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Hundreds of other cases as bad as that directed by the Coöperative Societies of have leaked out. The French Govern Reconstruction, which are voluntary asment has spent more than a thousand sociations of war victims dealing with milliards of francs in the reconstruction the state authorities, and acting as interof the devastated region. It is a figure mediaries between the Government and not shown in the budget but put into a the population. Those who could pull separate account under the heading "re the most political wires received priority coverable expenditure.” Unfortunately, of payment, and some of the wires were it is not yet recov

red-hot. Now, at ered from Germany,

the end of 1924, and there are many

work is beginning Frenchmen -- most

to slow down beof them now—who

cause the Governbelieve that it will

ment finds it hard never be recovered.

to pour out the reIt is the financial

maining capital, precipice which

and claims are being looms ahead when

scrutinized more the day of reckon

closely. ing comes upon the

It has been a younger genera

marvelous work, all tion. It is easy to

the same, and I took see that the appeal

off my hat to the for the devastated

energy and indusregions has lost its

try of France in emotional charac

rebuilding its ruins ter for citizens not

and cultivating the in that part of

ravaged lands France. Pity dries

which for four years up when charity is

I saw under the flail a ruinous taxation.

of war. Up the old Up in the old war

Albert - Bapaume zone where I have FEIGNED GAIETY OF THE PARIS STREETS road, the highway just been, there is a The careless joy to be found in mere existence in of the Somme batdifferent point of still the semblance of this joy to be found along the tlefields, only the view. Contractors boulevards and in the cafés, cultivated for foreigners. dead stumps of may have made

trees and the gravegreat fortunes, the Government has been yards of the fallen remain as memorials greatly generous, but-in spite of all the of those dreadful years. work done in reconstruction of factories One thing struck me instantly, and and dwelling houses—there are still im was a revelation of a new phase in the mense numbers of people waiting for new life of France, when I took the train homes on the site of the old places from from Amiens and stepped out at Albert which they fled when the flame of wardrew and walked through streets of brand new near. I found people still living in the houses, past the Church of the Golden old Nissen huts of the British Army, or Virgin, which is still a ruin. The people in wooden shacks amidst half-finished about me were not French. The workhouses and old ruins—six years after the men building the new houses were not ending of war!

laborers of France. When I asked the On the whole, in the Department of way of a man outside an estaminet, he the Nord about three quarters of the shook his head and answered in Italian. work of reconstruction had been accom An immense amount of foreign labor is plished at the end of 1924. It has been being employed in this task of reconstruc

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364

The Crying Need for Husbands

tion. Belgians, Italians, Scandinavians, secret cause of melancholy in many Poles, Arabs, and Czechs, in hundreds of French minds. It is leading in a curious thousands, have been brought into France way to a religious revival, to a new milifor this labor paid at cheap rates. They tary policy, to changing relations between are not absorbed into the life of France, the sexes, to new standards of home-life, they keep their own speech and national to new economic conditions-although interests, and many of them are men of not one Frenchman in a thousand is conlow and violent character, who provide scious of its influence. most of the crimes of passion-abomin As I have shown, it has led to the imably brutal—which fill the local press with portation of foreign labor. It is the reason lists of murders, outrages, and thefts. why France is raising a great African In the little foreign restaurants among army. In 1935 there will not be enough the works of reconstruction these foreign Frenchmen to defend the frontiers of workmen draw their knives too quickly, France. Their man-power must be reor go out, filled with spirit, to assault old enforced by battalions of colored troops. women, or rob solitary wayfarers. Thoughtful Frenchmen with whom I have

been speaking realize the future danger to A SECOND REIGN OF TERROR

France of a prosperous Germany in which HERE is no unemployment in there is no decline of the birth rate but a

France. That seems a miracle to Eng teeming population increasing by nearly land, with its mass of unemployed. But a million every year. the scarcity of labor which leads to that "It is absurd to think," said one of condition is not a healthy sign. It is, on them, “that Germany will not seek her the contrary, another reminder of that revenge one day. It is natural! It is greatest danger of all to France--the de inevitable! What will France do when crease in population. France is not pro- that day comes, unless she has strong ducing youth enough to do the work in allies who will fight by her side? What factories and fields. Its birth rate is guarantee have we of that?" dropping so low that the figures are ter A melancholy question, with no answer. rifying to patriotic Frenchmen.

