13 DECEMBER 1935, Page 7


OUT of the- secrecies and surmises and periphrases and denials prevalent in Press and Parliament on Monday and Tuesday it is singularly difficult to get at the real facts about the Paris agreement on peace-terms. The full truth may come. out in, aday or two., Meanwhile we can only make the most of what we have. Such information as reaches me at this moment suggests that a heavy weight of responsibility lies on Sir Samuel _Hoare, who went to Paris on Saturday; completely and astonish- ingly capitulated to M. Laval and left to a Cabinet, startled and aghast at the news he sent the choice between repudiating its Foreign Secretary and endorsing proposals utterly repugnant to it. • What. induced Sir Samuel to take the line he did ? The , plain intimation from M. Laval that petrol sanctions would mean war and that he would not stand for them. . So much I learn on authority that I believe reliable. Mr. Baldwin's speech in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening, if closely studied, will be found to corroborate this interpretation decisively. Indeed, on no other inter- pretation is the speech to be explained at all. All the Cabinet could do was to insist that the League should be informed of the Paris agreement simultaneously with Rome and Addis Ababa.