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REYNAUD'S STORY

FOLLY OF ARMISTICE Tribute To Generous-Hearted Churchill N.Z. Press Association—Copyright Rec. 1.30 p.m. LONDON, July 23. Petain's refusal to answer questions at his trial was something in the nature of throwing a spanner into the machinery of High Court procedure. It prevented the judge from proceeding with the interrogatory, which is an essential part of any French trial and normally precedes the hearing cf witnesses. M. Reynaud, who was Prime Minister when France was over-run by the Germans, therefore took the witness stand unexpectedly early. "If there is an accused in this case there is also a victim^ —France," said M. Reynaud. He went on to say that both General Weygand and Marshal Petain entered his Government knowing of the existence of the

M. Paul Reynaud

British-French agreenient not to sign a separate armistice. Weygand s plan could not be carried out because the British Army retired 25 miles Vichy propaganda for four vlars thereafter claimed that Britain betraved France. "This allegation is not worth more than most other Vichy allegations ' the witness declared. "I advise critics to go slow and await the verdict of history, for there was the fact that the German panzers were running ahead and beyond St. Quentin. I, to my surprise, found Petain and Weygand. together . urging an armistice and when I wanted to prepare to make war from North AfrFca the General Staff had nothing but objections to raise Weygand s -idea was to preserve the army with the view, to preserving order in France." ' Once Despised But Now Pitied

Reynaud branded Petain as a traitor. "The facts prove that Petain took part in the plot," he declared "When he took power I despised him To-day I pity him. I made the Sake of thinking that Petam and Weygand would put Patriotism Dβ fore political passions and ambitions. All of France made this mistake but I was the Chief of State, and therefore I was responsible. "There were no .grounds for France seeking an armistice. I told Mr Churchill and Lord Halifax at Tours that I would never capitulate hiit I begged Mr. Churchill not to rous-hearted Churchill said, Yes, it Britain wins France shall be restored to all her former greatness,'.but this did not mean that the British Government authorised France to conclu™ an armistice. That statement was untrue." , The trial was adjourned.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450724.2.37

Bibliographic details

REYNAUD'S STORY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 173, 24 July 1945

Word Count
392

REYNAUD'S STORY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 173, 24 July 1945

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