16 FEBRUARY 1934, Page 2

Disarmament Delays The postponement of any resumption of the Disarma-

ment Conference for another two months is a depressing commentary on the course of international events. The grounds for so long a delay are not stated and arc not immediately apparent. There is, of course, the change of Government in France, but M. Doumergue does not need eight weeks to decide in what respects, if any, he should depart from the disarmament policy of his pre- decessors. There is Mr. Eden's tour to Paris, Berlin and Rome, but all that can be done at those three capitals could be done in a fortnight. If the new British disarmament proposals are to be taken as a fresh starting point, as everyone who cares about disarmament desires, they need to be brought under general discussion without delay. The method of private conversations has completely exhausted its possibilities, whatever they may have been, and the sooner a new attempt is made at Geneva the better. Any hopes the British draft has aroused will be dead and cold by April 10th. It is true that Mr. Henderson has power to summon the Bureau of the Conference before then, and it is to be hoped he may have the strength of mind to do it. To postpone a return to the Conference's normal methods in order to give .further time for an alternative expedient so far utterly barren in results is highly questionable states- manship.