1 JUNE 1934, Page 6

Lord Sumner was a great lawyer, and it is unfortunate

from some points of view that he was ever dragged into the reparations controversy. He went to the Peace Conference with Lord Cunliffe, then Governor of the Bank of England, as advisers on the reparation problem, and some singular advice the eminent lawyer and the eminent financier furnished between them. The sum they stood for was originally £24,000,000,000, but the story goes that a little later one of them (I forget which) had it borne in on him in church one Sunday morning that £8,000,000,000 was the right sum for Germany to pay. Mr. Keynes, meanwhile, was talking about £2,000,000,000 —and even that turned out to be far beyond the amount ultimately leviable. But this, it is to be repeated, was only an episode in a great legal career, for as Sir J. A. Hamilton, Lord Sumner was one of the foremost com- mercial lawyers of a generation.