16 APRIL 1932, Page 1

The London Conference

Every Conference that fails gives public encouragement to all that the League was founded to combat. Our own representatives at the London Conference can hardly be blamed for lack of conciliatory spirit, for this- time -their desire that results should be reached was obviously stronger than any for the particular results desired by others. France, confident of her influenee in Eastern Europe, would have no change in her plan that the ,five small Powers should be left for the present to discuss by themselves the remedies for their troubles. Germany demanded to be present, even if that entailed the other three Powers being represented too, because she feared that the chance of the Anschhiss with Austria might be imperilled and because she feared lest her industrial rival, Czechoslovakia, might steal advantages for its exports. -Italy supported Germany's idea of a Nine-Power Confer-

ence, and the jealous competition between the two Latin races for influence in Eastern Europe was evident. All the good of the Confefence was confined to the clear statement or implication of divergent views obstinately held. The harm done was the lessening of the authority, and so of the power to help, of the four Powers, and the discredit, to which we have referred above, to the system.of Confer- ences to which the parties bring no intention of that give- and-take which alone makes Conferences valuable.

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