L'Oeuvre 04 avril 1924


It appears, from reading the newspapers, that the hemicycle has become a ring and that the meeting room of the Palais-Bourbon is no longer a study room, but a very poorly kept college courtyard, where very schoolboys poorly brought up, divided into small cliques, begin by enjoying petty bullying and end up playing thug.

This conception of parliamentarism shocks certain utopian and distinguished minds who think that parliamentarians are brought together to give other citizens an example of dignity, courtesy and wisdom.

The Roman Senate, which was the oldest and strongest of the legislative chambers, only lost its Olympian calm on the occasion of the assassination of Julius Caesar, an exceptional decision voted by the majority; Now an assassination is a measure that can hardly be carried out without bringing some violence... But it is reported that, during the first invasion of the Barbarians in Rome, one of the Gauls who entered the precincts of the Senate was so impressed by the majestic immobility of the senators that he pulled the beard of one of them, to ensure that he was not stuffed; whereupon the senator dropped on the barbarian's head the white stick with which he was armed and which was an instrument of authority similar to that used by our town sergeants.

The National Convention is said to have been a particularly agitated assembly. However, upon closer examination of the minutes of its sessions, we see that its members had a very suitable external outfit; their eloquence was pompous and glacial; they did not exchange punches or insults across the benches. The National Convention was agitated by the presence of the people, who screamed for death in the stands; the people had the floor; with voice and gesture, he designated the victims; the assembly, often silent and always correct, obeyed the popular will.

Nowadays, the people no longer have a voice; silent and correct, the public in the stands attends the debates without having the task of rendering a verdict or proceeding to arbitration, and they note that thugocracy has succeeded democracy. When an honorable interrupter called the speaker a liar and was described by him as an abominable scoundrel, both no longer took the trouble to explain that they used it in a purely Pickwickian these perfectly parliamentary epithets. But they rush against each other, their fists raised, shouting to the bailiffs: “Hold me back or I will make a misfortune!” »

The intervention of the bailiffs in the debate and the strange spectacle of our masters being controlled by servants who wear a chain around their necks is a final hypocrisy which delays the evolution of parliamentarism in the purely sporting sense.

Eloquence is sterile; words accomplish nothing; but gestures can be decisive and the majority must assert itself not by numbers but by force. Thus the bailiffs, who distort the free play of our new institutions, must disappear with their chains: And the rules of the new unleashed game must resemble those of football or that of chess; it is a question of seizing the ball or thwarting the king... That is to say that the opposition, launched into an attack on the majority, seeks to capture the President of the Council to give him publicly spanked. If she succeeds, the President of the Council receives his spanking and resigns; as for the members of the majority, who were unable to defend their leader, they no longer dare to appear before their voters with a swollen nose or a black eye.

Another, more brutal form of the parliamentary game would consist of holding the sessions of Parliament in a room located at the height of a fifth floor. The majority would play at throwing members of the minority out of windows, and vice versa. The party that remained in control of the field would be assured of always being right. Do you find that these methods of discussion are barbaric and unworthy of a great civilized nation?

Do the great civilized nations use other methods to resolve the difficulties that arise between them? The knife between the teeth serves as a ballot for opposing homelands. Why should Parliament remain a parliamentary fiction between the opposing parties?


a L Oeuvre 1924 04 04 art 02 comportement à lA N La Fouchardière 2