he praised it as ‘the beginning of a new phase, the phase of  worldwide mobilisation of all food resources to win the peace’. Bread-rationing was presented to  the British islander as the result of ‘a world wheat famine’, particularly in America, and when the  wheat harvest there proved the most abundant ever known, two other shadowy ministers, Lord  Addison and Mr. Mallalieu, pathetically foretold that it would soon end. They little knew.   The Source of Bread-Cards  I have mentioned that Mr. Morrison’s promise not to introduce bread-tickets ‘if I can help it’ was  made in Washington. The British bread-card was first displayed there by the new Food Minister. In  earlier times such things would have been inconceivable. It now appears that bread-rationing was  decreed by one of the shadow-departments of the future World Government set up there, as  President Roosevelt’s day ended, under the name of ‘The United Nations Organisation’. The  British islander is to this day unaware of what happened; under rule-by-defence-regulation he  remains always ignorant of such matters.  During the war a ‘Combined Food Board’ was set up in America to husband and pool the food-  resources of the war-making allies. With death infesting the seas, this was reasonable; the war over,  its disappearance would have been equally logical. Instead, the ‘CFB’ was supplanted by the  ‘IEFC’ (International Emergency Food Council’), a subsidiary of ‘UNO’. The initials and the  emergency were to go on for ever. Mr. Strachey (in Washington) said: ‘The setting-up of this body  is absolutely essential.’  It took me nine months to learn what powers ‘this body’ wielded over the British islander, and what  obligations the British Government, in his name but without informing him, had undertaken to it.  The matter was never debated in Parliament. A private application to the Ministry of Food for a  copy of IEFC’s constitution was refused in the words, ‘The document … is not available to the  general public’. I eventually saw a copy, however. One clause reads: ‘Each member government  must give an undertaking that it will put itself in a position to implement all recommendations  which it has accepted, seeking special national action when necessary.’  This appears the first instance in free British history of the surrender of ‘sovereignty’, and bread-  cards in Britain (‘special national action’) were the first consequence. The meaning of ‘abolishing  national sovereignty’ may thus one day become clear to our people. The transaction was apparently  completed by a simple stroke-of-pen, under ‘defence regulations’.[26]  From the moment bread-rationing began no doubt could remain in the mind of an observer like  myself, familiar through long experience with the processes by which nations are enslaved, of the  future course. The Socialist Government was not a united band of liberty-loving brothers, as its  frontal leaders claimed, devoted to those promises of the Atlantic Charter, ‘freedom from fear and  freedom from want’. Henceforth every governmental measure was penal against the British people  and designed to implant fear by threatening want. Unless these people cried ‘Hold, enough!’ they  would come under total dictatorship; the methods were those practised in Russia and Germany, and  if they were continued the end would not be different.   The Frontal Façade  The ministers of the façade seemed, and perhaps were, as helpless to steer a prudent course as the  nine non-Nazi ministers in Hitler’s first twelve. Mr. Attlee, a somewhat dim figure, in office  became vaguer. His voice occasionally cried, from thickening darkness, ‘Put your shoulders to the  wheel.’ Another great parliament-man, Mr. Herbert Morrison, was ‘Lord President of the Council’,  but his health was not good and he was long absent, ill. Mr. Ernest Bevin, Foreign Minister, was  away for months in America, Russia and France, battling with other huge forces. He was physically  and seemed spiritually big, but his health, too, was doubtful, and he was under constant attack from  the powerful group in his own party which desired British weakness and ‘Soviet power’. These  leading figures of the old ‘British Labour Movement’ gave their names to the process of Hitlerist or  Stalinist ruination, but power to prevent it may have been slipping from them.  Under ‘emergency powers’ power becomes irresponsible, like a high-tension cable cut loose. When  individual ministers may do this or that by signing a paper, without submitting it to Parliament, the  doctrine of collective governmental responsibility collapses and the limits of departmental authority  become blurred. It becomes possible for some ministers to cut into the fields of others and even to  intervene in matters of the highest State policy, so that no cohesive government or collective  governmental policy remain.  Alongside the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Lord President and similar frontal figures arose  others, nominally junior but in reality more powerful. In Hitler’s first cabinet Göring was merely  ‘Minister without portfolio’, yet his ‘shoot-first’ order and concentration camps settled the fate of  Germany. In Mr. Attlee’s government were ministers whom England never knew before in peace:  one for ‘Food’, one for ‘Fuel and Power’, one for ‘Housing’ (though nominally ‘for Health’).  Formerly this island merely had food, firing, light and houses. That any government should  intercept the supply of these things, or abolish the citizen’s free right to them, was something, evil  and inconceivable, that belonged to the time before the serfs were liberated.  Now the Minister ‘for Food’ proved to be for rationing, that is, against food; the one ‘for Fuel and  Power’ did not increase and cheapen heat and light, but ‘rationed’ them under penalties such as  some bold, bad baron might have laid on stick-gathering cottagers; the one ‘for Housing’ forbade  men to build houses, ‘rationed’ bricks, mortar and timber, and punished the offender against these  vetoes.  These three new ministries, the names of which promised so fair, reached dictator’s hands into  every home in the land. The citizen could look for no succour from such superior officers as the  Prime Minister or Lord President when these inferior governors assumed ‘emergency powers’.   Beginnings of Anarchy  ‘What was he doing, the great god Pan’ (asked the nineteenth-century poet) ‘down in the reeds by  the river? Spreading ruin and scattering ban….’  In 1946 the great god Plan began to spread ruin and scatter ban, down by the river Thames. The  semi-anarchic period of rule by ministerial edict under ‘defence regulations’ gathered speed.[27] The  governmental ‘We’ fell into disuse, and ministers used the personal pronoun in announcing  measures resembling those of the Hitlerist leaders. These actions often went far outside their  nominal field of authority and into that of national policy. The Minister ‘for Fuel and Power’, in the  bitter winter of 1946-47, not only forbade people to heat their dwellings; he forbade ‘weekly  periodicals’ to appear.[28] He reimposed the wartime blackout, a symbolically evil thing, at a cost in  nuisance and gloom much greater than the niggling economy. He darkened Big Ben’s clock-face,  too, at a saving in power-cost computed at a shilling an hour! This seemed another symbolic act,  for the value of Big Ben’s gleaming visage is incalculable in cash; I remember my joy when I saw  that jovial yellow countenance reappear, smiling, over London as ‘victory’ approached.  The Minister ‘for Food’ did things of equally grave political implication, within his sovereign  empowerment. In December 1946 a man in Birmingham, for whom three doctors had prescribed  two ounces of fat daily, was refused this by the local ‘Food Officer’ (acting ‘in accordance with the  recommendations of the Minister’s Medical Advisers’) and immediately died. Questioned in  Parliament, the Minister said such applications for extra food were automatically referred to a  ‘Special Diets Advisory Committee’ attached to his ministry. He did not know how often it met, its  eleven members included no general practitioner, and none of them ever saw the patients concerned  (doctors in private practice have been struck off the Medical Register for giving medical certificates  without seeing patients). The Minister (not a medical man) said this patient ‘died of inoperable  cancer’ and his ‘advisers’ (who had not seen the sufferer) ‘informed me that the grant or refusal of  an extra fat ration can have no influence whatever upon the course of this tragic disease’. He added,  in the personal pronoun, ‘I could not possibly change the system’.  This seemed to me to be drawing near to the theory of ‘mercy-killings’, in the ill-name of which  Germans were then being sentenced.[29] The movement in this direction was evil, though not  surprising, since the Father of British Socialism, the great Friend of Man in the twentieth century,  not long before, in a letter to The Times, had recommended ‘State-contrived euthanasia for all idiots  and intolerable nuisances’ (Mr. Shaw humanely proposed, however, that these mercy-killings  should occur in ‘a quite comfortable lethal chamber’.)   The Régime of the Three Ministries  After bread-rationing began the British island thus moved towards rule, less by the Prime Minister  and government, and more by the new Ministers ‘for’ Food, Fuel and Power, and Housing (or  Health). Plainly, if the citizen’s birthright were to be abolished in these vital matters, his  submission would also be enforced, under ‘defence regulations’. By January 1947 there were 380  ‘Food Enforcement Officers’ whose powers of entry and search, according to a London magistrate,  ‘exceed those of the police in cases of murder’. This information was elicited in Parliament after a  police-court case which showed that a ‘sanitary inspector’, bound on some investigation of his own,  entered an empty dwelling, found some stale bread and fetched his ‘Food Enforcement’ colleague,  who happily discovered An Offence. An early martyr of this regime was the nervous woman clerk  who tried to destroy a mildewed crust on an office gas-ring and burned herself to death.  For the moment these powers were temperately used, but the menace was clear: the first shadow of  the secret police spread over England.[30] At the 1945 election Mr. Churchill warned the country of  this and was derided, the hack-writers crying that such cries of ‘Wolf’ were worth many votes to  the Socialists.  When the bitter winter came the Minister ‘for Fuel and Power’ followed the Food Minister’s lead.  The citizen’s right to warm his home was suspended; to enforce this ban ‘Fuel Enforcement  Officers’ were appointed.[31] In March 1947 melting snows swelled the rivers and flooded many  areas. A woman of Halifax, whose bridal home was flooded three weeks before her wedding day,  used electric heat to dry it when the water ebbed. A ‘Fuel Enforcement Officer’ entered the empty  house and found the raw material of his parasitic livelihood: An Offence. She was fined £10 for  ‘using electricity during prohibited hours’.  The Minister ‘for Health’ (and Housing) extended the new system. Macaulay, a century ago,  pictured ‘some traveller from New Zealand, in the midst of a vast solitude, taking his stand on a  broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s’. In 1947 London Bridge was not yet  fallen down and St. Paul’s still proudly stood, but there were unmended ruins enough in London  and on one in High Holborn I saw a placard of the Borough Council inviting citizens to inform on  any neighbour whom they suspected of carrying out ‘unauthorised’ repairs. To me it looked like the  hateful notice of a foreign conqueror; it might have been headed ‘Achtung’ and have been signed  ‘Der Stadtkommandantur’. This spirit would ruin London, and England, quicker than any foreign  invader.  In February 1947 the Prime Minister, questioned, said seventeen of his Ministers, and, their  subordinates everywhere, now had power to authorise inspections and investigations involving  entry into private houses and premises without a magistrate’s warrant, although only nine of these  were ‘at present’ authorised to carry out such enterprises. Thus the shadow lengthened.  This pest spreads quickly, once the germ is let loose by government. Six hundred years ago the spy-  informer was hated in England. Chaucer, Piers Plowman, Wycliffe and Gower joined in loathing  these ‘summoners’ who collected evil reports from neighbours and hailed the victims before  ecclesiastical courts. They were the minions of an arrogant Church then; these creatures will serve  any master who pays them, whether Church or State, in any age. They chiefly caused the Peasants’  Revolt of 1381. Three hundred years later Cromwell brought them to England again; the hatred he  ultimately enjoyed was largely due to them. Reptilian by nature, they are always just below the  surface, waiting to be used. I saw them build the Gestapo State in Germany. In England, in 1947, a  Chief Constable ‘appealed to private citizens to inform the police of any instances which come to  their notice of wastage of electricity by householders … Names and addresses will have to be given,  but they will be treated as confidential by the police’.  In the name of ‘a world food crisis’, ‘a severe winter’ and ‘Planning’, the great humane  achievements of centuries were thus attacked and nearly ruined. Two hundred years ago William  Pitt said: ‘The poorest man in his cottage may bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be  frail – the storm may enter – but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the  threshold of the ruined tenement.’ Proud words of the eighteenth century tossed away in the  twentieth!   The Treasury’s Hand  The three new ministries which set the pace in this movement towards dictatorship were supported  by others: the Treasury and the Board of Trade, which worked together to empty the public pocket  and to prevent trade. The money-power, especially, was against the British islander.  The mysterious ‘Treasury’ appears now to be almost a separate government, able in various  directions to thwart proclaimed State policy. It might be easier to search for something it cannot do  than to discover what its powers are. In 1938 it produced that Sir Horace Wilson, ‘Chief Economic  Adviser to the Cabinet’, who was hardly known to the British public, yet accompanied Mr.  Chamberlain to Munich and there ‘handed the Czechoslovak representatives a map on which the  areas of Czechoslovakia were outlined which were immediately to be occupied by Germany. To  Dr. Mazarjik’s objections he replied twice, formally, that he had nothing to add to his statements,  and he paid no attention to our remarks about towns and districts that were important to  Czechoslovakia. He then left the room’ (see Disgrace Abounding).  The British ultimatum to Czechoslovakia and the Reichstag fire remain the decisive events, for  worse, of this century; the ultimatum destroyed the last hope that Germany would destroy Hitler.  Today the interventions of ‘the Treasury’ seem as mysterious as then. It is able, for instance, at will  to nullify the proclaimed policy of the Foreign or the Defence Minister. Mr. Bevin, alone among  the leading Socialists, appeared to have freedom in his blood. In 1946 he said his foreign policy  was ‘to go down to Victoria Station and go where the hell I like without a passport or anything  else’. The words contained a whiff of refreshing truth more powerful than Carlyle’s whiff of  grapeshot. Moreover, by his efforts some of the barriers-between-peoples were cast down. The  pettifogging ‘visa’ was in several cases abolished; travel became simpler; a small corner of the free  life we last knew in 1914 appeared again.  ‘The Treasury’ effortlessly cancelled his work by refusing the citizen money for such journeys. The  Board of Trade launched thunderbolt-like bans on foreign trade which upset foreign relationships.  The Foreign Minister was like a captain on a bridge from beneath which the ship had slipped. Both  these ministries recruited their shadow-secret-police. The quaint duty of ‘The Treasury’s’  Prevention Officers was to stop gold and valuables from entering, as well as from leaving, this  island. Soon at the seaports, airports and railway stations were endless disrobings and probings,  lengthening queues of travellers who awaited these inquisitions. I had seen it all before: in  Germany.  As 1947 passed the British island began to take the shape of a sea-girt concentration camp. If the  powers of the new ministries continued to grow, and their supporters in the government and  government-party to increase, the British future was plainly like to be that which Mr. Strachey  desired in 1937: ‘a free republic of an at first European and later worldwide Union of Soviet  Republics’. Its freedom would be as wide, its republicanism as pure as those of Poland; its people  would be as proud as galley-slaves and as happy as serfs. It would have to learn anew that the  hunger for liberty exceeds the body’s need for food. It would have to begin its ancient struggle all  over again.   Those Who Would Not See  If this dark end should come, the future student would interminably ask why the free British  islander suffered such an intolerable and unnecessary fate. He had not the excuse of the oppressed  Russians in 1917, that they thought a tyranny was being ended, or the motive of the defeated  Germans in 1933, that they thought they could at a second attempt win a lost war. He was free,  victorious, and his island was in good shape.  I wonder how the future historian will explain something which a contemporary cannot. In the belly  of a well-fed man there is no pang of hunger, and among these freemen, during these months, I  could detect no active craving for liberty. I met some who were alarmed, more who were not.  Hardly any understood the pattern of events or related them to happenings elsewhere in these thirty  years; nearly all thought of them as quite separate from anything that had gone before or might  come after, and as something confined to the British island. Only a very few saw the whole process  of the twentieth century, leading from Russia through Germany to England.  The British people were not cowardly or indifferent. They doggedly promoted the ruin of their  liberties. They had one great safeguard and resolutely trampled on it.  The by-election is the perfect natural defence of the people in a parliamentary state. Since all  parties break their promises, it is the citizen’s only means of exercising current supervision, of  checking his government if it goes too far, or spurring it if it lags. For long ages British by-elections  kept ministers responsible and parties prudent. The years 1945-47 brought a phenomenon; the  government could not lose a by-election. The clearer its ominous intentions became, the more  stubbornly electors voted for it.  I saw the marvel happen but cannot be certain of its causes. It is an astonishing thing for a free  island folk to bare its back to the knout, and this one for six years had its blood curdled by tales of  the monster it now bowed down to. These seem to me the reasons:  First, the British islander is dogged and loyal and, having put what, he deluded himself, was ‘The  Labour Movement’ in power, he would loyally and doggedly submit to be devoured by it, rather  than own a mistake. Secondly, the army of officials who clambered on the nation’s back during the  war, and now wished to remain there, was very large and represented a substantial vote. Thirdly,  there is in all countries a fairly large group of people of the baser sort who like and batten on  dictatorship. Fourthly, there are the envious who will always vote for ‘soaking the rich’; these  donkeys never see that the man who suffers most, when universal impoverishment begins, is he  who has little, for from him, like the Russian peasant, is taken even that which he hath.  Yet the chief cause, I think, is that the mass of people who might have cried ‘Hold, enough!’ as the  curse came upon them, had no real choice! Into this central mystery of the years 1945-47 the future  historian should delve.   The Complicity of The Opposition  The political contest of 1945-47 was a sham battle. The Opposition did not in truth oppose. It railed  at the Socialists’ deeds, but not at the evil doctrine. It complained of the miserable failure of The  Plan, but it was by now plain that The Plan was a malignant one to enslave England, and in that  light, most successful. Yet Conservative and Liberal leaders, by-election candidates and  newspapers never said that; they merely accused the government of ‘delay’, or of ‘half-measures’,  which was equal to saying, ‘What you are doing is right, but you are not doing enough of it quickly  enough’; or, in other words, ‘You are poisoning us; give us stronger doses of poison more  frequently’. To state but one instance: in August 1947 at ancient Verulam a Conservative peer,  Lord Balfour, said that while the country ‘waited to respond to a blaze of courageous leadership, all  it receives is Mr. Attlee’s flickering candle of hesitancy and half-measures’.  Half-measures! Never had an ancient nation’s liberties been so wholly and consistently attacked.  There seemed no leading man (save Mr. Churchill on a later occasion) who would say: ‘These are  wholly wrong and evil measures; we need wholly different measures to restore our liberty to live,  work, build and trade.’  The opposition parties shunned the word liberty as if it were shameful. Disguise it as they might,  what they really said was ‘We accept the State almighty but would like office’. The British islander  discerned that, and I think it is the reason for the by-electoral successes which accompanied the  Hitlerist or Stalinist process. What men controlled the Conservative Party, still great in numbers, or  the Liberal Party, reduced but big with the possibility of new life, the citizen could not discover.  Nearly all Opposition speakers and newspapers in fact declared, even while they railed at the  Socialists, that ‘controls are inevitable’, ‘new cuts are inevitable’, ‘direction of labour is inevitable’  at each turn of the screw. This cry of ‘inevitability’, from those who most loudly protested, made  nonsense of the argument and bewildered the people.[32]  Inexplicably, then, there was no Opposition policy. The Conservative one plainly should have  begun by invoking Mr. Churchill’s unredeemed pledge of 1940, in respect of the ‘emergency  powers’ under which England was being enslaved: ‘Parliament stands custodian of these  surrendered liberties and its most sacred duty will be to restore them in their fullness when victory  has crowned our exertions and our perseverance.’  This root of the matter was never mentioned! On the contrary, the managers of the chief Opposition  party quite plainly devoted their strength to thwarting the demand of Conservative voters for the  formulation of a fighting policy, and above all to resisting pressure to raise the cry of ‘Liberty’. The  future historian will find that the clamorous demand of the constituencies for ‘a programme’ was  repeatedly rejected by the party managers, and that the louder the complaints about the Socialist  attack on freedom became, the lower ‘freedom’ descended in the recommendations of Conservative  leaders.  Thus while the lifeblood of liberty drained away, these Conservative leaders, in default of a  programme or a policy, produced lists of ‘points’ which revealed no real enmity to Socialism, or  friendship for freedom at all. During 1946 Mr. Eden, for instance, expounded a ‘ten-point creed for  Conservatives’; the eighth point was ‘we must not be tempted to fall into the pit of doctrinaire anti-  Socialism’. Earlier, at the 1945 election, Sir Walter Womersley had set out ‘seven Conservative  points’, the last of which was, most ambiguously, ‘the greatest possible liberty for the individual’.  Then another Conservative leader, Mr. Richard Law, who was the son of a Conservative Prime  Minister and a leader of the memorable revolt of 1940 against Mr. Chamberlain, said: ‘The  supreme test of the Tory Party is not to fight Socialism.’ By the time the second post-war  Conservative Party Conference met (at Brighton in October 1947) the ideal of liberty had  apparently been denied altogether by the managers of the party, for by that time the last of Mr.  Eden’s new ‘seven points for Conservatives’ was ‘to streamline the controls’. If this meant  anything, it can only have meant ‘to polish the chains’; it was the intimation that the Conservatives  would not, if they had the power, undo the damage the Socialists had done to the liberty of the  individual in England.  It seemed clear, in fact, that the Conservative Party remained firmly in the hands of its managers,  and that these were in the main the same men who managed it during the disastrous Thirties. The  fact that Mr. Churchill, on whom they then vented their chief hostility, was now its titular leader  did not alter that, nor did the applause they now awarded him in the place of the earlier abuse. At  the annual conference, and at major moments in the quickening drama of 1945-47 (such as the  passage of the Dictatorship Bill), his voice rang clear above the tumult, speaking in the great  tradition of British statesmanship and sounding the immemorial call of ‘Liberty’. But he was, after  all, moving towards eighty, and the student may verify the fact that his eloquence left no  impression on the policy of the party he led, which at this time was to avoid having a policy.  The wisdom of not having a policy, indeed, even he repeatedly affirmed, although, alone among the  Conservative leaders, he proclaimed principles which were a policy. The other leaders were always  schooled to deny the need or possibility of one. For instance, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, in  November 1946, said: ‘The Socialist Government has been a shocking administrative failure … As  to the Conservative alternative, a programme can only be related to the actual problems when a  Conservative government again has office.’  Anxious Conservatives clamoured for ‘a policy’ at the annual conference of 1946 (at Blackpool).  The Daily Express, however, reported that ‘although the demand again and again got the loudest  cheers of the day, the party managers had clearly arranged the agenda in a way to dodge the issue’.  The pressure from the body of the conference, nevertheless, was so great that the managers had to  beat a strategic retreat. A committee was appointed, and this in time produced a pamphlet called  ‘The Industrial Charter’ (industrial, not political; thus the shameful issue, liberty, was avoided). Its  key proposal was for ‘strong central guidance’ and its detailed recommendations were for a genteel  form of Socialism. By the next annual conference, that of Brighton in October 1947, this document  represented as much of ‘a policy’ as the party managers could be induced to state, and perusal of it  explains why ‘the restoration of liberty’ had no place in Mr. Eden’s ‘Conservative points’  announced there, while ‘the streamlining, of controls’ appeared among them.  It was in fact the acceptance of Socialism, and from this moment Socialist M.P.s, if they found  themselves challenged by Conservative ones in public debate, smilingly produced a copy of ‘The  Industrial Charter’ from their pockets and said, ‘But you are in favour of Socialism’, a retort to  which their professed adversaries had no rejoinder.  The moral corruption of all parties became apparent. At the Brighton conference in October 1947  the great mass of the Conservative delegates were enthusiastically in favour of ‘The Industrial  Charter’ and were already deriding those who warned against it as ‘reactionaries’ and the like. They  believed that their party would return to power and now welcomed the prospect of succeeding to  those ‘emergency powers’ and ‘controls’ which the Socialists had awarded themselves in the wake  of the war. The Conservatives no longer upheld the principle of liberty; they told each other that,  when they were in office, they would show the country how to ‘manage’ the controlled State. They  were again on the slippery path which led to the second war and to their own fiasco of 1945. In the  Thirties their weakness lay in the secret admiration of many of their leaders for ‘strong leadership’  and ‘central guidance’ in its Hitlerist and Mussolinist form. Now they were yielding to the same  temptation in our domestic affairs.  The Conservative Party was clearly in the hands of men who would not promise to govern the  country differently, but were themselves infected with the disease of the twentieth century: the  greed for power over persons and property.  What, then, of the Liberals. Did they offer a clear alternative, or stand for a plain principle? Their  decline began with Mr. Lloyd George, the first of the emergency potentates. It brought them down,  as they forswore the cause of liberty, from a majority of 356 (the greatest ever known in our  parliament) in the 1906 Commons to a tiny group of a dozen members in that of 1945. Nevertheless  they still polled over two million votes and if they returned to the ideal of liberty the door to  recovery and leadership was wide open to them; only dictatorship could shut it. As the door began  to close masses of people looked hopefully to them. Here was their chance. What was ‘Liberal  policy’?  During the war mass-propaganda was used (by a predominantly ‘Conservative’ coalition) to create  in the public mind a blind infatuation for ‘The Beveridge Plan’. Its author was a leading Liberal, a  learned and humane man. What deluded him to think that forced labour (his Plan recommended it,  though cautiously) could be married to the word Liberal? I wrote at the time that this Plan for  Social Security was, by reason of that clause, one for mortal insecurity, but it did much to bring  about those hallucinations, under the spell of which the British islander voted Socialist in 1945. If  this was to be his meat, he did not need to vote Liberal to get it.  Bewilderment, then, equally awaited the elector who sought in the Liberals an alternative to the  Socialists. ‘Liberals’ spoke with different voices. The true Liberal spoke when Lord Rosebery  (June 1947) said, ‘Britain is reaching a position when the only freedom left to the people will be the  freedom to remember what it was like to be free’, or when Lady Violet Bonham-Carter told a  London Liberal meeting (May 1947), ‘Instead of applying to our present-problems the Liberal  prescription of order with freedom, we have had instead under this government the unholy  combination of chaos with controls … Liberals must rebuild Britain on the foundations which made  it great, its freedom and self-discipline’.  But the ‘Liberal’ newspaper, the News Chronicle, said ‘planning is inevitable; we must accept  labour direction’ and its head, Lord Layton, told the Liberal Summer School (August 1947),  ‘because of Britain’s economic difficulties, Liberals must be ready to accept a more severe form of  guidance and control than would be palatable in normal times’.  ‘Necessity’ and ‘inevitability’ again. The only difference between the Conservative and Liberal  parties was that the Liberal one had an official policy. It might not be worth much, since ‘leading  Liberals’ said such contrary things, but there was a pamphlet, officially published, with the name  ‘Liberal Policy’ on it. If any anxious voter turned to it he found that it began with the orthodox  statement that ‘The Liberal Party’ (whatever that was; no names were given) ‘believes in the  freedom – spiritual, political and economic – of the individual’. It contained, however, no reference  to the suspension of the British islander’s civic liberties under ‘emergency powers’ or any promise  to restore them. Its opening paragraphs did not even refer to the Briton in his island, but to ‘Liberal  foreign policy’, and showed that ‘Liberal policy’ did not believe in such tangible things as an  island’s safety and islanders’ liberties at all, for it recommended the surrender of these!  It said the Liberal Party ‘believes in the principles of UN’ and ‘through UN will carry on all  negotiations involving territory or armed forces … It will work for the establishment of an  international armed force under the authority of UN to enable it to enforce its decisions and for the  appropriate curtailment of national sovereignty’.  Instead of bread, stones; instead of principles, initials (UN); instead of freedom, surrender.  ‘Individual man’ has no means of protecting his ‘spiritual, political and economic freedom’ save  through his elected government against plotters at home, and his armed forces against enemies  abroad. This was not ‘Liberal policy’ but another memorandum from The World Statesmen.  Thus the by-elections of 1945-47 become explicable. The caucuses which control the parties all  offered the British voter the same thing: Socialism, The State Almighty, surrender to alien  influence. The Observer reported of a by-election in August 1947: ‘Although most of the electors  appear to have strongly-held opinions they are oddly inconclusive. It is as if they sensed the  urgency yet had lost the old bland certainty in any single party’s rightness or infallibility.’  There was in fact no party for which a man could vote who held strong opinions in favour of his  liberty and against his enslavement. Henceforth the fight, if one was waged at all, would have to be  fought by individual men and women against all parties. All pricked the bewildered British bull  towards the red-flagged matador; their common sport was John Bull-baiting.   The Nigger in the Woodpile  The clear fact of the time is that all three parties, Conservatives, Liberals and Socialists, joined  hands in 1940 to suspend the citizen’s liberties under the plea of war’s emergency; and that when  the fighting ended, and one of these parties received a monopoly of office, the two left outside  merely complained of their exclusion. They never mentioned the common promise to restore those  suspended liberties, and by this silence consented to their destruction.  Thus the government party and the two opposition parties in reality worked for a fourth party, the  Communist one, which alone wanted to destroy British liberties for a declared purpose: to envassal  this island to the Communist Empire.[33] This was known. Before the war the French Communist  leader, Thorez, wrote that the final aim of Communists everywhere was ‘Soviet power’; during the  war, in which he deserted to Russia, his actions and those of all other Communist leaders from  ‘Tito’ to Dimitroff followed this law.  The aims of Communism were generally familiar in the Thirties. In the Forties the British and  American peoples became confused about them because, when the two European thieves fell out,  the huge war-time machine of mass-propaganda was switched to disguising the nature of  Communism. At one meeting with Stalin, President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, in the plenitude  of their powers, agreed that the countries to be liberated should receive governments comprising  ‘all anti-Fascist and democratic parties’. The implication, thenceforth dinned into British and  American ears, was that the Red one of the Siamese Twins was a democrat! The bones of  Demosthenes should have clattered protest from his tomb. ‘Liberals’ especially delighted to spread  this heresy; something in Liberalism makes its followers the easy prey of intellectual seduction and  perversion.  This certificate of respectability made it possible for Communist agents, in considerable numbers,  to be planted in British and American[34] government departments, broadcasting and newspapers  while the fighting-man was sent to ‘defend freedom with all your might’. I watched men I knew to  be Communists come into England, anglicise their names and occupy key-posts alongside those  already entrenched. The mere claim to be ‘refugees from Nazi oppression’ entitled these visitors,  who in any previous war would have remained ‘enemy aliens’ under supervision, to take the status  of ‘friendly aliens’ and be made free of vital information, political and military. At one time many  of the leading articles and reports in London newspapers were written by such men, anonymously  or under assumed names. The British newspaper-reader remained ignorant of this infection at the  source of his news and views. When occupied populations listened to ‘the voice of England’ it was  often that of such newcomers.  Living in England during those years, with the memory of an earlier war and of great events in  Europe between the wars vivid in my mind, I saw clearly for the first time, that wartime is the  heyday of the power-seeker at home. War brings him chances of gaining power which peace could  never offer. I watched the permeation of the Communists, behind the back of the fighting-war, into  British life and industry. I remember one man who was sent to seek me out under some pretext: he  clearly wanted the dossier-material which his party collects. He was young and fit, but after  conscription was released and thus left free to mole and burrow in the Midlands town where he  lived. I still wonder whether he was set loose by an officer who thought he would be harmful in the  army or by an official who was a Communist. The thousands like him in 1941-45 prepared the  events of 1945-47. They foresaw the Socialist victory, and knew ‘that the way to control the  Socialists was to capture the trades unions.  It was a skilful plan, well executed. In England the Communists deliberately forbore to appear in  strength as an open party, knowing that under their own colours they would make little progress.  The visible party, with its handful of election-candidates and two seats in Parliament, was merely a  blind, set up to divert the public gaze from the main effort, which was bent on corroding other  parties from within. The success of this method proved, after 1945, to be astonishing. It became  plain that, in the thirty years, the world-revolutionaries at Moscow headquarters had most  profitably studied the science of permeation, penetration and capture; of the methods by which an  almost invisible minority, working for ‘Soviet power’, may demoralise and defeat a great  majority.[35] Success depends entirely on concealment and secrecy, and the present reluctance of all  parties and newspapers to expose the process, no matter how violently they once combated  Communism, indicates how far permeation has gone in every direction.  The Socialist Party, on paper, refused to accept Communists as candidates and annually rejected the  Communist Party’s request for ‘affiliation’. This was as if the whale refused to affiliate Jonah. Of  393 Socialists elected in 1945 a tenth were known, though unadmitted, Communists; an M.P. gave  me the exact number as 38. Had they stood as Communists they would not have been returned; the  Socialist Party in fact lent them its cloak. This hidden band was able to recruit a floating company  of more than a hundred dim-thinking Socialists for various demonstrations against the government  in the interests of ‘Soviet power’.  The real Communist strength, however, lay in the body which controlled the Socialist Government  from outside Parliament: the trade unions. Trade unions are like all other organisations; the real  power is wielded by a committee or board. Like shareholders or members of associations, most  trade unionists are apathetic. At the annual general meeting, when the chairman and secretary are  elected, a hundred trade-unionists, out of a total membership of a thousand, may attend. Thus fifty-  one votes, in a branch with a thousand members, may secure the key-posts, and the all-important  one of delegate to the annual conference of the entire union. Communist attendance at such branch-  meetings is compulsory. At the national conference, therefore, the Communist elected by fifty-one  votes may appear as ‘representing’ a thousand trade unionists, and will cast his ‘thousand’ votes for  a Communist member of the ‘national executive’. Thereafter the trade union’s ‘policy’ is  determined, not by the interests of the shipwright or miner, but by orders sent down from  Communist headquarters, which receives its own from Moscow; and of 800 men claiming to  ‘represent 7,500,000 workers’ at the great Trade Union Congress itself, many may be Communists  actually ‘elected’ by a few thousand.[36]  At the lower end of the scale, in the workshops and factories themselves, the ‘shop-stewards’ are  often Communists similarly elected. On them devolves the execution of high policy shaped so far  away. If it demands go-slow methods in production, stoppages and strikes, they see that the trouble  is made. The consequent disturbances or ‘shortages’ are used, at the higher end of the scale again,  for political demands, which are invariably aimed at the individual’s liberty. These ‘labour  troubles’, cry the Communists at the top, can only be cured by ‘more controls’. At the end they will  control the controls, in the interest of ‘Soviet power’.  This was the edifice which the moles threw up, while the fighting-men were away at the war and  the great propaganda machine prevented exposure. It was a marvellously simple and efficient  machine for the capture of political power, and has come near to that achievement. Even the men  most responsible for its strength appeared to be blind to it. Mr. Churchill, in one of his inexplicable  moments, spoke contemptuously of Communism as being ‘in its infancy’ in this island (April  1946). Apparently he only saw the two Communists in Parliament.   Five Hitlerist Milestones  The great men of British Socialism, Robert Owen, William Morris and Keir Hardie, when the  century began, believed they could preserve liberty when they set up Socialism; they did not  foresee what later happened in Russia and Germany and did not reckon with the Communist. Their  heirs, when they achieved power in 1945, still cried that they would cherish liberty while creating  Socialism. They had seen what happened in Russia and Germany, but showed by their actions that  they did not understand those events, or were powerless in the grip of the machine.  They began to destroy liberty and in eighteen months I watched them set up, on that downhill road,  five of the very milestones which marked Hitler’s path in Germany in 1933. These are they:  (1) Emergency powers. Hitler in 1933 succeeded to these ‘emergency powers’ outside the control  of Parliament; he merely widened them, in order to destroy all liberty, in the name of the Reichstag  fire. The Attlee Government put its own, Parliament’s and the country’s neck in a noose by  abrogating similar despotic powers to itself in the wake of a war.  (2) Food-rationing. There is no liberty without liberty to buy and eat food; the plain end of food-  rationing is the refusal of food to any who demur against ruthless compulsion. Hitler first  introduced food-rationing in Germany in peace (under ‘emergency powers’); the Attlee  Government, under similar powers, first perpetuated it in peace in England.  (3) Forced labour. This was first introduced to Germany in peacetime by Hitler, and to England in  peacetime by the Attlee Government, which thus reverted to the age before the serfs were freed. (It  was begun here in wartime, and an inexplicable thing about the Foreign Minister, whose love of  liberty is deep, is that he was then misled to give his name to the forced coalminers, the ‘Bevin  Boys’; these conscripts were not freed after the war and in time, foreseeably, this ancient device of  tyranny spread to other groups.)  (4) Exchange control. This was begun in Germany before Hitler came but he first used it, under  ‘emergency powers’, as a major weapon of national imprisonment and impoverishment. It was  never known in Germany in peacetime before, or in England, where the Attlee Government  perpetuated it at a moment when its chief German exponent, Dr. Schacht, was on trial as a ‘war  criminal’. Exchange control is the padlock on the prison camp; Germany’s foreign trade throve  until, and declined after, it was begun. In England not even the pretence of ‘an emergency measure’  to overcome ‘a crisis’ was maintained; the Socialist Chancellor of the Exchequer made it  permanent in October 1946.  (5) Conscription. This was restored to Germany by Hitler, and introduced in England, for the first  time in peace, by the Attlee Government.[37]  The reader who has persevered to this point may understand why I say that this book is less a  sequel to Insanity Fair than Insanity Fair once more. England was in these eighteen months  brought near to ruin by exactly the same moves and milestones, as Germany under Hitler. Despite  all the Freedoms promised during the war, there was not freedom from government-by-decree, or  freedom to eat, choose a job, start a business, build a house, buy clothes, trade abroad or invest  overseas. The miserable German prisoner still held here, if he could still smile, might have smiled  to see his Leader’s war on England continued, after his own defeat, by a British Government.[38]  Poison in slow doses causes illness foreseeably leading to death. It was equally plain whither these  Hitlerist measures (copied by Hitler from Communism) must lead. The twelve months that  followed bread-rationing proved this. The multiplying interferences with normal enterprise and  natural energy began to breed a creeping despondency. The first symptoms of mortal ailments  appeared. About this time a poisoner was brought to book. The British islander followed with  interest the story of his wives, who felt themselves growing unaccountably worse, could not  understand this, and finally died, reflecting to the end that their husband was a physician, and who  could have helped them, if not he? The British islander did not see in these unhappy women the  image of himself, or in their fate the one that approached him.  The outward scene repeatedly showed signs of slow recovery and improvement. Had the malignant  restrictions ceased England would have thrown off the war’s effects like a healthy man a cold, for  as Macaulay said a century ago: ‘No ordinary misfortune, no ordinary misgovernment, will do so  much to make a nation wretched, as the constant progress of physical knowledge and the constant  effort of every man to better himself will do to make a nation prosperous. It has often been found  that profuse expenditure, heavy taxation, absurd commercial restrictions, corrupt tribunals,  disastrous wars, seditions, persecutions, conflagrations, inundations, have not been able to destroy  capital so fast as the exertions of private citizens have been able to create it.’  