Vladimir Putin

Bassett, John Jr.

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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto and the Life Underwriters Association. A personal report of a recent trip to Europe. The speaker's opportunity to meet and speak with the important political leaders of Italy, France, Belgium and Great Britain; also to many journalists, diplomats, and other men and women. The speaker begins in Italy, where he served during the war ten years earlier. Strides made by the Italian people over the past ten years. The decline of Communism in Italy. Politics, government, inflation, the cost of living, the new pride that the Italian people have found in what their country is doing, and Italy's responsibility as a member of NATO are some of the topics covered here. Less optimism about France. The weariness and sickness in France. What General de Gaulle believes and conveyed to the speaker. What France needs. The hard political facts of post-war France. A national psychosis about the loss of French power in the world and why. Where blame is being assigned. The qualities of the French and the time they need to recover. The great distrust of the Germans in France and the doubts about German rearmament. The greater prosperity of Belgium, with illustrative examples. Comparing Belgium to Italy and France. The importance of the recovery of France. Conditions in England. Politics and government. A meeting with Sir Winston Churchill. Economic conditions in England. The speaker's impression that tensions in Europe have considerably eased in the past 12 months. Russia's position. Russia seeking for a way to live at peace with the free world. Russia being frightened by their Chinese allies. Hope for real progress to set up the means of peaceful co-existence between the West and the rest of the world. The attitude towards Canada; how it is regarded. The need to develop a strong national feeling of Canadianism. The idea of introducing a policy of one year's national military service for the young men of Canada. Canada's Prime Minister. The subsidiary benefits of mandatory military service. Canada on the threshold of great attainments.