3 MAY 1940, Page 2

British Studies in French Schools

The French Minister of National Education and the Presi- dent of the Board of Education on this side are working loyally together on parallel lines to carry out the accord reached when Lord De La Warr visited Paris. It is not easy to impose friendship between two peoples by decree, or to legislate for mutual appreciation of their respective cultures. But the educationists have the advantage of starting with the goodwill increased by the war, which, reinforced by knowledge, should counteract misunderstandings that may too easily arise. Knowledge is what is wanted, not the half-truths of propa- ganda. The French circular issued to Rectors of Universities and inspectors of schools suggests that there should be at least one Chair of the English language or culture in each University. and instruction in schools on matters concerning the British Empire, and that means of contact are to be found by books, films and pictures and by exchange visits across the Channel. The pace cannot be forced, but an objective teaching of history and geography may do much to eradicate prejudice and lay a foundation of understanding in the minds of the young. In this country the Board of Education has already announced some of the measures to be taken here.