12 APRIL 1935, Page 36

Current Literature


By Andre Tardieu

M. Andre Tardieu has three times been Prime Minister of France, and may hold the post again, though for the moment, owing partly to ill-health, he is out of the political picture. Consequently his France in Danger (Danis Archer, 15s.) demands some attention, though it is indifferently translated and crowded with misprints. The volume was written in 1933, so that a good many passages, such as those dealing with Germany's secret rearmament, are now out of date, and M. Tardieu, having sat in 1934 in M. Gaston Doumergue's coalition government, might in the light of experience withdraw some of the hard things he has to say about coalitions. His attitude on foreign affairs is so familiar (" if Germany lost the war she won the peace ") that more interest attaches to his analysis of France's internal problemS. On that his outlook is more liberal, for he advocates votes Jro women and constitutional reform along the lines projected, since his book was written, by M. Doumergue's administra- tion. The instability of French governments—M. Tardieu mentions that their average duration since the War is less than nine months--is an international danger, and the with- drawal from individual. deputies of the right to propose legislation involving expenditure and the endowment of the Prime Minister-of the right to press a dissolution on the President would be two steps in the right direction. Whether the same can be said of the referendum, which M. Tardieu also advocates, is more doubtful. It might help to solve difficult questions, but it would diminish the authority of the administration, which is the reverse of what M. Tardieu on general grounds desires. But his discussion of France's internal problems is serviceable and instructive.