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Antoine Pinay

In office
8 March 1952 – 8 January 1953
Preceded by Edgar Faure
Succeeded by René Mayer

Born 30 December 1891
Died December 13, 1994 (aged 102)
Political party CNIP

Antoine Pinay (30 December 1891, Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise, Rhône, France - 13 December 1994) was a French conservative politician. He served as Prime Minister of France in 1952.


As a young man, Pinay fought in World War I and injured his arm so that it was paralyzed for the rest of his life.

After the war, he managed a small business and in 1929 he was elected mayor of Saint-Chamond (Loire).[1]

He was elected to the French National Assembly in 1936, running as a conservative. On 10 July 1940 he voted to give full constitutional power to the Maréchal Philippe Pétain, leading to the creation of the Vichy Regime. In 1941, Antoine Pinay was appointed to the Conseil National of the Vichy Regime. He was also awarded the Francisque.[2] During the Occupation, Antoine Pinay remained mayor of Saint-Chamond, although he had been urged by General Georges to move to Algiers, in order to better protect the residents of this city. Yet, trying to associate him with Vichy is inappropriate : he resigned from the Conseil National within a few months and refused any official position with the Vichy regime, such as the préfecture de l'Hérault offered by Laval. Besides, he gave several hundreds of identity papers to help Jews and Résistance members flee from France to Algiers or Switzerland. An official commission in 1946 recognized his long lasting opposition to the Nazis and the help he gave to the Résistance and let him totally free of any charge.

In 1944 he was first placed on house arrest, and stripped of his right to be candidate to an election on 5 September 1945. After the intervention of René Cassin, the vice-president of the Conseil d'État, who pointed his fierce opposition to the German occupation, his citizen rights were restored on 5 October 1945. On 2 June 1946 he could successfully run for election to the Assemblée Constituante as a moderate candidate.[3]

He helped create a conservative party, the National Center of Independents and Peasants (CNIP). He acquired the reputation as one of France's more spirited politicians and in 1952 became Prime Minister in 1952 by virtue of being the most popular elected CNIP official. His ministry was seen as the return of the "classical right", discredited since the Liberation. He stabilized the finances of the French nation and the French currency.

In 1955, he was one of the participants of the Messina Conference, which would lead to the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

During the May 1958 crisis precipitated by the Algerian war, he supported Charles de Gaulle's return to power and approved of the Fifth Republic's constitution. He served as Finance Minister until 1960. In 1973, he was made "Médiateur de la République" (Ombudsman) by President Georges Pompidou.[4]

Having died at age of 102, he is the third longest lived national head of government or head of state in history, behind only Chau Sen Cocsal Chhum and Celâl Bayar.

Pinay's Ministry, 8 March 1952 - 8 January 1953

  • Antoine Pinay - President of the Council and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
  • Henri Queuille - Vice President of the Council
  • Robert Schuman - Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • René Pleven - Minister of National Defense
  • Charles Brune - Minister of the Interior
  • Jean-Marie Louvel - Minister of Commerce and Energy
  • Pierre Garet - Minister of Labour and Social Security
  • Léon Martinaud-Deplat - Minister of Justice
  • Pierre-Olivier Lapie - Minister of National Education
  • Emmanuel Temple - Minister of Veterans and War Victims
  • Camille Laurens - Minister of Agriculture
  • Pierre Pflimlin - Minister of Overseas France
  • André Morice - Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
  • Paul Ribeyre - Minister of Public Health and Population
  • Eugène Claudius-Petit - Minister of Reconstruction and Town Planning
  • Roger Duchet - Minister of Posts
  • Jean Letourneau - Minister of Relations with Partner States


  • 11 August 1952 - André Marie succeeds Lapie as Minister of National Education.
Political offices
Preceded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
Succeeded by
André Morice
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
René Mayer
Preceded by
Robert Buron
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Christian Pineau
Preceded by
Edgar Faure
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
Succeeded by
Wilfrid Baumgartner
Preceded by
Édouard Bonnefous
interim Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
Succeeded by
Robert Buron
  1. ^ The New York Times 14 December 1994
  2. ^ Antoine Pinay, ou l’empreinte d’un mythe L'Humanité, 14 December 1994
  3. ^ Biography on the Assemblée Nationale Web site (Covers only Pinay's carrier from 1936 to 1958)
  4. ^ TIME Magazine, Feb. 19, 1973.

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