20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 1


SIR SAMUEL HOARE'S resignation has relieved the situation substantially. As these lines are being written only the fact of it, not the full circumstances, are known, but if it is true that a group of Ministers were so deeply convinced of the impossibility of defending the peace plan (in spite of their original endorsement of it) that it was a question of their resignation or his they have placed the country under an immense debt. For Sir Samuel Hoare personally there will be general sympathy. . He was a sick man when he went to Paris, and negotiated with a politician whom .a Minister at the height of his mental and physical vigour would find a formidable proposition. He blundered obviously and undisguisedly, and a political career of devotion and in some respects of distinction will be interrupted—certainly not terminated. M. Laval's position will be seriously compromised and his survival seems unlikely. His majority of 52 on a vote of confidence on Tuesday marked a moral defeat, for many more than 52 of his habitual supporters refrained from voting. M. Herriot's resigna- tion from the chairmanship of the Radical Party, owing to the discontent of his followers with his acquiescence in the Laval policy, is a further significant symptom. Everything points to a political crisis in France. And France is in no state today to face crises with equanimity.