23 JULY 1954, Page 4

The Programme for M. Mendes—France

All day and all night, M. Mendes-France has been working at Geneva to meet his own time-table. He has given himself the weekend, and no more, in which to rest before presenting the Assembly with the second of his objectives, an economic programme which is to achieve expansion without inflation, to make France pass from the 19th to the 20th century.' His third objective is the solution of the problem of the European Defence Community and for this, though he has not set his own time-table, Mr. Dulles has set one for him. Following the Washington meeting between Sir Winston and President Eisenhower, there met in London an Anglo-American study group to make recommendations about the future of Germany. This study group reported last week; it recommended that the French Assembly should be given until the end of this session (i.e. about August 15) in which to ratify. Thereafter, France would be invited by Britain and America to grant sovereignty (for the time being without the right to rearm) to Western Germany. There is a strong implication that if France were to refuse this 'invitation,' the deed would somehow or other be done without her: Nobody prefers this course of events to the ratification of EDC by France. It has been forced to the front by two factors. The first is that Dr. Adenauer could no longer satisfactorily defend the delay in realising EDC and the coming into force of the Bonn Convention. which is linked to it, without admitting that his European ' policy for Western Germany is threatened with failure; the second factor, which is implicit in all the Anglo-American declarations but is not yet explicit, is that the West needs a rearmed Germany with greater urgency now than ever before, and the granting of sovereignty to Bonn is at least a step towards the subsequent entry of Germany into NATO. In the mean- titne, the prospects for EDC have ,slightly improved. The withdrawal of French troops from Indo-China may help, and so may Dr. Adenauer's offer to conSider additional protocols to the draft Treaty.