How to Get a Breakthrough in Ukraine
The Case Against Incrementalism
WHY, and to what extent, were the results of the Naval Conference in London incomplete and unsatisfactory? A French answer to these questions may be of interest to the American reader, and perhaps induce him to revise some of his preconceived ideas and prejudices. In coming years the question of the limitation of armaments is likely to dominate all other political issues in Europe. Therefore it would be useful to remove, so far as possible, the misunderstandings which already exist between public opinion in the United States and public opinion in France and elsewhere.
To start with, four sets of considerations will be found to explain to a certain extent why America's high aspirations for the Conference were all along deemed in France to be rash and unlikely to materialize.
1. In Anglo-Saxon communities a very common illusion obtains on the subject of disarmament. "Let the nations get rid of their weapons, scrap their guns and battleships, and, automatically, all possibilities of warfare will vanish." The reply is that one government actually did come forward three years ago with a scheme of absolute, unconditional, immediate disarmament -- the Bolshevik Government -- nor is there any cause for wonder in the fact that it was the Soviet which took this initiative. For if absolute disarmament occurred the most primitive people could sweep all before it: civilization would then be at a great disadvantage to protect itself, and the weapons of the stone age would prevail. Moscow would attempt to enforce its rule with stones and clubs. The era of international gangsters would have begun.
2. In the light of historical precedent, disarmament must be regarded as being beyond all possible comparison the most difficult thing to achieve.[i] To illustrate, I might quote a fact which is not very generally known. In 1908 the British and German Governments arranged to communicate their naval budgets to each other. In that way they believed they would eliminate an element of fear, suspicion, and uncertainty which, in their judgment, made for a keener competition on the seas. However, the document forwarded from Berlin had not been long in the hands of the British ministers when they heard that it was at variance with what the British Ambassador in Berlin had been able to ascertain. Mr. Asquith and his colleagues did what any other body of ministers would have done. They decided to trust their own men, and the building of British ships for the ensuing year was fixed accordingly. The result was the opposite of what had been anticipated. The German Emperor complained that his own imperial word had been placed in doubt and anti-German rivalry became all the more painful.
It is true that in 1921 the Washington Conference was rather successful, but in order to succeed it had to throw overboard most of its program, to confine itself, in the main, to one category of warships (battleships), about which even then naval experts felt somewhat doubtful. Moreover, at that time Anglo-American predominance was overwhelming. France had no chance to hold her own.
3. If it proves very difficult to stabilize naval armaments on their existing basis, it is still more difficult to stabilize them simultaneously with a change in the relative strength of the fleets represented at a conference. Why? Because in such a case one given state has to agree to what practically amounts to the transfer of part of its military and diplomatic strength to another state. Up to now, such transfers have been possible only as the outcome of a lost war. The recent Conference in London had to deal with two applications for a transfer of that kind -- the American claim for parity with England, and, by way of imitation, the Italian claim for parity with France.
It will be asked whether France did not seek something of the same kind. Not quite. The necessity for France to make good the progressive decay of her fleet during the war period, between 1914 and 1920, does not really come in the same category as American and Italian claims or programs. In 1921, the French navy had practically ceased to exist because, for several years, all the resources of the nation had had to be concentrated on turning out war material and ammunition for the benefit not only of France but of her allies. France was, therefore, in a position to declare: "My obsolete ships are not to be regarded as dead. They supply me with title deeds for my forthcoming construction to fall under the head of replacements and not of fresh building." There was some disposition on the British side, and a clear resolve on the Italian side, to consider "replacements" of that sort as "new construction," to plead or to argue that the true standard of the French fleet ought not to be taken in 1912, the date when a program of roughly 1,100,000 tons had been approved by the French parliament, but rather in 1921, when the French naval strength was at the lowest, to regard the figures claimed for the French fleet, about 680,000 tons in 1936, as excessive. However, by the middle of March the British Government had practically agreed to the French thesis and Mr. MacDonald had even had a communiqué prepared which emphasized the sacrifice (too little noticed at the time) made by France in the memorandum of February 11, when she cut down by 89,000 tons the naval program of about 800,000 tons which she was to complete by 1943. In his proposed communiqué Mr. MacDonald practically admitted that France ought not to be penalized for the magnitude of her contribution, on land, to the common cause throughout the war.
