Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana on December 5, 1965 · Page 13
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Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana · Page 13

Lake Charles, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 5, 1965
Page 13
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SUNDAY, DEC. 5, 196$, lake Charlti African Pratt Aura of Grandeur Marks De Gaulle By RICHARD K. O'MALLEY PARIS (AP) - Charles de Gaulle's Olympian silence through most of the French election campaign Is something of a key to the man himself. For him, competition doesn't exist in the accepted sense. Even the manner to which he announced as a candidate was pure De Gaulle. Without me, he told the people, France will tumble Into chaos. With me, it will continue on its lively and prosperous way. This drew less than unanimous enthusiasm from the people. Close associates hurriedly tried to get across the idea that De Gaulle hadn't meant it exactly that way. He is a devotee of the mystique of leadership and admits it. Without it, he feels a leader becomes commonplace. So he surrounds himself with a glacial aloofness. Only three or four officials see the texts of his speeches in advance. He writes them himself, tailoring his own sonorous and sometimes invo- luted prose. When he wants to, or sees the need of it, he can be charming in almost an imperial way. This correspondent once watched him stride across a lawn at a Bastille Day reception to shake hands with a group of Tuareg tribesmen, brought to Paris for the celebration. De Gaulle radiated good will and chatted easily through an interpreter who •curried to his side. He has a temper fully as great as his dignity but it is icy and under control. He displayed it publicly during the Algerian rebellion. European settlers had risen in revolt and the army stood idly by, half in sympathy. This went on for several days without a word from De Gaulle. Then he told the army to do its duty. It did, and the revolt collapsed. His single-minded altitude caused bruises on both sides when he was an exile leader in London during World War II. Britain and .the United States tended to regard him as a lone had who didn't recally have much influence hi his own coun- CHARLES DE GAULLE Icy, Aloof try. Some went so far as to think him an upstart. This attitude enraged him, and perhaps sowed some of the seeds of opposition he now shows toward American and Britain. "Grandeur" is a keynote word in De Gaulle's thinking — French grandeur. It motivates a good deal of what he has done to try to minimize American influence on the European continent. His attacks on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, his scornful description of an integrated Allied command as "subordination," his whittling away at American business influence in France — these are all dedicated to recreating the "grandeur" and leadership of France in Europe and at the world's council tables. But a new factor appeared hi the closing days of the political campaign. Sources close to De Gaulle Intimated he may have changed his tune to a rising obbligatp of pro-Europe and pro-American sentiment in France and in Europe. It may be that he has sensed that it is time now to mend some fences and not isolate his country inside Europe. If this is so, then the future of American- French relations has brightened perceptibly. 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