"Whenever something must be rebuilt, it is an opportunity for improvement and growth."
Hypolite Worms, 1950
Opening of a banking agency in Casablanca. Start of air transport consignment sales in Paris, Algiers and Tunis. Participation in the foundation of Cofica (development of credit sales of industrial equipment). Report from the government commissioner on "finalisation of the Worms enquiry" the conclusions of which tallied with those of the expert G. Bernard that there had been no economic collaboration. Participation in the new share issue to boost the capital of the Établissements Trautmann. Joint founder of the UFEFE (funding for French imports and export), a company intended to "be pivotal to the private part of the Marshall Plan in France). Increase in the equity of the Compagnie Nantaise des Chargeurs de l'Ouest.
Transformation of the shipbuilding department (Le Trait) into a limited company, the Ateliers et Chantiers de la Seine-Maritime - ACSM (1 January)
with a workforce of 986 people (as opposed to 1,200 before the war). 3 January: decree setting out the responsibilities of the General Planning Commission to be headed by Jean Monnet. 19 January: resignation of General de Gaulle as President of the provisional government of the French Republic. 31 January-13 March: relaxation of the measures taken against Worms & Cie by the US Treasury. 13 February: the final total for ships lost in the war amounted to 14 of the 24 Worms vessels and 6 NCHP cargo ships out of a fleet of 10 before the war. 8 April: nationalisation of gas and electricity with the creation of two public companies to run their production, transport and distribution, namely Électricité de France and Gaz de France. 25 April: nationalisation of the main insurance companies. 30 April: joint venture between Worms & Cie and the Ateliers and Chantiers de la Seine-Maritime - ACSM (stocks of raw materials and miscellaneous products). 17 May: nationalisation of the coal mines and creation of the Charbonnages de France. 28 May: France obtained massive financial aid from the USA and had its war debts cancelled. June: increase in the equity of the Société Privée de Réescompte. 13 June: end of the investigations by the Judge, G. Thirion, whose "enquiry was entirely favourable to Worms & Cie". 20 June: release of J. Barnaud, who had been imprisoned since 12 October 1944. 26 June: investigations launched by the National Interprofessional "Purge" Commission on Henri Nitot (CEO of the ACSM). 14-23 August: order for two oil tankers and a cargo vessel placed with the Le Trait shipyards. 27 August: Worms & Cie testified to German ex-auditor Wilhelm Beines von Ziegesar's lack of sympathy for the Nazi party. 2 September: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh. 5 September: publication of an insert in the Journal of the Merchant Navy in which Worms & Cie announced that it was operating regular coastal shipping services between ports in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia, that it was offering agency, transit and handling services at its branches on Bayonne, Bordeaux, Boulogne, Brest, Caen, Dieppe, Dunkirk, Le Havre, Lorient, Marseilles, Rochefort, Rouen, Toulon, Algiers, Sfax, Tunis, Cardiff, Newcastle, Antwerp, Ghent, Rotterdam, Alexandria, Port Said and Suez. October-December: influx of further capital into the Établissements Japy Frères. 13-27 October: adoption of a new constitution by referendum, ushering in the 4th Republic. 21 October-November: examination of possibilities for yielding the ownership of the installations at Le Trait to the Société Anonyme des ACSM "to boost its credit rating, avoid having to provide sureties for its financial transactions and enable it to enjoy a more normal situation as regards depreciation costs". 25 October: the Government commissioner at the Court of Justice ordered the halt of the procedures in progress against H. Worms and G. Le Roy Ladurie. November: foundation of the Société Technique d'Études Industrielles et Commerciales. 6-14 November: increase in the capital of Huilcombus, Société Française des Huiles Combustibles. 23 November-2 December: Application for a loan of 50 million francs lodged with the Crédit National by the ACSM. 27 November: adoption of the first plan by the General Planning Commission (5-year investment programme for the six basic sectors in which growth was deemed essential for the development of all other economic activity, for example coal or transport). 28 November: decision made by the Illicit Profits Confiscation Committee according to which "no profits are to be confiscated from the company Worms & Cie... or H. Worms". 7 December: speech made by H. Worms at the Le Trait shipyards on the occasion of the launch of the submarine "L'Africaine" for delivery to the National Navy. 19 December: uprising in Hanoi against the continued presence of the French, marking the start of a war in Indochina that would result in France and the USA (from 1949-1950) being embroiled in battle against the Viet Minh Front, backed by China and the USSR, until 1954.
From 1945-46, the Coal Division had to adapt to the complete halt of British coal exports, to the slump in those from central Europe, the new development of oil fuel heating and nationalisation policy.
