3 JULY 1936, Page 5

The Failure and After The general view that though on

this occasion sanctions have failed, the attempt to apply them was worth making, was best expressed by M. Litvinoff, who held that while in the existing circumstances it would be futile to con- tinue a form of pressure which had no longer any hope of being effective, the fact that fifty nations could unite in applying sanctions at all was a sign of progress, and that, by being brought face to face with realities, League States had developed a frame of mind which would enable them to take like steps with better prospects in the future. That opinion may seem to reflect the maximum of optimism, but there is something in it. The last thing the League can be today is complacent, but it need not be completely defeatist, and the question of reform, not so much of the Covenant as of the method of its application, demands all the attention which the principal States are preparing to devote to it. While action during the present Assembly is out of the question delay might be disastroug, and Mr. Eden is undoubtedly right in urging that definite decisions should be taken during the next Assembly in September. If that is to be done strong committees must put in some intensive preparatory work in the next two months. The Assembly must have concrete proposals before it.