Royalty Visits a Delinquent Brother and a Cunning Cat

Matters Royal were much in evidence. Parliament was treated to the latest cost estimates for the Coronation ceremonies. They were nudging towards £250,000 but would give seating for an extra spectators, although using steel rather than wood as at previous events made a big difference. In a blow to the new medium, it had been decided not to televise the proceedings. On a slightly more sombre note, the Duke of Kent became the first member of the Royal family to visit the Duke of Windsor in his Austrian exile. Connoisseurs of Royal incanabula could have noted that Kent was not accompanied by his wife. By suspicious coincidence, newspaper reports of Kent’s visit were juxtaposed with ones recounting a visit to the pantomime at the Lyceum by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The show was Puss In Boots, a tale with a rather confused morality, but a clear message that an intelligent feline can outsmart a King.

Senator Borah of Idaho responded to President Roosevelt’s scheme to reduce the extent that the Supreme Court might curb the executive with a plan to reform the Constitution in a way that would bolster the power of the states against Washington. Whilst Borah was a progressive Republican who supported much of FDR’s work, he was violently opposed to the proposed change in the Supreme Court. Borah’s move gave an indication of the scale of difficulties FDR would face if he persisted.

Léon Blum’s Front Populaire government in France scored another arid parliamentary victory in a vote of confidence. Arid, because the parliamentary arithmetic was such that defeat was never at all likely. The debate itself gave Pierre Flandin, Blum’s predecessor a marvellous opportunity to flay him and his policies, notably the cut in government salaries that left teachers paid less than the workmen on the Paris exhibition. Blum reasserted his government’s commitment to price controls, but it could not escape opposition accusations of the cost of its economic policies.


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