FRANCE: The Hard Course

"I expected better of the general." snapped a longtime Parisian Gaullist last week. "The least we can say is that we are surprised and hurt," wailed the National Federation of Veteran Prisoners of War. Charles de Gaulle, by his actions last week, dramatically refuted those critics who say that he uses high-sounding rhetoric to avoid taking unpopular action.

De Gaulle was racing against the clock, hustling to reshape French political and economic life before the expiration of the special powers he has exercised since last June. Keenly aware that he will lose the...

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