Eden's Successes And Litvinov's By-Play
From Our Geneva Correspondent Last week, from January 20 to 24, the Council of the League of Nations once more foregathered at Geneva in regular session—the ninetieth since it started work sixteen years ago.
The most spectacular matter before the council was M. Litvinov's indictment of Uruguay for having broken off diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R. on the plea that the Komintern had used the Soviet mission at Montevideo for fomenting an allegedly communist rising in Brazil.
1 he very fact that M. Litvinov had dragged this matter into the limelight was strong presumption that the Uruguayan accusation was false or, at all events, unprovable. So in fact it proved: the Uruguayan representative, though challenged again and again to produce evidence, refused to do so and sheltered himself behind a mysterious " diplomatic dossier " which concerned other countries as well and the contents of which he could not divulge.
His reply was most feeble and left the general impression that M. Litvinov was right in saying that he could safely leave the question to the judgment of international public opinion.
The Danzig Imbroglio Of course, M. Litvinov's motive was transparent: the Komintern having for once been unjustly accused of fomenting trouble abroad, the opportunity was too good a one to let slip by for advertising its innocence and thus creating a general predisposition to consider other accusations of the Komintern that might arise on some future occasion as similarly unfounded.
In itself the incident is of no importance, but it seemed to overshadow two great questions which were dealt with by the council, and in both of which one felt that Mr. Eden had taken the reins of international affairs into his own hands, determined not to stand any nonsense.
The Danzig imbroglio has already been fully explained in the Catholic Herald's leading article last week. I have but to record that in the event the nazi champions from the Free City have had to eat humble pie, and actually promised" though with a heavy heart," as the president of the Danzig Senate said—to rescind two of their offending decree laws.
Mr. Eden was rapporteur and obviously had behind the scenes made use of Poland's good offices to tell the Fiihrer that if he valued British friendliness he had better tell his minions in Danzig to go slow for the nonce.
Italy's Reasonableness The other point gained by Mr. Eden was Italy's change of behaviour. Baron Aloisi was studiously " correct," made friendly observations on King George's death, and generally gave the impression of readiness for further western European teamwork.
The Mediterranean pact for protecting Great Britain in case of Italian aggression received further and rather surprising adherence on the part of Rumania and Czechoslovakia : a distinct hint to Signor Mussolini to weigh his future moves carefully, and a great diplomatic success for Mr. Eden, which, however, seems to have passed almost unnoticed.
On the other hand II Duce was rewarded for his reasonableness by the question of sanctions not being discussed at all : everything remains where it was for the time being.
But there is an undertone of expectation that if only Italy will play the game in conformity with Geneva rules a solution will soon he found which will satisfy her colonially and at the same time preserve her as necessary counterweight to the German tnenace on the political chequerboard of Eurone.