Joseph Paul-Boncour

Augustin Alfred Joseph Paul-Boncour (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔzɛf pɔl bɔ̃kuʁ]; 4 August 1873 – 28 March 1972)[1] was a French politician and diplomat of the Third Republic. He was a member of the Republican-Socialist Party (PRS) and served as Prime Minister of France from December 1932 to January 1933. He also served in a number of other government positions during the 1930s and as a Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations in 1936 during his tenure as Minister of State.

Joseph Paul-Boncour
Joseph Paul-Boncour 1923.jpg
Prime Minister of France
In office
18 December 1932 – 31 January 1933
Preceded byÉdouard Herriot
Succeeded byÉdouard Daladier
Personal details
Born4 August 1873
Died28 March 1972(1972-03-28) (aged 98)
Political partyPRS


Born in Saint-Aignan, Loir-et-Cher, Paul-Boncour received a law degree from the University of Paris and became active in the labor movement, organizing the legal council of the Bourses du Travail (workers' associations). He was private secretary to Premier Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau from 1898 to 1902. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a Radical in 1909, he held his seat until 1914, briefly serving as Minister of Labour from March to June 1911. After serving in the military during World War I, he returned to the French National Assembly.

Turning to Socialism, he joined the SFIO in 1916. Paul-Boncour left the socialist party in 1931 because he considered imperative, in face of the League of Nations progressive powerlessness, to reinforce national defence, something the socialists opposed.[2] After his resignation from the SFIO in 1931 he joined the Republican-Socialist Party (PRS), which in 1935 merged with the French Socialist Party (PSF) and the Socialist Party of France-Jean Jaurès Union PSdF) to form the Socialist Republican Union (USR). Also in 1931, Paul-Boncour was elected to the Senate, and served in that capacity until the establishment of the Vichy régime in 1940 (during World War II).

During his time as a Senator, Paul-Boncour served in a variety of cabinet and diplomatic posts. He was the Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations from 1932 to 1936, Minister of War in 1932, Premier from December 1932 to January 1933, and Foreign Minister on two occasions (December 1932 to January 1934 and March–April 1938).

Paul-Boncour was opposed to the formation of the Vichy government, and recommended continuing the fight against Nazi Germany after the fall of France, from Algiers. As a member of the Consultative Assembly from 1944, he led the French delegation to the United Nations conference in San Francisco and signed the United Nations Charter on behalf of France. He once again served as a senator from 1946 to 1948.

He died in Paris on 28 March 1972 at the age of 98.[3]

Paul-Boncour's Ministry, 18 December 1932 – 31 January 1933Edit

List of positions heldEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Labour and Social Security
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of War
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of National Defense and War
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Minister of State, Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations
Succeeded by
Preceded by Oldest living state leader
14 August 1969 – 28 March 1972
Succeeded by


  1. ^ "Current Biography Yearbook". H. W. Wilson Co. 11 February 1971.
  2. ^ Yvert, Benoît (2007). Premiers ministres et présidents du Conseil depuis 1815. Perrin- Colección Tempus. p. 512
  3. ^ "Joseph Paul‐Boncour Is Dead; Ex‐Premier of France Was 98". 30 March 1972 – via

External linksEdit

  Media related to Joseph Paul-Boncour at Wikimedia Commons