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THE IDE-AKBOHiN 3IMDEIPEHIDlEiTTr
11 ts- I Mil m t-4 8 f- J P V ! mjmmmm Wi ssa MtwaSswMBsws This is the first official photograph A close view shows the people . 194. 1, tlN once Lortanl t;wns ot N(,rti.. were may be mere resources, hUt the devastation Kt stares you in the tace SCeiii inure piti- 5 Arras, in the d parUnci.t uf the PJ- t,.(alai, is the spec Z of what it once was. Of its churches, that of St John the Baptist is the only one that remains, I he BBgnificeni mansions f the rich manufac turers surrounding the G ra " d t Plot t l,au. greatl) suffered Reminiscent of the Spanish invasion, there was nothing in Spam to compare with them ; they re sembled a fairy-city in the moonshine; like- an exquisite shrine oi flowers, they were an East ern city under a Northern sky. Today, oiled canvas takes the place of the glass panes. Bui thee last weeks, owing largely to the gigantk re vival of the British glass industry, the window are begin ning to resume their former aspect As to the square itself, the Amgeots are very eager that this relic of the past which saw the tournaments uf the dukes of Btttfund) and was the first grain market in France, should be quickhf restored. The Petit 0 rlmce was once famous for its 15th century town hall. Alas! Gables, volutes, the cele brated old house with small corbelled towers leaning against it. all have suffered unspeakably. The proud belfry has become a shapeless mass. The destruction is on an imposing scale. While you mourn over the destroyed loveliness of the town hall and belfry, the ruins of the abbey, museum, library and cathedral al most overawe you, and you ask yourself how work men will ever set right the havoc which giants have wrought. Our towns in the North have seen so many wars that the aKlomeration of people who finally settled in them have special and varied characteristics. Hope and cheerfulness seem the special prerogatives of the Amgtois. Instead of mourning, they rejoice that no more damage was done and are glad that, after four years' siege, so much is left. They are so enthusiastic in their joy, that they remind you of an ardent lover returning to his bride who has escaped some great peril. Ih is regardless of her appearance, happy only that she is still alive thus, those people of Arras. Though our South, whose climate is softer and w;hose people are more demonstrative, received our sinistrcs well, the day after the armistice, nine thousand one third of the former population came back; all children of Arras, back to the town which wears the Legion of Honor on its lion's stone breast sick people and war widows among them all determined that Arras should be again as it once was. It is this faith which has already done wonders, and will soon change the aspect of Arras In that universal wreck, some found their houses intact, others again have accepted their complete ruin with that fatalism which is the heirloom of an old and sceptic race. As the people flock to their homes, the great cry is for tools and cows; and many are the Complaints because the men sent from Paris are not Flemish. The work of these adjudicators is most dif ficult; for 'here is always human nature to contend with. Their ne naturally regrets for the time before the war. when life ran smoothly ; and if impetuous com plaints are heard at times that the war indemnities, more than one year after the enemy evacuated the territory, have not yet been paid, they are fewer than jhe murmurs that the ground has not yet been made fit for work. The dearth of coal and difficulty of trans port moreover impede quick progress. Only ten per ct of the wagons which brought back to Arras part g the German toot have been unloaded. In the mean time the valiant Arraycois do not rest ; they have set U) wrk. A town committee has been formed and the help of wealthy and generous citizens is power tuly assisting progress. All around Arras small tem porary wooden houses have cropped up. recalling the ginning of a town in the West. And, feeling once jjgasfl ith Flemish breezes waft around them, the people, ,rm believers in the almost miraculous power of work, futurel ned t0 gain theif Ra1, l0k hopeful,y int the Progressing at Lille RUjj t is around Lille, the Manchester of our North, that reconstruction has made the greatest progress. Ru i)W,Y'ons,st of two distinct parts united by the Fr,L , 1aris which was utterlv destroyed in 1914. sie e m,dst of cold and noble palaces wrapped iif "CC; i'ow steI) into the industrial, wealthv bee-hive twof M town tnc Lflloia' occupations are also cuitu ticnt a,ul laborious, they excel in all agri to an In,rsi"ts especially in raising the sugar beet ance n "lrecedented excellency. Since their deliver exeem have a,rcac,y done wonders with the soil, which iW A 't lt nas bccn Pisoned. and the industry and RoHh u ancl thc adjoining towns of Tourcoing ,lax the Kreat workrooms of France, soon will in of from Lille, France, which city was in the hands of the Germans. It shows the crowd cheering the British, healthy and happy, and reports indicate a determination to make the new France hetter than the old. be as important as ever. The Ministry of Industrial Reconstruction, created after the armistice, goes hand in hand with the Town-Planning Board, and is doing all in its power to "reconstitute" the French industries in the liberated territory. The Law of Damages was promulgated on April 28, 1919, and the cantonal com missions are only now beginning to function. Vet, on July 1, 1919, there were already 417 manufactories in full swing; on August 1, their number was 564; on September 1, 763; on October 1, 893; on November 1, 1,090; on December 1, 1,114, and on January 1, 1920, 1,160. To understand what this wonderful feat implies, you must realize the utter, reckless, yet mostymethod ical devastation of the machinery by the enemy. Smashed into bits, unusable forever, it has become a heap of waste iron. From one workshop, spools which cannot be replaced were taken to Germany. Fortu nately, in most cases the names of the pillagers are known, and the loot is coming back, though slowly ; for the dearth of transport in Germany, as everywhere, is increasing the difficulties. Lille, the martyr-city of our North, has suffered unspeakably. There was delirious joy when the Liverpool-Irish entered; and when our poilus arrived, our women welcomed them with rapture. Paris, the heart of France, rejoiced at the tidings and illuminated and beflagged itself for the first time. True to old tradi tions, life at the beginning came back to the Liltois in work and pleasure. ,Thcn followed a depression which lasted three or four months, but all has righted itself, thanks to the character of the people. Private effort is active and the undaunted energy of the race great. This incident will tell : The works of one of the richest mill-owners were ashes and ruins. Apparently, this