There are taxes on bachelors, bonuses Old Clemenceau uttered a warning to for children, funds for the dowries of unhis country, before the Treaty of Ver married girls. But young men on small sailles was signed. It was hushed up in incomes hesitate to marry. How can the French press, so that it might not they afford house-room, or find apartspoil the exultation of victory.

ments? Pas possible!

I have a paper called Mariage before If France refuses to have large families it me as I write. It is founded to encourage will not be of the smallest use to insert in the home life, and it is filled with advertisepeace treaty the most perfectly framed clauses

ments from women of all ages from twenty imaginable. You may seize every gun in Germany. You may do whatever you please,

to forty. I quote one from hundreds: but France will have been lost, because there

Young lady, 25, good health, affectionate will be no Frenchmen left.

disposition, excellent family, well-educated,

small dowry, home-loving, would marry a In 1919 the deaths in France exceeded

serious young gentleman in good situation. the births by a quarter of a million. At that rate it would not be long before It appears that the serious young France was wiped out as a nation. In gentlemen are not eager for marriage. spite of the larger number of marriages There are great gaps in their ranks after in 1920, which caused a considerable rise the slaughter of war. And if they marry in the birth rate, it is now dropping again they are not eager for children. “The with alarming rapidity.

cost of life!" For two it is considerable, That fact dominates the social and for three it is formidable. That thoupolitical conditions of France. It is the sand milliard for the devastated regions

will have to be paid out of the pockets of It is only in the most Catholic parts of the French citizen. Babies are too ex- France that large families are still compensive in such economic conditions. At

mon. The Bretons are being imported the most, not more than one!

into southeastern France for that very The single child in France is the normal reason-to make up the depleted populastandard. He is petted by the whole clan tion. It is partly because of the Catholic of uncles, aunts, and cousins. At six traditions of marriage that many Frenchyears

of

age his own little world seems to men, formerly irreligious, are supporting revolve about him,

the Catholic revival eager to satisfy his

in France, which smallest wish, to

has been noticeable keep him amused,

since the War. to provide him with

That, and a hatred pleasure. In the

of socialism and Luxembourg Gar

communism, and dens I have been

the politics of the watching the chil

Left, which to many dren of France, and

moderate-minded listening to their

Frenchmen and to laughter before the

all the old aristocguignol shows-old

racy and to a great Punch and Judy

many small farmin the Champs

ers, seem to be unElysées, and seeing

patriotic, and to them on the flying

weaken the security horses and gallop

of France. They ing pigs up in the

can see no sense in great circus of the

the newanti-clerical Boulevard de

movement-the Clichy.

chasing of priests France is the pa

and nuns who did radise of children.

1924

heroic work in the Crowds gather REBUILDING RHEIMS

War- the young round to watch France recovers steadily from her wounds, and out- priests fought and

wardly, perhaps, her convalescence is unaccompanied them at play. The by anxiety for the future, but there is, none the less, a died like martyrsvery eyes of the certain strain in the smile she presents to the world and the stirring up agents de police

of religious strise. soften at the sight of them. I have just The Roman Catholic Church in France, come from a christening of two new-born justly or unjustly, has become associated babes in a little church in a low quar- too closely with a royalist movement, ter of Paris. The whole congregation which is conservative rather than royalwatched the ceremony with emotional ist, and purely sentimental. The War interest. Two little lives added to France revived the glorious memories of French --that was good! Admirable! The father history under the days of monarchy. The and mother were regarded with admira- greatest generals of France, from Foch tion and esteem. But what a risk, with downward, conformed to Catholicism, the cost of living so high in Paris !

and all the demonstrations of victory and There is no discipline, I am told, among the prayers of the people in the years of the modern youth of France. Young agony made the Church the symbol of people are selfish, egotistical, neurotic, French nationalism. pleasure-loving. Perhaps it is because There is talk of a royalist movement the large family has gone out of fashion in the Army, among the younger officers and the single child is too much pampered. who think the military position of France,

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366

“Royalism ” Is All Talk

and their own career, is menaced by social- vasion, was violently hostile to the spirit istic politicians, pacifists, and internation- of the man who had preached internaalists. But it is all talk, and “royalism" tional peace, general disarmament, and a in France does not mean a return to democratic comradeship with the German monarchy, but a return to the Right, workers. Now, when his remains were which is a very different thing.

