Youth, training and beginnings in policyMichel Debré is the son of the professor Robert Debré, considered as the founder of the modern Pédiatrie. He is undoubtedly the most eminent member of the Famille Debré, a family which gave to her country several great men, in particular of the Médecin S. With his Anne-Marie wife, born Lemaresquier, Michel has itself four wire:
- Vincent Debré, born in 1939, director of companies.
- François Debré, born in 1942, journalist.
- Bernard Debré, born in 1944, doctor urologist and politician, today appointed Paris.
- Jean-Louis Debré, fraternal twin of Bernard, also politician, today president of the Constitutional council, and before president of the National Assembly.
Michel Debré studies in Paris with the Lycée Montaigne, then with the Louis-the-Large Lycée, obtains the diploma of the Private school of political sciences and becomes doctor in Droit to the Université of Paris, and also integrates the National school of horsemanship, with Saumur. It is received at twenty-two years with the contest of the Auditors to the Council of State.
Mobilized in 1939 as officer of cavalry, it is made prisoner with Artenay in June 1940 but manages to escape in September from this year. It returns then to the Council of State and is favorable to the general Maxime Weygand. From April in October 1941, he is general operations manager with the residence of the Morocco. He turns over again to the Council, lends oath to the marshal Philippe Pétain and is promoted in 1942 Master of the requests by Joseph Barthélémy, Minister for the Justice of the Régime of Vichy. After the invasion of the free zone, in November 1942, its marechalism disappears. In February 1943, it engages in the Résistance, adhering to the network Those of Resistance (CDLR).
During the summer 1943, it is charged by the general de Gaulle with drawing up the list of the prefects which will replace those of the Régime of Vichy for the day of the Libération. It becomes itself Commissaire of the Republic to Angers in August 1944. In 1945, de Gaulle charges it near the Provisional government with a Mission with the reform with the public office, within the framework of which it creates the National school of administration, whose idea had been formulated by Jean Zay pre-war period.
Under the Fourth Republic, Michel Debré adheres first of all to UDSR, then with the Parti radical socialist on the councils the general de Gaulle ( Allez to the Radical party, Debré. You will find there the last vestiges of the direction of the State ). It joined then the Rassemblement of French people. He is senator of Indre-et-Loire, of 1948 to 1958. In 1957, it founds the Mail of anger , newspaper violently defending French Algeria and appealing with the return of the de Gaulle general to the capacity. Debré written in the edition of December 2nd, 1957: “That the Algerians know well that the abandonment of French sovereignty in Algeria is an illegitimate act which puts those which make it, or make themselves accessory from there, outlaw and those which are opposed to it, whatever the average employee, in a state of self-defense. ” This explicit call to the insurrection led a posteriori the Socialist Alain Savary to consider that “In the business of OAS, the soldiers is not the culprits, the culprit, it is Debré. ”
Its governmentIt becomes Minister of Justice in 1958, in the cabinet of the de Gaulle general. It plays there a big role in the drafting of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic. This one accepted, it inaugurates the new function of Prime Minister whom it provides, of 1959 with 1962.
After the referendum of April 14th, 1962 approving the agreements of Evian, de Gaulle replaces it by Georges Pompidou. In November, at the time of the legislative elections which followed the dissolution of the National Assembly, it tries to be made elect appointed in Indre-et-Loire. Beaten, it decides in March 1963 to be presented again to the Réunion, an island which it discovered with the President at the time of a voyage of less than twenty-four hours the July 10th 1959. This surprising choice is explained by its fear to see what remains French empire colonial to follow the way borrowed by the Algérie, an independence of which it is not comforted. Thus, Michel Debré takes note of the foundation by Paul Vergès before a few years of the Communist party réunionnais, a movement which claims the autonomy island and the removal of the statute of DOM and which organized a few large days before Manifestation S in the island. He notes in addition that the invalidation of the election of the mayor of Saint-Denis Gabriel Macé makes its station accessible to the opposition. He makes the decision to aspire to this mandate.
Its policy réunionnaiseArrived in the island in April, Michel Debré is elected appointed First district of the Meeting the May 6th in spite of the opposition which measurement causes locally striking the Fonctionnaire S of overseas that it took in 1960, the Ordonnance Debré. Supported by the Socialist S which autonomy rejects, he becomes immediately the local line leader. This irrefutable fact will be disputed by Pierre Lagourgue only during the following decade.
To justify the departmentalization of the island which has occurred in 1946 and to preserve its inhabitants of independence temptation, it implements a policy of development centered on the management of the demographic urgency and the misery which it generates in which the observers recognized the attention given by his/her father Robert to the social questions. It makes open in the island the first center of family orientation. It carries out in addition the creation of many school canteens where it makes distribute free Dried milk to the children, the milk Debré . He fights personally to obtain from Paris the creation of a second college in the south of the island, with the Tampon: it there of whereas only one in Saint-Denis for several hundreds of thousands of inhabitants, the College Leconte de Lisle. It also develops the Military service adapted created by Pierre Messmer.
Considering that the demography of the island is a threat for its development, Michel Debré organizes during the Années 1960 the migration of Réunionnais towards the metropolis. He with this intention creates BUMIDOM and CNARM. In the same frame of mind, it makes carry out displacement towards the Hexagon of more than one thousand of children torn off with their family in order to repopulate certain metropolitan departments in the course of turning into a desert, in particular the Creuse. Professor Denoix who rose of these practices, he answered in a letter: “ the company must be continued with all the more of constancy which it can be combined with an admirable movement of adoption that we always do not manage to satisfy. ”
One also reproaches him for having choked the culture réunionnaise, in particular the Maloya. Musical genre inspired of the practices of the Slave S, it indeed presented a désavantageux profile to the eyes of the elected official insofar as it caused sympathies separatists.
Its return on the national sceneIts engagement réunionnais does not prevent Michel Debré from seeing itself entrusting new stations. He thus hesitates to present himself in Alsace in 1968. He accepts especially several ministerial wallets, to start with that of the Economy and finances. He will be also with the Foreign affairs then with Defense at the beginning of the Années 1970. Soon, however, the arrival of Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the Elysium makes it less essential. Candidate with the presidential election of 1981, it collects only 1,66% of the voices.
The March 24th 1988, it is elected with the first armchair of the French Academy, succeeding the prince Louis de Broglie dead the March 19th 1987. Its official reception took place the January 19th 1989. After its disappearance, it was replaced, the March 20th 1997, by François Furet, was died before to have been able to sit under the Cupola, then, the June 18th 1998, by Rene Rémond.
Decorations and homages
- Commander of the Legion of honor
- Military Cross 1939-1945
- Medal of Resistance with rivet washer
- Medal of free France
One finds on a place of the chief town of the Réunion overhanging the Rivière Saint-Denis an arch framing an open gate on which is registered in its honor a definition that Michel Debré had done itself: Creole one day, Creole always.
Its electoral mandates
- Senator of Indre-et-Loire of 1948 with 1958.
- General adviser of Indre-et-Loire of 1951 with 1970.
- City council man Amboise of 1959 with 1966.
- Appointed Meeting of 1963 with 1988.
- Mayor of Amboise of 1966 with 1989.
- General adviser of Indre-et-Loire of 1976 with 1992.
- Appointed European of 1979 with 1980.
Its governmental functions
- Minister of Justice and Minister for Justice in 1958 and 1959.
- Prime Minister of 1959 with 1962.
- Minister for the Economy and Finances of the January 8th 1966 with 1968.
- Foreign Minister in 1968 and 1969.
- Minister for National defense in 1969 and 1973.
Patriot and souverainistMichel Debré is patriotic with the direction where it places above all his attachment at Eternal France , the Fatherland, the Nation (it employs the capital letters), from the point of view very close to that for de Gaulle. Its constitutional reflection aims at finding the best mode for French people, until considering, was this rhétoriquement, the assumption of a monarchical restoration .
But this patriotism is accompanied by a also enthusiastic Républicanisme: produced republican teaching, Debré puts on the same plan at the bases of its thought the nation and the republic, this one being the result and the realization of all the potentialities of that one. The difference with de Gaulle is in particular générationnelle here: twenty-two years separate them, and Debré forever lived a nationalist phase of impregnation like de Gaulle in the Années 1900.
Generally considered, not without some reason, like “Jacobin”, it shows a great mistrust with respect to the local government agencies and of the Décentralisation, in which it sees the rebirth of the old provinces and the setting in danger of the unit of the State. With the Release, wanting to remove the areas created by the Mode of Vichy while modernizing the old departmental organization , it proposes a recasting of the territorial Administration of France in forty seven departments resulting from fusions or rearrangements. In 1969, it will be very critical with respect to the project of regionalization, although it invited to vote “Yes” by fidelity with de Gaulle. He refuses in 1982 the laws of decentralization.
Qualifier Michel Debré of “souverainist” would be an anachronism, but the term makes it possible to show in which political family her ideas would be today. It devotes in its memories of long passages to the European construction, called supranationality , that it rejects absolutely since it blames the Souveraineté of the French Nation. He condemns in these terms an amendment of the constitutional Advisory committee establishing the automatic superiority of the international treaties on the internal rights: To the trick of supranational the irrealism of certain professors is added who, with their theory on the hierarchy of the sources of right, in addition to which they place out the tradition of the legists of France and that they neglect the essential problem of the legitimacy of the capacity, express a total incomprehension of the world such as it is. My anger bursts against these notable if little with the fact history, of realities of the present, the requirements of tomorrow - in short, if not very conscious of France éternelle.
