Airship to Bring About Closer Bond of Union?

January 10, 1935

Beginning next July all of the United States and all of Europe will be connected by a maximum air service of 72 hours. That is less time than it now takes the best steamers to go from New York to Liverpool. Plans are being laid for extending air transportation from our Pacific coast to Hawaii and Australia and soon to Asia. Not long thereafter regular air lines will traverse Asia, just as has been shown to be possible from England to Australia by the recent race, and passenger service will be in full swing. How soon this will be consummated is uncertain, but as air development is now progressing it is safe to predict a maximum limit of five years, with three and even two years as a possibility.

What effect such a close union of the world by transportation and transmission of intelligence will have upon universal peace must await development. Theoretically it should be a strong bond of union between the nations and tend to render them common-minded. That has been the effect of improved transportation and more general distribution of news and greater personal contacts between residents of different sections of the United States. Personal acquaintance is the greatest antidote for belligerency. it is fair to assume, that better acquaintance among the nations and a clearer knowledge by the peoples of all countries will make for less hostility and auspicion, and thus remove the greatest fundamental cause of war. But it is possible this influence will not develop rapidly enough to avert another great struggle.

So far from promoting the psychology of peace, expansion of air navigation has until now produced the opposite effect. Every nation in Europe has had its fears and suspicions engulfed by the increased possibilities of hostile invasion by air. This is inevitable so long as mankind continues to cling to the theory that force is the right and dominant influence in settling international differences, and also domestic differences, as we see in Russia, Germany, Italy and Spain. With such a neutral attitude, every increase in offensive power must add to apprehension and stimulate greater preparation for defense. Yet that does not negative the fact, that more mutual knowledge and understanding is the gateway to world peace, and that this new element, at present arousing fear, will eventually make felt its influence for peace.

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