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Camille Chautemps

Camille Chautemps
98th Prime Minister of France
In office
21 February 1930 – 2 March 1930
Preceded by André Tardieu
Succeeded by André Tardieu
107th Prime Minister of France
In office
26 November 1933 – 30 January 1934
Preceded by Albert Sarraut
Succeeded by Édouard Daladier
115th Prime Minister of France
In office
22 June 1937 – 13 March 1938
Preceded by Léon Blum
Succeeded by Léon Blum
Personal details
Born 1 February 1885
Paris, France
Died 1 July 1963(1963-07-01) (aged 78)
Washington, D.C., United States
Political party Radical

Camille Chautemps (1 February 1885 – 1 July 1963) was a French Radical politician of the Third Republic, three times President of the Council (Prime Minister).


  • Career 1
    • Early Career 1.1
    • The 1930s 1.2
      • Prime Minister twice 1.2.1
      • Deputy Prime Minister and Premier for the last time 1.2.2
      • The Run-up to World War II 1.2.3
  • World War II and Defection to the United States 2
  • Chautemps's First Ministry, 21 February – 2 March 1930 3
  • Chautemps's Second Ministry, 26 November 1933 – 30 January 1934 4
  • Chautemps's Third Ministry, 22 June 1937 – 18 January 1938 5
  • Chautemps's Fourth Ministry, 18 January – 13 March 1938 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early Career

Described as "intellectually bereft,"[1] Chautemps nevertheless entered politics and became Mayor of Tours in 1912, and a Radical deputy in 1919. Between 1924 and 1926, he served in the center-left coalition governments of Édouard Herriot, Paul Painlevé and Aristide Briand.

Initiated freemason in 1906 in "les Demophines" lodge of Grand Orient of France, he became master in 1908, Worshipful Master of his lodge in 1910 and reached 30th degree in Scottish Rite during 1924[2]. He quitted Freemasonry in 1938 for political reasons.

The 1930s

Prime Minister twice

He became President of the Council briefly in 1930. Again in center-left governments in 1932–1934, he served as Interior Minister, and became Prime Minister again in November 1933. His government fell and he resigned his posts on 27 January 1934 as a result of the corrupt Stavisky Affair, when the press accused him of having Stavisky murdered to shut him up.[3]

Deputy Prime Minister and Premier for the last time

In Léon Blum's Popular Front government of 1936, Chautemps was a Minister of State, and then succeeded Blum at the head of the government from June 1937 to March 1938. During this period the Franc was devalued but government finances remained in a mess.[4] Pursuing the program of the Popular Front, he proceeded to nationalize the railroads and create the SNCF. However in January 1938 Chautempts drove the Socialists out of his government.[5] In February he granted married women financial and legal independence (up until that point, wives had been dependent on their husbands to take action involving family finances), to enroll in university, and to open bank accounts. His government also repealed Article 213 of the code, which stated "the husband owes protection to his wife, the wife obedience to the husband", though the husband remained "head of the household", with "the right to choose the household’s place of residence".[6] His government fell on 10 March.[7]

The Run-up to World War II

Chautemps subsequently served from April 1938 to May 1940 as Deputy Premier in the governments of Édouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, and, after the latter's resignation, as Deputy Premier again, this time to Marshal Philippe Pétain.

World War II and Defection to the United States

France having declared war on Germany in September 1939, in May 1940 the German Army invaded and swept aside all opposition. With the fall of Dunkirk on 5 June and the defeat of the French army imminent, Chautemps, dining with

  • Camille Chautemps papers, 20 feet housed at Stanford University Libraries

External links

  1. ^ Williams, Charles, Pétain, Little Brown (Time Warner Book Group UK), London, 2005, p.283, ISBN 0-316-86127-8
  2. ^ Dictionnaire universel de la Franc-Maçonnerie by Monique Cara and Jean-Marc Cara and Marc de Jode (ed. Larousse, 2011)
  3. ^ Williams, 2005, p.259.
  4. ^ Griffiths, Richard, Pétain, Constable, London, 1970, p.p.197, ISBN 0-09-455740-3
  5. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.197.
  6. ^ [France since 1870: Culture, Politics and Society by Charles Sowerine]
  7. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.197.
  8. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.231.
  9. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.235.
  10. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.237.
  11. ^ Webster, Paul, Pétain's Crime, Pan Macmillan, London, 1990, p.40, ISBN 0-333-57301-3
  12. ^ Griffiths, 1970, p.239.
  13. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica


Political offices
Preceded by
Anatole de Monzie
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
René Renoult
Preceded by
André Tardieu
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
André Tardieu
Preceded by
Albert Sarraut
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Édouard Daladier
Preceded by
Léon Blum
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Léon Blum

Chautemps's Fourth Ministry, 18 January – 13 March 1938

Chautemps's Third Ministry, 22 June 1937 – 18 January 1938

  • 9 January 1934 – Lucien Lamoureux succeeds Dalimier as Minister of Colonies. Eugène Frot succeeds Lamoureux as Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions. William Bertrand succeeds Frot as Minister of Merchant Marine.


Chautemps's Second Ministry, 26 November 1933 – 30 January 1934

Chautemps's First Ministry, 21 February – 2 March 1930

Chautemps broke with Philippe Petain's Government of France after arriving in the United States on an official mission, and lived there for much of the rest of his life. After World War II, a French court convicted him in absentia for collaborating with the enemy[13]).

[12]) was flinging accusations of cowardice around the room, and Chautemps and others replied in kind. It was now clear that Reynaud would not accept the Chautemps Proposal, and he resigned.[11]

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