Pierre Mendès France
See also: France (homonymy), Mendès France (homonymy)
Resulting from a family of old ascent judéo - Portuguese (séfarade) of the name of " Mendes de França" installed with Bordeaux, Rochefort, Louviers and Paris, Pierre Mendès France in 1928 becomes, after studies of right and a passage by the the Private school of political sciences, youngest lawyer of France; it is then 21 years old. Very interested by the economic questions and financial, it supports in March 1928 a thesis on the Politique of recovery of the franc carried out by Raymond Poincaré, in which it greets his monetary action, but critical economic consequences and social of the policy of restoration of the franc.
Parallel to its studies, it turns to the militancy. It will be one of the leader members of the Ligue of republican and socialist university action, a studying movement of opposition to the Extrême right-hand side, very credit in the Latin Quarter at the end of the years 1920. Pierre Mendès France appears then as one of the hopes of the Radical party to which it is registered since the sixteen years age. He forms part, at the sides of Jacques Kayser, Gaston Bergery, Pierre Cot, Jean Zay or Bertrand de Jouvenel, of the “Jeunes Radicals” which claim a renewal of the doctrines of the movement, require its anchoring on the left and dispute the orientations of the direction of the movement incarnated by the historical figure of Edouard Herriot .il imposes quickly as one of the hopes of the Radical party to which he adhered since 1923
Appointed of the Eure starting from 1932 and mayor of Louviers starting from 1935, It is elected general adviser of the Eure in 1937 it takes the head of the commission of the customs of the House of Commons, before being named under-secretary of State to the Treasury in the second and transitory government Leon Blum (of the March 13rd to the April 8th 1938). The left (PCF included/understood) abstaining from at the time of the vote of July 9th, 1936 in connection with the French participation in OJ of Berlin, organized by the Nazi regime, Pierre Mendès France is the only deputy of left to be voted against, thus supporting the popular Olympiades organized by the Spanish Popular front. Mendès France works out then with the principal private secretary of Leon Blum, Georges Boris, a daring economic reform project, centered on the control of the credits and the support for the military investment whose explanatory memorandum is claimed for the first time in France of précepts keynésiens. Very disputed, this project will be rejected by the Sénat, which precipitates the fall of the Government.
Appointed with the declaration of the war, it is mobilized as officer in aviation.
- It is those which want to continue the war in North Africa, and goes there with the agreement of its superiors on the vessel “Massilia”. It is stopped over there on the order of the general Resident Noguès and is shown desertion whereas quite to the contrary it is those which want to fight, unlike the generals who judge it. He then is condemned and imprisoned by the Régime of Vichy.
- It escapes in 1941, joined the free French Air forces with London and takes part in the engagements, in the capacity as captain controls observant, within the Groupe of bombardment Lorraine, in the capacity as captain navigator. (It will order a raid on the Parisian suburbs in October 1943).
- Named by the de Gaulle general, in 1943, police chief with finances, in the French Committee of the national Release of Algiers, it represents France with the conference of Bretton Woods before becoming Minister for the Nation's economy of the Provisional government of the French Republic, starting from September 4th, 1944. In dissension with Rene Pleven, Minister for Finance, on the orientation to be given to the economic policy, which it wishes energetic, it resigns on April 6th, 1945, fault of obtaining the support of the Général de Gaulle to take measurements of rigor and re-establisment of the currency which the economic situation of the country seems to him to require. The litigation particularly related to the exchange of banknotes in order to correct certain abuses which the black-market and the underground economy had supported during the occupation.
- Named with the board of directors of the World Bank and the Funds international currency. He will represent then France at the Economic and Social Committee of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
IVe Republicis named executive director for France of the international Bank for the rebuilding and development (BIRD) - station which it occupies until 1947 -, governor for France of the Funds International currency - until 1959 -, and is re-elected appointed of the Eure. Re-elected mayor of Louviers
1947 Named delegated of France to the Economic and Social Council of O.N.U. (ECOSOC) - station of which it will resign in 1951 -, it is re-elected mayor of Louviers
1948 It is elected president of the governors of the F.M.I
1950 It makes its first interventions at the Parliament against the war of Indo-China.
1951 Pierre Mendès France is re-elected appointed and chair General advice of the Eure.
Declaration of Pierre Mendès France to the National Assembly after the military setback of CAD Bang (1950):
“It is necessary to finish some with methods which concern neither the power, neither of the skill, neither of the force, nor of the policy, with an action constantly weak-willed, ambiguity, hesitant, and whose bankruptcy was bright, a long time before the military difficulties of these last days.
