16 APRIL 1932, Page 16


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—It is hardly correct to say, as you do, that the British Government has so far proposed virtually nothing except the abolition of the submarine. Sir John Simon said at Geneva, "I desire to announce on behalf of the Government of Great Britain that we will do our utmost in loyal and friendly co-operation with the other States of the world to help to devise and bring into effect plans to apply the methods of limiting armaments by international agreement. We accept, as the basis of our future discussions, the general scheme of the Draft Disarmament Convention. We support the establishment of a permanent Disarmament Conindision. We urge the abolition of gas and chemical warfare.

"We are ready to co-operate in whatever methods are found most practicable for agreed reduction in the size of ships and of maximum gun calibre, as well as in practical application to the principle of prohibiting land guns above a certain calibre. This list is not, nor is it intended, to be exhaustive."

That amounts to a great deal more than the abolition of the submarine, and if the British Government acts up to that throughout the Conference there is no need yet to be pessi- mistic about the final result. What more could Sir John Simon have said at that stage of the Conference ?

It would have beers very unwise to have stated definite flgures-4gures which could only be arrived at after further discussions. What be did say admits of almost any reductions which may be reached later by general agreement, and it is only by general agreement that the lowest actual figures can be determined.—I am, Sir, &e.,