11 APRIL 1931, Page 1

France, Italy and Great Britain The difference between the French

temperament from the British has again become very evident. France is in a fever of agitation about what seems to the average Englishman to matter very little. The suspicion aroused by the Austro-German Customs Union has brought the Franco:Italian Nafal Agreement into grave jeopardy. Most Englishmen think of the Customs Union as a very desirable economic drawing together of neighbours, and when they are told that an economic union is certain to de- velop into a political union they are still unmoved. Why should there not be a political union ? Would it not be better for the Germanic peoples to be united and for top- heavy Austria, with her great Capital and her slender remaining resources, to be rescued from her present position? "No," says the Frenchman, " that would mean a new Germanic bloc. Such little security as we have would be lost, and we should have to double our expenditure upon armaments. The League of Nations, if it allowed such a thing, would have failed us. You cannot expect us under such a threat to make any pre- paration whatever for disarmament."