DECEMBER 4 — DECEMBER S
Bishop Reproves King
The Anglican Bishop of Bradford, the Rt. Rev. pr. Blunt, in the course of an outspoken speech dealing with the Coronation, referred to the King's need of grace and said that some wished that he gave more sign of being aware of his need. This was interpreted as a reproof to the King and was Widely commented upon, particularly in the provincial press and subsequently in the London press. The Bishop later denied the interpretation put upon his speech which, he declared, referred solely to the King's apparent lack of outward religion.
A graVe constitutional crisis is now known tO be likely in the event of the King ma4ying Mrs. Ernest Simpson, an American subject who has been once divorced and whose second divorce decree is due to be made absolute in five months' time. The King is known to have declared his intention to the Prime Minister, who stated that the Government could not assent to such a step. It is understood that the Labour Party supports the Prime Minister's attitude. Deadlock was then reached as no solution could be found and continuons Cabinet meetings, consultations and other meetings of official and Royal
persons took place. Mrs. Simpson herself has meanwhile left the country and has, after a difficult and involved journey, reached the villa of some American friends in Cannes, where she will stay for a little. She has iissued a statement declaring that she wou d be willing to withdraw from a situation that is unhappy and untenable if such action would solve the problem.
Constitutional Crisis and the Public
It has from the start been obvious that public epinion is sharply divided on the issue of the King's marriage. There have been numerous popular demonstrations in his favour, and Ministers leaving 10, Downing Street, have been cheered and booed by supporters and opponents. Certain London papers, together with Mr. Winston Churchill and extreme Right and Left supporters, are campaigning vigorously in favour of the King and his proposed marriage, but there is no sign yet of an overwhelming body of popular opinion in one direction or the other, although sympathy with the King in his terrible predicament is universal.
Argentine Trade Pact
According to the new trading agreement with the Argentine, the Argentine Government has now agreed to the imposition of duties upon Argentine beef and a reduction in the quantities of chilled beef shipped to Great Britain in the event of the regulation of imports. All tariff concessions granted to Great Britain according to the treaty of 1933 are to be maintained. Mutton, lamb and pork remain duty-free.
Other provisions include guarantees that in the event of the regulation of imports into the Argentine British cotton or rayon imports will be not less than the average of 1933-35 imports and the 1933 safeguards for British coal are continued. British exports to the Argentine amounted to £15,600,000 in 1935.
New Chief justice of India
The appointment of Sir Maurice Gwyer as Chief Justice of India has been approved by I-1.M. The King. The appointment takes effect on October 1, 1937, when the Federal Court of India first comes into existence. The new Chief Justice will pay a lengthy visit to India in January to make the necessary preliminary arrangements. He was born in 1878 and was called to the Bar in 1902. He has served on Government Commissions and was a member of the Indian States Inquiry Committee in 1932.
The Non-Intervention Committee at its last meeting reached agreement on a scheme to supervise imports of war material into Spain. The scheme is conditional upon acceptance both by the Valencia Government and the Burgos Junta. The Portuguese delegate abstained from voting, upon instructions from Lisbon. Lord Plymouth informed the meeting that the British Government was dissatisfied with the operation of the Non-Intervention Agreement. The question of foreign volunteers was also raised. It is understood that grave anxiety has been caused in London by the unprecedentedly large number of Germans (some 5,000) who landed at Cadiz recently.
The main features of interest of the week have been the constitutional crisis and the prohibition of the transport of munitions to Spain by British ships The opinion of the House of Commons has been almost overwhelmingly in favour of the Prime Minister's action as regards the constitutional crisis and the intervention of Mr. Churchill and Colonel Wedgwood in a sense contrary to the Prime Minister was received with marked disfavour from all sides of the House. The bill to prohibit the transport of arms to Spain in British ships was moved in an able speech by Mr. Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, who maintained that this was the easiest solution of a difficult problem. Professor Noel-Baker (Lab.) and Sir A. Sinclair (Lib.) opposed, maintaining that in reality this was a onesided ban upon a legitimate Government and that non-intervention was a myth. The bill was carried by 239 to 132.
