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Editorial “Why Not?


be remembered as one of the Great Europeans who
brought the terrors of science to Africa when what
He (Mr. Watkinson) questioned whether the Opposition’s that continent needed most were its benefits.
Censure motion was on the Government or on the whole There is now neither non-Nuclear Club nor balance
NATO Alliance. He and the Government believed the of terror. There is no one left to belong to Mr. Gaitskell’s
NATO Alliance was and must remain the core to our Club: as a consequence, Labour is without anything
defence strategy.
If he were to accept the provisions of the motion and which looks remotely like a Defence Policy. Thus,
some of the arguments put forward by Opposition members, both Mr. George Brown, who believes that NATO
he would have to go to the Defence Minister’s meeting and is not working fast enough and Jennie Lee, armed with
propose a complete reversal of present NATO policy— an official West German map showing Dr. Adenauer’s
(Opposition cries of “Why not?”)—“The consequence
would be that I should have done the maximum to weaken land-lust for territory which is now Polish, spoke in the
the Alliance.” name of the Labour Movement. It is all very well for
(Guardian report of the Debate on Nuclear Weapons the Opposition to make a moral show of force against
for West Germany. 12/2/60). nuclear weapons for Germany: it is just a bit late.
As Mr. Watkinson pointed out, the arming of West
Germany is an essential piece in the NATO jig-saw: to
IT IS only when we think of the terrible sub-industrial
argue against that is to argue against NATO, the
wastes along the stretch of road between Reading and policy of nuclear deterrence and the whole strategy of
Slough that we have any misgivings whatever about the Alliance. There is no sign that Labour’s Front
the Third Aldermaston March. In our more sober Bench, constantly employed in devising confidential
moments, everything that has happened in the field of defence papers for the North Atlantic Community, are
nuclear diplomacy during the last three months moving towards this threshold of realism: it is part of
confirms the need for a greater demonstration of the job of the Campaign, thrashing about in deep
opposition to the nuclear ‘scatter’ than last year’s political waters but refusing to swim, to point again
15,000. If anything, the politics of the Bomb have and again to the sense in the back-bench cries: “Why
taken a distinct turn for the worse. Driven by the logic Not?”
of their own position, the NATO powers are now lolling The French Bomb, in its clumsy turn, destroyed the
in the itchy palm of Dr. Adenauer. The only question famous “balance of terror” which has reigned ever
now is whether German nuclear weapons are to be since Britain entered the nuclear lists. The stalemate is
developed independently by Germany, or be supplied at an end: we have entered another spiral in the
and ‘controlled’ by NATO through the Supreme nuclear build-up. It is now the turn of the Eastern bloc.
Allied Commander, Europe. If these are indeed the Has anyone stopped to think what the world will be
real alternatives, there is something to be said (at last) like when China and the Ulbricht régime in East
for NATO! Dr. Adenauer is now the supreme controller Germany receive tactical and strategic nuclear devices?
of the European heartland: and until the United States These are the real moving forces in nuclear politics
have completed their crash programme for nuclear today. In that event, it is unrealistic to believe that the
armed and powered submarines, the heartland holds Summit, when finally it takes place, will do anything
sway. Adenauer has successfully dictated the pace of
the West’s unwilling creep to the Summit, vetted and but dash the hopes of disarmament and throw a ban on
pruned the Agenda, kept Berlin hanging over the nuclear tests out of the window. The Summit is not a
Head of Whitehall and Washington whenever it seemed magical enchanted garden, where Dr. Adenauer and
that peace might be in the air. Never has the recovery General De Gaulle are transformed into peaceful fauns.
of a defeated power been so rapid or so disastrous. It is a bleak, exposed place, open to the foul exhaust
In the meanwhile, Napolean IV has touched off his from competing nuclear machines set in high gear; a
ludicrous nuclear device, scattering the radio-active place where the disillusion of the Geneva Discussions
particles of the Sahara to the four corners of the will be distilled; every exit is labelled ‘Berlin’. If the
African continent. “France”, he reports, “is both Summit meeting is the tragic failure it gives every sign
powerful and proud”. The French Test, dictated by the of being, we can expect a renewal of tests in 1961, a
logic of the arms race but symptomatic more of the rapid development of nuclear submarine strategy
Rottenness of France than of her Grandeur, must be (Britain is to have her ‘very own’ second Polaris shortly)
one of the greatest—and perhaps one of the last— and a serious deterioration of the situation, including
obscenities practised by a European power against the perhaps another piece of Soviet brinkmanship over the
continent of Africa. When the history books are status of Berlin. Compared with this prospect, the
written in Accra and Nairobi, General De Gaulle will Slough-London road looks positively inviting.
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