740.00/823: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

751. For the President and the Secretary. As I reported in my No. 748, April 15, 6 p.m.,6 Daladier7 asked me to call on him at 6:00 o’clock this afternoon to receive a personal message which he desired to send to the President on behalf of the French Government giving the reaction of the French Government to the President’s communication to Hitler and Mussolini. I called on him and in my presence he wrote personally a note of which the following is a translation:

“The French Government received from the Ambassador of the United States a copy of a message addressed by President Roosevelt to the Fuehrer—Chancellor of the Reich and to the Chief of the Italian Government.

Without waiting for the replies which will be addressed by them to the President of the United States, France desires to convey to President Roosevelt her felicitations for his noble initiative which would have the greatest repercussions in the world.

The French people, like the American people, desires peace. Like the American people, the French people is faithful to the ideals of liberty and human solace, and desires ardently peace with independence tor all nations not because of fear or weakness but because of reason and love for the human race. The French people therefore hopes that the proposals of President Roosevelt may assure to the world a period of peaceful collaboration.

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The French Government is happy to offer its complete collaboration to the effort to establish a period of guaranteed non-aggression of 25 years, to the progressive reduction of armaments, and to the search for every possible means to assure, in equality, the participation of all nations in the revival of international commerce.”

Daladier said to me that he positively would not make public this note but added that if the President should desire to make it public he would be glad to have it made public when, if, and as the President might desire.

Since Daladier did not consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with regard to this reply I venture to suggest that if you find it in any way inadequate and if you will transmit to me your ideas with regard to any sort of reply that you may prefer the French Government will be glad to supply it.

Once again Daladier expressed to me in the warmest possible terms his thanks for the efforts of the President to preserve peace. In commenting on the possibility that Hitler and Mussolini might accept the President’s proposal he said “Of one thing I am certain. At any conference we can be sure that there will be an absolute identity of views between France and the United States.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. President of the French Council of Ministers and Minister for National Defense.