The budget has always played an even greater part in French politics than in British. It was the great legislative event of the parliamentary year, the chief occasion for criticizing government policy and administration, and an opportunity for aggrieved interests to press their case on a ministry which needed every vote it could get. The constitution of 1958 did not impair Parliament’s right to reject the budget, but imposed strict limits on the time it could take to make up its mind. Perhaps the most spectacular of all the financial changes is contained in Article 40 of the constitution, which forbids private members’ proposals to increase public expenditure or reduce revenue. The financial changes made in the Fifth Republic leave to Parliament a budgetary role not unlike that of the House of Commons. More effective leadership and a better-controlled timetable are advantages which more than compensate for the private member’s lost opportunities for constructive proposals—or for demagogic mischief-making.