11 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 6

A Spectator's Notebook

INFORMATION that reaches me from various sources regarding the Cabinet's discussions on disarmament is thoroughly depressing. There are unconcealed divisions in the Cabinet. The Service Ministers are taking the line they might be expected to take and neither the Prime Minister nor Sir John Simon—the former largely, I assume, as result of the state of his health—is putting up anything of a fight against them. The Ministers who are understood to be making something of a stand for real disarmament are Lord Irwin, Sir Philip Cunliffe- Lister, and, so far as his other preoccupations allow, Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Runciman, Mr. Ormsby-Gore, and Major Walter Elliot, I should suppose, are theoretically disarmers, but some of them have other fish to fry and none of them appears to be in the forefront at the moment. The British plan, whose incubation was talked much of a week ago, is half alive and half dead, though it may survive in some form or other. This is the second plan evolved. There was an earlier one, which was dropped, I gather, because it was rather a good one. It will do no great harm to go to Geneva without a British plan provided our delegates are prepared to work seriously and sympathetically on the French plan.