France History – The Blum, Ramadier, Schuman, Marie, Queille Toilets

A homogeneous transitional government directed by Blum (December 16, 1946 – January 16, 1947) – which was reached for the subsequent elimination of the candidacies M. Thorez and G. Bidault and which in the short month of life implemented the experience against the high cost of living of a legislative decrease in prices – laid the foundations of the Franco-English alliance treaty, had to face the serious uprising of Indochina, organized the institutes of the fourth republic with the election of the members of the council of the republic (November 24 and 8 December), which has roughly the same political color as the national assembly and the meeting (January 16, 1947) of the first congress in Versailles, which entrusts the presidency of the republic to Vincent Auriol on the first ballot.

On a programmatic declaration based on the principles of ministerial solidarity, the increase in production, the balance of the budget, the administrative reorganization, and on the triple refusal to accept the sliding scale in the field of wages, to capitulate in Indochina and to enter one of the two opposing international blocs, on 21 January 1947 Ramadier’s designation was ratified unanimously by the national assembly and took the form of a coalition cabinet.

According to PAYHELPCENTER, at the Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Moscow from 10 March to 24 April 1947 to resolve the German problem in the sense of making a thesis prevail for the future constitutional order of Germany that not only opposes the Soviet centralizing thesis but goes even further beyond the Anglo-American one of the federal state to simply propose a federation of states; it also seeks to obtain the political separation of the Ruhr from Germany with the creation of a special political regime under international control (not only of the big four) and the immediate economic-monetary connection of the Saar to France, governed by an autonomous statute by a high commissioner French. But none of the requests succeeded and, Land Rhenish-Palatine, having elections held in the Saar on 5 October, followed by a new political constitution on 8 November and the introduction of the French franc instead of the mark on 14 November.

However, the 50-year alliance treaty concluded with England and signed on March 4, 1947 in Dunkirk, as well as Marshall’s Declaration at Harvard University (June 5), are a platform for the increasingly sensitive French entry into the western bloc: clearly visible and ever faster, after the failure of the Parisian Bevin-Molotov-Bidault conference (June 27-July 2) and the Bidault-Bevin initiative for a conference of sixteen nations regarding the Marshall Plan. The evolution of the internal situation has a significant influence on this shift, where the worsening of the Indochinese crisis has led to the end of ministerial cohesion (communist abstention from national assembly on 19 March in the vote of confidence on government policy in Indochina and on 22 on military credits) and this at the moment when De Gaulle with his speech in Strasbourg (7 April), launches the campaign for a Rassemblement populaire français in clear function undemocratic. An accidental cause – an impromptu strike at the Renault workshops – caused the tension to evolve in the sense that on 4 May a presidential decree declared the Communist ministers lapsed from their functions. Placed now between the double opposition of De Gaulle on the one hand (speeches in Bordeaux of May 15, Lille of June 29, Rennes of August 27) and Communist on the other, hampered by a continuous succession of strikes, the Ramadier cabinet gave proof of great energy (on May 25, for example, he succeeded in making the planned strike of the

More and more worn out by the fight on two fronts, which has become even more acute after the remarkable success achieved in the municipal elections of 19 October by the young RPF (success which authorizes De Gaulle to demand the dissolution of the national assembly on 27 October), Ramadier reshapes on 22 October his own cabinet by sacrificing the directors France Gouin and A. Philip, while in the national assembly the secretary of the SFIO M. Guy-Mollet launches an appeal for a grouping of all “sincere democrats and genuine partisans of national independence”, is valid that is to say for the insertion between the pro-Soviet and the pro-American currents of a “third force”. But on the 30th this new ministry obtained the trust with just 20 majority votes (300 against 280): too little for it to resist, especially since the November 11 bloody incidents in Marseille are the harbinger of a new, vigorous wave of strikes; so on November 19 the Ramadier government resigned.

An attempt was made to resolve the crisis on the platform indicated by GuyMollet, but the rigid stance of struggle on two fronts and directing for all economic sectors still deficient made – for the lack of 9 votes – the Blum candidacy fail (November 21, 1947); instead the following day he had 412 votes against 184 R. Schuman. His rapidly constituted cabinet is only in the general lines of the third force since the presence of the radical René Mayer and the support given to him also by parliamentary areas very close to the RPF show that his political axis is significantly inclined to the right. This shift was favored by its emergence as the strike wave reached its peak: with skilful passive resistance, not free from prudent security measures and the drafting of a law ” the increasingly strong transfer of positions by the Schuman cabinet to the Right went on (at the end of January 1948 there was a fear of the break between MRP and SFIO; the strengthened agreement is however at the mercy of a fluctuating group of the UDSR led by René Pleven linked to the RPF). This was clearly visible in the economic-financial field, where an already attenuated Mayer exceptional withdrawal plan was voted on only because the question of trust was posed (January 3, 1948) 5 times in the same session and was rewarded by measures with which liberal theses were accepted (see above: Finance). Concessions towards the right were also obtained with the abandonment of ideological positions and in the international field (reopening on 10 February 1948 of the Spanish border which had been closed on 1 March 1946) and in that of the French Union (negotiations with the former -anamite emperor Bao-Daï).

