123 Bullitt, William c./724: Telegram

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

930. Under a Vichy date line a German news telegram states that “all the French press comments on the refusal of Ambassador Bullitt to return to Vichy” and “insinuate that during the war Mr. Bullitt worked in favor of England which would be incompatible with his new diplomatic mission” here. The despatch adds: “French political circles would receive with pleasure a new Ambassador who could interest the American Government in the problems of Europe and the future France which will rise as a result of the Franco-German agreements.”

There seems little doubt that the absence of an American Ambassador here is causing the Vichy Government both embarrassment and a certain amount of misgiving. The number of inquiries I receive from simple people as to whether the Ambassador is returning or when a new Ambassador is coming would seem to indicate that the significance of the present situation and its resemblance to a similar lack of Ambassadors at Rome and Berlin is not fortunately lost upon the French public.