The prospect of a Big Power conference no longer excited the naive hope and fear which would have attended it a year ago. It was unlikely that next week's Paris meeting of the Big Four Foreign Ministers would greatly ease or greatly aggravate the chronic competition between Russia and the West.

The job was to draft peace treaties for Germany's defeated satellites. In London, the Deputy Foreign Ministers had vainly tried it, six days a week, for twelve weeks. They failed because Russia wanted 1) to consolidate her already pre-eminent position in the Balkans, and 2)...

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