FRANCE: Wave of Fear

Finance Minister Paul Ramadier appealed for "austerity a I'Anglaise." If France's motorists would just exercise restraint and "voluntarily" reduce their gasoline consumption by 30% for the next six weeks, Ramadier explained, France could get by without rationing or drastic bans on auto travel. As a help to the motorists' "civic spirit," the government announced that wholesalers were limiting filling stations to 70% of their normal supplies, and gas pumps would be shut down over weekends.

Unlike the English, the French trust neither their government nor each other to exercise self-restraint. Gas stations...

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