Stake taken in the Paris-based company SA Charpol (fuel merchants) and in the Société Commerciale d'Affrètement et de Combustibles - SCAC. Establishment of the holding company France-Estrellas (with Foulonneau & Pitavino). Equity increase at the Ateliers Moisant Laurent et Savey. Early part of the year: constitution of the Société de Financement de Théâtres and the Société de Financement de la Distribution de Films Cinématographiques (SOFIDI). 16 January: election of Vincent Auriol to the position of President of the 4th Republic. 10 February: National Interprofessional "Purge" Commission announced that the cases brought against H. Worms and G. Le Roy Ladurie were non proven. 1 March: derequisition of the vessels placed under the authority of the Maritime Transport Department during the war. 11 March: death of G. Le Roy Ladurie. 29 March: uprising in Madagascar against French colonial rule. 31 March: introduction of the minimum living wage. March-September: following the publication by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. of the book by William H. Langer, professor of history at Harvard, entitled "Our Vichy Gamble", Worms & Cie, whose name was adversely mentioned in several places, brought a libel case to have the offending passages removed. The resulting changes – sent by the publishers to the CIA – culminated in the publication of a memorandum entitled "Statement prepared by Worms & Cie relating to its wartime history and the French judicial proceedings which ensued" (20 September), which was consigned to the archives of the Department of State (9 December). 18 April: further capital injected into the Société d'Études Privées. June: withdrawal of the capital invested in the Société Franco-Iranienne de Recherches. 5 June: announcement of the Marshall Plan aimed at economic reconstruction in Europe and the fight against communism, against a backdrop of major social unrest. 10 June: injection of capital into the Compagnie Charbonnière de Manutentions et de Transports. July: increase in the equity of the Société Française d'Équipement et de Contrôle (improvement of corporate organisational methods) and the Entreprises de Grands Travaux Hydrauliques (July-October). Trip made by R. Meynial to the United States. 18 September: redirection of business activities at Worms & Cie Hamburg. 15 October: launch of the "Château-Palmer" by W. Pickersgill & Sons. November: commissioning of the "Germinal" (STMP). 10 November: operation of the "Port-Haliguen" on the Hamburg line in a sales and technical management capacity. 19 November: further capital injected into the Société des Machines Automatiques Bardet. 4 December: Starnaphta (represented by the Banque Worms, its parent company) transferred its refinery licence to Pechelbronn Ouest, a transaction conducted as part of the process of establishing an international class refinery on the River Loire to be called the Raffineries Françaises de Pétrole de l'Atlantique (RFPA), the embryo of the future Antar. 9 December: more capital put into the Établissements Japy Frères.
The subsidiaries in Antwerp and Rotterdam under pressure from the Rhine Operating Community in the shipping sector, need to open a branch in Strasbourg. Georges Albertini joined the company as management advisor and was asked to produce a document to commemorate the company's centenary. This led him to conduct a thorough examination of company archives over a number of years and produce several detailed historical records and synopses. La Préservatrice (insurance) set up in Morocco. Increase in the equity of the Peintures Astral Celluco some of which was put up by Worms & Cie and one of its subsidiaries, the Société Industrielle et Minière du Nord et des Alpes. The "Cérons", a cargo ordered from the Ateliers et Chantiers de la Seine-Maritime, joined the fleet as well as the "Port-Haliguen" under the new name of the "La-Mailleraye". 2-3 January: plans to convert the branches in Rotterdam and Antwerp into limited companies, business consisting of coal ship, tramp steamer and oil tanker operations, freight transit and control on behalf of selected customers of German and American coal reforwarding operations via Antwerp. 4 January: Takeover of the Société Française d'Équipement et de Contrôle by the Société des Machines Automatiques Bardet, with an increase in the latter's equity. 28 January: creation of two regular liner services between France and Scandinavia calling in Le Havre and Rouen. 6 February: Bayonne branch interested in adding handling services to its portfolio (Delmas vessels bound for Casablanca) as well as transit (freight agent for CGT). 17 February: conversion of the Antwerp, Ghent, and Rotterdam branches into independent companies under local law. 17-25 February: "Prague Coup" – Czechoslovakian communist party taking over power in Czechoslovakia with the backing of the USSR. 28 February: bill on the organisation of the Merchant Navy - derequisition of the merchant fleet. 1 March: the "Pessac" returned to Worms & Cie. 11 March: possibility of purchasing the "Barsac". 12 March: launch of a new addition to the Worms fleet, the "Fronsac", a coastal vessels built by the Augustin Normand shipyards. April: speech given in Algiers by H. Worms at company centenary celebrations. 3 April: Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan, launched on 16 April. 5 April: commissioning of the "Château-Palmer" (lines with Scandinavia and then North Africa). 7 April: agreement reached between the State and ATIC (French Technical Coal Importers Association), under which it would have the sole responsibility for purchasing coal from abroad. This brought a halt to Worms & Cie's traditional coal importing activities, its port installations being used instead to receive and handle ore purchased for the public authorities, in particular, and the company developing its domestic merchant functions. May: extra capital injected into the Compagnie Nantaise des Chargeurs de l'Ouest. 7 May: extension to Paris, Marseilles and Bordeaux of the travel agency licence granted to the Algiers agency. 