State intervention in the French economy grew in the first part of the twentieth century. This extension of controls under public authority-the state or local bodies-can be interpreted as a sign of increasing official ascendancy. The ‘turning point of 1945’ has been frequently emphasised, where plans for nationalisation, economic planning and, more generally, the ‘modernising Keynesian state’,1 embodying a Keynesian convention of full employment,2 all converged.