27. "The French are not up-to-date. They're not modern. They're living in the past."

     Change comes slowly in France. On the whole, the French are conservative. If the average Frenchman has a secure living, he is satisfied. His dream is not to become a millionaire, but to retire on a "little" fortune so that he can have a "little" home and a "little" garden and read his paper.


     The French are certainly not highly industrialized as we are. Compared to some other nations, however, they are considercd very up-to-date. It depends on what stan- dard you use. The French are as far advanced as any nation in the world today in some fields : art, literature, music, design, silk manufacture, textiles, etc.

     The World Almanac for 1945 concludes that as far as social legislation is concerned, "France is in the vanguard". The French were certainly up-to-date in establishing old age pensions, compulsory insurance against illness, disability and death, maternity insurance, and so on. It was France that introduced the forty-hour work week.