Barbara Ward declared last night that a perpetual Cold War situation could never lead "toward a saner world society" and urged that the Western nations take the initiative in offering specific plans to ease local tensions throughout the world.
In her final lecture on "America's Impact on a Changing World," the British specialist on economic development and current visiting lecturer on Government advocated a spirit of "adjustment and adaptability" toward the problems of Germany, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This, she felt, could help form "a proving ground of intention to see whether the Soviet side wants to play the game of human survival."
Miss Ward said that "rationally, we know that the world has to have minimal standards of guaranteed order. But," she added, "psychologically, these are the very guarantees which we are not ready to provide." In the absence of institutions which would enforce "the fact that we all have to live together," Miss Ward outlined four suggestions which the West should explore to help relax tensions:
1. Both America and the Soviet Union might withdraw their troops from Germany as part of an overall plan to ensure German disarmament and neutrality under a joint guarantee for "absolute international control." She added that America should never withdraw its "commitment" to defend Germany and Europe against Communist aggression, but suggested that troops on borders might, in the near future, be less effective than long-range weapons in enforcing this guarantee.
Explore Soviet Proposals
2. America might explore Russia's recent proposals for arms control in the Middle East. The "Eisenhower Doctrine," she noted, "sets a framework of security" for the area, and the "threat" of American intervention should make it unnecessary to "exacerbate local difficulties" by forcing particular nations into a system of anti-Soviet alliances. "A local arms race can only lead to local wars, as the Middle East so clearly illustrates," she said.
3. America should realize that the Communist government of China "is going to be a great power and a greater power whether we like it or not." She said that it was imperative, if Southeast Asia with its border problems is not to become "a cockpit for world war," to explore the chances for a joint Indian-Chinese guarantee. "We do not know whether China will behave," she noted, "but it is difficult to get a guarantee for that behavior unless China is in the United Nations."
4. The West might consider giving force to its general principle of the international control of waterways by suggesting that all international waterways be put under supervision by a series of small United Nations police forces. "How can we expect Colonel Nasser to internationalize Suez when the principle is restricted to him?" she asked. "There is always a colonial twist which brings forth bad memories when only one international seaway, is, in fact, internationalized."
Miss Ward concluded that only after "a decade or so" of patient negotiations of this kind could general disarmament be approached meaningfully.
Fear Causes Actions
By then, she noted, there might be some cause for alarm in an absence of fear, since "so much of what the West has done recently has come from the impulse of fear."
"Would we do anything at all if that fear ever disappeared?" she asked. "Are we not, in fact, trying to find solutions to so many things because we really don't want to be bothered at all? May not our frantic desire for solutions work against the real patience needed for long-range negotiations?"