2 JANUARY 1932, Page 6

Armaments Bills

Figures the Belgian Government has taken the trouble to compile have an interesting bearing in the contention an important section of American Congressmen and American public opinion is advancing, that there should be no question of the remission of European debt while Europe is spending what she does spend on armaments. The United States, it appears from the Belgian statistics, is spending on armaments 26,126,000,000 Belgian francs, 'France 19,332,000,000, Great Britain 18,965,000,000, -and Italy 11,704,000,000. The comparison is instructive as a commentary on the- American argument. But it must, of course, not be pushed too far. Costs, both of men and material, differ widely in different countries, and only the very broadest comparison between any two is legitimate. It has always been insisted at Geneva that the object of budgetary limitation of armaments was to facilitate comparison not between the military budgets of two different countries, but between the expenditures of the same country in different years. And whatever America is spending it still remains true

that Europe can well afford to cut her own expenditure considerably, whether it brings debt remission nearer or not. * * * *