THE THREE R'S OF REPARATIONS [To the Editor of the
Sia,—There is a growing recognition that the Reparations and Debt situation presents three aspects : the financial, the economic and the political : in short, a capacity to render, a capacity to receive, and a capacity to regulate. The first centres in Germany, the second in England, the third in America. The financial and economic points need not be stressed here. But what are we to understand by the political implication ? Simply that it is not feasible for nations— proud and powerful nations—to entertain normal relations with each other in the unequal rides of creditor and debtor, over a long period of years. This threefold aspect of the problem being generally recognized, why, then, it may be asked, does such awareness not manifest itself in the deliberations of the Committee now sitting in Paris for the express purpose of con- solidating the situation ? The reason is that the members of the Committee are acting not in an individual but in a repre- sentative capacity. Individually only is man rational in his outlook, seeing things in correlation. As a representative he stands disarmed.
For the immediate present the Committee can do nothing but have regard solely to the financial side. No other finding would obtain ratification. The people at home are all looking for ready cash ; and they insist upon getting it, even if they have to lend it themselves to get it. In due course, the inex- orable logic of events will compel an economic consideration, as the second stage in the handlinz of the problem, and ulti- mately the political consideration.
So it behoves us to be patient. We have to distinguish between the ideally desirable and the practically attainable. The Committee is excellently constituted, with a man of Mr. Ovien D. Young's breadth of view at its head. It should be accorded full confidence.—I am, Sir, &c., GABRIEL WELLS.
Carlton Mansion, 14 Pall Mall, S.W .1.