124.516/249: Telegram

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

2376. My 2349, October 6, 1 p.m. We discussed the question of the transmission of telegrams in code with Rochat who explained the position of the French authorities responsible for the issuance of the stringent present regulations.

Rochat said that he hoped we understood that the regulations are not aimed at the exchange of telegrams between the Department and [Page 545] American consular officers but that it is impossible under the circumstances to make an exception in favor of any one country.

In strictest confidence he added the names of certain neutral powers to whose consular representatives in France it is not prudent to extend the privilege of a communication in secret codes. He mentioned the augmentation of the personnel of certain foreign consular personnel and an increase of their activity which is receiving the close attention of the French military authorities.

In view of the absence of discrimination in the application of the present restrictions and the obvious necessity therefor I perceive no ground on which a protest could be based.

Should conditions permit later we could ask for a rectification in our favor.

In the interim it will be necessary for the Department to send all telegrams to American consular officers in France en clair. If the confidential nature of a telegram will not permit, it should be sent via this Mission in code. Other offices should be instructed accordingly.