April 11, 1936.

THE TABLET A Weekly Newspaper and Review

V o l . 16 7 . N o . 5005.

L o n d o n , A p r i l 1 1 , 1936 Registered at the General Post Office as a Newspaper.

S i x p e n c e


P a g e

P a g e

W EEK BY W EEK ......................... ............. 453 THE CHURCH IN THE W ORLD . ........... 461 HOPE— PAGAN AND CHRISTIAN ............. 456 MARGARET CLITHEROW ... . ............ 464 EASTER EGGS AND OFFERINGS ... 456 THE NEW B O O K S ................................ ............ 466 NEWS AND NOTES .............. ............. 457 CPIESS AND CROSSWORD ... . ............ 474 CATHOLICS IN NEW ZEALAND .............. 460 EASTER SUNDAY ................................ ............ 476


THE GERMAN AND FRENCH IDEAS FOR PEACE. r I 'H E French have now produced their counterA proposals, which are to be discussed, on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, by the Locarno signatories. There is no inherent necessity for this haste, and it is important that time shall elapse without violent decisions, while the line o f division is as sharp as it is. Herr Hitler wants to negotiate individual pacts between countries, two by two, while the French favour pacts to which as many countries as possible shall be signatories. Collective security in this sense has been for the last twelve years in the forefront o f French policy. For the first four years after the peace the Allies managed, amid great tension, to keep up a common front. It was when Mr. Bonar Law’s Government in 1923 refused to join the French in invading the Ruhr that the fissure became apparent. From that date the French, who had been notoriously lukewarm towards the League o f Nations at its birth, and who had agreed to it to please President Wilson, began to see that its existence might enable them to achieve the same results as their own first choice o f a standing alliance between the partners in the Great War.

The Germans have now offered to return to the League o f Nations, an offer which largely counteracts the limitation o f bi-lateral pacts since membership o f the League commits all the nations who share it to action in certain circumstances against aggressors. W idely apart as are the two peace plans, they do not preclude negotiation. The immediate difficulty which faces Mr. Eden is, however, a serious one. The reasonableness o f what may be called the long range peace proposals o f both the French and the German offsets, in each case, an immediate intransigence. For all Herr Hitler’s ingenious proposals for organizing not only peace but good relations, he has not been prepared to meet the French on the one point which they consider as vital, and has given no promise not to fortify the

N ew S er ie s . Vol. CXXXV. No. 4404.

Rhineland. He has offered not to increase the German troops there, provided France and Belgium do not increase their own forces, but these movements o f troops are not very material since a very few days suffices to move great numbers o f soldiers. It is fortifications which cannot be improvised in weeks or months.

I f the French continue to maintain that conciliation has failed, and that Great Britain must join France in applying sanctions o f some sort against Germany, the later negotiations will never get the chance to begin.


The British Government have stood by the promise that there shall be Staff conversations in spite o f uneasiness in Britain. It is obvious that if Great Britain is in fact to bring about fruitful negotiations, she can only do so by continuing to make it certain that (in proportion as the French are moderate) they can count upon British support in remote eventualities. It must be remembered in Britain that we have definite moral obligations to the French for the security o f their Western frontier. W e persuaded them at the end o f the War to reject the temptation to seize the whole o f the left bank o f the Rhine and to fortify it. W e promised instead a system o f guaranteed security in perpetuation o f the war-time alignments. But this security the French never obtained because the American Senate repudiated Wilson and the Treaty, and our participation was dependent upon America. But it is stretching matters much too far to attempt to make French security identical with the security o f all the frontiers drawn by the peace treaties in Central Europe. It is not unreasonable to think that peace and order are such great goods that injustices may well be borne for the sake o f them. But that is very far from elevating, as so many people in France are anxious to do, the provisions o f the peace settlement to the dignity o f unchangeable natural laws. That is the great weakness at the base o f the League’s structure, that it is very much easier to ask people to sign agreements to