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FRANCE
1955

Reports of Affiliates and Committees of The World Calendar Association, International, presented at the Ninth Annual Meeting 16 January 1956, reflect the world-wide interest in and need for calendar reform. Published highlights (JCR Vol. 25, Dec. 1955 - Jan. 1956) for FRANCE:

The 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.

Towards 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.

The 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.

In 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."

The 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.

FRANCE
1954

SIGNIFICANT 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:

M. Jacques 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.

The 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.

A 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.

Several 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.

Brief 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Stimulated activities in France during the year 1955 are indicated in all spheres of action.

FRANCE
1953

SUSTAINED 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:

Inclusion 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.

Abbé 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.

Throughout 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.

Professor 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.

 

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