20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 19


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—At last, after four and a half years, something definite has been accomplished by the Preparatory Commission, and a framework has been drawn up for a scheme by means of which it will be possible to compare the figures of Armaments (Navy, Army, Air, Costs) of different countries and also, year by year, to compare the figures of one year with those of previous years. Some agreement has been reached about some things. Something has been done. A start has been made. It is easy to be critical, but, in the circumstances, what better scheme could have been drawn up ? And who could better have represented this country than Lord Cecil ? Without agreement there can he no start, no progress, nothing. Without agreement theth would be no Disarmament Conference, and Without a Conference there would be nothing to keep public opinion interested and informed.

The Spectator says " an ensured bad start for the Con- ference may lead to disaster." That may be true, but it is equally true to say that no start at all may lead to greater disaster.' There is always a chance that a bad start may change later into something better, but until a start is made things must inevitably go on getting worse and worse.

• The peoples of the world were getting impatient, but now they can feel more hopeful and make renewed offorts to secure the whole-hearted support and the emphatic assertion of the peoples of the world for an international agreement about