10 APRIL 1936, Page 1

I F forecasts of the Peace Plan prepared by the

French NEWS OF THE WEEK Government are accurate the plan embodies several interesting and important features. In aiming at providing primarily for European security—on the basis and within the framework of the League of Nations Covenant— it meets the objection that as things stand Geneva decisions on the relations between major European Powers may depend on the vote of Central American republics. The provision for mutual assistance is simply Article XVI of the Covenant given further precision within a specified geographical area. Most important and most contentious is the rumoured proposal of an international air force. It is certain that if the League of Nations endures it must sooner or later be equipped with such an arm. Unless force is to disappear from the world, of which there is at present no sign, progress will consist in the employment of force for international rather than national ends. An international army is the least practical form of armed international co-operation, an international air force the most practical. If the League had possessed such a force when the Italian aggression on Abyssinia was committed events in north-west Africa would have taken a very different course. Actually, no doubt, the fact of its existence would have averted the aggression altogether.