31 JULY 1936, Page 2

Towards a Locarno Conference It appears likely that Germany and

Italy will both accept the invitation issued by Britain, France and Belgium last week to a new conference of the Locarno Powers, but what conditions they will impose, where and when the conference will meet, and what it will discuss, are all so far matters of complete uncertainty. There are disturbing signs that both countries may attempt to drive bargains over their co-operation in an endeavour to establish peace—the dictators think themselves in a position to dictate—though Signor Mussolini may possibly rest content with the removal of sanctions and with the cancellation of mutual guarantees between this country and various lesser Mediterranean Powers, announced by Mr. Eden on Monday. Germany seems inclined to stand out for complete recognition of her Rhineland coup and the limitation of the discussions to a Western Pact, though how the Franco-Soviet Pact can be kept out of the conversations is hard to see. It is suggested, moreover, that Herr Hitler and his Cabinet will be so busy in August over the Olympic Games, and in September over the Nazi Congress, and are so anxious to see light on the Spanish situation before they move, that it will be several weeks before even the preliminary negotiations take definite shape. *