l'intendance suit

< Previous | Next >

fungetwanger

Senior Member
English, England
Hello again,
Could anyone explain to me what this phrase is referring to?
This is in an interview with de gaulle in 1965
Here is the context:

journalist: "les francais ont souvent l'impression que vous etes davantage preoccupe de la conduite des affaires de la france a un niveau tres eleve que de leurs propres problemes a eux, leurs problemes quotidiens, materiels. on a exprime cela d'une facon schematique un peu militaire, en disant que vous ne vous interessex pas beaucoup a l'intendance......... les francais ont souvent l'impression que vous etes un peu au-dessus de ces contigences"
de gaulle: "on m'a prete en effet ce mot que je n'ai jamais dit et a plus forte raison que je n'ai jamais pense: 'l'intendance suit'. ce sont des blagues pour des journaux."

as far as i understand, this is talking about how the french think de gaulle sees himself as above the peoples daily problems... but i dont understand what this phrase which is so apparently important, means!
any help?!?! thanks!!
 
  • Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Dans le Petit Robert:
    à (v. 1959) Fig. Ensemble des tâches économiques de l'État. Loc. L'intendance suivra : les questions matérielles, économiques seront subordonnées aux décisions politiques.
     

    FranParis

    Banned
    Français - France
    ..as far as i understand, this is talking about how the french think de gaulle sees himself as above the peoples daily problems...!
    De Gaulle is denying such..

    He says he never said he thought or said l'intendance suit.

    L'intendance suit is a military expression meaning that the quartermaster should follow the advancing troops.

    De Gaulle is using the expression in a metaphorical way here, meaning that he never thought he shouldn't check if the government was doing its job properly. What's government job? Resolve people's everyday problems, hence faire suivre l'intendance.
     

    CARNESECCHI

    Senior Member
    French / France
    Hello,
    The sentence quoted by the journalist means "French often feel that you are more concerned with high level France's political activities that with their everyday worries, in a simplified military language, you don't care of the problems of supply. French people often think that you are somewhat above the chores of everyday life"
    De Gaulle answered "Indeed, some claimed I said this word that I did not (say), and all the more I did not think : "material support will always be provided". It's only silly talk for newspapers."
    Hope it helps
     

    fungetwanger

    Senior Member
    English, England
    thankyou all of you. the rest makes sense now- the text was generally talking about economy so that dictionary excerpt makes a lot of sense, Gil. Is Petit Robert online then?
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    thankyou all of you. the rest makes sense now- the text was generally talking about economy so that dictionary excerpt makes a lot of sense, Gil. Is Petit Robert online then?
    I don't think so. I got it on a CD.
     

    Elme

    Senior Member
    French
    bonsoir,

    Cette phrase est souvent écrite au futur " l'intendance suivra " . On l'attribue plutôt à Bonaparte qu'à de Gaulle.

    Un chef dit " l'intendance suivra" quand il méprise les gens qui devront travailler pour réussir à faire ce qu'il demande. Tout est facile quand c'est les autres qui le font. Dans un style moins chic le chef peut dire aussi " ils ont qu'à se débrouiller ", " y' a qu'à ... "

    C'est pour cette raison que de Gaulle se défend d'avoir jamais prononcé cette phrase.

    Cordialement,

    Elme
     

    redrose

    Member
    England British English
    So is there some disagreement over what "suivre" means here?

    l'intendance suit = care will certainly be given in the matter of everyday issues (will follow directly, as a matter of course)

    or

    l'intendance suit = everyday issues will follow (come after) more important matters have been taken care of

    I know these are extremely clumsy renderings, but I am curious to know if "suivre" can be as ambiguous in French as "follow" might be in English.
     

    LARSAY

    Senior Member
    BI-NATIONAL FRENCH-ENGLISH.
    Elme is right. It's Napoleon who said it when some generals questionned how they would feed the troops on long-distance lighning campaigns. The problem is -and it is why de Gaulle strongly reacted- that, in Napoleon's case, the intendance has never followed -except for gun powder and bullets of course! and that his troops always lived on the land they were crossing or living on.
     

    fungetwanger

    Senior Member
    English, England
    I have found the exact expression here
    so i think, redrose, that the meaning of suivre is that it comes second, like in your second explanation.
    Thanks everyone
     

    Wieland Europa 2

    New Member
    English
    in addition to what others have written, this phrase is most commonly used to remark, cynically, that big decisions are taken that need admininstrative follow up. The point is often the importance of the decision gets lost because people with big ideas often don't bother with the detail and the proper administrative details never get settled. So Napoleon simply said "l'intendance suit", meaning the foot soldiers (the admin, the logistics etc) would somehow, automatically fall into place, - he wasn't going to worry about that. This is what de Gaulle is being questioned on.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top