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Replying both of Leon Blum's action in calling a "shadow parliament," and to the widespread charge that he is a fascist, Edouard Daladier has summoned the French "deux chambres." Scheduled to meet this week, he deputies can either decisively rebuke the methods of their premier, or become a post-mortem rubber stamp on the death of democracy.
The repeal of the forty-hour week by decreelaw, and the military suppression of labor's right to strike, were not the methods a democratic premier should have chosen. He and the present deputies were elected one the pledge to uphold labor's demand for a forty-hour week; Daladier later reversed his own stand; but he had no right to change the nation's mind by coercion.
When the "deux chambres" convene, then, they will have before them an important choice. Either they may vote approval of Daladier's strike-suppression, or they may rebuke his dictatorial methods and call for a national plebiscite on the fate of the forty-hour week. The deputies have no other leader to whom they can turn, and so they cannot overthrow the Daladier government. Yet in the present crisis they must not abdicate their functions. The decision which the "deux chambres" make is a crucial one: a rebuke to Daladier may save French democracy, a ratification of his actions will betray it.
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