20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 2

President Benes The election of Dr. Edouard Benes as Dr.

Masaryk's successor in the Presidency of Czechoslovakia was as inevitable as any appointment dependent on the casting of votes can be. His fortunes and Dr. Masaryk's have, been interwoven since'the day when the outbreak of war in 1914 brought to the associated Czech and Slovak peoples the hope of achieving independent statehood, and the two men can claim almost equal shares in the great task of " the making of a State." As Masaryk was in Benes' mind his predestined leader, Benes was in Masaryk's mind his predestined successor. He alone has that intimate knowledge Of the retiring President's motives and methods that will enable the direction of Czecho- slovakia's fortunes to be carried on unchecked and unvaried. That there should be talk of opposition to Dr. Belies may seem surprising to observers familiar with the Foreign Minister for sixteen years as the outstanding representative of his country on the international stage. But no Minister in a country like Czechoslovakia can keep out of the currents of party politics, and Dr. Benes, as a Socialist, has plenty of enemies on the Right. Without President Masaryk's backing he might well have been defeated. As it is, his necessary withdrawal from inter- national conclaves, and particularly from Geneva (he. is at this moment President of the League Assembly), will be a European loss.

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