FRANCE: The Traveling Salesman

For the man who played so crucial a role in catapulting Charles de Gaulle to power, the post at first seemed rather an anticlimax. But from the moment he took it over in January, burly Jacques Soustelle, 47, has made the most of the Ministry of the Sahara. Last week, in the oasis town of Ouargla, he briskly inspected a 2O-acre terminal servicing the 25-ton trucks that haul pipe to the huge (500 million tons) oil strike at Hassi Messaoud. He checked over plans for a loo-room, air-conditioned hotel, invested the new mayor with a tricolor sash. As he...

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