No sooner had the last U. S. ballot been counted, than Great Britain led France and other Debtor Powers last week in a free-for-all drive by press stories and diplomatic notes toward present postponement and future cancellation of what Europe owes the U. S. (see p. 7). This drive, long prepared (even to the writing of the diplomatic notes) was not a reaction to the U. S. people's choice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was Europe's obvious move, in view of the fact that U. S. citizens have now balloted and cannot ballot presidentially again until 1936. By that time, in the opinion of realists on both sides of the Atlantic. Reparations & War Debts will be over the dam.
Specific World reactions last week to the Roosevelt victory and the Hoover defeat:
Britons took a strictly party view and Britain has three parties:
"Democracies are accustomed to punish their gods for their misfortunes," said the Conservative & undemocratic London Morning Post. "The retiring President . . . will be followed by another good American . . . who has received a preliminary warning by the fate of his predecessor."
"If Liberalism," cried the Liberal News Chronicle, "were to achieve a revival in America it would be a great thing not only for the United States but for the world.
Approximately ditto, Labor's Daily Herald.
Jubilant British distillers hoped to empty their warehouses "which are bursting with good Scotch." At the British Exchequer, officials kept mum as owls about "tariff bargaining" with President Roosevelt after next March. British gossip writers twittered that "Mrs. Roosevelt went to school in England and has many friends here."
Frenchmen's eyes popped as Mumm's Champagne shares, which stood at 85 (francs) on the Paris Bourse last spring, spurted from 180 to 226 francs when Wet Mr. Roosevelt definitely won.
On the morning after, however, Frenchmen began to take what they call their "logical" view. They still hoped to sell the U. S. billions of bottles of wine, brandy & liqueurs but they pondered Le Temps' reminder that "Mr. Hoover linked the question of debt adjustment to reparations; in disarmament he took important steps; and he favored on several occasions cooperative efforts between the United States and the League of Nations."
These three U. S. trends, all favorable to France, may "become stronger" under the new President, said Le Temps, "but Mr. Roosevelt, like Mr. Hoover will above all be President of the United States." Unfortunately, from the viewpoint of Le Temps, he will have to act "from the viewpoint of American interest."
Italians were "expectant," the hard-boiled Fascist Press adopting an attitude of wait & see.
Spaniards were "expectant" of tariff favors.
Germans were reminded by a majority of their Press that Democrat Roosevelt is of the same party as President Wilson, whom Germans blame for the Polish Corridor and other "infamies" of the Treaty of Versailles.