6 June 1958 - Speech in Mostaganem

The whole of France and the whole world are witness to the proof provided by Mostaganem today that all the French citizens of Algeria are the same French citizens. Ten million of them the same, with the same rights and the same obligations.

There has sprung from this magnificent land of Algeria an exemplary movement of renewal and fraternity. There has risen from this stricken, ravaged land an admirable new breath of life that has crossed the seas to blow across the whole of France to remind her of her vocation here and elsewhere.

Because of that, France has renounced a system suited neither to her vocation, nor to her duty, nor to her greatness. Because of that, and primarily because of you, France has given me a mandate to renew her institutions and to lead her, body and soul, away from the abyss into which she was heading and upwards towards the summits of the world.

France, however, must respond to what you have done for her by doing what is her duty here, that is by considering that, from one end of Algeria to the other, in every category, in every community that peoples this land, she has only children of one kind. From this day forward, I proclaim it in her name and I give you my word, here are none but fully-fledged Frenchmen, compatriots, fellow citizens, who now walk through life hand in hand. The whole of Algeria will prove that this is what she wants for, in three months' time, all the French citizens here, the ten million French citizens here, will take part on an equal footing in the expression of the nation's will through which, at my call, France will make known what she requires for the renovation of her institutions. Here, as elsewhere, her representatives will be freely elected and, in conjunction with those who will come here, we will consider as fellow citizens, as compatriots, as brothers, what must be done so that the future for Algeria and for all the children of France who live here will be what it should be, that is to say prosperous, happy, peaceful and fraternal.

In particular, I ask those who, prompted by despair, felt it their duty to engage in combat, to rejoin their fellows and to take part freely, like the others, in the expression of the will of all here. I guarantee them that they may do so without risk, and with all honour.

Mostaganem, I thank you! I thank you from the bottom of my heart, the heart of a man who knows that he bears one of the heaviest responsibilities in history. Thank you, thank you for having borne witness for me and, at the same time, for France.

Vive Mostaganem!

Vive l'Algérie !

Vive la République!

Vive la France!

 

Addendum: The General moved away from the microphone. The crowd was chanting "Algérie française". The General returned to the microphone and added "Vive l'Algérie française!"