15 may 1958 - Statement

On 13 May 1958, four weeks after the fall of Félix Gaillard's government,  Pierre Pflimlin asked the National Assembly for a vote of confidence in the government he intended to form. That same day, in Algiers, a demonstration by partisans of a French Algeria culminated in the occupation of the main government building, the Palais du Gouvernement Général, and the forming of a "Committee of Public Safety". On the morning of 14 May, Pierre Pflimlin secured a vote of confidence from the National Assembly and delegated authority in Algeria to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, General Salan, even though he had already expressed his support for the "Committee of Public Safety" formed by the demonstrators. In view of the situation which resulted from these events, General de Gaulle broke the silence of several years.

The degradation of the state leads infallibly to the distancing of allies, to perturbations among the armed forces in combat, to national dislocation and to the loss of independence. For the past twelve years France, at grips with problems too intractable for the party regime, has been engaged in this disastrous process.

Once before the country, in the depths of its trials, placed its trust in me to lead it towards salvation.

Today, in the face of the difficulties once again looming, let the country know that I hold myself in readiness to assume the powers of the Republic.