5 MARCH 1921, Page 24

A Woman's Watch on the Rhine. By Violet It. Markham.

(Hodder and Stoughton. 15s. net.)—Miss Markham went to Cologne in July, 1919, and stayed there for a year. She made a brief visit to the Sarre valley, and to Lorraine and Alsace, and Verdun. She remarks on the calm indifference with which the Rhinelanders have accepted the British occupation, and on the dullness of their election meetings. In the Sarre valley she found some unrest ; she does not realize that it was mainly caused by Prussian intriguers with the object of discrediting the French. Her account of Alsace is interesting, though she is inclined to exaggerate the merits of the late German adminis- tration. Miss Markham discusses the German enigma. She cannot understand how people who are so civil and industrious could have behaved so abominably in the war, or why they cannot see that they were in fault. She forgets that the Rhinelanders are very unlike the Prussians, who are the real rulers of Germany. If Berlin, like Cologne, had been a Roman colony, there would not be such a gulf between civilized Western Europe and Prussia Miss Markham weakens the effect of her book, part of which appeared in the Westminster Gazette, by denouncing the Allied chiefs and the Treaty of Versailles. She does not specify the clauses of the Treaty to which she objects ; as she admits that Germany should be disarmed and should make adequate reparation," her wholesale denunciation of the Treaty is surely unjustified Miss Markham blames the Allies for not treating Germany with superhuman generosity, although she admits that the Germans for their part have displayed neither penitence nor good faith. It is a pity that the Peace Treaty should be used as a weapon of domestic controversy by the opponents of Mr. Lloyd George, because the Germans are thus encouraged to evade their obligations. We admire Miss Markham's plea for reconciliation, but she unwittingly injures a good cause by mixing it up with party politics.