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THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 R EG ISTERED AS A N EW S PA P E R

VOL. 173 No. 5166

LONDON, MAY 13th, 1939

SIXPENCE

IN T H IS I S S U E

TH E SLAVS OF THE WESTERN CHURCH

A Study in Historical Religious Frontiers, by Vaughan Cornish THE STRENGTH OF POLAND

By Our Central European Correspondent TURKEY UNDER ISMET INONU

By Roger Crampus

THE POPE AND THE LATERAN PALACE

An Account of the Procedure that will be followed on Ascension Day THE PAPACY AND INTERNATIONAL ORDER

Full L ist o f Contents on page 604.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Pact of Milan would be merely strengthening and not placating insatiable neighbours. Bonnet, Daladier and the Vatican

The declaration to be known as the Pact of Milan, reaffirming the close alliance between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, ended with a declaration th a t the two countries were resolved to consolidate the Axis as a great force making for peace. In both the countries o f the Axis the desire for peace is genuine, widespread and deep, and the Italian Government, which does not possess a t all the same power as the Nazis for the moulding of public opinion and feeling, has to take full account o f such feeling in its policy. The initiatives o f the Holy Father, coming immediately after the Pact of Milan, seek to build on that often expressed desire for peaceful settlements. The Papal initiative has not a t present gone further than the sounding of certain Governments and a hypothetical expression of the Pope’s willingness, if it is thought the best method of proceeding, to hold a conference under the neutral aegis of the Vatican.

There would obviously be difficulties in taking up jointly the differences between Italy and France and the far more acute German-Polish tension. Together with a widespread recognition that the Pope is not only seeking to ease the situation, but is fully in the tradition o f his office in doing so, hesitations are being expressed from very opposite points of view. The relations between the Holy See and the Nazi regime have been exceedingly strained ever since the Concordat was signed. I t has not been observed by the German Government in the spirit in which the Vatican had hoped. It is the root o f the whole Nazi outlook to allow religion no place in public life, and the very idea of these auspices for political settlement is accordingly repugnant. From the other side it is argued that merely to hold a conference is a mistake, for such a conference must either result in concessions, or fail. I t cannot be a success without concessions, and the Powers, whether Poland or France, who would be expected to make them are in no mood to do so, and they consider they

Le Populaire, contrasting the general approach by the Holy Father unfavourably with Mr. Roosevelt’s direct challenge to the Axis Powers, sees the hand o f M. Georges Bonnet. I t says th a t the Père Gillet, the Master-General of the Dominicans, came lately from Rome and saw both M. Bonnet and M. Daladier. A great deal of confident conjecture has arisen from these preliminary soundings.

There is one school of thought in France, to which M. Bonnet is believed to belong, which is in favour of Mediterranean concessions, in the belief th a t both Britain and France can then establish good relations with Italy. The stronger side, embodied in M. Daladier, judges the moment inopportune and wants British and French rearmament to go a good deal further. To the Poles the way of conference and mediation is an illomened path, and they are particularly suspicious o f being asked to make any sacrifices by their allies. They are in much the best position when they keep complete control of the negotiations and can negotiate with the knowledge that they are sitting a t the table with arms and allies behind them.

Great Britain is the only Power which the Vatican has approached which is not a principal in the points a t issue. The whole of the Mediterranean question is in fact tripartite. The Anglo-Italian Agreement exists in a state of suspended animation unless and until there is an agreement between Italy and France. The Russians can claim, with reason, th a t the future of Danzig is o f special interest to them. The British Government is urging on Moscow that Poland must be seen as an outer bastion and frontier o f the Soviet. The Dangerous Voyage

A military alliance with Germany was offered to the Italian people in the same week in which they are asked

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