16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 1

The Vote of Confidence in M. Daladier

The event shows that M. Daladier was right in not making the holding of a secret session of the Chamber a question of confidence. If he had insisted he would no doubt have prevailed, but he would have missed the oppor- tunity, which in fact the secret session has afforded, of clearing the air, of taking Deputies into his confidence, explaining the war position, and winning a resounding and unanimous vote of confidence from the Chamber. War, as we know in this country, brings its doubts and discontents, to which a democracy can afford to give expression ; and their expression is the more to be desired in proportion to the intensity of the anxiety that nothing should be left undone- to forward the prosecution of the war. It is clear, both from the terms of the motion adopted by the House and from M. Herriot's comments, that the debate fully served its purpose in enabling the Prime Minister to dispel false rumours and " establish the encouraging truth," and Deputies of all Parties to reveal their unanimity in all that affects the safety of the country. The sting has been taken out of such Party bitterness as the disputes of recent years have left, and the Government of France goes on to its work in close con- junction with the British Government, with the certainty that it has Parliament and country behind it. M. Daladier's personal position, as he awaits Mr. Summer Welles' visit, is stronger than it has ever been.