General Charles de Gaulle, France's 67 year old Prince Minister, left Paris by air for Madagascar yesterday August 20 on the first stage of a 15,000- mile nine-day goodwill tour of French African territories.
L.T.V. DE GAULLE'S CAR ARRIVING.
T.G.V. DE GAULLE WALKING PAST GUARD.
S.T.V. PAN MEETING AIRCRAFT AND SAYING FAREWELLS.
L.V. DE GAULLE ENTERING PLANE.
S.V. MR. GUY MOLLET ( CENTRE ) WITH OTHER MINISTERS.
L.V. PAN PLANE TAXI-IS OFF.
Initials jrg W.S./P.B
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: General Charles de Gaulle, France's 67 year old Prince Minister, left Paris by air for Madagascar yesterday August 20 on the first stage of a 15,000- mile nine-day goodwill tour of French African territories.
At Orly airport to see the General off in a specially-equipped Air-France airliner was Minister of State and Socialist leader bespectacled Guy Mollet, France's longest post-war Prime Minister, unseated last year over the Algerian issue. M. Mollet, will be acting Prime Minister until del Gaulle's return August 29.
De Gaulle's aim is to explain and recommend to representatives of the territories' 19 million peoples the draft text of a new constitution for a stably-governed Fifth Republic, in which the territories would form a community in come ways similar to the British Commonwealth.
France's stock generally stands high in the heavily invested, richly potential territories. The General, in urging Africans - the French population in the territories is only some 50,000 - to back the new constitution, will stress the benefits of economic and cultural development, which, he is expected to say, will be lost to them should they seek sudden independence.
After Madagascar, de Gaulle will visit Brazzaville in French Equatorial Africa, Abidjan, Conakry and Dakar in French West Africa. Then he will fly north to Algiers for two days.