22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 15


The rumour reaches here that Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Henderson are planning to suggest an international conference on Russian questions. That- is very important if true, for it would seem that any settlement of- claims against Russia, by either Great Britain, France„ Belgium, or the United States separately would definitely affect the ability of Russia to meet the claims of other countries. Russia obviously cannot

make immediate payments, and the demands she made at Genoa for loans, concurrently with an agreement to settle outstanding claims, still appear as the paramount Soviet policy. Nothing is to be gained by indulging any Russian efforts to play any one country off against another. The issues between Russia and the important countries are similar, and should be settled concurrently, and upon the basis of taking care of every interest concerned. A concerted effort in that direction might bring about a comprehensive " show- down" as to what precisely is the Russian attitude towards the recognition or payment of past obligations, and what may be expected with reference to future obligations of every kind. It is conceivable, though no official encouragement is given to the idea, that the United States might be willing to participate in such a conference upon British invitation, where it would not be willing to negotiate with the Russians alone.