The workman, a victim of sabotage, "saw private manufacturers fighting the state manufacturers by manipulation of priorities". Thompson gives an intimate view of three airplane companies and how they worked. He tells us one plane concern, not over-scrupulous, sought to cripple a competitor before absorbing it. The counsel for this company was "the Air Minister himself (now also under arrest at Vichy)".
So France lacked plans because of slowness in design, lack of planning and coordination, inadequacy of machine tools and motor production, low level of competence among manufacturers, lack of modern plants, the "horde of charlatans" acting as industrial consultants, and "internal politics". "All this was quite well known and led inevitably to collapse of discipline."
"In short, France fell a victim to all the political and industrial evils which can flourish in a democracy unless and until they are checked by a general patriotism based on confidence in a government of justice and fair play, equal opportunity, genuine interest in individual welfare, competence and honesty", writes Thompson. "French democracy was more like our own than any other. Some of its weaknesses revealed by the tests of war may find their counterpart among us under similar circumstances, as they have in England."(17)
January 3, 1941
Paris for many summers was my hideout, the place where one could be lost and forgotten, the riches and pleasures of the world within arms reach but I never loved Paris nor thought it beautiful though there were beautiful things to ferret out and things to love.
The France her lovers knew was more difficult to find and more diverse,--rich or sparse, meager or gaunt, beautiful or terrifying,--the bleak Carse, the volcanic Auvergne, the wild gorges of the Tarne, the lush prodigality of Perigord, or the