OPINION

May 16, 1958

FRENCH COUP II: Paris, 14 – Since yesterday France has been virtually divided into two opposing camps. In the French capital is the new government led by Pierre Pflimlin and in Algeria, the «National Salvation Committee» headed by French General Jacques Massu, leader of the French parachutists in Algeria. The committee does not recognize the Pflimlin government and is calling for a government to be formed by General Charles de Gaulle in order to implement a more dynamic policy in Algeria, as a final attempt by the extreme right to hold on to the colony which it considers to be an inseparable part of metropolitan France. No one knows what the outcome of this struggle will be. Only one thing is certain, and that is that France’s position, both in the Mediterranean and on the world stage, is becoming increasingly weak. FRENCH COUP III: Paris, 15 – Today General de Gaulle said he was ready to assume the leadership of the French Republic if asked to do so, thereby dissolving any hopes that he would remain silently on the sidelines. The division in France’s political life has entered a new dangerous phase. It now seems that the dilemma in the Fourth Republic is between democracy and dictatorship.