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THE TABLET A WEEKLY NEWSPAPER AND REVIEW

ESTABLISHED 1840 REGISTERED AS A NEWSPAPER

VOL. 168 No. 5040

LONDON DECEMBER 12th, 1936

SIXPENCE

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK

THE ABDICATION ; ATTEMPTS TO MEDIATE IN SPAIN ; ONE-SIDED INVESTIGATION ; M. BLUM ; HUNGARY AND RUMANIA ; GERMAN RESTIVENESS ; NOTE ON POPULATION ; FEEDING THE TROOPS ; HISTORICAL FILMS ; PIRANDELLO ; THE B.B.C. AND WINE LEADING ARTICLES.....................................

OUR SOVEREIGN LORD ; THE ART OF READING IRISHMEN AREN’T FOOLS

By CHRISTOPHER HOLLIS THE RAW MATERIAL OF IRISH

LITERATURE (Conclusion) By SEAN O’FAOLAIN SOUTH WALES, I I I .....................................

By a TABLET INVESTIGATOR THE PATRONESS OF PEACE

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS, V .

PRINCIPAL CONTENTS

821

824 825

NEW YORK L E T T E R .......................................... 831 ROME LETTER .......................................... 833 DUBLIN LETTER .......................................... 834 THE CHURCH ABROAD .............................. 836 BOOKS OF THE WEEK .............................. 838

THE DANGEROUS SEA; THE MARCH OF JAPAN; THE KAISER AND ENGLISH RELATIONS ; RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS ; A LITERARY HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT IN FRANCE ; THE CROSS AND THE STAR OF DAVID ; RECENT FRENCH BOOKS i riG o i a iv u p v i u , rivE.n^n. dw l /lvj

827 828 829

LETTERS TO THE ED IT O R .............................. 844 TOWN AND COUNTRY AND ABROAD .. 846 CHESS AND CROSSWORD.............................. 850 THE FOREIGN M IS S IO N S .............................. 851

830 THE CALENDAR

852

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Abdication

No .British-sovereign has abdicated the Throne since the abdication of James II was extorted some 250 years ago. The powerful interests, spiritual and economic, which ranged themselves against him have been the main power in the country ever since, using increasingly the names and forms of Parliamentary democracy. The public mind had been gradually prepared through the previous week for the decision which was announced on Thursday afternoon, but Mr. Churchill’s plea that nothing irrevocable should be done before Parliament had a chance of discussing the issues was of no effect. Parliament had to content itselfTor several days with a few brief and bare statements that the King was pondering a decision, and was then informed on Thursday that an irrevocable deed of abdication had already been signed. It was the Ministers, not the members of either House, nor of the Dominion Parliaments, who enjoyed the opportunities for knowledge and discussion and the crystallization of the alternatives as they were finally placed before King Edward. The crucial decision that the new expedient of a morganatic marriage was out of the question was not a royal or a Parliamentary decision but a ministerial one. There are sometimes matters in which time, or highly secret information, makes it impossible for anybody but Ministers to decide, but it can hardly be said that this issue belonged to that class. Mr. Baldwin and his colleagues found a great deal of support in Parliament, and the attempts to form a cave against them never got very far, and never commanded more than about a tenth of the House. But that number was the number under the conditions in which the issue was presented, and it does not follow, for example, that if, without preliminary publicity, the House of Commons had suddenly been asked whether it would prefer to see the King abdicate or to pass an Act by which his wife should not be Queen, the resulting division would have been at all the same. The Government have been naturally sensitive to the charges, implicit, for instance, in Mr. Churchill’s statement, that they hurried the King into taking a momentous step. They did nothing but make it plain that as far as they were concerned there could be no morganatic marriage. The tragedy of the position is that the issue soon presented itself as not merely the choice between renouncing the marriage or the Throne, but between renouncing the marriage under obvious compulsion or withdrawing with dignity into private life. The effect of the firm front maintained, with very general support, by Mr. Baldwin’s Cabinet, was to rob any renunciation of the marriage of the dignity it could have had earlier as a free act of the will.

The abdication will be deeply deplored. There will be real tears, and also crocodile tears. In less than twelve months on the Throne, King Edward had shown a marked independence, of which his desire to contract an unsuitable and unpopular marriage was but one expression. To many people there is no place in the English Constitution for a monarch who cannot be relied upon to live according to the programme laid down for him, and to such people the abdication does not seem a disaster. Attempts to Mediate in Spain

The latest news of the health of the Holy Father is encouraging, and it is said that he is to be allowed to get up for a few hours. When a man is in his eightieth year, apparent recovery is very often the prelude to relapse, and his health must be considered as still highly precarious. This serious illness has come at a time when there is much discussion of a joint offer of mediation in Spain, in which it is hoped the Holy See could participate, not as a judge, but as head of a world-wide body deeply concerned in the struggle. A tentative offer for an Armistice and an election under guarantees has already been put forward by the Powers, but it has been rejected straight away by Señor Caballero, on the technical ground that his Government is legally the successor of the Government that came into power following the February elections, and that its dignity precludes it from being regarded as on an equal footing with the insurgents. The foreign ministers of the different Powers have not attended the council meeting

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