THE CHANNELS OF INFLUENCE TO GENERAL DE GAULLE

Created: 12/26/1962

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AJLt^-yl"Office of Current Intelligence2

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: The Channels of Influence to General de Gaulle

1* General de Gaulle has long deliberately fostered the belief that he is able to perform his duties shroudod in impenetrable reserve, relying but little on anyone for assistance or' advice. This impression has been strengthened by de Gaulle's widely known theories of personal power and how It is exercised, which lead him to exclude many of bis ministers from any direct role in deciding the broad lines of national policy, perhaps in part because ministers are associated in de Gaulle's thinking wltb tbe interests their departments serve, he has over the yearsoyal and able personal staff, which has In some ways taken on executive functions. To counter the tendency toward isolation of thawhich this has entailed, de Gaulle has devised other means of keeping himself informed and primed with fresh ideas.

Prime Minister and Cabinet

2. De Gaulle accords his prime ministersto himself, and both Debre and hisevidently have been particularly closepresident's thinking. Although de GaulleDebre once the Algerian settlement wasstill sees de Gaulle occasionally. LikePompidou hasong, and possiblyintimate association with de Gaulle. Heto have helped de Gaulle write his war

and served as his Chef de Cabinet from June

to Althoughe had no

*tposition in the government, Pompidou re-

3had de Gaulle's complete confidence, and

hosen for some of the key "pre-negotiations"

with the Algerian rebels.

. Pompidou apparently does not hesitate to

up to de Gaulle when he has reservations about

m mnuTM

a particular policy. He reportedly protested strongly the President's earlier decision to execute General Jouhaud, the convicted OAS leader, when Jou-baud's fellow dissident. General Salan,entence of life imprisonment.

4. Of the cabinet miniatere ia whoa) de Gaulle reposes particular confidence, thoae generallyto bave tbe beat acceaa to hia are Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux, Minister of State for Scientific Research, Nuclear and Space Hatters Gaston Palewaki, and Minister of State for Administrative Reform Louis Joxe. Paiewski, unlike the others, is personally dependent on de Gaulle for his bread and butter.

Personal Staff

9. Because of their regular access to de Gaulle and their knowledge of his personal predilections and operating procedures, the members of de Gaulle's personal cabinet have tha beat opportunity tohia. Tha cabinet consists of two major groups. One of these has broad responsibilities inmilitary matters, and protocol. Hembera of this group, which controls visitors, and bandies the paper flow, have developed intimate relationships with de Gaulle over years of service. It baa three sections, the General Secretariat ander Ktienne Burin des Roziers, the Cabinet of tbe President of theunder Georges Gallchon, and tbe PersonalStaff of tha Prealdent of the Republic, which Air Force General Gabriel Gauthier will bead.

6. articularly difficult turn inrelations over tbe EEC negotiations, deBurin dea Roziers' predecessor, Courcel, ambassador to Britain. Burin desbecame Secretary General onto de Gaulle during forid War II and in thepoat-war period. Less is known aboutto de Gaulle than about da Courcel'a,two occupanta of the top personal cabinetsimilar backgrounds and probably operate in

In Ma> ood personal contacta in ae^Saime^scabinetTade aome

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interesting comments on tbe de Courcel-de Gaulle relationship. Be thought that if anyone wasosition to influence de Gaulle it was de Courcel, but he could not imagine de Courcel going to the President and initiating suggestions. At the same tine, he felt that de Gaulle would listen to de Courcel's advice, if he himself bad solicited lt.

de Gaulle asks no help lnpublic statements and seldom givesto his Ministers, there is evidenceclosest advisers sometimes have priorat least the general tenor of what he lspronounce. Pour days before deress conference. Burin des Bozlers toldnewsman the points de Gaulle Intended Burin des Bozlers almost certainlyhis comments to reach the US Governmentto soften the impact of the pro-Europe,statements de Gaulle wanted to make.

Foccart's Role

other major group within the Elyseeresponsibility of directly advising thethe General Secretariat to the President offor the Community and African andbeaded by Jacques Foccart. This wasformed to handle the problems expected to fallFrench President who is concurrently President

of the French Community. Even though the French Community is now largely defunct, the Foccart groupey role in Monitoring African affairs for de Gaulle. Because of his lively interest in Africa, it probablyreater influence on French policy there than either the Ministry of Cooperation with the African States or the responsible sections of the Foreign Ministry. Although his office is not ln the Elysee Palace, Foccart spends every afternoon there. Be reports directly to de Gaulle and, on policies ln which de Gaulle hasersonalcoordinates the work of the other ministries concerned,

second-level members of theare available to offer advice,technical fields, they are not necessarily lnto influence policy. Many of thesehave been with de Gaulle ln one capacity or

another ever since the days of the Free Frenchand were subsequently in the Foreign Ministry or the administration of French territories overseas.roup they are utterly loyal to de Gaulle, in basic agreement with his policies, and reticent about discussing their official functions. This circlesuch men as Guy Camus, the science adviser on the staff of the Secretary General, Pierre LeFranc, who concentrates on press and public affairsand Colonel Gaston de Bonnelhe senior aide de camp and reportedly the key figure lnaccess to de Gaulle.

The Military

Gaulle has never concealed his lowthe political sagacity of militaryhe has brought about in the organizationFrench defense establishment bave tended tocivilian authority. Last summer detop level military planning morehis personal control. The position of Chief

of Staff for National Defense, which has been held by such officers as General Paul Ely and Jean Olie, was downgraded, and some of its duties have been taken over by the administrative staff of the NationalCommittee over which de Gaulle presides. This staff is now headed by Air Force General Michel Fourquet.

de Gaulle respects technicalhas had little patience with those militaryhave differed with him on matters of grandfrom Algeria to the development of astriking force. Many high officers whooutspoken in opposition have been shiftedof little importance or have been made toto accept early retirement. Thehas brought to the top of the militarya group of officers who adhere closely to the

de Gaulle strategy.

Other Contacts

Gaulle's solitary aloofness is morethan real, and he maintains many contactshis personal staff and the government. Hetalks with party leaders, includingnd discusses major policiesrank

and open way. In the few Instances which have been reported verbatim, however, there seems toote of gamesmanship in de Gaulle's repartee. Mora than once de Gaulle's staff haa bad to discount in public what de Gaulle has evidently said in private.

Gaulle receives many foreignformally as in the case of the heads ofthe former French African atates. leaders come away from the meeting feelinghave brought de Gaulle to agree with them. other foreign leadera. Chancellor Adenauercredited with tbe most influence,record of their cloae personal associationshow that de Gaulle's is the more

Gaulle makes an almost daily practice

of receiving visitors representativeide range of social and economic interosts. While many of these visitors may leave wltb an inflated opinion of the impression they have made on him, Ideas that have been presented to hia in these interviews are frequently embodied in hia public statements and influence hia policy decisions.

Non-Official Organizations

particular interest amongwith possible Influence on dathe French Center for tbe Study of This is an informal organizationJacques Varnant, and Includes among itaAir Force General Pierre Galloia,columnist Raymond Aron, and Generalre. Another Important member is Francoiscivilian deputy to the Chief of Stateey official with broadin the fields of military and nuclearconcerned with Internationalthis group has held discussions withand German groups. The writings of somemembers of tbe Center bring publicpolitical/military problems more closely intode Gaulle's views.

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