0 On Tuesday the King and Queen drove in state to Westminster and opened the new Parliamentary session. In his Speech from the Throne the King announced his intention of visiting the United States on the occasion of the tour of Canada which he and the Queen are making next summer. President Roosevelt has
expressed his gratification that the King
and Queen have accepted his invitation. This will be the first visit paid by a King of England to the United States. The French President is paying an official visit to England in the spring.
Minist(y of Supply?
• • In the House of Commons debate on the Address the outstanding feature was the discontent expressed with Mr. Chamberlain's refusal to set up a Ministry of Supply. This discontent manifested itself not only among the Opposition but also on the Government benches. On Wednesday back-bench supporters of the Government moved an amendment expressing regret that it was not proposed to set up a Ministry of Supply, or a compulsory National Register. Supporters of the amendment included Sir Edward Grigg and Mr. Robert Boothby. The Daily Telegraph, on Wednesday, featured an article by Sir Edward Grigg in favour of a compulsory National Register.
• • Herr Hitler has made two speeches recently, which, in this country, are generally regarded as being disappointingly bellicose. In both he attacked English Opposition statesmen by name, accusing them of desiring to destroy the Nazi regime in Germany. He told his German hearers that owing to the democratic system these men were liable at any moment to become the rulers of the country. That being so he had no alternative but to arm even further than the teeth. This was rendered even more necessary by England's determination to press on with rearmament even after Munich. If the latter was .all Chamberlain claimed for it, why continue rearming?
Pacts and Agreements?
• • On the other hand there are rumours that Hitler will soon make specific offers of an agreement with England and France—though previous overtures of this kind have been rebuffed. It is stated that he will offer England an air pact modelled on the Anglo-German Naval Agreement—but with the roles reversed. In the Naval Agreement Germany agreed to limit her navy to (roughly) 30 per cent. of the British strength on the score that her interests were in Europe, ours were overseas. By the same reasoning Germany may seek to bind us to air in
feriority in Europe. It is also reported that Hitler will offer France a nonaggression pact for a stated number of years. The trouble is that France can never quite make out whether Germany is " aggressing " or not.
All Churchill's Doing
• • A brouhaha was caused in Paris by the shooting of the third secretary at the German Embassy by a young Polish Jew who had been refused permission to re-enter Germany. The Germans have taken occasion to intensify their anti-Jewish campaign. The press has been unleashed, and Dr. Goebbels' Angriff makes the extraordinary suggestion that " it is no coincidence that while the Churchill clique in London, after being unmasked by the Filhrer, was doing its best in the way of deceptive manoeuvres, the weapon of the assassin was discharged in Paris." Churchill, Eden, and Duff Cooper are further charged with " consorting with Jewish and Freemason internationals."
French Population Falls
• • The population of France fell by 43,410 during the first half of 1938, according to the recently issued offi
cial figures. Births declined by 3,311, and deaths increased by 22,984. The number of marriages fell by 1,911. At the same time, recently issued German figures show a rise in the German birth-rate.
• • The 18,000 new Italian colonists
who left Italy together have arrived in Tripoli, where Marshal Balbo, Governor-General of Libya, gave them an official welcome. A High Mass was sung in the main square of Tripoli, and an equestrian statue of Mussolini was unveiled.