France: The Cautious Amorist

Raising his champagne glass, Charles de Gaulle affably wished a happy new year to the newsmen invited to his annual press reception at the Elysee Palace last week. But he refused to discuss the issue upper most in every reporter's mind: President Kennedy's proposal to supply France with Polaris missiles. When a newsman brashly reminded France's President that "Kennedy is offering them to you," le grand Charles turned, stared down his questioner, and replied with heroic restraint: "Are you really sure?"

No one¬ónot even Charles de Gaulle-could say with certainty what form the Polaris offer might finally take. Kennedy promised...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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