Page 1, 21st April 1944

21st April 1944
Page 1
Page 1, 21st April 1944 — DE GAULLE, THE REDS AND GIRAUD

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Organisations: army, Gestapo
Locations: Paris


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From Our Diplomatic Correspondent

The importance of Communist organisation and activities in France has a been stressed by Frenchmen reaching this country or Africa from the Continent. "though the 'number:. of French Communists have not notably increased, they now huve the advantage Of a well-knit organisation tried-out under difficult ,hut extremely Favourable conditions. And the future is bound

to furnish them with exceptional opportunities. Though the Frenchman immensely admires the Russian war effort, which is proving such an important lacier in his liberation, he remains orientated towerds the West and dreads both the values and the totalitarian technique of Communism.

1 he Communist game is quite clear to sFrench observers. They are [stemmed to serve de Gaulle loyally while there -are Germans in France to he toughi and expelled. Then they will lind mean cif trying to Itirn the tables on him, using for that purpose both the argument of the Cratillist dictimarship and the Genetal's own personal antipathy to

• Left ideals, democratic inefficiency, and so on.

Of the General's personal dislike for Communism there is no question, hut his aim has been the uniting of all resistance parties and his personal leadership of them, To have ignored or defied the Communist organisation would have been to renounce his main ,hope. He could not have hoped to deal with them as he dealt with Giraud.


• GiraucTs political weakness has been due to his peesone! pan'iptism and integrity, and to the fact that his

following is mainly non-politieal. The type of person who believes in Giraud is not the type who is prepared to weaken French unity at the present moment for the sake of a worthier leader who in any case has little political taste or flair.

The best that could have been hoped for was that de Gaulle would recognise the supreme importance of Giraud as the Commandel-in-Chief on the eve of the in

vasion with the army he has trained. But ddi Gaulle, whose personal jealousy of Giraud has been strong becruise of the latter's popularity and influence in the Army, has been unable If) resist the temptation of taking advantage of his rival's sincerity and loyalty. Ile has feared the possible power of a • victorious. general in France itself.

De Gaulle's policy has certainly re sulted in the uniting of all resisting Frenchmen at a critical moment and, in particular, it has effectively checked any Allied intentions to look after France on behalf of Frenchmen, To ignore or defy de Gaulle to-day would • certainly rally more Frenchmen round him.

On the either hand. it has increased the danger of civil war and prolonged

trouble in France once she is liberated. and possibly set the stage for a struggle between a Right and a Left Metatorship with most Frenchmen feeling like calling.a plague on both houses.

The Pope reed. ed all the members of the Benedietinc community of San Gil olarno, including some of the monks of Monte Cassino. The Pope bestowed his Apostolic Benediction on all of them.

The Polish Primate

The Vatican has instiamed the Papal Nuncio at Vichy to protest energeticalls against the projected removal to Germany of the Polish Primate, Cardinal Hlond, who is confined in Fresnm Prison, Paris, according to news reach. ing Catholic circlet in Geneva Iron' Archbishop Suhard, of Paris.

The Vichy Goveipment referred the Nuncio's piotest to the German occupational authorities whomassed it on to the Gestapo..

Archbishop Suhard, who was allowed to tisk Cardinal Mond occasionally in prison. writes: " It is unlikely, however, that the Cardinal's deportation to Germany can be prevented."

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