5 MARCH 1932, Page 2

France and German Armaments

The Disarmament Conference, checked in its more active work by the necessity of organizing its various committees, and also by the intervention of the Special Assembly of the League, has attracted little attention in the past week. But an important develop ment has been taking place, behind: the scenes; in the form of a frank private conversation between M. Tardieu and the first German delegate, Herr NadOlny, on the possibility of reconciling the- French and Gernian theses: If the French stand immovable hy their demand that the Disarmament , clauses, of the Treaty of Versailles shall be regarded- as sacrosanct there will be no recon- ciliation at all, for the Germans insist that there can. no longer be differential restrictions applying to three, or four members of the League alone, and that plea is widely supported in the conference. It is a hopeful sign that M. Tardieu should have been ready, as lie obviously lutist have been, to abandon the extreme French position. The reasonable solution would - be that so far as types, of weapons, or systems _of military service, are con- cerned, Germany should be freed from -any special embargo, but that when it comes to numbers she 'should. refrain from pressing for an establishment she is in no. position.to .finance. Adoption of the Italian .programmc,, the abolition of essentially aggressive. weapons, would settle the major part of the Franco-German difference