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At last a compromise has been reached whereby the task of fixing the amount of the German indemnity may go to its final stages. The lengthy compilation of the damage done by the Imperial armies is nearing completion and for some months now England and France have been at odds as to whether or not the German financial experts are to be consulted before the exact amount is decided on. England is inclined to be lenient--for obvious reasons. She is quite ready to resume her former trade with the Central Powers and naturally does not want them to be so hopelessly ruined as to prevent their purchase of British goods. She therefore welcomes a German voice in the matter.

France, on the other hand, desires the economic prostration of her late foe. She fears the military and economic potentiality of a prosperous Germany and is bound not to see it recover more quickly than she herself is able to do. She has a huge bill for wanton destruction, for insult and outrage, that she wants to have settled to the last centime. It matters not whether Germany can pay. If not, so much the worse for Germany. Consequently France has heretofore refused to give up one iota of her demands.

Under the compressible the German agents will be given a hearing at the preliminary conference to be held soon at Brussels and at a later meeting the Allied financial ministers will draw up a report on the situation as they see it. On this report the Allied Reparations Commission will base their final decision though they are not bound in any way to adopt it completely.

As France will be well represented on the Commission she has really got what she has been working for and need not fear to lose the fruits of victory. England has had her way as regards the admission of the Germans to the discussion. Altogether a better compromise could hardly be imagined and there is now little fear of a split between the two principals on the Allied side.

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