The international situation has not a little influenced this evolution towards the right. The total failure of the Conference of the Four Foreign Ministers in London (25 November-15 December 1947) once again left the French requests on the German problem unacceptable; however, this setback resulted in a certain rapprochement between the Anglo-American and the French thesis, on the basis of the French renunciation of a “political and economic” detachment of the Ruhr and the Rhineland under international control and the Anglo-American acceptance which allowed for bring the Saar back into the French economic system. This “revirement” is not without shock: lively, for example, are the French protests for the organization of the bi-zone operated at the Frankfurt conference in January-February 1948. However, the international evolution fixes France more and more in the western bloc and in agreements with American and British politics: on 21 January 1948 a joint Anglo-French step is taken at the Benelux to extend the Dunkirk alliance treaty to this and it becomes concrete in the five-party conference opened in Brussels on 4 March; on 23 February an Anglo-Franco-American tripartite conference opens in London and at the end the French delegate R. Massigli wins a principled victory over the two burning issues of international control of the Ruhr and the federal form to be given to the German government; the second conference of sixteen opens on 16 March at the Quai d’Orsay.

With the signing of the Brussels pact on March 17, which is both a military alliance and an economic agreement between France, England and the Benelux countries, with the stipulation of the protocol for the customs union with Italy and travel by Bidault in Turin (March 20, 1948), France has now become an active diplomatic element in the Western bloc as a whole.

However, that certain margin of still fluid situation, for which it was possible for French politics to remain in an intermediate position between the total alignment with Washington (logical conclusion of the violently anti-communist position of a De Gaulle, who on 7 March 1948 in Compiègne declared himself ready to assume power) and the creation of a vast European team on the Bevin platform (speech by Bidault on February 12 to the National Assembly; demonstration in March by many deputies for the convening of a European Constituent Assembly), yes is with the onset of summer quickly worn down. In this way, at the end of May 1948, the acceptance of those “recommendations” of the conference of six held in London on the German problem, that by almost all parties and by very large areas of French public opinion they were considered to be such as to compromise the security of the country from a German awakening. Although – after a bitter six-day debate – a slight majority in the National Assembly endorsed the work of G. Bidault in London, his prestige was seriously compromised.

While the progressive strengthening of the degollist movement (elections in April for the Algerian Assembly; first congress of the RPF held in Marseille on April 16-18) has increased the disturbance within the French nation, on the government-parliamentary level to the bitter controversy on foreign policy, no less serious dissensions have been added on the level of the defense of secularism and economic-social policy. The divorce between the MRP and the SFIO is implemented in the budget of the military credits and on 19 July the Schuman cabinet is resigned. The crisis was closed on July 26 with the establishment of a cabinet chaired by the radical André Marie and whose main characteristics were the disappearance of G. Bidault from the Foreign Office, now replaced by the former president Schuman, and the return to government – after so many years – of Fr. Reynaud. The Marie cabinet, which had been opposed only by the communists when it was formed, however, had a short life: the socialists, increasingly agitated by a serious crisis, soon found unacceptable the complex of economic and financial projects sponsored by Reynaud and August 27 took responsibility for opening a new government crisis. Ramadier having declined the task of setting up the new cabinet (29 August) and being a new Schuman experiment – on the platform of the third force – lasted just 64 hours (5-7 September 1948), the radical Henri Queille managed to establish the new government only on 11 September 1948, yielding to the degollist opposition on the verge of elections within the year for the council of the republic. Although he has managed to achieve a large majority in the national assembly (335 votes against 229) and has already achieved a first victory in financial matters, however the fate of the Queille cabinet is still uncertain, especially since the communists are now calling for new general elections.. On the other hand, the degollist agitation is becoming more and more intense and in Grenoble on 19 September 1948 it has already caused a bloody confrontation.

A whole series of strikes, inaugurated in the first days of September and then gradually reassured, in the mining areas, especially in Bethune, St. Etienne and Gard, in the days between 18 and 28 October, put a strain on the Queille cabinet. which, however, surpassed it quite well, especially for the energy of the Minister of the Interior Moch. But the agitations, even if for the moment overcome, have nevertheless worked not only against their inspirers, especially Communists, but also against the “third force” parties; what we saw in the first and second degree elections for the council of the republic (October 17 and November 7), which constituted a new success for De Gaulle, a retreat of the communist positions and even more of those of the MRP.

The Blum, Ramadier, Schuman, Marie, Queille Toilets

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