22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 2

Why are these submarines needed ? France, contrary to the

opinion of the British Admiralty, believes that submarines are very efficient craft for coastal defence. But that is not her whole reason. Everybody knows that she always has in mind the necessity of guarding the sea- routes from her North African Colonies. In another war she would have to draw largely upon her African troops. But would submarines really safeguard the routes ? It is very doubtful. Against bombing aero- planes they would be powerless. The Conference has thus been brought to a halt. France thinks in terms different from those common to Great Britain and the United States ; she breathes a different atmosphere ; she has other motives, other purposes. Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities yet for discussion and agreement, but if the worst comes to the worst Great Britain and the United States, we believe, will not accept the futile solution of attaining " agreement " only by increased building. We cannot see why, if the pocket battleships are a bogy to France, Germany should not be called into consultation. The Japanese memorandum contained no surprise& The papers of Thursday pub- lished the Italian memorandum, which says that Italy is ready to reduce her Navy to any standard, however low, provided that it is not lower than that of any other Con- tinental European Power. She also suggests the abolition Of battleships.