LILLE, Northern France, April 24th: President de Gaulle, on a four-day visit to his native town of Lille in Northern France, today attended Mass at the Church of St.
LILLE, Northern France, April 24th: President de Gaulle, on a four-day visit to his native town of Lille in Northern France, today attended Mass at the Church of St. Andre where he was baptised. Later the French President attended a World War Two memorial service and placed a wreath.
Lille's Socialist Mayor Auguste Laurent, who has refused to meet President de Gaulle officially, defied protocol and laid a wreath at the memorial ten minutes before the General. De Gaulle replied by ignoring Mayor Laurent's presence in a line-up of local dignitaries and ex-Servicemen with whom he spoke and shook hands following the ceremony commemorating those who died after deportation by the Nazis. M. Laurent said his followers would have regarded him as "running after de Gaulle" if he had laid his wreath in the customary order. He and the Socialist members of Lille Council have refused to receive the 75-year-old President or take part in any official receptions - other than today's service - connected with the four-day Presidential visit.