THE PROSPECTS OF FRANCO-GERMAN UNDERSTANDING
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—Your issue of December 4th contains a letter from Miss C. E. Ellington Wright, dealing with " the prospects of a Franco-German understanding." She seems to consider that since " Germany had voluntarily accepted her Western frontier . . . she has made her essential contribution to the vital needs of France," and asks " Will France now make a commensurate concession to her ? "
May I ask for the hospitality of your columns for a brief rejoinder to your correspondent's statements ? They are, to say the least of it, one-sided, and she seems. to hold a brief for Germany.
Does she forget that France has already made excessive sacrifices and concessions of various sorts, more than enough indeed, to prove her sincere wish and desire for peace ? Has she overlooked the facts that both in 1870—vide the Ems dispatch—and in 1914 France was wantonly attacked, and even after German troops had begun to violate her territory our own troops were withdrawn several miles ? Does Miss Ellington Wright need to be reminded that after the signature of the Frankfurt Treaty German soldiery were quartered in France, until the very last farthing of the " Indemnity " was paid, without the least attempt by France at any cavil or chicanery of any description ?
Would she assert that Germany has carried out, since the Treaty of Versailles was signed, a single one of the military clauses (or indeed any of the others) until she was compelled to do so ? Is she aware that it is as important for the peace of Europe, and, incidentally, for the safety of France, that Germany should recognize her Eastern frontiers as well as the Western.? Surely Miks Ellington Wright must be aware that for many years the British Empire was threatened by Russia, not with the invasion of the United Kingdom, but of India, and there is more than one way of making an attack, the indirect' manner being fully as dangerotis as the direct one.
Finally, the very generous offer to mobilize a portion• of
the German Railway Bonds—if it were feasible—would be totally inadequate, as a compensation, for the ruthless devastation of a tenth part of the area of France which, from the revenue-producing standpoint, was no less than