As a matter of fact, neither the American claim for parity with England nor the French claim for the rebuilding of the French fleet to a level consonant with French requirements, did directly break or even place in jeopardy the Naval Conference. The Conference broke down exclusively upon the Italian claim for parity with France, put forward (as Mr. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty, told General Dawes) in imitation of the American claim for parity with England.
4. The London Conference had to labor not only under that very serious handicap -- the transfer of military and diplomatic power from one state to another -- but also under the very indifferent leadership of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister of England. Mr. MacDonald may be a remarkable man in his own way, but he does not possess the driving force, the resolute character, which distinguished Secretary of State Hughes in 1921-22. Many instances could be given of his hesitation and vacillation. I shall only indicate that, on March 16, in Chequers, Mr. MacDonald reached a tentative agreement with M. Tardieu. Of his own initiative, he told the French Minister that he proposed to bring diplomatic pressure to bear upon the Italian Government, and he even boasted that in Rome the American Ambassador was sure to give help.[ii] On that day, therefore, Mr. MacDonald expressed the opinion, and on March 11 and 19 he allowed officials placed under him to express the opinion, that the margin of superiority enjoyed by the French fleet over the Italian fleet ought to be safeguarded. However, after he had to meet the criticism of Mr. Snowden on March 17, and later on, after he had to face the protests of Mr. Grandi, he gave way, quickly retraced his steps, issued press communiqués which perhaps cannot be called models of candor, and, having lost himself in contradictory statements and feeling quite helpless, he allowed the Conference to drift to its fate. In the same manner, he caused Sir Arthur Willert to deny that he had ever taken rather forceful steps in Tokyo to recommend the adoption of the Anglo-American proposals submitted to the Japanese delegation on March 13, while press telegrams received from Tokyo shortly afterwards did not leave any doubt as to the part played there by the British Ambassador. But the most illustrative example of Mr. MacDonald's lack of nerve can probably be found in the developments which took place on April 10. It has been reported from a trustworthy source that, on the morning of that day, Mr. Stimson called upon the British Prime Minister to draw his attention to the fact that if what is now known under the name of the "safeguarding" or "escape" clause were inserted in the Three-Power Treaty it would assuredly cause trouble in the American Senate. Mr. MacDonald agreed at once to do without the safeguarding clause, but not many hours afterwards the first Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Alexander, a levelheaded grocer who does not mistake eight inches for six inches, came to the chief of the British Government and roundly told him that he never would support a three-Power treaty stripped of such a clause. Mr. MacDonald did not resist. On the same day, then, within a few hours, he surrendered twice in opposite directions -- the first time to the head of the American delegation and the second time to his own colleague. At the end of the Conference, one of the French officials was overheard to exclaim to an Italian diplomat: "In ten years' time it will be very pleasant for us to compare notes about what Mr. MacDonald was telling each of us at practically the same hour."
In the light of these explanations I hardly think many people will disagree with the considered opinion of the French delegation in London: due account being taken of all factors and circumstances, the London Naval Conference yielded all the results which it could yield.
What is the balance sheet of the Conference? What is to be put down on the credit side, what on the debit?
The Three-Power Agreement is the main asset. It is coming in for a good deal of criticism which it seems not to deserve. For instance, it is alleged that the level of armaments has been fixed much too high, since America will have to build about 170,000 tons before 1936 in order to get parity with England, while England will have to lay down new ships for replacement purposes up to 90,000 tons. The critics ought to realize that, for England, the level indicated in the Three-Power Agreement is dangerously low. Such is the magnitude of British responsibilities -- in Egypt, in India, in China, where most of the big cruisers flying the white ensign are now stationed -- that it can be questioned whether the British Admiralty has been left with a sufficient number of units at its command. By the way, France does not cast jealous eyes on strong British and American navies. As a conservative power, she recognizes that they make for the maintenance of general peace. Her objections become vocal only when the two predominant naval powers endeavor to strengthen or increase their relative naval strengths at the expense of her own fleet.
