10 JULY 1936, Page 2

M. Blum's Progress In France, M. Blum pursues his reforming

mission with courage and independence. His latest proposal is to abolish the secret funds at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of certain other Ministries, which have notoriously been used in the past for the purpose of influencing the Press. The system of pur- chasing the good opinion of the Press is as firmly estab- lished in France, and considered almost as normal, as the ordinary commercial advertisement in this country. Nevertheless, a bought Press has political influence (or it would not be worth buying) ; and so long as the practice continues to be followed both by M. Blum's opponents and by many foreign embassies in Paris, some of M. Blum's supporters are frankly afraid of the hostility which this measure will provoke. Mean- while, the principal danger which threatens M. Blum is that the strikes, having secured an unexpected measure of official sympathy and financial success, refuse to peter out altogether and continue to disturb the country by sporadic outbreaks ; and in the background there still looms the unsolved problem of devaluation. The electorate which is now applauding M. Blum will not easily swallow the pill of increased prices which will be the inevitable consequence of a devalued franc.