The sighs of relief have been let off; Wall Street has recovered; the “guilty” have recanted (like Philip Toynbee who wrote to The Times to express his “disgust at the wanton act of aggression committed in that island [Cuba] by Russia”). The pundits have instructed—not least Sir William Hayter who was convinced from the start that “there was never any danger of the Soviet Government starting an atomic war for Cuba” (then why was brinkmanship justified?); and John Strachey who, content that the Cuban crisis has confirmed his doctrine of “accommodation through mutual terror”, pays tribute to “the rock-like steadiness of the American Government”. Undoubtedly, some of the most memorable sentences (which should indeed be memorized) were spoken by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on October 30:
“. . . one could not help wondering what would happen next. There was no more we could do except wait.”
This was said in reference to the one and only letter which HMG sent to Mr. Khrushchev during that week, on Sunday, October 28; “by a strange coincidence” just before Mr. Khrushchev’s decisive statement was heard on the wireless.
Mr. Macmillan elaborated:”
“. . . we awaited with some anxiety what would happen.”