Peffee on the air while the whole world prepares for Christmas
pEACE is in the air—and on the air—for those who have cars to hear, despite the discordant voices of detractors and trouble-makers : the Pax Dei, which our Prime Minister—" the man of vision and high courage," as Jules Romain called him in his broadcast speech—went out to seek, when he set out on his bold errand and which he is still pursuing.
And, listening to the voices borne on the wireless waves, it is impossible not to discern a subtle change in the mental attitude of the world, not to be conscious of a different atmosphere, despite wars and new rumours of war.
The very voice of Moscow, bent on stirring up strife—the relentless classwar which is to be the prelude to universal peace, appears to have lost some of its violence, while unblushingly proclaiming a ninety per cent. success for * * the General Strike in France as expressing the opposition to the Chamberlain policy.
War. whether between nations or classes, has of a sudden become unpopular. "The failure of the strike," said M. Daladier in his broadcast speech, is not a victory of the Government aver the workers; it is a victory of the people over the forces of disorder and strife."
cVERY French broadcast, whether G from the Old Comrades' Association, the Employers' Federation, the Small Traders and Middle Classes Association has the same note of appeasement in it. And it puts us to shame that the impression made by our Prime Minister's bold action for peace seems deeper and more lasting in France and in other lands than at home; there its spiritual significance as a historical event seems better understood.
In a broadcast survey of the economic situation of France. despite certain troubles in the North, emphasis was laid on distinct signs of returning confidence. And on Sunday night broadcast accounts of the resolutions adopted by the various political parties showed their determination, in spite of divergence of views, to do nothing to endanger the Daladier Government. Perhaps as the most effective reply to the statesmen outbursts, which have caused the Arab population of North Africa to send expressions of their unshaken loyalty to the French Government.
After the nightmare of September both in France and here, those who remember the Christmas of 1914, who are looking back on life, who "have eaten their mulienteal," as an old Zulu in the wilds of Africa picturesquely puts it, are filled with gratitude that the youth of today have been spared the ordeal, and that the children of this country can look forward to a real Christmas.
THERE was a festive note in the charming weekly broadcast by small French children of the Gazette of little Listeners—the children's Radio Journal performance. Shall we hear our English children broadcasting to us, es these French children do, both on Sundays and weekdays, with the remarkable perfection of diction, that is
taken for granted in France? First, there was on Saturday a dialogue between two small children before a toy shop. And then a highly moral tale about Father Cbristmas leaving no toys for naughty children!
But of all delightful broadcast entertainments for both old and young there is surely nothing like the Sunday broadcast of Bilkoquet, with a new play every week. Anything more rollicking, clever and amusing it would be difficult to imagine: " The Coach from the Far West " with a lady speaking French with the most excruciating Yankee twang, offering a " rattlesnake" act to the Bilboquet circus.
No wonder the French children are shouting with joy at the announcement of the following Sunday's programme. We know the British Sunday tradition differs from the French, but the children's laughter over the wireless is very delightful of a Sunday—and more wholesome than jazz!
WHAT more appropriate now that French children are thinking of putting out their sabots and shoes for Father Christmas to fill—as English children hang up their stockings—than a broadcast on St. Cyrlen, the patron saint of clog and patten makers? Perhaps we may have broadcasts of Father Martindale's lives of saints, as there are French broadcasts almost every week on some patron saint? St. Cyrien, it appears, was the shoemaker brother of a community of friars so renowned for his skill in making clogs and other footgear that noblemen had their shoes made by him. And he, taking toll of the rich for the poor, made shoes with the remnants of the rich man's leather. So he came to be regarded as a saint,
and in time became patron saint of the Shoemakers' Guild.
There were no strikes in those days but the masters complained bitterly of the troublesome apprentices who only worked five days a week! On Sundays they went to church, of course. But on Saturdays they went to see their mothers. "The mothers are worse than the bishops," declared the masters. " If they insist on the apprentices coming to visit them on Saturdays, the apprentices must find other mothers!" Any workman unemployed for more than three days was sent to prison—so plentiful was work in the dark middle ages!
Dip any C.H. readers listen to the opening of the Christ Child Fair at Nurnberg on Sunday? How wonderful those old German Christmas faire were in the land of the Christmas tree! Heal survivals of Catholic Church tradition, Shorn of their religious significance for many today, they yet keep the Christmas spirit alive, and in the very name of Christ Child Fair is there not a promise for the future?