But the restrictions were increased at every sign of recovery, and ‘the constant effort of every man  to better himself’ ruthlessly beaten down wherever it showed; and public resistance weakened.  There was loud outcry at first. Master-bakers, housewives and public alarm almost averted bread-  rationing. But they yielded and after that each new infliction passed with diminishing protest, until  great slices were slashed off the island’s liberties without much complaint. Hitler’s teaching (in  Mein Kampf) of the bit-by-bit method of reducing peoples was applied with perfect success. The  British islander had long laughed at the German’s ‘love of regimentation’ and servile submission to  ‘dragooning’ and derided the country where ‘everything is verboten’. But if the Germans were all  guilty of what befell them because they did not rise against it (as Mr. Attlee and his Attorney-  General declared) the British people were more guilty of their own ruination; for two years, at all  events, they endorsed it step by step. Thus the picture of England became that given in the first  Letter of Junius, who attacked the Duke of Grafton’s government in 1769:   ‘The ruin or prosperity of a State depends so much upon the administration of its  government that to be acquainted with the merit of a ministry we need only observe  the condition of the people. If we see them obedient to the laws, prosperous in their  industry, united at home and respected abroad, we may reasonably presume that  their affairs are conducted by men of experience, abilities and virtue. If, on the  contrary, we see an universal spirit of distrust and dissatisfaction, a rapid decay of  trade, dissensions in all parts of the Empire and a total loss of respect in the eyes of  foreign powers, we may pronounce, without hesitation, that the government of that  country is weak, distracted and corrupt.’  The Last Defences  Five smashing blows were dealt at the foundations of the British house by those Communist-Fascist  measures: rule by emergency decree, foreign trade control, food control, forced labour and military  conscription with a motive of compulsion. Some pillars of liberty, however, remained strong,  though not intact. There were still Parliament, parties which might yet be reinvigorated, and the  hope of another election. There was still large freedom of the spoken and written word, though this  was limited by hidden restraints and by the denial of paper.  Above all, there was still British justice, founded at Runnymede seven centuries ago on a man’s  right to public trial and to the protection of judges and magistrates against detention or punishment  without one. Liberty everywhere in the world rested on that ancient British achievement and  safeguard. It was the one which tyrants and dictators in all ages most loathed; it was the one which  the Socialist Government, on the path it was following, would beyond doubt be pressed and  prompted to destroy.  The blow would not be openly struck. The memory of recent events in Russia and Germany was  too recent and the present plight of those countries too terrible for unashamed emulation. This  guilty knowledge visibly went with the government on its way and haunted its ministers, so that  they always convulsively tried to disguise or deny the identity of their measures with those of  Communism and Fascism by giving them different names, (labour direction sounded better than  slave labour); or if they could not gainsay it, they explained that they would apply these measures  with decency and discretion.[39] Yet the future deed was clear; foreseeably and certainly, they  would be urged to commit it.  In the war this freeman’s right, laid down in Magna Charta, was suspended. Under ‘Defence  Regulation 18B’ men were put away without trial. This was the only one of the lost liberties which  was given back; before the 1945 election Mr. Churchill’s coalition cancelled Regulation 18B, and if  England is ‘yet to be saved, it was saved that day. Under Mr. Churchill, Mr. Herbert Morrison was  then Home Secretary, and his is the credit. He said in September 1947 (when he was unhappily  taking more ‘powers’ from Parliament): ‘I had the most extraordinary powers as Home Secretary  and I was not sorry when I lost them, and I lost them as quickly as I could after victory in Europe …  It was right that these exceptional powers should cease.’  But today Mr. Morrison is not Home Secretary, and he has left the door open for this right to be  wronged. In my judgment the struggle behind the political scenes at the present time ultimately  turns on the effort to get Regulation 18B, or something like it, reintroduced. I foresaw in Lest We  Regret that this would be the mortal danger to England after ‘victory’ was won and the unseen  struggle still goes on. Dictatorship is not complete until political opponents can be put away  without trial, and the battle over this issue, though it is hidden from the public, dominates these  years. It is between those frontal veterans, like Mr. Morrison, who cling to the illusion that they can  preserve liberty while destroying its foundations, and those behind them who consciously desire the  total dictatorship. As I write, this unseen conflict approaches its climax.  Though this lethal power was relinquished after the fighting stopped, the structure of British justice  was much impaired during the war. The damage, still unmended, was done by abolishing the  citizen’s right to appeal to judges against wrongs done to him by officials acting in the name of The  State. Agricultural Committees, for instance, were empowered to expel farmers from their land and  homes, and these had no redress at law, but could only appeal to the chief official – The  Minister.[40] The Attlee Government prolonged the rule of these committees after the war; they may  have done much good work, but a principle of British justice was ruined when their orders were  placed above the law and through them a later government could, like the Soviet one, dispossess  every smallholder in the land.  The same thing is true of the ‘Rent Tribunals’ set up with powers of eviction and confiscation (save  against the State, if the State were landlord). The rapacious letter of rooms needed curbing, but the  orders of these tribunals were exempt from appeal to law. Thus the Agricultural Committees and  Rent Tribunals were Hitler’s and Stalin’s ‘People’s Courts’ in embryo, and could so be used by a  later government.[41]  The Attlee Government used ‘the necessities of war’, though the war was over, to undermine the  rule of law in England in such matters. Another new minister, he for ‘Town and Country Planning’  (the title assumes a divine prerogative) could dispossess a freeholder, merely by claiming that he  wanted to ‘plan’ the area. The Food Enforcement, Fuel Enforcement and Prevention Officers and  informers all were above the law; no judge could punish their intrusions.  In this all important question, when various ministers and their subordinates were above the law, it  was impossible to discover what principle the Government followed, or if there was a single  government policy. Deeds moved always towards lawlessness and anarchy. Words were sometimes  fair, but then were contradicted by another minister, or belied by his actions. In the government  were two men who, under the Prime Minister and subject to collective Cabinet decision, should  have upheld the tradition of British justice. They spoke with different voices. Lord Jowitt, the Lord  Chancellor, was the senior in rank, achievement, service and reputation; his office, firmly held at  such a time, could be more important than the Prime Minister’s. The junior, Sir Hartley Shawcross,  was not famous publicly, in politics or at the bar, before he was made Attorney-General. Consider  their respective utterances, and observe the great battle behind the scenes:  At the Lord Mayor of London’s banquet in 1946 the Lord Chancellor stood up: said, ‘My Lords,  Ladies and Gentlemen, the English Bar is the inheritor and the trustee of a great tradition of  independence. We have fought for that independence against kings. We have defended it against  kings. And we are ready today to fight for it against the Executive’; and sat down.  No clearer allusion was ever made. The firmness of the words, from the holder of this ancient  office, was comforting. But in July 1947 the junior said the opposite. Sir Hartley Shawcross spoke  to the Haldane Society about ‘the growing intervention of the Executive in matters which some  people consider more appropriate for the legislature or the courts’ (in English, this means matters  which ought to be decided only by parliament or judges). He continued: ‘If the view is accepted  that the economic and social circumstances of our time necessitate increased intervention by the  State … it follows that we must, I do not say reduce the power of the legislature, but alter somewhat  its exercise, and must increasingly submit the administration of the legislation which is passed to  expert tribunals outside the hierarchy of the ordinary courts of law. Administrative law has come to  stay.’  The doctrine of inevitability, once more, invoked to justify the rape of the law by the State. Hitler’s  ‘People’s Courts’ were infamous and none denounced them more loudly than this Sir Hartley  Shawcross. Merely give them another name, however (‘administrative law’), and he will deem  them good for England.[42]  There was no unity of thought or word among these ministers and the government could only be  judged by its actions, which led always towards the destruction of liberty and of law. The course it  followed was clear, only the pace remained in doubt. Twelve years passed before the Germans  drank to the dregs the cup which was put to their lips in 1933. That German scene of ruin,  degradation and hopelessness (in 1945) unquestionably awaited the British islander at the end of  the road on which this government moved, whether the process took five, ten or fifteen years; only  its reform or overthrow could alter that.   The Tragi-Comedy of ‘British Labour’  By 1947 the survivors of those who set out with the idealistic ‘British Labour Movement’ at the  century’s beginning were bewildered by the scene around and the prospect ahead. One of them, a  brilliant journalist, Ian Mackay of the News Chronicle, on May Day 1947 looked sadly back on  fading radiance:   ‘When we got up on May morning to paddle in the dew-drenched meadowsweet the  whole world seemed to glow with the golden glory of resurgent youth. For we could  hear jangling, just over the horizon, the cap and bells of Blatchford’s “Merrie  England” … Every river was radiant with the flash of kingfishers, every waterfall  had a rainbow sparkling in the spray, every silver cloud was clamorous with larks,  and there on his soapbox at the street-corner could be seen our silvery Socrates, Mr.  Shaw, in Mr. Churchill’s inspired phrase, “that nimble Jack Frost dancing  bespangled in the Socialist sunshine”. It was a wonderfully simple world then, in  which all capitalists were “bloated”, financiers “crooked”, businessmen “big”, trade  union leaders “burly”, police “brutal”, workers “exploited” and the masses generally  “downtrodden” … May Day, then, to my eager young mind, was the great annual  festival of freedom when the quenchless spirit of the common man was continually  refreshed and rededicated to the endless quest, “the visionary gleam”, of a new life  of love and friendship, liberty and peace among all the peoples of the world. How  hopefully we marched behind our billowing banners to the Park, the Square or  Glasgow Green … As I marched through the dull streets behind the pipers or the  bellicose brass band, like Hardy’s wizard-haunted wanderer on the road to  Lyonesse, there was “magic in my eyes”. Beyond the banners and the shouting of  the slogan fanciers I could see far-off, like Christian in the Bedford Tinker’s tale, a  shining city where all men and women would be free and happy and clean in body  and soul, where all the mean and petty wickedness of hunger and greed would be  shameful memories, and mankind for the first time could advance harmoniously on  to the gleaning uplands of the brave new world….  ‘How many of us ever dreamed, as we marched starry-eyed behind the flags, that  Labour would capture power so simply or so soon; and how many imagined, as we  plodded on towards our proletarian paradise, that we should find it so rigorous and  austere? Where we waved our flags and plastered the walls of the land with our  slogan, “Work or maintenance”, how could we have foreseen that, when Socialism  triumphed at the polls and took over the seats of the mighty, one of the first things  the Labour Government would do would be to rub out the “maintenance” and run up  at the masthead instead the cruel workhouse slogan, “Work or Want”? How, in the  shades where all good Socialists go, the great spirits of Ben Tillett, Tom Mann, Keir  Hardie, John Burns, Philip Snowden, Blatchford and Jimmy Maxton must be  shaking with what Homer called “inextinguishable laughter” at the way their  splendid dream has dissolved into a nightmare of shortages and shedded loads,  coupons, queues, closed shops and unofficial strikes … But May Day can never die  … One day, in spite of everything, Keir Hardie’s dream will come true.’  Thus spoke one of the survivors. He had never believed that the silvery Socrates meant what he  said: that Socialism led to penal servitude and death (Mr. Shaw, in 1921, wrote in the Labour  Monthly, ‘Compulsory labour with death as the final penalty is the keystone of Socialism’), and  now was amazed at the dark valley he found himself in. (For that matter the nimble Jack Frost  himself seemed by this time dubious about Socialism, for on his ninetieth birthday in 1946 he wrote  to the Labour Monthly: ‘I subscribe faithfully to the Labour Monthly, but I never read it. I cannot  read books or articles on Socialism: I know too much about it; and the writers mostly know too  little … Don’t ask me to write about it. I’d rather die. Very likely I shall.’) Few other jesters in the  world’s story did so much harm as this one. He malformed many young minds, and bears great  responsibility for the grim fiasco of the Forties.  I look back on a long road, like Ian Mackay; mine also began in mean places and I dreamed of  Merrie England over the horizon. But some instinct kept me from the delusion that Socialism led to  it. I divined, long before I learned in Germany and Russia, whither that flag led, and the only one I  ever marched behind was my country’s own. The England I saw after the second war, with its  reviving countryside, better homes and healthier people, was Merrie England at last. This was the  especial bitterness of the years that followed. The Socialists did not deviate from a path that would  have led to Merrie England; they began to destroy Merrie England when it had been reached.  How was it possible? Those loyal followers of the Blatchfords and Hardies, Manns and Maxtons,  did not see, as they marched, that the leadership of ‘British Labour’ had passed into different hands,  and that the new leaders wanted a martyred England, not a merry one. The faith of their youth was  an all-blinding infatuation in their middle age. I think it is possible to trace the influences which  dominated ‘British Labour’ and were able, when it attained power, to prompt it to actions  constantly hostile to the British islander’s liberties.   The Party within The Party  The Socialists arrived in the 1945 Parliament with 393 seats, a great majority. But these 393 were  not all men and women united solely in the aims of ‘British Labour’, or of socialising Britain.  Among them were some who did not seek exclusively to better the lot of the British workmen or of  the British family (even by measures which could only worsen it). There were some who were  preoccupied with causes outside, and openly hostile to, Britain and British interests. These were the  secret Communists. The ministers of the façade all, on occasion, publicly referred to these masked  enemies within their ranks in words, reproachful but too vague for the citizen outside politics to  understand.  The aim of Communists, everywhere, is to increase ‘Soviet power’, to the expansion of which the  free British family is the last great obstacle. Proof of this, if it was needed, was available, but the  ministers of the façade, again, did not press it on the British people.  Just after the war’s end one Igor Gouzenko, an official of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, terrified  by an order to return to the Communist prison, fled to the shelter of a Canadian citizen’s dwelling  (while Soviet avengers ransacked his own abode) and then threw himself on the mercy of the  Canadian Government. To justify his fears and appeal he produced secret documents from the  Soviet Embassy. These (the Canadian Prime Minister said) ‘revealed as serious a situation as ever  existed in Canada at any time’. The conspiracy disclosed was not limited to Canada and so alarmed  Mr. Mackenzie King that he secretly flew to the American President and the British Prime  Minister. Further, he charged two judges of the Canadian Supreme Court to examine the documents  and persons implicated. Their Report (June 1946) said:  ‘The evidence has revealed the existence of an organisation constituting at least a threat to the  safety and interests of the State;  ‘Some witnesses holding strategic positions’ (the activities revealed occurred during the war, when  Soviet Russia was a pledged ally of America and Britain) ‘have made the significant statement  under oath that they had a loyalty which took priority over the loyalty owed by them to their  country;  ‘Perhaps the most startling single aspect of the entire Fifth Column network is the uncanny success  with which the Soviet agents were able to find Canadians who were willing to betray their country  and to supply to the agents of a foreign power secret information to which they had access in the  course of their work, despite oaths of allegiance, of office, and of secrecy which they had taken;[43]  ‘Of paramount importance is the fact that Canadians were willing to give secret information no  matter what its importance, and were carrying out their agreements … The most important thing is  the agreement of certain Canadian Communists to work under foreign orders in a conspiracy  directed against their own country.’  These Canadian judges also recommended that their findings be ‘communicated to the proper  authorities in the United Kingdom and United States’, and this undoubtedly was done. There was  no need, then, for the British public to be kept in ignorance of the Communist conspiracy against  itself and its methods. Yet the House of Commons never debated the matter and this momentous  Report, which was but scantily noticed by the British press, might never have become publicly  available here at all but for a modest effort of mine. I obtained it from Canada and published long  extracts which gained wide circulation. A consequent question in Parliament moved the  government to bring over a few copies and place them on sale in H.M. Stationery Office.  Nevertheless, the publicity given to it was inhibited and uninformative and most people here  remain ignorant of the most important political document of recent years. Months after it appeared  Mr. Churchill most misleadingly said: ‘The Communists are hardly big enough to make it worth  while hitting them as far as the nation is concerned.’  Within the great Socialist Party of 1945 were the secret Communists. Communist teaching is that  every facility of parliamentary government and democracy must be made use of to destroy  parliamentary government and democracy; only for that reason were they there. They were hidden  from the public by the Socialist cloak and by the unaccountable reluctance of the government to  debate such illuminating documents as the Canadian Report. In these circumstances Mr. Attlee’s or  Mr. Bevin’s occasional cryptic reproaches to the ‘crypto-Communists’ within their ranks were  unintelligible to the British islander. Yet these people were numerous and skilful enough repeatedly  to -prompt the government to smashing blows against British liberty.   The Zionists  Inside the Socialist Party of 1945 was another group much preoccupied with a foreign cause which,  though by no means treasonable like the Communist one, had assumed a violently anti-British  nature. These were the Zionists.  The 393 victorious Socialists of 1945 included more Jewish Members than Westminster had known  before. Not only were the Jews more numerous in this Parliament, but they were ranked en masse  with the Socialist Party; not more than an odd man out remained in any other. In this way British  Jewry (for these Jewish M.P.s may surely be assessed, as representative of it) identified itself with  the Socialist attack on British liberty during these years. It was perfectly entitled to do so, if it  wished, but the future historian is equally entitled to marvel over the paradox: the mass of British  Jews descend from those who came to this island in search of, and here found, the liberty which  they claimed was denied them, especially in Russia, and now they joined in the attack on it.  The number of Jewish M.P.s in the 1945 Parliament appears to me difficult to determine. Jewish  newspapers have given it as twenty-eight, but if this includes only professing Jews the picture is far  from complete. During a Palestine debate (that of August 12th, 1947, which followed the  strangulation and subsequent hanging of two kidnapped British sergeants by Political Zionists) a  Member, Brigadier Mackeson, was reported by Hansard as referring to ‘Sixty or seventy Jewish  honourable Members of this House on benches opposite who hold Zionist views’.  Whatever the figure, it is much greater than the Jewish share of the population of this island, which  the reference books estimate at less than 1 per cent. That so small a section of the community, and  one living almost completely enclosed behind its ban on intermarriage, should appear in Parliament  in a strength thus greatly exceeding its proportions in the population, would be politically  interesting at any time. But this was not any time. It was the time in which Political Zionism  emerged in the world as a most powerful force, with political and territorial ambitions of the first  importance. Moreover, its organised strength was openly turning (I foresaw this in earlier books)  against this country. The Jews of the world were divided between those (a diminishing band) who  adhered to the ancient religious faith, with Jerusalem as the rough equivalent of the Christian’s  paradise, and those who rallied to the new teaching that Jewry was a nation, with tremendous  claims. This second group, the Political Zionists, was everywhere gaining power over Jewry,  frequently by methods of intimidation resembling those of Communism and National Socialism.[44]  Jews who feared Political Zionism seemed to be fighting a rearguard action, like the peace-loving  German in the Thirties, the liberty-loving Englishman in the Forties, and all other men of goodwill  in this ill-omened century. Their number was decreasing, for their sons, like the young Germans  and Italians of the Twenties and Thirties, followed the tempting voice of racialism. For that matter,  even the Gentiles seemed against them; Gentile Presidents and Prime Ministers, in Britain and  America, were misled to set up the Political Zionists, as they set up Communism in half Europe.  When the fighting-war ceased the entire wealth and strength of Political Zionism immediately  turned against Britain. The thing was foreseeable but the British islander was surprised, as usual, to  find that he, who had been told while he was away fighting that he was the foremost liberator of the  Jews, was portrayed, now the fighting was done, as more depraved than the Nazis, while his  country’s flag was besmirched, its soldiers and servants murdered, and its conduct vilified in  advertisements, books and plays. This was because the British Government, after its predecessors  had taken half a million Zionist immigrants to Palestine, demurred from making yet another war on  the native population there; the warnings from Palestine were too grave, the bereaved families at  home already too many.  Who can complain, in this mad century, if few protests against this treacherous attack came either  from the great families[45] or from the masses of British Jewry, or if none but a courageous  individual Jew here and there arose to express horror of it? In thirty years the Russians had not  found the strength to throw off Communism; the Germans went down almost without a struggle to  National Socialism; the British people continued to vote themselves towards destruction and  dictatorship even after they saw what they had done; the Jews could not be expected to show  themselves stauncher, wiser or more resistant to the madness of the twentieth century than the  Gentiles.  Yet they had found such a home in England that it was sad to see with what passivity some of them  accepted, and with what venom others supported the campaign against this country which was now  unloosed, in America, by the Political Zionists converged there, many of them from Eastern  Europe. Political Zionism sought to implant in Jewry a fanatical hatred of England, as it had  formerly fostered one of Germany, and before that of Russia.  The Zionist mind was as hostile to the British island as the Communist one, though for different  reasons. How many of the Jewish Members of Parliament were Zionists and how many were not?  The reader must study their speeches and form his own opinion.  Whether they were or were not Zionists, the phenomenon remains: when the Attlee Government  wanted a majority vote for one of its deep incisions into British Liberties, such as the Dictatorship  Bill, the bulk of the Jewish Members went into the ‘Aye’ lobby. None had demanded liberty more  stridently than their forbears, and surely no country did as much as this one to give them it. If it was  now to be destroyed, Gentiles and Jews, foreseeably, would suffer equally, but neither the masses  of British Jewry nor the organisers of Zionism saw that, or would believe it. The Jews, clearly,  were no more exempt from the lunacy of the twentieth century, or proof against the methods of the  great mass-manipulators, than the Gentiles.   The Spiritual Homes  It appears to me that the Attlee Government would not always have obtained its majority for those  blows at liberty (in other words, that it might have been defeated early in its career) but for the  Jewish votes, added to those of the phalanx of secret Communists, whose reasons for wishing to  destroy liberty in England were obvious. Together, these may have been enough to tip the scale.  But the state of mind of a government which continues inflexibly on a ruinous path long after the  mirage of its promises has faded and the reality of ruins lies on either hand, also cries for  explanation. In the lunatic Thirties the hackney-phrase users liked to compare ‘The Tories’ with the  Bourbons, and as the needless war drearily approached it seemed true enough that these could  neither learn nor forget anything. But in the mid-Forties the first great Socialist Government of this  island showed that it could far outdo the Tories in massive inanity. To have given a trial run to its  youthful illusions, and to have discarded them on discovering their absurdity, would have been  reasonable. To continue for years, as matters went from bad to worse, in the attempt to improve  England by forbidding people to feed, heat, clothe, house or transport themselves is to my mind the  most astounding example of political lunacy even in our century. ‘The Tories’, after all, had some  excuse, in the Thirties, which were a decade of illusions. But since then we are all ten or fifteen  years older and have had so many lessons. Today all men must know whither dictatorship leads.  The utterances of many ministers (for instance, the pathetic one which I have quoted about the  abolition of bread-rationing after the record harvest of 1946 in America, and other, self- contradictory ones about such vital matters as forced labour) suggested that they never saw where  they were going, although the direction was clear to elementary students of politics. This can only  be accounted for by their state of mind; it seems to me that they lived in an intellectual hangover  from the youthful illusions which Ian Mackay described in the passage I quoted earlier. They could  not shake off old hallucinations or the memory of rapturous debating successes in earlier days,  when office was a dream. Even as they brought it about they did not perceive that Socialism, as  their mentor Shaw had told them, meant ‘compulsory labour with death as the final penalty’.  ‘Socialism in our time’ had for so long looked to them like a lovely virgin; now that they found  themselves with a skeleton in their embrace they still would not admit that it was not a maiden  warm and fair.[46]  Their minds were formed in spiritual homes, where these hallucinations were bred, and periodically  renewed, in them. These places were public in that they rented offices, published literature and  could be traced in reference books. They were, however, in a way semi-secret, because the average  British islander knew little or nothing about them, their aims, their motives, their controllers, or the  part they played in his affairs.  There were three chief ones and innumerable smaller offspring. These three had this in common:  that many Socialist Ministers were earlier associated with them and spiritually shaped by them.  ‘Colonel Blimp’, of the Tory Thirties, was supposed while he lived to remain the bondslave of his  old school tie. The Socialist ministers seemed to carry a similarly unending intellectual bondage.  The ones I mean are the Fabian Society, ‘PEP’ and the London School of Economics. I doubt if one  citizen in a hundred knows anything about them, though they apparently wield much influence over  his life and affairs.  The Fabian Society was born in 1884, when all our troubles were beginning, as a coterie which  brought together in mutual admiration the Shaws, Wells’s and Webbs. Those Fabians have passed,  but the Fabian Society goes on. What was it when its nurslings took office in 1945? A Mr.  Thorburn Muirhead (who left it and the Socialist Party to join the Liberals) wrote in the Evening  Standard in November 1946:  ‘Of the 390 Socialist M.P.s, 230 (including 41 members of the government) belong to the Fabian  Society … The Society is organising a programme for a second five years of office that they hope  the present government will enjoy. May the Lord preserve us from further results of the Socialist  intelligentsia plan! The Fabian Society have a large leavening of foreign refugees, decrying most  things British and arbitrarily prescribing for Britain’s conduct in the world arena. Meanwhile they  sing the Internationale and worship Russia, and try to tear down every sound old institution.’  The Society is organising a programme for the government; if these words are correct they shed a  bright light on the way politics are made. The ruling dogma in this resort, if the description is  accurate, appears to be that all is bright and beautiful in Communist Russia;[47] or perhaps that to go  there from the decadent West (as Mr. Strachey once declared) is to pass from death to life (having  been there myself I feel that the opposite of reality was seldom so precisely stated). The young  Socialists of 1900, when they became Socialist ministers or M.P.s in 1945, had spent nearly a half-  century in this kind of atmosphere, ‘listening to sermons from mystical Germans’ and absorbing  views from Zionist Jews.  Another of the spiritual homes was ‘PEP’ (Political and Economic Planning). It came into being  during the first of those ‘world economic crises’(1931) which, in our century, have repeatedly been  invoked to destroy political liberties. Dr. Brüning was then Chancellor of Germany and took  ‘emergency powers’ to master ‘the crisis’; later Hitler inherited the ‘emergency powers’ and used  them to master the Germans. Similarly in England ‘emergency powers’ were taken to master the  Germans; later the Socialist Government inherited them and used them to master the British; and  each time new political penalties were devised for the British islander the government merely  declared that there was another ‘economic crisis’ and clamped them on him. As long as people are  ready to believe that a bad harvest can be bettered by putting the farmer in the stocks this method  will be completely successful in reducing nations to slavery.  A phenomenon of the twentieth century is the now open claim to intervene in public affairs which  is advanced by sets of initials. In the preceding eighteen centuries such initials could not have  hoped to achieve political power. There were always visible men in whom the peoples could  identify the threat of tyranny or hope of might: Caesar, ‘the King’, ‘the Emperor’, Cromwell,  Talleyrand, Napoleon, Bismarck, the Kaiser, Lenin, Hitler or Mussolini.  Yet in the Thirties and Forties British newspapers baldly announced that ‘PEP’ recommended this  or that, and none seemed to ask ‘Who and what is PEP?’ PEP was presented and accepted as if  PEP’s name, fame and authority were as self-explanatory as God’s.  In September 1938 war was daily expected (though in the event delayed for a year). ‘PEP’ then  wrote (Planning, October 4th, 1938): ‘We have started from the position[48] that only in war, or  under threat of war, will a British Government embark on large-scale planning.’ It added that  ‘emergency measures should as far as possible be framed in accord with the long-term needs of  social and economic reconstruction…’.  This is the only public statement I know that war may be useful or desirable for the promotion of  specific political ambitions. In 1938 the nature of those ambitions was not clear, but in 1943 it is:  ‘large-scale planning’ has in practice proved to mean an attack on the liberties of England. The  statement is also a photograph of what later happened: ‘in war’ emergency powers were taken and  these were prolonged for ‘long-term needs’ when the war was over.  After the 1945 election PEP appeared to become more openly powerful. Early in 1946, for instance,  it recommended ‘continued food-rationing’ even after that ‘world shortage’ ended, in the name of  which bread-rationing was begun. At that time the British public never dreamed that permanent  food-rationing would be clamped on it in the name of a bygone war. Today it should know, though  it probably does not, that this is in fact its future lot, unless it can defeat or discipline the  government of 1945.  Then something still more remarkable happened. In October 1946 the government announced an  inquiry into the state of the British press. The liberation of the press from hidden influences was  urged by the proposer in Parliament, Mr. Haydn Davies, M.P., and by the Minister, Mr. Herbert  Morrison, who promised the inquiry. When the Royal Commission on the press met (June 1947) it  announced that oral evidence would be kept secret! And the first witness invited was PEP!  Now PEP was neither a journalist nor a newspaper-owner. Nine years before, however, it had  published its ‘plan’ for the press. This Report so impressed the Royal Commissioners that they felt  bound to call PEP first and editors, proprietors, journalists, or any other parties professionally  concerned afterwards.[49]  All this secrecy, surrounding a Commission charged to expose secret interferences, troubled the  M.P. who first suggested the inquiry. Mr. Haydn Davies, an experienced journalist, wrote to The  Times ‘as the mover of the resolution in the House of Commons calling for an inquiry into the  press’ to express ‘disappointment at the decision to take oral evidence in private. At no point in my  advocacy of the need for such an inquiry did I ever contemplate secrecy … Surely a body inquiring  into the freedom of expression should lead the way by insisting upon the public hearing of  witnesses, freedom of speech and full publication of it’.  Ah, surely! These sad words of the Twentieth Century. It was by now clear that this three-lettered  body, PEP, was influential; but what was it, why did it work in anonymity, why did the government  pay such respectful heed to its counsel, and what did it want? Those were things, in my opinion,  which the British islander, citizen and elector deserved to know. Such information as I can gather  tallies with the following, from an article, ‘The Facts about PEP’, published by the Evening  Standard (possibly the invitation to the three initials, to become chief witness before the  Commission to inquire into the press, prompted this newspaper to inquire into – PEP).  ‘Founded in 1931 by the coalescence of various public men who were alarmed at the desperate  economic plight of their country, PEP set out, as an all-party, non-profit-making group, to  undertake factual research of a practical kind. Chief aim was to discover the facts behind current  problems. But if practical conclusions arose from those facts, PEP was determined to face them …  PEP forms private working-parties to study the problems of the day … A group of ten to fifteen  experts is summoned from the panel of 200 voluntary working-members to consider a specific  subject. The group will include Civil Servants from the government departments concerned,  employers and unionists directly engaged on the work, economists to give the theoretical answer,  and perhaps an intelligent layman to represent the consumer. The membership of each group is kept  a close secret. Consequently Civil Servants are not bound by official policy, ‘Unionists are freed  from their chains, and the employers have nothing to “sell” … All the reports will, of course, be  issued anonymously. But it is possible to shed a little light on the shadowy figures who run PEP….’  The italics are mine. The picture, with its anonymous reports and shadowy figures, appears to me  that of a semi-secret organisation, the motives and aims of which cannot be publicly scrutinised;  and through the deference paid to it by the government, for example in the matter of the press  commission, it appears to wield a measure of power without any responsibility.  The third of the three spiritual homes is the London School of Economics. Its economics are those  which we are now seeing translated into political practice: they lead to the reduction of civic  liberties; and several of the leading Socialist Ministers of 1945 were formerly associated with it.  I found it to be well known to Communists in Berlin, Vienna and Prague before the second war,  and some of these young men did not disguise from me their belief that it could be used by  Communists who wished to pursue their political activities in England under the respectable mantle  of ‘economics’ and studentship.  The Fabian Society and the London School of Economics were, indeed, in my experience better  known abroad, particularly in that twilight half-world where the intelligentsia move, than they are  in England, and their intellectual inspirations, in the nature of things Socialist, have always been  largely alien. It seems to me that a government tied by long association to such bodies as these, and  PEP, is the captive of prenatal influences, when it is delivered from the electoral womb into the  cradle of power. These formative influences outside Parliament, in my reading, produced the  clouded state of mind in our governors of 1945-47 which brought the British island to the brink of  serfdom.  The thing was put in a nutshell by a writer in the News Chronicle (April 1947) who escaped from  the doctrine of ‘Inevitable planning’ long enough to say: ‘Many of the troubles in which ministers  have involved themselves are due to their absorption in the Fabianism of the Nineties; they are so  busy redeeming their pledges to the Webbs, to Bernard Shaw, to Graham Wallas and Sydney  Olivier that the housewife at the end of the queue has become forgotten.’ (This newspaper  continued thereafter to uphold successive measures leading to greater hardships for the housewife  at the end of the queue.)  Or (as Mr. Alfred Edwards, a Socialist M.P., remarked), Socialist ministers were busy ‘firing  ammunition made twenty-five years ago at targets that are no longer there’. Such was the way their  minds had been moulded in those spiritual homes.   The Penalties of Defeat  After two years of peace the Government, thus spiritually moulded and physically impelled, had  inflicted on the British islander many of the punishments which a conquering Hitler would have  imposed.  The citizen had no right to food or clothing unless he had ‘registered’ and received his ‘identity  card’ and ‘ration book’, and then only to a diminishing dole of either; soon his fingerprints, too,  were likely to be taken. His freedom of movement, in or outside his island, was limited by petrol-  rationing and money-rationing. He was liable to military conscription and labour conscription  clearly approached. If he had a dwelling he might not buy furniture, a bed or bedding without a  permit, unless he purchased used articles. The manufacture of new furniture and household linen in  the better qualities was only permitted for export, and for him in inferior kinds, then procurable  only with an official’s consent. He might not build a house. He was admonished to save, but for  what, since he could not buy the things men need? When one government department (the  ‘National Savings Movement’) issued an advertisement showing a happy British householder  enjoying the reward of such thrift (‘Lucky chap, with a little place of his own in the country; how  grand to own a few acres!’) it was immediately withdrawn at the demand of another, the Ministry  of Town and Country Planning. This one, under ‘emergency powers’, could override freehold,  while the Ministry of Health was about to forbid the building of houses for private purchase. To  come, by thrift, to ‘a bit of land of his own’, was just that which Fabianism, PEPism, and  economics of the London School sought to deny the British islander.  There was one precedent only, in the great Western countries, to this extraordinary regime in  England: the period of Prohibition in America. That freakish and puritanical attempt by some to  prevent sinfulness in others collapsed under the weight of its own absurdity. It bred an enormous  industry of lawbreaking, and since the law was patently unnatural, the public had not the inner  repugnance against these lawbreakers which it felt for common criminals; the fact that most of  them were common criminals did not alter this. Masses of people held them in effect to be  performing a useful function by supplying an article placed under a capricious interdict.  The same thing foreseeably happened in England, on a smaller scale, because prohibition was not  total; goods were ‘rationed’, not completely withheld. A thriving class of lawbreakers arose from  whom anything which authority withheld from the citizen could be had, at a high price; money was  never so powerful in England as during the period of ‘fair shares for all’. These people were  awarded the names of ‘spivs’ and ‘drones’. The public felt no marked hostility towards them  because it instinctively knew that the laws they broke were unnatural ones. The Communists,  however, made great play with the names ‘spiv’ and ‘drone’, calling for increased powers of  ‘labour direction’ over the people in order that they should be put to work. The intention obviously  was to gain such powers over the whole population; the ‘spivs’ and ‘drones’, thrown up by  governmental action, were merely taken as the pretext for demanding more drastic governmental  action against the honest and hard-working citizen.  It was obvious that the ‘spivs’ and ‘drones’ would not be caught by forced labour, since it was their  calling to evade such drag-nets. It was equally obvious that their number would multiply as the  cuts, restrictions and bans multiplied, and that they would develop into dangerous criminals of the  Chicago type if and when the vetoes became complete; minor gunmen, in fact, were already  numerous and murders of the kind familiar in Chicago in prohibition days began in London, which  had not known them before.  In one of his bleak speeches Sir Stafford Cripps admitted that his ‘further austerities’ would ‘tend  to put an even higher premium on black market activities in industry’ and that ‘the more stringent  conditions will make it even more profitable to be dishonest’. He thus perceived the dazzlingly  obvious, but seemed not to have studied Prohibition in America, since he hoped that public  reprobation would bring the remedy: ‘The great body of honest producers must join with us in  stamping out this conduct which might, if extended, gravely embarrass the Export Plan. Black  markets only exist because ordinary people are prepared to deal in them. Some quite respectable  people seem to think it is no disgrace to pay exorbitant prices …’ etc. etc.  Sin unhappily exists, and unnatural restrictions unfortunately breed both ‘spivs’ and law-abiding  folk who deal with them. The thing is unaccountable, but should be taken account of by people who  set out to make Plans, because the Plans break down if such things are ignored. The only way to  destroy the ‘spiv’, in practice, is to fill the shops with goods, and that Sir Stafford was resolved to  prevent.   The Coup de Grâce?  By the late summer of 1947 the time was ripe for an attempt on the remaining half – the better half –  of British liberty. For this a greater instrument was needed than the secret societies outside, and the  hidden groups inside Parliament. To break down the great remaining barriers (impartial justice,  freedom from capricious arrest, freedom of the written word, and freedom to choose a calling and  place of domicile), an organisation capable of causing mass-dislocations, and of confronting the  government with great political ultimatums, was necessary. It was waiting, in the form of trade  unions permeated and captured by the Communists.