10 May: purchase of the "Prairial" by the Société des Transports Maritimes Pétroliers, which between then and 1954 signed a number of charter contracts, mainly for the "Champs-Élysées". 5 June: speech given at Le Trait by H. Worms at the time of the launch of the cargo vessel "Ille-and-Vilaine". 10 June: increase in the capital of the Société de Courtage Maritime et d'Études - Socomet. 22 June: publication of an article on the links between Bordeaux and Worms & Cie since 1850, with "18 ships currently in service... to which will shortly be added a further 6 now under construction to bring the Worms & Cie fleet back to its pre-war glory". 28 June: reorganisation of the Établissements Marret, Bonnin, Lebel et Guieu – resumption of precious metal activities by the Comptoir Lyon-Alemand and specialisation in banking transactions through the Société de Financement, Participation et Gestion. 21 July: commissioning of the "Jumièges", a bulk cargo vessel built by the Penhoët shipyards in Normandy, like the "Caudebec" and "Normanville", this vessel being used by charter parties via the bulk goods conference. August: delivery of the "Sebaa", a vessel in the colours of the Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianoni (CMNG), working alongside the "Château-Larose" on the Marseilles-Oranie line that Worms & Cie was developing in association with this Marseilles-based firm. 14 August: entry into service of the cargo ship "Fronsac" (flying the French flag). November: reorganisation of the branch in Marseilles. 5 November: introduction on the official stock market of shares in the Société d'Entreprises de Grands Travaux Hydrauliques. 27 November: "Château-Larose" transferred to the Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianoni, with the Worms Shipping Divisions continuing to manage its operation. 2 December: the "Listrac" placed in service for traffic with Scandinavia. 27 December: capital injected into the Société d'Études Privées.
Subscription to the increase in the equity of the Compagnie Charbonnière de Provence, the Établissements Trautmann and the Société Parisienne de Réception de Combustibles - Pareco. Stake taken in Lebègue de Bourdelière & Cie, based in Angoulême (fuel merchants) and in the Société Civile Immobilière Châteaudun/Lafayette. Report on the activities of Worms & Cie in Antwerp and Ghent (regular liner services, tramping services and transit operations), essentially focussed on relations with ATIC. After taking a stake in the Compagnie Franco-Industrielle Maritime - CFIM and subsequent mergers, Worms & Cie held over 2% of the equity in Socantar, the parent company of Antar. Acquisition of shares in the Compagnie Nationale de Navigation - CNN. 27 January: the investigating commission of the High Court threw out the case against J. Barnaud for want of convincing evidence. February: further capital injected into the Société Technique d'Études Industrielles et Commerciales. 15 February: speech by R. Labbé at the Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée on the launch of the bulk wine carrier "Château-Petrus" dedicated to use on lines to and from North Africa. March: shares of the Manufacture Centrale des Machines Agricoles C. Puzenat quoted on the Paris market. 17 March: resumption of French shipping services with ports on the North Sea. 1 April: increase in the capital of the Société Privée d'Études. 4 April: signature of the North Atlantic Treaty (Nato) under which the Americans and Europeans committed themselves to mutual defence and economic cooperation to counter Soviet expansion. 13 April: launch of the cargo ship "Château-Lafite" placed in service between Le Havre, Cherbourg, Antwerp and Algeria. 11 May: increase in the capital of the Machines Automatiques Bardet. 13 May: report by the intelligence services on the Banque Worms. June: "Barsac" and "Cérons" worked on the Marseilles-Tunisia line. 10 June: opening of a bank account in the name of the insurance company, La Foncière Transports. 28 June: transfer to the Société des Huiles Antar, in sale or contribution form, of the shares held by Pechelbronn in the Raffineries Françaises de Pétrole de l'Atlantique – RFPA. Following these transactions, Antar was at the head of the Group's affiliate refining, distribution, transport and storage companies. July: further capital injected into the Société Française d'Entreprises de Dragage et de Travaux Publics. 1 July: deal involving the Rhine Operating Community in Antwerp over the Bordeaux-Hamburg line and agency services in Belgium and Holland, concluded by a group of French shipping companies. 6 July: creation of the Union Marocaine et d'Outremer (Moroccan and Overseas Union). 13 July-3 December: increase in the capital of the Société Anonyme des Ateliers et Chantiers de la Seine-Maritime from 10 million to 50 million francs by incorporation of reserves, and that of the Établissements Japy Frères (19 July-15 September). 28 July: 5-year extension to the contract of R. Meynial as statutory non partner manager. 30 July: sinking of the "Listrac" off Cherbourg. 23 September: speech delivered by H. Worms at the Le Trait shipyards on the launch of the hybrid cargo vessel "Ville-de-Tamatave" for the NCHP: list of ships launched since the reconstruction of the ACSM. 21 October: publication of "1848-1948 – one hundred years of Worms & Cie" written by Georges Albertini. Speeches delivered by Hypolite Worms and Louis Vignet at the centenary celebrations in Paris (22 October) and Le Havre (12 November). 20 November: examination of the possibility of purchasing a small share in the Société Française de Transports Pétroliers from the State at a time when there were plans to add to the company's equity. 8-16 December: changes in the statutes of Worms & Cie (published on 23 December) following the nomination de R. Meynial to the position of managing partner, the return of J. Barnaud to the management team and the incorporation of reserves to raise company equity from 40 to 400 million francs.
