FRANCE: The Nine O'Clock News

Hustling, bustling Indo-Chinese Nguyen Van Tan had little time for the political debate so popular with his countrymen in Paris. He was too busy with the practical side of politics. A onetime tailor and tourist guide in Saigon, Nguyen after World War II made himself invaluable to the French with his talent for purchasing hard-to-get rice for their forces fighting Indo-China's Communist Boss Ho Chi Minh. It was said in Saigon that Nguyen could buy rice in the very heart of a Ho-held village and ship it out to the French.

Three years ago Nguyen's business deals had the Communists so...