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international relations The Locarno era and the dream of disarmament The Locarno treaties promised a new era of reconciliation that seemed fulfilled in the mid-to-late 1920s as the European and world economies recovered and the German electorate turned its back on extremists of the right and left Locarno had also anticipated Germanys entry into the League But the prospect of expanding the League Council kicked off an indelicate scramble for Council seats as Britain supported Spain France supported Poland and Brazil insisted that it represent Latin America angering the Argentines Sweden and Czechoslovakia helped to break the deadlock by magnanimously sacrificing their seats although Brazil in the end quit the League Finally on Sept 8 1927 Stresemann led a German delegation into the halls of Geneva pledging that Germanys steadfast will was to labour for freedom peace and unity Briand by now the statesman most associated with the spirit of Geneva replied in like terms No more blood no more cannon no more machine-guns Let our countries sacrifice their amour-propre for the sake of the peace of the world The same month Stresemann tried to capitalize on the goodwill during an interview with Briand at Thoiry He suggested a 1500000000-mark advance on German reparations payments to ease the French fiscal crisis then nearing its climax in return for immediate evacuation of the last two Rhineland zones The French chamber would likely have rejected such a concession and in any case Poincar again in power stabilized the franc soon after The very goodwill expressed at Geneva--and removal of the Interallied Military Control Commission from Germany in January 1927--prompted London and Washington to ask why the French despite their pleas of penury when war debts were discussed still maintained the largest army in Europe France clung firm to its belief in military deterrence of Germany even when isolated in the League of Nations Disarmament Preparatory Commission but the German demand for equality
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