740.0011 European War 1939/7090: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

1119. The Government distribution of radio news this morning includes a quotation from the British Broadcasting Company’s emission through Daventry on December 10 of a statement that “the nomination of Robert Murphy to the French Government is interpreted as a gesture on the part of the United States to reenforce Marshal Pétain’s influence at the expense of Laval and collaboration with Germany. Mr. Murphy is to visit North Africa before arrival at his post where he [Page 418] will meet General Weygand to discuss with him the attitude of the United States toward France. He will emphasize that America’s friendship for France will be sacrificed if France realizes collaboration with Germany.”

The effect of this broadcast locally is bad. It has attracted German attention and is embarrassing to the French.

It seems from here, at least, that it would be most useful if the Department could suggest to the British Embassy that the British censorship avoid broadcasts regarding efforts on our part to impede collaboration with Germany. Such publicity, as we view it here, can only defeat its own purpose.