Parliament and Foreign Policy in France

Parliament and Foreign Policy in France

Parliament and Foreign Policy in France

Parliament and Foreign Policy in France

Excerpt

This study was originally completed in the form of a thesis for the Degree of Bachelor of Letters in Oxford University. It was wholly revised at the end of 1939, that is, after the outbreak of war but before the German attack in the west. I then made numerous corrections of detail and some additions incorporating material that had come into being since the completion of the original draft. But for the war it would have been published in 1940. The course of subsequent history has destroyed the Third Republic and thereby given to this book an unlooked for logical completeness. It has also had the trivial but annoying effect of putting every reference to the Third Republic into the wrong tense. To remedy this would involve much petty correction and could add nothing to the value or accuracy of the work; I have therefore decided to leave it in its existing form.

Much more serious has been the question whether the events of recent years demand any alteration to the substance of the book. They are certainly not directly relevant to it, for it deals only with the Third Republic. Indeed, though no great span of years is involved, to survey the control of foreign policy in the Fourth Republic and the constitutionally confused interregnum preceding it would require a prolonged study that could hardly be treated adequately by a few notes tacked on to another work. Nor do I in fact think that any of my conclusions should be modified in the light of what has happened since the end of 1939. The question does not really apply to any but Chapter VII where I discuss the influence of the general electorate and the motivation of French foreign policy.

Were I writing that chapter today I would emphasize more strongly the importance of the cleavage between Left and Right in French domestic politics; but this is no more than a matter of . . .

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