1946: A YEAR OF UNEASY TRANSITION
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX and the early part of 1947 are a period of transition--of a rapid and, one might say, inexorable transition from de Gaulle's "between East and West" and "be tough with Germany" position to a total abandonment of this German policy and to a glad acceptance of Marshall Aid and a reluctant half-acceptance of its political implications.
During 1946 French Government policy was still, according to British and American ideas, non-conformist in many respects. At the Peace Conference with the Satellites in July-October 1946, Bidault still tried to play the rôle of an "impartial arbiter" between East and West. France's breach of diplomatic and trade relations with Franco Spain, earlier in the year, though giving to many the illusion that France had "principles" which the other Western powers had not, was however, in reality, an "unrealistic" hangover from the anti-Fascist ideology of the Resistance, still dear to the hearts of the Socialists and Communists in the Government. To the French Left, and even to some of the MRP, and even to de Gaulle (or at least so he said) it was morally offensive that, with Hitler and Mussolini dead, Franco should still be thriving-- though what could be done about it, in the absence of all British and American support, was never quite clear. But the breach of diplomatic and trade relations with Spain was nevertheless consistent with France's home policy at the time: it was, as it were, an expression of "antiVichyism" in the international field. Despite various stories in the left-wing press to the effect that "just one little push" from outside would bring the Franco régime toppling down, it is doubtful whether anybody seriously believed it, especially with Britain and America unwilling to take any serious action against Franco. It is significant that while France and, with her, Poland and Czechoslovakia "recognized" the Spanish Republican Government, the Soviet Union did not do so. It was a point which, at the time, rather puzzled the French Communists.1____________________
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Publication information: Book title: France, 1940-1955. Contributors: Alexander Werth - Author. Publisher: Henry Holt. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1956. Page number: 293.
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