Paul-Boncour, Joseph(zhôzĕf` pōl-bôNko͞or`), 1873–1972, French statesman. Although a Socialist, he remained independent of party ties from 1931 to 1945. He was permanent French delegate to the League of Nations (1932–36), was briefly premier (1932–33), and held several cabinet posts, notably the foreign ministry (1933–34, 1936, 1938). He voted (1940) against granting full powers to Marshal Pétain. In 1945 he was a delegate to the conference at San Francisco to draw up a charter for the United Nations. Paul-Boncour long advocated disarmament and an international police force as the sole effective means of preserving peace. His personal Recollections of the Third Republic (tr. 1958) is a political memoir.
Born Aug. 4, 1873, in St. Ai-gnan, Loir-et-Cher; died Mar. 28, 1972, in Paris. French statesman.
Paul-Boncour served as minister of labor in 1911. He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1909 to 1914 and from 1919 to 1931 and a senator from 1931 to 1940. Paul-Boncour was a member of the Socialist Party from 1916 to 1931 and again from 1945; in the interim, from 1931 to 1938, he led the Union Socialiste Républicaine. He served as minister of war in 1932, prime minister and minister of foreign affairs in 1932–33, minister of foreign affairs in 1933–34 and 1938, minister of state in 1936, and permanent French delegate to the League of Nations from 1932 to 1936. In the 1930’s, Paul-Boncour was a proponent of organized resistance to German aggression and of cooperation with the Soviet Union. He opposed the French armistice with Nazi Germany in 1940 and the transfer of power to Pétain. A member of the Consultative Assembly in Algiers in 1944, he represented France at the international conference in San Francisco in 1945. He was again a senator from 1946 to 1948.