Bidault, Georges

Bidault, Georges

Bidault, Georges (zhôrzh bēdōˈ), 1899–1983, French political leader. An influential columnist (1932–39), he was imprisoned (1940–41) in World War II and then joined the French underground, becoming its leader. A founder of the Mouvement Républicain Populaire (MRP), one of France's leading postwar parties, he was president of the provisional government (1946), premier (1949–50), and several times foreign minister. Although a strong supporter of Charles de Gaulle in 1958, Bidault opposed the Gaullist policy of Algerian independence and broke with the MRP. In 1962, announcing that he was going underground, he formed the National Council of Resistance within the terrorist Secret Army Organization (OAS); the French government accused Bidault of having become head of the OAS. In exile from 1962, Bidault lived in Brazil and then in Belgium before returning (1968) to France.


See his autobiography (tr. 1967).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bidault, Georges


Born Oct. 5, 1899, in Moulins. French politician and statesman. History instructor by profession.

In the 1930’s, Bidault was editor in chief of the Catholic newspaper L’Aube, the organ of the Catholic party of popular democrats. From 1943 to August 1944 he was chairman of the National Council of Resistance. He was one of the founders (1944) and leaders of the Catholic party, the Popular Republican Movement (MRP). From 1946 to 1962 he was a deputy of the National Assembly. From September 1944 to July 1948 and from January 1953 to June 1954 he was minister of foreign affairs. He signed the Soviet-French (1944) and British-French (1947) treaties of alliance and mutual assistance. From June to November 1946 and from October 1949 to June 1950 he was premier. The activity of Bidault’s second cabinet was marked by an increase in repressions against strikers and by the enactment of a law providing severe penalties for activities in defense of peace (March 1950). In 1951 and 1952 he was minister of defense. Bidault came out as an active supporter of France’s participation in the 1948 Brussels Pact and in NATO and of the creation of the European Defense Community (1952). In the spring and summer of 1954 he stubbornly opposed the concluding of peace in Indochina.

In October 1959, Bidault, who was an advocate of the preservation of French rule in Algeria, headed the provisional executive bureau of the Association for French Algeria. In 1961, Bidault joined the leadership of the terrorist Secret Army Organization (OAS) and then headed the so-called National Council of Resistance which was connected with it. In July 1962, Bidault was stripped of parliamentary immunity by the National Assembly on a charge of “conspiracy against the security of the state,” after which he fled the country. In 1968 he was granted amnesty and returned to France.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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