30O VALUE OF ALLIANCE WITH JAPAN possible only on the basis of our armistice proposals. They began by saying no, then they realised that our conditions were not so terrible. A day will come, during a secret session, when Churchill will be accused of betraying the interests of the Empire. Each blow we deliver towards the East will bring that moment nearer. But we must prevent Churchill from attempting a successful diversion. With the fall of Singapore, the curtain falls on the Far East. The hope that the Russian winter would destroy us is in the process of disappearing. Churchill invites public debates because he's depending on the patriotism of the English people, and.because he counts on it that nobody who has an independent opinion will risk attacking him from the front. But already several of his opponents are letting slip various disobliging remarks. The influence of events in the Far East is making itself felt on the banks. At present several of them have to be supported to protect them from bankruptcy. In any case, one thing is clear : the importance of a nation's fortune is a small matter to it if one compares it with the volume of business done in the course of a year. Supposing a nation could import without limit for five consecutive years, and without exporting in exchange, this would suffice for that nation to be utterly ruined. Let's go further and imagine that for six months a people produces absolutely nothing—by the end of that period its fortune will be scattered to the winds. I don't believe in idealism, I don't believe that a people is prepared to pay for ever for the stupidity of its rulers. As soon as everybody in England is convinced that the war can only be run at a loss, it's certain that there won't be anyone left there who feels inclined to carry on with it. I've examined this problem in all its aspects, turned it round in all directions. If I add up the results we've already achieved, I consider that we are in an exceptionally favourable situation. For the first time, we have on our side a first-rate military Power, Japan. We must therefore never abandon the Japanese alliance, for Japan is a Power upon which one can rely. I can well imagine that Japan would put no obstacle in the
A CENTURY NEEDED TO DIGEST RUSSIA 301 way of peace, on condition that the Far East were handed over to her. She's not capable of digesting India, and I doubt whether she has any interest in occupying Australia and New Zealand. If we preserve our connections with her, Japan will derive from this a great sense of security, and will feel that she has nothing more to fear from anybody at all. This alliance is also an essential guarantee of tranquillity for us—in particular, in the event of our being able to rely on a lasting friendship with France. There's one thing that Japan and Germany have absolutely in common—that both of us need fifty to a hundred years for purposes of digestion: we for Russia, they for the Far East. The English will have got nothing out of the affair but a bitter lesson and a black eye. If in future they make less whisky, that won't do any harm to anybody—beginning with themselves. Let's not forget, after all, that they owe all that's happening to them to one man, Churchill. The English are behaving as if they were stupid. The reality will end by calling them to order, by compelling them to open their eyes. Japan's entry into the war is an event that will help to modify our strategic situation. Whether via Spain or via Turkey, we shall gain access to the Near East. It will be enough for us to inform Turkey that we are renewing the Montreux agreement, and that we are enabling her to fortify the Straits. Thus we can avoid having to maintain an important fleet in the Black Sea, which is merely a frog-pond. A few small ships will be enough, if we have on the Dardanelles a sturdy guardian to whom we supply the guns. That requires no more guns than are needed for the armament of a single battleship. This is the solution most to our advantage. It seems to me that the attitude of the Turks towards the English has changed, that they're blowing cold on them.