Editorial Note

On June 12, the government of Joseph Laniel was defeated in the National Assembly on the issue of Indochina by a vote of 306 to 293. The government resigned the following day. In despatch 3373 from Paris, June 30, the Embassy transmitted a detailed analysis of the debates leading to the fall of the Laniel government. (751G.00/63054)

On June 17, Pierre Mendès-France was elected Premier of France by the National Assembly. The vote was 419 to 47 with a large number of abstentions. In his statement of policy delivered prior to the vote, Mendès-France undertook to resign if he were unable to obtain a cease-fire in Indochina on reasonable terms by July 20.

Mendès-France formally took office on June 18. He also assumed the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs.