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Imminent peril for France and indirectly for all democracies was forecast by William L. Langer '15, professor of History, in a talk in the Union Common Room last night.
Opening his talk by saying that more civil war would probably ensue no matter which side won in Spain, Professor Langer went on to outline the consequences if the insurgents were victorious, which he believes is the probable outcome. "France will be in the intolerable position of having three Fascism dictatorships on her borders," he said, "in starting contrast to the situation a few years ago, when she was in the dominant position in Europe."
The assassination of Monsieur Bartou in 1934 he believes ruined France's foreign policy, which Bartou aimed to improve by an alliance with Russia and an agreement with Mussolini. France's present bad position he blamed on Pierre Laval, who gave Mussolini a free hand in Ethiopia and frustrated any action of the league. The league was thus reduced to political impotence so that France lost all its support. By letting Mussolini go ahead in Ethiopia, Laval strengthened Fascism immeasurably, Professor Langer said, and also lost the support on England.
Whether written or unwritten it is almost certain that Hitler and Mussolini have some sort of an agreement, he averred, by which Hitler was able to move into the Rhineland while Mussolini attacked Ethiopia, and now the two are unquestionably sending supplies through Fascist Portugal to the rebels in Spain, especially airplanes, which have become the deciding factor in the conflict.
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