Another of the lines of criticism bears on parity. Parity with England, it is said, has not been really secured by America. But parity is a very artificial notion. The same ship does not possess the same weight, the same military coefficient, if considered in the Italian harbor of Spezzia or in the British harbor of Malta. Its military coefficient is determined not only by its guns, its speed, etc., but by the naval bases which it can use and by the industrial and financial organization at its back. Parity ought not to be regarded as anything more than a rule of thumb or a slogan. It will always be possible to argue that no real parity has been achieved between two given Powers. And on this subject of parity it even seems that an American gain of no small value is being overlooked. Contrary to a view consistently held by the British Admiralty during the greater part of the Conference, it was agreed at London that no special limitation should be placed upon the tonnage of 6-inch gun cruisers. Thus, it will be possible for the American fleet to build all the big cruisers she may need in addition to the eighteen 8-inch 10,000-ton cruisers allotted to it in the Three-Power Treaty. In this the French delegation supported the American delegation.[iii]
But let us pass to the debit side of the Conference. It is very heavy indeed. There is real substance in the argument that the "safeguarding" or "escape" clause found in the Three-Power Treaty seriously threatens the limitation of armaments which the Treaty purports to achieve. Indeed, through the operation of that clause the amount of naval tonnage to be possessed by these three powers may eventually be determined from outside -- by France, by Italy, even by Jugoslavia. When the liquidation of the Conference began on April 10, Mr. MacDonald declared to M. Briand that he would put up with the existing French program and would not find in it a pretext for building beyond the figures indicated in the Three-Power Treaty. Left to herself, France will not enlarge her program, and she even can be relied upon to lag somewhat behind. But should Italy persist in trespassing upon the French margin of superiority (she began about three years ago), France will have to quicken the pace. Mr. MacDonald may after all have to do in Rome fairly soon what he refrained from doing in the middle of March. In Italy's naval construction lurks the danger to the Three-Power Treaty.
It will be said: "Why, after all, did France refuse to Italy what England willingly gave to America? The London Conference broke down over the Franco-Italian problem. Is not France responsible for its failure?" I maintain that not only is France not responsible for the shortcomings of the London parley, but that she has a grievance on account of it. For some months Franco-Italian relations were improving. On the Italian side, the usual press attacks against France had been discontinued. One of the major problems which in the past has estranged Paris from Rome, the problem of the Italian settlers in Tunis, was being dealt with, and the rough outline of a solution was in view. Now, whatever progress had been made, whatever measure of appeasement had been secured, has been lost. Franco-Italian relations are worse than ever. The American and British Governments, who never devoted serious attention to the subject, are responsible. For the second time in ten years the responsibility of a Franco-Italian quarrel can be traced to them. Can it be forgotten that, in 1920, the support incautiously lent by France to the ideas entertained about Fiume by President Wilson opened the moral breach between the two Latin countries?
The Franco-Italian rivalry now in progress on the high seas can be traced to a medley of faults, old and recent. The principal ones were in connection with the Washington Conference in 1921. Mr. Schanzer, the chief Italian delegate, had been instructed to get a share of naval power measured by only two-thirds of the French figures. Why, as far as battleships were concerned, was he able to bring back full parity with the French fleet? Here is the real beginning of the present trouble. But the fault committed nine years ago has meanwhile been aggravated. One of the American delegates is reported to have declared frankly that neither he, nor his colleagues, nor the British negotiators had rightly understood the seriousness of the Franco-Italian problem. That problem, he could now see, was of such a nature that it ought to have been taken in hand two or three years ago, simultaneously with the British-American problem, instead of being left in suspense and then clumsily tackled when there were only a few weeks to give to it. But the case is even worse than such a frank admission of responsibility would indicate. It is well known that during the whole of last autumn the British Admiralty and the British Foreign Office openly encouraged Italy to stand for parity with France, acting under the erroneous belief (which was only dissipated by Mr. Massigli's mission to London at the beginning of December) that France would comply with Italian requests.
For the present, no way can be discovered out of the impasse. On the one hand, Mr. Mussolini will not be prevailed upon to accept less than what his "contemptible" predecessors got ten years ago. On the other hand, France cannot resign herself to parity because she opens on three seas and has to protect overseas possessions which in extent are comparable only to the British Empire. For her, parity would mean flagrant inferiority in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean! Do not overlook the fact that there lies the centre of the French military system. The whole scheme for the mobilization of the French army in time of need has been established on the assumption that within a fortnight all the French troops quartered in North Africa, as well as their reserves, could swiftly land in the homeland. Should the least doubt arise as to the carrying out of that essential part of the French scheme of mobilization within the appointed time limits, it can be said without exaggeration that the whole French military machinery would be thrown out of gear. But, apart from this military consideration, it can be apprehended that the granting of full parity to Italy would simply result in making her push forward more energetically than ever with the accomplishment of her territorial ambitions. To her government and to her people, equal fleets, even if confined to paper, would not fail to mean, in the long run, equal territories. That is a disturbance of the status quo. To foresee these developments, it is enough to remember the ferocious press campaigns which have been conducted in Italy against France. During the Conference a question was put to Mr. Grandi on that subject. His reply was: "We don't mean any harm. Our people are very soft and easy-going. We want to make use of the anti-French feeling in order to stiffen their back. Now the desired result has been obtained and we have no more use for that tonic." Such a declaration cannot be found very reassuring.
