Edgar Faure

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Edgar Faure
Edgar Faure 1955.jpg
Edgar Faure at the Geneva Summit (1955)
President of French National Assembly
In office
2 April 1973 – 2 April 1978
Preceded by Achille Peretti
Succeeded by Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Prime Minister of France
In office
20 January 1952 – 8 March 1952
President Vincent Auriol
Preceded by René Pleven
Succeeded by Antoine Pinay
In office
23 February 1955 – 1 February 1956
President René Coty
Preceded by Pierre Mendès-France
Succeeded by Guy Mollet
Personal details
Born 18 August 1908
Béziers
Died 30 March 1988(1988-03-30) (aged 79)
Paris
Political party Radical

Edgar Faure (French: [ɛdɡaʁ foʁ]; 18 August 1908 – 30 March 1988) was a French politician, essayist, historian, and memoirist.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Faure was born in Béziers, Languedoc-Roussillon, to a French army doctor. He was nearsighted yet a brilliant student since young age, earning a bachelor's degree at 15, and a law degree at 19 in Paris.[1][2] At 21 years of age he became a member of the Bar, the youngest lawyer in France to do so at the time. While living in Paris, he became active in Third Republic politics, and joined the Radical Party.

During the German occupation of World War II, he joined the French Resistance in the Maquis, and in 1942 fled to Charles de Gaulle's headquarters in Algiers, where he was made head of the Provisional Government of the Republic's legislative department. At the end of the war he served as French counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials.

In 1946, he was elected to the French Parliament as a Radical.[2] While the popularity of his party declined to less than 10 per cent of the total vote, none of the other parties was able to gain a clear majority. As such, early on, Faure’s party often played a disproportionately important role in the formation of French governments. In this, he led the cabinet in 1952 and from 1955 to 1956. Faure was a leader of the more conservative wing of the party, opposing the party's left under Pierre Mendès-France.

Faure's views changed during the Fourth Republic, and after initial opposition to the Fifth Republic (he voted against presidential election by universal suffrage in the 1962 referendum), he eventually became a Gaullist. De Gaulle's party, the Union for the New Republic, sent him on an unofficial mission to the People's Republic of China in 1963. In government he served in successive ministries: Agriculture (1966–1968), National Education (1968–1969, where he was responsible for pushing through reform of the universities), and Social Affairs (1972–1973). He declined to be a candidate at the 1974 presidential election, and supported Valéry Giscard d'Estaing against the Gaullist candidate Jacques Chaban-Delmas.

He had the reputation of a careerist and the nickname of "weathercock". He replied with humour that "it is not the weathercock which turns; it is the wind!".

He was a member of the National Assembly for the département of Jura from 1946 to 1958, and for the départment of Doubs from 1967 to 1980. He presided over the French National Assembly from 1973 to 1978. He sought another term as Assembly President in 1978 but was defeated by Chaban-Delmas. Faure was a Senator from 1959 to 1967 for Jura, and again in 1980 for Doubs. In 1978 he became a Member of the Académie française.

On the regional, departmental and local levels, Edgar Faure was mayor of Port-Lesney (Jura) from 1947 to 1971, and from 1983 to 1988, and mayor of Pontarlier between 1971 and 1977; he served as president of the General Council of the Jura départment from 1949 to 1967, then member of the General Council of the Doubs from 1967 to 1979, president of the council of the Franche-Comté région (1974–1981, 1982–1988).

Edgar Faure was buried at Cimetière de Passy, Paris.

Personal life[edit]

Lucie and Edgar Faure in 1955

In 1931 Faure married Lucie Meyer, a daughter of a silk merchant one month his senior. They spent their one-month-long honeymoon in the Soviet Union.[1]

Political career[edit]

Governmental functions

  • President of the Council (Prime minister) : January–February 1952 / February–December 1955
  • Secretary of State for Finances : 1949–1950
  • Minister of Budget : 1950–1951
  • Minister of Justice : 1951–1952
  • Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs : 1953–1955
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs : January–February 1955
  • Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning : May–June 1958
  • Minister of Agriculture : 1966–1968
  • Minister of National Education : 1968–1969
  • Minister of State, Minister of Social Affairs : 1972–1973

Electoral mandates

Works[edit]

He published the following books:

  • Le serpent et la tortue (les problèmes de la Chine populaire), Juillard, 1957
  • La disgrâce de Turgot, Gallimard, 1961
  • La capitation de Dioclétien, Sirey 1961
  • Prévoir le présent, Gallimard, 1966
  • L'éducation nationale et la participation, Plon, 1968
  • Philosophie d'une réforme, Plon, 1969
  • L'âme du combat, Fayard, 1969
  • Ce que je crois, Grasset, 1971
  • Pour un nouveau contrat social, Seuil, 1973
  • Au-delà du dialogue avec Philippe Sollers, Balland, 1977
  • La banqueroute de Law, Gallimard, 1977
  • La philosophie de Karl Popper et la société politique d'ouverture, Firmin Didot, 1981
  • Pascal: le procès des provinciales, Firmin Didot, 1930
  • Le pétrole dans la paix et dans la guerre, Nouvelle revue critique 1938
  • Mémoires I, "Avoir toujours raison, c'est un grand tort", Plon, 1982
  • Mémoires II, "Si tel doit être mon destin ce soir", Plon, 1984
  • Discours prononcé pour la réception de Senghor à l'Académie française, le 29 mars 1984

Governments[edit]

First ministry (20 January – 8 March 1952)[edit]

Second ministry (23 February 1955 – 1 February 1956)[edit]

Changes

  • 6 October 1955 – Pierre Billotte succeeds Koenig as Minister of National Defense and Armed Forces. Vincent Badie succeeds Triboulet as Minister of Veterans and War Victims.
  • 20 October 1955 – Pierre July leaves the Cabinet and the office of Minister of Moroccan and Tunisian Affairs is abolished.
  • 1 December 1955 – Edgar Faure succeeds Bourgès-Maunoury as interim Minister of the Interior.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Foreign News: FRANCE'S NEW PREMIER. Time. 7 March 1955
  2. ^ a b c Edgar Faure. Encyclopaedia Britannica
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Spinasse
Minister of Budget
1950–1951
Succeeded by
Pierre Courant
Preceded by
René Mayer
Minister of Justice
1951–1952
Succeeded by
Léon Martinaud-Deplat
Preceded by
René Pleven
Prime Minister of France
1952
Succeeded by
Antoine Pinay
Preceded by
René Mayer
Minister of Finance
1952
Succeeded by
Antoine Pinay
Preceded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Minister of Finance
1953–1955
Succeeded by
Robert Buron
Preceded by
Minister of Planning
1954–1955
Succeeded by
Robert Buron
Preceded by
Pierre Mendès-France
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1955
Succeeded by
Antoine Pinay
Preceded by
Pierre Mendès-France
Prime Minister of France
1955–1956
Succeeded by
Guy Mollet
Preceded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
interim Minister of the Interior
1955–1956
Succeeded by
Jean Gilbert-Jules
Preceded by
Pierre Pflimlin
Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs, and Planning
1958
Succeeded by
Antoine Pinay
Preceded by
Edgard Pisani
Minister of Agriculture
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Robert Boulin
Preceded by
François-Xavier Ortoli
Minister of National Education
1968–1969
Succeeded by
Olivier Guichard
Preceded by
Minister of Social Affairs
1972–1973
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Achille Peretti
President of the National Assembly
1973–1978
Succeeded by
Jacques Chaban-Delmas