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Reynaud, Paul

Paul Reynaud (pōl rānō´), 1878–1966, French statesman and lawyer. He held several cabinet posts, and after Nov., 1938, as minister of finance in the cabinet of Édouard Daladier, he pursued an extremely deflationary policy. During World War II he succeeded Daladier as premier in Mar., 1940. On May 18, as France faced military disaster, he called in Marshal Pétain as vice premier to boost French morale. On June 16 he gave way to Pétain and others who wished to surrender to Germany, and resigned. Imprisoned later in 1940, he was among the defendants at the abortive Riom war-guilt trial. After the war Reynaud served as finance minister (1948) and vice premier (1953).

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