740.0011 European War 1939/5352: Telegram

The Consul General at Casablanca (Goold) to the Secretary of State

106. I see no indication that the example of Chad and French Equatorial Africa53 will be followed here, at least for a long time to come. On the whole, there is no fight left in the local French population although this may change if it becomes convinced that France is to be evicted from Morocco.

The revictualling of France is the principal concern of the Government. The traffic proceeds principally via Oran but the port of Nemours will be improved with a view to increasing the movement which a short time ago amounted to about 725 tons per month. I am now advised that it amounts to 1500 tons daily and includes cereals.

Three French merchant vessels have just finished bunkering and I hear that a convoy is being organized to try to reach Marseille, escorted by destroyers and planes. Three French merchant vessels escorted by six destroyers reached Casablanca from Dakar a few days ago bringing frozen meat and demobilized sailors.

The Government is trying to arrange for the importation of sugar from Brazil and has decided to send a certain De Lazovert to the United States to buy gasoline. The Director of Public Works blames the Socony-Vacuum and the Shell companies for the shortage of petroleum products here but the Resident General still fails to give any assurance that Allied tankers coming to Casablanca will not be detained after arrival or that the cargoes will be used exclusively here.

A captain of the French Air Force told me that there are 138 American planes in the Casablanca area while there are 100 special Deutch [Deutz?] trucks in the assembling plant here as well as 8 complete Sperry projectors. First orders had been to remove magnetos from the planes but now they were being put back. Under General François who has just been retired, much war material had been taken to the Sahara for concealing which might be brought back as a result of the visit of a certain commander Fournier to Vichy. My informant stated that a German delegation composed of four members is soon to arrive to take charge of disarmament operations.

While the Army and the Air Force are strongly pro-British, I find that the extent to which disarming has already proceeded is making them very pessimistic concerning their prospects of effective cooperation with the British when the latter get ready to assume the offensive.

  1. Adherence to the Free French movement of General Charles de Gaulle. For further correspondence on this subject, see pp. 636 ff.