12 MAY 1923, Page 14


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] find your attitude with regard to France and the Reparation Question incomprehensible. I have just returned from France, where I found the popular opinion to be that if England had supported whole-heartedly her just demand the occupation of the Ruhr would not have been necessary.

After 1871 the Germans occupied France until she paid the indemnities, which France managed to do in two or three years. Now Germany, undamaged by the War, with a population nearly double that of France in 1871, and ap- parently encouraged by the Spectator and other organs directing public opinion in England, pleads poverty and inability to pay.

To .me it appears that M. Andre Cheradame's Mystification

of the Allied Peoples requires satisfactory refutation before such a paper as the Spectator, which I have always esteemed im- partial, condemns the action the French have been compelled to take in an endeavour to protect themselves. If the conduct of the Peace negotiations and our benevolent attitude towards Germany since were not influenced by the financial groups of German origin, why was it that the liquid assets in Germany were not immediately attached instead of granting facilities for their transfer to foreign countries ? Is it not true that Germany has been expending large sums on internal improve- ments ? Is it not true that the mark has been depreciated for political reasons ?

I confess that to me it looks very much as if the cartoon —" Britannia rules the waves : Ye th, but we rule Britannia " —represents the actual truth ! I feel sure that others must be feeling as much dissatisfied as is yours faithfully,