15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 2

The French-Soviet Treaty

General de Gaulle has carried one stage farther the task of consolidating the position of liberated France and restoring her to her proper place among the United Nations by his timely visit to Moscow and the successful talks with Marshal Stalin and Mr. Molotov, which have ended in the signing of a treaty of alliance. This is just what was needed to round off the understanding among those Powers in Europe which will have a special responsibility for ensuring European peace when the world begins to settle down again. General de Gaulle has looked favourably upon a regional understanding which should link Britain and the Continental coun- tries Immediately to the west of Germany. That made it all the more desirable that France should come to the same sort of under- standing with Russia as this country did when it signed the twenty years' treaty. In the peace that we look for the aim will be to achieve a global understanding which will ensure the maximum of co-operation between the old hemisphere and the new, and within it various other groupings, jarger and smaller, which will deal with special problems that arise from geography and proximity. In the case of France and Russia a consideration necessarily dominant for both of them is that Germany lies between them. But there are also more general European interests, which will be profoundly affected by the relations between Britain, France and Russia. General de Gaulle has helped to pave the way for this indispensable co- operation and understanding.