22 MARCH 1935, Page 1

The situation fortunately may be clarified as a result of

the conversations in which the indispensable Mr. Eden will take part at Paris on Saturday. It is entirely right that representatives of Britain, France and Italy should establish contact as soon as possible, but critics in the French Press hardly appear to recognize that the visit of a British Foreign Minister to Berlin is a matter primarily for Great Britain and Germany. Sir John Simon is not going to the German capital as an emissary from last month's Anglo-French conferences in London. He is going as Foreign Minister of his country to do what is possible to lay the basis of a better international under- standing and bring Germany back into the orbit of European co-operation. Russian criticisms are even more gratuitous. Russia is a late entrant into the organized society of nations, and she came into it, quite reasonably and justifiably, mainly for her own ends. But she has nothing to do with Locarno, or the proposed Air Guarantee Pact which Sir John Simon is to discuss with Herr Hitler. She is not a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles, whose violation by Germany is so outraging all her finer feelings. The British Foreign Secretary's task has been made incomparably more difficult by Germany's precipitate action, but only emotionalists blind to realities could wish his journey had been cancelled. He will go to Berlin accompanied by uni- versal and anxious goodwill from all parties in this country. Great as arc the difficulties, the opportunity is immense.

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