Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography

By David Robin Watson | Go to book overview

9

CLEMENCEAU AS PREMIER

I THE CLEMENCEAU CABINET

A few days after this speech, before Parliament reassembled, Sarrien resigned, giving ill-health as his reason. There was hardly a ministerial crisis, and after a brief delay Clemenceau formed the new cabinet. Six ministers remained in office, but the political composition of the new government was quite different. Whereas the Sarrien cabinet had consisted of five moderate republicans, five Radicals and one Socialist, the new cabinet had only two ministers from groups to the right of the Radicals, against seven Radicals, two independent Socialists, and one non-political member, General Picquart. The other notable feature was the absence of other prominent figures. Briand was as yet only at the beginning of his career, and Caillaux was the only other strong personality in the cabinet. With Picquart at the war ministry, and his friend and protégé Pichon at the foreign ministry, it was obvious that Clemenceau wished to retain control of foreign policy. 34

A swing to the Left was noticeable in the government's declaration of policy, the most radical manifesto produced by any incoming government before the Popular Front of 1936. Several items were taken from the Sarrien government's declaration, but others were added, and the

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34
The British ambassador, Sir Francis Bertie, wrote on 4 November 1906, disputing the view that the cabinet would not survive for long. He went on: 'Clemenceau has selected as colleagues those on whom he can rely to carry out his own views. He is quite capable of being his own Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also superintending the War Department. His management of the strikes showed that he is full of resource, and since he took in hand the Church inventories question it has ceased to be a burning issue. As to M. Pichon I understand that he entirely concurs in Clemenceau's views, and is a capable man with common sense, and not impulsive.' Bertie to Mallet, 4 November 1906, Public Record Office, FO/800/I64. See below, Appendix I, for the full composition of the cabinet.

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Georges Clemenceau: A Political Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Georges Clemenceau - A Political Biography *
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations *
  • Acknowledgements 11
  • Part One - Childhood, Youth and the Commune I84i-1871 *
  • 1 - Childhood and Youth 15
  • 2 - The Commune 34
  • Part Two - The Radical Attack I87i-1889 *
  • 3 - Challenger from the Left 59
  • 4 - Clemenceau versus Ferry 81
  • 5 - Boulangism 101
  • Part Three - Defeat and Resurgence I889-1906 *
  • 6 - Panama 117
  • 7 - The Dreyfus Affair 138
  • Part Four - The First Ministry I906-1909 *
  • 8 - Minister of the Interior 167
  • 9 - Clemenceau as Premier 183
  • 10 - Clemenceau as Strike-Breaker 200
  • 11 - Foreign Policy 215
  • Part Five - Opposition I909-1917 *
  • 12 - In Opposition before the War 237
  • 13 - Opposition in Wartime 249
  • Part Six - Pere-La-Victoire I9i7-1918 *
  • 14 - Second Ministry: Domestic Politics 275
  • 15 - Military Strategy 293
  • 16 - Russian Intervention and Victory 315
  • Part Seven - The Peace Settlement and after I9i8-1929 *
  • 17 - The Versailles Treaty 331
  • 18 - The Middle East and Russia 366
  • 19 - Domestic Politics and Last Years 380
  • Part Eight - Conclusion *
  • 20 - Conclusion 397
  • Appendices Sources and Bibliography Index *
  • Appendix I 411
  • Appendix II 414
  • Appendix III 416
  • Appendix IV 417
  • Appendix V 424
  • Appendix VI 428
  • Appendix VII 434
  • Sources and Bibliography 438
  • Index 455
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