Maurice Couve de Murville

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Maurice Couve de Murville
Maurice Couve de Murville.jpg
Prime Minister of France
In office
10 July 1968 – 20 June 1969
President Charles de Gaulle
Alain Poher (interim)
Preceded by Georges Pompidou
Succeeded by Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1 June 1958 – 30 May 1968
President René Coty
Charles de Gaulle
Prime Minister Michel Debre
Georges Pompidou
Preceded by Rene Pleven
Succeeded by Michel Debre
Personal details
Born Maurice Couve
24 January 1907
Reims, France
Died 24 December 1999(1999-12-24) (aged 92)
Paris, France
Political party UDR
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Schweisguth
Children Juliette
Occupation Military
Civil Servant
Religion Protestant[1][2]
Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville receiving David Ben-Gurion at Quai d'Orsay, June 1960

Maurice Couve de Murville (French: [moʁis kuv də myʁvil]; 24 January 1907 – 24 December 1999) was a French diplomat and politician who was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1958 to 1968 and Prime Minister from 1968 to 1969 under the presidency of General de Gaulle.

He was born Maurice Couve (his father acquired the name de Murville in 1925[3]) in Reims and died in Paris at the age of 92 from natural causes.


Couve de Murville joined the corps of finance inspectors in 1930, and in 1940 became Director of External Finances of the Vichy régime, in which capacity he sat at the armistice council of Wiesbaden. In March 1943, after the American landing in North Africa, he was one of the few senior officials of Vichy to join the Free French. He left for Algiers, via Spain, where he joined General Henri Giraud. On 7 June 1943, he was named commissioner of finance of the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN). A few months later, he joined General Charles de Gaulle. In February 1945, he became a member of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF) with the rank of ambassador attached to the Italian government.

After the war, he occupied several posts as French Ambassador, in Cairo (1950 to 1954), at NATO (1954), in Washington (1955 to 1956) and in Bonn (1956 to 1958). When General de Gaulle returned to power in 1958, he became Foreign Minister, a post he retained for ten years until the reshuffle that followed the events of May 1968 where he replaced Finance minister Michel Debré, keeping this post only a short time: very soon after the elections, he became a transitional Prime Minister, replacing Georges Pompidou. The following year he was succeeded by Jacques Chaban-Delmas.

Couve de Murville continued his political career first as a UDR deputy, then RPR deputy for Paris until 1986, then as a senator until 1995.

Archbishop Maurice Noël Léon Couve de Murville, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Birmingham (1929–2007), was his cousin.

Published works

  • Une politique étrangère, 1958–1969 (1971). ISBN unknown
  • Le Monde en face (1989). ISBN 2-259-02222-7

Political career

Governmental functions

Prime minister : 1968–1969

Minister of Foreign Affairs : 1958–1968

Minister of Economy and Finance : May–July 1968

Electoral mandates

Member of the National Assembly of France for Paris : June 1968 (He leaves his seat because he is minister) / 1973–1986

Senator of Paris : 1986–1995

Couve de Murville's Government

The cabinet from 10 July 1968 – 22 June 1969

On 28 April 1969 – Jean-Marcel Jeanneney succeeded Capitant as interim Minister of Justice.


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
André Diethelm
Free French Commissioner for Finance
Succeeded by
Pierre Mendès-France
Preceded by
René Pleven
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Michel Debré
Preceded by
Michel Debré
Minister of Economy and Finance
Succeeded by
François-Xavier Ortoli
Preceded by
Georges Pompidou
Prime Minister of France
Succeeded by
Jacques Chaban-Delmas