6l2 VISIT TO SWITZERLAND laying such store by food. And the most disagreeable feature is that these banquets always last for hours, and one always sits next to someone with whom one has nothing in common. My own particular tragedy is that, as Head of the State, I always have the most worthy ladies as my dinner partners! I'd far rather go on board the Robert Ley and pick out some pretty little typist or sales-girl as my partner! The whole of this banquet business is a racket, invented by that rascally band, the cooks ! These Kings of the Cooking-pots are all ridiculous idiots, mesmerising the people and intoxicating themselves with a mass of meaningless phrases and obscure names, which no one understands in the least. Where is the good old one-dish meal (Eintopf) of the past? Nothing so vulgar exists any more—it has disappeared, like the good old honest soup! It is all so beautifully mixed—food and phraseology— that nowadays one has not the faintest idea what one is eating. It was the same thing before the war; every festive occasion demanded a twelve-course banquet! In 1923 I was jn Switzerland, and I remember a meal in Zurich at which the number of courses completely flabbergasted me. What sort of mentality has this little people, pray? In Austria we have now acquired mountain country of such wonderful beauty, that no one will dream of going to Switzerland until the Swiss themselves crawl on their knees and beg to be taken under the wing of the Third Reich ! Turning to Dr. Dietrich : It seems, from reading their press, that the Swiss have become a little less bombastic? They are a little less contemptible than before. They attained the depth of ignominy at the time of our occupation of Yugoslavia; now, they thought, we have had it! And they exposed all the pettiness of their miserable little souls ! "Thieves! Robbers of other people's lands!" they shrieked at our frontier guards. I was quite astonished recently at the amount of drink the Finns put away; it seems that the further North one goes, the more drink people can carry. Aden, I suppose, is the most infernal heat cauldron on earth. I have quite made up my mind that nothing will induce ceivea on rne larirest uossiuie si^uic SL
NO WAR WITHOUT OIL 613 me to travel through the Red Sea—I should die of heart failure ! Prince Arenberg, one of our earliest adherents, has told me many interesting tales of pioneering days in our colonies. He was once sentenced to twelve years' penal servitude—and served six of them—for having killed a nigger who had attacked him ! The answer to people who asserted that we were not good colonisers, he said, was that with the methods we tried to employ we could not get any colonies at all ! And his opinion was based on a very considerable amount of thought. Arenberg used to drive one of the oldest Benz cars I have ever seen; and in it he once insisted in driving me to Kempten, when I was on my way to Switzerland. On the level the old car ran reasonably well; but at the slightest sign of a hill it blew its head off, and we were in grave danger of sticking fast. He had to change gear all the time, and so we trundled along hour after hour. At last we came to the downhill part of the journey, and there the car flew along at at least thirty miles an hour! And the man was a multi-millionaire; butin this respect he was as obstinate as a mule! In the East it will be all over once we have cut their communications to the south and to Murmansk. Without oil they are finished ! In the West it will be all over when once we are able to transfer even half of our forces to France. And that we shall be able to do as soon as we have smashed the armament- and foodproducing centres in Russia. 280 5th August 1942, evening SPECIAL GUEST : FIELD MARSHAL KESSELRING Balbo's tragic death—National Socialism and Fascism—The disadvantages of monarchy—Britain commands respect. The Italians are first-class colonisers. Given ten years of Italian rule, Addis Ababa would have become a most beautiful city. The death of Balbo was a great tragedy; there was a worthy successor of the Duce, a man who had something of the condottiere, of the Renaissance in him! A man whose name alone was worth something!