13 DECEMBER 1935, Page 1

BUt this is at root not a. matter of detail

but of principle.

That point, and the part the British Foreign Secretary played in the Paris negotiations, is discussed at length on a later page. 'Whatever _the precise nature of the proPosals, it is certain that they give Italy, as a reward for her aggression, or as a bribe to buy her off, far more than she could have got from an award of just arbitrators before, the war began. By even countenancing such a deal, let alone accepting responsibility for it, the Foreign Secretary has jettisoned in a day both his own personal reputation and his country's. It is said no doubt that Italy is already in possession of large areas of Abyssinian soil and that she cannot be expelled.Why not ? Can • ' fifty nations not compel her to retire ? Have they not- eoinmitted Iheniselves irrevocably to the doctrine that an aggressor must be not only checked in his aggression but prevented from enjoying the fruits of it ?, • Is this country to join France in leading the retreat ? The crUX is, of course, oil sanctions. M. Laval holds -that the moment it is proposed to take a step that will be really effect i'e against the aggressor, and therefore elicits from him language of alarm and menace, the-fifty should yield to the intimidation of the one. If that is so the way of aggressors for the future be anything but • hard. If it is clear that petrol sanctions will impede the Italian ounpaign that is the strongest argument for imposing them :without -delay:. •