Pleven, René(rənā` plĕväN`), 1901–93, French political leader. He held various diplomatic and financial posts in the Free French government during World War II and served (1944–46) as minister of finance in the provisional French government. As premier (1950–51), Pleven worked for European political unity. His centrist coalition government fell in Mar., 1951, and he served as vice-premier until August when he again became premier until Jan., 1952. He held several other ministerial posts until 1958. Out of ministerial office during Charles de Gaulle's tenure, he maintained his seat in the national assembly. He was minister of justice from 1969 to 1973, when he lost his assembly seat.
Born Apr. 15, 1901, in Rennes. French political figure and statesman. Joined the Free French in 1940.
From 1941 to 1944, Pleven was commissioner of finance, colonies, and foreign affairs of the French National Committee and the French Committee for National Liberation. From 1944 to 1946 he occupied the posts of minister of colonies, minister of finance, and minister of the economy in the provisional government. From 1946 to 1969 he was a deputy to the National Assembly. From 1946 to 1953 he was chairman of the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance. In 1949–50 and from 1952 to 1954 he was minister of defense, and from July 1950 to February 1951 and August 1951 to January 1952, premier. He advocated the creation and strengthening of the European Defense Community and NATO. In 1950 he put forth a plan for the creation of a military bloc of Western European states, which became known as the Pleven plan. He was instrumental in France’s involvement in the colonial war in Indochina. In May 1958 he became foreign minister. From 1969 to 1973 he was minister of justice.