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Philippe Pétain (1856—1951) French general and statesman

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Henri Queuille

(b. 1884)

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(b. Neuvic-d'Ussel, 31 Mar. 1884; d. Paris, 15 June 1970)

French; Third and Fourth Republic politician and minister Born in the rural department of the Corrèze, which he represented in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate for over forty years, Henri Queuille epitomized the provincial political class which found its natural home in the Radical Party and flourished in the parliamentary system of the Third and Fourth Republics. A country doctor, he became mayor of his home town of Neuvic in 1912 and was first elected to the Chamber in 1914. He held his first ministerial post in 1920 and became a near permanent feature of France's inter-war governments, particularly at the Agriculture Ministry, which he held on fifteen occasions, but also at Health and at Public Works (where he negotiated the nationalization of the railway network). Queuille's commitment to Republican democracy was demonstrated in 1940 when he refused to vote the handing over of power to Pétain and again in 1943 when he abandoned occupied France for the Free French. He became Vice-President of de Gaulle's government in exile in Algeria. His support for de Gaulle did not, however, extend to support for constitutional Gaullism. One of the few Radicals to make a political comeback after 1945, he was appointed Prime Minister in 1948 of what would be the longest-lasting government (thirteen months) of the Fourth Republic. His administration managed to defuse the threat to the regime of the Communist and Gaullist parties. His brief second (1950) and third (1951) ministries were less successful and he opposed the new political agenda of Mendès France and then of de Gaulle. He did not stand for re-election in 1958 and gave up the Neuvic town hall, which he had occupied for half a century, in 1965.

Subjects: Social sciencesPolitics

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