2 JANUARY 1932, Page 5

News of the Week

THE international conference on reparations will 1 certainly be held some time in the latter half of this month, the principal European countries being represented, and the United States, according to all present indications, not sending even an observer. The decision forced on President Hoover by Congress is not altogether to be regretted. In actual reparations under the Treaty of Versailles America has no direct interest, and there is, therefore, no reason why she should take part in negotiations on that point. Discussions on the unwritten second item on the agenda, the bearing of the non-payment of reparations on the payment of debts, arc obviously better conducted in her absence. There seems little justification for hoping more from the conference than a temporary moratorium for Germany (and that, probably, not as complete as it should be) carrying with it as necessary consequence a suspension, for the same period, of Europe's debt-payments to the United States. On the latter point it is of great importance that the debtor States should act in complete uniformity. We shall have to wait some time yet for a final settlement of debts and reparations—unless the American Congress should realize that there may be some connexion between these questions and the existence in the United States of 10,000,000

unemployed and the inability of cities like Chicago and Philadelphia to find money to pay the municipal employees. * * * *