15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 1

* * Germany and the Air Pact The German reply

to the Anglo-French proposals regarding an air pact to give new force to the Locarno Treaty ii4mmediately expected, and if it is in accordance both with rumour and with inherent probability it will mean the initiation of rather protracted negotiations. Germany cannot reject the air pact outright, nor is there any reason to suppose she desires to (though the :usual contrast - between Foreign Office sanity and Nazi flamboyance has been manifest), but she can," and no 'doubt will, attach various conditions as- . to the order in which disarmament, security and equality are to be achieved, and it is to be feared that the general level of armaments she now contemplates is on 'a-sub- stantially higher level than was suggested in the -Note of last April. But on the whole the outlook is promising. Germany appears disposed to join in the general. under- taking regarding the independence of Austria, but there are no signs as yet that she is any better disposed towards the Eastern European Pact, and so long as she stands aloof the Poles. will be disinclined to come in. Therein Warsaw shows very doubtful wisdom. The Eastern Pact, even without Germany, would make for confidence and stability. Sir John Simon very rightly blessed it -when first it was suggested by M. Barthou, and Poland, all appearance, would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by signing it. .