It would - indeed be ridiculous to - despair of the
Con- ference while many possibilities remain unexamined. For example,' the very formidable claims of Trance to an increase of naval building might well be' modified by some kind of Pact in the Mediterranean, or in the Atlantic, or in both. This has not yet been officially considered, yet it might be the clue to a Five-Power Agreement. It must not be supposed that the British Government'liould accept any new sort of " Loearno " commitment. glint of that, however, there is ample room for pledges of con- sultation, and if the worst came 'to the' worst and a Five- Power Agreement was proved unattainable, there would still be much profit iii a Tripartite Agreement between Great -Britain, the' United States, and Japan. Such an Agreement might have so strong a subsequent influence on France and Italy that the equivalent of a Five- Power Agreement might be achieved. We mean that since the French are economical they probably would not pour out money on ships after all.