Bernard Cornut-Gentille

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Bernard Cornut-Gentille (26 July 1909 – 21 January 1992) was a French administrator and politician.

Born in Brest, Finistère, Cornut-Gentille studied at the École Libre des Sciences Politiques. In 1943 he was appointed as the Subprefect of Reims, but resigned to assist the Free French delegate Émile Bollaert. Following the Liberation of France he served as Prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine, of the Somme, and of the Bas-Rhin. In 1948 he was appointed High Commissioner in French Equatorial Africa then, from 1951 to 1956, High Commissioner in French West Africa.

After this, he served as France's permanent representative to the United Nations Security Council, and in 1957 as ambassador to Argentina.

Standing for the Gaullist Party, the UNR, he was elected to represent Alpes-Maritimes in the 1958 election to the National Assembly of France. He had been minister without portfolio in June 1958, then Minister of Overseas France from 3 June 1958 to 8 January 1959 in the governments of Charles de Gaulle. Under Michel Debré he served as Minister of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones from 8 January 1959 to 5 February 1960. He resigned ministerial office at the same time as Jacques Soustelle, over the handling of the affair of the barricades in Algiers and broke with the Gaullists.

He sat in the National Assembly as an independent (French: non-inscrit) until 1968 and again from 1973 to 1978. Locally, he served as mayor of Cannes from 1959 to 1968 and from 1971 to 1978. Here he initiated a programme of redevelopment and renovation.

His nephew François Cornut-Gentille has served as representative of the Haute-Marne department since 1993 and mayor of Saint-Dizier since 1995.

External links[edit]

  • (French) Biography at the website of the Assemblée nationale