[50]  In the Thirties I had impotently watched while those habitués of Fabianism, the Snowdens and  Lansburys, cried that ‘Hitler is a friend of peace’.[51] The shape of coming events was clear, the  means to check the process simple, but in every post where a man of conviction and principle could  have arrested it stood one of clouded vision and weakness. I then compared the needless debacle  with a Greek tragedy, a simile which, unhappily, later became hackneyed.  In these Forties I felt that I watched the continuance of the Greek tragedy in England, but it was  more maddening now because the players moved among other corpses, those of Germany and  Russia, and yet obliviously put the same phial to their lips. About this time an ageing Socialist crept  as witness through the Nuremberg courtroom. Karl Severing, who up to 1932 competed with Otto  Braun for the title of ‘the strong man of German Socialism’, and then was thrust from office by  Papen’s two corporals, described Germany when Hitler came to rule it: ‘What was good was not  new, and what was new was not good.’  What was new, in the things the Socialist Government now did, was the replica of things Hitler did  in Germany, and it was not good. Was it possible that the Attlees, Bevins and Morrisons did not  even see that spectral figure at Nuremberg? Had they looked, these ministers of the façade might  have seen the shapes of two corporals, or two commissars, or even of Cromwell’s forty redcoats,  loom before them. The attempt to complete Hitler’s victory over England plainly impended.  The future historian may search the British newspapers of this period almost in vain for any  explanation of the plight of England as it truly was. However, there were a few warnings, as at all  phases of the Greek tragedy. Mr. W.J. Brown, M.P., formerly a Socialist and now an Independent,  wrote in the Evening Standard:   ‘Communist penetration of the trade unions, the Labour Party and other  organisations has gone very far … The Communist parties of the world are  instruments of Russia. Democracy is an obstacle to the spread of Russian power.  The Communist hates it as much as did the Nazi. That hatred was one of the many  points the two philosophies had in common in Germany, and which made it possible  for mass-transfers to take place from one side to the other. Wherever in a union the  Communists capture power, what you get is a secret conspiracy to use the union, its  funds, its machinery and the rest, to further the Communists’ end, which is to  control the entire Labour Movement and to put it at the service of Russia … Never  will you find the Communists pressing for the removal of controls … The capture of  the trade unions has already gone so far that they calculate that a few more years  will give them control of the Trade Union Congress … Communist control is used to  precipitate political strikes to the desired end.’  A Socialist M.P., Mr. Alfred Edwards of Middlesbrough, repeated the warning: ‘The  niggers in the woodpile are the Communists, spreading not the gospel of  Communism but a black shadow of disaffection. They exist in small numbers but  exert a considerably greater influence. Why? They are glad to do the job in their  union and on committees with which the average working-man does not want to be  bothered. They creep into posts of some responsibility in their unions in this way  and gather a certain amount of influence. These are the men who can do harm to our  party and hurt our country. Their subtle management of unofficial strikes has  already cost the country millions of pounds. And I am convinced that they have led  reasonable fellows into false positions where they have forced submission to their  claims by threat of starvation for thousands of men, women and children who know  nothing about their dispute.[52]  Similarly a newspaper of Socialist trend, the People, said:   ‘Several Labour leaders, both in Parliament and the Trade Union Congress, suspect  the existence of a politically criminal conspiracy against themselves. They have  come to the conclusion that extreme Communist elements, operating as “fifth  columnists” under the cloak of Socialism, are out to wreck the whole recovery  programme … If, as I believe, the government and the trade union leaders are now  resolved to hunt the heretics in their own ranks and unmask the fifth columnists,  they will have the support of all men of goodwill and common sense.’  Thus the warnings, in the Forties as in the Thirties. The conspirators, however, were not unmasked;  the Socialist cloak was drawn closer round them, and beneath it, as these dangerous months passed,  they prodded the frontal leaders ever faster on their downhill way. The Government either did not  understand a Communist-dominated Trade Union Congress, or was riven by disagreements which  always ended in the victory of those ministers whom the Communists applauded.  For the process of permeation-and-capture, from the bottom up, had brought the topmost body of  all, the great Trade Union Congress, under increasing Communist sway. It was now to be used for  launching political ultimatums. Just as the old ‘British Labour Movement’ had been supplanted by  an alien-inspired one, so now the trade unions marched away from their original aims. Every step  the corrupted trade unions now took led towards the working-man’s enslavement and penury; every  demand they raised was for another slice from his hard-won liberties. The Tolpuddle Martyrs might  have risen from the grave in flabbergasted protest.  The Channel is the British island’s throat; coal is its heart. The coalminers’ union is consequently  the most important in the Trade Union Congress. In 1946 it elected a Communist as general  secretary. The warnings of Mr. Brown, Mr. Edwards and the People had hardly sounded before this  Mr. Arthur Horner told a Communist meeting in Hampstead. ‘Knowing what I do, I can say if there  was a possibility of war with Russia the coalfields would stop.’  This was the open declaration that if England could not be invaded and subdued by water or air, it  could be through coal. It meant, ‘The hand that controls the coalfields is on England’s throat, and if  England should dare to engage in war with a certain foreign power the hand will squeeze’. This was  one of the few revelations of political truth which broke through the bedlamesque political scene;  the picture it conjured up was that of the French collapse in 1940.  A Socialist M.P., Mr. Stanley Evans of Wednesbury, was stirred to make reasonable reply to an  apparently treasonable threat. He said: ‘The nation notes the activities of Mr. Arthur Horner. The  government has honoured every pledge it has made to the miners. Nevertheless we find that  because Mr. Bevin sought information as to the position in Hungary, Mr. Horner, speaking at a  Communist meeting, said that if there was a possibility of war with Russia the coalfields would  stop … We must remind Mr. Horner that this country has never taken kindly to kingmakers or  mysterious persons who try to wield power by stealth from behind the scenes. If Mr. Horner has  ambitions in the role of Foreign Secretary, let him place himself before the electorate. Parliament  and people will not tolerate any person using a position of power to blackmail and coerce, to wield  authority without responsibility.’  Parliament, however, did later tolerate this; The People were excluded from any say in the matter;  from my own observation I must say that the nation was not ‘noting the activities of Mr. Horner’  but those of the South African cricketers; and such patriotic warnings dwindled, while Mr. Horner’s  voice grew ever louder. Moreover, he could hardly be charged, after that open threat, with  ‘wielding power by stealth behind the scenes’. From this moment he was in front of them and, not  stealthily but stridently, made great political demands, which were conceded.  Thus, while the great ‘Labour Party Conference’ assembled on Sunday, May 25th, 1947, at  Margate, and Mr. Attlee read the lesson in the parish church, Mr. Horner (being debarred as a  Communist from Monday’s meeting) proclaimed ‘the Communist programme’ from a hotel there.  The chief demands were that ‘the government should declare an emergency situation and take  powers to mobilise the nation’s resources as seriously as was done after Dunkirk’, that foreign  holidays should be banned, and that discriminatory privileges, in food, housing and other matters  should be awarded to those coalminers who were to stop work if their country waged war with  Russia.[53]  Within three months the Government ‘declared an emergency situation; took powers to mobilise  the nation’s ‘resources as seriously as was done after Dunkirk’, as Mr. Horner in May had  demanded; and complied with his other demands. The sequence of cause-and-effect, from May to  August, from Communist ultimatum to governmental compliance, was not exposed by any  newspaper but the Communist one. The ‘Communist programme’, however, was accepted and its  execution begun.   Climax  This brings me to the decisive period (I mean, decisive until next time; there are no permanent  decisions in politics) which began in August 1947. A battle as important to the world as those of  Waterloo and Britain was begun in the semidarkness of cabinet rooms and political lobbies. In two  years many of the oaks of British liberty had been felled. The assault was on the giants that  remained: freedom from illicit arrest and freedom to work.  The essential condition of this grand attack-by-night was merely another ‘emergency’. Coincidence  is ever on the side of the conspirators, in our century, and this emergency broke (or was announced)  when the dispersal of Parliament approached. Since the crisis was so grave, Parliament clearly  should have remained in session until it was overcome. The citizen’s holidays were being curtailed  daily, and he was being threatened with destitution if he did not work harder. Parliament, however,  by the vote of the parties within the Party, was sent away for ten weeks, during which no  troublesome debates would impede ministers. Before it went the Government declared Mr.  Horner’s ‘emergency’ and took Mr. Horner’s ‘powers to mobilise the nation’. The ‘Supplies and  Services (Transitional Powers) Bill’ compressed its existing ‘emergency powers’ into one sentence,  which all the dictators of history should have risen from the dead to applaud:   ‘The whole resources of the community are available for use, and are used in the  manner best calculated to serve the best interests of the community.’  Thus the powers over all persons and all property, taken in 1940 ‘to win the war’, were prolonged  to infinity, both in scope and time. The Government’s highest legal adviser, the Lord Chancellor,  told the Lords that he doubted the necessity for the Bill, while the only justification he could  imagine for the seizure of these powers was ‘that they shall never be exercised’! The Times, in a  belated awakening, said that ‘for the appeasement of the more Socialist sections of the Labour  Party’ (an allusion, too vague for the inexpert reader to understand, to the two groups I have  described) ‘it hints at the possibility of more drastic modes of State action; obviously this invites  the demand from the Left later that the bond shall be honoured; the risk of abuse remains, in spite  of Lord Jowitt’s assurance, and meanwhile, suspicions have been aroused’.  I hope ‘suspicions’ were at last aroused; the comment, however, reminds me of an earlier one,  when a trunk containing the dismembered remains of a human body was discovered in a left-  luggage office, that ‘foul play is suspected’.  The mind of one of the ministers of the façade may be studied at this perilous moment. Mr. Herbert  Morrison, in 1940, had opposed the surrender of vast powers to a wartime government, saying:   ‘I think any minister is capable of being wicked when he has a body of regulations  like this to administer … Therefore let us put aside the cant in which we engage, that  we are sure the present Home Secretary would not do wrong, but that we are not so  sure of his successor. We believe that the present Home Secretary is capable of  being wicked and therefore the House should be guarded and careful as to the  powers which they give to him … These regulations give really extraordinary  sweeping powers under which, it seems to me, anybody whom the Home Secretary  did not like could be hung, drawn and quartered without any reasonable or proper  means of defending himself … The House is entitled to a statement from the Home  Secretary indicating the reasons why he thinks the regulations are essential. It will  then be for the House to decide whether we shall agree to them or not.’  In 1947 Mr. Morrison, asked to state the Government’s reasons for taking renewed powers, said:  ‘My answer is the same answer as I gave on the Second Reading, that is, no answer … We require  these powers for the defence of the country against economic misfortune … I say that we are  entitled to them because we are the government of the country.’ Compare this again with Mr.  Attlee’s statement of 1937, which I quoted earlier.  When England was in mortal danger in 1940 forty Tories rebelled against a Tory Prime Minister.  Now that England was in mortal danger in 1947 only two Socialists spoke for England. One, Mr.  David Grenfell, was a former minister; when Fabianism was breeding those who were to rule  England in the Forties he was down a coalmine and his face bore the chip-scars; his known  patriotism may have disqualified him from office in the Socialist Government. He said:   ‘I disapprove most strongly of the entire Bill … I think it is highly dangerous that the  Executive should be strengthened in the way that is possible under the Bill – that is,  by weakening the authority of the House and Parliament itself … This Bill in every  word and every line so far confers greater powers on the government bureaucracy. I  have no confidence in them at all … I protest most strongly against the suggestion  that the industrial affairs of this country shall be handed over to those who represent  very busy and very competent ministers of this government, who have to delegate  their authority to civil servants, and wartime civil servants, multiplied by hundreds  and thousands, who have no direct knowledge of the things in which they are  dealing, and to my knowledge make very grievous mistakes with permanent ill-  effects on the prospects of the industries of this country … I have tried very hard to  put my case but everybody on the government front bench seems to be indifferent to  my plea.’  The other was a younger man, fresh from the war, Mr. Raymond Blackburn of King’s Norton, and  his speech belongs to the historic remonstrances which have made our House of Commons unique  in the world. He said:   ‘As I see it, the issue is whether or no the assumption by legislative action of  totalitarian powers is a substitute for leadership and for vigour in public  administration and in public and private enterprise. I claim that in actual fact – and I  am sure the Labour Party as a whole agree with me – the Members of the Labour  Party who have spoken in support of the Government today care less for liberty than  the aristocrats in 1216 who were responsible for Magna Charta.[54]  ‘… In effect this Bill states that the powers which already exist for the transition  period can now be used for peace … As I see it, under this Bill and this subsection,  the Government can do anything they like to any person in this nation except throw  him into prison … We will be told that it is a temporary measure and only for this  emergency … We were told that military conscription was an exceptional measure  introduced for two or three years during the emergency. Then … the Minister for  Defence … referred to the introduction of conscription as a normal peacetime  measure. Are we here to see the conscription of labour as a normal peacetime  measure? It seems to me that this is completely contrary to the whole faith of the  Labour Party and that the majority of its members will disagree with it … Was this in  our election programme? Have we any mandate for it? On the contrary, we said over  and over again that it was our policy at the time of the general election[55] – and I  challenge anyone to deny it – that we stood for a combination of economic and  political democracy; no dragooning and no totalitarianism; and that we stood for  increasing the freedom of the individual. That is why I fought the general election  with the Labour Party … There are two kinds of Socialism. There is Totalitarian  Socialism in its Communist, Fascist or similar form, and there is liberal, democratic  Socialism in which I believe … Hon. Members are betraying their election pledges  by allowing the Government to have totalitarian powers at this stage. In this issue,  let us remember that the pressure seems to come from the so-called “Keep Left”  group … But who was the leader of the “Keep Left” movement in the 1929-31  government? – Sir Oswald Mosley. I claim that the best friends of the Labour Party  are not the people trying to utilise this situation to produce this, that or the other  measure which they are trying to impose in a hurry on the Government, but those  who stand by the election policy of the Labour Government. I believe the central  issue was put 2000 years ago, when the Jews tried to make Jesus of Nazareth accept  the view that He was going to stand against Roman tyranny. They asked whether it  was lawful that they should pay tribute unto Caesar. He told them to bring Him a  penny and then asked whose image, whose superscription was on it. They said,  “Caesar’s”, and He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God  the things that are God’s”. It is a tragedy of totalitarian governments that they render  unto Caesar things that are God’s.’  Mr. Blackburn’s speech was repeatedly broken by the violent protests of those who do not like to  be reminded of earlier promises, and he was called ‘a rat’ by a Mr. Driberg.  The Keep Left group carried the day. The young professor who so loudly declaimed against  ‘Fascism’ and called on the German ‘workers’ to rise against Hitler, Mr. Grossman, thought the  ‘legal significance’ of the Bill less important than its ‘immense symbolic significance’. The only  alternative to it, he declared, was ‘mass unemployment; the non sequitur is a favourite argument in  such circumstances, and this one was followed by another, ‘the sacrifice of liberty for the sake of a  greater liberty’. He wanted to see the Bill lead to Socialist planning for a certain market; ‘that  market is not America, but Russia and East Europe predominantly’ (here an external motive  appeared). And above all, ‘This is not a question of dictatorship; it is inevitable in the modern  world….’  Thus dictatorship, if called inevitable, is not dictatorship. The Dictatorship Bill was forced through  within a few miles of Runnymede. Mr. Churchill pointed to the truth of the affair in vague words  which prevented the British islander from understanding it: ‘I see now that neither Mr. Morrison  nor the Prime Minister are the men who decide what legislation shall be introduced. They have to  take their orders, as I warned the country at the last general election they would have to do, from  outside bodies with no elective authority.’ The chief of these bodies was the Communist-dominated  Trade Union Congress.  As Parliament dispersed the Prime Minister broadcast a funeral oration over the great Plan of 1945  (for which ‘emergency powers’ had been indispensable). The Plan seemed to have been quite  planless, since it foresaw none of the difficulties he now enumerated. Consequently there was now  a new ‘emergency’ demanding a new Plan.  But the two Plans had one thing in common: British liberties must suffer. Had Lord Acton been  alive he would have seen the astonishing confirmation of his dictum about the French Revolution:  ‘The appalling thing in it is not the tumult, but the design. Through all the fire and smoke we  perceive the evidence of calculating organisation. The managers remain studiously concealed; but  there is no doubt about their presence from the first.’  The situation was that which is the ideal of the revolutionary conspirator. Parliament was absent;  when reassembled the majority was under control; despotic powers had been taken; the power to  support political pressure on weak ministers by arranging strikes or civil troubles lay with ‘bodies  with no elective authority’.  What political aims would be pursued in this semi-anarchic situation? In my judgment, there was a  minimum and a maximum. The minimum was forced labour and the power to imprison political  opponents (Mr. Blackburn correctly said that ‘Under this Bill the Government can do anything they  like to any person in this nation except throw him into prison’; my italics). The maximum was the  complete seizure of power. The minimum may not be reached and this argument may then appear  exaggerated. It is not, and the attempt will continue.  Even before Parliament dispersed the Government gave way in one of the two decisive points of  the minimum programme: forced labour. This was never fully relaxed after the war, and in my  books of 1942 and 1943 I pointed out that while it continued the door to the concentration camp  remained open. Mr. Shaw’s dictum reveals the true end of it, and the Socialist Government, at the  1945 election, swore it would not do this thing: this was its proof of the difference between  ‘Socialist planning’ and ‘Communist dictatorship’. At Bournemouth a year later (June 1946) Mr.  Morrison repeated the pledge: ‘direction of labour would involve a loss of liberty which we are not  prepared to accept’.  Consider how these frontal veterans yielded. One of the principal Trade Union Congress leaders,  Mr. Arthur Deakin, on May 29th, 1947, reaffirmed its unbending opposition: ‘So far as direction of  labour is concerned, the Trade Union Congress will continue to reject any such interference with  the liberty of the individual in industry.’ On July 15th he announced: ‘I am prepared to say now  that we must of necessity accept a limited direction of labour. There are thousands of people who  ought to be placed in productive industry at once.’ Three weeks later the Government announced  ‘the reimposition of labour direction’.  The Government yielded to the Trade Union Congress, which yielded to the Communists; these  alone had from the start cried for this lethal power over people. True, they never said, ‘We want  every human being in this island made a labour slave’; their method was more skilful. They said  they wanted ‘the rich’ to be put to work.  A ‘limited’ direction of labour! What value was there in such reassuring limitations when the men  who spoke could completely change their minds in seven weeks? The Government was in a  runaway wagon, and those who put their shoulders to these wheels knew the way to Gadarea. The  ministers of the façade reeled downhill under pressures from behind. In June Mr. Attlee said  ‘freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and personal freedom is the right of the individual  whether he is a capitalist or a worker, a Conservative, a Liberal or a Socialist’. What ‘personal  freedom’ could survive under forced labour? Mr. Morrison now found it reasonable. Even Mr.  Bevin lapsed into sophistry when, contemptuously dismissing objections to it, he declared there had  always been ‘direction by starvation’.  The coalminer was chiefly used, by those who employed his name to threaten trouble in the  coalfields, to bring about this measure, which menaced the miners more than any. Because they did  not attend ‘union meetings’ they were being taken back three centuries, to the time when a statute  of King James I laid down that ‘if coalminers should leave their masters without consent, they  would be esteemed, reported and held as thieves of themselves and of cowardice for leaving such  masters’; these masters were empowered ‘to lay hold of all vagabonds and sturdy beggars and  compel them to work at the pits’.  170 years after that King George III emancipated the Scottish miners, the last true slaves in Britain  (in 1775). 170 years later still the first ‘Labour Government’ began to reintroduce the conditions of  King James I’s statute. The tyrant State of 1947 was identical with the tyrant Stuart of 1775.  In his lair the old lion stirred and roared. Mr. Churchill may have begun the attack on British liberty  by taking those fatal ‘powers’ without a sure guarantee of their restitution, but he now unerringly  smelt the danger to his native land. ‘I warn you solemnly’ (he broadcast) ‘that if you submit  yourselves to totalitarian compulsion and regimentation of our national life and labour, there lies  before you an almost measureless prospect of misery and tribulation of which a lower standard of  living will be the first result, hunger the second, and the dispersal or death of a large proportion of  our population the third. You have not always listened to my warnings….’  In his long life this master of our language never used words so precisely true. I know from visual  experience that misery, hunger, depopulation and death are the penalties which await the British  islander if the conspiracy of these years succeeds. The warning in living form could be seen in  England in these days: the German slave-labourer. This hopeless man toiled for a few pence; did  not know whether his country would be a country again, when he would return to it, or what use  continued life would be there if he went. Behind forced labour, as Mr. Shaw said, lies death; also, I  add, deportation. Transport overseas, as a slave, is also its logical end.  This warning (should the future historian be interested) did not much move the British people. It  was drowned in that ‘tumult’ which obscures ‘the design’. ‘Crying wolf’, scoffed the ‘Liberal’  newspaper which Charles Dickens once edited. The Times suggested that one should not expect Mr.  Churchill to know what he was talking about. Mr. Churchill was the Conservative leader, but the  Conservative Daily Mail said of labour direction, ‘The hard fact is that it is necessary’ (‘Necessity’,  ‘Inevitability’, ‘Emergency’!). Mr. Philip Fothergill was the Liberal Party chairman and said, ‘The  Liberal Party strenuously denies the need to resort to direction of labour and will put up the  strongest possible opposition to the proposal’, but the Liberal News Chronicle said, ‘We must  accept planning and direction’. These newspapers appeared each day; the political leaders spoke  seldom.  The British island was nearly conquered now. At election-time in 1945, obedient to the transatlantic  song-plugging controllers who invisibly controlled its choice of songs, it sang ‘Don’t fence me in’.  For months the sad dirge went up; the vogue was so great that a clergyman took the words as text  for a sermon. The millions, however, sang it without any understanding of the words, and passively  watched the palisades of the concentration camp going up, as they sang.  ‘We are an independent and an individual people,’ said Lord Montgomery at London’s Guildhall,  ‘our long freedom from oppression has made us self-reliant, and our one passionate belief is in the  liberty of the individual to go his own way.’ It was true; but so gradual was the process, so  deafening the tumult, that the people did not perceive ‘the design’. They had no idea what was  happening.   The Plot Quickens  One of the two last oaken safeguards was down: a man’s freedom to choose his job. Obviously  ‘limited direction of labour’ would become complete and permanent, like bread-rationing; indeed,  it was no sooner announced than the demand for unlimited compulsion was raised by those  ‘without elective authority’.  By yet another foreseeable coincidence, the ‘crisis’ had barely begun, the ‘powers’ been taken, or  Parliament dismissed, when the Trade Union Congress met (September 1st) at Southport. Now Mr.  Arthur Horner, the subject of those springtime rebukes, was by the inscrutable processes of  newspaper promotion become ‘the most important man in England’ (News of the World) and ‘the  dominant figure’ (Daily Express and Daily Mail). As a Communist he could not attend the  government party conference; but he dominated that of the TUC, which dominated the government  party! While coal strikes lent emphasis to his words, he declared that ‘the main cause of the coal  shortage is the shortage if British manpower … We cannot afford the luxury of conceding immunity  from hard or dangerous work to any privileged classes in this country. We need help not only from  those who have lost their jobs but from those who have never thought it necessary to do any jobs at  all … A solution must be found. We must hurry, hurry, hurry’.  Hurry, hurry, hurry! Revolutionary situations do not long continue. Delay might bring opening  eyes, counter arguments, even a revival of the national instinct for danger. A German conqueror  would have imposed unlimited forced labour: between Adolf Hitler and Arthur Horner was no gap  in this matter.  How long would it be before the Government yielded in this respect too? It had already fulfilled the  other Communist demands. Foreign travel had been banned; the Treasury thus cut clean through  the Foreign Minister’s policy of ‘going anywhere I like without a passport’. The preferential-food-  dole for the coalminers who were to stop work if the country were at war had been conceded.  Moreover, by order of the Food Minister, striking coalminers, as well as working ones, now  received double the rations of bread and meat drawn by other citizens, and the Minister for Fuel  and Power upheld his colleague’s action. By order of the Minister of Health the building of new  houses (save for the few in construction) was in September stopped unless they were for coalminers  or farm-workers.  Mr. Horner’s demand was reinforced by others in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister on the  same day by the Communist leader, Mr. Harry Pollitt. These were barely mentioned in the national  newspapers. They undisguisedly served the joint aim of increasing ‘Soviet power’ and British  weakness. They included ‘a national registration of all able-bodied people for industrial work’;  ‘unlimited labour direction’; a reduction of 500,000 in the British armed forces[56] and the  withdrawal of half of the remaining garrisons in ex-enemy countries (at this time further Soviet  expansion into Greece, and from there into Italy and France, clearly only waited on any withdrawal  of British and American troops); the negotiation of ‘new trade agreements with the Soviet Union  and the new European governments’ (this aimed at making the British island dependent on the  Soviet-controlled area of Europe).  Most important, the strengthening of the Communist hold on the Government was the transparent  aim of a demand for the removal of ‘the ministers mainly responsible for the present position’. It  meant, though no newspaper enlightened its readers about this, that the Communists, with their  hands on the trade union machine, were threatening disorders and want in the coming months  unless their demand were met.[57]  As one Communist demand after another was met, governmental anarchy spread. It was difficult to  know any longer who was responsible for what. The frontal leaders agreed that they never would  desert the ideal of free speech, or impose censorship; but the Treasury announced that private  letters leaving the country would be opened to see if they ‘contained currency’. I had seen this  system introduced in Germany. Before the Dictatorship Bill was passed the Government, with an  eye to the gallery, accepted an amendment of the Liberal leader in Parliament, Mr. Clement Davies,  that it would not use its powers to ‘suppress any book or newspaper’. Immediately afterwards the  Board of Trade and the Treasury banned the import of foreign books, save under permit. The  countrymen of Drake, Cook and Shackleton might not travel abroad; the island that bore  Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer and Dickens was to be cut off from the world’s literature.[58] This,  too, I had seen in Germany and Russia.  As events gathered pace, the pretence was dropped that these inflictions were temporary ones,  which would be revoked when ‘the crisis’ passed. ‘Pleasure motoring’ (that is, the townsman’s  brief respite, with his family, from the imprisonment of bricks and mortar, or the country  housewife’s drive to distant friends) was ‘suspended’, a thing for which the Communist newspaper  had long clamoured. The Minister for Food (not the Prime Minister) announced at Dundee,  however, that it was abolished. He also casually mentioned that ‘food purchases from America  have been stopped for the time being’, adding ‘We can manage for some time, if necessary, without  buying any more food from that source’.  In reasonable times such a major act of economic warfare could not be committed without debate in  Parliament, and even under ‘emergency powers’ the Prime Minister might have been expected to  declare it. Now, not even the American Government (as it announced) was informed. Moreover,  this statement destroyed the pretext under which bread-rationing was begun in 1946. It was then  introduced in the name of ‘a world wheat famine’; when a phenomenally good wheat harvest  followed in America, the Minister of Food stated that this would not bring the end of bread-  rationing because of ‘a shortage of wagons’ on the American railways; our dependence on  American wheat was so complete that, on December 9th, 1946, he unexpectedly told Parliament  that a railway strike in America, which was ‘gravely impeding the flow of certain staple foodstuffs  to this country’, would ‘almost certainly necessitate a cut in the bread-ration’.  Now, in the ‘emergency’ of August 1947, American supplies were so unimportant to us that we  stopped buying any and ‘could manage for some time if necessary without buying any more food  from that source’! I had written in July 1946 that bread-rationing would never end unless the  British islander could find a different government.  I should say briefly what caused the great ‘crisis’ of August 1947. It was ‘a dollar shortage’. It was  by this time clear that, whatever other ‘shortages’ came about, there would never be a shortage of  shortages; one would always be found to cover up the attack on British liberties. An American loan  of 1946 had run out much sooner than The Plan foresaw, and now our ‘dollar shortage’ was so  severe that more chains than ever must be put on the British employer, workman and merchant.  Only in this way could our foreign trade be increased and ‘the gap’ between our exports and  imports be ‘closed’.  Mr. Lloyd George had conjured up this same spectre after the first war (‘Our adverse balance at the  present time is nearly £800,000,000. We are spending more; we are earning less. We are  consuming more; we are producing less. Those are the facts and it cannot last’, August 19th, 1919)  but the country was able to part company with him and in the Thirties, though ‘the gap’ was not  much smaller, our prosperity was greater than ever before. The ‘gap’ was more than closed then by  those invisible exports and revenue-earning enterprises, investments and services abroad which the  1945 government forbade. In the Forties it would clearly never be closed while that government  forcibly prevented the rise of the home market and commercial activity abroad; it would remain as  broad, or grow wider.  The economic measures of this government could not be seriously considered as ones designed to  lead, at any time, to prosperity. They were equivalent to setting a dog to improve itself by eating its  own tail and continuing until it devoured its head. No sane man could believe that this would better  its lot. The government’s policy perceptibly and foreseeably led and will lead from bad to worse.  Thus every appeal to ‘work harder and produce more’ was accompanied by penalties on harder  work and more production; every promise to ‘increase exports and lessen the gap’ was  accompanied by some blow to export trade. While Mr. Attlee broadcast his ‘work harder’ appeal,  as ‘the crisis’ broke, a welder at the Austin motor factory was being fined eighteen shillings by his  ‘shop steward’ for working too hard; this money he had earned by responding to his foreman’s  appeal to make a special effort, but the union’s orders ‘restricted men to a specified output and  fined them the extra money they earn if they exceed it’ (this is the Communist method at work).[59]  Similarly, while the Minister for Agriculture broadcast an appeal for ‘more home-grown food’, and  put ‘pig-meat’ first on the list of dollar-saving products, the potentates of the Surrey ‘Agricultural  Committee’ denied rations for four young pigs to a local smallholder.  The export markets, which we needed so sorely to ‘lessen the gap’, were handled in the same  manner. The fact that default in payment was called ‘suspension of the convertibility of sterling’  did not change its nature; this, again, was something I had seen in Germany and Russia. It irritated  the Argentine Government into suspending meat supplies, and certainly did not increase its liking  for British goods. The abrupt ban on foreign travel upset other buyer-countries; the arbitrary  suspension of trade with Denmark ensured a baconless breakfast-table in England. The casual  announcement of suspended food purchases from America and the punitive tax on American films,  were not good sales-arguments for British wares in the wealthiest market. The ban on foreign books  was yet another irritant.  Up to this time the most vivid phrase the Englishman knew for a ridiculous or wasteful action was  ‘taking coals to Newcastle’; now an American minister commented, in words of amazement, on the  spectacle of American coal actually being imported to Newcastle! British high quality cloths for  men’s garments had for generations been renowned as the best in the world. Now these were  denied the British islander, being reserved ‘for export’ in order to help close ‘the gap’; a million  pounds’ worth of men’s suits of inferior quality, however, were imported from France.  In short, this was chaos, the chaos of weak ministers being driven by others towards something they  perhaps did not dare to contemplate, but dared not draw back from. The plan behind the artificial  chaos was clear. Speaking about this time an American minister, Mr. Averill Harriman, said: ‘It is  evident that the forces of Communism plan to seize power at the opportune moment, the moment of  chaos, and to retain power permanently with the establishment of a police state.’ He alluded to  mainland Europe but the words applied literally to England. We were watching the Communist  plan, to seize power through chaos, in action.   The Oak of Runnymede  Now that all other defences were down, the battle converged on the last oaken stronghold: the  British freeman’s exemption from illegal imprisonment. ‘The powers’ stopped short of that: not yet  could ‘any person in this nation be put in prison’.[60]  Would the veterans of ‘British Labour’ stand in this last ditch, or yield this one too? Mr. Attlee had  once declared: ‘The attempt by one section of the community to dominate all others inevitably  means the adoption of terrorism as a weapon.’ Now his testing-time was drawing near.  He was in the position of Kerensky in Russia in 1917, whose government, the unhappy Russians  thought, would bring them the new dawn after the Great Darkness. Kerensky fumbled and lost.  Here is a fascinating point: Mr. Attlee could not be oblivious to that lesson because he had in his  government one of the few men in the world who was an eye-witness of it and could enlighten him.  One of the three ministers who might warn him of the peril of tampering with Magna Charta and  the Habeas Corpus Act, was the son of Kerensky’s own secretary. Within the spacious mansion of  British liberty Russian-born Frank Soskice, fled from the inferno of 1917, rose to become Sir Frank  Soskice and Solicitor General. He must have known what fate hung over England now. He did  know, and for that reason was disliked by the parties within The Party. A strange prank of destiny  placed this man among the last guardians of British justice. Was his voice heeded?  The danger-point approached. I had foreseen and warned against it in those books of 1942 and  1943. When ‘labour-direction’ was announced in 1947 I knew that the attempt was at hand and  waited from edition to edition, from news-bulletin to news-bulletin, for tidings of it. It came exactly  as I foretold. It wore a familiar mask: ‘Down with anti-Semitism.’  On January 1st, 1947, the Communist Daily Worker had declared that ‘the disease of anti-Semitism  could be wiped out in England’ and that ‘laws for this purpose have been framed by Labour legal  experts in Parliament. But the Home Office declares new legislation unnecessary, the police stand  aside and refuse to act, while the poison spreads and festers. The disgust felt by all decent people in  Britain must be translated into action’.  In January 1933 in Germany ‘laws’ for the purpose of imprisoning political opponents had been  ‘framed by Nazi legal experts in Parliament’, and they were put in force when the Reichstag  burned. The Nazis, however, fired the Reichstag on February 27th, 1933. This statement of the  Daily Worker meant that the German situation of 1933 had been reproduced in England, and I then  wrote that some faked incident, like the Reichstag fire, might clearly be produced in the same  ‘design’; I particularly warned against fictitious ‘anti-Semitic incidents’.  The political forgers and incendiaries, I judge, were already at work. In April 1947 the Attorney-  General’s attention was invited to ‘an anti-Semitic leaflet published in North London’; the  publisher’s imprint, however, was found to be forged! In March 1946 the ex-German liner  Milwaukee was destroyed by fire at Liverpool; the police investigations ‘revealed no evidence of  sabotage’ but the chief officer, at the Transport Ministry’s inquiry, said: ‘I feel sure the fire was not  due to an electrical defect, to a welder’s spark, or a cigarette-end. I cannot account for the rapid  spread of the fire’ (the Chief Officer should read the history of the ships’ fires caused by German  agents in the first war and of the Reichstag fire). ‘I can only make public, for the first time, my  private opinion that the fire was deliberate.’ In August 1947 a fire destroyed the future home of  Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The police were ‘satisfied that no suspicious circumstances  are involved and definitely rule out any suggestion of arson; the fire was the result of a carelessly  thrown cigarette-end’ (News of the World). Senior fire officers found that ‘the fire started in a  cavity wall; there is no question of arson or an electrical fault’.  The House of Commons, St. Paul’s, a cinema or a synagogue may be capable of being burned down  by a cigarette-end thrown carelessly (after midnight) into a cavity wall. The Nazis said van der  Lubbe burned the massive stone Reichstag with firelighters. If somebody wearing a label, ‘I am a  Fascist, down with the Jews’, should drop a smouldering vesta near the Albert Hall, it might burst  into inextinguishable flames. The point is, that exceptional laws for dealing with such an event are  already in existence. I do not know how Members of Parliament or newspaper-writers, who  presumably have memories, can venture at such a time to report ‘anti-Semitic incidents’, and call  for their suppression, without recalling the Reichstag fire to their readers.  Exceptional laws on the Leninist and Hitlerist model, nominally directed against some dim group  but in fact aimed at the entire population, are the essential basis of dictatorship. From the moment  the Daily Worker revealed their existence, the danger of the manufactured ‘incident’ loomed over  England. ‘Anti-Semitism’, nevertheless, obstinately refused to rear its head.  Since it did not exist, it clearly needed to be invented. In this cause the long arm of coincidence was  not tired. When ‘the crisis’ was declared, and ‘the powers’ taken, and Parliament sent away, ‘anti-  Semitism’ immediately popped up, in the great Trade Union Congress at Southport, where Mr.  Arthur Horner was ‘the dominant figure’. The delegate of the ‘Jewish Bakers Union’ declared that  ‘anti-Semites march insolently through the Jewish quarter in the East End of London, shouting  “Heil Hitler” and “Heil Mosley”‘; he was supported by other Jewish speakers, and the congress  applauded; a deputation, it was resolved, should forthwith be sent to demand ‘immediate steps’  from the Home Secretary. The 836 cards, fictitiously claimed to ‘represent 7,540,397 workers’,  were brandished as this final ultimatum was prepared, which would complete the destruction of  England’s liberties.  Once more warnings were heard; did the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, or any other heed  them? Mr. George Gibson, another veteran and a former chairman of the Trade Union Congress,  wrote of the growing Communist control of the trade unions and urged their members to ‘oppose  all political theories that are dictated from abroad and are primarily intended to represent the  interests of a foreign state rather than the interest of the people of Great Britain’. A week later yet  another veteran of ‘British Labour’ endorsed them: Lord Dukeston. In the government conclave,  Sir Frank Soskice might have told Mr. Chuter Ede what part ‘laws against anti-Semitism’ played in  the Communist ruination of Russia.  Among the incalculable things which may determine the fate of England as I write is the  personality of Mr. Chuter Ede. Here was another veteran of the old, idealistic British Labour  Movement; another who was coming under that terrible, unseen pressure. He was a retiring man,  little known to the public before he reached his important office, and did not seek the limelight. In  many years of political observation my eye only rested speculatively on him once. About the time  of Dunkirk, I think, he made an emotional speech, on the note of illusion rather than of reality,  about ‘anti-Semitism’.  Developments seem to be foreseen, situations thought out, stages set, players selected and parts cast  long in advance; the appalling thing, as Lord Acton said, is the continuing pattern. In 1947 Mr.  