did not affect him ; every day, with a dignity which impressed even the enemy, he passed through the streets, speaking words of comfort to those he met, teaching them by his example, inspiring them with courage by his very presence. Coldly, stoically, he went to the spot where once he had employed thousands of ouvricrs. Having arrived there, he drew out paper and pencil and set himself to make new plans. And, nine months after the evacuation, his factory, though with less men than before, was working again. The manufactories in Lille employed in 1914, 130,441 work men ; last October there were 52,948 ouvricrs, who did not comprise the 17,024 men employed in clearing up the grounds. Hut the war brought not only material changes to Lille, as well as to the whole of Northern France; it changed the moral outlook : The mysticism of the Flemish, their reverie, fostered by the grey sky, has grown more intense; religion has taken a stronger hold of them than ever. Their practical turn of mind has also benefited by adversity. Education has im proved. The families who took refuge in Paris saw higher grade schools opening themselves to their daughters. Returning home, this taste had to be de veloped, and the histitut Catholique for the first time is admitting women to its lectures. The desire for higher mental culture pervades all classes in France at the present time. Thus a youth in our North enters a bookseller's shop and. instead of the trashy novel of former days, asks for a chemical or elec trical treatise, for which he does not hesitate to pay twenty francs. Roubaix and Tourcoing, the two great industrial centers, are essentially part of old France. There thc people refused to work for the enemy, and the women were as determined as the men. So everything was broken up. and when the armistice came, it found nothing but bare walls. Yet, in April, 1919, the first yard of texture left Roubaix. Of the machinery be longing to the town and left behind by the Germans in their hasty flight, some was found at Maubeuge. though the spools had been taken to Leipsic. The great industry of Roubaix and Tourcoing is wool-combing, and what will help these towns most, what already is helping them to regain their former importance, is that, while the proc esses that wool un dergoes are scattered in Ger ma n y, the whole is done in Rou baix itself, ( loth is turned out as in the Middle Ages, when the Flemish drapicrs were famous all through Kurope. Calm, yet fiery, the Roiibaisien of today is the son of his sire, and like him, he has the inventive genius which the Teuton lacks. A lack of hands is felt in our North, as throughout the whole of Kurope ; sixty thousand landed properties are com pletely destroyed and ninety thousand await repair. Twenty-eight and a half million francs has been paid out al ready, and money IS plentiful. But its purchasing power is small. Manual labor i to the fore ; work men have never earned so much, nor felt more strongly their importance. In Bailleul, lack of transport, lack of coal and an army of rats are the great enemies of the mo ment. Yet, if help at times seems to come but slowly, the courage and good temper of the inhabitants are strong. With the elasticity of their race, those dear Flemish soon re bound. They are tenacious also. Among many in cidents, I was told of a grocer who had spent four years in the south of France where he had thrived, and now had come home after the armistice. He could not become reconciled to the universal ruin. Nothing of what he had known and loved was left. So he resolved to go back to the sunny South where, in his new home, life was so much brighter. There was oaly one train to take him back, late in the evening. So he wandered all day alone amid the ruins, the wreckage of the past. The stones in the tield, the beloved soil of Flanders, the grey sky must have held some magic for him, for when night came, he was glad to avail himself of a temporary shelter. He remained, began life again in Bailleul, and is doing well. Many Difficulties for the Farmer THE war has deeply wounded the national agricul ture, and the peasant class, especially in the invaded territory, is passing through hard times. Yet, so deeply ingrained is the love for the sacred soil of France that the Northern farmer, as a rule, struggles valiantly against discouragement. Agricultural workers form half the population of France. Like all those who toil on the land, the peasant is essentially a pacifist, for only in times of peace can he duly plow, sow and reap his harvest. Do not misunderstand me, when I use the word "pacifist." As one man. husbands, fathers and sons answered the call to arms, earning the ad miration and respect of the world. As soon as the armistice came, the farmer took up the old task. He finds it much more difficult today ; one reasoif being the high wages he has to pay, four or five times as much as before the war. while receiving in return only an eight-hour day. But for that passionate love of the soil, he might be tempted to devote himself to some in dustrial pursuit, but he struggles on, for he knows that the land contains the greatest riches of France and that its interests must be served so long as one of its sons is alive. He must care for it as a child cares for his mother. And this strong affection upholds the courage of the people, especially in the North where so much courage is needed. Nothing made by the hand of man is really capa ble of entire destruction. Aided by courage and en durance, it will spring up again even our dead 1 They have not died entirely, since they gave their lives for an ideal which it is our task to realize. On the plains of Northern France, in the East, in foreign lands, there are thousands of graves which contain a message for us regarding things visible, as well as those which touch man's soul. Those who sleep their last sleep; believers or sceptics, clinging to the past or looking forward to the future; workers with the brain or work ers with the hand, all are united in the common sac rifice. They have the right to speak to us, and it is our duty to listen. They tell us to believe in the future, since they died for this future. They will not see thc destroyed cities rise again few of us will but as they were our brothers in the ardent tight, in their death they bid us to remain united. As we clung to one another in the darkest hours of the war, so we must now unite in the work of peace. The help we can give each other as individuals, as nations, will be one of the few bless ings the war has brought in its trail. We who were Allies must remain so. but we must make a real peace out of the cessation of strife. The world must work together in healing emulation and fraternal solidarity, believing in mankind. Then no achievements, no won ders will he impossible; and it is our common effort, our fraternal love and sympathy that will have ac complished them.