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Born Oct. 15, 1878, in Barcelonnette, Basses-Alpes; died Sept. 21, 1966, in Neuilly-sur-Seine. French statesman. Deputy in parliament from 1919 to 1924, from 1928 to 1940, and from 1946 to 1962.
Reynaud served as minister of finance in 1930, as minister for the colonies in 1931 and 1932, and as deputy premier and minister of justice in 1932. In the 1930’s he was an opponent of the Popular Front. As minister of justice in 1938 and minister of finance from 1938 to 1940 he carried out measures directed against the gains made by the working people during the period of the Popular Front. During World War II, Reynaud served as premier and foreign minister from Mar. 21 to June 16, 1940; from May 18 to June 5 he was minister of national defense. He failed to make use of opportunities to continue the struggle against the fascist armies that had invaded France and contributed to the turnover of power to the capitulator H. P. Pétain. He was interned from 1940 to 1945.
Reynaud was minister of finance in 1948, minister of state in 1950, and deputy premier in 1953 and 1954. He advocated European integration and from 1949 to 1955 was chairman of the Economic Committee of the Council of Europe. In 1958 he headed the advisory committee preparing a constitution for the Fifth Republic. From 1962 he supported the bourgeois opposition to Gaullism. He was the author of memoirs and a number of other works.