Paris to Vienna

Apparently the mercurial French are still taking the evidence of corruption revealed in the Stavisky scandal much too seriously for the comfort of the Daladier government, which has been trying without much success to placate the aroused Paris citizenry--or mob, depending on one's point of view. Even the sacrifice of M. Chiappe, the Prefect of Police, has had little soothing effect; and sacrificing M. Chiappe demanded a good deal of courage, for the man possessed power out of all proportion to his official position. So the battle in the streets of Paris rages on but not so merrily as before; the former magnesium-throwing mood has given way to riots which are being conducted in deadly earnest and which are being suppressed in the same spirit. Last night two people were killed when troops fired on the mob in the Place de la Concorde, while frenzied crowds outside the Chamber of Deputies shouted "Resign! Resign!"

In the meantime the Daladier cabinet has received a vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies which will probably not be of much consolation if the riot of yesterday was any indication of the temper of the majority of the people. The cabinet is obviously banking on the hypothesis that it is not, that while the populace has been profoundly stirred by the official corruption, their faith in parliamentarians is still unimpaired. Most reliable reports would seem to substantiate this theory; but in French politics there is very little information that can be called reliable, and parliament Aryanism, which entered France as an English importation, may very well collapse under the strain of the present crisis. Now, however, as in 1875, the strongest guarantee of the existing system is the complete disagreement which exists between the mutually incompatible political parties.

* * *

The French domestic crisis has had a most unfortunate effect so far as the Austro-German situation is concerned. It now seems to be generally accepted that the Dollfuss regime will be unable to weather the Nazi storm, unless it is supported by England, France, and Italy. In any such coalition the most aggressive member would undoubtedly be France, and upon her would devolve the unpleasant duty of putting the screws on Germany. But with French politics in their present state of turmoll, that country is able to devote but little attention to foreign affairs. Consequently, it becomes increasingly likely that Dollfuss will not be able to hold out against the Nazi flood for much longer. The antagonistic tone adopted by Prince von Starhemberg, commander of the Heimwehr indicates all too clearly that the moment of collapse cannot be much longer deferred.