- In truth, it is necessary to choose between two also difficult solutions but which are only really that one can defend with this platform without lying….
- the first consists in carrying out our objectives in Indo-China by the means of the military force. If we choose it, avoid finally the pious illusions and lies. We need to quickly obtain decisive military successes, three times more manpower and three times more appropriations; and we need them very quickly…
- the other solution consists in seeking a political agreement, an agreement obviously with those which fight us. Undoubtedly, this will not be easy… An agreement, that means concessions, broad concessions, without any doubt more important than those which would have been sufficient at one time. And the variation which will separate the now inescapable losses and those which would have been enough here three or four years will measure the price which we will pay for our unforgivable errors… ”, Official journal , 1950
- In truth, it is necessary to choose between two also difficult solutions but which are only really that one can defend with this platform without lying….
After a first unfruitful attempt to form a government in 1953, it is finally invested President of the Council with a strong majority the June 18th 1954, a few weeks after the French defeat with the Bataille of Diên Biên Phu, to make peace in Indo-China. It will direct the Government only during seven months and half, but its passage to the businesses will be one of the key periods of the institutional history of the Fourth Republic.
Apart from Edgar Faure, Minister for Finance and number two of the government, its cabinet, which it forms without negotiating directly as it was the use with the staff of the political parties, comprises little heavy trucks of the parliamentary life under IVe République. It is a relatively young, tightened team and technician. One finds there CNIP, MRP, radicals, some gaullists of which Jacques Chaban-Delmas. François Mitterrand is the Minister of Interior Department. The government is ensured of the support of the communist deputies, although he announced that he would resign if he were invested thanks to the communist voices (i.e. if, without counting the communist voices, he did not have the majority with the Parliament).
In its speech of nomination, it is given thirty days to make lead the peace negotiations on Indo-China. Installing the presidency of the Council to the Quay of Orsay, he assumes at the same time as the presidency of the Government, the direction of the diplomacy and arrives finally the July 20th 1954 at the conclusion of the Accords of Geneva which put an end to the conflict, recognize the division of Vietnam in two States, on the level of the 17th parallel, giving up with the passage 7801 French prisoners of Diên Biên Phu to their fate. As soon as the outcome of the Indochinese crisis, it engages of the talks which will prepare the emancipation of Tunisia. On a journey to Tunis, he unilaterally promises internal autonomy in Tunisia in a speech the July 31st.
On the institutional level, its policy is characterized by an effort of rationalization of the parliamentary mode of IVe République and by an attempt at rebalancing of the institutions in favor of the executive. Refusing the principle of the double nomination by which the president of the had a presentiment of council presented himself twice in front of the room, initially only, then with its Government, he denounces the bargainings to which this practice gives place and manages to make revise the Constitution of 1946 to ratify the end of this use. This revision also gives the opportunity of a limited easing of the right of dissolution.
Largely monopolized by the international problems, its governmental experiment does not have time to be registered, on the socio-economic level, in reforms of width. The opinion retains nevertheless its policy to fight against the alcoholism which is translated with the autumn 1954 by a series of provisions hardening the tax mode of the home distillers.
In spite of the declared hostility of most of the hemicycle, it subjects to the vote of the Parliament, without supporting it truly, the project of European Community of defense (CED) in August. Its rejection, which opens the way with German rearmament within the framework of NATO, is worth to him the open hostility of the MRP, very favorable to European construction, and deprives the cabinet Mendès-France of the parliamentary base essential to its survival beyond very the short term.
Its government is finally reversed the February 5th 1955 on the question of the application of the statute of Algeria. vice-president of the Radical party, it tries to regenerate it and conducts campaign for the republican Face
In 1956, it takes the head of the republican Face, electoral coalition gathering the radicals, the Socialists and members of the democratic and socialist Union of Resistance UDSR, formation directed by François Mitterrand, but the success of this alliance to the legislative elections is worth to him only one post of minister of State in the new government, Guy Mollet
he having been preferred to take the head of it. Opposed to this last on its policy in Algeria, he resigns in May 1956 and moves away gradually from the Radical party which he did not succeed in modernizing and which leans more and more towards the line.
