The War Illustrated No 105 Vol 5 Sept 10th 1941

120 The JFar Illustrated September lO i'It, 1941 Here is the first o four (cn clays’ issues. I am no believer in the latest theory that Time is the Fourth Dimension. That timed o esn ’t “pass ”that we do the passing through the “dimension.” All I know is that today isn ’t yesterday and last year isn ’t this or the next. And that ten days arc more than seven. Nothing but the exigencies o f the paper situation could have induced us to alter the incidence o four issues. A week is an easier period o f time (whatever Time maybe) to think o f than ten days, and we should all have liked to carry on from w'eek to week. But ten days is like “Paddy —the next best thing .”ft has the value o f the decimal (what’s happened to our once numerous advocates o f ”decimal coinage ”by the way?—all dead I imagine) and it is easy to re­member :ten, twenty, thirty —not to continue, as in the old song, “forty, fifty years ago .”You can’t forget these numerals. 1 shall not recapitulate the reasons for the change which 1 fully explained in our last number but I will add that I should not be surprised if before the War comes to an end (note that) we maybe able to resume our weekly issue. It would take too much space to explain why I think this but at sonic later day 1 may have the opportunity. “V\/ iiat a beastly boy 1 ” I ’rem em ber exclaiming these very words as 1 lay abed one night in Neuilly, reading Bertrand R ussell’s masterly treatise on “Power ”The name o f the beastly boy was given as Bruno Mussolini, and 1 have readjust with sin­cere joy that this spawn of Italy’s evil genius has been killed in an air accident. What prompted my exclamation that night three years ago were some expressions attributed to Bruno in describing his achievements in the Abyssinian campaign when the Italian aerial assassins had it all to themselves, bomb­ing and gunning a totally u n pro­tected and inoffensive people.“ Wc had set fire to the wooded hills, to the fields and little villages ...It was all most diverting The bombs hardly touched the earth before they outburst into white smoke and an enormous flame and the dry grass began to burn I thought of the animals. God, how they ran After the bomb racks wcre emptied I began throwing bombs by hand ...It was •most amusing: a big zariba surrounded by tall trees was not easy to hit. 1 had to .aim carefully at the straw roof and only succeeded at the third shot. -Thew retches-w ho were- inside, seeing their roof burning, jumped out and ran like mad. Surrounded by a circle o f fire about live thousand Abyssinians came to a sticky end. It was like hell.” Y X /kll, that was little B runo's way, as I put it when I quoted these passages later in print. The bestial young man (lie w:as tw enty-four when he came to Itis sticky -end) may know more about hell now. But just as I am going to press with these notes I am told that Russell w'as wrong in crediting the expressions to Bruno Vittorio, that other spawn o f B enito’s, was the guilty one— and his sticky end is still to come I We maybe sure, however, that in this matter their two black hearts beat as one. For let us remember that the vile spirit o f these vermin is the spirit of all Fascist airmen :they are a race o f absolute assassins. Indeed, it is a truism that the Italian as a fighter is form id­ able only when the circumstances make assassination easy. That a creature such as Bruno could have been given a state funeral and the certainty that V ittorio will be similarly honoured when his turn comes, provide an index o f the moral condition to which Italy has sunk under Fascism. T assert that no living Englishman could have written of sadistic joys such as these horrid Mussolini offspring shared and have retained a shred o f respect from any of his compatriots. There are relatively few Germans for whom I can think that a decent Englishman should have any respect, but many Italians whom wc would all be glad to call our friends :none o f these, however, have been inoculated with the Fascist virus, and all o f them I am sure will be rejoicing in the extinction o f this true specimen o f the vu ltu re’s brood. A day will come when they will be our friends again, but will such day ever dawn in Germany? 1 ’m whole-heartedly with Lord Vansittart in a comprehensive loathing o f Germans quite otherwise as regards the Italians, in which I am sure that brilliant diplomatist would agree. JTor the first time I have listened tonight to our incomparable Prime Minister with a tinge o f disappointment— not as to the manner of his superbly phrased speech, but the matter. He has seldom spoken more eloquently, more inspiringly. Yet when he had finished did you know more than the newspapers had told you a week before in pictures and paragraphs? I did ’t.n 1 was left with the impression that, while one o f the greatest events in history must have taken place “somewhere in the North Atlantic.” at a spot which in all likelihood Hitler could mark with a pinprick on his map o f the North Atlantic, we were left speculating on the inner significance of the meeting. 'Those “Eight Points ”might have been agreed upon by long-distance telephone without the movement of great battleships and protective flotillas o f destroyers. From which wc must conclude that they do not represent the total outcome of the magnifi­ cently-staged “High Dram a on the High Seas,” as I have headed it in our pictorial record o f the event— not by along chalk. Mr. C hurchill’s speech, masterly and moving as it was, must be regarded as one o f those that are no less eloquent in what they leave unsaid than in what they reveal. In one respect, however, I should not complain, for, in common with Mr. Herbert Morrison ’son the preceding day (not to mention “Woe, Woe,” An- sald o ’s),it warns us to expect along war, and I have already done my little bit in that way. The common mind in war­time seems togo questing back for memories o f happier days if one may judge from the flood o f theatrical revivals and the vogue o fold musical fav­ ourites on the radio. Among the former I note a production by the Mercury players ol “ L ’E nfant Prodigue,” that de­lightful musical play without w’ords. I saw the original com­pany with Mile. Jane May at the old Royalty in Glasgow fifty years ago— a thrilling experience which I have never forgotten. The incident o f hunting an imaginary bluebottle, whose buzzing was most realistically imitated by the bassoon, was a little gem o f mimetic comedy which stays in the mind. The- play was revived for a brief season some five o r six years ago, and my friend o f later years, and long my next-door neighbour in John Carpenter Street when he was Principal o f the Guildhall School of Music, Sir Landon Ronald, who had so brilliantly played the continuous piano accompani­ment to the actions o f the mimes in the original production, re­sumed his place at the piano 1 Cir Landon told me one day how nervously he was looking forward to the perform­ance and how lie was having his fingers massaged with ointment to restore to them some o f the suppleness they possessed when he was only nineteen, his age when I saw him in Glasgow. I foolishly missed the oppor­tunity o f witnessing the revival, regretting this more for the sake o f seeing Landon at the piano again after so many years than for the play itself. Indeed, I ’m not sure that 1 want to see it again that might rub off some o f the ethereal bloom which “fond memory ”still leaves upon the original. When one recalls the furore it created and the fact that n o other wordless plays have ever caught on with the British public, one can only suppose that the art o f miming soon artistic a plane has no strong appeal to playgoers who enjoy good singing, and the spoken word, or eye-engaging ballet, which is to say the generality o f British playgoers. JOHN CARPENTER HOUSE. WHITEFRIARS. LONDON. E.C.4 MICHAIL I. KALININ, who has been President of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the U.S.S.R.—in other words, President of the Soviet Union—since 1938. He is 66, and in his early days was a metalworker. At 20, he joined the *'Union for Struggle for the Freedom of the Working Class.” Photo, Planet News Printed in Mngland and published on the 10th, 20th and 30th of each month by the Proprietors, The Amalgamated Press, Ltd., The Fleetway House, Pariingdon Btreet. London, E.C.4. Registered for transmission by Canadian Magazine Post, Sole Agents for Australia and New Zealand :Messrs. Gordon Jc Goteh. Ltd. :and for South Africa Central News Agency, Ltd. September 10th, 1941. S.S.
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