25 NOVEMBER 1938, Page 2

Crisis in France The opposition to M. Reynaud's financial decrees

almost prevented the visit of Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax to Paris this week. When the Finance Committee of the Chamber met on Tuesday, hostility to the decrees was so strong that M. Daladier only secured the rejection, by two votes, of the Socialist amendment, by threatening to postpone the British Ministers' visit, summon the Chamber and Senate, and resign. Such desperate measures sufficed to carry M. Daladier over the immediate crisis ; but they cannot give Mr. Chamberlain any confidence in the stability of his Government. M. Daladier is indeed being attacked from both the Right and the Left, from the Right because his indecision has so conspicuously disproved that he is the " strong man " the Right demands, from the Left because he and M. Reynaud have laid by far the greater burden of paying for France's recovery on the shoulders of the wage- earner. Working-class opposition to the decrees has already led to a widest read strike in the arms industry and a general strike is threa tened. The position is the more alarming because, if M. Daladier falls, there is no parliamentary figure left, except perhaps M. Herriot, capable of taking power. It may be that by now France's protracted crisis has exhausted the resources of the parliamentary regime.

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