12 MAY 1923, Page 1


THE strain on the Entente is greater than ever before. It is useless to disguise that fact. All we can hope now is that the Government will not be blamed for having taken a perfectly right course in expressing its opinion upon what is, after all, a matter of principle. Great Britain cannot remain looking on like a mere neutral while France destroys one chance of peace after another. It often happens that, when men who have been rushing recklessly towards a calamity draw very near to the thing itself they are suddenly seized with dread and check themselves. For this reason we cherish the hope that the situation may improve just because it seems so dangerous. Since we wrote last week France and Belgium have precipitately rejected the German offer, and they have done so without reference to the other Powers. We had hoped that they would at least conform -to the Treaty of Versailles by inquiring first whether it would be possible for a joint reply to be sent to Germany.