Авторы: 159 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

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A POLICY FOR THE LIBERAL PARTY

So much for the immediate situation and the politics of the case. If we look forward a little, I venture to think

that there is a clear, simple, and practical policy for the Liberal Party to adopt and to persist in. Both M.

Poincare and Mr. Lloyd George have their hands tied by their past utterances. Mr. Lloyd George's part in the

matter of Reparations is the most discreditable episode in his career. It is not easy for him, whose hands are

not clean in the matter, to give us a clean settlement. I say this although his present intentions appear to be

reasonable. All the more reason why others should pronounce and persist in a clear and decided policy. I was

disappointed, if I may say so, in what Lord Grey had to say about this at Newcastle last week. He said many

wise things, but not a word of constructive policy which could get any one an inch further forward. He

seemed to think that all that was necessary was to talk to the French sympathetically and to put our trust in

international bankers. He puts a faith in an international loan as the means of solution which I am sure is not

justified. We must be much more concrete than that, and we must be prepared to say unpleasant things as well

as pleasant ones.

The right solution, the solution that we are bound to come to in the end, is not complicated. We must abandon

the claim for pensions and bring to an end the occupation of the Rhinelands. The Reparation Commission

must be asked to divide their assessment into two parts−−the part that represents pensions and separation

allowances and the rest. And with the abandonment of the former the proportion due to France would be

correspondingly raised. If France would agree to this−−which is in her interest, anyhow−−and would

terminate the occupation it would be right for us to forgive her (and our other Allies) all they owe us, and to

accord a priority on all receipts in favour of the devastated areas. If we could secure a real settlement by these

sacrifices, I think we should make them completely regardless of what the United States may say or do.

In declaring for this policy in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. Asquith has given the Liberal Party a

clear lead. I hope that they will make it a principal plank in their platform. This is a just and honourable

settlement, satisfactory to sentiment and to expediency. Those who adopt it unequivocally will find that they

have with them the tide and a favouring wind. But no one must suppose that, even with such a settlement, any

important part of Germany's payments can be anticipated by a loan. Any small loan that can be raised will be

required for Germany herself, to put her on her legs again, and enable her to make the necessary annual

payments.