29 JUNE 1918, Page 15


LORD GREY OF FALLODON has written a slender pamphlet to give his assent and encouragement to the much-debated ideal of a League of Nations. We shall summarize it briefly, reserving our comment for another occasion. Models' civilization is at stake in this war, says Lord Grey of Fallodon ; its fate depends on whether the nations profit by their bitter experience. It does not follow, he declares, that because a League of Nations has proved impossible in the past, it will not be possible in the future. He then states two conditions " that have not been present before and that are present now, or may soon be present, and that me essential if the League of Nations is to become effective." The first is that " the idea must be adopted with earnestness and conviction by the Executive Heads of States," and " must become an essential part of their practical policy." Lord Grey of Fallodon is sure that President. Wilson has adopted the idea, and that the Allies will accept it, but he is equally sure that Germany under her military rulers will oppose a genuine League of Nations, though such a League as President Wilson desires " must include Germany." The second condition precedent to the founda. tion and maintenance of a League of Nations is that " the States willing to found it understand clearly that it will impose some limitation upon the national action of each and may entail some inconvenient obligation "—namely, that if one State breaks the agreement., all the Others " must be ready to use all the force, economic, military, or naval, that they possess." Lord Grey of Fallodon says emphatically that " anything less than this is of no value," and refers to the worthless " collective guarantee " of the neutrality of Luxembtug. He enters a general plea for the improve- ment of international relations, and, pointing out that scientific warfare in its wholesale destruction of human life has become more terrible than any one imagined, he asks what the next war would be like. The German rulers hope to avoid future wars by establishing the perpetual domination of Germany. The Allies, Lord Grey of Fallodon thinks, should set forth " the idea of a peace secured by mutual regard between States for the rights of each and a deter. mination to stamp out any attempt at war, as they would a plague that threatened the destruct ion of all." There Lord Grey of Fallodon leaves the subject. He does not attempt to discuss the many and fundamental difficulties that would have to be faced in establishing a League of Nations on a practical basis.