30 JANUARY 1926, Page 2

The terms of the agreement for funding the Italian Debt

were announced on Wednesday. Mr. Churchill has accepted annual payments of £4,500,000 over a period of sixty-two years, with only slightly reduced payments in the earlier years. Count Volpi had hoped for a mora- torium for several years. A point was gained by Mr. Churchill in comparison with the Italo-American agree- ment which provides for smaller immediate payments than we shall get. The fact remains, however, that Italy is to pay us only a fragment of what she owes. Of her total debt of £610,000,000 she will pay barely more than a seventh. In order to coned from our Allies what we owe on their behalf to America we ought to have got nine or ten millions a year as Italy's share. Happily there are consolations. It is a real benefit to have another debt controversy settled and to get some payments, though small ones, at once. The results in European stability and confidence will be more valuable than larger payments at the end of a prolonged and bitter controversy.

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