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TH1E BEAJmoHM mDElPlEHiDEMir
A Review of the French Elections Paris, France, Dec, 1919. WH the French elections over the country H rgeS from uncertainty threatening chaos. At something is settled and Prance, so long un(jc contused and hesitant, has made a decision. yor fears, at least, a definitely stable and pro- ptU ikj has been adopted by tin- mandate of tu. pei Ic. Already the country counts on settled con ditions aking possible the vigorous execution of com ,,; plani and programs for the re-establishment 0j h industry and commerce. The eaergiei of tu. will be turned to practical development of (ht. , il resources, the healing of war wounds and the a cd return to normal life on a peace basis. The One Great Issue As election day approached, a single issue defined jtser i and more clearly and insistently: the is me oi 'rder x crsus BoUhcvism. The verdict of the ballot - acclaimed as a decisive one against "Bol ihevisi To my mind it may more accurately be termed - victory lnr French Nationalism. Remember fag the perpetual predominance in the French spirit of love r r France, strengthened by the historical tradi tions oi more than a thousand years, the triumph of the tick I standing for "France First" was a foregone COBChlsi It is testimony to Clemenceau's political ihrew is that he seized upon the tactical errors of the S ialists to rally into a solid hloc the various non-Socialist and half-Socialist parties and factions on I iffl " K -publican-National" platform. The So Ctalists b rdinated national to international questions in their platform (the demand for non-intervention in Russia the recognition of the Soviet Republic, and adherence to the attitude of the Berne Internationale). Clemen eau emphasized in the public mind the national solidarity that won the war, and in that solidarity he identified the Nation with the Republic, Demi ncean further cleared the air and revived a patriotism of war-time intensity by a swift series of dramatic strokes on the very eve of the election. These execution of Pierre Lenoir; the arraignment of Caillaux, a former premier, before the High Court ot tin Senate and his imprisonment without bail; forc ing the withdrawal of his candidacy; the dismissal from his cabinet of M. Lebrun for allowing his name Oil the Same list with that of M. Marin who t the Versailles Treaty; the arrest of Paul Meunier for treason in the midst of his electoral cam- I the court-martialing and sentencing to death in his si si : e of a Socialist candidate, Captain Jacques Sadoul. who. deserting the French Mission in Russia tl ago, joined forces with Lenine. These epi sodes lent cumulative point and force to Clemenceau's Strasbourg speech, which was an effective appeal to French nationalism and a sharp and compelling draw ing of the antithesis of that nationalism to Bolshevism. Bit? Business in the Saddle The election is a victory for Clemenceau personally. riat is more, it is a victory for the moderate and puddlcground elements more or less sincerely sustain ing th present Republic, with all its faults, against both thi extremes of Right and Left. It is a victory fr 1 '1 unity, as against the divisive and dis torting duences of the radical revolutionaries, on the One ha I, and Royalists and Clericals on the other. at S istl call it "a triumph for the reactionaries." W M ' that Clemenceau differentiated between his attitude ward the Revolutionary Socialists and that toward Royalists. For the former, he had only smashi: bludgeon blows ; with the latter he fenced Wl ! aling them deft rapier thrusts. Alway.s with Secularists, he is accused of coquetting with Kricals. He at least let it be understood that h ;ed a softening of old asperities to the ex tent t oi timing diplomatic relations with the Vatican. lhe w Chamber of Deputies may mean a govern ment : or "bourgeoisie" stand-patters; it certainly will nt be government of reactionaries. The big busi ness estl may be in the saddle; but they are P'ed conserve not only republican institutions agan narchitm and clericalism, continuing the separati j 0f the Church and State and the freedom of cation from ecclesiastical control, but also 0 Prj ' those institutions against the dangers of im K'1' md militarism, as well as Bolshevism. The am, j pre-eminent concern will be the long neglect -Stepub tnal and comrcial rehabilitation of the . m opinion seems to be gaining ground that the j?Js 1 a renewal of German aggression and of will ! ! 