Translation by: Robert C. Kuhmann
Arthaud was a French politician, born on
He was a member of the first and second “National Constitutional Assembly” (department of the Vaucluse), “Deputy of Vaucluse“ from 1946 to 1951, “Minister of Public Health” from 24 June to 16 December 1946 (an approximate equivalent to the role of the “US Surgeon General” in the United States of America).
René Ferdinand ARTHAUD 1915 ~ 2007
Family reunion at “La Tour d’Aigues”, in the Vaucluse, France.
René Arthaud was the son of Eli Rodolphe Arthaud from (Orpierre, Hautes-Alpes) his mother’s name was, Jeanne RAVEL. He had two older brothers: Marcel Henri Arthaud, and Albert Arthaud.
Family of Eli Rodolphe ARTHAUD ~ circa 1915
Parents: Eli Rodolphe ARTHAUD & Jeanne Clémence Pauline RAVEL.
(top), Marcel (seated), René (baby).
father was the Supervisor (conseiller général) from their township,
deputy mayor of the city of “Gap” and President of the “Board of Supervisors” (conseil
général) of the department of the Hautes-Alpes. At the tail-end of
his secondary schooling at Gap,
During this first term, René Arthaud belonged to the “Commission on Family, Population, and Public Health -- as well as supplies” (la Commission de la famille, de la population et de la santé publique). In this capacity, he wrote several reports -- legislative proposals affecting the pharmaceutical profession, and education or pharmaceutical preparations. On 30 December 1945, he took part in the general discussion on the budget of the Ministry of Health (ministère de la Santé) during which he criticized certain guidelines: excessive emphasis imposed upon the population, to the detriment of measures taken to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease, grants being given too systematically to private works – notably, confessionals.
In the elections to the second “National Constituency Assembly” (Assemblée nationale Constituante), René Arthaud again led the communist list, obtaining an almost identical winning result (with 36,339 votes), this time overshadowing the “SFIO” (31,044 votes), the “Radical list” (28,845 votes) and the “MRP list” (24,587 votes). He took on the same commission as in the previous Assembly and acceded to the function of the “Minister of Public Health” from 24 June to
During this term, René Arthaud was a parliamentarian who was particularly active. He submitted no less than 32 “bills” (drafts for laws, or resolutions): some concerning his department, the Vaucluse (for example: grants to the Arts – theatrical events at the ancient Roman theatre, in the city of “Orange”, and aid to farmers -- most others were related to public health or to the status of pharmacy and hospital staff, and the creation of the “League of Biochemicals” (Société des produits biochimiques), and so on.
René Arthaud was
also often involved in meetings, especially as reporter to the “Commission on
the Family” (Commission de la famille). On
But forward from August 19, 1948 the most important works by René Arthaud were his debates devoted to denouncing the “Atlanticist” policies of the Government (referring to the US “Marshall Plan”); the war in Indochina; and (on 22 December 1949) the general discussions on the budget (as related to terms very hard on "colonial exploitation"). He returned to a work-load on the same subject on
In February of that year, René Arthaud filed a request for the “interpellation” (see explanation of the term, above) with regard to a policy of provocation -- as carried out (according to him) by the Government, and against the leaders of the “African Democratic Rally”. This was another opportunity for discussion on the (then controversial), French “colonialism” of
During the elections of
As compensation, the Communist Party appointed him, “Advisor of the French Union” (conseiller de l'Union française), a function that prepared him further, thanks to his interventions on specific overseas matters. He would be seated in the Assembly only from
In the summer of 1952, he also left the post of director of the Communist periodical, “The Renaissance of the Vaucluse”. (La renaissance du Vaucluse).
He then abandoned political life.
En ligne (en Français): http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/René_Arthaud
Online (in English): http://www.kuhmann.com/Arthaud/ARTHAUDRene.htm
René Ferdinand ARTHAUD
French Minister, Deputy, Member of the Assembly, WWII Resistance Leader
From the author of the French to English translation, above -- this is a very personal footnote:
René ARTHAUD was a great Frenchman. He was a man of action, compassion, and love -- and ice-cold nerves (under literal fire, and throughout his political life). He was a truly great man. René was a world-class, class-act, and cultured person -- a humanist, and a delightful human being.
He was an intellectual and highly intelligent – a measured, handsome, demure, and articulate fellow -- a man who weighed the impact of his every word. He was soft-spoken, well-spoken and highly spoken of… He spoke my language (American) almost perfectly, but with that always charming “twist” that is the tonic and the melody of the language that is so quintessentially, Français !
I am proud to say that I had the good fortune to know René. First, as a relative by marriage, then as a friend. We evolved into the “tutoiement” of a child to a parent (the familiar usage form of the word, “you” that a child uses with a parent or sibling). He became my “almost” Uncle, an “adoptive-like” 2nd Dad -- from 1973 until his demise in 2007 -- at the ripe old age of 91 years, 10 months, and 1 day.
He was an Uncle to my (former) French wife, a caring brother to my Father-in-law, a sensitive Grand-Uncle to my 3 daughters. René was also a loving Father and husband at home within his private life. I herby encourage his daughter to add her memoir to this contribution, if she is willing. I have also enjoyed the company of his wife, Laure and daughter, Martine -- having visited my home and me, theirs many times -- across the years.
Upon his demise, I learned (exactly) just what he thought of me too -- in-as-much as I was told (in a few words) that I was the son, he never had.
The discovery emptied my heart, and let flow a spontaneous river of tears from my eyes to my cheeks (at the moment, and once more) …as I complete this phrase.
Thus, God speed my friend! Goodbye to my “adoptive”, 2nd Dad! “Bon Voyage, mon ami ! Adieu, mon 2eme Papa adoptif ! ”
I shall see you
again, soon enough…
- R.C. Kuhmann - All Rights Reserved.
last updated 30-Aug.2009 at 09:03