Early part of the year: increase in the capital of the Union Marocaine et d'Outremer. January: speech delivered by H. Worms on his visit to Egypt to celebrate the company's centenary. A General Directorate for the branches in Egypt set up in Port Said with separate offices in Alexandria, Cairo and Suez. While the branches in Antwerp, Ghent and Rotterdam had been made into limited companies, in the UK the company Worms & Co. Ltd was established with its main offices in London and offices in Newcastle and Cardiff. According to an insert published by the company in the periodical Flotte Marchande, the Worms' fleet comprised 19 cargo vessels for a total payload of 27,726 tonnes, not counting three ships under construction, its international coastal shipping lines serving Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Algeria and Tunisia. The Ateliers et Chantiers de la Seine-Maritime - ACSM, for their part, had fully risen from the ashes and their production capacity had grown. In Le Havre the first coal conglomerate was established in the form of a subsidiary, the Société d'Exploitation Rationnelle des Agglomérés et du Charbon - SERAC, jointly created and run by Worms & Cie and the Société Commerciale d'Affrètement et de Combustibles - SCAC. 18 January: "Château-Petrus" and its sister ship "Château-Lafite" consigned to the Antwerp-Northern France-Algeria line. 11 February: inauguration of the SMIG (guaranteed minimum wage). 21 February: study trip to examine possibilities for air traffic between Paris and the Ivory Coast. 1 April: increase in the capital of Antar. 29 April: launch of the cargo ship "Ville-de-Tamatave" (NCHP) on the Le Havre-Madagascar line. End of April: death of Jean Nelson-Pautier. 2-9 May: J. Barnaud heard by the Parliamentary Enquiry Commission on events from 1933 to 1945. 9 May: declaration Robert Schumann, MP for Lorraine and Minister for Foreign Affairs, in which he proposed the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the forerunner to the European Union. 30 May: speech delivered by H. Worms on the launch by the ACSM of the "Ville-de-Tananarive" (NCHP). June: subscription to the capital increase at the Société d'Approvisionnement pour le Chauffage Central. Involvement of ACSM in the foundation of the Groupement d'Exportations de Navires et d'Engins de Mer en Acier. 27 June: signature of an agreement between Antar, the Société Française des Pétroles and Worms & Cie, for itself and as the bankers of the Compagnie Starnaphta, under which the Raffineries Françaises des Pétroles de l'Atlantique would transfer 10% of their fuel and gas production to Worms. Once it had thus ensured its supplies, the company could then set up the firm of Stardis to run its liquid fuels branch. July: Worms and subsidiary, the Compagnie de l'Afrique Noire in Brazzaville, contributed to the increase in the capital of the Société Nationale du Cameroun. Equity of the Société de Courtage Maritime et d'Études – Socomet – doubled. September: sale of the cargo ship "Bidassoa". 20 October-28 November: enquiry conducted by the intelligence services into the participation of the Le Have branch in an invitation to tender issued by the municipal authorities. 25 October: speech delivered by H. Worms on the launch of the oil tanker "Champagne" (SFTP). 5 December: involvement of Worms & Cie in the creation of the Société d'Etudes pour l'Aménagement du Haut Sébou in Fès (construction of dams, erection of electricity plants, irrigation, etc.). In the course of the year, Worms & Cie contributed to the increase in the capital of the Société d'Approvisionnement pour le Chauffage Central, was involved in the creation of the Société Charbonnière et de Manutention – SOCHAMA, based in Angoulême and specialising in the fuel merchant trade. It also took a stake in the capital of the Caisse Autonome de Reconstruction, a firm specialising in the payment of war damages.