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Amid echoes of recent Russo-Japanese border fighting and with the general European situation anything but halcyon, the note of friendship struck at the London Naval Conference loses nothing by contrast. Indeed, the Davis-Eden exchange of assurances is perhaps the only clearly perceivable result of many months of arduous but ineffectual labor.
The treaty signed between Great Britain, France and the United States bristles with so many escape clauses that it has relatively little meaning. Without the adherence of Italy, a nation which merely listened, or Japan, a nation which "took a walk" from the Conference the pact, however drawn, could give few assurances of naval stability. When the treaty is examined, its weakness is obvious. quantitative limitations there are none, the restrictions merely apply to the size of battleships, and not in any way to the number.
Hence the general agreement about Great Britain-United States parity is a welcome addition, not only in itself, but because of its implications. It is factual evidence that there are at least two nations not prepared to leap at each other's throats at the slightest provocation. Further, it means that the Japanese capture of Britain's Chinese and Indian markets have registered strongly on the English mind, and that henceforth the United States and Great Britain will inspect Eastern affairs on an eye-to-eye basis.
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