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Editorial – Hat in the Ring (videos)

15 March 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 15 March 1941

Hat in the Ring

The American legislature has passed the Lease and Lend Bill, which is being implemented without a moment’s loss of time. Uncle Sam’s hat is in the ring.

This historic act brings us assurance of final victory if we can win through the stern ordeal immediately before us. American help has already arrived, is arriving daily in increasing amount, but for some months yet the heat and burden of the battle must be borne by British warriors and workers. As the war rises to its fearful climax we gather our strength and rally our courage. 0ur war potential, as might be gathered from Sir Archibald Sinclair’s statement on Tuesday, is being developed at astonishing speed and gradually, in the field of primary importance, air power, we are overtaking the enemy.

The gap will be leaped when the American tide reaches flood and from that point the issue will no longer be in doubt, however long and costly the final phase. The Lease and Lend Bill is meanwhile having its influence in the war of nerves; ” this great act of faith,” as Mr. Churchill calls it, is a clear warning to those Europeans and Asiatics who believe in a German victory, to think again.

In Italy discouragement and chagrin are added to discontent and discomfiture, in the Balkans doubts and hesitations concerning German invincibility are increased, new courage is given to Turkey, Greece, and the nations whose independence is still intact, new hope is given to the subjugated peoples; new caution imposed on Russia and Japan.

In Germany, nothing that Goebbels can say and do can efface the gloomy impression of a Nemesis out of the West, or uneasy memories of the effect of American intervention in the last war. The Axis propaganda machine does not disguise the danger of these powerful reinforcements, but insists that they will come too late. That is the issue to be decided. The Germans have to accomplish against an infinitely stronger Britain what they were unable to perform in the plenitude of their power last summer against a nation thrown into confusion and disarray by the collapse of its ally, France, and suddenly exposed to the full force and fury of a triumphant enemy, flushed with success so significant that the world wondered and trembled and gave Britain up for lost. Germany could not deliver the finishing stroke then and must do so now or never.

Britain has largely neutralised the loss of her ally by the practical destruction of Germany’s ally; her precarious hold of the Mediterranean has been tremendously strengthened by the victories of General Wavell, as powerful in their moral as in their material effect; and the courage of the people of these islands has been steeled and tempered by heroic endurance of fearful trials. The nation still the most powerful in the world has been won not merely to a belief in our cause but to confidence in our survival and ultimate victory. The Lease and Lend Bill is the sign and seal of this and we shall fight with the knowledge that our steadfastness, our immovability, our abounding toil and struggle, will not be in vain.