Council of the Republic (France)

The Council of the Republic (French: Conseil de la République) was the name of the upper house of the legislature of the French Fourth Republic (1946–1958). It was replaced by the Senate when the constitution of the French Fifth Republic came into force.


The constitution of the Fourth Republic, which came into force in 1946, stipulated that parliament was bicameral.[1] The upper house was named the "Council of the Republic" (as opposed to the Senate of the Third Republic) and was granted greatly diminished powers.[2]


The council did not have the power to make laws, which was the responsibility of the National Assembly. The council was mainly consultative, and bills were only given a single reading at the council before being passed.[2]

However, it did share responsibility should the need arose to amend the constitution in matters regarding the election of the President of the Republic.[2] A formal notice to the council was required to declare war.[1]


Members of the Council were known as '"councillors" (conseiller) from 1946 to 1948, and then "senators" from 1948 onwards. The number of senators had to be between 250 and 320.[1] Senators were elected by indirect universal suffrage: five-sixths were elected by communes and departments; the other one-sixth were elected by the National Assembly, the lower house.[2] They served six-year terms.[2]


The President was the presiding officer of the council.

Political Party:   MRP   Rad-Soc

Portrait Name Took office Left office Political Party
1   Auguste Champetier de Ribes 27 December 1946 6 March 1947 MRP
2   Gaston Monnerville 18 March 1947 4 October 1958 Rad-Soc


  1. ^ a b c "Constitution de 1946, IVe République" (in French). Constitutional Council of France. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e "La Chambre haute avant la Vème République". Vie publique (in French). Government of France. 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2011-05-27.