Oriental Logic; Tory Tactics
With the amazing brazenness which has made her famous, Japan, represented by M. Hirota, has demanded that the Soviet Union withdraw her troops from Southern Siberia, since their presence is taken by Tokio as an "unfriendly gesture." Nothing, of course, is further from the Kremlin's mind than to leave the Vladivostok salient wholly unprotected, as Molotov said in so many words, discarding diplomatic disguise. It is perfectly true that the Soviet garrisons and the lower territory itself will be lost instantly when war begins: Manchukuo is so placed that the Japanese will have no trouble whatever in splitting the Maritime provinces off from the rest of Russia. The Trans-Siberian line could be cut at a dozen spots, thus severing Vladivostok from her base of supplies. All this the Soviet Union knows perfectly well, and it is basing its military calculations on the assumption of those immediate losses. But to leave the threatened region defenceless now would be an open invitation for an unannounced invasion, probably with the intention of subduing Russian bandits.
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Night before last, the three moguls of the British National party were finally able to locate a town in which a candidate of theirs had been returned to municipal office, an event which seemed to have called for a congratulatory banquet. Stanley Baldwin, Ramsey MacDonald, and Sir John Simon were the principal speakers of the evening; and though Sir John carefully administered a slap on MacDonald's back, it was all too plain that the other assembled Tories had still some doubts of their new comrade. This is somewhat surprising, for though Ramsey, dear lad that he is, has led a rather contradictory career, one can be fairly safe in predicting that he has found his true spiritual home in the bosom of the Conservative Party. Here with chaste inflexion and earnest exhortation he can orate to sympathetic listeners, his phrases tumbling out in due procession, building an alluring if amorphous structure of irrelevant platitudes.
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Of considerable importance was Stanley Baldwin's bluff effusion at the dinner, since it outlined, no doubt, the slogan policy of the Tories for the next elections. Speaking with studied warmth, he declared that in England lay the last hope of the world for the preservation of Democracy; elsewhere it was in ruins. And it was the sacred mission of the Conservative Party to save Great Britain at all costs from a proletarian dictatorship. Disregarding the obvious point that at the present this shot is aimed at a dummy, since the Labour Party officially adopted the same plank for its platform, one wonders whether or not the Tories might not at some later date feel themselves forced into the doubtlessly uncomfortable position of having to meet the menace of a Labour will-to-power with a "National" Dictatorship of their own. Would the British love of parliamentarism of which they have talked so much restrain them from this "extraordinary, protective measure," as they might well call it?