FRANCE: Crackers & Chocolate

When France is in the throes of forming a new government, the spectacle is undignified, sometimes dangerous and a severe physical tax on the men involved at the core of it. For three days 54-year-old René Mayer, last week's unsuccessful premier-designate, did not eat a decent meal. From morning until late at night he conferred hectically with party leaders. At intervals he replenished his energies with crackers and chocolate bars from a desk drawer.

After the resignation (TIME, Oct. 17) of the Radicals' Henri Queuille (because of Socialist contumacy), President of the Republic Vincent Auriol...

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