GUESTS **44C H
UR Paris Correspondent writes that political affairs are marking time in France owing to the great expectations raised by the coming festivities in connection with the inauguration of the restored Rheims Cathedral and the visit of the British Sovereigns, delayed through the death of the Countess of Strathmore, the Queen's mother.
The inauguration of Rheims Cathedral promises to be one of those religious national celebrations which confound the critics of France, by inheritance the eldest daughter of the Church. The appointment of Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Rheims, as Papal Legate and the expected presence of the President of the Republic, both of whom will be surrounded by the highest dignitaries of Church and State, as well as distinguished visitors from abroad, mark the importance of the restoration to full religious life and national use of the great Cathedral which was once described by those who destroyed it as " a temple of idolatry ".
Though times have changed, it is impossible to avoid noting that this spirit has not been killed on the other side of the Rhine, whereas on great occasions like this France becomes fully Catholic again. May she derive from the coming solemn events the grace to strengthen this faith which in history has made the country ! In view of the association between Rheims, Joan of Arc and England, the presence of Cardinal Hinsley will be specially noted.
The Royal Visit, outward symbol of the link between France and Britain, is eagerly awaited by all classes and people. Our Paris Correspondent has been busy taking these striking pictures of the work of turning Paris into a city of flags, standards and triumphal ornaments. He reports, however, that there is some misgiving about the good taste of the decorations, a matter on which the Frenchman has always prided himself. Whether this criticism is justified or not, there is no doubt that the heart of France is behind them.