WESTERN EUROPE: Voice of the Optimist

History's mantle sat lightly last week on the shoulders of the cheery-cheeked Frenchman as he sat breakfasting in the garden in his dressing gown, eating honey and yoghurt. Six nations this week crowned him a civilian Mr. Europe. They made him first president of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (Schuman Plan). The Schuman Plan is rightly named for Foreign Minister Schuman, who alone among Frenchmen had the moral authority to propose it successfully to Europe (TIME, March 1, 1948). But it was Jean Monnet who conceived the plan and did the behind-the-scenes selling.

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