7 JULY 1950, Page 5

Failure in France

For one moment, towards the end of last week, it looked as if the Radical leader, M. Queuille, would succeed in establishing a Government held together by the external pressure of the crisis in Korea. That was followed by an immediate reaction, and before the new Government was defeated in the first attack on it in the Assembly on Tuesday it had already become clear that internal French forces were likely to burst it apart. In the first place M. Queuille's Cabinet, with M. Paul Reynaud in the new office of Minister for Associated States and Far East, and even an ex- Gaullist, M. Paul Giacobbi, as Minister of State for Civil Servants, had a distinctly Right complexion, and clearly the majority of the French people do not really want a Right-Wing Government. In the second place M. Queuille pledged himself at the outset to electoral reform, to which the M.R.P. is fundamentally opposed. With the Socialists, those inveterate breakers of Governments, outside, and the M.R.P., whose election hopes are pinned on the existing system of proportional representation, inside, the outlook was black. Then when the Gaullists repudiated M. Giacobbi, with a few of the usual strictures. on the bankruptcy of party combina- tions, the storm broke and the new Government found it could only muster 221 votes against 334. And so France is back at the beginning again. All that has been demonstrated in the past week' is that even the Korean war will not put an end to the antics of, the party groups, and least of all to those of the Socialists, who apparently hope to get through to the 1951 election with their, voting strength intact after running the whole gamut of political, irresponsibility. Yet in putting the issue of electoral reform in the foreground M. Queuille was only recognising the major political,


issue between the parties. Apparently even that is forbidden now,;