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Foreign News: Tactical Retirement

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For six months, a twelve-man parliamentary committee has been investigating the Revers affair. General Georges Marie Joseph Revers, until recently French Army Chief of Staff, and General Charles Emmanuel Mast, former Resident-General in Tunisia, were both said to have allowed a secret report on Indo-China to fall into the hands of a Communist agent (TIME, Dec. 26).

It had been quite an investigation. Documents vanished from the committee files. Five of the committee members resigned in a huff because the French Assembly had criticized their work. A sixth member, one Jules Castellani, was dismissed when it was revealed that he was a friend of a key figure in the case—a professional informer named Roger Peyré, who had escaped to South America. In a letter (which the French press gleefully published) Castellani had asked Peyré to send back “some stamps from South America for the children.”

Last week the committee’s work was finally finished, and Premier Bidault’s government found time to take action just before it resigned. Both Revers and Mast were found innocent of communicating excerpts from the Indo-China report “to persons unqualified to know them.” But both were found at fault in associating with Peyré. Both were put on the retired list.

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