WILL BLUM FALL?
Splits More Apparent Than Real
From Our Paris Correspondent
For some time past the French Conservative papers have been prophesying a split in the Popular Front. Even among those who have regretfully identified themselves with the Popular Front policy, voices are heard denouncing one or other of the parties forming it. In Biarritz a week ago, for example, a radical Socialist Congress criticised with very convincing arguments the Communist Party which forms the active wing of the Popular Front.
Further, M. Maurice Thorez, General Secretary of the French Communist Party, has delivered a violent attack on M. Leon Blum. the head of the Popular Front Government.
The S.F.I.O. Socialists, for their part, have not hesitated to denounce certain Communist Party manoeuvres, and they have blamed in a tone that verged on the polemical, several actions of the radical Socialist Party.
It is rumoured that the Government during the next Cabinet meeting will deliberate on the measures to follow the Biarritz radical congress denunciation and M. Maurice Thorez' speech, of which they have the " official text."
Added to all this, the party press is secretly trying to increase the bad feeling by giving the utmost publicity to the words and actions of its opponents. All this bears out the political prophecies which announce the split in the Popular Front and the fall of M. Blum's Government.
No One Will Be Responsible But before agreeing with them we may ask ourselves if these quarrelsome brothers of the Popular Front who accuse each other of not keeping their promises should be taken seriously. For it is certain that in spite of the bad ternper of these three allies, and their desire to split the Popular Front, which they consider rather as a chain than as a brotherly union, neither the Socialists, nor the Radicals will take the responsibility for the split.
Communist Reactions Not only will the Communists not shoulder the responsibility, but they would hate to have a split in the Popular Front. The Popular Front is one of their tactical moves. Through it they have a part in directing the workers, and can bring even the elements who disagree violently with the Communist ideology, into touch with Marxist methods.
The Communists, therefore, are far from wanting the Popular Front to split, since it provides an effective screen, behind which they can organise their revolution according to Lenin's principles.
What the Socialists Want
The S.F.1.0. Socialists' case is different. The leaders and many militant members would like a rupture with the Communists, and if the latter took the initiative, they would welcome it.
But the Socialists rightly believe that if they took the first step, the Communists would take the opportunity of blackmailing their " brother " party, and by a well-directed propaganda, of stealing their supporters. For how could they explain to the militant Socialists, to whom they have praised the Popular Front so highly, their reasons for wanting a split? Further, in the elections, the Socialists were the chief beneficiaries of the Popular Front, and only obtained their seats through this coalition.
What of the Radicals?
They have gained nothing through this alliance. They have reluctantly borne the expense and they are afraid for electoral reasons of appearing jealous of the honours gained by their allies, and of denouncing the contract which binds them. But, above all, they hope to profit by the successors.
If M. Chauternps or M. Daladier are said to be M. Blum's successors, they will not bring about the death which will give them their heritage. They are like heirs in a dying man's room who count the minutes, and yet out of politeness pretend that they do not want him to die.
M. Blum's answer to M. Maurice Thorez has not changed the situation. M. Blum, while putting his Communist colleague in his place, has no wish to stage a climax to the present experiment. And M. Thorez knows that Moscow will sacrifice everything to save the Popular Front, so that he will not denounce the pact which binds the Cornmunist Party to its two allies.
The evolution of the economic situation, which means, at home, the continuation of these social conflicts, and abroad, the international tension, may bring about a rupture which many people want, although either from lack of courage or from ulterior motives, they themselves will not take the responsibility for