American Notes of the Week
Mu. MA.cDoNALD's Von.
The forthcoming visit of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald has touched the imagination of the American public to a degree which no formal discussions without that personal factor could have done. At the same time, no one believes that the visit will dissipate all remaining difficulties, even if Mr. Mac- Donald and President. Hoover come to terms on the outstanding cruiser question. The Five-Power Conference will provide the acid test and the present unfavourable rumblings from France and Italy are not minimized. Pessimism in this con- nexion is most pronounced among those with whom pessimism has been a habit since the negotiations began, but even the well-disposed New York Times observes that " everything will be conditional " until the Five-Power Conference has come to its conclusions. Some disappointment is felt, too, that even the MacDonald-Hoover negotiations do not seem to promise the attainment of President Hoover's main_ purpose, which was avowedly to secure not merely limitation but reduction. The result of the conversations which Secretary Stimson is now having with the French Government through Ambassador Claude! is being awaited with interest, for much seems to depend upon them. If the difficulties are not blinked Mr. MacDonald will find a cordial welcome in the United States, a sense of genuine achievement and an alert consciousness of the fatefulness of his mission. The outstanding consequence will be that an atmosphere of good will to Mr. MacDonald's visit will develop. Given that atmosphere, achievements that would otherwise be impossible may be brought within the field of practical politics.