The Politics of Depression in France 1932-1936 by Julian Jackson

By Julian Jackson

The bad functionality of the French financial system within the Nineteen Thirties has lengthy been regarded as an enormous contributory consider the decline of the 3rd Republic, which collapsed after the defeat of 1940. even supposing France entered the nice melancholy later than the remainder of the realm, French governments did not research from the event of alternative international locations in fighting it. This booklet is the 1st complete research of the formation of financial coverage in those an important years, and of the political debate to which it gave upward thrust. It examines the origins of the idea of making plans and the 'planomania', which gripped France in 1934; and it indicates why this resolution used to be finally rejected. It additionally analyses intimately the arguments of professional- and anti-devaluers. the belief means that stagnation used to be to some degree selected as a unsleeping coverage, on the grounds that at the very least until eventually 1936 the melancholy by no means appeared critical sufficient to threaten the social order.

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5m F. At the same time government expenditure increased from 42m F. 7m F. in 1930: even so, in this year tax revenues much exceeded the original estimates, and tax cuts of 6m were carried out. 25 This deficit was accepted almost with relief26 because it absorbed some of the Treasury surpluses which encouraged 'profligacy'27 and could be attributed more to government profligacy than to the effects of the world depression. 5m F. 4m F. 30 but it was clear to everyone that the new parliament would be faced with a difficult budgetary situation.

56 Blum was not sanguine about the chances of putting the Socialist programme into action and was fatalistic about the future course of events. Capitalists would attempt to apply their own self-defeating remedies: 'the crisis will follow the same course as the crises . . of the nineteenth century. 57 But rather than await such an outcome, could the Socialists not perhaps find allies with whom to implement their own policies? The Communists The French Communist Party's response to the economic crisis must be considered in the context of Comintern policy, formulated less with regard to the different situations in the countries of the member parties than to the exigencies of Soviet policy.

The short-term needs of the Treasury were met by issuing Treasury Bills (Bons du Tresor), the upper limit of which had been fixed in 1926 at 5m F. But this ceiling could be raised by a vote of parliament. 48 But, as we shall see, from being a temporary expedient they were to develop between 1932 and 1936, as they had already before 1926, into one of the government's major means of financial survival. 49 The money market largely meant the banks, and especially the three largest deposit banks: the Credit Lyonnais, the Societe Generate and the Comptoir d'Escompte.

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