124.51/129½: Telegram

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

494. Your 831, May 23, 3 p.m. The President has been glad to approve your suggestion that in the event the French Government leaves Paris it might be advisable to have at the temporary seat of the Government an official of high rank, and that Biddle should assume this task. We feel however that he should act not as “special representative pro tern of the President of the United States” but, following the precedent established in September 1914 when Garrett80 was sent to Bordeaux, he should act as your deputy or assistant. Such junior secretaries as you might send out of Paris would work under Biddle’s direction. The Department will approve his assuming these duties in addition to the functions he is normally pursuing as Ambassador to the Polish Government. You may informally talk this over with the French Government. Final orders however will not be sent to Biddle until the contingency foreseen has actually arisen.

  1. John W. Garrett, at the time Special Agent of the Department of State in Europe for matters relating to care of American refugees.