Debré is thus in the Années 1950 a savage adversary of the project of European Community of defense, which it contributes by its speeches to the Conseil of the Republic to ruin. He is also delighted by the catch of distance from de Gaulle with the European Atomic Energy Community with the profit of the French nuclear bomb. He will be opposed still clearly, although with a less echo and without success, with the election with the Vote for all of the the European Parliament, with the reason which he does not receive and should not receive any delegation of sovereignty. He condemns on several occasions the primacy of the Community legislation like a nonsense, even like a demonstration of the Vichy-native spirit which accepts that France is ordered by the foreigner .
GaullistAll the political career of Michel Debré is placed under the sign of fidelity to the general de Gaulle, whom it joined with London in 1943; he is truly a “companion”, to take again the term used until the Années 1990 to designate the members of the party gaullist. He takes part in the creation of the Rassemblement of French people (RPF), makes hear the voice of the gaullists to the Conseil of the Republic between 1948 and 1958 as a president of the group of the Social republicans, and passes the essence of the Fourth Republic to ask the recall of the General the businesses.
For the drafting of the Constitution of 1958, it is inspired directly by the Discours of Bayeux, in which de Gaulle has magnificiently described the Constitution such as it considered it necessary to the good of France : bicameral Parliament with a Lower House representing the voters and a Upper House the temperate person and representing local life and them great activities of the country ; preeminence of the Government in the development of the Law; reinforcement of the capacities of the President of the Republic, referee placé au - above of the parties , which chooses the members of the government and directs their work, can take the full powerss or call upon the people.
In spite of its admiration for de Gaulle, Debré however takes care to distinguish the man and the mode, and refutes, sometimes with indignation - and thirty years after -, the charges of the antigaullists according to whom the constitution of 1958 had been cut for de Gaulle and would not survive to him. He even considers that the Cohabitation were considered as of the foundation of the mode: When the majority of the National Assembly is not resulting from the same electoral movement as that which elected the President of the Republic, the capacities of the Prime Minister, in fact, increase considerably because it is the expression of the majority of the Parliament, opposite which the President of the Republic can only incline himself or dissoudre.
Liberal and reformerAlthough famous Jacobin, Michel Debré always declared, with insistence, “liberal”. One should not however include/understand this claim with the ell of the “Libéralisme” within the meaning of the political Philosophie: Debré grants little confidence to the parliamentary Régime, and affirms throughout its career the need for the authority of the State. He shows however, as of the Années 1930, a particular sensitivity for the economic questions, and regrets that they occupy a place too reduced in the training of the French political elites. The nationalization of the Private school of political sciences and the creation of the political institutes of studies in 1945 is supposed to correct this insufficiency.
This “liberalism” is to be included/understood in a country where to be liberal and Jacobin is not contradictory. French liberalism historically hesitated, as showed it for example Lucien Jaume, between two main tendencies, one founded on the Individualisme in the line of Benjamin Constant, which fails, and the other on the recourse to the State and the primacy of the General interest in the line of François Guizot, one liberalism of State (Jaume), which carries it. It is in this last tendency that Debré is registered.
Michel Debré endeavoured to modernize the State and the institutions when the need was felt some. Dissatisfied with the system of recruitment of the high public office, where each ministry organized its own contest, it thus works out in 1945 the project of National school of administration, that it creates and of which it contributes to recruit the first promotion. It also reforms the Justice in 1958.
- the Death of the republican State , Gallimard, Paris, 1947
- These princes who control us , Plon, Paris, 1957
- a certain idea of France , discussion with Alain Duhamel, Fayard, Paris, 1972
- a policy for the Meeting , Plon, Paris, 1974
- Political power , with Jean-Louis Debré, Seghers, Paris, 1976
- Gaullisme , with Jean-Louis Debré, Plon ( Opinion column ), Paris, 1977,
- French , the hope , Albin Michel, Paris, 1979,
- Open letter with the French on the reconquest of France , Albin Michel, Paris, 1980, ISBN 2-226-01075-0
- can one chooses combat unemployment? , Beech, Paris, 1982,
- Three republics for France. Memories , with the collaboration of Odile Rudelle, Albin Michel, Paris, 1984-1994, 5 volumes
- # To fight , 1984,
- # To act (1946-1958) , 1988,
- # To control (1958-1962) , 1988,
- # To control (1962-1970) differently, 1993,
- # To always fight (1969-1993) , 1994,
- Discussions with the general de Gaulle (1961-1969) , Albin Michel, Paris, 1993,
- Discussions with Georges Pompidou (1971-1974) , Albin Michel, Paris, 1996,
AnecdotesThe humorist Coluche scoffed in his sketch the War veteran (1975) the austere image one nothing former Prime Minister, by imagining it in pare-in-train at the time of the military banquets of the commemoration: Hear you a stopper which jumps: it is Debrééé! There one has which whirrs during the speech of Malraux: it is Debrééé! There one has which puts a funnel to make laugh the buddies, say it with me: the public It is Debréééé! Then, I invent anything, everyone says it…
References and sources
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