841.24/108: Telegram

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

2730. Your 1378, November 10, 6 p.m. In view of the fact that the French Government based its position during the complicated negotiations with regard to this question on the position taken in the Department’s telegram 1260, October 18, 5 p.m., you may imagine the surprise and embarrassment with which was received that change in our Government’s position of which neither the French Government nor myself had the slightest previous knowledge.

I shall attempt to diminish the impression produced that the change in our position is due to the desire of Sir John Simon45 to avoid complete collaboration with France and to have the economic and financial as well as the human resources of France exhausted before Great Britain reaches a stage of considerable difficulty. This impression is dangerous since it reinforces the propaganda with which both the German and Soviet Governments are flooding France to the effect that France is merely the victim of Great Britain in this war.

  1. British Chancellor of the Exchequer.