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THE WELSH OUTLODK DECEMBER, 1917 The Editor does not necessarily identify himself with the opinions of contributors to The Welsh Outlook." Editorial responsibility is limited to the views expressed in the "Notes of the Month." NOTES OF THE MONTH The Much the most important event Premier's of the month, so far as the political Paris and strategical direction of the Speech War is concerned, has been the Conference at Rapallo and the subsequent creation of an Inter-Allied Council, with its complement of an Inter-Allied General Staff. As expounded in Mr. Lloyd George's Paris speech, this new body was to be given a measure of real authority which would enable it to secure unity of control, co-ordinate the strategy of the Allies, and give effect to the doctrine of the single front. But the Prime Minister's later speech in the House of Commons showed that the Council can do none of these things. It is to be a purely consultative and advisory body, which, as far as we can see, will be powerless to do anything more than continue the process of patching and sewing together of diverse and variegated plans, a process that, as Mr. Lloyd George stated, can never give us a unified and con- certed direction. Our readers will remember that we insisted for some time back on the urgency of this, and our regret is all the keener that the Prime Minister should have preached such an indifferent sermon upon so excellent a text. Had the policy of the Paris speech been put into operation, we should have been given a competent executive body, capable of performing the functions which the Prime Minister clearly believes to be so vital to our success in the War. As it is, we have nothing more than a fresh piece of machinery which only adds to the possibilities of confusion and delay. The Allied Take, for example, the relations Council between our military representa- tive on the Inter-Allied Head- quarters Staff and our Chief of Staff at the War Office in Whitehall. The present arrangement places both of them in an anomalous position. Its whole procedure is vague and undetermined. We have not been clearly told which of the two is to initiate proposals for the strategy of the War, and where the responsibility lies for the effective execution of these proposals. Are they to be initiated by Sir William Robertson, and are they then to be revised, and possibly changed, by Sir Henry Wilson and his colleagues ? Or are the proposals to originate with the military representative of the Allied Council, and is Sir William Robertson to be given the task of carrying out plans which are not his own and with which he may not be in agreement? In any event Sir William Robertson must be held responsible to the British War Cabinet so long as he holds his present position as Chief of Staff. We see in the present arrangement dangerous possibilities of friction and delay. The Italian case ought to have been a sufficiently forcible reminder of the vital importance of swift decision followed by prompt and effective action. The fact is that an Inter-Allied Council or an Inter-Allied Headquarters Staff which is merely consultative is worse than useless, for it adds to the complications of an already over-com- plicated system. Had Mr. Lloyd George met his critics by sticking to his Paris policy and presenting them with a genuine Council having both responsi- bility and control, he would have had the country behind him. Instead of that, he has tried (and for the moment managed) to excuse himself by a plea that reminds us of Topsy's in "Uncle Tom's Cabin." He has produced a council, but it is only a little one-and, we may add, one from which very little is to be expected.