In the House of Lords on Monday there was a
debate on the forthcoming Economic Conference in Paris. Lord Courtney, who as usual spoke almost entirely for himself, expressed a fear that• the object of the Conference was to prolong the war with Germany after peace had been declared. He indicated the difficulties of imposing a differential tariff as between the Dominions and our- Allies. Russia, for instance, supplied us with the very commodities which came from the Dominions. Lord Bryce dwelt upon the danger of founding a commercial policy-on resentment and revenge. We agree in substance with what Lord Bryce said. A commercial policy motived by perpetual revenge is quite impossible—in our own interests, if in those of nobody else. But Lord Courtney's mistrust of the Conference was pressed to an absurd point. As Lord Crewe said, Germany has combined commercial expansion with political and military intrigue. A way must be found to separate once and for all those highly separable things. The British delegates, of whom Mr. Hughes will be one, will not commit this country till the ground has been thoroughly explored.