FRANCE: How Big An Army?

The question of the week was: should France have a big, expensive army or a small, inexpensive one? Puffy-cheeked War Minister André Diethelm thought the army should be a whopper, chiefly as a matter of prestige. Lean, hardheaded Finance Minister René Pleven insisted that a small, tight, mechanized force was all that was necessary: in tomorrow's atomic war a massive array of manpower would be silly. Last week the Cabinet met in Paris, listened for five hours to the williwaw of conflicting opinions. The man who does France's bookkeeping finally won.

One factor was political; general elections were near and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!