Reported in the News Letter on March 21, 1956: Outpouring of joy after Tunisia gains independence

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France yesterday solemnly recognised Tunisian independence, including the right to set up her own national army, in a joint protocol signed in Paris.

The protocol also recognised Tunisia’s right “to exercise her responsibility in foreign affairs”.

Last night, 200,000 Tunisians poured into the streets of Tunis in a frenzy of joy at their newly-won independence.

The protocol was signed by M Pineau, French Foreign Minister, and M Tahar Ben Amar, the Tunisian Prime Minister.

More than 3,000,000 Tunisians receive their freedom under the protocol, which comes after three weeks of talks by French and Tunisian delegations on extending the Tunisian home rule agreement signed last summer.

At present, Tunisia has a Government without a Parliament or constitution. But elections are due to be held in Tunis later this month to choose a Constituent Assembly to draw up a constitution.

The agreement on Tunisian independence follows French recognition of the independence of French Morocco, her other former North African Protectorate, earlier this month.