Minister of Supply in 1940 in the Paul Reynaud government, he participates as a senator in the Vichy congress on July 10, 1940. He abstained from voting on the granting of full constituent powers to Philippe Pétain and retired to Neuvic, where he founded a charcoal business, intended to fuel gas generators.
On July 16, 1941, he was dismissed from his position as mayor of Neuvic by the Vichy regime. During his clandestine stay in Neuvic in December 1942, Claude Hettier de Boislambert informed him that General Charles de Gaulle attached great importance to his rallying.
After a first unsuccessful exfiltration attempt, in April 1943 he managed to reach London aboard an RAF Lysander aircraft.
A few days after his arrival, he launched an appeal to the BBC for the Resistancedestined to the peasants of France. In November 1943, Queuille was appointed State Commissioner of the French Committee for National Liberation. He also assumed the vice-presidency.
In June 1944, he became Minister of State in the first provisional government of the Republic and, in this capacity, acted as interim President during General de Gaulle's absences.
After the Liberation, he retired to Corrèze and refused to continue working alongside Charles de Gaulle, a sign of the rift between the two men. He was defeated in the 1945 legislative elections for the first and only time in his career, but returned as mayor of Neuvic.
Favorable to the re-establishment of republican institutions, Queuille devoted himself in the months following the Liberation to the recovery and reorganization of the Radical Party, sorely tested by the war and occupation. The Second World War confronted Queuille and Edmond Michelet with the same challenges, each in his own way. The two Corréziens would not return home until the end of the war, almost a year apart.
Contribution and photo credit Le Bourvellec Eric