REYNAUD has begun with a blazing speech, but there • is no sign in it of the vision and plan which would justify his succeeding M. Daladier in what looks like a war-time edition of the customary political intrigue.
Much more hopeful is the coincidence of his taking office and the expulsion of the Soviet Ambassador. If this proves to be the first step in a new orientation of foreign policy, M. Reynaud may yet beat the politicians and win the people.
France, in time of war, is always strong, and the measures taken against the enemy within the walls and without them have been more than adequate. They are dictated, however, by a blind sense of selfdefence. What France in war-time especially needs is the leadership which can guide the great spiritual qualities of the country and the rare intelligence of her people to constructive ends.
Still the leader of European civilisation and the stoutest defender of the essential equality of all men, raised by Christianity to an understanding of the meaning of human life, France could once again focus the spiritual and moral forces of Europe.
That is even more her task in this war than the mere physical preservation of her threatened power. Unless she can rediscover the richness of the European Catholic culture and outlook which is her heritage, and with it cement a new living union with the Latin countries, as she has united on a practical and commercial basis with Britain, she cannot pull through.
M. Reynaud has been called a wizard. He will prove one if he can accomplish such a political tour de force.
If not, France must call, before it is too late, on new men fitted by their tradition to break their country's continental isolation and attack the evils of Hitlerism, Bolshevism, Socialism, and anti clericalism, instead of standing behind Maginot lines in the spiritual as well as the military field.