IMPORTANT INTERVIEW WITH FREE FRENCH OFFICERS Free France will not return to the politician-ridden France of pre-war days.
Free France's constructive interests centre on the social, economic and colonial problems.
Free France is not committed to the views of the paper, France.
Free France is not responsible for most of the B.B.C. broadcasts to France.
These were among the views expressed to a representative of the Catholic Herald in conversation with Free French officers at London headquarters.
The interview, printed below, was arranged so that our readers might have a clearer insight into the meaning and aims of the Free French movement from its own spokesmen. Important in itself, it is of particular interest now that General de Gaulle has set up a Free French National Committee and an Advisory Council which mark a development from the purely military phase of the movement and a preparation for the political responsibilities that it foresees as necessarily falling to it.
That Free France rejects a return to the politician-ridden country of its prewar days was one of the conclusions drawn from an informal conversation with Free French officers in their London headquarter.
They also refuse to he identified in all its views with the paper France, edited by adherents and sympathisers of the Free French cause in England.
Nor, apparently is Free France responsible for much that is said in B.B.C. broadcasts.
NONE OE THE OLD SCHOOL Not one of the old school of French politicians are to be found in the Free French ranks, it was pointed out; the men stuuped around General de Gaulle belonged to the young men of this generation, who have not yet had their say in politics. Fort the most part they could even be described as anti-politicians.
There were, however, three constructive elements about these men, which was best described by saying that they were a social
economic-and-colonial elite. This last element was the most pronounced, and it was this colonial element that gave its whole tone and outlook to the Free French policy.
The young spirits grouped around de Gaulle are men trained in social and economic science, or military men of the colonial type, with the Empire as then domain, their flag the tricolour, and their watchword Honneur et Pattie."
MILITARY AND NATIONAL
General de Gaulle himself, our represen(alive learnt, is in some quarters (not always friendly to thc General, and therefore to be suspected of trying to compromise the Free French cause) credited with monarchical leanings. The General is rather loath to give any public announeements as to his policy.
It was pointed out to our tepresentative, that the Free French movement is military in origin and national in essence. It was futther pointed out that the General has always declared himself ready to render his leadership into other hands, if, by So doing the French cause could thereby be better set ved.
Commenting on the Vichy Government policy our representative was told by one of these Free Fiench officers: Marshal ['Clain and his supporters arc disclaiming any intention of setting up a totalitarian State on the Nazi or Fascist model, but recent rneasurcs taken by the Vichy Government do bring France nearer to that state.
On our representative drawing attention to the CATHOLC HERALD'S leader of September 12, 1941, entitled " France and the Church in which appears the following paraglaph: " It is also surprising that Maishal Main, in his important speech of August 24, which covered the whine organisation of the new France, should have failed apparently to mention the place of Christianity," he replied that the Main regime seemed less interested in a real Catholic and Christienrenaissance than in obtaining the support of the Church and hierarchy.
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