VOL. 172 No. 5140




Its Rapid Growth and Prospects


IN NATIONALIST SPAIN A Study by the Burgos Correspondent of “The Tablet” THE DISARMAMENT YEARS

Facts and Figures o f Britain’s Strength AUBREY DE VERE

By Michael Trappes-Lomax Full List o f Contents on page 632.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK British Ministers for Paris

When Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax go to Paris on the 23rd, the visit will be at once a demonstration of the unimpaired and, indeed, closer unity of the two countries at the present time and an occasion for strengthening the hold of what may be called the Chamberlain policy in France. The French suffer, at the moment, from a great lack of authoritative figures, and there are more people concerned to defeat, in the fields of finance and foreign policy, any particular project, than there are leading men able to impose an inter-connected policy as a whole. In particular, French policy towards Spain remains in a suspended and indeterminate condition. Even the papers which most strongly champion Mr. Chamberlain, like Le Temps, are slow to commit themselves on the Spanish issue. Few Frenchmen ponder the implications of the speech which Mr. Butler, who is Mr. Chamberlain’s Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, made in the House of Commons last week when he definitely stated that in the British Government’s opinion, on the information in its possession, the figures put out by the Spanish Government about ninety thousand Italians in Spain are “ very much exaggerated,” and that in the Government’s view approximately half the Italian infantry have been withdrawn. In short, the Government have always accepted the figure of between twenty and thirty thousand and consider the ninety thousand for what it is, a fantastic propaganda exaggeration. In spite of some counter-diversion by their opponents the Nationalists have made important advances on the Ebro front and seem within sight of the complete recovery of the ground they lost in July. The great diversion of the battle of the Ebro will then have been concluded. General Franco will have demonstrated, as it is important for commanders in civil wars to demonstrate, that all the land which comes under their control remains theirs. This is a very important point for the maintenance of morale. The way will then be open for a resumption of the advance on Sagunto and Valencia. Mr. Chamberlain’s Perspective

Both in Parliament and at the Guildhall, Mr. Chamberlain endeavoured to keep the public mind fixed on Europe with a due sense of proportion. He is fighting all the time against the pull of the newspaper interests, because the Press lives by excitement. Speeches are news in proportion to their violence, and headlines are designed to catch the eye. Those whose stock-intrade is excitement are not the collaborators which a Minister, bent on preventing a rise in the political temperature, would naturally choose. It remains that they are the chief medium through which the public gains its ideas, and the Europe seen in the Press is a more alarming place than Europe actually is. The Americans, whose views are almost wholly derived from newspaper accounts, are much more melodramatic than we are.

It is a good thing that there was a direct exchange last week between Herr Hitler and Mr. Churchill. Nothing is better calculated to act as a curb on platform rhetoric than the reminder that these purple passages are not concerned with abstractions, but with individuals. Speculations on M. Daladier

M. Pierre Cot, who was M. Blum’s Minister for Air, and who made such injudicious speeches about the amount of help the French Popular Front was giving to Spain, and the excellent nearness of Prague for bombing Berlin, is a typical instance of the kind of politician with whom France must finish, and it is not surprising he is disquieted at the present political trend. In the party organ, l'Œuvre, he has been giving his impressions of the Radical Congress at Marseilles. He finds his chief comfort in the conviction that M. Daladier is a Popular Front man at heart : “ C ’est un vieux Jacobin qui reviendra vers nous.”