FRANCE: Suspended Sentence

One afternoon last week stocky, stolid Premier Joseph Laniel walked to the rostrum in the National Assembly, ran a stubby finger around his collar to loosen it, and began, in a flat, unemphatic voice, to read a speech. For the second time in eight days, to bolster France's search for peace at Geneva, Joseph Laniel was staking his Cabinet's continuation in office on a vote of confidence. He had survived the first vote (before the fall of Dienbienphu) by a comfortable margin, 311 to 262. This time he realized that his government might fall.

Laniel first took up Dienbienphu: "The...

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