The Pope's Health
Anxiety is felt regarding the health of His Holiness, who is suffering from gout and asthma, which, in view of his advanced age and weak heart, is serious. He was taken ill during the retreat last week, but has refused to stay in bed consistently, and there has been considerable difficulty in treating him. It is thought that the presence of Fr. Gemelli, 0.F.M., helped in this latter direction, and the return of the latter to Milan is thought to be a good sign.
French Cabinet Saved M. Blum scored a notable triumph when the Chamber of Deputies approved his Government's foreign policy by 350 to 171, the 72 Communists abstaining. The debate was conducted mainly with reference to the Government's Spanish policy, which was assailed with remarkable bitterness by M. Duclos, a prominent Communist leader. The Communists were particularly hostile, but issued a conciliatory statement after the debate. It was thought that the Government might resign as a result of this cleavage in the Front Populaire forces, but the Government subsequently unani
mously decided to remain in office. M. Blum claimed during the debate that nonintervention had in his opinion prevented an international war and did not regret the caution displayed.
The Pan-American Conference was opened at Buenos Ayres by President Roosevelt, who in a vigorous speech defended democracy and attacked the principles of dictatorship, self-sufficiency and barriers to international trade. Mr. Cordell Hull later followed up the President's speech by formulating proposals for consideration such as the renunciation of war, universal peace education, free international trade and a return to international law and the observance of treaties. Dominica has submitted a resolution to form a PanAmerican League of Nations and Brazil advocates a plan to make the American continent as financially independent of Europe as possible.
New Soviet Constitution
The All-Union Congress of Soviets has unanimously approved the new Russian Constitution. Hundreds of thousands of Moscow workers paraded to celebrate the event. The parade was witnessed by the Iwo thousand delegates to the Congress. French criticisms to the effect that the Franco-Soviet pact would not operate under the new Constitution have been met by an alteration to the final draft in accordance with which the Soviet Executive has the right to declare war in order to fulfil existing mutual assistance pacts. Property acquired by inheritance (!) is apparently to be guaranteed, and a democratically elected Council of Nationalities will be on a par with the Lower Chamber.
New German Measures
Various drastic measures have been introduced by the German Government in order to satisfy Nazi extremists, including a law of economic sabotage according to which any German sending his fortune abroad and retaining it there is
liable to the death penalty This is to check the smuggling, against which previous measures have met with only moderate success. Another provides for the unification within one Hitler Youth organisation of all German youth, thus ending Catholic and Protestant organisations once and for all. This measure was foreshadowed some time ago by Baldur von
Schirach, the Reich Youth leader. An other draconian law provides for imprisonment for dealers who raise the prices of goods and services prevailing on October 18. Foreign goods are excluded, and exceptions to this rule can be made by the Price Commissioner, Herr Wagner.
Sino Japanese Negotiations Break Down
Mr. Kawagae, the Japanese Ambassador, has left Nanking for Shanghai, declaring that he will not return until there is evidence of a genuine desire to negotiate on the larger issues. Japan insists on complete freedom of action in North China and on a joint Sino-Japanese anti-Communist front, while China insists that the eight thousand Japanese soldiers in North China be withdrawn and that Japanese soldiers cease interfering in Chinese matters, before negotiating with regard to the other points.
Spanish Civil War
Frequent attacks and repeated bombardments have so far not helped General Franco to win Madrid, although, according to members of the British Parliamentary delegation, more than a third of the city is now in ruins. Refugees continue to leave for Valencia, but there is only one road left open and evacuation is of necessity slow. There has been renewed, but indecisive, lighting round Pozuelo, a key position near Madrid, and a militia attack, since repelled. upon the insurgent forces near Talavera. In the North-West, and particularly the Asturias, the Government forces appear to have made headway, and the insurgent headquarters, first at Oviedo and then at Grados, appear to have been evacuated. Government troops are also said to be menacing Vitoria and Burgos. Large numbers of foreigners are now known to he fighting on both sides, Germans and Italians predominating in the insurgent ranks and French and Russians in the Government ranks. Five thousand Germans are known to have landed at Cadiz alone recently. Meanwhile a separate Catalan army has been created and workers' control of industry instituted.