But Divided About Communists
From Our Own Correspondent PARIS.
On one point public opinion in France, whether Catholic or not, is united these days is the necessity of a National Union to enable France to face up to any external eventuality. M. Blum failed to form that National Union the necessity of which he did not underestimate.
The Right, with the exception of the Parti Dernocrate Populaire, refused to collaborate with the Communists.
The Great Difference
This question of collaboration set the whole of the Catholic Press by the ears.
One section disapproved of this action of the Right. P. H. Simon, writing in Temps Present, said: " In a Government which is above the strife of parties, for actions which all recognise as concerning public safety, I think that the Communists could have been represented."
On the other hand, a more important section believed, with M. Flandin, that only a measure of conciliation between the totalitarian and the democratic States could prevent a war, and that the participation of the Communists would prevent all hope of success in this direction. The difference depended on whether one were willing to trust the Communists or not.
French Reaction to Austria
In marked contrast to this difference of opinion in internal affairs is the unanimity with which the whole nation has piotesied against the annexation of Austria, though for different reasons.
While some of the English Catholic Press seemed to see a gleam of hope in the promises given by the Fahrer to Cardinal lnnitzer, French Catholic,opinion is much less optimistic and believes that the cause is lost: that there will be a metal Anschluss corresponding to the economic one.
Bombing in Spain
The situation in Spain is again in the news, and the recent bombardment of Barcelona has called forth from the Communists their repeated demand for intervention. Both Catholics and Communists are at least at one in thinking that some way should be sought to bring civilian bombing to an end. While the Communists apparently propose to do this by sending help into Spain, many Catholics support the French Government's effort to intervene between the two parties to get them to agree to some undertaking with regard to the bombing of civilians, and asking the Vatican to lend its support. International events may have eclipsed every other preoccupation, but the Christian life of France is still inspired by her past greatness. Next Thursday the centenary of the conversion of Louis Veuillot will be celebrated at the Basilica of Montmartre in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Baudrillart, Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris. Following on his conversion Veuillot was received in audience by Pope Gregory XVI to whom he swore that he would always be " a champion of Catholic journalism " and added "-What we want is the truth." This was said by a Catholic, who was a journalist. Would that everyone would make it their motto today.