World: The Gallic Bomb

Of all the differences that beset Franco-American relations, nothing angers Charles de Gaulle more than the U.S.'s refusal to help him build his atom bomb. Time after time, French officials have shown up in Washington with shopping lists for nuclear equipment and other gadgetry needed by De Gaulle's proposed force de frappe (striking force), only to be turned away. Last week, President Kennedy publicly, and emphatically, gave the French another no.

Occasion for the latest turndown was last month's visit to the Pentagon by General Gaston Lavaud, chief of procurement for the French Defense Ministry. He brought with him a reply to...

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