Almost as soon as the incredulous world began to realize that the Locarno conference may have brought the pugnacious European powers into some kind of agreement, dark prophets arose seeing a more sinister implication in the conference. True enough, says one of the Boston Transcript's foreign correspondents, that Germany and France are at least apparently in closer accord; but the significance of this surface miracle would blind no one to the fact that this closer cementing of European powers has been accomplished to the accompaniment of a feeling among the assembled diplomats that "We'll show America now." Pan-Europe, as this writer calls the new tendency, may be only his personal pipe-dream; if there was enough anti-American sentiment at Locarno, however, to afford his pipe-dream a foundation, he shows the United States the grave extent of the attitude into which Europe has been falling more and more since the war.
The failure of the United States to join the League of Nations plus the club of financial obligations which it can hold over every major foreign power probably have more to do with this situation than even its smug prosperity, untouched by the ravages of the war.
Preferring to be alone, the United States has been shown at Locarno that Europe accepts our isolation and can accomplish at least constructive intentions without us. There were not even American observers at the conference, although its inception may have been due somewhat to Ambassador Houghton's influence. Compared with its state in the last five years, Europe is now united, if only to an infinitesimal extent. Conscious of this fact, the European nations see themselves collectively regaining the headship of world affairs which has slipped from their grasp; and they feel stronger for coping with the great standoffish creditor across the Atlantic. Since diplomats are notoriously human, they feel pleased and relieved to have gained so much, and can face their promises to pay with something more of a swagger. "When France and Germany have agreed to agree," said Dr. Stresemann, "your American interest rates will fall, you wait and see."