removed to the Hall of Heroes, a vast The only real royalists are the old aris- crowd surged into Paris from outlying tocracy who cling to old traditions which districts with bands and banners and have but little reality in modern France. rosettes, to pay enthusiastic homage to They live in rather draughty old cha the memory of the great pacifist. I teaux with uncomfortable furniture, and studied the character of those crowds. the fleur-de-lys on their paneled walls. They were not revolutionaries and fanaThey intermarry with great solemnity, tics but sober citizens of the working and and no one is allowed to penetrate into bourgeois class, who in time of war had their home-life except their numerous rel- been the soldiers of France. It is from atives, and American millionaires-well that class that Herriot received his strong introduced—who may be useful to their support for a policy of conciliation with daughters. They have no political power, Germany, based upon an industrial combut some social influence. The French pact, and for an anti-militarist régime, people, like the English, still love a title based on the security of the League of and give a certain homage to Monsieur le Nations in a world-wide pact of peace. Marquis or Monsieur le Comte. It is Contrary to foreign opinion—which useful to young gentlemen in time of will not understand and will not learntrouble, as happened this week, as I France is the most pacifist country in the write, when a young man was arrested for world. I have talked with peasants in being drunk and disorderly in charge of a the fields, with professional men and intelmotor-car. After some violence he was lectuals, with shop-keepers and poliflung into a little white cell from which he ticians. The one idea that dominates would have been taken to the court next their minds is the dread of another "inmorning. Somewhat sobered, he ham- evitable" war. They are divided only, mered at the door. "Look here," he ex

“Look here,” he ex- by hopeless disagreement, as to the policy plained, “this is ridiculous! I am the by which that war may be averted. Is Marquis de B- I can't be treated it best to maintain a strong army, make like an Apache in the Place Pigalle." alliances with new powers in Europe, and

The police agreed with him. They keep a strangle-hold on Germany-a apologized to the Marquis de B—and dangerous and perhaps futile effort-or to escorted him to his hotel. Even in pave the way for conciliation and peace democratic France equality before the law by industrial relations with the old enemy, is not complete.

and a policy of international disarma

ment-equally dangerous, and possibly “THE MOST PACIFIST COUNTRY"

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doubtful way between these two lines of remain radical after the swing of opinion thought, and has no sense of security. If which led to the downfall of Poincaré and only Great Britain would enter into a the rise to power of Herriot and his moder- military alliance! But England-perfide ate Socialists. I was in Paris when the Albion!—is playing the German game, as remains of Jean Jaurés, the great Socialist every Frenchman thinks, and, as he is leader, were transferred to the Panthéon. told daily by his press, for selfish, material

At the beginning of the War-on its interests. If only the United States first day-Jaurés was murdered by a polit- would throw its weight on the side of ical fanatic, and the general opinion of France and guarantee her frontiers the nation, face to face with German in- against a German war of revenge! But

the Americans think only of their dollars the sake of balancing a budget and paying and their Monroe Doctrine. What do international debts. The professional they care about Europe? What do they classes, the civil service, the intellectuals, know? So France feels herself isolated and the lower middle class are poorly paid and abandoned by former friends—with and struggle against the rising cost of livthat dreadful menace ahead.

ing. They are disillusioned with the reMeanwhile the life of France goes on sults of victory, bitter against their with its superficial gaiety, which deceives politicians, and deeply anxious about the the tourist for whom it is mostly produced, future of France. and with its hidden home life more re- Sitting in my room one night a very served, more guarded against the outer distinguished Frer.chman discussed all world than in any other country of these problems for five hours, until I Western Europe. Very rarely does a yawned. casual visitor get invited to a French "Monsieur," he said, at the end of our home. Hospitality is restricted to a argument, "the civilization of France is public restaurant and not offered very not very safe. Beneath an illusion of freely.

prosperity and strength we have many In the little homes of France there is elements of weakness, and there are great hard work, hard study, a life of small dangers ahead. But France has given so economies, frugal living, family devotion. much to the world in art and intellect and The women of France are partners with spirit that we shall not be deserted when their men in all business affairs, and their new ordeals test the courage of our people. advice is dominant. They are devoted That is the best hope we have, beyond mothers to the single child to whom our own strength and purpose.” maman is the source of all comfort and It is a hope that is sometimes weakened perfect love. The shop-keepers, the mer- by a national egotism which is careless of chants, the contractors, the hotel proprie- the needs and ideals of other people, and tors, the financial politicians, are making impatient of any point of view which fortunes, but they refuse to be taxed for seems hostile to French opinion.

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