Chuter Ede was the man chiefly under pressure to destroy the last defence of British liberty. I could  only pray that he had heard of van der Lubbe.  The most important men of the twentieth century are not the Lenins and Hitlers, but the van der  Lubbes. Without the hirelings the great felons could not have reached their ends. At every  important stage in the Gadarene tale of our time they appear, from Serajevo to the Reichstag, these  shadowy beings who served the hidden schemers and were held by the gaping masses to be ‘the  guilty men’. While the catspaw exists it will always be easy to arrange ‘anti-Semitic articles’ or  anything else. Since the Reichstag fire, however, no government can be forgiven that outlaws its  people in the name of such easily stage-managed affairs. I studied the drugged, drooling and  dribbling van der Lubbe for months and am certain he did not know what men put him in the  Reichstag.  If the existence of a small, obnoxious group is sufficient pretext for the liberties of a nation to be  destroyed, then those who scheme for power will clearly create the small, obnoxious group.  Punctually with the arrival of ‘the crisis in August, arrived also the anti-Semitic riots’, as I had  foretold after the Daily Worker’s article in January.  Something called ‘The British League of ex-Service Men’ was alleged to be insulting Jews in  North London. At one meeting in Dalston several noisy persons were arrested, among them one or  two Jewish interrupters. When these were charged they claimed to have been provoked by talk of  ‘exterminating the Jews’. All the police witnesses stated that nothing of the kind was said.  On this basis, and from this moment, a great campaign was whipped up to demand ‘action’ against  ‘anti-Semitism’. It began, as I have shown, with the Communists months before ‘the crisis’ was  announced. It was supported now by newspapers, professing Conservative or Liberal sympathies,  which long had fiercely attacked dictatorship, and especially secret-police methods. For instance,  anonymous writers in the News Chronicle, Daily Express and Evening Standard suggested that  ‘anti-Semitism’ was rife and that ‘steps must be taken’. M.P.s of the Communist and Zionist groups  in Parliament went to the area supposed to be riotous and saw and heard what they might be  expected to see and hear.  Above all, ‘deputations’ began to wait on Mr. Chuter Ede. With Parliament away, ‘the crisis’ on  and ‘the powers’ taken, the great affairs of England were handled rather like those of Chicago  during the prohibition period: mysterious gentlemen called with demands, behind which lay threats.  The ‘heat’ was turned on. These Keep Left emissaries demanded ‘a ban on all Fascist meetings, the  prosecution of those responsible for Fascist provocation, legislation to make Fascism illegal, a ban  on anti-Semitism, and the reincarceration of Sir Oswald Mosley’ (the Keep Left leader of 1931).  Here was ‘the Communist programme’ again![61]  Mr. Chuter Ede said these proposals were clearly not within the law ‘at present’; that the war-time  power of putting people away without trial had disappeared ‘and there is now no justification for  such exceptional powers’; the fundamental position in the country was that the expression of  opinion was free ‘but must not amount to sedition’.  ‘This was an excellent reply, save for the qualification ‘at present’. If this stand were maintained,  all might yet be well. Nevertheless, the practice of receiving deputations from ‘outside bodies with  no elective authority’ in such vital matters, at a time when Parliament was not sitting, is wrong.  However, for ‘the present’ the situation was saved, and the tone of the campaign immediately  altered. ‘New powers’ (the argument now ran) were not necessary at all, or after all. ‘Anti- Semitism’ could be stopped under the existing laws against sedition (the idea seems previously to  have been put into Mr. Chuter Ede’s mind, and was now daily hammered home). The goal might be  reached through a distortion of the law, if the law could not yet be altered.  By this time the public mind had been ‘conditioned’, in the modern idiom, to accept the suggestion  that some riotous thing existed, called ‘anti-Semitism’. (Similarly, the Germans were brought to  believe that ‘Communists’ fired the Reichstag.) The Sunday Express (September, 27th) announced  that its Evening Standard would print a regular series of articles on ‘Anti-Semitism week by week’.  This appeared to establish anti-Semitism in permanence, whether it existed or not.  Miss Rebecca West, who was charged to write the articles, went to the battlefield and found that,  the British League of ex-Service Men, left alone, ‘have about 200 supporters who turn up regularly  at all their meetings, none of whom are persons possessed of any influence, and could rope in a  hundred or two passers-by who had nothing better to do at the moment’. The meetings were now  attended by two or three thousand people, some of whom had been attracted by all the publicity,  while the belligerent majority were Communists ‘sent to create disorder’. ‘These riots’, she  reported, ‘have been coldly and deliberately manufactured to persuade the electorate, quite falsely,  that it is under a necessity to choose between Fascism and Communism.’  That was exactly what I had foreseen, and warned against, in January. Van der Lubbe had come to  London. ‘Fascists’ and ‘Communists’, being each other’s stooges, always work together to destroy  liberty, either in open partnership (as at the Berlin traffic-strike which preceded Hitler’s advent to  power and the Nazi-Soviet alliance of 1939-41) or in mock-enmity (as in the years 1933-39 and  1941-45). The greater danger however was, and is as I write, that the Communists or Zionists will  arrange some greater incident, incendiary or explosive, attribute it to ‘the Fascists’, and use it to  prod a weak, Kerensky-like government to the final, fatal step.  The future historian may find it beyond belief that great nations could be brought near to the dust  by such simple tricks, but I saw these things and report them. Incidentally, I found anti-Semitism in  England, in the sense of a vulgar antipathy to Jews as Jews, as rare as inter-marriage with Gentiles  is among Jews. The British islander stubbornly resists such base antagonisms. I was in populous  places in these months, and know. If exceptional laws, or measures, were used against the British  people under this pretext, it would be the greatest lie in history. I took close notice of the public  mien on the day when a newspaper published a picture of the two British sergeants who were first  strangled, then hanged, by Zionists in Palestine. I saw one man after another look at that shocking  picture and turn the page without moving a muscle or saying a word.   Edge Hill  In the autumn of 1947, when the Socialist candidate at ominously named Edge Hill once more  obtained a majority over all others, we were in a more dangerous position than after Dunkirk. Then  our last defence was the Channel, and our last defenders were a few indomitable fighter pilots. Now  our last ditch was the Habeas Corpus Act and our last defenders were ministers who had yielded  every other liberty and were under great pressure to destroy or distort this one. On the first occasion  the enemy was visible; on the second, stealthy, within the fortress, and half-unseen. The penalties  which awaited us on both occasions, if we were defeated, were the same. They were those a  German conqueror would have inflicted in 1940 and those Mr. Churchill depicted in August 1947:  starvation, destitution, degradation, deportation, depopulation and death.  It appears to me that the British nation in the last thirty-three years has survived not two, but four  wars; or at least, four attempts on its nationhood and liberty. These were the two visible wars, and  the two major attempts in the invisible one (which may be understood by studying the ‘Theses and  Statutes of the Second Communist World Congress’ of 1920); the general strike of 1926 and the  Invergordon naval mutiny of 1931.  Of these last, the first was an open attempt to seize power through the revolutionary method, and  the second, one to bring about the collapse of our national defences. I count the events of 1945-47  to form the third and greatest of these invisible wars. It is the most dangerous, because it is waged  through our own parties, politicians, bodies outside parliament and newspapers; the blows of 1926  and 1931 were against the government, while this one is being made through the government. The  first two attempts, fierce though they were, were repelled by little more than a shrug of the massive  British shoulder. The third has almost succeeded through its stealth and public incomprehension of  the process.  I have been through all these events and earlier understood as little of the pattern behind them as  others. In 1926 when I saw riots in the Waterloo Road, I thought them merely to be the unhappy  episodes of an unfortunate time, the outward results of spontaneous combustion. As I have gone  along I have gathered knowledge, pieced the jigsaw together and know different; I now see the  picture. Although my own experience is exceptional, I do not think the design should be difficult  for the majority of folk to discern, and my abiding perplexity today is the stolid unawareness of the  British islander. As I saw him, he was not perturbed in the autumn of 1947, when the fate of Russia  and Germany trod on his heels. Fear he showed none; if he could be moved to a little excitement  this was only because Denis Compton had beaten Jack Hobbs’s record for the number of centuries  scored in a season, at the end of which loomed merely the delightful question: would Tommy  Lawton play or not play for Chelsea?  Yet he had much to lose, and only one barrier now stood between him and the loss. About this time  a woman, Mitzi Zwerenz, died in Vienna; in her youth she first sang Oscar Strauss’s ‘Waltz  Dream’. The changes that had come about in Europe between that famous night and the day of her  death were almost beyond living comprehension, but her passing for an instant illumined the huge  tragedy and caused a newspaper in tiny, forlorn Austria to cry: ‘She sang for a generation which  heard the future knocking at the door but never believed that a single shot at Serajevo could bring it  all down in ruins. She belonged to a world that we have lost for ever.’  England, in 1947, inhabited the edge of that lost world, was nearly over the brink, and still might  restore it, for itself and for Europe. At this time, again, Eros was brought back to Piccadilly Circus,  and an eighty-year-old London woman who watched the utility-ceremony recalled the first  unveiling half a century before. ‘That day,’ she said, ‘Piccadilly Circus was packed with horse-  carriages, donkey carts, hansom cabs and thousands of people … It was garlanded and gay with  coloured balloons. Everybody was happy, with no troubles. Let’s hope Eros will bring back  something of the good old days that is missing from our lives just now.’  Popular festivals and public gaiety, then commonplace, have almost gone. Even the wreckers’  slogans today are dull and morbid. The French, when they began this process of decay, at least  followed inspiring cries (and did not know they were false): Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Utilité,  Priorité,’ Austerité sadly called the British leaders of 1945-47; ‘We work or want’ lamented the  posters; ‘Keep death off the roads’; ‘Beware of V.D.’.   Nor Never Shall  Is there an instinct of self-preservation in a nation, as in a man? While these things went on an  eminent writer, Mr. Charles Morgan, foretold that the nation would yet find its own unpredictable  way out of ‘the closing prison’, saying: ‘The English have a genius for remedying their own  mistakes. They may have voted themselves into the place where they are now, but they did not  knowingly pass a life-sentence on themselves and their children.’  Yet, long after that, they voted themselves into the same place, at Edge Hill. By that time it was  gruesome to watch the progress of the virus, power, in the veins of those who led them. Mr. J.B.  Priestley, who in his time had used the freedom of the spoken and written word as liberally as any  man, was by now a leading member of the Press Commission, and might determine whether or not  it should remain free. Not the havoc caused by governmental act in these years, he thought, but the  press was to blame ‘for persuading the people that they are having a worse time than they actually  are’.  A worse time? On September 30th, 1947, a new ministry was created, that of Economic Affairs. Sir  Stafford Cripps, who was appointed to it, was to have (the newspapers said) ‘powers over nearly  every aspect of the nation’s life’. These powers seemed to me, when I examined them, to resemble  closely the ones given to Göring early in Hitler’s regime.[62] A fortnight earlier he had told the  nation plainly what it was to expect; if the time to come was bad, the description of it was his, not  the newspapers’.  It was the worst, I judge, ever plainly promised to a free and civilised people. The Briton’s lot was  to be that of a coolie, working without prospect of present gain or future happiness; such hopes  were ruthlessly crushed. All strength and effort were to be diverted to production ‘for export’. The  ‘standard of living’ could not be maintained; the many ‘cuts’ already made would not achieve that,  and if exports were not sufficiently increased, there would be ‘drastic cuts in our imports of  foodstuffs since there is practically nothing left to cut’.[63]  Now, that was all very well if people abroad (whose toes were being daily trodden on) agreed to  buy our goods, but what if they did not? Would the unsaleable goods in that case be offered to the  British islander? he was asked. No, he answered; in that case the materials would be used for  something else that could be exported.[64]  I doubt if a more open intimation of State-enforced deprivation has ever been made by a minister to  a nation.[65]  When this news reached America a British diplomat, Sir John Balfour, said: ‘Britain’s economic  crisis has placed her in greater peril than her people-have experienced since the collapse of the  Roman Empire ushered in the Dark Ages.’  The description of the effect was exact: that was our plight; but I think the cause was mis-stated.  This was not ‘an economic crisis’ but a political one, demonstrably brought about by a series of  political acts, done under the exceptional powers of war-time, which quite foreseeably led to it; and  I think I have shown the forces, pressures and motives behind these acts. I believe I have displayed  the shape of The Plan.  If in the end The Plan is defeated, and England moves into the future still Christian, free and strong,  I think this island will undoubtedly have proved itself to be the greatest moral force in the world. It  will have succeeded in something that no other great country has achieved: in throwing off the  bonds of dictatorship when they were nearly complete. It will have shown by that there is after all  such a thing as an educated democracy and the spirit of the whole world would vibrantly respond to  that example. The shape of the twentieth century, the first half of which has been that of  accumulating and increasing evil, will then in the event be determined by its second half, which  will be good. England will show that its seven hundred years of gradual self-improvement and slow  progress towards human dignity and freedom, do not count for nothing and cannot be swept away  by a little political plotting, a few resolute conspirators and a few weak men.  If it all ends like that, how admirable, in later retrospect, will the British islander’s way of dealing  with his affairs appear! It has been difficult to admire his apparent surrender while it was  happening; he seemed quite needlessly to play with the fires of damnation, to toy with avoidable  danger. But there seems something in him which tells him not to shun the worst before he has made  sure that it is the worst, some gallant instinct which moves him to let danger take mortal shape  before he tackles it. He seems to feel so sure of his own strength and ability to put matters right, in  his own time, that he will let his rulers go very far in putting them wrong before he intervenes.  As I finish this tale of two years in England the first signs of hope offer themselves. Though the  destroyers continue to win their by-elections, there was a distinct rebuke and rebuff to the Socialists  in the municipal elections of November 1st, 1947. The number of their supporters did not even then  diminish, but the mass of their adversaries greatly increased and they lost hundreds of council seats.  Since the all-important thing now is to remove a government with such a record, this was a hopeful  portent, made more hopeful by the fact that it was a warning, not alone to the Socialists, but also to  the strongest opposition party, the next government-presumptive. It was a warning to the  Conservatives not to continue the process which has done so much damage to England in these two  years, should they return to office, and not to repeat their own fiasco of the Thirties.  The other hopeful sign was the debate in Parliament on November 3rd, 1947, about forced-labour.  If only two Socialists protested against the Dictatorship Bill, five now rebelled against the ‘Control  of Engagement Order’.  The number is pitifully and incomprehensibly small, when one considers that this measure gave a  Socialist Government, which likes to call itself a ‘Labour’ one, the power to send working-men to  prison if they refused to take dictated employment. But it is an increase, and may yet grow.  This fantastic measure, too, was passed by a majority (108) which roughly represents the strength  of the Communist, Zionist and associated groups inside the Socialist Party. It is significant that the  five remonstrants included veterans of the real ‘British Labour’ movement, men with real mining  and working-class experience, like Mr. Rhys Davies and Mr. D. Grenfell. Mr. Rhys Davies’s  speech, like that of Mr. Raymond Blackburn in the Dictatorship Bill debate, belongs to the historic  protests of our Parliament. He said, among other things: ‘To those who say I am embarrassing the  government by this motion, and trying to bring them down, I say it is better for a government to  meet its doom than for individual freedom to perish in the British Isles … A pair of handcuffs are  not easier to wear because they shine with a Socialist solution … The day of reckoning on this  problem will come to the government. The Minister of Labour may feel that he is doing the right  thing under it, but once this regulation goes out of his hands he will not know what is going to  happen. If this regulation is operated you will create divisions and hatred within sections of the  working class. It will result in neighbours spying on neighbours and workers telling tales on each  other. Informers and denouncers will grow like mushrooms.’  Such remonstrances as these, coming from a few men of goodwill in all parties, and in truth  directed against all parties, contained, as 1947 ended, the last seeds of hope for this island’s future.  For the 3rd of November 1947 was the second major date in the story of the dictatorship in  England; the 26th of July 1946, when bread-rationing was begun, was the first. Another miracle of  Dunkirk, as I wrote earlier, may yet save us; but after the dead of November 3rd, 1947, only one  more step remained between this country and the brink.  The staggering fact exists that on this day 252 ‘Labour’ M.P.s, 252 men and women who claimed  exclusively to represent ‘the working class’, 252 Socialists who at the 1945 election had pledged  themselves to leave the labouring-man free – that these 252 voted for slave-labour, forced labour,  call it what you will. They called it ‘The Control of Engagements Order’, thus satisfying, in his  78th year, the gay curiosity expressed by Mr. Hilaire Belloc, in his 56th, when he wrote:   ‘When men return to an old institution which they have discarded, and the proper  name for which has grown odious – as we are returning to the enslavement of labour  – they are particularly anxious to avoid that name, and spend much energy in getting  the old thing under a new title. Thus no one will call compulsory labour “slavery”.  Nor will even the word “compulsion”, or “compulsory” appear on the surface. There  will be some other term, and I shall follow with curiosity and delight the evolution  of that term’ (The Cruise of the Nona, 1925).  Mr. Hilaire Belloc understood better, and earlier, than any other save Mr. G.K. Chesterton the great  plot of the twentieth century, and was entitled to the rueful smile of the prophet scorned if he  compared those words of 1925 with the name which slave-labour was in 1947 given in England:  The Control of Engagements Order. The 252 Socialists who voted against the Socialist Mr. Rhys  Davies’s motion to annul this lethal Order were men (and women) guiltier far than the men they  had long called guilty. They had in just over two years made England walk the plank; by this vote  they pushed the country to the very end of it; and thereafter only the drop into the totalitarian void  remained.  The scene in our ancient House of Commons that day deserves some words. The Prime Minister  did not appear. At that very moment a book by a Socialist M.P., Mr. Douglas Jay, was in the press  which contained a foreword by Mr. Attlee.[66] In it the Prime Minister of England declared in effect  that the dividing line between democracy and totalitarianism consisted precisely in whether labour  was directed or free; when labour was directed, the dividing line between democracy and  totalitarianism had been crossed.[67]  I do not believe that a dividing line can be drawn between ‘democracy’ in the sense these ministers  of the façade appeared to understand it and totalitarianism; Socialism has repeatedly been proved to  be a runaway wheel on a slippery slope, and cannot be halted. Assuming for the purpose of  argument, however, that a halt could be called and a dividing line drawn, Mr. Attlee was perfectly  right: this is the line between a free nation’s life and death. Once that line is crossed the rest  automatically follows.  Mr. Attlee and his leading colleagues, then, knew clearly what they were doing when they did the  thing they said they would never do. They never explained why they did it, beyond pleading ‘a  crisis’ and ‘a dollar shortage’; dollars, however, are not our island currency, while ‘necessity’, as  Pitt said, has always been the plea for every attack on human liberty. It was obvious, from the  moment of the vote of November 3rd, 1947, that the same forces and pressures to which the  government yielded in this fatal matter would urge it to the last irrevocable step. That final step  over the brink would be a measure, in some form or other, to disqualify, outlaw, arrest or imprison  political opponents; its inevitably attendant consequences would be the suppression of free speech,  in some form or other, and the falsification, by some means or other, of elections. As in the case of  forced labour, other names would clearly be found for these, but their meaning and effect would be  undeniable.  Thus the final phase of the Battle in Britain, of the battle for England, began on November 3rd,  1947. It will be fought, if it is fought, and won for freedom, if it is won, by individual people  instinctively rising in protest, not by parties, for these have shown themselves unstable as water.  Whatever the outcome of the grim battle which lies ahead in England, the period from the election  of July 1945 to the end of 1947 is the most illuminating of this fateful century, and that is why I  have recorded and related its events as clearly as I can. For the first time the shape of the great Plan  has become perfectly clear and, whatever the result, after this none need be doubtful about the  process of the twentieth century. The world is witnessing a planned, deliberate attempt to reduce a  great nation to serfdom, and the unplanned, convulsive, instinctive effort of that nation to evade the  closing clutch. It is the decisive stage in the great design which, in the course of a hundred and fifty  years, has re-enslaved nearly all of Europe. If it succeeds, not only England, but Europe as we  know it, will be finished. If it fails in England, the darkness over mainland Europe will clear and  the future open out again.  From the point of view of the contemporary narrator of these events, and possibly from that of the  threatened British islander, it is a great advantage that the process of reducing England has been a  gradual one, pursued stealthy step by stealthy step. The promoters of the Plan did not venture to  introduce total dictatorship in England immediately after ‘Victory’ and its election. To have  clamped down forced labour, travel-bans,[68] bread-rationing, building-bans, class-rationing and all  the rest on England in that moment would have too abruptly revealed the shape of the Plan and its  identity with dictatorship in Russia or Germany. The shock-effect on this island and the world  would have been too great.  Hitler’s teaching, therefore, had to be followed: that if you reduce nations bit-by-bit, and they  swallow the first bit, they will never summon the strength to resist each subsequent deprivation and  privation. In the case of an ancient and immensely strong democracy like ours, however, this  method has weaknesses. It leaves time: time for the informed observer to discern and reveal the  course of events; time for the public masses intuitively to understand and rebel against it. This point  of public comprehension we have nearly reached as I write. It is a moment both dangerous and  reassuring: dangerous because it must tempt the planners, or the plotters as I believe they should be  called, to complete their ruination of English liberty before they can be thwarted; reassuring  because public resistance begins to mass and express itself.  It is the testing time, when the decision is in the bud; it may have unfolded itself when this book  appears.   This island never did, nor never shall  Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,  But when it first did help to wound itself.  Shakespeare’s lines are often quoted without the third one, and that makes the first two  meaningless. In 1945-47 England helped to wound itself, and in 1948 lay nearly under a  conquering foot.   ***                  Chapter Two  THE SECOND INTERREGNUM?  Were I writing this second Insanity Fair in any country but mine I would foretell the future as  confidently as I did in the first. No prophetic gift was needed for that; the successive attacks on  Austria and Czechoslovakia, the German bid for alliance with Soviet Russia, and the resulting war  were all foreseen by every other whose duty it was to send information home, privately or publicly.  The progress of events was as clear to them as the end of a disease to doctors who know the  symptoms.  By that parallel, I would say now, when I review the sequence of events since July 1945, that the  last fatal step will sooner or later be taken in England and this country reduced to dictatorship, with  the penalties which Mr. Churchill literally and precisely enumerated. Not all the camouflage can  disguise the fact that the road we are travelling is that which Germany and Russia followed, and the  end is beyond doubt if we pursue it further. It would mean a return to the Dark Ages for England,  and therewith for all Europe.  But this is the one country in the world, possibly, where this confident assertion cannot be made.  Perhaps because nothing else remains to hope and believe, I hope and believe that it will find its  own uncomprehended and unforeseeable way out of the corner where it has been put. Our island  story offers a previous example:  History may not repeat itself, but it frequently reproduces similar situations. There are  extraordinary resemblances between the Sixteen Forties and the Nineteen Forties, between 1648  and 1948, between the Cromwellian period and this one. The Cromwellian ordeal even started at  Edge Hill.  Cromwell began as The Friend of The People, the champion of Parliament against the King, the  bold challenger of tyranny. He began by abolishing the House of Lords[69] and the King; and ended  by abolishing parliament and setting himself up as king. He, too, destroyed the great safeguards of  Magna Charta. He ruined liberty, inflicted confiscatory taxes, threw every household open to his  agents, boasted of a massacre in Ireland, crippled trade, seized men’s land, homes, goods and  chattels, and reduced the nation to a condition of fettered despondency from which no resurrection  seemed possible.  Had he had his way, he would have founded a dynasty of dictators bearing his own name.  At his death the whole evil edifice crumbled away. I think this escape and recovery must be unique  in history, and hope the British people will repeat it. That the king was restored is not the important  thing, and may be a slightly misleading one. Liberty was restored, and the king was the outward  and visible symbol, nearest to hand, of that triumphant resurrection. The aching passion to be rid of  their chains expressed itself in this act of the British nation; that was the cause of the hurricane of  joy which swept London on May 29th, 1660. There have been other restorations of kings in history,  but never one that meant so much. Cromwell in the Sixteen Forties destroyed the achievements of  Runnymede four centuries before, which had needed twelve hundred years to reach. Their  restoration in 1660 made them safe for another three centuries – until 1945.  The parliament of 1645 did not do, or understand how to do, what the barons had done at  Runnymede four hundred years before: make the king bow to their will and then, when he had  signed liberty’s warrant, let him rule under their watchful eye. Instead, they forged a weapon  against him which was to be used against themselves. When they looked round they found that  Cromwell’s New Model Army hated them as much as it hated the king. When they had abolished  the office of the king and the House of Lords, and dismissed those Common Law judges who might  have protected them, the Army stepped in, sent them home and took over. That is exactly the point  which the Socialist Government in Britain approached in 1947. The parliament of 1647 found itself  confronted with a new master of its own creation: Cromwell’s Army. The Socialist parliament of  1947 found itself confronted with a new master of its own creation: a Communist-dominated Trade  Union Congress.  Cromwell’s ‘Major Generals’ (the Regional Commissioners of that day) ruled the country. Any  man they called a Royalist (‘Fascist’) was outlawed. Forced labour was introduced; since motor  cars did not exist, men were forbidden to ride horses; they were not allowed to walk abroad on  Sundays or even to lean against their door-posts on that day; a ruthless censorship was imposed;  one parliament after another was first summoned, then expelled by soldiers; the snooper listened at  every corner and tavern for ‘disaffection’.  Yet it was not the end, not final return to the Dark Ages, but only The Interregnum. After eleven  years the life of England resumed its healthy course for another three centuries. I think I am right in  saying that this resuscitation is unique in history. Can it happen again?  There is the rub. Today’s unanswered question is not only one of the native health of England, of  its inherent power to live through and recover from a second Interregnum. Today an alien hand  holds the closing prison door and would not relax its grip again if this were once shut.  With all the resemblances, there is that major difference between the parliament of 1647,  confronted by a Cromwellian army with its hand on the sword, and the Socialist parliament of  1947, confronted by a Communist-dominated trade union organisations with its hand on the  coalfields. Cromwell, his Major Generals and New Model Army were all patriots for their country.  They enslaved it for themselves, for gain and for power, but not for a third party. For the crime  worse than tyranny Cromwell had fitting words:  ‘This being a more prodigious treason than any that hath been perfected in England before, because  the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another, this to vassalise us to a foreign  nation.’ The words were spoken in 1648. They are much more true in 1948.  I have no doubt of the power of England to achieve this second rebirth, if only it can see the real  meaning of the danger. There is a loose idea about, which is skilfully spread by those who stand to  gain, that great nations must fall into decay at a certain point, and that this is happening to England.  Perhaps the illusion began when Gibbon chose his title, ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman  Empire’. The inference which remained in many minds was that at some moment the arteries of a  nation harden, that the weakness and fatigue of old age enter into a people as into a man.[70] This  seems to me demonstrable nonsense, and certainly is not that which is happening in England.  The condition of England is quite clearly not the result of any such processes of natural decline, but  of a deliberate and well-planned assault by political forces, alien in their roots and hostile in their  spirit. That is why I think the years 1945-47 so important, and have given much space to their  events. What was but a half-developed film in the Thirties and during the second war, is now a  sharp picture, visible to all who wish to see. If the attempt fails, it will be carried further and  repeated; in either case, the shape of it at last stands revealed.  That is to my mind the enormous importance of these years. Of the native strength of England there  is no doubt. This is not rot inside the oak, but an external blow at it.  An Englishman must believe that the attempt will fail, and that this nation will somehow break  through the second Interregnum to a new century, or new centuries, of steady improvement in  liberty, in humane thought and matters spiritual, in art and in trade. All these things, which steadily  grew through good times and bad, through ‘slump’ and ‘boom’, through peace and war from 1660  to 1945, have been repressed by governmental act since 1945 and will not revive while the  Interregnum lasts.  There is much to build hope on. There is, above all, the happy outcome of the former Interregnum;  good came out of evil then. There are still the remains of liberty and there must be, somewhere  deep in the islander’s soul, the latent longing to restore them whole. There is still the monarchy  which, in a succession of different families, has carried the feeling of continuity and kinsmanship  among the British family unbroken through more than a thousand years.  If daily reality becomes meaningless, as it does in a time when cuts are recommended to stop  bleeding and leeches are applied to infuse lifeblood, men grope for hopeful symbols. Charles II was  more a symbol of liberty and liberation than a king. There may be a symbol of better times to come  in the name Elizabeth. By the time the second Elizabeth reaches the throne the ailment should have  run its course; England should be ready and hungry for liberty again.  The English feeling for the monarchy, whatever family name it bears at the time, is deep and  instinctive, and with good cause. It stands second only to the root achievement of Magna Charta, as  an obstacle to the plan which is aimed against England today. That great deed put the British  freeman on a level with the king to whom he owed allegiance, and I think this is the reason, felt if  not understood, for his deep and continued devotion to his monarchy whatever the House. The  edicts of 1945-47, which put ministers above the law, in effect put the British freeman outside it,  thus restoring in favour of officials, the state of affairs that existed before Magna Charta.  In the years 1945-47, for the first time in my life, a visible, though subtle, war was waged upon the  monarchy. The hidden prompters of anonymous articles and those popular columnists Dan Druff  And Jack Awl joined to squirt little jets on it, like lapdogs befouling the Nelson Column. I think  they found that they offended something deep in the strange British islander, for these excretions  diminished; the lapdogs ran away, no doubt to squirt another day.  The government itself was content to ensure that the wedding of the future queen should be held  under the drab banner of UPA (Utilité, Priorité, Austerité) by banning the use of timber for stands  in the streets. Its philosophy of life seemed to be, don’t eat, don’t drink and don’t be merry, and  tomorrow you’ll die.  Had it given England new heraldic arms, these might have shown a socially secure citizen vert  couchant, chained by fetters gules to a utility bed or, beneath a heaven of priority dockets azur;  supporters, two officials austère rampant.  It was a strange experience during these years to sit among fellow Londoners in a darkened picture-  theatre and watch the progress of the king’s family through South Africa. Outside bans, ‘shortages’,  queues, threats of hunger, vetoes on warmth and light, ‘cuts’, unmended ruins, forbidden repairs,  warnings, gloom; inside, sunshine, beflagged and begarlanded streets, cheering, joyful people. Far  away, at the southern tip of Africa, the feeling of family, the sense of belonging together, the  happiness of reunion, were as strong as ever. The people among whom I sat saw themselves as they  had been not long before. There was an odd, tangible strain in the darkness. I could not tell whether  they no longer recognised their former selves, or felt that it would be disloyal to yield to such  recognition, or were unhappy to be reminded of their earlier condition. They had once been like  this, able to cheer and rejoice without fear of the morrow; it was the most natural thing in the world  for them. Now they sat in a brooding, rather puzzled silence.  Incalculable things shape the thoughts, and perhaps the destinies, of nations. It may be that these  pictures, glowing in a dark time, planted in people’s minds a sense of what they were losing and the  seeds of recovery. (It was after they appeared that the lapdogs paused in their squirting.) These  seeds may bear fruit in years to come. At the end, men and women want to be free and happy. In  these pictures the British islander saw himself as others had formerly seen him; gradual  understanding might yet be born in him of that unplanned visit to a cinema.  This man in the darkness was still important to mankind, for the future of the world depended on  his surviving the new Interregnum: I am sure of that. In South Africa Field-Marshal Smuts said it:  ‘I look upon British rule as a safer guarantee of peace than the United Nations itself’; and this was a  heartening utterance, for he had done much to build up the dangerous initials.  ‘It is not that Britain is no longer a Great Power’, he added. ‘She is an invalid, having been  incapacitated by the great effort she had to make in the war.’ This, I believe, was not true. It may  have been true in 1945, but in 1947 Britain was kept incapacitated and invalid by the acts of its own  government, which prevented recovery. But this statesman was right again when he said: ‘It is  necessary for the peace of the world that Britain shall recover her position and maintain herself as  one of the super powers in the world. That will happen. It is merely a matter of time.’  It is not merely a matter of time, but one of understanding the true causes of our plight, and that is  the great lack. Churchmen are more often wrong than most others, when they discuss these matters,  but the Dean of Chichester fairly pictured the British islander’s danger when he said:   ‘Our beloved country is confronted by a foe still more ruthless than the Germans …  This foe is endeavouring to destroy us by plot and by propaganda, by open attacks,  by secret machinations and by slander and abuse. In every country of the world this  foe employs its agents to weaken the influence of Britain. We must strive to avoid  the mental indolence, muddled thinking, cowardice and sheer selfishness which  brought the danger upon us seven years ago. At that time the Government and the  great majority of the British people did not wish to hear about the danger in which  they stood and snatched at any excuse for thinking it would all come right.’  I do not, however, agree that the perplexed man in the cinema was indolent, cowardly or selfish.  The identity of the enemy and the nature of the attack were withheld from him by his government,  and politicians and newspapers of all parties connived in this. Thus he could in the last resort only  trust to such acts of God as brought him through the first Interregnum and to his own ultimate  instinct for the right course. As to this, one of the ministers who was helping to place him in such  peril, Mr. Herbert Morrison, said:   ‘You cannot stop the British people from doing things for themselves so as to give  themselves a fuller and happier life. As long as this is true the British will never be  creatures of the State. No State officer or local government official can prevent the  people living a life of their own, and any statesman who gets beyond a certain point  in trying to order people about and in trying to shape their lives will have a lively  time. As long as this spirit exists there will be no Hitler arising in Britain.’  May it be true, though that was said after the Government had struck the deadly blows of August  1947 at the British islander’s hope of a future. If it is true the man in the cinema will in time come  out of that darkness and merge once more with the happy people he saw on the screen inside.  Among the instincts which may be shaping the future now are the islander’s deep attachment to  kingship. In these perilous years the bearing of the king and his family seemed to me possibly  decisive. Kings, queens, princes and princesses do not today determine their public actions or write  their own speeches. They are surrounded by advisers, whom the people do not know, and in our  century the word ‘adviser’ has taken on a sinister meaning it seldom had before. But in this case we  seem to be blessed. The calm and prudent steps of the king’s family were among the incalculable  factors of this time, which may have great effect on the future.  I expect many people shared my own feeling of lightened depression when they heard a fresh  young voice speak from South Africa above the daily tumult of politics, and in that well-advised  twenty-first birthday message lay stress on the unity of the British family everywhere and its  common struggle:  ‘Most of you have read in the history books the proud saying of William Pitt that England had  saved herself by her exertions and would save Europe by her example. But in our time we may say  that the British Empire has saved the world first and has now to save itself after the battle is won. I  think that is an even finer thing than was done in the days of Pitt, and it is for us who have grown  up in these days of danger and glory to see that it is accomplished in the long years of peace that we  all hope stretch ahead … I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening …  It is very simple. I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be  devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong, but I  shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now  invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my  vow and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.’  Were England any other country than the strange and lovely one it is, I should say that, having been  brought to the edge of perdition since it won the second instalment of the twentieth-century war, its  final subjugation, by an alien-controlled dictatorship, was at hand. Because it is England, and has  survived one Interregnum, I look forward, against all the rules of reason, to new Elizabethan times.  ***                                                    PART FOUR    THE FULMINENT  FIFTIES: 1950 –      In 1947 People in England, though the fighting ceased two years earlier, spoke of ‘before the war’  when they thought of normal times. Subconsciously, therefore, they realised that they were not in a  state of peace. Furthermore, when they spoke of ‘the last war’ they meant the first one. Intuitively,  then, they knew that the second one was not finished.  That is the truth of the matter. The continuation of the second instalment of the twentieth-century  war was arranged while it went on; the transactions about Poland and Yugoslavia chiefly, and  foreseeably, effected this. It is no more possible for Europe to remain cut in half than for a serpent  to live with a half-engorged rabbit in its mouth; it must either wholly devour or wholly disgorge.  The anti-Christian Empire must either swallow the remaining half of the area of European  Christendom or surrender it. Though all things are possible, my experience tells me that it will not  yield it up[71] and the simple means to make it do so, without fighting, was thrown away when the  great Western armies were, helter-skelter, withdrawn from Europe and China at the fighting’s end.  Thus while the second act was still in progress the stage was set for the third act of the Fulminant  Fifties. What will it be called? Perhaps ‘Democracy against Dictatorship’ by the one side, and  ‘Communism against Capitalism’ by the other. The lesson of the first two acts, however, shows that  such names would be used merely to delude the masses and that other purposes would hide behind  these masks.  The dictators would clearly spread dictatorship everywhere if they won and call it World  Communism; the ‘democrats’ would plainly seek to spread dictatorship everywhere if they won  and call it World Government. ‘Mankind’ would be offered ‘a choice’ where no choice in fact  existed.  