There is no analogy between the Italian and the American claims for parity. England bowed to the superior financial forces of America when confronted by the American claim. The resources of America, she knew, were such as to enable her not only to reach parity but, if necessary, to go further. No such financial and economic assets can be attributed to Italy vis-à-vis France. In a régime of open competition Italy could not get parity. She can get it only through the means of an international contract. As long as Italy persists in her claim France is forced to keep out of a naval contract with her, because she must remain free to bring her naval armament up to a level which Italy cannot reach. Such seems to be the view of the French Government, which on April 9 indicated in the following terms what ought to be the strength of the French fleet: the Italian fleet plus 240,000 tons, that is 140,000 tons as the equivalent of the German fleets and 100,000 for service in colonial waters.
Alongside of Franco-Italian relations, the Geneva Covenant has been the chief victim of the London Conference. It comes out of the Conference badly damaged. The security issue was raised by M. Briand in the memorandum addressed to the British Government on December 20, and all through the London discussions he pressed towards one single goal -- to strengthen the system of international peace for which he is responsible. Whenever it seemed that he was not going to get anything on that account, he talked about leaving for Paris. "There is nothing for me to do here since technical questions do not fall within my competence." Why was M. Briand so keen on that subject? His attitude ought not to cause any surprise. At first he was apprehensive lest he should be driven as hard and fast by Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Stimson as he had been driven hard and fast nine years ago in Washington by Mr. Hughes and Mr. Balfour; therefore, it was convenient for him to stand forth as the champion of Geneva and call upon all the devotees of the League of Nations to support him and make his resistance more effective. Moreover, the French figures of naval tonnage, which were produced on February 11, could not but bring forth a good deal of criticism. It was very natural that the French Foreign Minister should develop the following dilemma: either, when France has to face a great danger, she will be able to rely upon the assistance of other Powers acting in conformity with the spirit if not the letter of the Geneva Covenant, and in that case (said M. Briand) I admit that the French claims can be cut down in the same proportion as the figures submitted by other Powers, which like France will benefit by the improved conditions of general security; or nobody can give me the assurance that France will not be left to face an aggressor alone, and in that case my country is entitled to fix the level of her own armaments and she cannot fairly be urged to concede more than secondary adaptations of her national fleet to the common standard.
In the initial weeks of the Conference, M. Briand meant to stick fast to the dilemma and he was at pains to dispel all idea that he might be content with the sort of dubious compromises which, too often in the past, have been resorted to on occasions of that sort. "I have no use," he was wont to repeat, "for a white negro. I don't want to get an equivocal solution, the only result of which would be simply to change the form of the problems with which we have to deal without changing their seriousness." However, little by little M. Briand's standpoint was changed. He perhaps realized that by raising such a debate on the conditions of French security he was laying bare the slight foundations upon which the old fabric of Geneva and Locarno had been built, and that he was thus supplying his political foes in France with a good deal of justification for their attacks. Whatever his motives may have been, when the decisive hour struck, at the end of March, he no longer insisted on a radical solution of the problem of security; once again he could be seen to indulge in a piece of window-dressing. Did he know at the bottom of his heart that nothing would come out of his effort, and that by compelling his colleagues of both the British and American delegations to reject his very modest demands he was making it more difficult than ever for them to continue their objections against the French naval program? The proposals finally put forward by him as the quid pro quo for an eventual diminution of the French figures of tonnage (subject to concomitant and proportional diminutions by the other Powers) were as follows:
He asked the British Government to interpret paragraph 2 of Article XVI of the League Covenant in the same way as the French Government. In addition, he asked that the British Government promise to stand by the report which, at the end of February and the beginning of March, had been drafted in Geneva by the committee entrusted with the task of harmonizing the Covenant with the Kellogg treaty.
