124.51/176: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Germany (Kirk)

2667. We have been experiencing increasing difficulty in maintaining communications with our establishment in Paris. Telephone communication exists between Vichy and Paris but there are no telegraph or mail facilities and the German authorities continually obstruct communication by courier. Also it is occasionally necessary for our officers in France to cross from occupied to unoccupied territory on official business. The Germans have become increasingly uncooperative in such matters.

For some time we have wanted MacArthur to return to Paris and we now desire that Thompson90 proceed temporarily to Vichy. Necessary German authorizations have not been forthcoming.

Also Barnes reported on October 1 that his field of action has become so circumscribed by German refusal to cooperate that American interests in occupied territory are definitely prejudiced. He reports a considerable increase in occupation of American property by the military and decreasing effectiveness of his representations, which receive in reply only a promise to consider or investigate.

The matter of MacArthur and that of the courier who was at the time in Paris awaiting German permission to cross the frontier into Spain was taken up orally with an officer of the German Embassy here and he has reported that the Embassy here has cabled its Foreign Office urging remedial action.

We are disturbed by this situation. If our officers in occupied territory are to function efficiently in the protection of American interests it is essential that adequate communication be maintained and that couriers and officers be permitted to cross the Spanish frontier and that between occupied and unoccupied territory when the occasion arises and without undue delay.

We desire, therefore, that unless you perceive reasons to the contrary, you take this matter up with the Foreign Office formally or informally as you deem best, and insist as strongly as possible that this situation be corrected.

  1. Tyler Thompson, Third Secretary of Embassy in France.