"No general war in Europe for at least three or four years," was the prediction of H. G. Wells, British author, interviewed in Cambridge yesterday. Bemoaning the fact that interviewers practically always asked him to set a date for the next world war, Mr. Wells said that he arrived at the conclusion that there would be no immediate general war.
"It takes time to prepare armaments," the world renowned author said. Most countries, England especially, he classed as under-armed according to the standards for which they had set themselves.
Looking at the situations inside the map of Europe, Mr. Wells thought that Germany, Italy, and Japan must all have "strong liberal elements," although pretty well submerged at the present moment. He was inclined to believe that Russia had more solidity of opinion than the other three countries.
"Even the most reactionary Englishman does not look with friendliness at the prospect of a Nazi or Fascist Spain," he declared, when questioned about the strife in the land of the bull-fights. He stressed the precariousness of the position of England's Gibraltar in the present crisis.
"Get Rid of Gentility"
Asked about changing trends in modern standards of journalism, Mr. Wells was of the opinion that American journalists were following the rebellion of American authors. "Journalists are no longer wearing blinkers," he said, approving realistic reporting. Some writers he felt were too rough-and-ready but added that these were a necessary evil which went along with the progress of making the newspapers tell the truth. "We must get rid of gentility," he declared.
Although he did not wish to name any particular favorite of his among present day authors in this country, Mr. Wells did consider that America had a good crop of writers. Parenthetically he cited with praise Ernest Hemingway's latest book and wished that it had received better treatment at the hands of reviewers.
31 Years Ago
Mr. Wells last visited Harvard in 1906, at which time, he said, the college was mourning a great loss. "You had just had a hard winter and all your ivy had been killed off," he explained.