|Issue Date: June 25, 1958
France and North Africa
* De Gaulle Cements Rule
* NATO Ties Assured
* Algerian Plans Detailed
* North African vs. Integration
* French to Quit Moroccan Posts
De Gaulle Cements Rule
Despite reports of continued opposition from embittered rightists in Algeria and anti-republicans within France, Premier de Gaulle's regime was considered to have won support of Army and political leaders and the French population by June 26. [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments; 1958 France and North Africa; De Gaulle Assumes Power; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: Pflimlin Resigns; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle Offers Rule; Other Developments; 1958 Algeria: French Rebel vs. Paris; Other Developments]
Making his first public appearance in France since his investiture as premier, de Gaulle was cheered by hundreds of thousands of Parisians June 18 at ceremonies marking the 18th anniversary of his 1940 London broadcast calling on Frenchmen to continue the war against Germany.
Members of the All-Algeria Committee of Public Safety met June 20-21 to make clear their opposition to de Gaulle's agreement to a French withdrawal from Tunisia. However, the committee failed to carry out threats to present de Gaulle with a new political ultimatum on his North African policy. [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
(Rightist mobs greeted General Salan, when he led Algiers resistance ceremonies June 18, with demands for French Army occupation of Tunisia and the assumption of power by Brigadier General Massu, parachutist commander and rightist hero. The New York Times reported June 21 that soldiers had prevented members of a local Republican Defense Com. from marking the resistance anniversary June 18 in Auxerre, France. Army parachutists had occupied trade union offices in Pau, France June 17 and had installed a Public Safety Committee modelled on the group set up in Algiers May 13.) [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
NATO Ties Assured
In meetings June 23 with NATO Secretary General Paul-Henri Spaak and June 24 with Lieutenant General Lauris Norstad (Supreme Allied Commander, Europe), de Gaulle reviewed French commitments to NATO and reportedly expressed France's intention to exert greater influence within the alliance. De Gaulle was said to have promised Spaak an early return of French forces withdrawn from NATO positions for service in Algeria. [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments]
Messages delivered to the Italian Government June 6 by French Ambassador-to-Italy Gaston Palewski and to the West German Government June 9 by French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville had promised that the de Gaulle regime would carry out French commitments under NATO and the European economic, atomic and steel communities.
The U.S. State Department announced June 11 that State Secretary Dulles would fly to Paris July 4 for talks with de Gaulle. British Prime Minister Macmillan was expected to open talks with de Gaulle in Paris June 29.
(De Gaulle's office announced receipt June 14 of a personal message from Soviet Premier Khrushchev said to congratulate de Gaulle on his accession to power. The Soviet CP newspaper Pravda, which had refrained from any comment on de Gaulle's return to power, reprinted June 10 a statement by French CP Secretary Jacques Duclos characterizing de Gaulle's Government "as the embodiment of the forces of the blackest reaction and of...big capital, which demands the continuation of the war in Algeria." Duclos said that de Gaulle had used threats of a "military insurrection" to come to power with the aid of "henchmen" bent on establishment of "a fascist movement.") [See 1958 France and North Africa; De Gaulle Assumes Power; Other Developments]
Algerian Plans Detailed
Information Minister Andre Malraux told newsmen June 24 that the de Gaulle Government would set up a "model" department in Algeria, concentrating social and economic resources in a TVA-style demonstration of de Gaulle's plans for Algerian development for the benefit of Europeans and Moslems. Malraux said that growing French-Moslem reconciliation had made possible creation of a "new Algeria" linked to France with equal rights enforced for Europeans and Moslems [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
Malraux invited 3 French authors and Nobel Prizewinners (Francois Mauriac, Albert Camus, Roger Martin du Gard) to form an impartial commission to investigate charges of French torture of terrorist suspects. Malraux, who conceded that Algerian rebels and their sympathizers had been subject to torture by French forces, asserted that such practices had ceased with de Gaulle's visit to Algeria. [See 1958 North Africa: Mediterranean Pact Urged; Other Developments; 1957 Algeria: News in Brief]
