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Diplomacy has been defined as the "science of double-dealing." A letter written to the "New York Times" by a European correspondent complains that America is totally lacking is competent diplomatists. Although this might seem to imply a compliment to our honesty, it is hardly meant as such. But if the correspondent has commented further he might also have applied his statement to almost every European power.
Diplomacy has failed to prevent the French from occupying the Ruhr. It is now the only remaining hope of forcing the Germans to pay. After the advance of French troops, the seizing of German mines, and the "well-advised retreat" of a German army of 25,000 men, the Berlin government may feel more disposed to consider certain "diplomatic proposals" which it is announced that the Italian premier, will make.
If these conditions are accepted, the French will continue to hold "productive guarantees", and a much longer moratorium will be granted. During this Germany may find time to collect the two months' coa! supply which she has succeeded in removing from the Ruhr in her retreat.
Success of the proposals would be best for all concerned; but a change of heart is hardly indicated by the Latin words which are to be inscribed on a Berlin monument to the war dead. "Invictis victi victurus". "To the unconquered, by the conquered of today, who will be the conquerors of tomorrow." The words recall certain prophecies made by Clemenceau.
Should Germany accept the new conditions, she will hardly show a changed attitude. She will merely acknowledge that the French diplomacy-that of direct action and straight-forward dealing-was after all the best method of preparing the way for a final settlement.
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