1 ,1U nacr' MaviK served their ends politically, work ' I;U'Kate(1 to the rear, and that the gospel of t Y1'1'1 Induction, which Clemenceau and the lieu tenants. tlUnii-iwI U... L. - t I -it . I Ml djjM. ku uy mm atuierana, ivjoca ana iar of an pretcntt1fi will happily absorb the attention me government anH Um immim.m ... ,tlK. V I'll I I I I . Th, Clemenceau's Future Clemen ,S 3 rcport (circulated by his enemies) that Sov.t d U !ntends to declare war against the Russian i'ranrn Olshcy By PA UL TYNER tural resources, the indemnity for her war costs which cannot be extracted from exhausted Germany. Such a war might win the support of Russian bondholders, 01 Royalist reactionaries favoring a restoration of czansm. and of unprincipled "interests," avid for min ing, railway, oil and timber concessions. It would, however, arouse the intense opposition ot the more democratic elements of tin French electorate, and it might imperil the Franco-British alliance, in view of JJoyd George's recent volte-t'ace under presMire of English Liberal and Labor sentiment Still, there is the possibility that the strong anti-German feeling in Prance might be rallied to a COOnterstroke to the Ger man militarist maneuver, that the "Galician Army" of 0,000 men, splendidly equipped at the expense of the Baltic Barons and recruited and armed with the con nivance of the Berlin authorities, has been placed under Denikm's command. Such a step might well precipitate a race between France and Germany for Russian loot Some color is given to the report of Clemenceau's bellicose intentions by the suggestion sent out by M. Georges Handel that Clemenceau has changed his mind about retiring from political life, and will continue to direct the nation's destinies in his present office. As Clemenceau's confidential secretary and close friend and adviser, Mandel has long been credited with exercising a mysteriously powerful influence over the premier. Mandel has just been elected a deputy from the Gironde and resigned his personal post as Clem enceau's "chef de cabinet." But that only means he will, as Clemenceau's man in the Chamber, remain a power behind the throne. Composition of the Sew Chamber While it is true that the Socialist representation in the new Chamber has been cut down from 105 to 5r, this fact does not mean a falling off in the Socialist popular vote. On the contrary, the returns show an increase from 1,100,000 votes polled in Hay, 1914, to 1,700,000 polled last Sunday. The fact that the party has lost 49 seats, although increasing its vote by 000.000. is pointed out as one of the many anomalies oi the new election law. Plainly, the pretense of incorporating proportional representation in the law is only a sham. With real proportional representation, the Socialists would have elected 160 instead of 56 members. An other .striking anomaly is the election of Leon Daudet. the Royalist leader, although his Action Francois e list (ticket) was hopelessly beaten, and he only received 10,000 votes against vKO)0 for his opponent. Gustav Tery. the brilliant editor of L'Oeuvre. The new Chamber has members, including those from the 24 new seats in Alsace-Lorraine. For the first time in half a century, more than one-half of these (339) will be new members. Many of the old mem bers standing tor re-election (outside the Socialists) were defeated because they were held accountable for delays in rehabilitating the devastated districts, for coal and transport shortages, and for the high cost of living. Oddly enough. MM. Loucheur. Industrial Re construction Minister, and Boret, former Food Min ister, who have been the targets of continued denuncia tion on this account, were re-elected. Five members of the government, however, were "made the goats" and went down to defeat. A "House of Lords" Four of the retiring senators were elected to the "lower house"; MM. Herriot, Rezmonencq, de la Riboisiere and Gavin. In a sarcastic article in Bon Soir, Dangeau suggests that the new Chamber may be come a "House of Lords"! He says: "I do not know if the new Chamber will represent with exactness the opinion of the country, but it is certain that the faah !nable clubs of Pans will be well represented O will meet here the greatest names of France and the grandest titles. This assemblage promises, indeed, to be one of the most elegant ire have seen in a long tune.' He then goei on to report an imaginary o I versation with an old gentleman who cultivate the arts of genealogy and heraldry. Woman Suffrage Test Vote Although the last Chamber passed a bill conferring the suffrage on women, it wa tabled in tin Senate and the feminist struggle tor the electoral franchise will be continued m the new Parliament Two Paris newspapers, the ExCiUiot and L'Ocuvre, arranged opportunities for the women oi tin capital to expr s their political choice by placing be Ot boxes, at the Kiosk news stands in the central sections and sending "traveling polls" in the shape oi ballot boxes mounted on automobiles, through the residence sections on elec tion day. This sham vote formed an interesting fea ture of the day, the workers in the suffrage organiza tions entering into the Spirit of the thine heartily, and thousands of women easting their ballots with as much seriousness of choice as if they counted! At the next legislative elections, four years hence, it seems very probable that they will really vote. As a man must be 45 years old before he is eligible for a seat in the Senate, and as the really live and active men under 70 prefer service in the popular branch of the national legislature, the French Senate is apt to be a bunch of old fogies, "has beens." or wealthy social parasites, seeking the position for its social eclat. The Senate is chosen, OOt by popular vote, but by an electoral col lege made up of members named