Translation of tho speech made by Mr. ALBERT GUIGUI, representative abroad of the French C.G.T., at Warrington, the 14th July 1944.
Mr. Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are very appreciative, as Frenchmen, of the marks of sympathy which the inhabitants and the city of Warrington have never ceased to show towards us every year, on the 14th July, since 1940.
The hope which you expressed yesterday has become a reality. The Allied Armies have set foot on the Continent, and with the active co-operation of the French forces of the Interior, a part of French soil is already freed from the Nazi yoke.
My Allied friends, on this day our joy is great, but we know yours is no less great, to feel once again the physical presence of France, presence which you missed almost as much as ourselves.
Following this four years' separation we read in your hearts and in your eyes a question which your great tact restrains you from formulating. You ask yourselves : "What will be the France of tomorrow? "
It is for us a friendly duty to set your minds at rest. If I have no authority for speaking in the name of the whole of France, I can at least do so in the name of a large part of her people, in the name of that wonderful working-class, bravely committed to the fight since the occupation of our Motherland, and grouped in the powerful Confederation Generale du Travail which, in the spring of last year, sent me to bring its public adherence to tho Comite National de la France Combattante and its President, General da Gaulle.
In the still very dark days of November 1941, General de Gaulle defined the programme of French policy in three Articles. Never was a political programme so brief nor so clear. It was and it remains our programme,
ARTICLE No. ONE : Wage war; pursue and beat the enemy.
Scorning the enemy's blandishments, the French working-class set itself against him before being directly struck by him. With what disproportionate means the labouring classes fought against the Boches, and they continue now under much better conditions.
As in all the great crises in our history, the popular patriotic instinct made itself heard. For the people, in normal times, patriotism is not a matter to be spoken of. Although its dislike of making an unnecessary show of it has often led to its being accused of indifference, it nevertheless remains true that it is its patriotic instinct which once again saved France. We can therefore assert that the first Article will be fully applied.
ARTICLE No. TWO: Give back the word to the people so that they can freely express what they want and what they do not want.
The second Article will be fulfilled quite as much as the first. It must not be believed that hate for the oppressor, and it alone, bound the French people together in this tragic period, and that is losing the use of public liberties they lost the taste for them. Quite the contrary! More than ever, the people of France aspire after liberty, and they will never agree to being a shapeless mass, recognised as the only legitimate sovereign but in fact deprived of the rights which must allow them to nominate, to direct and to supervise their government.