French public and newspaper reaction to Saturday's (21 July) Pacific nuclear test was muted in the face of international criticism.
GV Are de Triomphe
CU Newspaper placard'La Nation'
LV Street scene
SV & CU People buying newspapers (5 shots)
SV, CU People reading newspapers in street (5 shots)
Initials SGM/1423 SGM/1410
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Background: French public and newspaper reaction to Saturday's (21 July) Pacific nuclear test was muted in the face of international criticism.
Seven nations have formally complained and France's Communist and Socialist parties have also objected but the newspaper 'La Nation' which backs the ruling Gaullist party today (July 23) attacked the Australian and New Zealand governments that have complained most bitterly.
A front page editorial accused the two Governments of "the height of international hypocrisy" in exciting their populations against the tests. Australia had allowed nuclear tests on its territory and New Zealand was closer to Australia than Muroroa. Neither had cause to play indignant.
The paper said it was but of the question that the international protest campaign could shackle France's determination to become equipped with a modern defence.
The Conservative newspaper 'Le Figaro' suggested Australian Prime Minister Googh ??? had rallied his people to attack the bomb to turn them away form internal problem. However the French Socialist party said in its statement that the Government was insulting international public opinion in the name of an illusory and ineffective defence policy which was ruinous for national resources.
M. Louis Bescon, Socialist Member for Savoy, described the weekend's explosion as "stupid and criminal".
Some members of the French Church have also been critical and General Paris de Boulardiere and fork other Frenchmen have begun a hunger strike on Haqo Atoll not far form Muroroa. The General and his companions were sailing a protest yacht near Muroroa. But they are new under surveillance on Hao Atoll.