File No. 811.2226/161

The French Ambassador ( Jusserand ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: As orally stated to the Honorable Solicitor of the Department by Mr. de Laboulaye, in my name, yesterday, the Government of the Republic greatly desires, on account of the ever growing number of American soldiers arriving in France, to conclude at the earliest possible date an agreement with the Federal Government for the purpose of ensuring the reciprocal delivery to the military authorities of the two countries of deserters from their respective Armies, under the conditions which I had the honor to outline to Your Excellency in my note of January 26 last.

It is my Government’s earnest desire, shared, as it seems, by General Pershing that His Excellency Mr. Sharp be authorized to insert [Page 741] in the notes which he is to exchange on that subject with the Minister of Foreign Affairs a formula providing that—

the French police will, on the request of the United States, exercise on every American soldier found in the Continental territory of France the same action as they exercise on French soldiers; that they would, in particular, arrest any soldier who could not produce a voucher of authorized absence (leave, detail on special duty, etc.) whether or not the man be a deserter and that they must deliver up any man so arrested to the proper military authority.

This formula which as Your Excellency will notice, is more comprehensive than that in the Anglo-French agreement, is acceptable to the Minister of War of the Republic who wishes that it be adopted at the earliest possible date all the more as leaves are even now granted to American soldiers.

Owing to the urgency of the agreement and the importance attached thereto by my Government, I venture to commend the matter to the early special attention of the Department of State.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]