• Short Summary

    PRESIDENT DE GAULLE LEFT PARIS UNEXPECTEDLY FOR HIS COUNTRY HOME TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AMID MOUNTING SPECULATIONS OVER HIS FUTURE.

  • Description

    PRESIDENT DE GAULLE LEFT PARIS UNEXPECTEDLY FOR HIS COUNTRY HOME TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AMID MOUNTING SPECULATIONS OVER HIS FUTURE. OFFICIALS AT THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE DECLINED TO COMMENT ON THE GENERAL'S DEPARTURE, BUT IT WAS GENERALLY SEEN AS GIVING HIM A PERIOD OF REFLECTION OUTSIDE PARIS IN ORDER TO TAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS ON THE WORSENING POLITICAL CRISIS.

    AT THE SAME TIME, THE FRENCH NINE-MAN CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL WAS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN ASKED TO BE READY TO HOLD AN URGENT SESSION IF REQUIRED, GIVING RISE TO SUGGESTIONS THAT THE 77-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT MIGHT BE PREPARING TO RETIRE. ONE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL IS TO ACCEPT THE RESIGNATION OF OUTGOING PRESIDENTS.

    GENERAL DE GAULLE COMMANDED THE FREE FRENCH FORCES DURING WORLD WAR TWO, AND RETURNED TO FRANCE IN JUNE, 1944, AFTER THE ALLIED INVASION OF NORMANDY. IN AUGUST, HE WAS BACK IN PARIS AS HEAD OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF LIBERATED FRANCE AND CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES.

    EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER HE RETIRED FROM OFFICE AND LIVED, WITH HIS WIFE YVONNE, MAINLY AT HIS COUNTRY HOME - ALOOF AND EXASPERATED WITH THE PARTY STRUGGLES OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC. THE LONG-DRAWN STRUGGLE BETWEEN FRANCE AND THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT IN ALGERIA BROUGHT THE CALL FOR HIS RETURN. THE GENERAL ACCEPTED, DEMANDED A NEW CONSTITUTION, AND IN DECEMBER, 1958, BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE FIFTH REPUBLIC.

    BUT THE LATER DEVELOPMENTS OF HIS ALGERIAN POLICY LED TO TWO ATTEMPTS ON HIS LIFE, SPONSORED BY EXTREMIST ORGANISATIONS. BOTH WERE ATTACKS ON THE CAR IN WHICH THE PRESIDENT AND HIS WIFE WERE TRAVELLING.

    IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THE PRESIDENT BEGAN TO PURSUE A STRONGLY INDEPENDENT LINE, OFTEN TO THE EMBARRASSMENT OF THE ALLIES OF FRANCE. NEGOTIATIONS ON THE FIRST ATTEMPT BY BRITAIN TO JOIN THE COMMON MARKET IN 1963 WERE CUT BY HIS PRONOUNCEMENT THAT SHE WAS NOT YET READY. A FEW DAYS LATER, PRESIDENT DE GAULLE AND DR. KONRAD ADENAUER, THE LATE WEST GERMAN CHANCELLOR, SIGNED A SPECIAL TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP.

    IN 1965, PRESIDENT DE GAULLE HAD TO FACE THE ELECTORS UNDER HIS OWN PROPOSALS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS BY UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE. THE RESULT WAS SOMETHING OF A SHOCK: HE WAS RE-ELECTED FOR ANOTHER SEVEN-YEAR TERM, BUT ONLY ON THE SECOND BALLOT.

    INCREASING AGE HAS NOT LIMITED THE GENERAL'S CAPACITY FOR TRAVELLING. IN 1966, HE MADE A SIX-THOUSAND MILE (10,000 KM) TOUR OF THE SOVIET UNION. TWO MONTHS LATER HE WAS OFF ROUND THE WORLD. ONE OF HIS VISITS WAS TO PNOM-PENH IN CAMBODIA WHERE HA CALLED ON AMERICA TO WITHDRAW FROM VIETNAM. SINCE THEN HE HAS TRAVELLED TO VARIOUS COUNTRIES INCLUDING CANADA, POLAND AND RUMANIA - A VISIT HE EVENTUALLY DECIDED TO CUT SHORT THIS MONTH IN VIEW OF THE GROWING TURMOIL IN PARIS.

    M. GEORGES POMPIDOU, THE FRENCH PRIME MINISTER SINCE 1962, HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE MOST LIKELY MAN TO SUCCEED DE GAULLE AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT. HE HAS BEEN A CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF THE GENERAL SINCE 1944 WHEN, THOUGH NOT A MEMBER OF THE FRENCH RESISTANCE, HE WAS APPOINTED TO A RESPONSIBLE POST ON DE GAULLE'S PERSONAL STAFF. POMPIDOU STARTED LIFE AS A TEACHER OF ENGLISH, NOT AS A POLITICIAN.

    HE SUCCESSFULLY CLEARED UP THE AFTERMATH OF THE WITHDRAWAL FROM ALGERIA BY RE-INTEGRATING 800,000 FRENCH SETTLERS BACK INTO FRANCE WITH THE MINIMUM OF UPHEAVAL. HE HAS RECENTLY PLAYED A GROWING ROLE IN ACTIVATING THE FRENCH ECONOMY AND IS A FIRM BELIEVER IN PROMOTING NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND MONETARY STABILITY.

    M. FRANCOIS MITTERAND, LEADER OF THE FRENCH FEDERATION OF THE LEFT, HAS ANNOUNCED THAT HE WILL BE A REFERENDUM ON SOCIAL REFORM THAT DE GAULLE HAS CALLED FOR JUNE 16TH. MITTERAND WAS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE - REPRESENTING THE ENTIRE FRENCH LEFT WING - IN THE 1965 ELECTION AND CAME WITHIN 3 MILLION VOTES OF DEFEATING DE GAULLE.

    A FORMER RESISTANCE FIGHTER, MITTERAND WAS APPOINTED BY GENERAL DE GAULLE TO THE "INSURRECTIONARY GOVERNMENT" INSIDE FRANCE IN 1944 AND WAS 11 TIMES A MINISTER IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC. HE WAS MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR IN 1954/55 AND MINISTER IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC. HE OPPOSED DE GAULLE'S RETURN TO POWER IN 1958 AND CAME OUT IN SUPPORT OF ALGERIAN INDEPENDENCE. HE HAS OPPOSED ALL THE GENERAL'S POLICIES EXCEPT FOR THE ALGERIAN CEASEFIRE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9W4RGMH4PTCTVVV891E4LYMI4
    Media URN:
    VLVA9W4RGMH4PTCTVVV891E4LYMI4
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    29/05/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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