28 JUNE 1945, Page 1


THE San Francisco Conference, having experienced all the difficulties that had been expected, and some that seemed insurmountable, has now completed the Charter of World Security and given it unanimous apdroval. It is significant that it should have met on United States territory and that it should have the warm backing not only of the President, but of an overwhelming majority of American opinion, and that its ratification by Congress is virtually assured. With the signing and ratification of this Charter America, who has stepped out of her isolation in the waging of war, gives her assurance that she will not be isolated in the affairs of peace ; and as an earnest of her intention to throw her weight resolutely into the new venture President Truman has announced that Mr. Stettinius, who has played so great a part at the conference, will resign the Secretaryship of State and become the first American representative on the Security Council and chairman of the United States delegation in the General Assembly. In his speech at the final plenary session President Truman spoke with the confidence of one who knew that he has the country with him, and he dwelt eloquently on the ideals of world security and world co-operation in language which is now assured of the same response from Americans as from people on this side of the Atlantic. The success that has been attained must be measured by the fact that unanimous decisions had to be reached by repre- sentatives of fifty countrirs, including great Powers and small, with the widest possible variety of interests, and situated in all parts of the world. The great Powers themselves had interests and views which had to be reconciled, and at the other extreme were small Powers demanding to be considered, and between were middle Powers who would have big responsibilities as well as rights. There were regional considerations which had to be balanced against the overriding duties of a world organisation. It was only to be expected that acute differences of opinion would arise, and there were moments when it seemed that these were insuperable. In the result no Power has got quite all that it wanted ; without compromise there could have been no Charter. In the difficult question of consultation and decisions by the Council in cases where disputes might lead to aggression, Russia was the most unbending on the principle of unanimity among the Big Five. But if on the question of the veto she was the most exigent in requiring concessions to her view, she at the last made the one concession without which agreement would probably have been impossible ; and the speed with which towards the end she helped to clear away certain other misunderstandings

between herself and the great Powers did much to restore confidence and assure a successful outcome.

Many countries have made their special contributions to the dis- cussions. On the question of trusteeship and the goal that should be set for backward countries, Lord Cranborne successfully explained to the Conference the unique experience of the British Colonial Empire, pointing as it does to a training for self-goverment

which may be ultimately realised either in " independence " or in Dominion status ; and he was well backed by Commander Stassen, and by Mr. Fraser, of New Zealand.. In the broad issue the Five Powers emerge as the dominant elements in the organisation. That was recognised as inevitable, for it is they who will have to imple- ment decisions. Everything is made to rest on agreement among them. With such agreement security is made certain ; without it, there is none—and that fact must be recognised. But at least the veto of one cannot prevent discussion and consultation, and that in itself is worth much. The smaller Powers who will be repre- sented in the Assembly have jealously watched proceedings which seemed to deprive them of the means of influencing decisions ; but just as their criticism has made itself felt at this conference, so the discussions in the Assembly will have a weight which in emergencies cannot be ignored. While the Charter provides no certain remedy if the great Powers themselves should fall out, at least it affords security against any lesser threat, and even at the worst the advantage of time and discussion. Preiident Truman said that no one claims for the Chute.: that it is a final or a perfect instrument. "All our think- ing and all our action; should be based on the realisation that it is in fact only a first step." But that first step has been taken. An instrument has been created which admits of modification. Its success depends on the will to use it and build up from it.

United States Trade Policy

The definition of United States commercial policy, greatly clarified by the renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, has direct bearing on the work which has just been completed at San Francisco. The new Charter will work only in favourable international economic conditions: and these will be shaped more by America's attitude than by the policy of any other single Power. It is encouraging that by perpetuating the Trade Agreements Acts devised by Mr. Cordell Hull, and by authorising. the President to reduce tariffs by as much as a further 50 per cent., the Senate has now made

clear the direction in which American policy will move. Economic isolation is being abandoned pan passu with political isolation, and again President Truman has revealed his resolve to preserve and even to develop the work of his great predecessor. tith this victory won by the Administration, interest shifts to the fate of the Bretton Woods proposals for the creation of an International Bank and an International Monetary Fund, for both are now before the Senate Finance Committee. Criticism has concentrated chiefly against the Fund. To the champions of the proposals, they are but the logical extension of the principles underlying present political and commer- cial policy to the sphere of American financial relations. To their opponents, which include powerful banking interests, they are not so much steps towards a new international order, which is essential to American prosperity, as further concessions and sacrifices, required maybe for world resettlement, but regrettable none the less. They demand to know more about British (and Soviet) intentions and policies before acquiescing in such measures, and therefore play for delay. To this the Administration replies that it is for the United States to set the pace and the example: but how far Senate opinion will agree remains an open question.

