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"We Dined Off Gold Plate With The King And Queen"
AMONG MONG the foreign broadcasts of
the last two weeks there surely stands out the one on the French Ministers visit to these shores. Not only because the eyes of Europe were once more fixed expectantly on England, but because of the charm and originality of the broadcast, characteristic of the delicate French comprehension and discernment of both morel and practical values.
" An impressive meeting," said Jean Botrot of the Downing Street Conference, but not held, as those who do not know London, might perhaps imagine, in some fabulous hall, modern palace, likely to house the ministers of a great Empire. No, it was held in the old-world atmosphere of peace and silence of Downing Street, so greatly in contrast with the noise and rush of today.
Smiling M. Daladier
In this setting of peace they talked, as smiling M. Daladier afterwards told the reporters " of the peace of Europe "—nous avow fait de la diplontatie."
Then followed the broadcast of the journey to Windsor. As one listened one almost fancied one was travelling in this self-same car with the two Ministers through those interminable outskirts of London "ces centaines de petites cites" that have to be traversed before reaching The open country.
So vividly, almost dramatically, was it all told: the sudden marvellous sight of the medieval towers of Windsor, the arrival at the castle, the hurried change into —not ceremonial kneebreeches and silk stockings —but simple evening dress. And then the moment when the doors were flung open wide and the visitors found themselves in the presence or their Majesties, whose arrival in Paris next month the French are awaiting eagerly, and whose cordial reception and graciousness charmed the French visitors.
The description of the dinner served on the famous Windsor gold plate, the subdued playing of the Guards Band, the Queen with her wonted charm showing her guests herself the art treasures of the castle; in the morning the flight by air back to Paris -all this across the wires sounded like a fairy tale, a charming idyll, a return to centuries ago to the historic meeting on the Field of the Cloth of Gold—amid the clash of war in the world of today.
Illumining the Significance
Leon Limon, in his subsequent broadcast on the -political significance of this visit, was, as usual, illuminating.
We had, the previous night, surmised that the question of Czechoslovakia would be discussed at the Downing Street meeting. For Central Europe, although outside the Anglo-Italian Pact, was participating, he said, in diplomatic activity.
He quoted the German Press as jubilant at the idea of France not necessarily assisting Czechoslovakia, "Two more such articles as that in Paris-Midi says Berlin and the French nation will be divided on this question also.
" No Coup at Prague" " Nevertheless," he continued, " Berlin has taken the hint from London-Paris, and for the present, at any rate, there will he no coup at Prague.
Thc official German Press, quoting 7'he Tittles, has said a great forward step had been 'taken by Paris, London and Rome towards Berlin.
It had "stupefied Germany," and the Italo-Hungarian rapprochement in financial matters—all this was clearing up conditions.
Returning to the subject of Central Europe after the Downing Street meeting, as though to temper the prevailing Optimism, he sounded a warning note.
According to Germany, he said, it marks no turning point; Great Britain had not gone beyond Chamberlain's former declaration regarding Czechoslovakia.
Nevertheless, whilst appearing desirous of minimising the importance of the meeting, if one looks more closely, one sees that Germany has taken " bonne note" the
English are a commercial people. Les affaires son' les affaires--one must play the game!
What England Thinks
'The general view in England, he went on, appears to be that if France is tied England will find it difficult not to intervene.
The amazing thing was that all the Chancelleries of Europe had all along known the exact situation, just as they had in 1914.
The situation is precisely the same again now, he concluded. In 1914 pressure was exerted on Serbia and Austria—as it is today on Czechoslovakia and Germany—to settle their differences.
" One must hope," were his closing words, "that the pressure will prove successful this time. For The issues are, as they were in 1914, peace—or war!"
How completely moral and spiritual landmarks are removed in the world of today, and of how paramount importance is the teaching and training of the rising generation in moral fitness, as emphasised in every broadcast from Salamanca, we realise when we read Jacques Maritain's amazing statement on the Barcelona Government.
Not the desperadoes who have encouraged sacrilege and murder, who are the bosom friends of Soviet Russia, are the danger, but the Christians who, like Maritain look " this way and that" for compromise between good and evil, because there is no right or wrong, no black and white in the world of today, the world for which it is "not proper to take position" in the Spanish Civil War. while young Seminaries allow themselves to be butchered to the cry of " Evviva el Cristo! Evviva el Cristo!"
70 per Cent. for Franco
From Perpignan comes news to Salamanca that 70 per cent of the refugees in France opted for Nationalist Spain but were required at a meeting to declare their intention by show of hands, when only 25 per cent. had the courage to decide for Franco.
" If the last of Franco's soldiers were killed," said a Buenos Aires broadcast, " the war would continue because it is a moral one. That the Barcelona Government is not a Spanish but a Marxist Government is proved by the Red soldiers' cry Viva Russia."
On April 28, a Mexican Communist broadcast declared "Azaita reign is