The World at War


André Tardieu

French Statesman

Born: September 22, 1876 at Paris
Died: September 15, 1945 at Menton

Premier of France:November 3, 1929 - February 17, 1930
March 2 - December 4, 1930
February 20 - May 10, 1932

     Tardieu entered public service in the diplomatic corps then rose to prominence as foreign affairs editor for Le Temps. He collaborated with Georges Mandel in launching the conservative newspaper, L'Echo National.

     Tardieu was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1914 but enlisted in the infantry at the beginning of World War I and did not return to politics until 1916. He had a hand in drafting the Treaty of Versailles and served as Commissioner for Liberated Areas (Alsace - Lorraine) from November 1919 to January 1920.

     Tardieu was a committed supporter of Clemenceau who refused offers of ministerial posts for several years after the Tiger's defeat in the 1920 presidential election. He finally broke with Clemenceau and accepted the Public Works portfolio under Poincare in 1926 and later served as Interior Minister.

     Tardieu served two short terms as Premier beginning in late 1929 after Poincare resigned. The economic crisis had just begun. Tardieu called for large expenditures on public works and supported the introduction of social security, free secondary education, veterans pensions and tax relief as a means to restoring production and employment.

     Tardieu served a final term as Premier from February to May 1932. He resigned after his conservative block was defeated in the legislative elections by a center - left coalition led by Herriot's Radical-Socialists. He retired from politics altogether after the victory of the Popular Front in 1936.

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