The Polish Question Settled

The more accommodating part that Russia has now taken in inter- national affairs has done much to dissipate the wave of pessimism which swept over the United Nations a few weeks ago. She has withdrawn the main obstacle to agreement at San Francisco ; she is believed to have discouraged the intransigence of Marshal Tito in regard to Trieste ; she has smoothed the way for Allied military control in Germany ; and last, but not least, she has promoted con- ditions under which the formidable deadlock over Poland has been brought to an end. No question between the Allies has caused so much concern as the delay in getting any nearer a settlement of the Polish question in accordance with the terms of the Yalta agree- ment. But the matter is now settled. The Anglo-Russian-American Commission of three has happily been able to stand in the back- ground while the leaders representing the Lublin Provisional Government and the democratic parties from Poland itself and from abroad have thrashed the matter out among themselves, and have reached agreement. M. Mikolajczyk will be one of the three members of the Government representing the Poles from Great Britain, and two will be from Poland, while M. Witos, if his health permits, will join the presidium of the Polish Parliament. The Lublin Ministers, so far from resenting the newcomers to their Government, seem rather to welcome them ; they need their aid in securing co-operation in Poland and also in the matter of getting back the hundreds of thousands of Poles who are abroad. As soon as the guarantee for the holding of free elections has been given the new Provisional Government will be officially recognised by America and Britain ; and that, of course, involves the non- recognition of the Government that has interposed so many obstacles to negotiation and agreement. The long patience of M. Mikolajczyk and his friends is at last rewarded with a solution which will be welcomed by millions of Poles in Poland and by all the Allies.

The Simla Conference

The conference of Indian political leaders which the Viceroy has gathered together at Simla to advise him on the reconstruction of his Executive Council began auspiciously because it was skilfully pre- pared. The Viceroy's Preliminary interviews with Mr. Gandhi and with the Presidents of both the Congiess Party and the Moslem League were an essential step towards bringing the rival parties together. But the first obstacle encountered is due to the familiar fact that political and communal divisions do not coincide. Some parts of India—especially the North-West Frontier Province—have a Congress Ministry, but include Moslem constituents. Thus if, as the Viceroy has stipulated, the new Council includes Hindus and Moslems in equal proportions, the Congress Party would hold a majority if they were able to nominate one or more of the Moslem members. The Moslem League insists, therefore, that all Moslem representatives must be its owA nominees, and its claim to represent all Moslems clashes with the political claim of Congress Party to represent both communities. Mr. Gandhi, in his telegram to Lord Wavell on June 17th, rejected communal parity, but declared that "parity between the Congress and the Moslem League is under- standable." The chief features of the first phase of the conference have been, on the one hani, the anxiety of all main groups to keep the discussions on the political plane, because it is the communal question which arouses most feeling ; and, on the other, the persist- ence with which communal differences force themselves to the fore- front almost in spite of the participants. The hope of Simla, as expressed by Lord Wavell, is that if agreement can be reached, despite all obstacles, on this immediate, short-range and practical question, a real step forward will have been taken towards a final settlement. Simla is a test of how far each group can agree to even a temporary and fragmentary compromise.

Public Spending and Investment

The White Paper on Employment Policy, published over -a year ago, asserted the need to prevent total private and public expendi- ture on goods and services "from falling to a level where general unemployment appears." It also proposed that local authorities— the chief agencies of public capital expenditure—should- this purpose prepare, in consultation with the Government, plans of the capital works required. This particular aspect of the problem was discussed in cautious terms by Sir John Anderson a week ago, when he addressed the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants. The Chancellor of the Exchequer visualises a " steered " public investment and spending, so that it "compen- sates as far as possible for the ups and downs of private investment which we may find more difficult to control." Local authorities are not only heavy spenders, but also heavy borrowers, and Sir John emphasised the need for the equally close liaison between central and local authorities required by the new Local Authorities Loans Act, which will come into operation on August tn. The equitable sharing of burdens between the taxpayer and the ratepayer is. indeed one of our many financial problems during the coming years of national reconstruction : and whilst accepting the pre-war principle that the Treasury should help areas with "great needs and small resources," Sir John gave his audience little encouragement to hope for central help save for "the proved necessities of each service." His restriction may not prove reconcilable with the suggested use of public investment as a stabilising force manipulated to secure a high level of employment. Stability in public investment alone can achieve little unless it is geared not only to public spending on current services, but also to private investment and private spending. If it is to be the fly-wheel of our economic life, regulating the balance of employment and production, in a mixed economy, it cannot be confined permanently to the most urgent and undeniable necessities, pleaded by local authorities before a reluctant Treasury.

Training to be Civilians

The general principle laid down by the War Office pamphlet on "The Army Education Scheme" and by General Sir Robert Adam. the Adjutant-General, is altogether admirable. It lays down that "the educational needs of men and women, however various they may be, can be classified broadly as concerning either their social and political responsibilities as citizens, or their interests and equip- ment as individuals." The scheme therefore wisely provides for all kinds of training except purely technical instruction for specific jobs: and its most interesting project is the setting up of residential "Formation Colleges," one for each command at home and overseas. Here some 600 or i,000 men and women will each month follow specialised training courses, grouped into seven departments: science, commerce, art and crafts, domestic subjects, trades, modern studies, and instructors' training. In the units,- at least six hours a week will eventually be devoted to such subjects, under full-time and part-time instructors. If wisely handled the scheme should go far to make Britain's service men and women into the--best-educated e'ements in our civilian life: though it remains to be- seen-how well the shortage of supply -of skilled teachers -will be overcome. '