The only thing worth fighting for, however, would be in the Fifties, as ever before, nationhood and  national liberty within national frontiers. To complete the destruction of those is the foreseeable  purpose of the third act of the Greek tragedy. Since the controlling minds on each side would be  possessed by the same thought, they would in reality be allies. The course of the first two acts  seems to me to have made plain that there are powerful men in all countries who pursue this aim,  and I think Hitler may have belonged to them.[72]   Chaos Planned or Unplanned?  Have the events of this century, now approaching their climax, been merely episodic ones, as  unaccountable and unpredictable in the affairs of nations as earthquakes or volcanoes in those of  nature? I think the answer is demonstrably no. We live in an age when all governments announce  great Plans (as if to plan were not the only reason for governments), but through them all runs the  super-plan and it is a man-made one. There is a design behind the tumult; the presence of Lord  Acton’s unseen managers cannot any longer be doubted; the appalling thing is the continuing and  clarifying success of their purpose. The shape of things past is now clear to see, and it throws the  shadow of that to come.  A backward glance at the ruination of these two wars, innumerable upheavals and thirty-three years  shows that two great purposes, planted before they began, alone have grown greater through them.  Through all ‘the tumult’ the rise-and-fall of states, the collapse of nations and the destruction of  liberty, through the three tumultuous decades, these two new forces alone prospered and became  more powerful, until today they dominate the scene. No matter what the slogans of the moment, no  matter what the apparent clash of other forces, they exclusively throve and became stronger.  These two purposes were Communism and Political Zionism. Both are ambitions new, in their  audacity, in the world’s history. The first openly demanded world power for its revolutionary  doctrine and published the methods it would use. The second demanded territory in one part of the  world and an exceptional status (in fact, power) everywhere else.  Both sprang from the same place: Russia. Both became openly powerful at the same moment,  namely, October and November 1917, when the Communists seized power in Russia and the  Political Zionists’ claim was publicly underwritten by a British government. Both, therefore,  appeared in the midst of ‘tumult’. Both worked hand in hand and promoted each other’s aims  during the next thirty years (whether in the third act they will separate and strike at each other, or  appear to do so, is a revelation reserved for the Fulminant Fifties). Both received the support of  British and American politicians, arms and money, in advancing their aims, particularly during ‘the  tumult’ of the two wars. Both emerged from the first war powerful, from the second one, much  more powerful. Both were helped on their way by the appearance of ‘anti-Semitic Fascism’ in  Germany, and could not have made such progress without it.  A backward glance at the perspective of these thirty years now shows that the existence of  ‘National Socialism’ was indispensable to their common advance. This is the point where the  mystery of Hitler’s origins, real motives, sudden entry and exit become significant. In England  today ‘the revival of Fascism’ is being invented for transparent political reasons.  I believe the fact of their common birthplace is not generally known. Anarchism-Nihilism-  Bolshevism-Communism (to give the successive names) was born in Russia in the Eighties and  Nineties, or was reborn there; for its doctrine may be followed back to the secret societies behind  the French Revolution a century earlier. In Russia the Jews took a great part in that movement;  large numbers of them came to this country and America after the unsuccessful revolutions of 1890  and 1905; and such emigrant Jews, returned, predominated in the earlier Bolshevist governments (I  have given the authorities in previous books).  The development in the last fifteen years has been curious. Jews have almost disappeared from the  front ranks of the Soviet Government in Russia, but have continued to take a leading part in the  Communist daughter-parties in all other countries. Often they are the children of the migrants of  1890 and 1905 or later. This fact was confirmed by the disclosures of the Canadian Report, of a  trial in South Africa and of authentic information from America, Australia and other countries.  The parallel development of Political Zionism is fascinating to study. Its growth in Jewry much  resembles that of National Socialism in Germany. It is not much more than sixty years old; at the  start was feared by the mass of Jews; and now has the bulk of them in a grip, sometimes mystic and  more often terrorist.  It was in 1882 that one Leo Pinsker published (in Berlin) his Auto-emancipation, A Warning to his  Race by a Russian Jew (I take ‘auto-emancipation’ to mean ‘self-liberation’). He first raised the cry  that the Jews ‘must become a nation’.  ‘Rabbis through the centuries have reminded Jews that they would be committing suicide by  establishing a political State,’ said a Dr. Rabinovitch in Montreal in 1946 (he described himself as  ‘a British subject, citizen of Canada, and a Jew through and through’). But since Pinsker sounded  that call very many rabbis have yielded to its temptation. ‘Mighty things from small beginnings  grow’; I doubt if Pinsker dreamed that within fifty years Gentile politicians in great States would  jump at the Zionist knock on their doors and hasten to do their callers’ bidding, or that his  proposals would have been so stupendously enlarged.  His Warning is sad, even gruesome to read. The Jews were everywhere ‘emancipated’, or  becoming so, but he complained that this was not the self-evident recognition of a natural human  right, but merely the result of intellectual enlightenment. He wanders into a dim and intricate jungle  of dialectics where he may only be followed by those who know something of the unhappy and  unappeasable Jewish soul; he seems to dislike those who saw in a Jew merely another being on two  legs like themselves even more than those who saw a distinct, antipathetic Jewish being; he detests  ‘our protectors’ more than ‘our enemies’. ‘We must have’ (he said) ‘a home, if not a country of our  own … The goal of our present endeavours must be not the Holy Land but a land of our own’ (not  long afterwards the Zionists refused Uganda). He recommended ‘the purchase’ of a piece of land  where several millions of Jews could settle, for instance, ‘a small territory in North America or a  sovereign Pashalik in Asiatic Turkey’ recognised by the Sultan and other powers ‘as neutral’.  Even Pinsker’s plan, however, contained the fatal germ, which was to infect the whole project in  the twentieth century. He wanted the Jews to be a nation with a country; but did not want the nation  to inhabit that country. He only wanted ‘the surplus’ of Jews to go there, and the others to remain  where they were. He claimed the rights of nationhood for the Jews but would not concede them to  others. He claimed that the Jews were not nationals of the countries they lived in, with a faith of  their own, but members of a distinct nation, yet entitled to the full rights of other nationalities in  those various lands. It was a claim unique in history, or one hitherto imposed only by armed  conquerors on enslaved peoples.  ‘The comparatively small number of Jews in the Occident, who, constitute an insignificant  percentage of the population, and for this reason, perhaps, are better situated and even to a certain  extent naturalised, may in the future remain where they are.’ In his time the mass of Jews lived in  the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German territories; he did not envisage one in which the  majority of them would have been transferred to occidental America and Britain.  His proposals found eager response. The ‘Lovers of Zion’ held their first conference at Kattowitz in  1884; by 1895 Herzl had convened the first Zionist Congress at Basle; the twentieth century saw  the World Zionist Organisation in being, and American and British politicians, during two world  wars, under pressure from it to conquer Palestine for Political Zionism by force of arms.   The Potent Partnership  The joint root and birthplace of these two tremendous movements I have shown. They sprang from  the great Jewish areas of Russia in the Eighties and Nineties. That they originally marched side by  side is explicable: some Jews may have seen through revolution in Russia the way to their greater  freedom inside Russia, others may have seen in the prospect of Jewish nationhood and a Jewish  State the hope of greater freedom outside Russia. However, they did not branch out in separate  ways after 1917, but continued each to support the other. Jews took a great part in spreading  Communism outside Russia; the Soviet Empire, while forbidding the Zionist teaching inside Russia  (where there was even a Jewish Soviet Republic), promoted the Zionist plan in Palestine, just as  politicians in America and Britain had supported it.  This became publicly plain, though it could be perceived earlier, immediately after the second war.  In previous wars the power of government in the country of a defeated enemy was always exercised  through the army of occupation and some civil authority sent by the victor. After the second war  something new happened. Great power was wielded in the areas of British and American  occupation by a third party known only by initials: UNRRA. Ninety-five per cent of its huge funds  were supplied by the United States, this country and Canada. The British Government contributed  £155,000,000 of its taxpayers’ money (equivalent to about 6d. in the pound income-tax for two  years), without asking them, and the total amount ‘distributed without discrimination’ as ‘a free  gift’ was £920,000,000. A large proportion of this went, in cash and kind, to Soviet Russia or the  Soviet-controlled countries, where the goods donated were sold to the population, the proceeds  going to the State budget, or were reserved to official classes.  Thus the prying historian may ask who relieved and rehabilitated whom? If Soviet Russia and the  puppet-states were to be the bad boys of the Fifties, they were clearly being strengthened at this  instant; but so was Political Zionism. In January 1946 the activities of UNRRA were brilliantly,  though briefly, illuminated. A distinguished British officer, Lieut.-Gen. Sir Frederick Morgan,  having been lent to UNRRA, was in charge of the appalling problem of the ‘displaced persons’,  those pitiful, homeless victims of the war’s ruination. What he saw moved him to an indignant  public disclosure.  General Morgan stated that ‘a secret organisation’ existed to further a mass-movement of Jews  from Europe; he was quoted as speaking of ‘a positive plan for a second Exodus’. Here, then, was  the revelation that great political moves, financed by American and British money, were going on  in secrecy.  There was a sudden convulsive movement, like that of some giant hitherto immobile and hidden,  but alert. General Morgan had opened Bluebeard’s forbidden chamber. A Mr. Lehmann, then  UNRRA’s director-general, from the other side of the Atlantic demanded his immediate  resignation. After explaining that he had no ‘anti-Semitic’ intention (where was one, in a plain  statement of fact?) General Morgan was allowed to remain. In August, however, he made a second,  similar disclosure and was immediately ‘released’ from his duties by the new director-general, a  Mr. La Guardia, of transatlantic UNRRA, who appointed a Mr. Myer Cohen in his place. (Both the  directors-general were avowed Zionists.)  The British Government made no demur at this treatment of a high British officer; indeed, in  December it retired him ‘at his own request’. By that time, however, a number of British M.P.s,  representing the ‘Select Committee on Estimates of the House of Commons’, had been to Austria to  see how the British taxpayer was faring there. Its Report (H.M. Stationery Office, No. 190,  November 5th, 1946) said that ‘very large numbers of Jews, almost amounting to a second Exodus,  have been migrating from Eastern Europe to the American zones in Germany and Austria with the  intention, in the majority of cases, of finally making their way to Palestine. It is clear that it is a  highly organised movement, with ample funds and great influence behind it, but the Sub-  Committee were unable to obtain any evidence who are the real instigators’. This was a complete  confirmation of General Morgan’s statements, which were corroborated a second time by the  Report of a War Investigating Committee sent to Europe by the United States’ Senate (or Upper  House); this said that heavy migration of Jews from Eastern Europe into the American Zone of  Germany was ‘part of a carefully organised plan financed by special groups in the United States’.  Thus the facts were clear. This great migration came chiefly from the Soviet-controlled half of  Europe, which none can leave without Soviet permission, and was not composed of ‘displaced  persons’. Most of them came from the substantial Jewish communities in Russia and Russian-  occupied Poland, Rumania and Hungary; they were sent by the Communist Empire and their  passage was facilitated by British and American money. They were being helped to go to Palestine  in order to aggravate the situation there. Communism was supporting Political Zionism for its own  ends, and so was American finance.  The truth emerged in these fragments, but was quite obscured by the chorus of complaint, in all  London newspapers, about the refusal of the hard-pressed Palestine authorities to let these  persecuted visitors land! At the time I write, many months after General Morgan’s disclosure and  the Select and the U.S. Senate Committees’ confirmations, the ‘hell ships’ are still portrayed to the  British newspaper-reader as vessels containing people driven from their homes by Hitler who have  nowhere else to go.[73] In reality the stage is being set for the third act of the twentieth-century  drama and the scene-shifters work in many countries which outwardly protest against each other.   The Invisible Censorship  The case of General Morgan is of the utmost importance to the student of these times. All trained  observers knew of the support given to the extreme Zionists by Communism, but this was the first  indisputable revelation of it and of its danger to peace. The rights or wrongs of the matter were  never discussed. He was reproached with ‘anti-Semitism’ merely because he had disclosed a great  super-national transaction behind the scenes, in which human beings were being used as pawns.  The fact that he spoke the truth was irrelevant; he lifted the forbidden curtain and had to go. One  can only hope that his subsequent retirement by the British Government was not entirely the abject  thing it appeared to be and that his knowledge is being used. Otherwise the outlook for the Fifties  would be dark indeed. It would mean that those who rule us were accepting an alien over-  governorship which in the next decade would attempt open domination.  When some particularly cruel murders were committed in Palestine (the British Government and  newspapers paused to express sympathy with the British victims in the form of words kept for these  occasions: ‘incalculable harm has been done to the cause of Zionism by these outrages’), a British  soldier in Palestine wrote to The Times. He expressed ‘the general feeling of disappointment and  surprise felt for the attitude his Majesty’s Government had adopted towards the killing of British  troops … What use has the Army for the Government’s sympathy? It does not avenge those already  murdered, nor does it prevent any further killing. Are we no longer a nation with sufficient courage  to enforce law and order where it is our responsibility to do so?’  That was very nearly the plight to which we had been brought. By the acceptance of this secret  thraldom we should cease to be a nation.  In my time in journalism, now over twenty-five years, I have seen it spread until it almost blots out  the light. When I began, parliament and all the newspapers were open to the discussion of any  public affair. There was freedom of speech and opinion, if it stopped short of subversion, libel and  obscenity; in two decades this nearly disappeared. The state of affairs shown by General Morgan’s  treatment was general. It had proved possible by stealth almost to stamp out any public discussion  of Political Zionism, of the Jewish influence in Communism, and of any affinity or association  between the two. This has been done merely by representing any reference to these important  matters as ‘anti-Semitism’. As I write a strongly organised newspaper campaign is being waged to  have it declared ‘sedition’.  That Communism and Jewry frequently furthered each other’s causes is clear. The first exceptional  laws in favour of one section of the community, the Jewish, were enacted in Communist Russia; the  object was clearly to silence public discussion of the predominant Jewish share in the events of  1917, but as no subject may be freely debated in Russia, that in itself would not much matter. The  important thing is that these laws have in fact, and in varying degree, been stretched far beyond  Russia in the last thirty years, and that Communism and organised Jewry join forces in extending  them. They apply now throughout the Soviet-controlled area of Europe; in practice they prevail in  the American-occupied part of Germany; and in fact, though not in law, they already blanket public  information in England and America.  Their intention, however, is not to protect the Jews but to hide the shape of events. General  Morgan’s case is the proof. ‘The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion,’ said  Edmund Burke. The delusion that the Jews need to be protected in England is being created in  order to further that design of spreading chaos which has been forced upon Europe in the last thirty  years; the attack on the last liberties of Britain is once more being opened in the delusive name of  ‘anti-Semitism’.  It has done duty now, with extraordinary success, for three decades. The label is merely transferred  from one country, when its liberty has gone, to another, the liberty of which is next on the list for  attack. In the second-hand bookshops of the Charing Cross Road today’s wanderer may find dozens  of books, written between 1890 and 1917, and often published in Berlin, which portrayed Russia as  the satanic enemy of the Jews.[74] On those same dusty shelves may be found as many more books,  written between 1933 and 1945 and published in London, in which Germany took the place of  Russia. Today the name is being changed again: the name of England has been substituted for those  of Russia and Germany in the books now being written and published in New York. The  Englishman who looks around him in his island may judge how true it is, and wonder how true the  rest was. If ‘laws against anti-Semitism’ openly came in England, the name would soon change  again, I think; America would be the next one.  In all this the masses of Jewry appeared to have as little say as the masses of Russia, Germany or  England in deciding their fate. When Leo Pinsker first proposed the ‘National Home’ in 1882 the  masses of Jews in Russia were against it; emancipation was largely a reality. When the mysterious  Hitler arose in Germany the masses of Jews there were long since free from any discrimination and  loved Germany. In England the native population in the twentieth century had lost all feeling that  there was anything distinct, different or separate about Jews – until the Zionists and Communists  raised the cry, ‘anti-Semitism’. For the purposes of the Plan this turnip-headed spectre obviously  has to be created, since it does not exist.  Yet everywhere the phenomenon has repeated itself: the masses of Jewry have been brought under  the grasp of Political Zionism and those Jews who openly see in it (as I believe, rightly) common  ruination for Jew and Gentile are a diminishing rearguard. In England and America, as previously  in Germany and Russia, a few Jews have been foremost in recognising and denouncing the danger.  An American Jew, Mr. Henry H. Klein, described in print the grip over Jewry of the fanatical group  known as the Sanhedrin, to which he attributed the plan to destroy the Christian world, an  enterprise which (he wrote in 1945) had been largely accomplished. His description of the plan and  the motive agrees with that given by Disraeli exactly one hundred years earlier (see pp. 286-7[go to]).  Mr. Klein suffered persecution and ostracism at the hands of the extreme Zionists, who make no  distinction between Jew and Gentile in pursuing any who venture to oppose their plans.  The power to move the Jewish masses about like sheep, and to inflame a fanatical hatred in them,  passed into the hands of the extraordinary, half-secret organisation which no Gentile politician  apparently dared to oppose, and this organisation worked hand-in-hand with the Communist  Empire. Lord Salisbury once said in the Lords: ‘It is clear that among a small, extreme section of  the Jews in Palestine we are being treated as an enemy of the Jews. They have declared war on  Britain.’  The word ‘small’ was misleading in view of the obvious and enormous power of this organisation,  which in any case was not ‘in Palestine’. Its headquarters are in America[75] and in the Soviet-  controlled half of Europe. What is not understood among Gentiles, because the knowledge of it is  not spread by their newspapers, is the terrorist nature of the ‘unseen managers’’ hold over these  shifting masses. I have talked with British officers who were put on board intercepted ‘hell ships’  in Palestinian waters and they give a fantastic account of people who did not understand by what  power they had been set in motion; who had been drilled in the few words they were allowed to  speak and beyond these refused to speak at all because they feared for their lives; and who were  kept in this literally mortal terror on board by leaders of the most rabid type. The picture was that of  a terrorist system more ferocious even than the Communist and Nazi ones.  The Political Zionists, supported today by the present rulers of the land from which they sprang,  have in the last thirty years become astonishingly powerful in the world. They were able in the first  war, by means of pressures quite invisible to the peoples engaged in it, to achieve an aim entirely  outside its declared scope and proclaimed objects. They extracted from a British government the  promise of a ‘National Home’, in another people’s land, where they would enjoy full ‘political  rights’ (which were not accorded to the native inhabitants) while retaining their full political rights  everywhere else. Between the wars they were able, by the same unseen means, to bring British  governments to make war on that native population. After the second one they were able, when  British governments at length shrank from the task, to prompt an American President and even ‘the  United Nations’ to support their claims, and the Soviet Power to support them by arranging ‘a  second Exodus’ towards Palestine.   Tumult and Design  Such light as has now been shed on these dark doings illuminates the shape of the decade to come.  Hostilities have not ceased, though the fighting has. Not one, but two war situations have been  produced for the future, and through them the ambitions of World Communism and Political  Zionism, which have often run parallel, will presumably be continued.  The two war situations are in Europe and in Arabia. In Europe there is the artificial bisection,  which cannot endure any more than the moon can stand still; it must be ended by the withdrawal of  the Communist Empire into its native land or by its advance to the Atlantic, which would make  Europe, presumably including this island, a second Soviet continent.  In Arabia there is the Political Zionist ambition, which can only be achieved by force of British or  American arms, possibly disguised as ‘United Nations’ ones.[76]  If this island should passively submit to become ‘a unit of a European Union of Soviet Republics’  (Mr. John Strachey in 1937), the first war situation might conceivably end in Soviet victory without  fighting. The second war situation cannot end without fighting, whether ‘the physical authority of  the civilised world’ (see footnote [76]) is applied or not. The Arabs, a primitive people, will fight and  the resulting explosion, in its spread, might prove the greatest of the century.  This, then, is the infernal machine prepared, during two wars and three decades, to explode in the  Fifties, if not before. The renewal of fighting-hostilities could only be prevented now, and an end  be put to the non-fighting war, by statesmen who would speak openly about, and resist, the half-  hidden forces which are clearly manipulating these affairs. As long as politicians in America and  Britain cover up such matters as the Canadian Report, the methods of Zionism, and Soviet-Zionist  collaboration in preparing the outbreak in Arabia, hostilities will continue and their renewal by  arms approach.  It is not certain that the two war-situations will detonate together. The Communist technique was  revealed in practice in the second war. It is to declare all wars ‘imperialist wars’ when they begin  and instruct the Communist daughter-parties to sabotage them behind the front[77] and, when it joins  in them, to turn them into civil wars: that is, to use the Communists less for military victory than to  strike for ‘Soviet power’ in each country.  This may happen again, if the war-situation in Arabia becomes a fighting-war first. The fact that the  Soviet Power has helped to prepare it, and has supported the American proposal to partition  Palestine in favour of the migrants sent from Russia and financed from America, would not prevent  the Communists from whipping up the masses of the Near East, India and the Far East with the cry  that this was ‘an Imperialist war’. These masses would not remember, if they ever knew, that the  war-situation was produced by the Soviet dispatch of trainloads and shiploads of unwitting Jews to  the scene, or that a British general was dismissed when he revealed the process.  British or American or any other troops so employed, however, would be merely serving as the  foreign levies of Zionist imperialism, which Soviet imperialism has from the beginning supported.  They would go out to set up the Zionist Empire, which would certainly prove to be something  much greater than a ‘National Home’ for ‘the surplus’ in a small part of Palestine. The enterprise  would unloose great upheavals far and wide. The final assault from all sides on individual liberty  and national freedom would have begun – for no sophistry could then further cloak the fact that the  British or Americans (even if they called themselves ‘The United Nations’) were in fact wantonly  attacking a small, peaceable, and untroublesome people far away. If they began such a battle, it  could never be disguised as one for the right, and out of the convulsion which would spread from it  could only come ruin and slavery for all. The great Design of the twentieth century would approach  completion.   Back to B.C.?  Reduced to simple words, such an enterprise would mean that the men of Christian civilisation  would return to the birthplace of their faith and civilisation in order to blot out the entire story of  these 1947 years. That is the immense symbolism of the thing: Europe, three parts ruined, only  needs that final blow.  Who foresaw that thirty years ago, when a British politician, covered by the empowerment of ‘an  emergency’, dictated a letter blandly, and blindly, agreeing to set up ‘a National Home’ in  Palestine? The story of these thirty years is as amazing as that of the thirty-three which ended with  the Nazarene’s condemnation in Jerusalem in A.D. 29. Will it in three more years, in 1950, see a  similar denouement: a foreign governor there yielding in all matters, against his will, to a noisy  clamour? The retreat of British and American politicians before the mysterious Political Zionists  during the last thirty years, recalls the career of Pontius Pilate.  The fantastic tale, from that day in 1917 until 1947, should be publicly known now, but is not.[78]  Mr. Bevin, who thirty years later succeeded to the full-grown serpent hatched from Lord Balfour’s  harmless-looking egg, once referred to ‘the two-thousand-year-old dispute between Jews and  Arabs’. This was one of those bewildering misstatements, from a high place, which curdle the  blood of hope in the listener’s veins, for they imply that the men who have to handle such  dangerous affairs often have no notion of what they touch. Jews and Arabs lived in amity in  Palestine for two thousand years until the Declaration of 1917. Mr. Bevin later came nearer to the  truth when he spoke of the Zionist enterprise as a war between Jewry and the Gentiles. Actually, it  appears to me to be a war waged by the Political Zionists against the Jewish masses and the  Gentiles alike.  First, then, came the original promise, given in breach of other promises to the Arabs. Its results  were: the years of enforced Zionist immigration into Palestine; growing Arab protests; Arab  uprisings in 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1933; and from 1936 to 1939 the first Zionist war (waged by  British troops against the Arabs).  This long and costly war was not successful, and only ceased when the British Government of that  day consented to reduce Zionist immigration to a maximum of 12,000 a year.  At that point Arab resistance had brought the Zionist plan to a standstill. Without the simultaneous  rise of Hitler and ‘anti-Semitism’ in Germany, and the second war, a wrongful invasion of a  peaceable land would have been checked and the ‘design’ of the twentieth century would have been  spoiled.  Coincidence is in our century clearly a malignant demon; Hitler appeared and the second war  began, ran its course and reached its curious end. What happened then? A ‘United Nations  Organisation’ was set up to make ‘aggression’ impossible in future and to ensure the spread of  ‘democracy’ everywhere.  From that day to this the ‘United Nations Organisation’ has not succeeded in establishing peace,  repressing aggression or preserving democratic liberties anywhere, or agreed on any major issue  whatever, with one solitary exception: by an overwhelming majority it decided that the Zionist  invasion of Palestine should continue. In the light of this large fact, its other current plans for  setting up a ‘United Nations Force’ and for vesting the monopoly of atom bombs in one of its  sovereign committees, ADA, take on a new significance.  It began by sending a committee of inquiry to Palestine. The noble principles of the ‘United  Nations Charter’ (like those earlier ones of the Atlantic Charter) were quite discarded. The terms of  reference, by majority vote, included no mention of ‘independence, democracy and self-  determination’ for the native inhabitants of Palestine, and these, indeed, were ignored altogether;  the investigating committee sharply rejecting a proposal that their interests should be considered.  The matter of ‘Jewish refugees’ from Europe (those who were to be sent from the Soviet area while  the investigating committee was in Palestine) was included, though the Arabs clearly had nothing  to do with their transportation.  These decisions were taken in the heart of ‘the largest Jewish centre in the world’ and Arab voices  were as few there, and as little heeded, as in London. The first missionaries of ‘The United Nations’  fared forth to Palestine and on August 31st, 1947, recommended that the part of Palestine where the  imported Zionists, in thirty years, had been made more numerous than the local Arabs should be  made an independent Jewish State; also, that 150,000 new immigrants be admitted into Palestine  during two years and 60,000 a year thereafter.  Thus the first act of ‘The United Nations’ after the second war was to declare war! If this does not  show ‘the design’ of the twentieth century, I do not know what can. This was a declaration of war  on an inoffensive people; the British Government’s representatives on the spot had for thirty years  warned it; the representatives of the six neighbouring Arab States, Lebanon, Syria, Irak, Egypt,  Saudi Arabia and Yemen, had unanimously told the visiting investigators that it would be regarded  as an act of hostility to the Arab world.  The time had come, as The Times had foretold three months earlier, for ‘the civilised world’ to  ‘enforce physical authority’. The ‘United Nations Organisation’, however, had not yet its liberating  armies or freedom-bringing atom-bombers. Who was to be the stool-pigeon?  This country; the ‘United Nations Organisation’ declared war in Britain’s name. ‘The United  Kingdom shall carry out these measures.’ Such was the real result (alongside the partition of  Europe) of the second war.  The Socialist Government of 1945, constantly pressed by its ‘Keep Left’ group, had announced its  decision to withdraw from India and Egypt. Only time can test the inner morality of those great  retreats; if they are merely being made in homage to the Fabian teachings of forty years ago they  are simple acts of surrender. The one way to make them appear something worse – namely, as  arrant humbug from the start – was simultaneously to begin a new invasion of another Muslim  country, and that on behalf of an alien overlord.  If it is honestly carried out, the decision the British Government made about Palestine in September  1947 might yet save the future and undo both the fatal error of 1917, the Balfour Declaration, and  the great chaos of this century. The government announced that, although it would ‘take  responsibility for giving effect to any plan on which agreement is reached between the Arabs and  the Jews’, it would not feel able to do so ‘if the United Nations Assembly should recommend a  policy which is not acceptable to the Jews and the Arabs’; and, further, that it ‘was not prepared to  undertake the task of imposing a policy in Palestine by force of arms’: Had British governments of  the Thirties taken this line the war-situation of today would never have arisen.  More important still, the Socialist Government announced that, in considering any proposal that it  should ‘participate with others in the enforcement of a settlement’, it would have to take into  account ‘the inherent justice of the settlement and the extent to which force would be required to  give effect to it’.  The momentous words, if they are honoured in the deed, are ‘inherent justice’, because this quality  was absent from the whole transaction since its beginning in 1917. In fact, it was the inherent  injustice of the enterprise, and the twisting sophistry which British governments and newspapers  had for thirty years displayed in trying to conceal it, which did more than most other things to  discredit the conduct of public affairs in England and public esteem for government.  On the frail thread of those two words, ‘inherent justice’, hangs the future. As soon as they had  been spoken Mr. Harold Laski, a former chairman of the Socialist Party, in an American weekly  derided the ‘nonsensical belief that Britain would ever move out of Palestine’ (the withdrawal of  our forces from there had also been announced) ‘unless they were absolutely sure that the United  States would move in’. The leaders of the ‘Keep Left’ group in the Socialist Party, Mr. Grossman  and others, who had been calling for Britain to get out of Palestine, now wrote to The Times that to  do so would be a sign of material and moral weakness; by remaining and enforcing partition we  should build up friendship with both Arabs and Jews.  The shape of The Plan seems plain. It was that British troops, if possible, and if that could not be  achieved, American ones, should begin the new war. Quite clearly, this time, it would not be for  any ideal or for British or American interests. It might promote Zionist power and found the Zionist  Empire; of these, British or American fighting-men would undeniably be the servants. The supreme  ambition, I judge, is to get American armies fighting in Arabia. If a carrot were needed for the  public donkey, ‘vital oil interests’ could be dangled before him.  The word ‘Declaration’ seems ominous in our time and our affairs. The Balfour ‘Declaration’,  which seemed harmless to the war-confused public of 1917, in the event proved to be a declaration  of war on the Arabs of Palestine; it led to increasingly costly warfare against them in the Twenties  and Thirties. It led also, by direct descent, to the United Nations ‘Declaration’ of 1947, which in the  event, if it is followed through, is likely to prove the declaration of yet another war against them. If  the attempt is made to enforce it the hostilities which seem certain to result may be of incalculable  spread and prove, in the end, to be the beginning of the third major twentieth-century war, the  origins of which will then be seen to lie in the ‘Declaration’ of 1917. That ‘Declaration’ would in  the event emerge as the declaration of the third twentieth-century war.  As I write, the moment when that will happen cannot be foreseen. After the British Government’s  refusal all depends on the weight of Zionist pressure which will be brought to bear on politicians,  newspapers and the lump of putty called ‘public opinion’ in New York and London; and on the  steadfastness or weakness of the Gentile politicians chiefly concerned.  In our day the real meaning of the great transference of Jewish masses from Russia to America has  become clear. Since 1882, when Leo Pinsker first raised the cry of ‘A National Home’, the United  States, as I have shown, has supplanted Russia as the largest Jewish centre in the world (‘indeed the  largest at any time in Jewish history’) and the bulk of immigrant Jews have been massed in New  York. These Jews, increasingly held in the intimidatory grip of the fanatical Zionists, can be used to  manipulate the politics and policies of the wealthiest country in the world in exactly the same way  as two thousand Communists in a British trade union of eighty thousand members can be used to  control the politics of that union. This is the picture, as given in a recent report (Daily Express,  October 15th, 1947):   ‘President Truman has been warned by his Republican Opposition that if he  commits American troops to Palestine there will be trouble … If he does not promise  these troops, he may be in for election trouble from another direction. It should not  be forgotten – and it never is by a President or candidate – that two out of every  seven New Yorkers are Jewish. The Jews therefore hold the balance of power in a  New York City election and New York State can hardly be won without a victory in  New York City. Not since 1916 has a candidate won the Presidency without winning  New York State. Can you wonder, then, that America’s harassed President wants  British troops to stay in Palestine until he can find a way – if there is a way – out of  his dilemma?’  That, again, is the picture of a master-move in politics, clearly revealed. The movement of Jewish  masses from Russia to America, and in America particularly to New York, between 1880 and 1940  was no natural phenomenon (any more than the mass-movements of 1945-48 towards Palestine),  but part of the great design. Thus may the actions of great States be brought under control. In  America a parliamentary or a presidential election occurs every two years; the presence of this  disciplined mass in New York gives continuing influence over the mechanism. The method by  which an American President can be prompted just after a war ‘against aggression’, to demand ‘the  immediate admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine’ becomes clear. Since the seat of ‘The United  Nations’ is also fixed in America, the possibilities of controlling world politics, as distinct from  American domestic ones, becomes equally plain.  It remains a mystery that the Gentile politicians of our century do not rebel against these  constraints, and that American Presidents yield to them rather than expose them and risk losing an  election. These Presidents today seem to feel themselves in the dilemma which Mr. Baldwin  described in the Thirties, when he said that if he had told this country Germany is rearming and we  must rearm, he would have lost the election. Two things are plain now: one, that it would have been  better to have told the truth and have lost the election; the other, that the election would probably  not have been lost had the truth been told. The American Presidents do not see that today, any more  than he did then.  Thus America, in the Forties, is being drawn into the same dangerous and evil undertaking which  for thirty years has brought misfortune to Britain. The United States have as I write a Foreign  Minister who looks and speaks like one of the great British or American statesmen of a century  ago; General Marshall is simple, strong and upright. Yet he too is drawn or impelled, by those half-  hidden influences, into policies and enterprises as mutually incompatible as night and day.  Speaking at Boston on October 14th, 1947, with reference to the Soviet annexation of half Europe,  he rightly described the imminent danger as that of ‘the actual disappearance of the characteristics  of Western civilisation on which our government and our manner of living are based’. The basic  issue, he said, ‘is simply whether or not men are to be left free to organise their existence or  whether they are to have their lives arranged for them by small groups of men who have abrogated  to themselves this arbitrary power’. Speaking with the utmost gravity, he prophetically said: ‘It  would be a great folly to assume we can stand aloof.’  Yet two days earlier his representative at the United Nations Assembly at Lake Success demanded  the partition of Palestine, the setting-up of a Jewish State there, and continued alien immigration  enforced by a mercenary army recruited under ‘The United Nations’!  This would not serve peace, but merely fulfil the ambition of ‘a small group of men’: the powerful  Political Zionists of New York. It was not surprising that, for the first time, the Soviet  representative cordially agreed to an American proposal. Obviously the Soviet Power could never  be expected to yield up any of its illgotten gains in Europe if those who complain of them are about  to support such enterprises in Arabia.  There has, however, been one great benefit from these events. In the last two years the process by  which American and British governments have been brought to support the fantastic ambitions of  Zionism has become visible and is gradually dawning on the comprehension of the public mind  everywhere. Mankind is beginning to see the real shape of the Palestine enterprise.   The Money-Power  The quick parallel rise of World Communism and Political Zionism is now clear to see, and the  subtle methods by which Communism gains its hold over non-Communist governments, parties  and organisations outside parliament are revealed to those who are not afraid to see them. The  means by which the Political Zionists have gained such an astonishing hold over political leaders in  America and Britain, however, were until recently hard to understand. It is a new thing in history  for a British government to promise someone else’s territory to a group of people on the ground  that one of its leaders made a valuable contribution to the science of explosives (this was an  explanation given by Mr. Lloyd George for the original Balfour Declaration). Thirty years later it  seemed equally bewildering that an American President, after a brief visit from a few Zionist  spokesmen, should issue a public demand for the immediate admission of 100,000 strangers into  Palestine.  One generation after another of political leaders, through three decades, cannot consist solely of  chronically weak, incurably deluded, or inveterately ill-informed and ill-advised men. In thirty  years Mr. Bevin was the first of them all to utter a forthright and sturdy word in this matter (and the  bitter campaign waged against him by the Political Zionists is the result). All the others behaved as  if they felt a pistol in their backs every time they handled this material. The weight of unremitting  newspaper propaganda, which does produce in masses of people a mental condition resembling that  resulting from drugs or intoxicants, accounts for much; the instincts of infatuation and masochism  are strong in human nature.[79] But how can one account for the subservience of the newspapers?  I think the ultimate explanation must lie in the power of money, though I do not understand its  myriad uses. The last fifty years or so have seen, alongside the rise of World Communism and  Political Zionism, and the transplantation of the largest single community of Jews from Russia to  America, one other phenomenon unique in the world’s history: the transfer of most of the world’s  money to the country which is the present seat of Zionist power: America.  Gold is money. In the past thirty years about three-fifths of the world’s stock of monetary gold,  having been dug out of the earth in various countries, has been transported oversea and buried at  Fort Knox in Kentucky. The amount now interred there is worth about £6,000,000,000. It includes,  I believe, five hundred million golden British sovereigns, which at their current value would cover  about eight years’ British income-tax revenue.  Who knows how or why all this gold has been assembled in Kentucky? I cannot explain the  process, but the results seem clear. The process began, like the others, in 1914, when we last saw  our golden sovereigns. Up to that time no man needed to worry about the value of his money, for it  changed seldom and little. A man with twenty-five sovereigns might comfortably travel a large part  of Europe, and know exactly what he would receive for them everywhere. As long as we had them  there were no travel-bans or trade-bans. There were no ups and downs in purchasing power, only  small variations in prices, and a bank-account of £100 meant one hundred pounds, withdrawable in  gold.  