FEW men cherish the sanctity of the spoken word as does Charles de Gaulle, especially when he has spoken it himself. Three weeks ago, when an exodus of francs began to threaten the stability of France's currency, De Gaulle loftily dismissed the possibility of the franc's devaluation as "the worst absurdity." Almost no one believed him. Speculation against the franc continued to mount until it neared crisis proportions, threatening to unbalance the entire, delicate mobile of the Western monetary system. The money managers and bankers of Europe and the U.S. assembled in...

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