File No. 811.2226/154

The French Ambassador ( Jusserand ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: My Government informs me of the great interest it takes in having the question of reciprocally delivering up deserters from the French and American Armies, independently of the military convention now under consideration relative to slackers, delinquents and deserters,1 settled through an exchange of notes between the Ambassador of the United States at Paris and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic as has already been done by the British Ambassador and the Minister for the surrender of English and French deserters.

In this connection article 7 of the counterdraft of the aforesaid convention submitted to the Federal Government by the French Government2 is acknowledged to constitute an agreement of the two [Page 739] countries to deliver up deserters, but inasmuch as certain exceptions to the general rule are made in this respect in the Anglo-American draft, it would be important to make it clear that, as the French Government feels sure, the American Government does not intend to except from the said provision the American soldiers who may have deserted before the proposed convention goes into effect, now that tens of thousands of American soldiers landed in France months ago.

With the main object of delivering up at once such deserters to the provost marshals of the American Army, the Government of the Republic instructs me to ask of Your Excellency that instructions be sent at the earliest possible date to His Excellency Mr. Sharp enabling him to proceed with the contemplated exchange of notes with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

  1. See section on “Military Service Conventions,” ante, pp. 648732.
  2. Note in flies: “Never received up to Feb. 14/18. L. H. W[oolsey].”