5 MAY 1923, Page 1

In spite of these drawbacks we cannot read the text

of the German offer without feeling that it means that German-c knows she has got to pay and wants to pay. The document is, indeed, almost pathetic. It has the note rather of helplessness than of skill. Evidence of good faith seems to be contained in the proposal that if Ger- many has under-estimated her resources she will consent to the judgment of an impartial tribunal. As for pledges of payment, she offers with extraordinary vagueness "all the economic resources" of Germany. This is magnifi- cent, but it is not business. "Take everything we have got ! " she seems to say, with a gesture of despair, but the French would have been much more impressed by definite securities. Whatever may be thOught of the German proposal, however, France will make the greatest mistake in the world if she does not use it for peace. Week by week the physical decline of the German goose makes the prospect of golden eggs for France more remote. We who are the friends of France look on with dismay. We are losing the chance of peace; and France, besides losing that, which may or may not concern her, is gathering speed as she goes down the financial slope.