CONFERENCES: Breakthrough?

Around the blue baize table in London's gloomy Lancaster House, the Western Big Three Foreign Ministers conferred for three days. Dean Acheson, crisp, clear and didactic, drove home his sharp points with a wagging forefinger. Britain's ailing Ernest Bevin, chomping away at his dentures, was his usual solid and grumpy self. France's Robert Schuman punctuated his speeches with faint smiles and exquisite little gestures of courtesy; he sat modestly hunched over the table, as if he were the least important man in the room.

In fact, last week, Schuman was the most important. The conference was dominated by his dramatic...

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