(Ed. Note--The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be withheld.)
To the Editor of the Crimson:
I have read your editorial "Shaking the Tree" with much interest but with much surprise. The author seems to be wholly uninformed on French politics, customs and moral principles.
The whole of this editorial is based upon the betrayal of his party by Premier Laval, yet the author in his enthusiasm has overlooked a simple fact, namely that Mr. Laval is an independent. He belongs to no party whatsoever! Besides this I notice several minor mistakes and innacuracies; the author writes that the radical-socialist party" is further on the conservative side than the French Socialists", but neither is on the conservative side. They are both avances--which I shall translate by radical--and what exactly is meant by French Socialists, I don't know. Does he refer to the Socialistes de France or to the Socialistes S.F.I.O. or does he lump them all together in one dread category?
"Too unprincipled even for the Gallic" besides a quiet slander is an airy generalisation. Here it is necessary to differenciate: the Front Commun has always been pro-League, while the Front National has consistently been anti-League or at least very cold to it and the Front Commun represents over half the electoral body. Please do not speak of "La Belle France" as being on such good terms with Mr. Laval; there is no such a thing as "realistic France", there are so-called realistic Frenchmen and others that are not. In fact I look forward to a decided success in the March elections for the pro-League and pacifist parties.
It was by no means easy for Laval to dissolve the "leagues" and not produce disturbance as for example the street riots of February 1934, but he could disarm them and prohibit semi-military uniforms, which he did willingly and skillfully.
My purpose is not to defend or attack anyone but to reestablish the events as they occured. Sincerely yours, Robert A. Curuer '38
(Ed. Note: Independent as Pierre Laval may be in name, in the past he has definitely associated himself with the party which last week read him out, and his late government rested largely upon its support. It is a matter of common knowledge that the Radical Socialist party is less "Radical" than the Socialist, and the term "further on the conservative side" as used in the Crimson was mere editorial comparison. As for "Gallic tastes", Laval's disregard for the League of Nations has been notorious, and as long as he remained Premier his conduct must be taken as representative of a majority of Frenchmen. Whether or not it would have been easy to dissolve the "league" is a debateable question; the simple fact is, Premier Laval did not do so.)