FRANCE: Fateful Dance

Like dancers in a ragged pavane, the familiar men in French politics whirled through the precise, formal movements of a familiar French ritual—the search for a new government.

Within 15 minutes of the Assembly vote that felled them, Premier René Pleven and his cabinet ministers sped to the presidential palace in their official black cars and submitted their resignations to President Vincent Auriol, getting into their usual traffic snarl in the courtyard. Then they rushed back to carry on their cabinet assignments as before, until a new cabinet emerged.

Just as he had...

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