Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1


Most Secret and Personal Number 248 from the Former Naval Person to the President.

I sent Brigadier Jacob to North Africa on Christmas Day to consult with Generals Eisenhower and Smith about arrangements for Symbol . Jacob has now telegraphed that they have found admirable accommodation and that General Smith who is in full agreement is telegraphing the results of their reconnaissance to you.2

I do not think we can do better than accept these proposals, and as time is short, I am going ahead on the assumption that you approve.
My intention is that HMS Bulolo, which is a specially fitted headquarters ship, should leave the UK on about 4th January with the more junior staff officers of my delegation, cypher staff, clerical staff, etc. Bulolo will be berthed in the harbour and serve as signal ship.
In your 242 you suggested that some of our military men should precede us by a few days to clear the ground. I entirely agree, and will arrange for British Chiefs of Staff to arrive by air at rendezvous on whatever day it may be possible for American Chiefs of Staff to reach there. Can you give me a date?
It would also be helpful if you could let me know as soon as possible your own programme and I will make my own arrangements accordingly.
Many thanks about Macmillan.3 I agree to what you say about Eisenhower’s final authority.
  1. Transmitted via Navy channels.
  2. The site agreed upon was Hotel Anfa and surrounding villas in Anfa, a suburb on the southern outskirts of Casablanca. For General Eisenhower’s report of December 29 on the results of the reconnaissance and the selection of Anfa as well as the immediately preceding correspondence between Marshall and Eisenhower on the selection of a site, see Sherwood, pp. 663–665.
  3. In his telegram 239, December 23, 1942, to Roosevelt ( Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. ii, p. 491), Churchill proposed the designation of Macmillan as British Political Representative at Eisenhower’s headquarters. In his telegram 245, December 26, 1942, to Churchill (not printed), Roosevelt suggested that the arrival of Macmillan in North Africa be postponed until the situation was stabilized. In his telegram 247, December 29, 1942 (not printed), Roosevelt agreed to a proposal by Churchill to designate Macmillan “Minister Resident at Allied Headquarters”, with the understanding that Eisenhower “will continue to have full veto power over all civil officials in the area of operations when in his (Eisenhower’s) opinion such veto is advantageous to military operations or prospects.” (Roosevelt Papers)