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NEUTRALITY SAFE AND SANE

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

When the history of World War II is written, the events of Spring, 1940, will not make pleasant reading. Five European nations, inoffensive by-standers who had steadfastly maintained that this was a conflict in which they had no part, in which they were taking no side, were invaded. They had earnestly endeavoured to maintain a calm neutrality. They had failed.

With the devastation of war in Europe have come its handmaidens in the Americas, talk of war and fear of war and expectation of war and even willingness for war. Latin-American governments have given up the pretense of impartiality. From Washington comes talk of a two-ocean navy and huge new army appropriations. The rip-tide of emotionalism which sent the U.S. to the defense of Brave Little Belgium in 1917 can be felt moving again in the uncertain currents of American life.

Hence the Student Union was far from shadow-boxing when it issued a call for new attention to the problems of American neutrality. It is a commonplace that those problems are all-important, matters of life and death--of liberty--for this generation, but it is a commonplace which will always bear restatement.

Moreover, the Student Union took the right approach to the problem. The understanding that grows out of debate is the only secure fortification for neutrality. The shallow thinkers will be the first to turn coat when a real wave of emotionalism controlled by a pro-Ally press and a pro-Ally administration floods the country. The slogans and shibboleths will melt away like sand-bags. The Student Union made no mistake when it asked Professor Elliott to present the case for intervention. His arguments must be heard. The answer must be incorporated in any firm and lasting stand for American neutrality.

Unfortunately, these answers were not adequately presented at the meeting last night. There the H.S.U. failed, and in the belief that the materialistic argument for intervention can be answered, by more convincing arguments than British exploitation of African diamond miners, the Crimson will in tomorrow's issue offer its case for a reasonable neutrality.

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