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Laval Inherits Barthou Toga on Minorities

Pierre Laval, named yesterday to succeed Louis Barthou as Minister of Foreign affairs, is expected to take up where the slain diplomat left off in the task of championing the rights of national minorities, it was felt in well-informed quarters here.

That Laval will adopt a strong attitude in carrying on his government’s policies with respect to Nazi Germany is also considered a foregone conclusion. He is expected to execute the plans that the late M. Barthou had developed for the tightening of the ring of steel around Germany.

In this respect, one of Laval’s first duties will probably be the signing of a pact already drawn up by Mussolini and Barthou for a strong anti-Hitler union between France and Italy. It is also considered certain that he will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor in the matter of demanding the full protection of Saar minorities in the event that Germany wins the plebiscite.

M. Laval will bring to his task considerable experience in the field of foreign affairs, gained largely in the dangerous days of 1931, when, as Premier, he was faced with disarmament problems, reparations and inter-allied war debts.

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