Mr. Georges Marchais, general secretary of the French Communist Party issued a warning to President?
GV EXT. Central Committee building
GV INT. Delegates seated
CV Marchais speaking & delegates listening (9 shots)
Mr. Marchais spoke in French at the Press Conference. Here is a translation of the sound on film.
"In this situation, the majority has devised a new technique by which it has been encouraged to unleash itself against the Communist Party and direct all its blows against it. Consequently a week ago M. Pompidou, himself, gave during a televised interview the signal for this stormy anti-communist campaign. Behaving not as a President of the Republic whose duty is to represent the whole nation, but as a head of a reactionary party, he went so far as to try to exclude from the nation the millions of French people who identify themselves with the ideals and politics of the Communist Party. Each day the Gaullists and Centrist leaders grotesquely caricature our politics, vilely libel our candidates and our militants in their press, their pamphlets and their posters. When they are short of arguments they evoke the grotesque and wilted image of the communist with a knife in his teeth. We draw the attention of the workers, the democrats and the patriots to the possible consequences of this action which reminds one of the worst moments of the cold war."
Initials SGM/1725 SGM/1757
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Background: Mr. Georges Marchais, general secretary of the French Communist Party issued a warning to President Pompidou on Thursday (Feb 15) that it would be a constitutional violation if he failed to select a left-wing prime minister if the Left won the parliamentary elections in March.
Mr. Marchais, speaking at a Press Conference in the party's Central Committee Rooms in Paris, said the Communist Party, within the limits of the law, would see the constitution was respected. It would call on workers and democrats to ensure law and democracy were respected.
SYNOPSIS: In Paris, the Central Committee Building of the French Communist Party was the scene on Thursday of an election press conference by Mr. Georges Marchais, general secretary of the party.
M. Marchais warned President Pompidou that if the Left won the election in March and the President did not select a left-wing prime minister, he would be violating the constitution. If that happened the Communist Party would call on workers and democrats, to ensure by legal means that democracy and law were respected. He said President Pompidou had behaved as the head of a reactionary party, not as a President of the Republic whose duty it was to represent the whole nation. He had gone so far as to try to exclude from the nation the millions of French people who identified themselves with the ideals and the politics of the Communist Party. M. Marchais accused the Gaullists and Centrist leaders of caricaturing left wing politics, and vilely libelling left-wing candidates and militants in the press, in pamphlets and in posters. He claimed the Gaullists evoked what he called the grotesque and wilted image of a communist as someone with a knife in his teeth, whenever they were short of arguments. M. Marchais wanted to draw the attention of the workers, the democrats and the patriots to the possible consequences of actions which he said were reminiscent of the worst moments of the cold war. M. Marchais added that the Communist Party would oppose all manoeuvres which might rob the workers and the democrats of their victory. He said he did not believe opinion polls which said his party had lost half a million votes in a week.