STORM OVER ASIA
England maintains in India at all politically crucial periods a continuous and rigid press censorship so that authoritative news from behind the scenes is most welcome. For that reason the lecture at the Union this evening on "India and England--What of the Future?" by the Indian editor and statesman, Syud Hossain, is most fortunate as well as timely.
In the struggle between England and India there is at present a momentary pause while the future hangs uncertain. By virtue of the Imperial Conference just completed in London India has achieved a small measure of self-government. That concession by the ruler to the ruled was the result of a reluctant realization by English statesmen that that politically astute saint, Mahatma Ghandi, has aroused the hitherto cowed population of India to such a united and determined stand for independence that they were no longer willing to continue the tradition of two hundred years absolute subjugation to British authority.
Now there is a lull while the two opponents take each other's measure. In London the Conservatives are retrenching. Under the whip of Winston Churchill's tongue they have shown signs of refusing to support a roundtable conference in India as was promised in the course of the London conference. In India the Mahatma seemed to have made peace with the Viceroy only to announce formally a few hours later that this was only a truce and that absolute independence from the British Empire was still his goal for India.
If England loses India she loses a source of revenue that for two centuries has constituted no small part of the British national income and she will suffer such a loss of prestige that the effect on her control in her other native colonies would be disastrous. The loss of India added to other present difficulties would probably reduce England to a second-rate power in the same way Spain and Portugal were reduced in their day.