ii The War Illustrated November 11th, 1939 ttu v p puxtn % U /.a'd i t n e S)iaAy, BY THE EDITOR THIS funny War !...day after weekday, by week, the peoples of the world are gasping for news of it, and all that is vouchsafed to them— apart from a plentiful crop of fantastic rumour— is a daily addition or subtraction to the credit and debit of the U-boat warfare. That, and some pleasant paragraphs from the Legion of War Correspondents in France telling us that the British soldiers are having a delightful time with singsongs in little French cabarets somewhere behind the Maginot Line, somewhere in France. It maybe true that some great, world- shaking events are taking place unknown to us, or that preparations for really terrific hostilities on both sides are approaching completion and that any moment the chaotic tumult, which is to spell the end of our civilization, may burst upon us ...And yet, somehow, one may have doubts of this. What is certain, however, is that the bureaucrats are marching to their triumph from Moscow to Manchester for once they are in the saddle it makes but little difference what “ideology ”they acknowledge. We have seen that the Soviet system can link arms in friendly cooperation with that of the Nazis. "&*1 for one have little fear of our civilization perishing, as leader writers in the world’s press are so fond of prognosticating, but 1 am seriously afraid that undercover of war’s necessity Democracy, having had to surrender temporarily some of the most cherished rights of man, will have difficulty in recovering these after it has withstood and destroyed the travesty of human governance which we know as Hitlerism. Although the War so far has been astonishingly devoid of the multitudinous horrors* for which we have now prepared so thoroughly, and may still be described as rather a war of nerves and unfulfilled promises of colossal frightfulness, it has yielded much that is picturesque and deeply interesting, despite the preponderance of political interchange, as the pages of The War Illus t rated from week to week have manifested. And these might have been still more vivid with war pictures had not the iron hand of the Censor— in France even more intractable than in England— withheld many pictorial documents that would have interested readers of all nations and done, so far as I have been able to discover, no sort of damage whatever to the furtherance of the strangely hesitant hostilities. ?It does all the more credit, I think, to the spirit o f the British people to find how loyally and determinedly they are resolved to resist, side by side with their comrades of France, any onslaught by that amazing League of Liars who have “no quarrel with the French people ”and desire nothing but amity and world peace and even the friendship of Britain !We Britons are resolutely surrendering much that we have cherished in the happiness and hopefulness of our lives so that, however it maybe impaired, the essential spirit of Democracy will not depart from Western society. And it is thanks to the national intelligence which makes this possible that the laughter with which we greeted the mendacious speech of von Ribbentrop... I noticed yesterday as I passed that the workmen were still removing some of his fetid furniture from number 9, Carlton House Terrace ...that our laughter was, in the splendid phrase of George Meredith, “broad as ten thousand beeves at pasture.”"S' Despite the limitation of returns and the sustained demand for The War Illus t rate dIam happy to mention that there is room this week for one new subscriber J A testy fellow who lives in Erdington— a Birmingham suburb familiar tome some forty years ago, but no doubt now vastly changed—writes I“: must cancel my order for what could have been a brilliant contemporary document.” And why ?Because, forsooth, he finds that my Diary contains “thin and unconvincing propaganda ”for the Allied cause."S' Perhaps my correspondent may have been one¥ 6f the subscribers to The Link ”(now truly a missing link), eager to bring about friendship with a people HAVE YOU ANY WAR PHOTOS? Among my millions of readers there must be thousands who have had the opportunity for taking photographs of episodes at sea and land,on and in order to supplement my usual sources of supply I hereby invite all such to send me copies of whatever photographs they possess which they consider to be instructive and worthy of circulation. Substantial fee swill b e paid for the exclusive use o f such photo graph s,and none will be publish dine the pages o f THE WAR IL LUST RATED without the express permission o f the censorship ,so that n o danger o f undesired responsibility could attach to the senders. Glossy prints are most suitable for reproduction, and where the negative is small and would require considerable enlargement, it is desirable that it should accompany the print. Please address the envelopes containing photographs (which should be protected with apiece of stiff cardboard) to: The Art Editor, “The War Illustrated,” John Carpenter House, W hitefriars, London, .CE .4. who do not seem to be made for friendship outside the limits of their own race and language, and I am glad he will not read the jottings I have just been toadding my Diary. Britons of his kidney, however, are moreno than infinitesimal specks upon the mighty monument of our national resolution. Sir John Anderson gives us cold comfort today so far as the lightening of London’s black-out is concerned, but meanwhile I notice that some of Mr. Churchill’s minor assistants at the Admiralty are still doing their best to brighten the gloom of Trafalgar Square after the official hour of black-out. As I walked through the Admiralty Arch last night five or six windows were spreading their cheery light upon the darkling scene. There has been some talk of this already, and dozens of citizens have been fined substantially for doing what certain persons at the Admiralty would appear to do with impunity. A friend of mine has just received from Stockholm an envelope containing a wordy official circular entitled “British Poison Gas for Poland !”This atrocious document is being circulated from a Swedish source by some agent of the German propaganda. It is clearly a waste of time to reply to it so far as British readers are concerned, and neutrals, who live in a world of light by comparison with the Stygian night of the mind that has descended upon the wretched Germans, will be able from their knowledge of the world’s press to assess at their true value the disgusting lies of the German compiler. I wonder if my Erdington correspondent, who complained about my thinly veiled propaganda in these pages would consider a document of this kind thick.“ T oo thick,” I would say. *«•While we are well entitled to be severe in our strictures on the British Censorship, I’m doubtful if it is so censorious as the French. Several Paris papers appear regularly with large white blanks in their pages to indicate what the Censor has cutout. In England paper is becoming so costly that we just can’t afford the luxury of “showing up ”the Censor in that way. &These Gallic wits have away of saying a thing that eludes translation. Even so, I quote the following from “Choc,’’ the brilliant weekly edited by Mme. G.K. Guillaume, whose pages are always severely censored. “Mr. Roosevelt has spoken, in his recent discourse to Congress, of the duration of the War: ‘It will be painful and of indeterminate duration.’ ...We are warned. armLet’s ourselves therefore with patience and determination.” It doesn’t sound half so biting in English, but in French the barb strikes home.