It is only since the paper came that all the currency illnesses have come, with rates and markets  rising and failing like a fever-patient’s chart, and bans and barriers going up on all sides. A man  with a gold bank account could not be dispossessed by stroke-of-pen; a man with a paper one can  be. ‘Inflation’ and ‘deflation’ are paper ailments, not golden ones. The great transactions of sudden  public impoverishment, which have been a feature of these thirty years, could not be brought about  if men had gold in their purses or stockings. ‘Dollar shortages’ could not be offered as the pretext  for abolishing civic liberties in sterling England if we had gold.  The abolition of the national sovereign meant monetary enslavement; those who do not yield to  phrases may see whither ‘the abolition of national sovereignty’ leads.  The last time I heard of any golden sovereigns (the British islander may not legally possess them)  they were in canisters falling, beneath parachutes, into the hands of mysterious ‘Tito’; no  Chancellor of the Exchequer ever told the British people that that would be their destination when  they left these shores. In this country a bride (by order of the Treasury) may no longer buy a golden  wedding ring unless it is an old one.  How, then, is the money-power used? It seems to me that a demoniac Plan runs through the  twentieth century and that the devil sits on that golden throne in Fort Knox. What men use the  money-power? The gold is in America, but America too has changed in these thirty years since the  two super-national giants appeared and the gold began to travel. The great immigration from Russia  has changed, if not the heart of America, at all events the face it turns towards the world, just as it  has changed ours. An examination of our parliament, parties, press, literature, films and plays  shows that we have not assimilated this great new influx of foreign blood; rather has it given a new  impress to our own outer countenance. The distinctive British traits (or, as General Marshall said,  ‘the characteristics of Western civilisation’) are blurring in our public affairs.  The same thing has happened in America in the last thirty years or so. The America of Ben Hecht,  Walter Winchell, ‘the President’s advisers’ and the Hollywood Czars is not that of Mark Twain,  Walt Whitman, Emerson, James and the makers of the American Constitution. Whatever its heart,  its face and voice have become increasingly those of World Communism and Political Zionism,  particularly since the second war, when the departments of its public affairs were thrown open (as  in England) to the agents of these super-national enterprises.  The money-power is in America, but its actions may not be American any more than the Balfour  Declaration was British. If the power to control the affairs and movements of millions far away  rests on that immense pile of gold, the use which has been made of it is clear to see. It has been  used to strengthen World Communism and Political Zionism. The huge transference of treasure to  ‘the Soviet Power’ during the second war is known; if American and British soldiers are called on  one day to press the Communist Empire out of Europe they will be fighting against American and  British arms and gold, and may wonder what the money-power will next time be doing behind their  backs. The use of the money-power to support the shifting of Jewish masses from Europe I have  described; yet this movement is used by ‘The United Nations’ to justify the declaration of war on  the Arabs!  In what other ways can the money-power be used? It seems clearly to have turned against this  country from the moment the second war ended and the Zionist declaration of war (these words are  literally used; there was one) on this country followed. Mr. Attlee in 1945 gave England a  government which chiefly invited, and received, votes on the ground that it was one of Planners,  with a Plan. Foreseeable and unnecessary hardships which earlier, non-planning governments had  brought on this island (it said) would be avoided by it; it would plan precautions against them; that  was its especial virtue.  On August 6th, 1947, Mr. Attlee told the nation, from the House of Commons, that there was ‘a  crisis’ and that some of the British islander’s most precious liberties must needs be abolished.[80]  The ‘crisis’, however, was not a domestic one, but a monetary one of foreign origin. The  government of planners had arranged an American loan in 1946 and expected it to last them ‘well  into 1949 and possibly into 1950’. But ‘prices had risen’ in America and now the loan would be  exhausted in 1947. ‘This is a situation as serious as any that has faced us in our long history’ (Mr.  Attlee used the identical words with which the Canadian Prime Minister described the Communist  conspiracy there, disclosed by Gouzenko’s documents).  Consequently British liberties must be abolished; if history contains a better example of the non  sequitur, I do not know it.  The question thus arises, if the planners’ government did not foresee such possibilities as rising  prices, did the money-power anticipate them? If national liberties are to be destroyed because a  foreign loan prematurely runs out, then the power at the loan’s source is a world one: the money-  power is a world-overlord, whose motives need to be closely scrutinised. The point is that since the  gold migrated to Kentucky these loans have become mere book-keeping transactions, which may  be falsified as soon as they are made by a change in values, such as a rise or fall in prices. Had we  not abolished the national sovereign, that could not happen. If we had, or borrowed, gold, loans  could not melt like snow. But if it is in the bond that the sterling pound of flesh, when the paper  dollars dissolve, is to be cut out of civic liberties in Britain, we ought to understand what is going  on. In that case the world is already-ruled by the guardians of Fort Knox, whoever they may be.  It appears to me that Mr. Bevin, that unpredictable blurter of truth, came near to the root of all our  evil when he said: ‘I know these Americans will be upset, but I have always got to upset somebody.  My own conviction is that the United States handicapped itself and caused high taxation in its own  country by its failure to redistribute the Fort Knox gold. If you found another gold mine in the  world it would be a great advantage, but here is gold which has already been mined, and it is doing  nothing.’  Near to the root of evil, but not near enough. The accumulation of so much gold in that spot, during  these thirty fateful years, is obviously an evil thing, but it does not look to me like just one more  unaccountable episode in a chapter of human errors. If it was deliberate, the reasons and results are  becoming plain. The gold was certainly not ‘doing nothing’ if it was the basis of the paper loan, the  withering-away of which was given as the explanation for smashing blows at liberty in England. It  was doing a great deal.  This utterance brought even more wrath on Mr. Bevin’s head than his occasional Nijinsky-like  leaps into truth in the matters of Communism and Political Zionism. He had rattled the door handle  of Bluebeard’s chamber, if he had not seen inside.  The money-power, from its golden throne, like the great god Pan was spreading ruin and scattering  ban. Its part in the Design of the twentieth century seems fairly clear today.   The Documents of the Case  It seems to me, when I consider the power of that entombed gold and the pattern of events in the  last thirty years, that there are great, organised forces in the world, which are spread over many  countries but work in unison to achieve power over mankind through chaos. They seem to me to  seek, first and foremost, the destruction of Christianity, nationhood and liberty in Europe; that was  ‘the design’ which Lord Acton perceived behind the first of the tumults, the French Revolution, and  it has become clearer with later tumults and growing success. This process does not appear to me a  natural or inevitable one, but a man-made one which follows definite rules of conspiratorial action.  I believe there is an organisation behind it of long standing, and that the great successes which have  been achieved are mainly due to the efficiency with which this has been kept concealed.  Are there any proofs? I think the shape of events is the proof. The course of the second war  showed, in my opinion, that ways have been found and mechanisms set up to manipulate these wars  in the interests of ulterior parties and ambitions, so that the one purpose advanced by them is that of  spreading chaos, and destroying Christian nationhood and liberty in Europe. The rise, through both  the wars, of causes remote from or antagonistic to those which were said to be, and which the  masses believed to be, at stake is clearly worth study in this respect.  There is also substantial evidence, in my opinion, that this is an organised conspiracy of men,  changing with the generations and collaborating from many countries, who largely succeed in  remaining invisible, anonymous or disguised. The sudden appearance on the scene, at moments of  climax, of beings hitherto unknown, like Hitler and ‘Tito’; the Communist practice of working  under aliases and through ostensibly non-Communist bodies, newspapers and parties; the use of  ‘Fascism’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ as smoke-screens for the advancement of ulterior aims; all these are  examples of the science of secret conspiracy in practice.  There are many instructive documents, too, and the especial energy used to suppress them is to my  mind proof both of their importance and of the organised conspiracy. One is that known as ‘The  Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. In Communist-ruled countries it is suppressed under penalty of  death. In many others it is violently combated, not by evidential refutation, but by the blanket-  reproach that it is ‘anti-Semitic’, a term of political rhetoric which has played the part, in the  debates of this century, of a red whale rather than a red herring.  In my opinion it deserves the closest and soberest study. It was published in Russia in 1897,  translated into English by a British newspaper correspondent, Mr. Victor Marsden, who long lived  there and returned to England after the Bolshevist revolution, and published here about 1918.  I have, I expect, as much knowledge as any living writer of the methods employed to suppress  publication or public discussion of certain matters, and I know nothing to equal the fierce tenacity  which is used to prevent the circulation of the book, or to discredit its contents. This is something  which has to be experienced to be believed: my own reminiscences of it are already stored for  publication one day.  One objection raised against it is that it was pronounced ‘a forgery’ by a Swiss Court, at the  application of the Jewish community of Berne. The findings of foreign courts are not necessarily  conclusive for the British islander; this judgment was in any case set aside by a higher court.  Another argument used in rebuttal is that a correspondent of The Times, many years ago, wrote  articles discounting the Protocols. As to that I was for many years a correspondent of The Times  and am convinced of the authenticity of the Protocols, whatever their authorship, as a document of  a secret society engaged in revolutionary conspiracy.  The complaint that they are forged presumably refers to the word ‘Zion’ in the title. I think the  masses of people who are puzzled by the stubborn chaos of our times should read the Protocols,  and in this search for truth, in order to be completely impartial, they should strike from their minds,  or even from the book itself, this word in the title and any similar references in the text. They  should go further, and regard the book as a non-Jewish one, or even as an anti-Jewish one. Let them  assume that the book was written by Machiavellian plotters who saw in the use or misuse of the  Jews and their plaints a good way of spreading strife and chaos in Europe. That is, after all, what is  happening in our time; it is obvious that the pretended enemies, Communism and Fascism, only  parade this issue in order to simulate a difference between them, though both are more lethal to  Gentiles than to Jews; and that the Jewish masses are moved about and manipulated like pawns by  some force which they themselves do not comprehend.  If the Protocols are approached, then, as an anti-Jewish document, if all these allowances are made,  what remains is still a blueprint, made before this century began, of the events of the last thirty  years. From whatever angle the book is regarded, that result is the same. Long before we saw them,  long before we would have believed that they could ever be employed, the methods by which our  world has been reduced to its present plight are here laid down; here is the formula for the  corruption, intimidation or subornation of parties and individuals, newspapers and writers,  parliaments and politicians, which have been seen in practice as these three decades have passed.  The book is the blueprint of a world conspiracy which fifty years ago huddled in Russian cellars  and today sits in the seats of the mighty and is largely successful. It was published in 1897! There is  no need to believe that it is the record of a Zionist Congress held about then; it is much better to  disbelieve that and to accept the allegation that it is ‘a plagiarism’, that is, a rehash of some earlier  document. That gives the clue. It means that the Protocols, though they are not Zionist, are  authentic as the documents of a conspiracy.  This, in fact, appears clearly to be the truth. The thing to get at then is, who were the authors of the  earlier document or documents, from which this one descended, and at what still earlier source did  they study? It is plainly wrong that so brilliantly illuminating a work should be dismissed merely  with angry assertions that it is forged. The point is that its authors, whoever they were and  whenever they lived, knew the methods by which the convulsions of this century would be brought  about and Europe, by the middle of it, be almost destroyed.  It is important, then, not to suppress or to attack the book, but to find out whence it came. That  might furnish the key to the still unsolved mystery of this century.  I believe the great opposition to any public discussion of the Protocols reveals the strength of the  forces which do not wish the key to be found. The Protocols are not uniquely important in  themselves. They are but one in a long series of documents which cover nearly two hundred years.  But they supply the key. The line of political thought set out in them can be clearly traced from the  middle of the eighteenth century until today, and for at least that time a secret organisation, which  desires the destruction of Christendom and nationhood in Europe, has apparently been in existence.  The story reaches back to the secret societies which brought about the French revolution. It can first  be clearly traced at that point. The ‘design behind the tumult’ which Lord Acton so clearly saw  when he was investigating that revolution of the 1790s, was woven further by the revolutionaries of  1848, by the Russian ones of the 1880s and 1890s and, since 1917, has run through the whole chaos  of our thirty years.  This is shown by the invaluable scientific comparison made by Mrs. Nesta Webster (World  Revolution, Constable, 1921) between the Protocols and a series of other documents: those of the  secret societies and sects behind the French revolution of 1790, of the unsuccessful revolutions of  1848, 1890 and 1905, and of the Communist revolution of 1917. This comparison reveals that the  Protocols represent ideas which have come down in an unbroken line, while the ‘managerships’  changed hands and the secret head-quarters changed countries, from 1775 until today. The  Protocols are no more or less important than the rest. They were, however, the first complete  revelation of the Plan for a century, and that appears to be the reason for the unremitting attempt to  prevent people from studying this publication.  These documents are the scriptures of a black religion, the tenets of which are: destruction,  depopulation, deportation, death.[81] It is a doctrine of annihilation (or ‘Nihilism’).  It is traceable first to the powerful secret society of the Illuminates founded by one Adam  Weishaupt, a German, in 1771. Secrecy, like truth and justice, can never be absolute, and its papers  were found and published when it was suppressed by the Bavarian Government in 1786.  His teachings and methods are precisely those we see in practice today. The members were only  admitted step by step; they took pseudonyms; they were instructed in the art of professing false  religious and political beliefs in order to gain entry under a mask into all bodies through which  power might be attained. These methods, new then, are familiar in our affairs today. The initiation  ceremony was performed with a swordpoint held against the novice’s heart and with the words: ‘If  you are merely a traitor and perjurer learn that all our brothers are called upon to arm themselves  against you. Do not hope to escape or to find a place of safety. Wherever you are, shame, remorse,  and the rage of our brothers will pursue you and torment you to the innermost recesses of your  entrails.’ This terrorist method is practised by the Communists and extreme Zionists today; it has  been revealed in the frequent murder of suspected dissidents or traitors and in the fear revealed by  the people in the ‘hell ships’ and Zionist camps.  A diagram among the documents of the Illuminates shows that Weishaupt either invented, or had  learned from earlier teachers, the master-method of secret conspiracy which is used in the  Communist organisation today. It is the cell, or honeycomb system by which no member ever  knows more than the one above him and a few below (the use of pseudonyms facilitates this) and  under which the destruction of some cells does not break the structure of the whole.  The aims of the Illuminates were by these secret methods to gain power for the purposes of:  Abolishing monarchy and all ordered government; abolishing private property; abolishing  inheritance; abolishing patriotism; abolishing the family (through the abolition of marriage and the  communal upbringing of children); abolition of all religion (these are the aims of World  Communism today).  ‘Princes and nations’ (wrote Weishaupt) ‘shall disappear off the face of the earth; yes, the time will  come when men will have no other laws than the book of nature; this revolution will be the work of  the secret societies, and that is one of our great mysteries.’  The Bavarian Government of that day published these papers and sent them to every government of  Europe. They received as little attention as the Canadian Report of 1946. Small reason existed then  for other governments to study them seriously, since the process foretold in them had not begun to  show its results. In 1946 such inattention, if it was not deliberate, was inexcusable; when the  Canadian Report appeared Weishaupt’s Plan had long since taken real and mountainous shape.  The suppression of the Illuminates in Bavaria was like cutting a clump of couch-grass; the roots  had already spread far and wide and were sprouting in many places. The society’s members were  numerous among the plotters in France and prominent among the leaders of the revolution of 1790.  Then occurred for the first time the familiar hoax of today: the deliberate creation of ‘incidents’ in  order to exploit them. The student of the Reichstag Fire and of modern ‘anti-Semitic’ or ‘Fascist’  apparitions should study the ‘Great Fear’ of July 22nd, 1789, when at the same hour all over France  a panic was created by the announcement that ‘brigands’ were approaching, that all good citizens  must take arms, and that ‘The King orders all châteaux save his own to be burned down’  (messengers on horseback bore placards with these words).  At this time the red flag first appeared; one, said to be the original, is now preserved in Moscow  and the song in honour of it is popular with Socialist ministers and politicians in England of 1947.  One of Weishaupt’s men among the revolutionary leaders was a Prussian baron, Anarcharsis  Clootz. He first taught the doctrine of surrender to an invading enemy, which the French  Communists put into practice in 1940 and which Communists in England preach today[82] (‘As  soon as the French army comes in sight of the Austrian and Prussian soldiers they should, instead  of attacking the enemy, throw down their arms and advance towards them dancing in a friendly  manner’).  In 1793 the master-feature of The Plan emerged: depopulation. Mrs. Webster in her two books  quoted twenty-two French revolutionaries and an English one to show that the systematic reduction  of the French population from 25,000,000 to 14,000,000 or 8,000,000 was contemplated. Students  of the contemporary English scene may observe that the same suggestion is appearing here (‘This  island cannot support its present population …’, ‘Ten million people should emigrate …’, etc.). The  argument was that ‘luxury trades’ must be destroyed and that as there were too many people for  ‘works of essential utility’ this would create vast unemployment (exactly this process began in  England in the autumn of 1947) which must be remedied by depopulation.[83]  Illuminism was German, not Jewish. In 1793 the Journal de Vienne ironically remarked that: ‘It is  not the French who conceived the great project of changing the face of the world; this honour  belongs to the Germans.’ Quintin Crawfurd wrote to Lord Auckland: ‘The present crisis is certainly  the most extraordinary in its nature and may be the most important in its consequences of any that  is to be found on the pages of history. It may decide the fate of the religion and government of most  of the nations of Europe, or rather it may decide whether religion and government are to exist, or  Europe be plunged again into a state of barbarism.’  That is an exact description of the state to which half Europe has been reduced, and with which the  other half, including this island, is threatened in 1948.  Napoleon may have done Europe a disservice by diverting the march of the World Revolution for  half a century, during which time the world forgot it. Illuminism went underground and remained  latent until his fall, when it sprang up again in Germany under the name of ‘The German Union’  and in Italy under that of the ‘Haute Vente Romaine’, which from 1814 to 1848 became its  headquarters. There Jewish influence for the first time became strong in it. Before that it was  predominantly German.  The next great bid for power came in 1848, when revolutions broke out all over Europe, and by that  time the leadership had become Jewish. The revolutionary outbreaks of 1848 are in one way more  important than either the French one of 1789 or the Russian of 1917, because they provide one of  the most illuminating documents in the case. Four years earlier, in 1844, Disraeli knew exactly  what was coming! He put these words into the mouth of his Jewish hero of Coningsby: ‘That  mighty revolution which is at this moment preparing in Germany and … of which so little is as yet  known in England, is entirely developing under the auspices of the Jews, who almost monopolise  the professorial chairs of Germany … So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by  very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.’  The 1848 revolution failed, however. Perhaps the memory of the French revolution was too recent  for the masses to be ready to imperil their freshly-won liberties; perhaps men were wiser or better  educated a century ago. The forces of order, liberty, nationhood and progress held fast everywhere;  the conspiracy fell back into Russia, there to carry on Weishaupt’s teaching and to prepare the next  attempts, the unsuccessful revolutions of 1880 and 1905 and the successful one of 1917.  The passage I have quoted, however, shows that Disraeli was privy to and understood the nature  and aims of the conspiracy, whether he himself sympathised with or opposed them. The words I  have quoted ring with the lofty superiority of the enlightened cosmopolitan over the ignorant,  insular Gentile who does not know what is going on. Eight years later, when the revolution of 1848  had been attempted, Disraeli wrote words of ‘unique revelation. If the passage I quoted above is a  lightning-like flash of truth, the following one is a flash twice as brilliant and prolonged; it  illuminates the whole dark landscape of our times and in its light the lurking conspirators, whose  existence is ever denied, are clearly seen:  ‘The influence of the Jews may be traced in the last outbreak of the destructive principle in Europe.  An insurrection takes place against tradition and aristocracy, against religion and property.  Destruction of the Semitic principle, extirpation of the Jewish religion whether in the Mosaic or in  the Christian form, the natural equality of men and the abrogation of property, are proclaimed by  the secret societies who form provisional governments, and men of Jewish race are found at the  head of every one of them. The people of God co-operate with atheists; the most skilful  accumulators of property ally themselves with Communists; the peculiar and chosen race touch the  hand of all the scum and low castes of Europe! And all this because they wish to destroy that  ungrateful Christendom which owes to them even its name, and whose tyranny they can no longer  endure’ (Life of Lord George Bentinck, 1852).  This, to my mind, is the most important document of the whole series. It seems absurd to challenge  the authenticity of such later documents, as for instance the Protocols, when the fact of the  conspiracy, which they reveal, is vouched for by this unique authority; Disraeli was a Jew, a British  Prime Minister, and the inheritor of a mind instinctively attuned to such secret affairs. ‘The  destructive principle’, ‘destruction of religion and property’, ‘secret societies with men of Jewish  race at the head of every one of them’, ‘all this because they wish to destroy ungrateful  Christendom’: the picture he gives is that of Weishaupt’s religion of destruction and his secret  organisation, come under Jewish leadership.  How came Disraeli to state the case so frankly? I think the answer is clear, and is the measure of  the progress of the conspiracy. In his day verifiable facts were published. In ours, the public prints  would disguise the fact if, when ‘secret societies’ formed provisional governments’, ‘men of Jewish  race were found at the head of every one of them’; any allusion to the matter would be suppressed  or attacked as ‘anti-Semitic’. In Disraeli’s time the only thing to do was to admit the fact and  possibly to change its shape by giving it a false interpretation. This, indeed, Disraeli did. Having  previously appeared to deplore the Jewish part in the destructive process, he finally excused it by  implying that ‘the tyranny’ of ‘ungrateful Christendom’ was too intolerable for patient men to  endure. This was a twisted dialectical flourish; the Jews have complained even more of persecution  by the pagan Egyptians, Assyrians and Persians than by the peoples of the Christian era.  Disraeli spoke in 1852 of ‘secret societies who form provisional governments’ and said ‘men of  Jewish race are found at the head of every one of them’. The provisional governments of 1848 did  not endure. But the ‘secret societies’ which formed ‘provisional governments’ a century later,  when the conspiracy had rested and recovered from the setback of 1848, completely fit his  description. The first Bolshevist governments of 1917 and later in Moscow, as well as those  shortlived ones of Bavaria and Hungary in 1918-19, were headed by Jews who emerged from  ‘secret societies’. The same thing happened in Poland, Rumania and Hungary in or after 1945. And  in 1945 Mr. Henry H. Klein, another leading Jew, gave the same picture of a gigantic secret  organisation with worldwide aims in his paper, The Sanhedrin produced World Destruction. He,  too, sees the conspiracy as one ultimately aimed against Jew and Gentile alike.  The published papers of Weishaupt’s Illuminates, Disraeli’s revelations, the Protocols, the ‘Theses  and Statutes’ of the Communist International, many of the papers of National Socialism, and the  Canadian Report, all fit into the picture of a conspiracy which now has been growing from strength  to strength during two centuries. Nobody who reads them can doubt the plot which Disraeli  described.  After the collapse of the 1848 revolutions, the next inheritor of Weishaupt’s Illuminism and of his  organisation was Karl Marx, whose Communist Manifesto (1847) merely repeated Weishaupt’s  doctrines: the abolition of inheritance, of marriage and the family, of patriotism, of all religion, and  the communal upbringing of children by the State. The Communist Manifesto has been represented  as the bible of a new political faith, ‘Marxism’. It is merely a consommé of the teachings of the  earlier secret societies, beginning with Weishaupt’s (just as the Protocols are a later version).  In 1864 a Russian noble, Michael Bakunin, founded a secret society on precisely the lines of  Weishaupt; its first aim was the destruction of religion and the others were those I have previously  described. By now the new name was ‘Anarchism’ (or chaos). The great Plan had by this time been  handed down from secret society to secret society, for a hundred years. In Bakunin’s and  Netchaïeff’s Revolutionary Catechism occurs the passage. ‘The revolutionary must let nothing  stand between him and the work of destruction … Night and day he must have but one thought, but  one aim – implacable destruction … If he continues to live in this world it is only in order to  annihilate it all the more surely.’  This is Bakunin’s description of his partner Netchaïeff. ‘In the name of the cause he must get hold  of your whole person without your knowing it. In order to do this he will spy on you and try to get  hold of your secrets, and for that purpose, in your absence, left alone in your room he will open all  your drawers, read all your correspondence, and when a letter seems interesting to him, that is to  say, compromising from any point of view for you or one of your friends, he will steal it and keep it  carefully as a document against you or against your friend … When convicted of this in a general  assembly he dared to say to us, “Well, yes, it is our system. We consider as enemies, whom it is our  duty to deceive and compromise, all those who are not completely with us…” All personal ties, all  friendship are considered by them as an evil which it is their duty to destroy, because all this  constitutes a force which, being outside the secret organisation, diminishes the unique force of the  latter. Do not cry out that I am exaggerating; all this has been amply developed and proved by me.’  This is a photograph of Weishaupt’s scientific method of gaining power through knowledge,  concealment, deceit, blackmail, theft, perjury, and terror. It is clearly recognisable in the Canadian  Report of 1946.[84]  The Bolshevist revolution of 1917 followed the teachings of Weishaupt in every point: the abolition  of monarchy, patriotism (Russian patriotism was outlawed, save during the period 1941-45; Soviet  patriotism is taught), private property, inheritance, religion and marriage. In actuality, marriage and  religion cannot be abolished, but the first has been dealt blow after blow and the second has been  driven underground as far as possible. Of the wish to abolish marriage no doubt exists: ‘the official  and open community of women’ is laid down in Marx’s Communist Manifesto.  The chain of events from the French revolution to the rise of the Communist Empire in half of  Europe and the growing, though still hidden, Communist power in England is to my mind clear.  Mrs. Webster’s great service has been the publication of documents proving this chain of  bequeathment-and-inheritance through the secret societies, and the proof that the Protocols are only  part of a long literature.  Her comparisons are convincing. Similar phrases appear again and again, from Weishaupt in 1776,  through Karl Marx’s Manifesto, to the Protocols in 1897 and to the disclosures of the Canadian  Report in 1946.  ‘Apply yourself to the art of counterfeit, to hiding and masking yourselves in  observing others’, says Weishaupt.  ‘He who wants to rule must have recourse to cunning and hypocrisy, we must not  stop short before bribery, deceit and treachery, if these are to serve the achievement  of our cause’, say the Protocols.  ‘… The Communist parties must create a new type of periodical press for extensive  circulation among the workmen; first, legal publications, in which the Communists  without calling themselves such and without mentioning their connection with the  party,[85] would learn to utilise the slightest possibility allowed by the laws as the  Bolsheviki did at the time of the Czar after 1905 …’ (the ‘Theses and Statutes’,  1920).  ‘“Cover names” were used by the organisers … Persons who were in a position to  furnish secret information, or who might be used as contacts, and who had some  inherent weakness, which might be exploited, were selected and studied … Money  payments were gradually broached to Canadian espionage agents; in other words, a  financial incentive was only gradually introduced … One purpose of the directors of  the network in insisting on paying money, even in relatively small sums, to recruits,  would be to further the moral corruption of the Canadians caught “in the net” and  thus to assist in their further “development” … It seems to be the general policy of  the Communist Party to discourage selected sympathisers from joining that party  openly. Instead these sympathisers are invited to join secret cells or study groups  and to take pains to keep their adherence to the Party from the knowledge of their  acquaintances who are not also members of the Communist Party … This technique  facilitates the achievement of a basic policy of the Communist Party, namely, to get  control, through the election of secret members to the directing committees, of as  many types of functional organisations as possible, including trade unions,  professional associations and broad non-party organisations such as youth  movements and civil liberties unions. Similarly, secret members or adherents of the  Communist Party may be used to take the lead in organising new, broad, and  ostensibly non-political organisations, after which they obtain for themselves and  other secret adherents key positions on controlling committees of the organisation.  By these means the technique of secret membership is calculated to facilitate  essentially dishonest but not ineffective methods of propaganda in the interests of a  foreign state’ … etc., etc. (The Canadian Report).  Mrs. Webster traces the comparisons from the documents of Weishaupt’s Illuminates through the  Haute Vente Romaine (1822-48), Bakunin’s Social Democratic Alliance,(1864-69), to the  Protocols (1905) and the manifestos of Bolshevism (1917 and onward). For nearly two hundred  years, at least, there have been, as Disraeli showed, secret societies of growing power; they are  those ‘very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes’  (Disraeli), and those ‘unseen managers’ behind ‘the design’ (Lord Acton); the documents of their  religion of destruction may be studied and the twentieth century has seen them come near to their  goal of destroying Christendom, nationhood and liberty.  The Canadian Report of 1946 appeared a quarter of a century after Mrs. Webster made her  scientific investigation and published the results. It confirms her conclusions. The great importance  of it is that it gives a photograph of people (in 1925-45) doing exactly what Weishaupt taught in  1771 and corrupting other people by the means he laid down. It is the conclusive document in the  series; the positive print from the negative.  It is difficult to read these documents without a feeling of nausea. Victor Marsden, when he was  translating the Protocols, said he could not work on the material for more than an hour at a time  because it made him physically ill. Lord Sydenham, when he read them, wrote to the Spectator:  ‘What is the most striking characteristic of the Protocols? The answer is knowledge of a rare kind,  embracing the widest field. The solution of the “mystery”, if it is one, is to be found by ascertaining  where this uncanny knowledge, on which prophecies now literally fulfilled are based, can be shown  to reside.’  The student, not only of the Protocols, but of the whole chain of documents in which they are but a  link, receives this feeling of all-embracing knowledge; all-embracing, that is, in its mastery of the  weaknesses and wickednesses of human nature, and of the use to which these may be put by evil  but enlightened men intent on power and destruction. It runs right through them, from the papers of  Weishaupt’s Illuminates to the Canadian Report. The reader has the feeling that he is in the  presence of something uncleanly and deadly, as if he were locked in a dark room with a viper.  The answer to knowledge is knowledge. If this plan has gone so far, that is only because men do  not know about it. Once indifference was explicable; the thing was too big and seemed too fantastic  for the minds of men to grasp in 1786; and after 1793 Napoleon blotted it from their minds. But  today indifference is culpable and the efforts to prevent public discussion of the existing literature,  or disclosure of new documents, seem to me to point to the present strength of the secret societies,  not to incomprehension.  There is, however, a great and growing public suspicion of the truth, and it may break through the  stealthy bans. In October 1947 a placid meeting assembled at Brighton for the annual Conservative  Party conference. The ‘agenda’ had been arranged by the organisers, in the usual manner, to avoid  discussion of such matters as the threat to liberty in England and the two war situations abroad.[86]  A curious thing happened, however. An unknown delegate from the floor, a Mr. Andrew Fountaine  from Norfolk, demanded that the Tory Party should ‘root out subversive activities’. He said that  ‘within living memory loyalty to the king, honour, patriotism and common decency has been  defamed on every hand’ (I doubt if he knew it, but he was quoting Weishaupt’s teaching). ‘On  platforms, in schools, workshops and even from pulpits’ (he said) ‘the doctrines of pacifism,  internationalism and socialism have been proclaimed with ever-increasing bitterness and blatancy,  and the great Commonwealth is talked about as if it were something of which we should be a little  ashamed.’  This produced among the managers on the platform the same symptoms of unease, embarrassment  and reprobation which they had shown, ten years before, if any blurter proclaimed doubts about the  peacelovingness of Hitler, the uselessness of feeding him with gifts of territory, or the unwisdom of  neglecting this island’s defences. At a Conservative conference, an ‘intelligent foreigner’ would  have thought, the statement should have been natural if not platitudinous; it was received as a  startling, unwelcome and dangerous interruption by the organisers (and forthwith the all-blanketing  cry of ‘anti-Semitism’ went up). The mass of delegates, however, loudly insisted that the matter,  which indeed was the one chiefly needing attention, should be urgently pursued. The organisers  were forced to yield; by a great majority they were instructed to ‘make public the evidence of  subversive and anti-democratic activity in this country’.  Such matters are easily shelved between annual conferences, and I imagine great efforts will be  made to avoid any informative publication, but they may again fail. Beyond a certain point, the  wishes of The People cannot be entirely ignored or frustrated, and the rising sense of imminent  danger in the masses of Conservative voters, and others, was becoming acute. It is possible,  therefore, that public knowledge of the great Plot, or Plan, will spread, and this may be the only  thing, I believe, which now can thwart its success, for it has gone very far.  If that happens, a little-known Mr. Fountaine from Norfolk may at a late instant have foiled one  Adam Weishaupt, who launched the great Plan on May 1st, 1776, at Munich, and of his successors  up to this day.   The Shape of the Fifties  It seems to me the case is proved:  (1) The Black Religion and its organisation exists. Its literature is available and its teachings,  during nearly two centuries, may now be compared with the pattern of events. Its initiates have  become powerful in all countries and its ambitions alone have been promoted through the two  twentieth-century wars. Hitler and Goebbels preached and achieved destruction, deportation,  depopulation and death like Weishaupt, Bakunin, Marx, Lenin and Trotsky. The different name  they wore was merely the alias or mask recommended by Weishaupt as the best means to the end  (Weishaupt, incidentally, invented, or first used, the phrase, ‘The end sanctifies the means’).  (2) The secret society exists, in its innumerable forms and branches everywhere. Through success  and the approach to power it has become half visible. Its peaks in their various shapes, now appear  above the mist, but the mist still enshrouds the broad secret bases, and can only be dispersed by the  spread of public knowledge. This, however, has diminished as the conspiracy has grown, and the  greatest success of the conspirators has been this phenomenal success in concealment. Here  Weishaupt’s evil ‘knowledge’ has proved powerful in application. The corruption of ‘the free  press’ in countries still outwardly free, by his insidious methods, has been not much less effective  than total suppression in those openly enslaved. The reduction of independent newspapers and  writers through purchase, ‘smearing’, derision or the mere weight of public infatuations has gone  very far. The general line of Weishaupt’s teaching, the defamation of monarchy, religion,  legitimate government, country, nationhood, honour, patriotism, and common decency is explicit or  implicit in a mass of current literature, plays, broadcasting and films.  (3) Now, in the middle of the twentieth century, that situation has been produced which is  propitious for the completion of the revolution of destruction, with its attendant results of  depopulation, deportation and death. Two volcanoes have been built, one in Europe and one in  Arabia, which can be set in eruption at any time. The power of secret men over politicians has been  repeatedly proved in the events leading to this situation. Now it extends to nations, or at any rate to  those who claim to speak for them. The decision, by large majority vote, of ‘The United Nations’ to  resume the armed invasion of Arabia is unique in history. It cannot in my judgment be further  doubted that, if and when either or both of these eruptions are begun, different purposes will again  be pursued, behind the flame and smoke, from those which would be publicly announced.  What, then, is the shape of the Fifties? I think they will clearly see one of two things: either the  exposure and defeat of the Plan, which would mean the restoration of free nationhood, religion and  liberty everywhere; or its final triumph, which would mean (as Quintin Crawfurd wrote in the  1790s, when the Plan achieved its first success in France) that all Europe would be ‘plunged again  into a state of barbarism’.  The visible agents of the conspiracy are World Communism in the East, and the ‘World Statesmen’  (with their servants the atom bomb and the buried gold) in the West. Will they appear to strike at  each other (as ‘National Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ did) for the purpose of The Plan? They both  want the same thing: power over mankind. Through all the propaganda, with which we are  incessantly deafened, for ‘A World State’ or ‘World Government’, runs the perceptible thread of  Weishaupt’s teachings; behind that smiling mask hides the deadliest dictator of all.  Is this, then, the false cause in which the fighting-war may be resumed? If a recommendation to  uphold free nationhood, religion and liberty comes from that quarter, if the World Statesmen call  on us to destroy ‘Communist aggression’, the hoax of the second war will be on the way to  repetition. The World Statesmen are not to be trusted. In their ranks, if anywhere, Weishaupt’s  disciples are most likely to be found. Look at bread-rationing, at the proposal to set up Queen Ada  as the scourge of the earth; look, above all, at the declaration of war on the Arabs! That cannot be  squared with professions of love for humanity, for liberty, for ‘democracy’.  Why, before all other questions, is there all this pother about Palestine? The Jews of the earth will  not go there; they would need all Arabia to house them, not tiny Palestine. Some Jews are being  sent there, obviously to prepare the new eruption. What is the secret lure of this speck on the earth’s  surface. Is there anything to interest the money-power? Yes: several things.  It is geographically the centre of the world, roughly speaking. Its natural, but undeveloped, wealth  is beyond computation. The value of the chemical deposits of the Dead Sea may be estimated from  an official British Report[87] at more than that of all the gold stored at Fort Knox.  The exclusive right to extract these minerals, and to require the cancellation of existing  concessions, was granted by the British Government in 1921, without the knowledge of Parliament,  to Zionist financiers. The British Government had not the right to do this and in 1925 the  International Court of justice at The Hague (including a British member who was a former Lord  Chancellor) sharply declared its action illegal.[88]  Nevertheless the Zionist group was placed in possession, began operations and in 1930 was  confirmed in occupation. The official report of the Palestine Zionist Organisation for 1929 said:  ‘We Zionists will always remember that Great Britain is giving preference to the man who has our  Jewish interests at heart … Years may pass until the works on the Dead Sea are in full swing … Had  we lost this concession our whole future in Palestine might have been endangered.’  