740.0011 European War 1939/4175: Telegram

The Consul at Lagos (Jester) to the Secretary of State

Your June 24, 6 p.m. Situation in West Africa still obscure even to British officials in Nigeria. Communications difficult through lack of full liaison facilities. While the Governor General at Dakar is reported to have announced 2 days ago the disassociation of the colonies under his jurisdiction from any decisions or control of the Bordeaux Government the Governors of the several colonies have as yet taken no decisive stand with the exception of the Governor of the French Cameroons who follows the lead of the Governor General. Considerations of positions, salaries, source of authority and a tendency to await clarification of position in France are given as reasons for their hesitation. French colonial military forces are reported (Chief Secretary, Government of Nigeria) to be more firmly resolved to carry on the war and it is generally believed that native troops and population are in full agreement.13 Political liaison officers were suddenly despatched from Lagos by plane last Friday to the French Cameroons and two military liaison officers were sent there this morning. I believe other nearby colonies are being visited. British officials state they are trying to persuade the French colonies to carry on and in general the will to do so is taking shape probably in association with the French National Committee in London.

No news here of whereabouts of French naval units. As a precautionary measure no Allied vessels allowed to leave for French ports. Air mail to Europe suspended.

I find some concern in official circles over the possibility that Italian pressure on Franco and promise of Gibraltar may bring Spain in which will affect West African situation. Will report later.

  1. The Consul at Lagos reported in telegram of July 1, 3 p.m., that a political officer just returned from tour by air of nearby French territory reported that French military forces were definitely in favor of carrying on the war. (740.0011 European War 1939/4333)