30 JANUARY 1942, Page 1

The Pan-American Agreement

A greater measure of success has been attained at the Pan- American conference at Rio de Janeiro than at an earlier stage had been anticipated. If it had not been for the perfectly intelli- gible hesitations of Chile, which has a long coast-line exposed to possible attack from the Pacific, and for the more pronounced opposition of Argentina, a stronger resolution for joint measures against Germany would have been taken. But much satisfaction is felt by Mr. Sumner Welles and the Washington administration that all the 21 republics of North, Central and South America have maintained a common front, and have set their signature to a resolution " recommending " the rupture of diplomatic relations with Japan, Germany and Italy. The agreement awaits ratification in each country, but this is likely to take place quickly in at leak 19 out of the 21 nations concerned. If it is deferred, as it may be, in Argentina for some time, there is still a resolution providing for the severance of commercial and financial relations with the Axis, to which it is probable that effect will be given sooner. The upshot is that within a few days 19 out of the 21 nations of the two Americas will either be at war with or will have severed diplomatic and economic relations with the Axis Powers, and that the activities of enemy agents and fifth- columnists will be suppressed ; and that all will stop trading with Germany.