1 JUNE 1934, Page 2

Agreement on the Saar Though at the moment of writing

the reports of an agreement on questions regarding the Saar plebiscite are still unofficial there is little reason to doubt their authen- ticity. That is matter for great relief; for the tension created between France and Germany over the Saar has done much to poison the atmosphere in which the Dis- armament Conference reassembled. The League of Nations is in a difficult position in this matter, for all it is empowered to do by the Treaty of Versailles is to arrange for the holding of the plebiscite fifteen years after the coming into force of the treaty—i.e., in January, 1935— in such conditions as to ensure a free vote by the qualified electors. It has no legal right, though it may be con- sidered to have some moral obligation, to exact guarantees against victimization of non-Nazi Sarrois, still less of recent emigres from Germany, once the plebiscite is over and the territory has been handed over to the German Government. All that must be secured by negotiation and persuasion, and if it has in large measure been secured the achievement is notable.