Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1


From Former Naval Person to President, Number 251; Most Secret and Personal.

Your 249. We will conform to your wishes and are observing the strictest secrecy. It might be worth while later on, when our absence becomes noticeable, suggesting we are meeting secretly somewhere in the United States; or anyhow, that I have gone to America.
In Symbol I am “Air Commodore Frankland”. Suggest you also choose an alias and one for Harry.
Also suggest press correspondents be entirely excluded, but presume no objection to our official photographers going out in Bulolo (my headquarters ship), pictures being released and afterwards and simultaneously to both countries.
Your 2502 also received. Many thanks for your good wishes. Are you going to see de Gaulle3 before Symbol, or wait till afterwards?
  1. Transmitted via Navy channels.
  2. In his telegram 250, January 1, 1943, to the Prime Minister, the President outlined his views regarding the political situation in French North Africa; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, p. 23.
  3. Following the assassination of Admiral Darlan in Algiers on December 24, 1942, the projected visit ‘to Washington of General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Fighting France movement and President of the French National Committee in London, was cancelled. In his message 245 to Prime Minister Churchill, dated December 26, 1942 (not printed), the President expressed himself on the visit as follows: “I think it would be best for de Gaulle to postpone visit here. This will give ‘ Symbol’ a chance to clear situation first.” (Roosevelt Papers) In replying to the President on December 27, the Prime Minister stressed the need to bring about a unification of the various French factions and the conviction that settlement of the North African situation could not be held up for the forthcoming conference (Churchill, Hinge of Fate, pp. 64–4–645). For a discussion and documentation regarding the arrangements for a de Gaulle visit and its subsequent cancellation, see de Gaulle, p. 70, and de Gaulle, Documents, pp. 95–116, passim. For documentation regarding relations between the United States and the Free French forces in 1942, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. ii, pp. 502 ff.