The Chargé in France (Wilson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 10:15 a.m.]
709. From Cochran. At 20 minutes before 8 last evening I delivered personally to Rueff in the office of the Minister of Finance the following communication which I had just received by telephone from Secretary Morgenthau:
“Consequent upon the consultation which the French Government has carried on with the American and British Governments as provided by the Tripartite Accord this Government regards the Accord as continuing in full operation.
The assurances in the note of May 4, 1938 given by the French Government with respect to carrying out the letter and spirit of the Accord are noted with the greatest of interest”.
I told Rueff that Secretary Morgenthau desired to know what the wishes were of the French Government in regard to publicity for the communication. [St.] Quentin promptly telephoned the foregoing text in French translation to Marchandeau who was with Prime Minister Daladier at the latter’s office in preparation for the radio address which Daladier gave at 8 o’clock. I remained with Rueff and two of his colleagues in the Minister’s office until 8:45.
The British communication was still being received by telephone from the French Financial Attaché in London when Daladier’s speech commenced. At 8:20 Rueff received from Ambassador St. Quentin by telephone from Washington the above text of the American communication. The Ambassador felt that publication thereof was advisable in view of the many rumors which had been circulating. Rueff telephoned Marchandeau while holding the line open with Washington and discussed this question. Since the British Cabinet note contained a specific reference to a definite rate it was considered undesirable to publish the text. No publicity could be given the American text without the British. Rueff spoke then with his representative [Page 280]in London who said that the British had drawn up their reply in the form of a verbal note and not with the view to publication. It was decided that the question should be put off until today as to whether the British should be asked to delete the above mentioned reference from their note with the view to permitting publication thereof. Rueff promised to inform me if any decision favoring publication should be reached. In the absence of such note it is understood that the British and American communications will not be published. [Cochran.]