M. MOLOTOV CONDESCENDS Foreign affairs this week have been devoted
to a minor frenzy of dipjomatic activity leading up to the talks 'at the summit,' which the Russians have now rather grudgingly agreed to hold at Geneva on July 18. M. Molotov has set off for San Francisco, passing through Paris, and, in a gesture of unequalled amiability, condescending to take lunch with M.
Faure, the French Prime Minister. Dr. Adenauer has arrived in Washington and is understood to be discussing the line to be taken on the German problem at Geneva as well as his own possible visit to Moscow. He and President Eisenhower are reported to have agreed that German reunification should be one of the Western objectives at Geneva and also to have given it as their opinion that the idea of neutrality in no way applied to Germany. The Russians have also made their stipulations: an announcement by the Tass Agency states that there can be no question of discussing Eastern Europe or world com- munism at Geneva.
Dr. Adenauer has left behind him an orderly political scene in Western Germany, but there are elements of disruption which must give him some cause for anxiety. The rejection by the Bundesrat (the Upper House of the Federal Parliament) of a Bill allowing volunteers for a German army to be recruited before constitutional obstacles to the creation of such an army had been overcome was significant in that the chairman of the committee considering the Bill was Dr. Strater, Christian- Democrat Minister for Federal Affairs in the land government of North Rhine-Westphalia, and it is regarded as significant that Dr. Adenauer has not taken Herr van Brentano, his Foreign Minister,to Washington with him. There have also been riots at Goslar, where a rally of the extreme Right-Wing Stalhelm organisation led to trouble, and Herr Schliiter, Lower Saxon Minister ,of Education, has resigned as a consequence of the accusations of Nazi-ism brought against him. Which goes to show that it is, now as ever, dangerous to offend the University of Gottingen.
French policy in view of the Geneva talks has been outlined by M. Pinay. He has said that the objectives of Western policy are `to ensure Western cohesion and simultaneously to seek an international détente' and also that 'it is impossible to imagine a neutral or neutralised Germany.' However, given the banal quality of his remarks, it is not surprising that French attention has been focused on something more dramatic—the assassina- tion by counter-terrorists in Morocco of M. Jacques Lemaigre- Dubreuil, the French financier and owner of the newspaper Maroc-Presse, which has recently been advocating a policy of reconciliation between French and Moroccans. M. Lemaigre- Dubreuil had been closely associated with American diplo- matic and intelligence` activity during the war (be was General Giraud's chef de cabinet), and it is possible that he may have been associated in the minds of extremists among French settlers in Morocco with American policies in the protectorate.
Whatever the reason for his murder, the affair has created enough of a shock to cause the French government to send M. Wybot, director of security police, to Morocco. Whether he will be able to spur the local police into finding the culprits is questionable. The last police inspector to inquire too closely into counter-terrorist activity was killed in a mysterious car accident, and the example is not encouraging. M. Mendes- France has also left suddenly for North Africa, and General Rime-Bruneau has inexplicably been allowed to return to Tunisia, from which he was deported after making inflamma- tory attacks on the agreement with the Tunisian nationalists.
Other trouble spots this week include Buenos Aires. where Argentine Catholics have been demonstrating against the Per& government's intention of introducing legislation to make- Argentine a lay State. President Peron has called the. clergy `wolVes in sheep's clothing,' many of them have been arrested and there has been much rioting in the streets. The Dow commission on land reform in Kenya has produced its report that advocates abolition of all restrictions on the use of land with a view to higher production. Trade union leaders have been arrested in Singapore where a state of effervescence continues.
The proprietor and editor of an Australian local paper have been jailed for breach of Parliamentary privilege. They are said to have blackmailed an MP, but Dr. Evatt has accused the government of suppressing a report from the Clerk of the House of Representatives in which it was said that no breach of privilege had been committed. The Hong Kong police have offered £6,250 for information leading to the arrest of the saboteurs of the Indian-aircraft carrying Chinese delegates to the Bandbeng conference, and a British consul in the USA has had his immunity tampered with by a federal judge.
On the credit side. President Eisenhower has offered to assist all free nations who want to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes and Britain is to build six more atomic reactors (this at a moment whep it has just been revealed by an American physicist how cheap and comparatively easy it is to manu- facture hydrogen bombs). The adverse balance of trade for the United Kingdom was smaller last month, and the magnificent library of the India Office is to remain in this country.
Odd news items include the terrible disaster at Le Mans, where, in the course of the 24-hour race, seventy-seven people were killed and many more injured when a Mercedes driven by Pierre Levegh crashed into the crowd and exploded. The organisers of the race have been widely criticised for continu- ing with it (it was eventually won by Mike Hawthorne in a Jaguar) and the whole incident has drawn attention to the need for greater safety precautions to protect the spectators at such races. In the first Test match England beat South Africa by an innings and five runs, Tyson bringing his Test wickets up to fifty in the ten months he has been playing in the English team.
On the ecclesiastical front, it now appears that the election of the Maronite patriarch of Antioch reported last week was carried out by direct papal decree rather than, as is usual, by a synod. This is what Pio Nono in one of his more expansive moments called 'Lin colpo di steno di Dominiddio.' The Com- missioner of Metropolitan Police has stated in his annual report that 'traffic congestion in London is a constant source of com- plaint and criticism,' a sentence which will draw hollow laughter from motorists, and Mr. Mikardo (with a curious lack of self-knowledge) has said that the British aircraft industry is `a prototype circus run by showmen.' A note of civilisation is struck by the fact that it is the two-hundredth anniversary of Brillat-Savarin, and of humour by the German supreme court's pronouncement that the sun is uninhabitable. These lawyers!