21 NOVEMBER 1931, Page 2

Germany's Finances The financial discussions between Germany and France, Sir

John Simon assisting in person and Mr. Baldwin supplying a broad public hint from Westminster that Germany's commercial creditors must not be sacrificed to her reparation creditors, seem to be approach- ing a settlement on a reasonable basis. The ordinary machinery of the Young Plan is to operate. Germany, that is to say, is to indicate that she will be unable to meet the conditional part of the reparation payment due at the expiration of the Hoover moratorium in July and the Bank of International Settlements will then appoint a committee to investigate the situation. But France has apparently agreed that either a sub-committee of this body or a separate committee shall examine Germany's financial obligations as a whole. This is a much more important business than the reparation enquiry and involves far larger sums. In any case the time has long gone by for any piecemeal handling of the international financial situation. The two committees in question can work quickly, for all the data is readily available, and the ground will then be clear for the international conference M. Laval was said, on his return from Washington, to be intending to summon. Great Britain's immediate interest is in the short-term credits which fall due in February, but the solvency of Germany is a general interest, concerning all Europe and of almost equal importance to America.