FRANCE: M. Flcmdin Declares ...

Sleek, supercilious Pierre-Etienne Flan-din had four days last week in which to explain his 56-day term as Vichy's Foreign Minister. In the hot, jammed Haute Cour at Versailles, the 57-year-old former Prime Minister and prewar leader of the French Right alternately explained and extolled his political tactics of the last decade.

His tone of cold condescension often froze into icy contempt. His was the old, impenetrably murky defense about the double game. Why had he supported Munich? "Because we were not ready." Why had he accepted the Foreign Affairs portfolio in Pétain's Cabinet? "I intended . . ....

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