Roosevelt Papers

President Roosevelt to General Weygand 1

My Dear General Weygand: I am taking advantage of the departure of a courier a few days before the opening of the New Year to send you my cordial greetings. I have followed the situation in North Africa during your stay in that region with great interest and I am conscious of your courage and devotion in maintaining in so far as possible under the Armistice limitations the integrity of the French Empire. I am convinced that your resolution to do everything possible for the people of France has not ended with your departure from North Africa. I also believe that France cannot fail to recognize now and in the future what your contribution is and has been to its welfare and future greatness. As a lifelong friend of France I share your resolution.

It is in this particular sense that I write you as I am confident that in the difficult hours that lie ahead, your devotion to the best interests of your country will rise above any adverse circumstance.

In conclusion, I express my cordial greetings to you.

Very sincerely yours,

[Franklin D. Roosevelt]
  1. A copy in the files of the Department of State (851A.01/87B) shows that the letter had been drafted in the Department and was sent to Roosevelt for signature on December 27. The letter, together with an oral message, was delivered by Douglas MacArthur II to Weygand on January 20, 1942; see the editorial note ante, p. 234. For a somewhat similar New Year’s letter from Roosevelt to Pétain, also dated December 27 but unaccompanied by any secret message, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. ii, p. 205.
  2. The source text is unsigned but the signature appears on the letter as printed in General Maxime Weygand, Recalled to Service, pp. 390–391.