On Monday, January 7, 1952, French Prime Minister René Pleven lost the first of a series of eight votes of confidence in the French National Assembly during the Assembly’s discussion of enabling provisions for reductions in the railroad and social security budgets. After a vote of 341 to 243 against his government, Pleven tendered his resignation to French President Vincent Auriol thereby [Page 1140] precipitating a political crisis which the Embassy in Paris predicted would be a “long one.” Descriptions of the votes and Pleven’s resignation were transmitted to the Department of State in telegrams 4018 and 4054 from Paris, January 5 and 7, respectively. (751.13/1–552 and 751.00/1–752)
On January 18, Edgar Faure became the new French Prime Minister after he received an ample margin of votes during his investiture debate in the National Assembly. A brief biography of Faure was transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 4294 from Paris, January 19 (751.13/1–1952); a description of his new Cabinet, which was approved on January 22, was contained in telegram 4317 from Paris, January 21. (751.21/1–2152) Robert Schuman remained at his post of Foreign Minister while Henri Queuille and Georges Bidault continued as Vice Premiers with Bidault also serving as Minister of National Defense.