I DISAGREE with Mr Bull's approach to the question of disarmament. It appears to me too negative.
His text lays its emphasis upon the difficulties of each and every method of achieving a mutually agreed reduction in the armed strengths of the major nation-states. It would no doubt be right to point out the difficulties which exist, with the object of devising means to overcome them. But the effect of the book (quite contrary I am sure to the author's intentions) might be to encourage a fatalism and a complacency which I, for one, can in no circumstances accept.
War, having become nuclear, has become a wholly unacceptable method of settling the disputes of sovereign nations. Therefore all our efforts in this field must be directed to the discovery of common purposes, common institutions and agreed measures of disarmament. Even if this task appeared almost hopeless -- which it does not -- what else could there be to do which gave us even the promise of survival in the long run?
It is true, no doubt, that disarmament in the strict sense of the word in which it is here, rightly, used is only one aspect of those more general world policies which alone can make peace possible. It is often pointed out that armaments are but the symptoms of the world disease: the cause of that disease lies deeper in the conflicting purposes and consequential fears, suspicions and rivalries, of sovereign states. It is concluded that to attempt disarmament is futilely to attack the symptoms while leaving the cause of the disease untouched.
I accept the medical analogy but deny that the conclusion follows. In modern medical practice it is, I understand, often indispensable to attack the symptom -- say a raging fever -- before, or at least simultaneously with -- an attack on the cause of the disease itself. In the same way, part of any policy for world peace must be a direct attempt to halt, and then reverse the arms race by measures of multilateral disarmament. For though