29 SEPTEMBER 1906, Page 1

We trust that public opinion in France will not be

misled into thinking that the attack which Archbishop Bourne, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, thought it right to make upon the French Government in his speech to the Roman Catholic Congress at Brighton on Monday repre- sents any large or influential section of public opinion here. We are certain that the vast majority of the British people have not the slightest desire to interfere in any way in French internal politics. Though they may regret that France should be troubled by religious strife, they have no sort of desire to take sides in the controversy, nor do

they believe that France in its quarrel with the Pope is deliberately pursuing a policy of persecution. Archbishop Bourne, however, was not ccattnnt with attacking France, bat also made an unjust and unfair attack upon Italy in regard to the abolition of the temporal power. He represented ex-President Lonbet's visit to the King of Italy as an affront to the Pope which should not be borne, and spoke, indeed, as if the Vatican had a right to dictate the for eigu policy of France and the actions of the head of the State. Though we do not doubt that the Roman Church in France is suffering greatly at the present moment, and though we sympathise with those sufferings, we must protest with all the strength at our command against the speech, which, whether intentionally or not, is certainly calculated to affect the good relations between the French and British nations.