11 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 1

Disarmament Hopes The French Disarmament Plan impresses itself more deeply

on the public mind the more clearly its outlines shape themselves. Its text is still unpublished and M. Paul Boncour's exposition at Geneva last Friday threw little more light on details than M. Herriot's speech in the Chamber a week earlier. But the French War Minister was sufficiently definite in his recognition of the equality of status principle to justify Herr von Papen on Tuesday in describing the French Plan as a great step forward, and the Germans may come back to the Dis- armament Conference on the strength of it. M. Herriot has shown great courage, both in withstanding the inevit- able opposition of his military advisers, and in holding out a notable olive branch to Italy in his speech at the Radical soeisIlse tinfertiic6 'it Toulouse on 'Sunday, A French Prime Minister who so speaks and acts as to ease the strain between his country and Germany and Italy simultaneously deserves well not only of France but of all Europe. Patient and difficult negotiations are in store, at the best, before any general agreement along the lines of the French plan can be hoped for. Nothing would do so much to destroy that prospect altogether as the adoption of a suspicious, aloof and insular attitude by this country. There are elements in the House of Commons that would like nothing better.