MR. LIONEL CURTIS AGAIN! : The Tribune India

Lahore, Saturday, September 23,1922


WE learn from the New York New Republic that Mr. Lionel Curtis of the Round Table, to whom the authors of the Joint Report are indebted for their conception of Diarchy, and who has been delivering lectures at the Williams College Institute of Politics, made his final address an apology for imperialism, and especially for the British Empire as a practical ideal, a supernational state. As this “supernational state” must be a Commonwealth of free Nations — Mr. Curtis admitted that unless the principle of Commonwealth replaces that of Empire the whole structure will fall — the difficulty that Mr. Curtis laboured under in making his plea convincing was the fact that India, which constitutes the greater half of the Empire, is not a self-determined country and as such has no place in a Commonwealth of free Nations, and unless she has such a place all talk of the Empire being a model supernational State is and must be a mockery. How did he get over this difficulty? The writer in the New Republic sums up his views:--“The British Empire is now engaged in the task of reconquering India. Once it took the country physically. Now it must conquer the country spiritually, in the name of the august conception of an imperial Commonwealth, which is to be the basis for a world-state. As in the earlier conquest, it has allies among the Indians themselves, some of them sincere in their admiration of British character and faith in British political ideals, others possibly moved by self-interest. But these allies are now scattered throughout the population; it will not be possible to play off one part of the country against another and conquer it piecemeal.” Let not the reader be frightened away by the words “spiritual conquest.” That expression, which by the way is quite correctly used, has no theological or even religious tinge about it.

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