- Vincent Auriol
:"For other meanings, see also the disambiguation page
name = Vincent Auriol
birth_date = birth date|1884|8|27|mf=y
birth_place = Revel,
death_date = death date and age|1966|1|1|1884|8|27|mf=y
President of the French Republic Co-Prince of Andorra
term_start3= 16 January 1947
term_end3= 16 January 1954
(no president from 1940 to 1947; Lebrun was the last President before)
(President of the Provisional Government)
office = Interim President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Prime Minister of France
term_start = 28 November 1946
term_end = 16 December 1946
office2 = President of the National Assembly
term_start2 = 31 January 1946
term_end2 = 21 January 1947
party = Socialist (SFIO)
religion = Atheist
spouse = Michelle Aucouturier
Jules-Vincent Auriol (
27 August, 1884 ndash 1 January, 1966) was a French politician who served as the first President of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954. He also served as interim President of the Provisional Government (head of state and government) from November to December 1946, making him one of only three people (with Charles de Gaulleand Alain Poher) who were heads of state of the French Republic on two separate occasions.
Early life and politics
Auriol was born in Revel,
Haute-Garonne, the son of a butcher. He earned a law degree at the Collège de Revelin 1904 and began his career as a lawyerin Toulouse. A committed socialist, Auriol co-founded the newspaper " Le Midi Socialiste" in 1908; he was head of the Association of Journalists in Toulouse at this time.
In 1914, Auriol entered the
Chamber of Deputiesas a Socialist Deputy for Muret, a position he retained until 1940. He also served as Mayor of Muret from 1925 to 1946, and as a member of the Conseil Généralof Haute-Garonnefrom 1928 to 1946. After the breakup of the "Parti Socialiste Unifé" in 1920, Auriol became a founding member of the socialist SFIO party, opposed to the revolutionary rhetoric of the socialist party's left-wing(the core group of the French Communist Party, PCF).
Auriol became the party's leading spokesman on financial issues. He chaired the Finance Committee in the Chamber of Deputies from 1924-1926. His first cabinet post was as Minister of Finance under
Léon Blum, in which Auriol controversially devalued the French franc30% against the United States dollar, leading to capital flightand greater economic unease. This and Blum's proposals for greater regulatory restrictions on industry led to Blum's resignation as Premier; in the next government, led by Camille Chautemps, Auriol was made Minister of Justice, then Minister of Coordination of Services of the Presidency of the Councilin Blum's short-lived government in 1938. Édouard Daladier's conservative-Radical government formed on 10 April 1938 returned Auriol to the Chamber of Deputies.
Auriol voted against the extraordinary powers given to Prime Minister
Philippe Pétainon 10 July 1940 that brought about the Nazi-backed Vichy government. As a result, he was placed under house arrestuntil he escaped to the French Resistancein October 1942, and fought with the resistance for a year. Auriol fled to Londonin October 1943. He represented the Socialists at the Free FrenchConsultative Assembly (organized by Charles de Gaullein Algierslater that year). In July 1944, he represented France at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conferenceat Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. He was a Minister of State in de Gaulle's second provisional government.
Postwar life and presidency
World War II, Auriol served as Minister of State in de Gaulle's provisional government. He was also a member of the Constituent Assemblies which drafted the constitution of the short-lived French Fourth Republic, and was President of the assemblies. He lobbied for a "third force" between Communismand Gaullism. Auriol also led the French delegation to the United Nationsand was France's first representative on the United Nations Security Councilin 1946. He served as a Deputy for Haute-Garonnein the National Assembly from 1946 until 16 January 1947, when the National Assembly elected him as the first President of the Fourth Republic. Auriol was elected by a wide margin, receiving 452 votes against the 242 for the People's Republican Movement(MRP) candidate, Auguste Champetier de Ribes.
As president, Auriol pursued a relatively weak presidency as there had been under the Third Republic, and attempted to reconcile political factions within France and warm relations between France and its allies. He was criticized for France's ailing economy and political turmoil in the postwar period, and the war in Indochina. A series of debilitating strikes were waged across France in 1947, initiated by the
Confédération Générale du Travail. The strikes escalated into violence in November of that year, leading, on 28 November, to the government deploying 80,000 French Army reservists to face the " insurrection". The PCF, who often supported the strikes, were expelled from the legislature in early December. The strikes ended on 10 December, but more would come in 1948, and again in 1953 in response to the Joseph Lanielgovernment's austerityprogram.
Apart from the inconclusive war in Indochina, France's colonial empire decayed under Auriol's presidency. Clashes in
Morocco, Madagascar, Algeria, and Tunisiabecame more frequent; an Algerian independence movement, the Front de Libération Nationale, was founded in 1951, in 1953 the French overthrew Mohammed V, the Sultan of Morocco, after he demanded greater autonomy. France also waged a brutal war of repression in Madagascar, and imprisoned Tunisian independence leader Habib Bourguibain 1952.
When Auriol's term as president expired, he did not run for a second, and was succeeded by
René Cotyas President of France on 16 January 1954. Auriol commented on leaving office: "The work was killing me; they called me out of bed at all hours of the night to receive resignations of prime ministers" [http://www.bartleby.com/63/10/10.html] . (There were eighteen different governments during his seven years as President.)
After his presidency, Auriol assumed the role of
elder statesman, and wrote articles on political topics. Auriol became a member of the Constitutional Council of Francein 1958 at the establishment of the French Fifth Republic; he resigned from the SFIO in the same year. He unsuccessfully lobbied against the constitution in the 1958 national referendum, and resigned from his position on the Constitutional Council in 1960 to protest the growing power of Charles de Gaulle's presidency. In 1965, he endorsed François Mitterrandfor the Presidency. Auriol died at Muret, Haute-Garonne.
* [http://worldatwar.net/biography/a/auriol/ World at war biography]
* [http://www.politique.com/dossiers/france/biographies/vincent-auriol.htm Timeline of Auriol's life]
* [http://www.histonumismatica.fr/1947/Index.htm Timeline of the Auriol government]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8091 Vincent Auriol] at Find-A-Grave
* "Scouting Round the World", John S. Wilson, first edition, Blandford Press 1959, p. 150
Politics of France
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