12 OCTOBER 1934, Page 6


WHAT impressed me about M. Barthou when I met him at lunch a few weeks ago was his zest for life. He so obviously enjoyed every moment of it. His conversation bubbled and sparkled like champagne. Soon all general conversation ceased, -and we sat and listened, straining to catch the full flavour of his wit. In his quick gestures, his vivid powers of imagery, his gay raillery, he was curiously reminiscent of Mr. Lloyd George. And he had Mr. Lloyd George's sharp tongue, as Sir John Simon knew to his cost. M. Barthou was the uncompromising patriot of -the Clemenceau school. He told us that he regarded as the • work of his life the • part he had played in the passing into law of the three years conscrip- tion law. "Without that," he said, "the Marne would have been impossible. More than any one single factor that conscription-law saved France." Perhaps ; though it is just as arguable that Gemiany precipitated her attack in the desire to get it in before the conscription-law took full effect—as her Ambassador, Count Metternich, said she would have done if we had decided to adopt national service in this country.