Draft Joint Statement by General Giraud and General de Gaulle1
Suggested Statement by General Giraud and General de Gaulle
General Giraud and General de Gaulle have been in friendly conference in North Africa for three days and have come to a complete understanding, which, without going into details which will be worked out progressively, represents a unity of purpose and objective which augurs well for the future course of the common effort of the war.
They have agreed that there is one simple, common purpose in which all Frenchmen everywhere can unite—the liberation of France. This means that every German soldier will be eliminated from the soil of France and the nation returned to the people of France.
This is essentially a military objective. In Africa it is possible for French officers to organize a thoroughly trained, fully equipped striking force, to be used against the joint enemy. Its strength could reasonably reach 250,000. Its equipment would of necessity come principally from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Always keeping the one great purpose in mind—the liberation of France—General Giraud and General de Gaulle, seeking the simplest form of organization, propose to organize a committee for the liberation of France, consisting of themselves and a third member, representing the civil administration of French North Africa, French Morocco, French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa and Djibouti.
The governors of all French territories or protectorates in Africa would carry out their administrative duties as formerly, subject only to final decisions of the Committee for the Liberation of France.
In this provisional set-up covering the whole of Africa, there is no inclusion at this time of other territories and other problems such as the French Fleet in Alexandria, the French fleet and islands in the West Indies, or in other parts of the world. It is hoped that this new organization, controlling as it will by far the greater part of French territories, both in area and population, will play an effective military part in the liberation of the mother country.[Page 823]
This committee of three offers leadership to all Frenchmen who are able to participate with it, but, pending the establishment of a government chosen by the French people themselves, in no sense sets itself up as the government, or the provisional government, or the prospective government of France.
The agreement has been entered into with full cordiality and mutual high purpose. It is an agreement made by Frenchmen, with Frenchmen.
It has the full and sympathetic support of the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This undated and unsigned document is accompanied by an additional page which is entitled “Suggested Insert” and reads as follows: “The National Committee, with headquarters in London, will continue until further arrangements are made to exercise its present supervision over territories now under their control in parts of the world other than Africa. The so-called French Imperial Council set-up in Algeria will be disbanded.”
In a letter of March 13, 1964, to the Historical Office, Murphy recalls that this draft joint statement, together with the “Suggested Insert”, were prepared by the American and British civilian advisers at the conference and that Roosevelt and Churchill gave them their personal attention. It is Murphy’s recollection that the statement was offered to de Gaulle and Giraud on January 24, 1943. Regarding the meetings of January 24 between Roosevelt, Churchill, de Gaulle, and Giraud, see the editorial notes, ante, pp. 723–725.↩