These facts suggest that Palestine has attractions not mentioned in its presentation as the natural  ‘National Home’ for a homeless people, and that the reasons why ‘the moral and if necessary the  physical authority of the civilised world’ (The Times) are to be used against it are not humane ones.  They also throw a new light on the ‘second Exodus’, the undetectable ‘secret organisation’ behind  it, the hands that financed it, and the part played by the unhappy human cargoes of the ‘hell ships’.  These people, like the British troops who conquered Palestine in the first war, or those who were  used against the Arabs between the wars, knew nothing about the living wealth of the Dead Sea.  Its full exploitation obviously cannot begin until, in the name of finding a sanctuary for the victims  of Hitler, Palestine has been handed to the Political Zionists. The wealth of this area is not limited  to the Dead Sea deposits. Outside Palestine, but not far away, are immense sources of oil. War,  once begun, always spreads.  The final shape of the Plan for the Fifties, therefore, seems to me to be this: behind the causes and  aims initially displayed to the people, will come the attempt to establish some new State in Arabia,  as a geographical centre of World Control, with New York as the centre of World Financial  Control; and to subdue all nations to this thrall. Between Fort Knox and the Dead Sea there appears  to be a clear chain. If British soldiers, or American ones, are used in Arabia, this is the purpose they  will be found to have served. The World Statesmen will attempt their concluding coup.  If anything is unclear in the shape of the climacteric third act it is the part which the chief actor of  the first two acts will play. Germany is cut in four, but the Germans are still there, and are  numerous. Their obsessing motive will be to regain their own country; some will be prompted to  see hope in this direction, and the others in that. In this matter, prearrangement by some master  hand again seems discernible.  The only organised German force existing now is that of the great army which, by Hitler’s curious  actions, was left to surrender at Stalingrad. The Soviet Power, though it was so thirsty for the blood  of its accomplices at Nuremberg, did not hang the commanders or ill-treat the men of that army. It  cherished and reformed them; Field-Marshal von Paulus became a German Joyce, broadcasting  regularly from Moscow; he and his generals encamped with a great force outside that city to await  some new Day. I do not know if they were equipped with British or American arms and machines,  but that is probable.  By the time this book appears that army may have become an important factor in shaping the new  events. It is likely, I judge, to be sent to Germany and to become the real power, under Soviet  control, of a Soviet Western Germany. The government under its sway will harp on the airs of  German patriotism and hold out to the Eastern Germans the prospect of happy reunion in a United  Germany (The Fourth Reich?) if only they will embrace Communism. Mr. John Strachey, when he  was recommending Communism before the second war, foresaw that ‘the centre of gravity of  Communism may shift westward from Moscow to Berlin’. We approach that possibility, and would  then revert to the situation before 1914 and 1939.  The bearing of the British and American governments in their parts of Germany is inexplicable to  me, if they wish to avert such a development. Until now their actions have all gone to deprive the  Germans of faith in the sincerity of ‘The West’, to destroy hope for the future, and to impel them,  from embitterment, towards the religion of destruction.  For the rest, the shape of events to come in the momentous period that lies ahead is fairly clear. The  formation of an advance headquarters of the Communist International at Belgrade (which is the  result of that mysterious transaction in the war when British and American gold was sent to ‘Tito’)  gives the clue. Unless some unexpected sign of British or American strength is given, we shall see  Communist attempts to create chaos in Italy and France, and through chaos to strike for ‘Soviet  power’. If the desperate French call on General de Gaulle to save them from their traitors, he may  well find himself fighting against British and American weapons: by another wartime transaction  great quantities of these were dropped by parachute into the waiting arms of the French  Communists, who still hold them.   The Aged Rock  In this great chaos of the mid-century, which must either be reduced to order or destroy us all, there  seems to me to be one clear, strong shape to cling to: England. England is still inviolate, still  unconquerable, still free if it wishes to be free. Its actions and its example will determine the result.  It could bring order out of the chaos and clear the path to the future, which has remained blocked  since 1914. The way to do so is to prevent the two war-situations, which I have described, from  bursting into flame, behind which the greater plans for universal destruction would be pursued.  In the first one, the right action has been taken if it is followed through. We should undo the  misdeed of 1917 by withdrawing from Palestine, or at least abstain from taking part in starting the  new eruption by using force against the Arabs. If any is to do that, it should be somebody else and  the guilt should be visibly theirs. I think they might shrink from it if we plainly condemned it. The  British Government’s decision of September 1947 (to withdraw from Palestine, and to take no hand  in any further interventions there that are not ‘inherently just’ and approved by the Arabs) is the  one good and rightful act in its history up to now, provided it is carried out in the spirit in which it  was announced.  By that means the first eruption may be postponed and finally averted. The second war-situation is  that in Europe.  The Communist Empire cannot stop at the bisection-line and can only spread further, as it spread so  far, by war. If, for instance, by the time this book appears the Soviet power, under no matter what  pretext, has invaded Greece or set up a puppet government in Prague, those will be acts of war, like  Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia; the fighting would only be avoided through the withdrawal  of resistance. Once Greece or Czechoslovakia fall, in such a way, the Communist Empire will  spread by acts of war, with or without fighting, until this island is compelled to fight or to surrender  without fighting.  It is important that the Communist Empire should not spread its dark area, since such expansion  means war. To that end, Greece should be held and the bisection-line held. If that is firmly done,  the hold of the Communist Empire on the countries that do not belong to Russia will weaken, for  the peoples there loathe Communism. From what I saw and know of the Communist State, it is a  giant with feet of clay, and if prevented from easy expansion would in time broaden down to, first,  a more benevolent, and later a relatively free regime. The peoples it oppresses outside Russia and  inside it, would in time regain liberty and a decent condition of life.  If the two eruptions are prevented, the enormously important example of England becomes once  more decisive. Few people understand the power and radius of this invisible, spiritual force, which  is mightier than any secret conspiracy. The restoration of liberty in England, and a clear  renunciation of the road to serfdom, would save all Europe once again.  It has been difficult, during these two years, to hope for that in England. It still rises like a rock  from its surrounding waters, but has been left by the second war creeping with licensed treason and  masked treachery, riven with bewilderment, and undermined and honeycombed by those who  desire its destruction. It has been fantastic to see that the great bulk of its people still think they are  merely witnessing, or participating in, a struggle between ‘Labour’ and ‘The Tories’.  Perhaps there is grandeur in this massive incomprehension; perhaps it is a deliberate refusal, not  inability, to see the larger shape of danger; I cannot tell. Climax has frequently been anti-climax in  England. The people have so often seen mortal peril approach, across the seas or in their own  streets, and have averted it with so slight a tensing of their spiritual muscles, that they have grown a  native habit of dogged indifference to it. The great ordeals have been overcome with so small a  tremor that the people do not know they have survived ordeals. The British sometimes remind me  of the acrobat who intentionally fails two or three times in a difficult feat in order to make its final  performance more spectacular. In other simile, they remind me of the small boys who try to see  how far they can lean over a bridge; the unhappy ending to that tale, however, is that one wins.  These islanders, at all events, seem to me now to face a greater danger than the Armada, Napoleon,  the two German wars, or the two domestic attempts of 1926 and 1931. The attack is now from  without and within, and is stronger and more skilfully operated inside the gates than it ever was  before. The obvious trend of governmental action in these two years, however good the intentions  of the frontal ministers were, has been gradually to weaken our armed defences to a point where  they would collapse under test, like the French ones in 1940; and, parallel with that, to break down  those civic liberties which are the individual man’s last protection inside his frontiers.[89] As the  policy of an invading or occupying power, all this would have been logical; as that of a British  Government it appears to me incomprehensible.  Nevertheless, I take it that the British people will do what they always did until now: that they will  awaken in time, feel the danger if they do not see it, and by some instinctive operation of their  ancient constitutional and parliamentary machine, save themselves from it. All their instincts are  against the destruction of their monarchy, of ordered government, of religion, of liberty, of the  family and of property, however small. I imagine these instincts will yet, at one more eleventh  hour, save them from the revolution of destruction.  If that is so, and we return at this belated instant from the evil path to the good one which we left in  1914, they will certainly never know what they missed.   ***                                  Epilogue  TEN TIMES APRIL  Well, the ten Aprils have brought me from the ragman’s cellar in Vienna to a sick bed in Natal. I  was on my feet when I watched Hitler crash into Austria and wondered whether Insanity Fair  would ever appear. Now that we have returned from the smoke to the smother I watch affairs for  the nonce from my back, which is broken, and wonder, just as I wondered ten years ago, whether  the publisher will be able to get the sequel out before the events come about which form its theme.  Truly, for me, the more it changes the more it is the same thing. Shall I, in 1958, still be retailing  the blindingly obvious to the incorrigibly blind?  We take our spines too much for granted. Unbidden, they do our every bidding; they bow to  women, stoop to pick up their handkerchiefs, bend over oars, stiffen themselves in tight corners,  flex themselves in romantic ones and perform us some new service at every moment of the day.  Only when these faithful retainers break down, after growing old in our employ, do we realise how  fully we depend on them, how helpless we are without them. It is a humbling moment for a man  when he suddenly finds that that devoted valet, his vertebra, has left him at a second’s notice. Then,  if ever, should he be brought to a chastened mood; for this is the sharpest reminder he can receive  of his own unimportance, fallibility and mortal weakness.  Now, if ever, then, ought I to recant any judgments offered in heat or haste, as I read the proofs of  what I wrote last year. If they were crackbrained, my cracked back should help me perceive that.  As a careful journalist I am relieved to find that I do not want to alter anything; that the shape of  Insanity Fair looks the same to me from a horizontal position as from a vertical one; and that the  events I foretold, when I was preparing this book in Chelsea in 1947, are beginning to happen now  that I correct its proofs at an unexpected halting-place in South Africa in 1948.  If it was still unclear when I wrote the book, it is plain beyond denial now that the affairs of our  planet are in the hands of Disraeli’s ‘people behind the scenes’ who are able to arrange upheaval  after upheaval for their ulterior ends and are now setting the scenes for the greatest commotion yet,  which presumably will serve the greatest ambition. This has been shown (as I wrote that it would  be shown) by the behaviour of that anonymous committee of a few score officials, located in some  American suburb, which, God preserve us, is solemnly referred to on all hands as ‘The United  Nations’.  This body was set up to heal the wounds, mend the damage and right the wrongs of the second  twentieth-century war. It has not even tried to do any of these things. After three years Germany,  the largest country of Europe, remains a shambles; there is no sign of an attempt to set it on its legs  or restore justice to it. The new aggressor, the Asiatic Soviet Union, sprawls over half of Europe  like some great toad. These things might not exist for all the effort ‘The United Nations’ make to  mend them.  On the contrary, the mechanism of that remote committee of officials appears to have been  completely captured by those who pursue aims which have nothing to do with the welfare of  Europe, or of the world. The ‘United Nations’ have been concerned solely to declare a new war, not  to heal old wounds. The energies of these far-off committeemen, from the delegates of great  Liberia and glorious Haiti to those of the United States and the Soviet Union, have been devoted to  preparing an attack on the Arabs of Palestine, who must surely be among the most inoffensive  peoples of the world, in the interest of the Zionist Jews.  On p. 269[go to] of this book I showed the way in which the mechanism is controlled. In America  there is an election, presidential or parliamentary, every two years; New York City is the key to  success in any election and in New York City the Zionists hold the balance of power; American  Presidents and American party-leaders (who like a Mr. Baldwin fear ‘to lose an election’) may thus  be kept under unremitting pressure; America has the most powerful vote in the ‘United Nations’,  which conveniently meets in America.  By such methods have the two twentieth-century wars been brought to yield, not peace or freedom  in Europe, but ‘the partition of Palestine’ and the imminent threat of new war in Arabia. Only one  decisive step now remains to be taken: it is that the United States of America, which so loudly and  justly complains of Soviet aggression in Europe, should send American troops to invade Palestine.  As I correct these very proofs the radio from London tells me that the United States, though it will  never send troops to Palestine ‘to enforce partition’, might send them there ‘to restore order’.  Ergo, those who desire American troops in Palestine need but produce disorder (as the Nazis fired  the Reichstag). I commend readers to consider in this light any news of explosions and killings  from Palestine.  We are apparently approaching the greatest upheaval of all, and it is being manufactured in New  York. Those who deal in biblical prophecies (personally I confine myself to political forecasts) may  find entertainment in studying the ones about the battle of the plains of Armageddon, in Palestine,  which is foretold to be the decisive struggle. In one of the immense armies converging there (in the  belief that they are upholding purposes of their own, but in truth lured there by the power of the  devil) they may perhaps identify the American soldiers over whose heads the threat of this  expedition now hangs.  A decisive moment clearly impends. Through the subservience of Gentile politicians in our  generation the matter of Palestine has come to overcloud the whole future: at last the nigger fully  emerges from the twentieth-century woodpile. It may be that the Zionists are approaching a success  as great as that which they achieved 1948 years ago (for the condemnation of the Nazarene  reformer must at the time have seemed to his enemies a great success, although it brought them no  happiness in the sequel). The Gentile politicians of 1943, who have suffered ‘The United Nations’  to be put to this base purpose, are weaker men than Pontius Pilate himself.  There has been but one good thing in these years that followed the second war, years which in all  else were more evil than the Thirties: the sudden withdrawal of the British Government from  further complicity in the monstrous deed that is being hatched in Palestine. Were the American  Government at the last moment to draw back from this abyss, the future would yet be safe. By the  time From Smoke to Smother appears this question may have been answered once and for all.  These ten years, which have seen a devilish power grow much more powerful on earth, have been  for me personally the happiest of my life; that is the unaccountable prank of an individual destiny.  As the hope grew less, that the second war might have cleared the foul air of this century of blood  and lies, so my own private happiness improved. For myself, I have no resentment against the  times; they have been kinder to me than I ever dreamed of. The things I have written, in this sequel  to Insanity Fair, are therefore not the complaints and misgivings of a mind become habitually  rancorous; they are simply the comments, born in much experience, of a faithful reporter of these  extraordinary years.  To them I want to add one word. I am not of the knowalls. I have tried, in exposing the deliberately  evil intention which I perceive behind the chaos of our times, to set out many facts which are not  widely known. On these I have based and offered my own opinions. But I do not think I know all or  that I must be right. There is no absolute truth; look at the many colours which the colourless  diamond contains. I have probed as far as I can into the puzzles of our times and in offering the  solution I have come to I append these words borrowed from an American writer, Mr. Henry  Beston:   ‘Among the many things for which I remain profoundly grateful is the fact that so  much of life defies human explanation. The unimaginative and the dull may insist  that they have an explanation for everything, and level at every wonder and mystery  of life their popgun formulas but, God be praised, their wooden guns have not yet  dislodged the smallest star. It is well that this be so, for the human spirit can die of  explanations … which do not explain. A world without wonder, and a way of mind  without wonder, becomes a world without imagination, and without imagination  man is a poor and stunted creature. Religion, poetry, and all their arts have their  sources in this upwelling of wonder and surprise. Let us thank God that so much will  for ever remain out of reach, safe from our universe, inviolate from our touch.’  Holding that public knowledge is the defence against secretly wielded knowledge, I simply proffer  a little information and a few opinions.  Pietermaritzburg, 1948   ***                                  Postscript  In 1938, when Insanity Fair appeared on April 1st, Hitler just three weeks previously had  confirmed the book’s argument by invading Austria. The book was already between covers when  that happened and extra chapters containing my own description of the invasion, and underlining  the emphasis it gave to my argument, were separately printed and sent to those who had acquired  the early editions.  In 1948 the processes of publication are somewhat slower and From Smoke to Smother will appear,  not in April but in early summer. This enables me to include in the book itself, by postscript, some  reference to the events, confirmatory of the book’s argument, which have happened since it was  written between April and October of 1947.  These recent months have been filled with a gigantic melodrama enacted partly in the full public  gaze but mainly behind those scenes where (as Disraeli said) quite other people govern the world.  These months and these events seem to me to have shown plainly that the recurrent calamities of  our century are not a huge accident but the stages in a great plan (the apter word, I believe, is plot)  for the final ruination of Europe and the transference of power in the world to new hands. This  undertaking, already brought so far on the way to success, now appears to be approaching its  climax. For the third act of the great melodrama the two war situations, one in Europe and one in  Arabia, are essential, and these were duly prepared behind the smoke of the second war.  It has become clear, in my opinion, that the central aim of the great conspiracy lies in Palestine.  Europe is only important to these planners as a place to be destroyed, a continent where wars may  be brought about, under cover of which other aims may be pursued. In Palestine, or at any rate in  the Near Eastern territories surrounding it, the seat of their might is to be set up when the great plan  has been completed.  What open-eyed being can doubt that now? After this second war the victors leagued themselves in  a body called ‘The United Nations’. Deftly and effortlessly, with open contempt for the  uncomprehending public multitude outside, the entire energies of this body were diverted to the  conquest of Palestine – a matter quite remote from the aims or causes of the war, in the name of  which these ‘United Nations’ claimed their power. The ruins of Europe and the purgatory of  bewilderment and fear in which its millions live, might not exist for all the distant committee which  called itself ‘The United Nations’ did to mend or dispel them. Not peace or freedom, but new  aggression against a harmless folk was the obsessing preoccupation of this body.  Can wars be brought about by ulterior parties for ulterior aims? When I look back on the  inexplicable Thirties, and the steady approach of the foreseeable war, I think the answer may be  yes. That such wars, once begun, can be used by ulterior parties for ulterior aims, seems now  beyond doubt and this plainly happened after 1918 and after 1945. The action of ‘The United  Nations’ in declaring a new war (for that is what the vote to partition Palestine meant) was the  climax of thirty abject years during which the word ‘statesman’ lost its meaning and the politicians  of the great Western countries, Conservative, Liberal and Socialist, Republican and Democrat,  became puppets dancing on a Zionist string.  It was heresy to say that fifteen, ten, even five years ago. Now the thing has been openly flaunted in  the face of the world. ‘The influence of the Zionist organisation reaches into the inner policy-  making groups of nearly every government in the world – particularly into the Christian West. This  influence causes these groups to adopt pro-Zionist policies which are often in conflict with the real  interests of the peoples they govern. This condition exists in the United States. Its extent is so great  in the present administration as to make it a threat to our future.’ I quote these words from an  American publication;[90] they are applicable equally to the coalition British Government of 1917,  which issued the Balfour Declaration, to many of its successors, and to governments in many  foreign countries and some British Dominions.  That astounding ‘vote’ of ‘The United Nations’ meant, if it was put into effect, permanent war until  the final aims of the ulterior parties were achieved. What they precisely are, I do not know. Clearly  they go very far beyond the establishment of ‘a National Home in Palestine’; that is merely the  smokescreen behind which schemes for a central seat of World Government, or some such thing,  are concealed. Whatever they are, the one staggering fact is clear: the governments of numerous  countries, great and small, sublime or ridiculous, were brought at Lake Success to vote for a new  World war![91]  The thirty years from 1917-47, when the almost invisible, and publicly almost unknown, Zionists  dominated the governments of great countries, in my view belong to the most astonishing of  history. It seems incredible but may be true that the British and American politicians who made  themselves the servants of Zionism during those three decades did not see the culminating disaster  towards which they led their peoples and the world.  A new era, that of the revolt of the puppets, may have begun in 1947. Under the Foreign  Ministership of Mr. Bevin the British Government of the day resolutely refused any further to play  the tool’s part in Palestine. In earlier British history we fought and won minor wars at less cost in  British life and treasure than the thirty years of Zionist treachery and Arab resistance cost us in a  cause that was neither ours nor righteous. Nevertheless, submission to Zionist demands became so  automatic and universal during the thirty years that the British Government’s belated refusal in  1947 startled a world bewildered and benumbed by the power of Zionist propaganda.  I look with horror on the Attlee Government’s deeds in England; the cost of its ruinous measures is  beyond estimate. But in this supreme matter abroad its action put the Coalition, Liberal,  Conservative and Socialist Governments of 1917-45 to shame and revived hope for the future when  it was nearly dead. Mr. Bevin won a victory which may prove as momentous as that of Waterloo.  The way to final ruination in this century lies in further submission to the Zionist enterprise in  Palestine; the only way out of this chaos is to break that bondage.  The next great moment in the melodrama came when America recanted its vote at the puppet-  assembly and announced that it would have no hand in partitioning Palestine. Mr. George Marshall,  the American Foreign Secretary, stated (March 20th) that he himself had recommended President  Truman to this recantation, and told the Foreign Relations Committee of the American Senate that  partition would bring about another world war; ‘it would be just like touching off a powder keg’.  That the Zionist ambitions in Palestine, if they were supported, would lead to war was the advice  offered by competent British and American authorities in Palestine to their governments for most of  the thirty years. The files of Washington and Whitehall are full of these warnings, which successive  British Governments and American Presidents ignored. Mr. Marshall’s announcement of March  1948 was akin to the public revelation that the distance from the top of a precipice to its foot is a  long drop.  Nevertheless, two important men had now not only seen, but reported the red light. If the twentieth  century is yet saved from crashing to the foot of that precipice, Mr. Bevin and Mr. Marshall will  share the credit. Mr. Marshall looks and speaks like an American statesman of an earlier time; the  present American President has at last a good ‘adviser’. Moreover, Mr. Marshall was in favour of  that earlier invasion of Europe which, as I have tried to show, would probably have prevented the  fiasco of 1945-48 and have led to real victory in the second war.  There were Zionist demonstrations in New York against President Truman and Mr. Marshall;  somewhat earlier than I foresaw, when I anticipated something of the kind in this book, America  began to fill the villain’s part (in which Britain had previously followed Germany and Russia) of  persecutor of the Jews.  The great Plan suffered a setback just when it was on the edge of triumph. The Zionist scheme in  Palestine means war, world war; and I wrote earlier in this book that the obvious intention was to  embroil British and American troops in this new world war by having ‘The United Nations’ order  them to go to Palestine and conquer it for the Zionists. With the British and American refusals, this  hope collapsed, for the time being at all events.  Immediately a new scheme was hatched. If British or American troops would not do the job, then  let ‘international’ ones do it. Let ‘The United Nations’ order that ‘an international force’ be sent to  Palestine. If ‘The United Nations’, after the British and American demurrers, should prove reluctant  to declare the new war in this form, then let them be given a face-saving pretext. The ‘International  Force’ would be sent to Palestine, not to subdue the Arabs, God forbid that; but to ‘protect the Holy  Places’ from both contestants.  Believe it or not, then, the new war is being promoted behind the scenes of the great outward  melodrama, as I write, in the name of this new cause, of protecting the Holy Places. The powerful  Zionists are sending cables and emissaries all over the world to enlist the aid of leading Gentiles in  this hoax. The Archbishop of Canterbury himself announced that he had been asked to urge the  British Government to leave British troops in Jerusalem for this purpose, and in South Africa,  where I wrote this prospect, an urgent call had come to General Smuts to ‘appeal for the provision  of a token international force for Jerusalem’.  This (the canvassers behind the scenes urged when they approached leading politicians) was in the  interest of ‘the whole of Christendom’, which was vitally concerned in ‘the preservation of the  Holy Places’. But in my view, which I shall with delight and curiosity compare with events a few  years from now, ‘the whole’ of Christendom’ and ‘the Holy Places’ alike will suffer ruinously if an  international force or British or American troops are sent to Palestine in the service of un-Christian  and anti-Christian enterprises.  It is quite clear why this tremendous energy is being spent, in the political ante-rooms and lobbies  of the entire world, in getting British, American or ‘international’ troops sent to Palestine. Men  alone are not enough to do the fighting there. Money for it is also needed, and not even Zionist  wealth is equal to the cost of the new war which would begin there. The finances of the Gentile  governments and their people must somehow or other be hitched to the Zionist star. There is no  appeal in an exclusively Zionist-Arab war: the Zionists, after all, do not want to go to Palestine.  The great nations of East and West must be embroiled on the plains of Armageddon, otherwise the  whole scheme collapses like a house of cards.  Thus, between New York and Palestine, the twentieth century approaches its climax, its decisive  third act. The whole weight of Zionist power will be brought to bear against the British and  American politicians who have refused the part for which they were cast at this decisive moment.  In America the President, who gave so much support to Zionism, apparently without realising the  implications of this, will find, now that he has become more cautious, that a new candidate will be  produced against him at the election and will be backed by the entire Zionist and Communist  machine. Everything possible will be done to bring about the overthrow and removal of those  politicians who broke loose from Zionism as they saw the abyss open before them.  The game is changing. For thirty years, it seems, politicians in every country supported Zionism,  for the sake of a few votes, thinking it a good bargain to receive these in return for that which cost  them nothing: namely, the promise of other people’s land. Now the foremost ones among them  begin to see that the bargain was not so cheap; on the contrary, there was a price to be paid in  British, American, Canadian, Australian or other life, treasure and subservience.  The moment of redeeming the bond has come and the next few months or years will show the  result. The Zionists will seek to knock down the incompliant politicians and set up a new  generation of compliant prime ministers and politicians. If they fail, they will try to re-establish  their hold in some other way. Already, as I write, groups and coteries of dupes or infatuates in  Britain and America are being prompted to clamour for the immediate establishment of ‘World  Government’ as the only hope of preserving this planet.  The establishment of ‘The United Nations’, however, was ‘World Government’, and the  declaration of war against the Arabs was the first act of such World Government. Those things  have shown what World Government would mean, and what kind of use would be made of atomic  weapons or British and American soldiers, were those placed under the orders of some committee  of ‘World Government’.  The events of the autumn of 1947 and spring of 1948 have shown, to my mind, that the crux and  centre of this melodrama of the twentieth century lie in Palestine, and that the other war-situation,  the one in Europe, is supplementary and complementary to it. I think it will only be allowed to  erupt if and when it is thought helpful to the development of the great Plan in Arabia; for these  months have also shown, more plainly than ever before, that Communism and Zionism support  each other at each move in the game.  I think then that those who wish intelligently to follow their times and to read the signs of the future  must watch events in Palestine (or more accurately, about Palestine and in New York and Lake  Success) first, and those in Europe second. If they see that, under one false pretext or another,  British or American troops are allowed to remain in or are sent to Palestine, or if forces called  ‘international’ are ordered there by the committee in America, I think they may be sure that the  rebellion among the puppets has been stamped out; that resistant politicians have been removed and  plastic ones put in their place; that the further development of the great Plan is to be paid for in  British and American life and treasure; and that the masses of these countries will be embroiled in  the new war not for their own interests, but for an alien one.  If the British and American Governments remain resolutely aloof from this guilty enterprise in  Arabia, and events move to a renewal of the fighting-war in Europe, this will in my judgment take  the nature of a Communist and Zionist vengeance for Western and Gentile stubbornness. There  seems to me no doubt that the two war-situations are linked together in the strategy of the great  planners who (again, in my estimate) have brought them about.  Since I wrote this book, and while I have been correcting its proofs, there was great outcry about  the Soviet Empire’s almost noiseless annexation of Czechoslovakia. For the thousandth time in  these twenty years I have asked myself, can it be really true that politicians are dumbfounded by  these long-foreseeable events? From the moment that President Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill agreed  to the bisection of Poland, as Hitler and Stalin had agreed on it, it was clear that this meant in fact  the bisection of Europe, which would mean the new submergence of Czechoslovakia along with a  dozen other countries.  Then why the sudden indignation? I recall now the astonishment with which I heard M. Benes,  when he was in London during the war, congratulate himself, in conversation with me, on having  come to an arrangement with Stalin in good time, whereas the Poles were still arguing and were  clearly endangered. Did even he, with all his experience, I asked myself, think he could succeed in  taming the tiger with currant-buns of appeasement? Apparently M. Benes did so deceive himself;  the thing is almost beyond belief. He has merely, within ten years, exchanged one Bohemian  German jailer, Adolf Hitler, for another, Klement Gottwald.[92]  The great ‘crisis’ of the spring of 1948, when a horrified world was suddenly told that the Soviet  Empire was in aggressive mood, was in fact foreseeable from 1942 at the latest and the only  mystery is, why British and American troops were withdrawn from Germany after 1945, if the  intention ever existed to resist the Soviet advance into Europe. Anyway, this new ‘crisis’ was used  to justify the reintroduction of conscription in the United States.  If the British and American Governments are now united in a resolve, even a belated resolve, either  by the threat or the use of force to make the Soviet Empire withdraw to its natural frontiers, that  would in my view be good and rightful. In that event, and provided they abstained from taking any  further part in the attack on the Arabs in Palestine, the prospect of peace and freedom would return  to Europe for the first time since 1914. In a straight encounter I believe the Soviet Empire would  quickly dissolve, for its feet are of clay and are set among the hatred of the millions it oppresses.  If the fighting were renewed a second time, and if that were to be the shape of ‘the third war’, we  should have nothing to fear and everything to hope for from it. But in 1948 it is all too clear that the  wars of the twentieth century are not straight encounters for professed aims, but are used, if they  are not made, by ulterior parties for ulterior purposes. In considering the American counter-moves  to the Soviet annexation of Czechoslovakia, for instance, enlightened people should remember that  (as I have written in this book and as a United States Senator, Mr. George Malone, remarked after  hearing the President’s conscription speech): ‘This is still the same Administration that stopped  General Patton outside Berlin and waited for the Russians to take over a large part of Germany.  This is the same Administration that wrecked almost immediately after the close of hostilities the  greatest military machine the world ever saw – it still does not make sense.’  In the language of honesty and patriotic national policies, it does not make sense. It might well  make sense from the point of view of ulterior parties seeking ulterior ends. Who advised the helter-  skelter American withdrawal and demobilisation after 1945? Who advised the appeasement of  Stalin by the partition of Poland in 1942-43? Who advised the appeasement of Hitler by the  amputation of Munich in 1938? Who forms the policy of governments today, and has the shaping  of it passed irrevocably into the hands of people who work behind the scenes for separate ends?  The time when these tormenting questions of the thirty years 1917-47 will be answered is drawing  near. The planners and plotters must either succeed, and assume power in a ruined world through  their ‘World Government’ with its political headquarters in Palestine and its gold in America; or  the elected representatives of the peoples in the various countries will throw off this secret thrall  and return to national interests. I think we shall see very soon now which of these things is to  happen, and the clue lies in the Palestine affair: if the British and American Governments keep their  hands clear of that, and keep ‘The United Nations’ out of it as well, the world will yet find the way  out of Insanity Fair.  But if, with their own hands or wearing the gloves of ‘The United Nations’, Britain and America  become embroiled in the Palestine plot, I think we shall before long see a renewal of the universal  fighting-war both there and in Europe, and before it has been in progress very long it will have  been turned against the aims (such as ‘stopping Soviet aggression’) which will be proclaimed at the  start.  The real aim would be to complete the destruction of Europe; to set up some evil ‘World  Government’, straddling the world from Fort Knox to Jerusalem; and to use the men and money of  the last great states of Christendom for that purpose.   FOOTNOTES  1: Since this was written the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Jan Masaryk, has died by falling from  a window in the traditional city of ‘defenestration’, Prague; while President Benes, as I correct the  proofs, is as much a Soviet captive as his successor in 1938, President Hacha, was a Nazi one. M.  Benes thus in his turn followed the sorrowful path of vain appeasement trodden by nearly all  politicians in this fantastic century. During the war, when the fate of Poland was already clear to  foresee, he told me in tones of satisfaction that he had averted such calamities for his own country  by coming to an arrangement with the Soviet State in good time.  2: Observant readers may notice that the idea in 1947 began to appear in political speeches in this  island, as a proffered solution for our future. Mr Churchill, in his historic warning of August 16th,  1947, pointed to it (‘the dispersal or death of a large proportion of our population’) as the obvious  fate at the end of the road along which we were being led.  3: Today’s rulers of Rumania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and the Baltic countries similarly  emerged, for the most part, from the obscurity of Communist training-schools in Russia. The Soviet  grip on the eastern half of Europe, which in 1947 became the subject of loud American and a little  British complaint, was in fact prearranged at the international conferences of the war period and  received the support of the American and British spokesmen; if these had private expectations of  Soviet withdrawal they were unaccountably ill-advised.  4: Measure for Measure.  5: When I wrote this I merely chose what seemed an apt simile. Now that the book is ready for  press, and I come to correct the proofs, I have suffered this misfortune and now write as an  authority on the impossibility of walking through life with a broken spine.  6: I believe I first used the expression ‘iron curtain’ about the frontier of the Soviet-occupied area  of Europe. It was much taken up, unfortunately, because indiscriminate use devalues a word. It is,  however, not rhetorical, but exact, and I used it in its literal sense. The frontier between Soviet  Russia and the outer world when I saw it (and I have just heard that the Soviet-Turkish frontier has  been put in the same condition) was guarded by metallic barriers unbroken and impenetrable  enough to be called ‘an iron curtain’. There was a double line of thick barbed wire, the ground  between being plowed fine, when it was not under snow, to show footprints. At frequent intervals  were posted armed sentries, each within sight of the next, and there were numerous concrete  blockhouses. The enormous length of the frontier should be borne in mind in considering this  picture; the Chinese wall, alone, remotely compares with it, and that belongs to what was thought,  even thirty years ago, to be dark antiquity.  7: Present developments in France may lend great interest to the fact that General de Gaulle’s flag  restores the Christian emblem to the French tricolour. It is becoming clear that the wars of the  twentieth century, whatever names and causes are attached to them for the delusion of the masses  when they begin, are in fact revolutionary ones with the common and continuing aim of destroying  Christendom, nationhood and liberty everywhere, and that they derive in unbroken line from the  French revolution of 1789, the unsuccessful European revolutions of 1848 and the Bolshevist ones  of 1890 and 1905. It would be of the highest importance if the great awakening to their nature, and  the resistance to the conspiracy, came from a reviving France, after 160 years of despondency and  decline which seemed to have become chronic and incurable there.  8: The Trial of Ley and Smith, Jarrolds, 16s., is from this point of view enthralling to the student of  twentieth-century politics.  9: President Roosevelt’s policy culminated in a project which actually meant, in the post-war event,  the bisection of Germany and the destruction of the German nation. More Germans than ever  before were to be compressed, through repatriation from elsewhere, into shrunken German  frontiers. Almost all the food-producing land was to be under Russian occupation and it was clear  at the time to all informed observers that Russia would not allow food to move from there to the  British-and-American half of Germany, so that the Germans there would either have to starve or be  fed by the British and American taxpayer (which is now happening). At the same time German ruin  in the British and American half was to be ensured by the forcible restriction of industrial output to  a specified low level! This fantastic project, which must be unique in civilised history, was coupled  with the name of a Mr. Morgenthau, one of President Roosevelt’s advisers, and eventually took  shape in the Potsdam Agreement, which, Mr. Roosevelt having died, was signed by President  Truman. Mr. James Byrnes, who was American Foreign Secretary under President Roosevelt, in his  book Speaking Frankly says that President Roosevelt, being reproached by Mr. Stimson with his  support of the Morgenthau Plan, ‘agreed’ and said he ‘did not know how he had initialled that  particular language … it must have been done, he said, without much thought’. Mr. William Henry  Chamberlin says of the Potsdam Agreement (eventually signed by Messrs. Truman, Attlee and  Stalin): ‘The most charitable explanation of the behaviour of some of its signatories is profound  and abysmal ignorance of what they were doing.’  The result of it (and of the still unexplained arrangement by which the Western armies were held  back in order to allow the Soviet armies to advance to the middle of Germany) is the bisection of  Germany and the formation, which apparently impends as I write, of rival German governments: A  Soviet one east of Berlin and a Democratic one in the west, probably at Frankfurt. This is the ideal  set-up for the resumption of fighting-hostilities.  10: I believe now that Stalin made impossible conditions for one, but that is not the point here; in  this second case Stalin claimed to want an early invasion.  11: Victor Kravchenko, then a Red Army captain, in I Chose Freedom describes looting and panic  in Moscow between October 13th and 18th, 1941, and says: ‘The Germans could have taken  Moscow during those days virtually without a struggle … Why they turned back is a mystery only  the Germans themselves can solve for history’.  