Status of France

March 10, 1960

Report Outline
France and the North Atlantic Alliance
Algeria and the Fifth French Republic
Economic Reform Under Fifth Republic

France and the North Atlantic Alliance

De gaulle's round of Pre-Summit Meetings

President de gaulle's crowded diplomatic schedule of the next two months reflects the growing stature of France on the stage of world politics. After receiving British Prime Minister Macmillan for two days of private talks, March 12–13, de Gaulle on March 15 is to welcome Soviet Premier Khrushchev to France for a fortnight's state visit. The French President himself then travels to England for a state visit, April 5–8, before proceeding across the Atlantic two weeks later to confer with Canadian government leaders in Ottawa and to spend three days, April 22–25, with President Eisenhower in Washington. The climax follows shortly afterward when de Gaulle plays host at the Big Four summit meeting scheduled to open May 16 in Paris.

The ceremonial visits and the diplomatic activity in which France participates as an equal signify the enhanced prestige that has come to the nation under de Gaulle's leadership. France, defeated in World War II, shorn since then of large parts of its empire, and sorely weakened by protracted warfare in Algeria, naturally cannot pretend to an equality of power with the other members of the Eig Four. During the brief space of time since the Fifth Republic came into being, however, political and economic reforms have given France an access of strength that seems destined to place it in a role of rising importance in the Western alliance.

Recent developments that have contributed notably to enhancing the prestige of the Fifth Republic and de Gaulle have been (1) demonstration of the ability of the government at Paris to surmount the threat to its authority raised at the end of January by army officers and revolting European settlers in Algeria; (2) emergence of France as a fledgling nuclear power through its test explosion of an atomic bomb in the Sahara on Feb. 13; and (3) an impressive economic upsurge in metropolitan France. Economic reforms effected by the de Gaulle government have enabled the country to live up fully to its commitments as a member of the newly formed European Economic Community or Common Market. They have laid the groundwork also for restoration of France to a position of effective leadership in Western Europe—this time in partnership rather than rivalry with independent Germany.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mar. 03, 1978  French Parliamentary Elections
Feb. 14, 1973  French Elections, 1973
Apr. 10, 1968  French-American Relations
Nov. 24, 1965  Election of De Gaulle: Past and Future Policies
Nov. 20, 1963  French Policy Under De Gaulle
Feb. 20, 1963  France and the Alliance
Nov. 07, 1962  French Governmental Crisis
Mar. 10, 1960  Status of France
Sep. 15, 1955  Future of France in North Africa
Dec. 16, 1953  French Political Instability
Nov. 15, 1952  France and Germany in West European Defense
Jan. 29, 1947  Empire of France
Sep. 01, 1945  France in Transition
Aug. 08, 1944  Relations with France
Mar. 21, 1942  Relations with France
Apr. 10, 1934  Constitutional Reform in France
Jun. 30, 1929  The French Debt and the Young Plan
Apr. 27, 1928  The Briand-Kellogg Correspondence
Mar. 30, 1928  French National Elections - 1928
Aug. 24, 1926  French Currency and Exchange
Jun. 30, 1925  The Moroccan Problem
Jun. 17, 1925  The French Debt to the United States
Apr. 11, 1925  The French Financial Problem
May 07, 1924  The French National Elections
Sep. 21, 1923  French Reparation Policy in the Light of the Dariac Report
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
Regional Political Affairs: Europe