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THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 173 No. 5172

LONDON, JUNE 24th, 1939

SIXPENCE

IN THIS ISSUE

POLAND AND THE SOVIET ALLIANCE

An Account of Polish Feeling, by a Polish Correspondent

THE SECRET BATTLE

The Menace o f Soil Erosion

By H . Robbins

SOME REFLECTIONS ON CHARITY

By Algernon Cecil

BROWNING REVALUED ST. PETER THE FISHERMAN

By Christopher Hollis

By Ronald Knox

Full List o f Contents on page 804.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK Dr. Goebbels at Danzig

The great rally o f the Danzig National-Socialist Party, which was wound up last week-end by Dr. Goebbels, passed without serious incident of any kind. Dr. Goebbels, in several speeches, dwelt largely on the cultural connections between Danzig and the Reich ; so th a t his listeners may have been reminded o f the occasion last year when Marshal Goering said, “ Whenever I hear the word ‘C u ltu re,’ I slip back the safety-catch o f my revolver.” The French Press was quick to notice the carefully guarded character of Dr. Goebbels’ speech on Saturday evening, a speech which only three days previously, according to the Berlin correspondent of Le Temps, had been spoken of in German political circles as likely to be “ sensational.” Le Populaire found the speech as moderate as Dr. Goebbels could well have made it, having apparently expected that he was going to announce a date by when Danzig must be given to the Reich if peace is to be maintained. Nicolas Constant, writing to Le Petit Journal, declares that, contrary to reports recently printed in the English Press, the German regime is having a very difficult time internally, and cannot press foreign adventures very far at present. Le Temps writes to the same effect ; “ The German masses are today convinced that new victories would not improve their lot, bu t would raise up against the Reich new coalitions, which would mean new armaments, and, therefore, new privations for the people.” The French are, at present, very optimistic about the general international situation. M. Henri Bérenger, the President o f the Foreign Affairs Committee o f the French Senate, whose speeches are always revealing, because he is, by virtue of his position, in constant touch with the French cabinet, and is not restricted in expressing his views in the same way as is M. Bonnet, said last week that, while the international situation calls for the greatest vigilance, and rearmament must not be relaxed, there is no reason at all for pessimism.

The Polish Press treated Dr. Goebbels’ speech lightly, only inquiring what the effect in Berlin would be i f a Polish Minister went to Danzig and made a bitterly anti-German speech there. The Italian Press, as might be expected, supported the German ; but M. Wladimir d ’Ormesson, in the Figaro, took the occasion to quote from a book by one Signor Giannini, published in 1931 by the Fascist Istituto per L ’Europa Orientate. I f Danzig should become German, wrote the author o f this book, “ I do not say th a t we should be on the eve of a fourth partition o f Poland, but I certainly do say that we should be at the end o f the economic independence of Poland.” The Future of Slovakia

The highly circumstantial reports about German troop concentrations on the Slovak frontier, which err in always mentioning precisely the regiments to which they are referring, are vigorously denied in Berlin ; and the D.N.B. agency, which provides the French Press with official German news, has computed th a t if all reports were believed, there would be a to tal force of no less than ten divisions waiting to march into Slovakia. There can be no doubt, however, that troop movements are going on, and th a t the frontier between Slovakia and the protectorate o f Moravia is closed.

Reports continue that there is to be an early partition of Slovakia between Germany and Hungary, in which the German frontier is to be taken to the line of the river Vah, and the rest is to go to Hungary. Few can have supposed th a t Slovakia could continue indefinitely as an independent State, or that the Treaty of March 23rd was a permanent settlement of its status. Historically, geographically, and economically it is a part of Hungary, and the line of the White Carpathians is the Hungarian frontier. I f the River Vah becomes the frontier, it means only th a t the Germans have crossed the mountains, and are, therefore, in a position to dominate Hungary militarily ; but they do th a t already, since the

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