Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 1919. PEACE PREPARATIONS.
There seems to be a generally shared opinion in the Motherland and other countries that the Peace Conference deliberations are being unduly prolonged; ' t^ose living in this part of the world exhibit more patience, or more indifference? The delegates have Deen sitting less than three months, which is. not an excessive period to allow to those whose [immense task is "to make the world safe for democracy," and also to diminish the ' possibilities of future war. Everybody is naturally anxious for the peace treaty to be signed, but whilst the work being performed by the' delegates is on the right lines, criticism of the speed in which their decisions are reached, should not be harsh. It is too early yet for outsiders to judge fche Conference's progress; most of the unofficial reports cabled are obvious guesses when not sensation-mongering. The official communiques have been very terse, but on the whole> as satisfactory as could have been expected, considering the immense variations of outlook between those who respectively represent the old and new styles of diplomacy. We should not have to wait very long before getting something concrete from the Conference, and the developments suggest that the main details will coincide with British views. The most unsatisfactory decision, so far, is that connected with the escape of the ex-Kaiser, for unless he suffers the penalty his crimes richly deserve, he must be accounted to have escaped justice. While waiting to learn the final decisions of the Peace Conference, 'Ashburton residents might well ask themselves how they propose to celebrate when peace is officially declared. It is surely time something more definite was arranged. What of the County war memorial? What shape is that to take, and how is the money to be obtained? The longer decisions in these matters are put off, the greater will be the difficulty of obtaining something worthy of the event commemorated. Many think that the (best suggestion so far made is the erection of a public hall; one is certainly needed. We hope the meeting to be held next week will endeavour to give the public a lead. Those in favour of a public hall, the regulations governing which could be devised to confer benefits on country residents as well as on town-dwellers, should have the courage of their convictions, and definitely propose such a war-memorial. Tliis action would compel friendly opponents of the idea to produce their own proposals, and, atleastj some progress would be made.