These requests were futile indeed. As regards Article XVI, which provides for military and economic sanctions to be enforced against an aggressor, it must be kept in mind that it bristles with all sorts of difficulties, and that for a long while nobody has seriously maintained that its enforcement would prove practicable. To be aware of that fact, it is sufficient to turn to the report submitted in 1921 by a special committee headed by Signor Tittoni, former Foreign Minister of Italy. It was made clear by that committee that, under a strict interpretation of Article XVI, the aggressor would be entitled to register his vote when the Council was called upon to decide whether he had or had not infringed upon his commitments under the Covenant. In order to put Article XVI in working order, the whole text from top to bottom ought really to be re-formed and corrected. M. Briand did not do more than put his finger upon one of the obstacles which barred the way to the enforcement of the sanctions, and ask that it should be removed. He simply suggested that, whenever the Council should have recommended to the member states of the League to detail military and naval contingents to fight against an aggressor, the British Government would consider that recommendation of the Council as compulsory. Really, Mr. MacDonald could well have seen his way to grant that request without materially adding to his own country's commitments, for it would have been open to the British Government on all occasions to exclude the possibility of sanctions by simply instructing its representative to cast his vote against them at the beginning of the proceedings.
M. Briand's second request was for support for the Geneva committee's report of last March for conciliating the Geneva Covenant with the Kellogg Pact. That report is utterly inadequate. The question at issue was, in general terms: What amendments have to be introduced into the Covenant to fill the gaps which were left open there ten years ago, in order that the various Powers may take military measures whenever the Council has not been able to reach unanimity about the mode of peacefully settling an international conflict, or whenever the Powers which are at odds refuse to comply with the unanimous recommendations of the Council?
As regards the case of two Powers refusing to comply with the unanimous recommendation of the Council, the report proves more or less satisfactory. It declares that henceforward the interested Powers will have no choice left to them but to submit to the decision of the Council, and, in addition, the obligation is placed upon the Council to see to it that its own decision or the judgment of the Hague Court or the award of some body of arbitrators becomes an accomplished fact. But in dealing with the hypothesis of the Council's not being able to reach unanimity, the Geneva committee was very timid indeed. It did not dare to follow the proposals submitted by the French delegate to the effect that the whole quarrel necessarily should be referred to the Hague Court or to some outside body of arbitrators (for all the Powers had previously been asked to adhere to the act of general arbitration drafted two years ago by the so-called Committee of Security) and that the Council should be made responsible for the enforcement of the judicial decision. No. At the most the committee made it facultative for the Council to appeal to the Court; in other words, the Council remains free to avoid that radical solution and to plunge ahead with any sort of fruitless procedure which it may deem opportune to devise for the sake of not falling asunder.
Moreover, in order to gauge at its true value what M. Briand endeavored to get from the British Government, it must not be lost sight of that, even if the general report were to receive the approval of the London Foreign Office, its chances of being incorporated into the Covenant are very slender indeed, because no modification of the Covenant can prevail except by a unanimous vote in the Council and in the Assembly.
Nevertheless, Mr. MacDonald did not see his way to adhere to the French plan. He spent a whole fortnight in brooding over it and little by little public opinion was roused against him in Parliament and outside. Not that the British Conservatives wished to be unfriendly to France on this occasion, but they could not forget that they had been severely trounced at the general election one year before by Mr. MacDonald and his colleagues, who had thought it good tactics to denounce them as unduly submissive to French policy; and for reasons of home politics they were strongly tempted to repay the Labor Party in its own coin.
For a time, Mr. MacDonald inclined to adopt a formula for the "clarification" of the second paragraph of Article XVI, which has been described on the French side as meaningless and ridiculous. About the Geneva report, he finally let it be known he would promise some sort of general approval while reserving his attitude concerning details and would try to work in coöperation with France in Geneva. But finally, in spite of the advice tendered him by his Foreign Secretary, Mr. Henderson, by most of the higher officials of the Foreign Office, and by the British Ambassador in Paris, he made up his mind to refuse everything. The reason he gave was that so long as the American Government stuck to the doctrine of the freedom of the seas, so long as it refused to declare in advance that, eventually, it would not insist on its right to engage freely in trade on the high seas with an aggressor, no British Government could in advance declare itself ready to participate in the enforcement of the Geneva sanctions under Article XVI, since it cannot contemplate the remotest possibility of being involved in a conflict with the great commonwealth on the other side of the Atlantic. Such a theme had been emphasized in the press. Upon it, in the end, British policy settled down.
