The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 17—1:17 p.m.]
2775. Personal for the President. Your 1402, November 16, 11 a.m. I made the suggestion contained in your telegram under reference to Daladier at the outset of this negotiation. He was not certain that his powers as Président du Conseil would cover such action and asked the advice of his legal advisers who told him that such action on his part would be entirely illegal.[Page 533]
The only method the French could devise to settle the question quietly and to our satisfaction was to have an agreement signed by an official of the Ministry of Colonies acting as agent for and under the authority of the governor of the group addressed to the islands.
I do not believe that any useful purpose can be served by my suggesting again to Daladier that he should take an action which he has already told me would be illegal and beyond his powers.
Please instruct me.