12: An American writer, Mr. George Morgenstern, wrote a book, Pearl Harbour: The Story of the  Secret War, which was ignored or derided by most reviewers but has attracted much public notice  and an increasing sale. Of it the American Journal of International Law said gravely: ‘Either Mr.  Morgenstern is blazing a false trail, or else the war was planned by American officials who  deceived their countrymen … The evidence must be refuted or the conviction stands … The author,  knowing the sensational character of this story, has fortified himself by quotations from original  sources. It is now the work of the defenders of the official saga to refute these.’  13: Baron von Hassel, who was executed in 1944, in his posthumous diary (The Other Germany,  Switzerland, 1946) described the despair with which Hitler’s enemies in Germany received this  news. The best account of this and later attempts is given in Germany’s Underground (Macmillan,  1947) by Mr. A.W. Dulles, an American diplomat who served in the U.S. State Department  (Foreign Office) and in 1942 joined the Office of Strategic Services, an American Government  organisation which worked in Switzerland and kept close contact with the anti-Nazi leaders. In  May 1945, when Berlin fell, he became head of the O.S.S. mission to Germany and is thus a  leading authority in this matter.  14: Captured German documents state that more than 4980 Germans were put to death after the  final attempt to kill Hitler on July 20th, 1944.  15: In food, possibly the most important matter of all, this plan has been almost achieved. The  primeval right of individual men and countries to obtain enough to eat, where they can, has been  overruled and some distant, initialled committee now claims authority to inflict permanent food-  cards on the peoples of Europe.  16: President Roosevelt’s successor has refused a ‘war investigations committee’ of the U.S. Senate  access to the papers of the Roosevelt dictatorship.  17: For instance, Professor Einstein, ‘There is no secret and there is no defence’; Mr. Laski, ‘Since  we shall not survive an atomic war, let us cease to waste money making atomic weapons’; and a  Mr. John Langdon Davies, quoting a mysterious ‘Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists’ in  America, ‘There is no military defence against atomic bombs and none is to be expected …  Preparedness against atomic war is futile and, if attempted, will ruin the structure of our social  order’.  18: The school of thought behind these plans is indicated by an article published in the Washington  Post in August 1947, which suggested that the United States should take over this island as  mandated territory and added, ‘It goes without saying that dissident elements would not be  tolerated and would be immediately suppressed by vigorous measures.’ In one vital matter, that of  the Englishman’s daily bread, ‘national sovereignty’ seems already to have been surrendered to this  World-State-in-embryo.  19: The Daily Mail, for instance, which on June 15th presented The Plan to its readers as a noble  offer ‘to destroy every existing bomb’, on June 21st attacked the Soviet counter-proposal that all  existing bombs should be destroyed: ‘What M. Gromyko proposed was that the atom bomb should  be abolished and that all atomic weapons should be destroyed within three months; this, of course,  would be the ideal solution, but there is unfortunately a big difference between what is desirable  and what is possible,’ etc. etc.  20: ‘House Document No 754’ of the U.S. Senate, an authoritative paper based on official  American information, put the number of concentration-camp workers at 14,000,000 in 1945,  including many women.  21: The Headmaster of Harrow, on Speech Day 1947, said: ‘Public schools are no longer a royal  road or short cut to eminence and I do not regret the change.’  22: We need controls now to avoid a slump like the one after the 1918 war,’ said Mr. Morrison;  two years later, when they had produced a slump worse than anything within living British  memory, he said: ‘Our policy is one of less today for more tomorrow.’ The policy actually pursued  was, quite visibly, one of less today leading to less tomorrow.  23: The discerning may find the explanation in a statement included in the P.E.P. Report on the  British Press published before the war: ‘It is well known that many newspapers of the Right are  staffed by Left-minded journalists.’ This fact, which I can confirm from long personal knowledge,  together with the extinction of the fully empowered independent and consistently ‘Conservative’ or  ‘Liberal’, and for the otherwise inexplicable unanimity which all newspapers showed in supporting  the decisive blows at British liberty. It was the triumph of ‘infiltration’ in the newspapers.  24: His book, The Coming Struggle for Power, Gollancz, 1937, contains some remarkable  statements. He thought the Invergordon naval mutiny of 1931 revealed ‘the true spirit of the British  sailor’. He hoped for ‘the success of Communism in Great Britain’, and despised ‘those trusted  allies of the British capitalists, the members of the British Labour Party. He foresaw a war, but the  wrong war; he thought ‘British imperialists’ would ‘forestall the outbreak of war with a rival  empire by leading a joint attack on the Soviet Union’ and in that event foretold ‘revolutionary  action by the British workers’. In the war he thus falsely envisaged, ‘the chances of victory for  Britain would be small and remote … It would be very improbable that at all a high percentage of  the population of these islands would survive such a conflict … British men and women would  certainly be perishing wholesale, some by fire, some by gas, some by starvation’ (in the event the  British islander came nearer to starvation after he began bread-rationing than during the war which  occurred). Only one thing, he thought, could save this country: the organised force of its workers  ‘awakened to the necessity of overthrowing once and for all the rule of the capitalist class and  taking power into their own hands’. Who, he asked, would exhibit true love of his country; The  Englishman who followed blindly where his present rulers were leading until they had taken his  country to certain destruction, or he who joined with that advance guard of the British working-  class which had already realised that the only possible future for Britain was as a free republic of an  at first European and later world-wide Union of Soviet Republics?  25: ‘I have seldom seen a Ministerial speech receive a more tumultuous welcome on the  government back benches,’ News of the World; ‘A minister complimented in the House was Mr.  John Strachey, whose performance in the bread debate roused Labour Members to enthusiasm,’  Manchester Guardian.  26: In similar secrecy the right of the British Dominions to supply this island with food was  apparently surrendered. In Australia a campaign was started to send food to ‘hungry Britain’ when  report spread that the Australian Government was not free to do so and questions were asked in the  Australian Parliament. The minister responsible answered: ‘The I.E.F.C. allocates most foods  exported from Australia other than meat, dairy products, dried and canned fruits.’ The question  why the Australian people were not informed that the Australian Government had accepted such  obligations was not answered.  27: Even more dangerous to liberty is the increasing practice of ministers acting by administrative  orders, most of which have never been discussed in Parliament’ – the Archbishop of York,  September 25th, 1947.  28: If this was a collective governmental act I presume another minister would not later have called  it a ‘mistake’.  29: At that very moment two German women, a doctor and a nurse, were being guillotined in  Berlin on such charges, their plea that they were compelled to become State servants and carry out  State orders being disallowed. They were forced into a ‘National Health Service’ and then had to  execute Hitler’s decree that certain human lives (‘The State’ decided which) were not worth  prolonging. At the same period twenty-three German doctors and scientists were tried at  Nuremberg for ‘inhuman and unprofessional conduct’. Their victims were criminals condemned to  death and those of the accused who actually made experiments on them pleaded that they ‘would  have died anyway’. The others were members of higher bodies (possibly ‘Advisory Committees’),  never saw the victims, and claimed that they merely obeyed governmental authority. London  newspapers reported, with surprise, that these accused ‘showed no sense of Nazi guilt’. Yet there  seemed but a narrowing gap between the practice introduced under Hitler in Germany and that,  revealed in the House of Commons, of the refusal of additional nutriment to patients by a distant  unqualified minister on the ground that they ‘would have died anyway’.  30: In October 1947 the following remarkable statement was published by the News Chronicle:  ‘Lord Nathan’s private army of airport police continues to grow … Lord Nathan has 650 policemen  on his pay roll, most of them stationed at London Airport and Northolt. This is but a beginning. It is  planned to have 1500.’ Lord Nathan was ‘Minister for Civil Aviation’, another new ministry. This  information was printed without comment, in the manner of the day, but the newspaper added that  these ‘airport police’ were ‘formerly security police’.  31: One newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, later announced that these new intruders were not to have  right of entry save in the company of police with a formal search-warrant, but the confusion  existing under this regime of emergency powers is now so great that I have been unable to verify  the report, and only coming experience can test it. If it is true, somebody in the Cabinet conclave  won a rearguard action for the chilly Englishman in his crumbling castle.  32: A typical example of this confused thought was contained in a speech of the Archbishop of  York at Scarborough on September 25th, 1947. He spoke gravely of ‘the threat to freedom’ and  likened the island to ‘Gulliver bound by the strings of Lilliput’, but said also: ‘Without a planned  society we should not survive. If industry is not to be in chaos and mass unemployment is to be  avoided planning is inevitable.’ It was by this time beyond doubt that The Plan was ‘a threat to  freedom’; to say that ‘planning is inevitable’, therefore, was equal to saying that Gulliver ought to  submit to the very bonds of which His Grace complained.  33: The ‘centre of gravity’, of which Mr. Strachey had written in 1937, might move from Moscow  to Berlin; in that case the real Communist aim would be to envassal us to Germany.  34: ‘The extent of the treasonable and spying activities of the American Communist Party during  and since the war would make the disclosures of the un-American activities Committee pale into  insignificance. But our government has not allowed the public even to peep into its bulging files  and the general press has hardly scratched the surface of a condition which betokens a grievous  malady in our body politic … The malady had been forced deep into our bloodstream. A generation  has grown up … which professes loyalty to one country while secretly serving another. Treason has  been made into an art and espionage into a science by the modern totalitarians.’ These words, from  Plain Talk, New York, 1947, are applicable in England. In America in 1947 an investigation was  begun, with an endowment of 25,000,000 dollars, to detect and expel these agents from the U.S.  Civil Service. In England, such new ministries as those of Food, Fuel and Power, and Health and  Housing, having to be filled with new staffs from the bottom up, were particularly open to the  planting of Communist agents.  35: This science and these methods are clearly explained in the ‘Theses and Statutes of the  Communist International’ as adopted by the ‘Second World Congress’ of July-August 1920 in  Moscow. This document, with other equally important ones, was published in Mr. W.H.  Chamberlin’s invaluable Blueprint for World Conquests (Human Events, Washington, 1946). It has  never been modified and gives a photographic explanation of events in England between 1945-47;  it is the operation-order of a battle since carried near to success in this island and other countries.  Twenty-six years ago it may have seemed a rambling revolutionary essay, unlikely of fulfilment  and difficult to understand. Current events, however, make it simple to comprehend and it is of the  most vivid actuality.  36: For instance, an important trade union, the United Society of Boilermakers and Iron and Steel  Shipbuilders, refused to accept the election to its national executive council of a branch secretary  because he was a Communist. He appealed against this decision and a ballot was taken of the  86,000 members. Less than 4500 members troubled to vote, and of these 2255 voted for him and  1937 against, so that he became a member of the ‘executive council’, with an important voice in the  choice of its delegates to the all-important ‘Trade Union Congress’. The 2255 who voted for him  represented the total strength of the Communists in this union of 86,000 members.  37: I merely draw the parallel and do not here argue for or against the theory of military  conscription. The point is that it was inflicted, not for its military value, but as one more measure of  compulsion. The Communists voted for it on that account, but in the interest of ‘Soviet power’  immediately began to clamour for ‘cuts’ in the conscript forces. They were so successful in  prompting the government in this direction that by September 15th, 1947, the Military  Correspondent of The Times wrote: ‘Demands for retrenchment in the forces have upset forecasts  and plans which were in some cases drawn up, with every appearance of finality, only a few  months ago. Problem after problem has gone back into the melting-pot. The effect has been to  create uncertainty about elements of British policy hitherto considered fundamental … If equipment  is allowed to grow obsolete and key stations are garrisoned inadequately or not at all, if resources  are so far reduced that nothing can be made of what is left, then military policy ceases to exist.  There is no form of expenditure that cannot be cut, but it is important that the consequences should  be clearly understood.’  38: Among our worst losses in the war was the tradition of chivalry to a beaten enemy. Our leaders  were less humane and enlightened than the Duke of Wellington, who wrote: ‘When war is  concluded, I am decidedly of opinion that all animosity should be forgotten and that all prisoners  should be released.’ As I write, two and a half years after the collapse of Germany, masses of  German prisoners are still in this island, and if they are put to work, receive a slave’s pittance of a  few pence daily.  39: In October 1947 a Mr. E.W.R. Clark reported in a letter to the Daily Telegraph that, having  received a letter from an old, non-Nazi friend in Germany who expressed ‘a certain amount of  alarm at the many similarities between your Socialist government and our lately departed regime’,  he replied observing that many Britons also viewed with alarm so many Fascist tendencies among  our rulers. This letter was returned to him with a note saying that it was forbidden to discuss  politics with Germans. To the best of my knowledge no announcement of any such ban was ever  made, and I do not know any law under which one could be imposed. Under the anarchic system of  government-by-emergency-power, however, all things are possible, and this is a good instance of  the kind of thing that happens.  40: An early victim was the Hampshire farmer who, refusing to be evicted by such a committee  from his home in 1940, wounded four besieging policemen before he was shot dead.  41: ‘Parliament has chosen to make the tribunals masters of the situation and to leave the decision  of these cases to them without appeal, assuming that they will act properly. We have no power of  controlling them as we have in regard to other inferior courts’ – Lord Chief Justice Goddard, stating  his lack of authority to grant a writ against a decision of a local Rent Tribunal in March 1947.  42: Sir Hartley Shawcross was sent to Nuremberg to prosecute the German leaders for such acts as  the suppression of justice in favour of People’s Courts; he said there that ‘individuals have duties  which transcend the national duty of obedience imposed by the laws of their own States where to  obey those laws would constitute a crime against the law of nations’. There is, however, no ‘law of  nations’. There is only the law of each nation, and the most civilised and prosperous ones of the  world modelled theirs on the British law which this Attorney-General would by stages set aside.  43: The reference to ‘Canadians’ and ‘Canadian Communists’ seems to me slightly misleading. The  two persons chiefly involved, a Canadian M.P., who was convicted and imprisoned and the leader  of the Canadian Communist Perty, who disappeared, had plainly obtained Canadian naturalisation  in order to disguise and facilitate their activities. They both came originally from Russia and were  Jews. Again, another person involved was a British scientist, Dr. Alan Nunn May, who betrayed  secrets of atomic research. In sentencing him to ten years imprisonment, Mr. Justice Oliver said:  ‘How any man in your position could have had the crass conceit, let alone the wickedness, to  arrogate to himself a matter of this sort, when you yourself had given your written undertaking not  to do it, and knew it was one of the country’s most precious secrets, when you yourself had drawn  and were drawing pay for years to keep your bargain with your country – that you could have done  this is a dreadful thing. I think that you acted not as an honourable man but as a dishonourable man.  I think you acted with degradation. Whether money was the object of what you did, in fact you did  get money for what you did.’ Dr. May received the trivial gifts customary in this organisation; the  degradation of these perjured men was made more wretched by the petty bribes which, for their  complete incrimination, were contemptuously pressed on them. Gouzenko’s documents spoke of  700 dollars and two bottles of whisky going to Dr. May. He himself, in the dock, said: ‘The man  gave me some dollars, I forget how many, in a bottle of whisky, and I accepted these against my  will.’  44: The Jewish owner of the New York Times said he disliked the ‘coercive methods’ of Zionists in  America, who used economic weapons to silence Jews of differing views. He added that he, an  American of the Jewish faith, ‘would probably get into trouble for making these views public’. My  own experiences of getting into trouble for making my views public in this matter, incidentally,  will make a most amusing book one day.  45: Lord Reading said in the House of Lords: ‘I have seen many statements asking the Jews of this  country to use their influence with the Palestine terrorists, but alas, they have not got that influence.  I only wish that we had some influence that we could use, because it is not an attractive position for  the Jews here.’  46: I rather like a remark which Miss Eve Curie, in Journey among Warriors, Heinemann, 1943,  states that Mahatma Gandhi made to her about Sir Stafford Cripps: ‘Sir Stafford has good  intentions. But Satan uses honest people for his own ends.’ This seems to me to apply also to many  other members of the Socialist Government of 1945.  47: In that country such ‘obsequiousness to foreigners’ is officially discouraged; that is, its practice  is a penal or capital offence. In August 1946 a M. Kovalev was put up to speak on ‘Soviet national  pride’ to ‘The All-Union Society for the dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge’. He  warned it against ‘obsequiousness to foreigners’ and said: ‘Soviet patriotism rests on the profound  understanding of the superiority of the Soviet Socialist system over the bourgeois and all other  class systems.’ Obsequiousness before foreigners was a ‘relic of the past’. The Soviet  Government’s Pravda menacingly reinforced his warning. ‘Servility before foreign things’, it said,  ‘is a most harmful survival of the past which can still be found among a certain section of our  intellectuals and will be utterly destroyed.’  48: This un-English and meaningless phrase reads as if it had been literally translated from a  German original, starting Wir sind von dem Standpunkt ausgegangen … What was apparently  meant is, ‘We have assumed that …’.  49: The authorship of this widely known and respected Report is still a close secret and not even  the Commissioners’ (in their search for hidden influences) ‘will be allowed to meet the full team  that wrote it’, stated the Evening Standard.  50: I have earlier described the method by which this was achieved, and here give but one more of  innumerable examples. A well-known writer, Mr. George Edinger, in the Daily Telegraph of  September 29th, 1947, said,: ‘The iniquitous resolution carried in the name of the National Union  of Journalists at the Trade Union Congress in 1944, demanding that no trade union function should  be reported by any journalist not a member of the N.U.J., was passed at a meeting of the Central  London branch attended by less than 60 members out of 2500. The meetings of this branch are held  at an hour which makes it quite impractical for most working journalists, and particularly for  anyone out on a story, to attend them.’  51: For that matter, the great Liberal leader too. Mr. Lloyd George said in 1936, ‘Hitler is a born  leader; yes, a statesman. He is not in favour either of re-armament or conscription. He is the saviour  of Germany.’  52: Mr. Brown was Parliamentary General Secretary of the Civil Service Clerical Association; he  complained in Parliament that its executive committee attempted improperly to influence him in the  exercise of his parliamentary duties and in September 1947 was ‘placed on leave’ by it until  September 1949, when he was due to retire. Mr. Edwards stated that after his warning he was  prevented from speaking at the Margate conference of the Labour Party (which nominally refused  to accept Communists as members).  53: Mr. Horner was general secretary of the coalminers’ union, and its president was nominally his  superior. This Mr. Will Lawther reproved Mr. Horner, saying his statements were not authorised by  the executive of the union and that in future such declarations would not be made by any of its  officials without such approval. The reproof may have reassured the public; the sequel showed how  empty it was.  54: An interesting point in this connection: the House of Lords, having a Conservative majority,  could not be dismissed like the Commons and resolved to meet during the absence of the Commons  to examine the government’s actions. The Conservative leader was Lord Salisbury; William, Earl  of Salisbury, was among the ‘noble persons’ on whose ‘advice’ King John signed Magna Charta.  55: In a later newspaper article Mr. Blackburn said he would not have presented himself as a  Socialist candidate had he known the Socialist Party would introduce forced labour.  56: In October 1947 a decision to reduce the armed forces by 450,000 men was announced.  57: This ultimatum of September 1st, 1947, was renewed in terms of plain menace by Mr. Arthur  Horner when he spoke to a Communist meeting at Manchester on October 5th, 1947. By this time  the ‘general secretary of the mineworkers’ union’ was addressing the Prime Minister of Britain  very much as Cromwell spoke to the House of Commons. Mr. Attlee was making, or trying to  make, big governmental changes. He appeared now to have realised the danger to the country  represented by the new Ministries of Food, Fuel and Power, and Health and Housing, under the  regime of unlimited powers, and it was credibly reported from many quarters that he wished to  transfer the three ministers concerned (Mr. Strachey, Mr. Shinwell and Mr. Bevan) to other posts.  At this point Mr. Horner intervened with his ominous public remark to a Communist meeting: ‘I  hope I shall not open the papers and find that certain ministers with mass support among the miners  and other workers have been sacrificed….’ He went on to threaten ‘a great class battle’ and referred  to ‘the possibility of a Communist Government’. Mr. Attlee found himself in the grip of the  machine he and his frontal colleagues had created, as it seems, half-unwittingly. He had come very  near to the point where ministers appointed by him would refuse to be displaced by him, and where  he himself could be forced to surrender by a Communist trade-union secretary and a party with two  members in Parliament.  The fate of England depends on the issue of this extraordinary battle of power-politics behind the  scenes, of which the mass of the population understood and saw nothing. The changes which Mr.  Attlee eventually made were the first major ones since those which included Mr. Strachey’s  appointment to the Food Ministry in the spring of 1946. A symbolic and significant move was the  removal of Mr. Bellinger from the War Office: he was the solitary member of the Socialist Party in  the 1939 Parliament who joined the fighting forces and saw action. Another of the frontal veterans  of ‘British Labour’, Mr. Arthur Greenwood, was cavalierly displaced for ‘a younger man’; the  minister who took his place was, at 78, nine years older than himself. There was wide public  feeling, and some hope, that after eighteen months of ‘ration cuts’ Mr. Strachey would be removed  from the Food Ministry; when he was not The Times remarked: ‘There was never any compelling  reason, apart from possible promotion, why Mr. Strachey should leave the Ministry of Food.’ (The  italics are mine.)  Within a few days of these changes Mr. Horner, speaking at Trealaw in Glamorganshire, demanded  further ‘changes in the government’.  58: Though the parent Times betrayed no concern about this, it’s offspring, the Literary  Supplement, remarked that ‘In effect, what the Board of Trade and Treasury between them have  done is to place the British reading public behind an iron curtain quite as effective, in its chosen  field, as any political embargo by a totalitarian State … The real magnitude of such a decision is  perceived when it is realised that this additional ban completes an isolation never before achieved  in a democracy.’  59: At this same time a Nottingham decorator told a court that he could not pay his divorced wife  the increased allowance which she had applied for because his union would not let him work more  than 44 hours a week. ‘If I worked longer hours and earned more than the standard £5 10s., I might  be suspended by my union and have no work at all.’ The court accepted his statement and refused  to increase the allowance.  60: The reader should bear in mind that once a government takes power, under any pretext or in  any form, to imprison or disqualify political opponents, all the remaining consequences  automatically follow. For instance, there might still be elections, but never again a genuine one;  they would be falsified through this threat. Similarly the freedom of the spoken and written word  would cease: even if hardy and independent writers remained, publishers and printers would be  intimidated and coerced. This is the eternal importance of the undertaking King John was forced to  sign at Runnymede: ‘no freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or  banished, or any ways destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, or commit him to prison, unless by  the legal judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land’. It is curious to reflect, in 1947, that only  fifty years ago the memory and meaning of that act were living things in Englishmen, so that  Jerome K. Jerome in 1889 paused on his lighthearted way upstream with two other men in a boat to  look at Magna Charta island and summon vividly before him the picture of that day in 1215 when  the great pavilion there, and the barons, awaited the reluctant king: ‘Slowly the heavy, bright-  decked barges work their ponderous way till, with a low grumble, they grate against the bank of the  little island that from this day will bear the name of Magna Charta. And King John has stepped  upon the shore, and we wait in breathless silence till a great shout cleaves the air and the great  cornerstone in England’s temple of liberty has, now we know, been firmly laid.’  Mr Attlee’s words on the subject of elections (June 21st, 1947) are worth noting: ‘Wherever you  find devices such as having only one list of candidates, wherever you find a secret police or a  government that cannot be removed by the method of the ballot-box, there is no true democracy,  there is no true freedom.’  61: It appeared to me clear when I was writing this, as the reader will see, that the great fuss which  was made about the ‘British League of ex-Service Men’ in the Jewish and Communist papers  portended that fictitious anti-Semitic incidents might be attributed to it. Six months later a building  was blown up in Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. As Zionist terrorists had been dynamiting  buildings for months, including the King David Hotel, and claiming the credit, there seemed  nothing unusual about this until a sudden loud complaint was raised that this outrage was not a  Jewish, but an anti-Jewish one. I leave the reader to guess, after reading this chapter, what body  was charged with it.  62: One gathered, however, that Sir Stafford would only be permitted to use these great powers  against the liberties of the British people, and that he would find himself powerless if he sought to  uphold or protect these. I draw this inference from his statement, made a few weeks later and  reported in the News Chronicle (October 29th, 1947): ‘I am personally against conscription of  labour.’ His antagonism to it had no effect, and one is left again to wonder: who decided the  government’s policy, if the views of such foremost ministers did not? Who, whom?  63: There may be masochistic instincts in a nation, or masochistic moments in its life, when it  responds with a curious satisfaction to scourging and threats of bitter want. This is a matter for  students of the soul to discuss, but to the phenomena of this time belong the ruthlessly bleak  intimations of Sir Stafford Cripps and their public acceptance without remonstrance. At this time,  for instance, when the hoardings threatened the people, ‘WE WORK OR WANT’ in grim black  letters, and the people might have answered, ‘We want to work – but we can’t get a permit’, he  spoke of the danger overhanging them as that of ‘the starvation spiral’. He also remarked that ‘It  has never been worked out how far a donkey will walk after a carrot permanently held beyond its  reach, but there must be a limit to that form of stimulation.’ This exact description of the British  islander’s plight, had it been given by an independent writer, would have been reproached as a  malicious attempt to show the situation ‘worse than it is’.  64: And thereon one of the innumerable minor despots, the ‘Hosiery Controller’, announced that if  stocking manufacturers could not sell their stockings abroad they would not be allowed to sell them  at home, and might have their supplies of yarn stopped.  65: The strange workings of these leaders’ minds were revealed when he answered another  question: whether emigration would be restricted. No, he said, people would not be prevented from  going abroad if they wanted to; it had been suggested that this country was to become a  concentration camp, but it was not. In any case emigration was almost automatically restricted by  lack of transport.  I ought to add here that one of the good results of the 1945 government’s actions, though it was not  intended, was the stimulus given to emigration, which in the comfortable Thirties had almost  ceased. The strengthening of British blood in the Dominions and of the family ties between them  was urgently necessary. Though some millions of people, probably, would emigrate today if they  could, they cannot do so in practice because of ‘the shipping shortage’. It should be remembered,  also, that a ban on emigration is one of the Communist demands not yet conceded, and that  continuing pressure to impose such a ban, in one form or another, is being brought on the  government.  66: Mr. W.J. Brown, M.P., recorded this fact in the Evening Standard, November 6th, 1947.  67: Other Ministers who did not show themselves in the House during this debate of November  3rd, 1947, were Mr. Herbert Morrison, whose Economic Survey of February stated that the  government ruled out industrial conscription; and Mr. Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer,  who at the Labour Party Conference in May had warned his colleagues against anything that even  ‘smacked of direction of labour’.  68: As I correct the proofs of this book I am able to add to it one small and faintly reassuring item,  which I hope may prove to be a straw borne on a good wind. The Attlee Government has modified  its Hitleresque ban on foreign travel, and I think this must be the first of its myriad inflictions to be  slightly relaxed. Presumably the obvious likelihood of retaliation by the Swiss and other  governments caused this, but it may possibly have had something to do with the fact that the  government, just previously, had lost its first by-election. If that is so, the reader may perceive that  under a democracy, even one so much impaired as ours, the way to self-salvation is always open.  The dictators never modify bans.  69: The Attlee Government appeared to be determined to emulate the Cromwellian regime in every  one of its domestic extravagances and inflictions; on October 22nd, 1947, it announced its intention  to ‘reform’ the House of Lords. The presumable wish was to divert the islander’s attention from his  household privations by producing from the political cupboard, if its mouldering bones still hung  together, the most ancient and time-dishonoured skeleton of all: ‘The People against The Peers’. As  I write it seems doubtful if the British islander can still be induced to forget bread-cards, food-cuts,  crushing taxation, forced labour, petrol prohibitions and travel-bans by this hoary trick. Incidentally  the ‘battle with the House of Lords’ was another pet notion of the Communists.  70: This is a favourite hallucination of American journalists. I know of some who gained renown  forty years ago by reporting ‘This is the collapse of England’ and today, when they are old, still  score their one ‘scoop’ by repeating a tale bred in them, did they know it, by the schoolbooks of  their childhood.  71: I remember writing in Insanity Fair, ‘I hope I am wrong, but I think Hitler will sit in Prague’. I  hope I am wrong now, too. I was a little puzzled when, on September 26th, 1947, Soviet troops  withdrew from Hungary, save for some ten thousand left on the Budapest-Vienna road. True, the  most important patriotic politician in Hungary, M. Kovacs, had previously been abducted and  apparently put to death, and the Soviet armies had set up a terrorist government of the tiny  Communist Party under the rule of Moscow emissary, Rakosi, so that ‘Soviet power’ was well  established. Nevertheless, if this withdrawal were repeated in other countries the whole shape of the  future might change, for these countries would quickly throw off the puppet-governments. I cannot  imagine that it will be. The Soviet Empire occasionally does things which, when they happen, are  not easy to understand; for instance, as I write it has still left a nominal monarchy in Rumania (P.S.  Since abolished. – D.R.).  72: The only three Nazi leaders who remained in Berlin and there disappeared, Hitler, Goebbels  and Bormann, were declared and enlightened nihilists. The others, with the exception of Speer, who  saw the truth in the last months of the regime, were in my judgement confused men and the  instruments of purposes they did not understand (like many British Socialist Ministers today). In  1941 Bormann sent a revealing instruction to all Gauleiters: ‘No human being would know  anything of Christianity if it had not been drilled into him in his childhood by pastors. The so-called  God Almighty in no wise gives any knowledge of his existence to young people in advance, but in  an astonishing manner, in spite of his omnipotence, leaves this to the efforts of the pastors. If  therefore in the future your youth learns nothing more of Christianity, whose doctrines are far  below ours, Christ will disappear automatically.’ This is purest nihilist and Communist doctrine  and can be traced back through the documents of the Bolshevist and French revolutions.  73: On August 12th, 1947, Major Beamish, M.P. (Lewes), asked in the House of Commons if the  British Government had made any investigation from the Polish Government as to the reasons for  the exodus from Poland. He pointed out that three of the most powerful ministers in Poland were  Jews. No information was given. Documents found in one of the ‘hell ships’ intercepted by the  British Navy, showed that the American captain was to have been paid £45,540 (£10 a head) if he  had landed his ‘refugees’ in Palestine. They were not published by the British Government.  74: ‘The gulf that severed Western Europe from Russia during the latter half of the nineteenth  century was dug and kept open chiefly by Jewish resentment of Russian persecution of the Jews’ –  Through Thirty Years, by Wickham Steed, 1924.  75: In this century the bulk of Jewry has been transferred from Russia to America: ‘In the  generation between 1880 and 1910 not less than 30 per cent of all Jews were on the road from one  continent to another … And today, 1940, the United States, with approximately five million Jews,  has become by far the largest Jewish centre in the world (indeed the largest at any time in Jewish  history)’ – from an article by Benjamin Gebiner, in the jubilee number of the Jewish Workmen’s  Circle Call, Chicago. Since 1940 there has been a further large influx into America, and also the  organised one from the Russian areas towards Palestine.  76: I have often pointed to the importance of articles in The Times as accurate indications of  coming events, however little these are to be desired. The great cases in point are its  recommendations for Austrian and Czechoslovak submission to Hitler, which were repudiated, but  subsequently carried out, by the British Government; and its similar recommendation about the  partition of Poland in favour of Russia, also reproved by, and equally fulfilled by, the next British  Government. On May 14th, 1947, The Times wrote: ‘Britain’s reference of the dispute between  Arabs and Jews to the United Nations imposes upon that body the duty of framing an award which  can be enforced with the moral, and if necessary the physical authority of the civilised world.’  These policies recommended by it, in respect of Poland and Palestine, appear to me certain to lead  to the third war, as the earlier ones directly led to the second.  77: During the Battle of Britain the Communist Daily Worker refused all challenges to answer the  question whether it supported armed resistance to a German invasion.  78: It is best told in Miss Frances Newton’s Fifty Years in Palestine, Coldharbour Press, 1948, 8s.  6d., and Mr. J.M.N. Jeffries’s Palestine, The Reality.  79: I treasure a letter from an Anglican clergyman who said he thought the Jews superior beings  because they were civilised when we ran about in woad and skins; carrying the argument further, I  suppose it gives the modern Egyptian or Chinese a still higher claim.  80: One must go back 600 years in English history for a parallel to the government’s labour-  direction measure; namely, to the Statute of Labourers of 1349, passed after the Black Death, when  agricultural labourers were put back to the status of serfs. All history books denounce this Act as  the most retrograde in the long history of the British island.  Incidentally, the future historian may chuckle over the following report from a British newspaper in  October 1947: ‘In Düsseldorf a Mr. W. Asbury, regional Commissioner of North Rhine-  Westphalia, outlined the British Government’s scheme for dismantling German factories to silent  German officials. He remarked dryly: “I would point out that for the first time in the history of  Britain there has been direction of labour, and this having been accepted, there can be no argument  that it is unacceptable here.”‘ Forced labour in peace was introduced ‘for the first time in the  history of Germany’ by Hitler! This choice comment was equivalent to saying that the German  worker could not possibly object to Hitlerist measures if they were inflicted on him by a foreign  government which, having driven Hitler out as the devil, had imposed them on its own people. It  would be entertaining to know what ‘the silent German officials’ thought.  81: The reader may note that these were the penalties foreseen by Mr. Churchill if the British island  submitted to ‘totalitarian compulsion and regimentation’, and that they also represent the doctrine  of the three enlightened Nazi leaders who disappeared in Berlin: Hitler, Goebbels and Bormann.  82: Compare Mr. Arthur Horner’s statement about the coalfields stopping work in case of war with  Russia.  83: Compare, again, with Mr. Churchill’s warning.  84: Bakunin’s open organisation was the ‘International Alliance of Social Democracy’; the real one  was his secret ‘Fraternal Alliance’. He belonged to the unsuccessful conspirators, as far as personal  success is concerned. When France collapsed at Sedan in 1870 he leaped from the shadows (like  Hitler and ‘Tito’), and tried to take over the leadership of the revolution at Lyons, but this bid was a  fiasco.  85: The passage I have italicised indicates the method by which the press is corrupted and such  labels as ‘Conservative’ or ‘Liberal’ made meaningless. This is a matter in which I have particular  knowledge and I can testify to the great success with which the method has been applied. It, too,  derives straight from the teachings of Weishaupt (‘We must take care that our writers be well  puffed and that the reviewers do not depreciate them; therefore we must endeavour by every means  to gain over the reviewers and journalists … If a writer publishes anything that attracts notice, and is  in itself just, but does not accord with our plan, we must endeavour to win him over or decry him’ –  1776), which are renewed in the Protocols (‘With the Press we will deal in the following manner …  we will harness it and will guard it with firm reins … All news is received by a few agencies, in  which it is centralised from all parts of the world. When we attain power these agencies will belong  to us entirely and will only publish such news as we allow … No one desirous of attacking us with  his pen would find a publisher’ – 1905). I have pointed to the secrecy surrounding the Press  Commission now sitting in this country (a secrecy not intended or expected by those who called for  it) and to the obvious danger that it may be used to promote such hidden control.  86: Mr. Derek Walker-Smith, M.P., wrote in the Daily Telegraph: ‘An intelligent foreigner looking  at the agenda would at once have said: “But the resolutions on foreign policy and Communism are  not even included in the timetable! Has your party no view to express on the great struggle between  freedom and bondage which fills the minds and clouds the happiness, but steels [ed: steals?] the  spirit, of so many in the world today?” The fact was that these matters were uppermost in the minds  of the great gathering on the floor, but the managers of the conference did not wish them  discussed.’  87: Production of Minerals from the Waters of the Dead Sea, published by the Crown Agents for  the Colonies in 1925.  88: ‘The agreement, which threatened with annulment pre-existing concessions before the time of  expiry, and which interfered with the rights of holders of such concessions to enjoy the benefits of  the rights, affected the public interest and the national repute, and was not in conformity with the  international obligations accepted by the Mandatory for Palestine.’  89: In this situation the safety of England turns once more, as between 1933 and 1939, on the  devoted efforts of the heads of the three fighting Services to keep our defences strong in spite of  successive cuts in men and funds and against political attack. A great part may be played by Field-  Marshal Montgomery, whose displacement is a chief object of this hidden attack. He said on  October 4th, 1947, at Coventry: ‘It is my job as Chief of the Imperial General Staff to safeguard the  Army and I shall do so and prevent our army being slashed about.’ He added that, ‘the present  cabinet’ had no dangerous designs. Though he did not emphasise the word ‘present’ it is obviously  the key one in our situation today, since a new one, unless Mr. Attlee can ride the storm, might  retire him. The unseen battle to preserve our defences against the peacetime attack from within is  well described in Lord Chatfield’s It Might Happen Again (Heinemann, 1947, 18s.). The most  ominous news of the two years 1945-47 was the announcement of October 19th, 1947, that the  British Government, without a word said to the people of this island, had reduced the Home Fleet  to a condition as weak as, if it is not weaker than, that of 1940.  90: The Economic Council Letter, published by the National Economic Council New York,  October 15th, 1947.  91: A most ominous thing was that, after the British withdrawal, all the Dominion Governments  voted against the British lead, and in effect for the new war! In the past the enemies of Britain in  the Dominions and elsewhere always argued that the Dominions were recurrently dragged by  Britain into wars which did not concern them or their interests; in this case the governments of the  Dominions went out of their way to vote for an undertaking which, as the British Government had  pointed out, could only embroil the world and themselves in a new war.  92: Incidentally, this Klement Gottwald, like ‘Marshal’ Tito, is of a similar age and origins to  Hitler. All these three men sprang from the secret societies of Vienna, Prague and Zagreb in the old  Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Published on March 3, 2009 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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