But from the outset Mr. MacDonald ought to have known that America was unwilling to budge from her traditional position concerning the freedom of the seas. Why did he try for a whole fortnight to come to an agreement with M. Briand? In that respect what happened in London cannot be easily understood unless due account has been taken of the tactics of the American delegation. On the one side, that delegation kept on telling the American people at large that the "consultative pact" which it was examining with a view to facilitating the Franco-British political pourparlers was not going to increase the burden of American commitments, as it did not do more than embody a promise of consultation with the other signatories, which was already implicit in the Kellogg Pact. On the other side, it declared to the British and French delegation that the aforesaid "consultative pact" if agreed to by the Washington Government was not to be lightly dismissed as unimportant but rather ought to be regarded as a noteworthy milestone in the path of American foreign policy, as the beginning of a change likely to materialize fully after five or six years on the vital subject of the freedom of the seas. All these explanations intermingled in great disorder. On March 11 Mr. Stimson had set his face against the "consultative pact." On March 25 he moved forward and allowed a ray of hope to lighten the London fog. All along, Mr. Dwight W. Morrow had spoken to the British and French with a greater degree of assurance and continuity, and in that way he can be singled out as the real initiator of what passed between the British Prime Minister and the French Foreign Minister. When, on April 10, the American delegation happened to know more about the electoral triumph achieved by Mrs. McCormick in Illinois, it hastily retraced whatever steps it had taken in the days before and the fate of the security pourparlers was sealed. Once the "consultative pact" had been given up for good, Mr. MacDonald quickly withdrew from the tentative agreement he had reached with M. Briand on April 5.
A very serious blow had been struck at the Covenant. It had been well known that no conceivable British Government would jump at the throat of an aggressor, on the League's request, unless it had ascertained beforehand that America was not determined to uphold her neutral rights upon the seas. But what was merely understood had now (following upon the declarations repeatedly made by Mr. MacDonald) become a fixed principle of British policy. In these new circumstances, how can the League even pretend to be equal to its task? Henceforward, until America changes her mind in relation to the freedom of the seas, the League is to be compared to a poker player who can never show his cards and risks losing at every turn. Already in 1928, when Hungary freely imported machine-guns into her territory notwithstanding all the stipulations of the peace treaties, the League was unable to face the issue and had to retreat shamefully. It will not easily survive many repetitions of that moral surrender. What happened in London, the other day, is of very bad omen for the future.
The future? Sooner or later, under the pressure of the German Government, the conference for an all-round limitation of armaments will have to meet in Geneva. Germany considers the restrictions placed by the Treaty of Versailles upon its army as conditional upon the fulfilment of the so-called pledge of a complementary military, naval and aërial reduction by the other Powers. All the problems referred to in the present article will then be revived in more serious form, including the central problem of international security. Will the United States Government find it expedient to revise its doctrine of the freedom of the seas in the light of new experience and in view of the world-wide interests it has acquired since the end of the war? Nobody can profess to foresee what line of conduct the United States will follow, still less to tender unasked-for advice. But a plea for complete candor, frankness and sincerity may perhaps be addressed to the American nation. Should the definition of a clear-cut, all-embracing foreign policy be found to be beyond the reach of the Washington Government, let us hope that no American delegation, under the lure of an immediate advantage, will be willing to play upon the readiness for illusion which distinguishes most European statesmen whenever they have to deal with men and affairs on the other side of the ocean. The League may be impaired, it is true, under the impact of cold American realism. But the League had better succumb when general peace still obtains and when at least some substitute could be devised to provide against dangers to come, than be found helpless in a great international emergency. Anyhow, the European problem must at last be formulated in stable terms.
[i] I speak, of course, of voluntary disarmament, which is quite distinct from compulsory disarmament; the latter has frequently occurred in the past, though it never lasted very long.
[ii] On the morning of March 17, before leaving for Paris, M. Tardieu called upon Mr. Stimson and was surprised to hear that the matter had never been mentioned to the latter by Mr. MacDonald.
[iii] All through the Conference, the tendency of the British delegation was to insist on a definition of all types of warships, as minute and detailed as possible. The danger of such a method, obviously, would be to make the fleets of the signatory powers develop on artificial lines and eventually to place them at the mercy of an outside power which had retained the freedom to experiment and create new types.