The makers of the 1958 constitution set out to cure the traditional bad habits of French parliamentarians by importing, mainly from Britain, institutions they understood very imperfectly in detail and not at all in spirit. Parliament enjoyed full formal sovereignty which it was incapable of exercising—except destructively. The criterion of efficiency is no exception, for it can be sought for different purposes which determine the role expected of an efficient Parliament: as an electoral college, a legislative machine, or an instrument for exerting public pressure on the authorities. Parliamentary scrutiny of expenditure through the annual budget is hard to reconcile with effective governmental control of the economy. Writing at Parliament’s lowest point in 1961, a leading political scientist of Gaullist sympathies compared its members to European countries which have lost their colonies.