18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 2

General de Gaulle on French Soil

General de Gaulle, cabling from Duala in French Africa to Mr. Churchill, is in the position of one Allied leader speaking to another from his own territory. His status in the eyes of Frenchmen is enhanced when he issues his commands as a Free Frenchman from a part of the French Empire inhabited by 14,000,000 Frenchmen or French subjects, where there can be no question of his being influenced by the British, as the Vichy Government is by the Germans. General de Larminat, Governor-General of All Free French Colonies in Africa, has recently been meeting the Governor-General of the Belgian Congo. These two vast colonial areas of France and Belgium now form a solid block of African territory which adheres to the Allied cause, and links up the West African sea-board with the Sudan. General de Gaulle intends to continue his journey through the French Cameroons to Lake Chad, and thence he is expected to go to Cairo, where he will find a French Force expanded by recent recruits. Free French propaganda has not been idle in the Middle East. By wireless and by other means its news and its encouraging message have penetrated to Morocco in the West, to Syria, and even to Indo-China in the Far East. In Syria, especially, not all of this will fall on barren soil. Unfortunately, violent anti-British propaganda fostered by Vichy, and the dismissal of pro-British officials, is affecting the situation there.