740.00119 European War 1939/564: Telegram

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

872. My telegram No. 861, November 1, 11 a.m.37 The Marshal’s reply to the President’s message was sent off late last night to Ambassador Henry-Haye. I learn that it was written in part by the Marshal himself and that probably Laval had a hand in its composition. An earlier draft couched in less brusque phraseology written by Charles-Roux and Rochat38 I hear was rejected.

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In view of the importance of the reply and the fact that the President’s message was transmitted to Vichy by Ambassador Henry-Haye in somewhat different form (my telegram No. 1830 [830], October 26, 2 p.m.), I quote the text in translation as sent me with a covering Foreign Office note today:

[Here follows a translation of Marshal Pétain’s message to President Roosevelt differing verbally but not in substance from translation printed infra.]

  1. Not printed.
  2. Charles Rochat succeeded Charles-Roux as Secretary General of the French Foreign Office about November 1, 1940.