Édouard Daladier


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Daladier, Édouard

 

Born June 18, 1884, in Carpentras; died Oct. 11,1970, in Paris. French politician and statesman.

Daladier was one of the leaders of the Radical Party and was its chairman in the periods 1927–31, 1935–38, and 1957–58. Between 1924 and 1940 he repeatedly entered the government. He was premier from January to October 1933, January to February 1934, and April 1938 to March 1940. As leader of the Radical Party, Daladier took part in the Popular Front and helped in its victory. But in October 1938, the leadership of the Radicals, headed by Daladier, split the Popular Front and the government of Daladier liquidated a number of its achievements.

Pursuing a policy of appeasing the fascist aggressors, Daladier signed the Munich Pact of 1938. After declaring war on fascist Germany on Sept. 3, 1939, the government conducted the “phony war,” which led up to the fall of France in the summer of 1940. From 1947 to 1954, Daladier headed the Union of Left Republicans. He spoke out against the colonial war of France in Indochina (1945–54), against the plan for the creation of the European Defense Community, and against the antidemocratic articles of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic (1958). After 1958 he withdrew from political life.