FRANCE: Violet

Astride his huge granite charger, Louis XIV, most unrepublican of monarchs, arrogantly dominates the sloping courtyard outside the Elysée Palace. Under Louis' haughty eye last week, Vincent Auriol's black Delage bumped slowly over the cobblestones. Bugles blared and magnesium flares zigzagged through the gathering gloom.

Half an hour before, 62-year-old Vincent Auriol, as President of the Assembly, had presided over his own election as 13th President of France. The Communists and Socialists together did not have enough votes, but Socialist Auriol had many Radical and M.R.P. friends whose votes pushed him over the top.

To the accompaniment of rolling drums, Vincent...

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