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French Attitudes and British Expectations

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Abstract

These words were written on 24 June 1953 as the longest political crisis in the history of the Fourth Republic – it had lasted five weeks – was about to end in the formation of a new government. As André Siegfried later explained, there was no coherent majority in the predominantly right-wing National Assembly. Every time a government fell – a frequent occurrence – an ad hoc majority had to be cobbled together by the next coalition cabinet: not to support a particular party, but to endorse a programme embodying the lowest common denominator of diverse political objectives. This crisis had lasted longer than most because it had no single cause, only a multiplicityof conflicting grievances, some more urgent and important than others: ‘trois questions fondamentales, mettant chacune en cause l’intérêt national … politique économique … l’Europe … l’lndochine, ce boulet qu’on traîne avec une impatience croissante’.2

Keywords

Prime Minister Foreign Minister Lower Common Denominator Military Effort French Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Sir James Cable 2000

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