by and from the municipal and the departmental councils in about even proportions. This method, of course, involves even more political and social juggling than was common m L'nited States Senatorial elections under the old system. Election Without Sewspapers Paris is certainly France, journalistically speaking. There are papers in the provinces, but they don't count. All France is dependent for news on the Paris papers. Owing to a printers' strike, declared just a week be fore election day, and continued the week following, all France was without its papers throughout the elec toral period. Refusing the men's demands for an in crease of rive francs (about 60 cents at present rate of exchange) a day to meet cost of living, all the b5 daily papers of Paris had to suspend publication. The directors of 56 of these journals, however, got together at once and with non-union help got out a single joint sheet of four pages. The strikers and the directors of the nine remaining papers, (which were Socialist and radical, and so friendly to them), then similarly joined forces in a common daily, which they called LqFeuUU Commune. One page was given up to news in tabloid form, the remaining pages to editorials, also tabloid. In the first combination were the "big" dailies like the Journal, Matin and V7 Journal, with their two-million-a-day circulations and corresponding re sources in the way of white paper and equipment The European editions of the New York Herald and the Daily Mail of London were each allotted a half column to give the news of the world in English. Under the title of La Prcssr dr Paris, this sheet attained a daily circulation of about 3,500.000 on election day and dur ing the days immediately before and after the great event. Incidentally, the editorial staffs of the two English language papers here conducted quite an inter esting competition in the matter of their respective half columns ! My impression is that the American "desk men" gave their English confreres some interesting pointers in the great art of condensation ! Would Have Handled the Germans Differently republic and to mass the mihtarv forces of : ''iec in ..." ' . . . ",Mh"- puwcriui mow mat win crusn mc ,lvt able Fr ,m,,acc to civilization and incidentally en obtain tK 5 dominatc the Denikin Government and ' '"rough the exploitation of Russia's rich na- W KITING in the Hibbert Journal, the editor. L. P. Jacks, who is principal of Manchester College, Oxford, admits that the terms of the Peace Treaty have caused general disappointment. In this he ex presses the better part of British public opinion. He says : "To pursue punishment to the extreme limits which victory renders possible, to cripple the fallen foe so that he cannot rise, to deprive him of his self-respect, to penalize his unborn generations all this is not only offensive to our dignity as a warrior nation, but has come to be regarded, by enlightened statesmen, as op posed to the plainest dictates of common sense, as bad business of the most deplorable kind .... "Hence its (the British Kmpire's) principle has been to enlist the beaten foe, with whatever culture or power he might possess, under its own banners, and not to reduce him to a state of impotence and ruin. This is the principle which many of us hoped would have a BBOSfosS share in the making of the Peace. It is not that we were affected with tenderness for the Germans, nor that we were indifferent to their repent ance. But as Britons we knew that spoliation was bad business and that any XCSJM of punitive justice would not only fail of its object, but create immense obstacles to the repentance of Germany .... "When, for example, the Sikhs had been conquered, what we said to them was, in effect, something like this : 'You people have proved yourselves good in using a gun. Throw in your lot with us and we will provide you with a better gun than yon have ever ttted before. ' That worked extremely well. In like manner we said t the Boers, 'You people have shown great qualities. We desire their conservation, and promise you th.it within the Empire you shall have the widest scope for their exercise.' That also has worked well, for the result of it has been General Smuts. Imagine, then, the difference that would have been made if a similar style, a similar attitude, had been adopted by the peace makers of Parts to the conquered Garmans, "Yon people,' they might have said, IsgVI excellent brains and have proved yourstWtS capable thinkers, Our terms as conquerors are that these thinking powers ,.t yours, which you have hitherto abused, shall be agsatd on intact to the service of the society of nations we are now trying to form. We need your intellectual resources for the vast works we have in hand. Your faculty of organisation, your mental thoroughness, your habits of discipline, and all else on which you base your claim to be a cultured nation, are now to enter a new serviee. where thev will be cured of their at tendant vices and provided with a higher held of exercise, and become a much-needed contribution in helping the world to bring order out of the chaos which in the evil past you did so much to create."