Harm and good: Clement Attlee’s delegation returns from China

Now that the visit of the Labour Party delegation to China is over, the amount of harm and good it has done is easier to assess. It has, of course, been exploited to the full for Chinese propaganda. In the broadcasts and articles disseminated by Peking, with their great influence in South-East Asia, the line is that the Labour delegates were there as the spokesmen of the British masses to marvel at the progress of China under Communism. In the United States, where the origins of the visit have been little understood, it has harmed Anglo-American relations at a delicate moment.

Yet some good, also, may result from the visit. The Chinese sense of isolation in a hostile world, so useful to her rulers, may have been somewhat lessened, and Mr. Attlee’s common-sense views should have made Mao Tse-tung aware of the real solidarity of the Anglo-American alliance, despite Mr. Bevan’s remarks in Tokyo on Friday.

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