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Mendès France, Pierre

Pierre-Isaac-Isidore Mendès France

b. 11 Jan 1907, Paris
d. 18 Oct 1982, Paris

Title: Président du Conseil des ministres (President of the Council of Ministers)
Term: 19 Jun 1954 - 23 Feb 1955
Chronology: 18 Jun 1954, endorsed by the vote of investiture, session of the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly), Palais-Bourbon, Paris [1][2]
19 Jun 1954, appointed on the list of members of the Council of Ministers, decree of the President of the Republic [3]
23 Feb 1955, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the appointment of a successor [4]
Biography:
Born in the family of a dress manufacturer who was descended from a long line of Sephardic Jewish dealers of cloth; attended public schools in Paris; obtained a diploma from the École libre des sciences politiques (1923-1925); joined (1924) the Radical Party (Parti Radical); was active in the youth radical organization, Republican and socialist ligue of action (Ligue d'action universitaire républicaine et socialiste); admitted to the bar in Paris (1926), becoming the youngest lawyer in France in the age of 21; earned doctor's degree from the Faculty of Law (1928); practiced law at Louviers, Eure; elected to the Chambre des députés (Chamber of Deputies), representing the département of Eure (1932-1942); mayor of Louviers (1935-1939, 1953-1958); member of the general council of Eure (1937-1958); under-secretary of state for finance under Léon Blum (13 Mar 1938 - 10 Apr 1938); served in air force in Lebanon (1939-1940); returned to France on the eve of German invasion; after the capitulation, he headed for Algeria, but was arrested at Casablanca, Morocco, and was imprisoned in France by the Vichy government (1940); condemned to six years in prison (1941) on charges of desertion; escaped from prison and joined Charles de Gaulle in London (1942); participated in air raids over France and Germany; was approved as a member of the French Committee of National Liberation (Comité français de la Libération nationale) (9 Nov 1943 - 3 Jun 1944); served as commissioner for finance (9 Nov 1943 - 4 Sep 1944) and then as minister of national economy (4 Sep 1944 - 5 Apr 1945); clashed with finance minister René Pleven over the issues of economic development; failed to enlist the support of de Gaulle and resigned; was elected to the second (1946) Assemblée nationale constituante (Constituent National Assembly) and to the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) as a deputy for Eure (1946-1958); served as executive director for France in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Washington, D.C., then French administrator of the International Monetary Fund and French representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council; president of the general council of Eure (1951-1958); severely criticized the policies of the governments of the Fourth Republic; was rejected by the National Assembly as a candidate for forming a government (3 Jun 1953); was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (19 Jun 1954 - 23 Feb 1955) and also served as minister of foreign affairs (19 Jun 1954 - 20 Jan 1955); pledged to end France's involvement in the war in Indochina and ecouraged France's participation in the Geneva conferences; negotiated the Paris Accords that integrated West Germany into the European defence system; first vice-president of the Radical Party (1955-1957); minister of state (1 Feb 1956 - 23 May 1956) in the government of Guy Mollet; opposed de Gaulle's accession to power; excluded from the Radical Party because of his adherence to the Union of Democratic Forces (Union des forces démocratiques); joined the Autonomous Socialist Party (Parti socialiste autonome), which combined with other groups to form the Unified Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste Unifié) in 1960; reelected to the National Assembly (1967-1968) as a deputy for Isère.
Biographical sources: Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1940-1958, 5:364-370.
Elections:

Vote of investiture (17 Jun 1954 - 18 Jun 1954)
votes cast 466
constitutional majority 314
in favour 419
against 47
Source of electoral results: Journal officiel de la République française. Débats parlementaires. Compte rendu in extenso des séances de l'Assemblée nationale et du Conseil de la République. N° 55. Vendredi 18 Juin 1954. P. 3037-3038.

[1] Journal officiel de la République française. Débats parlementaires. Compte rendu in extenso des séances de l'Assemblée nationale et du Conseil de la République. N° 55. Vendredi 18 Juin 1954. P. 2992-3007.
[2] The session of the National Assembly started at 15:00 17 Jun 1954 and continued to 02:00 18 Jun 1954; the results of the vote of investiture were announced at 01:55 18 Jun 1954.
[3] Journal officiel de la République française. Lois et Décrets. N° 142. Dimanche 20 Juin 1954. P. 5843.
[4] Journal officiel de la République française. Lois et Décrets. N° 48. Jeudi 24 Février 1955. P. 2072.

This page was last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 03:25:56

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