15 MAY 1936, Page 2

M. Blum and the Franc This week the French franc

has shown a considerable recovery, largely owing to M. Leon Bluni's reassuring speech on Sunday, and to restrictions on the foreign ex- change market which hampered the small investor's flight from the franc. -M. Blum emphasised once again his party's determination to preserve the franc at its present value, and he also declared that any changes to be made would be kept " within the framework of the present social system." It was a strange speech from the Socialist leader, who has always been so fierce a critic of " the present social system," and if it saves the franc at the moment may have unfortunate effects for him ; for it is unlikely that French currency can be permanently maintained at its present value, so that it is to M. Blurn's interest that it should be devalued before his Government is in power. It seems strange also that he should think he could overcome the Communists' reluctance to take office by a speech intended to reassure the middle-class. Indeed, both the Communists, and the Confederation Generale du Travail, whom M. Blum also pressed to enter the Government, have refused to be represented in M. 131um's Ministry. In his speech he once again affirmed his Government's intention of recreating international solidarity and of reviving the hopes which were once placed in the League of Nations. That declaration unquestionably springs from deep conviction and it may have international consequences of the first importance. * * * *