Following the French declaration on the pooling of Europe’s coal and steel resources, the French daily newspaper Combat identifies the obstacles to be overcome in the implementation of the Schuman Plan.
On 10 May 1950, the French Communist newspaper L'Humanité lambastes the proposal for the common management of French and German coal and steel production, seeing it as direct intervention by the United States.
For its 10–11 May 1950 edition, the French regional daily newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain devotes its front page to the declaration made on 9 May by Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, in which he proposed to pool coal and steel production in Europe.
In May 1950, the French Communist weekly newspaper Le Patriote Mosellan severely criticises the Schuman Plan, which it presents as another step towards war, and emphasises the serious dangers of the ‘Ruhr-Lorraine' pool for the French economy.
On 11 May 1950, the French Socialist daily newspaper Le Populaire welcomes the announcement of the Schuman Plan two days earlier, while highlighting the difficulties that could arise, in particular as a result of possible British participation and the pooling of private and nationalised companies.
On 11 May 1950, the French Communist daily newspaper L’Humanité condemns Schuman’s proposal to pool Franco-German coal and steel output and fears that, ten years after the invasion of France by German troops, the country will ‘fall into the clutches of the German and American magnates of the Ruhr.’
‘In the rooms at the Quai d'Orsay (the seduction walk) — "Master, am I sufficiently Adenauerised?"' On 11 May 1950, the French Communist cartoonist Henri-Paul Gassier criticises the Schuman Plan to pool Franco-German steel production and emphasises the role played by the United States in the origins of the French initiative.
On 11 May 1950, Robert Bothereau, Secretary-General of the CGT-FO [the combined French General Trade Union Confederation and Workers’ Union] expresses his hope that European unity will be achieved progressively.
On 11 May 1950, in an article in the daily newspaper Franc-Tireur, journalist Charles Ronsac describes some of the consequences of the Schuman Declaration for the Three-Power Conference due to open the same day in London.
‘Yes, but there are... sappers.’ On 12 May 1950, cartoonist Woop illustrates the opposition from Moscow and the French Communists to French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman’s plan to revive the European integration process.
On 15 May 1950, the French daily newspaper Le Monde publishes an article by political commentator Maurice Duverger in which he refutes the economic and political objections that are already being raised and welcomes the French proposal to create a coal and steel pool in Europe.
‘Von Wendel. De Wendel. The Ruhr–Lorraine complex … or family (ef)fusion.’ On 15 May 1950, French cartoonist Louis Mitelberg criticises the proposal by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to place Franco-German coal and steel production under a joint authority. The cartoonist is of the view that the Schuman Plan only serves the economic and financial interests of wealthy French and German ironmaster dynasties such as the de Wendel family. The two industrialists are wearing hats decorated with a swastika, the symbol used by Nazi Germany, and the ‘Francisque’, a medal awarded by the Vichy regime and the personal symbol of Marshal Pétain (featuring the baton and seven stars representing the military rank of Marshal). For some in French political circles, particularly the communists, Schuman’s proposals are not only a step further towards another war but a betrayal of France, its independence and its freedom.
On 16 May 1950, in an article published in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, US journalist Walter Lippmann emphasises the bold, generous nature of Robert Schuman’s proposal to pool the coal and steel industries in Europe and emphasises the change in France’s attitude towards Germany.
On 19 May 1950, the French regional daily newspaper Le Républicain lorrain analyses the repercussions of the planned coal and steel pool on the Lorraine industrial basin and outlines the various reactions to the Schuman Plan among the local population.
On 20 May 1950, in an article for the official publication of the Rally of the French People (RPF), Le Rassemblement, Gaullist Gaston Palewski harshly criticises the Schuman Plan, which, in his view, threatens France’s interests given the industrial power of Germany.
On 20 May 1950, in an article in the Protestant weekly newspaper Réforme, federalist René Courtin, leader of the French Council for a United Europe, welcomes the Schuman Declaration for a coal and steel pool, while expressing his fears at the possible ways in which it might operate.
In an address to Members of the Council of the Allied High Commission for Germany, Jean Monnet recalls the origins and the fundamental objectives of the Schuman Plan and defines the scope of the powers held by the ECSC High Authority.
In May 1950, in an article in the journal Union française et parlement, Léon Boutbien, Member of the Steering Committee of the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) and Adviser to the French Union, welcomes the revolutionary nature of the Schuman Plan for a coal and steel pool and considers the issues surrounding the plan, in particular the attitude of socialist activists and the position of the British.
On 2 June 1950, referring to the coal and steel pool as outlined in the Schuman Declaration, French engineer Albert Bureau, President of the Steel Control Group in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), writes a letter to André François-Poncet, High Commissioner of the French Republic in Germany, in which he draws attention to the risks of a revival of the major industrial combines in the Ruhr.
On 10 June 1950, the French Communist weekly newspaper Le Patriote Mosellan deplores the many dangers of the Schuman Plan and describes the dramatic repercussions that the future coal and steel pool would have for the Moselle.
In this interview, Jacques-René Rabier, Head of Jean Monnet’s Private Office at the French National Planning Board from 1947 to 1952, describes how the Schuman Plan for a European coal and steel pool was received by the French administration and the country’s industrial and trade union circles.