Again minister in the Government Guy Mollet of republican Face, it resigns quickly due to dissension on the policy followed in Algeria (Minister of state, from February 1st to May 23rd, 1956) It resigns of the direction of the Radical party
Opposed to the constitution project worked out by the government de Gaulle, it leads countryside for not to the referendum of the September 28th 1958, which will show the adoption of the project and the rapid promulgation of the constitution of October 4th, 1958 .en 1958 E democratic legalist who it is not being able to accept the conditions in which de Gaulle seizes the power, it will show an opposition without fault until the end; beaten with the legislative elections in the Eure, it gives up its mandates of mayor and general adviser to devote itself to the political reflection.
Ve RépubliqueExcluded from the Radical party for its membership of the Union of the Democratic forces, it adheres to the autonomous Socialist party (PSA), which amalgamates with other groups in the PSU the following year.
Beaten with the legislative elections of November 1958, like all the leaders of the Union of the democratic forces, it gives up all its French and international mandates at once. It founds then Center of action democratic (CAD) which joined then Socialist party autonomous (PSA), which amalgamates in the Socialist party unified (PSU), and takes part in the recombining of the socialist left. It supports the candidature of François Mitterrand for the presidential election of 1965 and becomes again appointed in 1967, with Grenoble.
At the time of the events of 1968, it appears in ambient agitation like one of the possible recourses in the event of collapse of the mode. Its appearance at the time of a public gathering to the Stade Charléty on May 27th, during which there remains however quiet, thereafter will be reproached to him much.
It is beaten with the legislative elections of 1968, where it is represented under label PSU although it already chose to leave this party with which it does not feel any more in phase. There wants nevertheless to remain interdependent of this party and does not want to give up it right before difficult elections. Later, it will estimate that it is this label PSU which cost him its seat of deputy. In 1969, it leads countryside to the sides of Gaston Defferre for the presidential elections, announcing that in the event of victory of it Removes iron would be its Prime Minister. The “ticket” does not convince and obtains just 5% of the votes. Patient after 1972, it takes his distances with the French political life and chooses to work in favor of peace to the the Middle East. He will support François Mitterrand at the time of his election of 1981. There will remain close to its family, of her friends, companions and collaborators such as the Gabriel Ardant, Georges Boris, Claude Cheysson, Pierre Cot, Godof, Georges Gombault, Didier Grumbach, Jacquier, Georges Kiejman, Simon Nora, Philippe de Seynes…
Pierre Mendès France then remains a reference in the French political community, like symbol of a demanding design of the policy.
Use of the media
Enjoying a real popularity in the opinion, it was one of the first French public persons in charge to integrate the media of mass in its communication strategy. It profited in addition from effective supports, for example the magazine the Express train, directed by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber. Every saturday on television, “its fireside chats” enable him to explain to the French the broad outlines of his policy.
The pet peeve of the extreme right-hand side
Its Jewish origins , its positions on the Decolonization and its policy of taxation of the home distillers however did of Pierre Mendès France one of the favorite targets, by using for example its aspect of “beaten dog”, of the Extrême right-hand side and the movement poujadist represented with the Assemblée as from 1956 by Jean-Marie Le Pen. Pierre Poujade thus launched to him in 1955: “If you had one blood drops Gallic in the veins, you would never have dared, you, representative of our wine France world producer and champagne, to make you be used glass as milk in an international reception! It is a slap, Mr Mendès, whom any French received this day, even if he is not a drunkard. ”
Pierre Mendès France will be the only deputy to be opposed until the end to the French participation in the Olympic Games of Berlin in 1936, under the cane Nazi.
Many schools and academics bear his name (with Paris and Grenoble), as well as the French college of Tunis.
Pierre Mendès France was titular, inter alia, of and the Medal Military Cross of Resistance.
In 1933, Pierre Mendès France marries Lily Cicurel (1910-1967). They have two children: Bernard Mendès France (1934-1991) and Michel Mendès France (born in 1936). In 1971, Pierre Mendès France marries Marie-Claire de Fleurieu (born Servan-Schreiber).
Michel Mendès France married Joan Horsley. They had two children: Tristan Mendès France (1970) and Margot Mendès France (1975).
- Mayor of Louviers of 1935 with 1958 radical
- Appointed of the Eure of 1932 with 1958
- General adviser of the Eure of 1937 with 1958
- President of the General advice of the Eure of 1951 with 1958
- Appointed of Grenoble of 1967 with 1968
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