HOPE AT LOCARNO

Thursday, while the American public fixed its gaze upon the smoky outlines of Pittsburgh, the rest of the world watched with a growing interest the tiny town of Locarno where two old enemies, Germany and France, were trying with the help of their neighbors to covenant a lasting peace. And a treaty was born at Locarno, a treaty which may mean the salvation of Western Europe. For Germany and France have at last created a land barrier between them which is to remain forever neutral soil, and in the contingency that either of them crosses this zone for the purpose of making war, Italy and England have agreed to come to the aid of the other. The document further pledges both nations to submit to arbitration all issues which at any time arise between them. Most important of all, however, is the simple statement which prefaces the more detailed treaty proper, namely: that France and Germany pledge a permanent peace.

Once again, then, hope flickers before the tired eyes of the nations. Yet there have been other promises in other treaties, and men in the fury of their vengeance or their lust have forgotten the promises and destroyed the treaties. Now a new document lies on the table of the conference at Locarno. Dare one hope that this may serve as the safeguard of a lasting peace?

Surely there are certain aspects of the case which might lead to this hope. For this treaty has been formulated in an atmosphere of peace--not of war, for the passions of the struggle have had six years to cool. These diplomats see peace as an economic necessity, and they are willing to sacrifice something for it. Evidently, the world is at last worried about its eternal warring, so worried as to attempt the novel in preventing war. Therefore, the person who cherishes any delight in the results of the gathering beside the waters of Lake Maggiore is not insanely sanguine. For a few moments, at least, one really dares to hope.