first task undertaken by the French Affiliate was to sent
New Year's greeting to all vital element in the country.
More than three thousand cards were sent to political, diplomatic,
religious, economic and educational circles. This campaign
had good results as most encouraging letters arrived in
large numbers, and even in government circles there was
no lack of sympathetic expression--especially from the office
of former Prime Minister Mendes-France.
the beginning of the year, a monograph was distributed pointing
out the advantages of the reform and giving an up-to-date
account of activity in France. This monograph, which had
a very large circulation, emphasized the favorable attitude
of eminent personalities, including scientists of well-established
repute. There can be no question but that calendar reform
has taken a big step forward by spotlighting all the advantages
that can be expected from the change in the present method
of time measurement and familiarizing a larger number of
people with the essential elements of The World Calendar.
Affiliates' main objective has been to obtain the support
of those in a position to carry weight at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. Several interviews were had with Mr. Lebideau,
director at that Ministry, and his attitude was openly favorable,
in spite of the opposition of the Grand Rabbi of Paris,
who had personally pointed out to the Ministry the opposition
of the Jewish sects. Abbé Chauve-Bertrand, who for
more than thirty years has been France's leading expert
on calendar reform, also increased his efforts in order
that the French government's reply to the United Nations
would be favorable.
view of all this, some people may register surprise at the
doubtful tenor of the text of the report submitted by France
to the U.N. Secretary-General and ask the reasons why the
reply was not more wholeheartedly in favor of the reform.
However, this would seem to reflect one of the aspects which
during the past few years had been typical of the foreign
policy of France. The United States has taken in hand the
direction of the fate of Western affairs, and without being
on the tow of the United States France is, nevertheless,
inclined to adopt, toward problems which have nothing to
do with high policy, a position close to that taken on the
other side of the Atlantic. Therefore the hostility on the
part of the United States toward any plan of calendar reform
has hot failed, without the slightest doubt, to influence
the terms of the French report. In view of these facts,
it would appear that if in the near future, as is ardently
hoped, the United States should adopt a favorable attitude.
France along with a large number of other nations would
like nothing better than to "follow the leader."
publication this year in France of Miss Achelis's book Of
Time and the Calendar will be of great value in advancing
The World Calendar in the years ahead. This remarkably well-documented
work, which has been slanted to the French reader by the
preface, presentation and testimonials added by this Affiliate,
was highly commended by specialists in the field as well
as the general public. It is a book that will take its place
in the annals of all that has been published on the reform
of the calendar.
progress towards international agreement on calendar reform
was reported at the Eighth Annual Meeting 14 January
1955 of The World Calendar Association, International,
held in the International Building, New York City, . Published
highlights (JCR Vol. 24, March 1955) for FRANCE:
Tirouflet, new Chairman of the French Affiliate, rendered
personal homage to his predecessor and friend, the late
Paul-Louis Hervier, for 24 years a tireless advocate to
the cause of reform.
visit to Paris of Miss Achelis, President of the Association,
gave perceptible impetus to the activities of those working
on behalf of reform. Important conferences were held with
M. Albert Coquet, Honorary President of AFNOR (Association
Française de Normalization), member of numerous international
bodies and former President of ISO (International Organization
for Standardization); M. Birlé, Director General
of AFNOR, Dr. Henri Laugier, former Assistant Secretary-General
of the United Nations; Professor Joseph Girard, formerly
Professor of the Free School of Political Sciences; and
M. Anteriou, Director of Personnel in the State Secretariat
for Technical Education. Progress was noted and agreement
with the program drawn up was expressed.
press conference was organized and attended by leading representatives
of the major Paris newspapers, foreign newspaper journalists
accredited to the French Government, representatives of
leading European periodicals, etc.
impressive articles were published in major newspapers,
especially in France-Soir, which numbers more than
a million readers. Articles prepared by the Affiliate and
texts transmitted by news agencies met with favorable reception
from the French press as a whole. The Affiliate may claim
that there is hardly a single Provincial paper which has
not at some time reported on the reform as well as on the
debates held in connection with the 18th session of ECOSOC.
Material was also sent to influential personalities.
articles have appeared in the French press reporting opposition
by Rabbis: the Grand Rabbi of Paris has concerned himself
with France's position with respect to calendar reform.
immediate main problem is the positron which France will
take at the ECOSOC meeting in May (1955).
A calendar has been distributed to all members of the French
Parliament, the Ministers, the Bishops and Archbishops,
members of the leading associations--the chambers of commerce
throughout the entire country--in a word, to all leading
French personalities. Distribution of pertinent letters
has also included countries speaking the French language;
for instance, 300 letters to Canada, 200 letters to Belgium,
and 75 letters to Switzerland.
task of gaining support for the cause in the chambers of
commerce throughout France is one to which the Affiliate
will devote itself. The prospects are most promising.
activities in France during the year 1955 are indicated
in all spheres of action.
progress toward the international enactment of calendar
reform was reported at the Seventh Annual Meeting
15 January 1954 of The World
Calendar Association, International, held in the International
Building, New York City. Published highlights (JCR
Vol. 24, April 1954) for FRANCE:
of calendar reform in the program of International Standardization
Organization was urged at Geneva this year by its French
member, AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation).
At the same time, AFNOR emphasized its position by electing
The World Calendar Association to honorary membership.
Chauve-Bertrand, whop for thirty years has been France's
leading expert on calendar reform, has retired from active
work, but will still be available form his "retreat"
in southern France for consultation on important matters
connected with official or ecclesiastical discussions of
The World Calendar.
the year 1953, the French committee maintained a close contact
with the British World Calendar Association, whose honorary
secretary, James Avery Joyce, made several visits to Paris
for conferences on international subjects.
Joseph Girard of the Sorbonne presented calendar revision
to the September congress of the International Institute
of statistics in Rome. . . . One of the most prominent Protestant
clergymen in France, Pastor J. Jézéquel of
Pau, published a scholarly treatise on calendar reform in
the quarterly L'Amitié Internationale, organ
of the Universal Alliance for World Friendship through Religion.
. . . The Christmas Annual published by the graduates
of the Ecole Boulle (decorators) is devoted to the subject
of "Time," and includes a discussion and endorsement
of calendar reform.