MISENTENTE CORDIALE

Allied conferences since the war have usually been declared successful if they accomplished nothing more than to preserve the Entente. This important diplomatic relation between France and England, which Italy and then Russia subsequently joined, was brought about in 1904 and marked the close of the period of "colonial rivalry". Only careful nursing has kept it alive during the last few years; and it now seems on the point of death from an acute attack of the Ruhr.

There has been much during the last three years to strain relations between these two governments. When the Turks, fired by a new nationalism, began to sweep into Europe, the British were very surprised to see the French Government withdrawing its troops from the joint guard, leaving English troops alone at Chanak. But this slight misunderstanding was dispelled when France and England together forced the Turk to accept the terms of the armistice at Mudania. They were acting again in harmony at Lauzanne, with peace apparently in sight, when the conference suddenly came to a dead stop and the delegates departed with no treaty signed. At that time the Spectator wrote: "The Conference broke down because of French demands" and the English Nation traced the apparent failure at Lauzanne "to French duplicity".

A more serious divergence of views appeared at the Paris Conference on Reparations last fall. The French and British plans were incompatable, no compromise could be arranged and the conference failed. At that time one review claimed "that France is rapidly losing the friendship of Great Britain", English press has had little but condemnation for French action in the Ruhr, while English garrisons at bridgeheads over the Rhine have opposed the advance of French forces. The Liberal Party of England, with its strength constantly growing, definitely advocates more active opposition to the French policy. The breach has been steadily widening: historians of the future may point to the Ruhr as the ultimate cause of a "diplomatic revolution".