Jacques Soustelle, Gaullist political leader implicated in the May 13 Algiers revolt, told reporters June 20 that the Moslem nationalist movement had been "submerged by a profound [Franco-Moslem] will to achieve equality and fraternity" within a French Algeria. Soustelle declared his support for de Gaulle's policies and backed his banning of political activities by Algerian public safety committees. [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments; 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
Saadi Yacef, captured ex-Algerian National Liberation Front commander for Algiers, told the opening session of his trial by an Algiers military court June 23 that Premier de Gaulle's statements on Algeria had inspired hopes for a solution of the Moslem rebellion. Yacef, facing a death sentence, asserted that if de Gaulle had remained in power after World World II the "rights of the Moslems would have been recognized and our attitude would have been quite different." [See 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments; 1957 World News: French Cabinet Resigns; Other Developments]
North African vs. Integration
Representatives of the Tunisian and Moroccan Govts. and Algerian National Liberation Front, ending a 4-day meeting in Tunis June 20, condemned Premier de Gaulle's alleged plans for the integration of Algeria within France as a "sharp regression even from the policies of preceding French Govts." [See 1958 France and North Africa; De Gaulle Assumes Power; Other Developments; 1958 World News: North African Parley; Other Developments]
A final communique issued by the Tunis conference ignored reports that de Gaulle had resisted Algiers rightists' demands for Algerian integration and favored a form of Algerian-French federation. It declared that French efforts to enforce integration only would "intensify the murderous war against a people resolved to resist." It warned that recognition of the "right of the Algerian people to independence" was the "sole solution of the French-Algerian conflict." [See 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
The conference, attended by delegations headed by President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, Premier Ahmed Balafrej of Morocco and Ferhat Abbas of the Algerian NLF Com. of Coordination and Execution, pledged Morocco, Tunisia and the Algerian rebels to "common action on the diplomatic plane" to achieve a "peaceful solution" in Algeria and creation of a North African Federation. It failed to provide for creation of an expected Algerian rebel Government-in-exile or an all-North African consultative assembly.
(The Tunisian weekly newspaper L'Action reported June 22 that members of the NLF leadership had been given the following ministerial-type assignments, presumably to prepare for creation of an Algerian exile government: Diplomatic Affairs--Mohammed Lamine Debbaghine; Interior--Lakhadar ben Tobbal; Social--Abdelhamid Mahri; Financial--Mahmoud Cherif; Military--Belkacem Krim and Amar Quamrane. Rebel spokesman Abbas generally was thought to be current chairman of the NLF Com. of Coordination and Execution.) [See 1958 France and Algeria: De Gaulle to Algeria; Other Developments]
(Bourguiba, said to have led efforts to postpone formation of an Algerian Government-in-exile, said in a speech June 19 that only "very limited" time remained for a peaceful solution of French-North African differences. Bourguiba offered "to cooperate with France in all loyalty and sincerity...if the war of repression and the policy of integration are halted in Algeria." "Sooner or later," Bourguiba said, "Algeria must be free and North Africa must be united. We would prefer this...to evolve in cooperation with France." [See 1958 World News: Dulles vs. Communist Summit Terms; Other Developments]
French to Quit Moroccan Posts
The Moroccan Government was informed June 14 that French troops would be withdrawn from 11 military posts in Morocco, 6 of them along the Algerian frontier, by mid-July. The French withdrawal, in partial fulfilment of Moroccan demands for total evacuation of French forces, would reduce the present French garrison on Morocco by an estimated 5,000 men. King Mohammed V met with French Ambassador-to-Morocco Alexandre Parodi June 18 to renew requests for a full French withdrawal. [See 1958 France and North Africa; De Gaulle Assumes Power; Other Developments]
Tunisian blockades of French military posts and airbases, begun following the February 8 French bombing of Sakiet-Sidi-Youssef, were lifted by June 21 after France agreed to withdraw its troops to the Bizerte naval base. France and Tunisia informed the UN Security Council of the troop accord June 18. [See 1958 France and North Africa; New Regime Proposed; Other Developments]