Courtesy Reuters

What is French Policy?

Three years after having signed a treaty of coöperation with Dr. Adenauer, designed to make the marriage of France and Germany the foundation for the regrouping of Europe, General de Gaulle has travelled to the Soviet Union to talk of rediscovered friendship, agreement and even "alliance" between the "new France" and the "new Russia." Now the latter, pending information to the contrary, is the principal adversary of the German Federal Republic, and the Soviet leaders do not hide the fact that they look upon the rapprochement with Paris as a means of gaining support against German "revanchism." We may therefore be permitted to question the degree of coherence in the foreign policy of the Fifth Republic and to wonder whether such changes of course-there are other examples-cannot be best explained by psychological factors, the first of them being excessive amour propre.

On the subject of travels, it is worth remarking that de Gaulle has won acclaim successively in Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Latin America and now in the U.S.S.R., to say nothing of Iran, Greece, Ethiopia and Cambodia (and way stations where, had he stopped, he could have been sure of just as warm a reception), and all along the line has achieved very concrete political results. It is tempting to speculate that the great "loner," undaunted by the grimness of the times, the size of his country and the lack of discipline of his fellow citizens, is, in the twilight of life, deliberately trying to drive out melancholy with applause. One of his ministers, in fact, compared the invigorating effect which cheering crowds have on him to the effect upon Anteus of contact with the earth.

How vast, indeed, must be the General's satisfaction in finding himself triumphally received by all those countries which during the war had made him so aware of France's weakness and his own lack of influence: Germany, which crushed France 25 years ago in the belief it would keep the

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