Roosevelt Papers

Draft Statement to the Press 1

Soon after the successful landing operations in North Africa on November 8th, the President and the Prime Minister quickly agreed that the time had come for another review of the world war situation, and the practical discussion of steps to be taken by the United Nations for the further conduct2 of the war in the year 1943. This involved a meeting of the British-American combined staffs and if possible, another personal meeting between them. Such a meeting involved total geographical considerations and the President discussed with Mr. Stalin the possibilities of his attendance at a joint meeting somewhere in Africa. It became clear that while Mr. Stalin greatly desired to attend such a meeting, he was of necessity precluded from leaving Russia because of3 the new Russian offensive which even at that time had begun its eminently successful operation against the [Page 834] Germans, along the whole long line of the Russian-German front, from the north to the Caucasus.

The Russian Commander-in-Chief4 was advised that the meeting between the President and the Prime Minister would nevertheless be held, and that he would be kept fully informed of the progress of planning for the year 1943. It is of course expected that as the operations of the year develop, the four major United Nations’ military power will continue its excellent5 cooperation in, and coordination of the world wide strategy which day by day is closing the net around the Axis powers.

As a result of preliminary conversations, the President and the Prime Minister met in an undisclosed point in North Africa about ten days ago, their Army, Navy and Air staffs having already begun studies of the world situation.

These studies, unprecedented in history in their completeness and in their total global aspect, have resulted in unanimous agreements marked by a spirit of complete understanding and cordiality, and have now been brought to a conclusion.

The combined staffs have been actuated in this by a spirit of pooling all of the resources of the United Nations and by the determination to maintain the initiative against the Axis powers in every part of the world.

Complete plans are agreed on to meet every eventuality which may face the United Nations during the year 1943, These plans cover—

(a) United operations conducted by American and British forces in their areas of hostilities,

(b) All possible material aide to the magnificient Russian offensive against Germany and a continuation of Russian destruction of the manpower of Germany, Roumania, Italy and Hungary now opposing Russia on the eastern front,6 together with the continued destruction of German munitions and material of all kinds.

It envisions also7 all possible aid8 to the heroic struggle of China now in its 6th year, with the objective of ending9 for all time Japanese domination of the Far East.

The President and the Prime Minister, after a complete survey of the world war situation, are more than ever determined that peace can [Page 835] come to the world only by a total elimination of German and Japanese war power. This involves the simple formula of placing the objective of this war in terms of an unconditional surrender by Germany10 and Japan. Unconditional surrender by them means a reasonable assurance of world peace, for generations. Unconditional surrender means not the destruction of the German populace, nor of the Japanese populace, but does mean11 the destruction of a philosophy in Germany and Japan which is based on the conquest12 of other peoples.

The President and the Prime Minister are confident that this is equally the purpose of Russia, China and all members of the United Nations.

In view of the fact that the conference was held in North Africa and in view of the world wide desire that France be liberated from the Nazi yoke, the President and the Prime Minister, on arrival, took steps to bring all Frenchmen in every part of the world outside of occupied France, into a unity, with one simple objective—the raising of French Army, Navy and Air forces to cooperate13 with the United Nations in the liberation of France.

They therefore invited General Giraud and General de Gaulle to meet in North Africa, in order that they might discuss ways and means toward this simple objective, and if they desired to consult with the President and the Prime Minister toward the common end. General Giraud, the High Commissioner of French North Africa and French West Africa, arrived at the place of meeting within two days.

It is worth noting that General Giraud, as High Commissioner, represents the supreme French command in Algiers, Tunis, the French Protectorate of the Sultanate14 of Morocco, and West Africa, which includes Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Dahomey and French Guinea, These territories include by far the greater part of the French overseas territory, both in area and in population. In the category of population, these territories include not only the greater majority of the native population, but also the greater majority of the French population which lives outside of France proper.

After negotiations in London which lasted six days longer, General de Gaulle agreed to come to North Africa to meet with General Giraud. He arrived on Friday morning, January 22nd. (At this point the Prime Minister will set forth the situation resulting from General de Gaulle’s visit).

The meeting of the President and the Prime Minister with the combined staffs has come to a complete and successful meeting of the minds in regard to all military operations, and the war against the Axis powers will proceed according to schedule with every indication of a continuation of successes for the United Nations during 1943.

  1. This uncaptioned and undated paper appears to have been prepared for use at the Roosevelt–Churchill press conference originally scheduled for noon of January 22. It is possibly the original draft of a statement intended to include the unconditional surrender formula as proposed by Churchill at the meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with Roosevelt and Churchill on January 18; see ante, p. 635, especially footnote 6. The source text bears a number of corrections and emendations by Roosevelt and Churchill which are indicated in footnotes at the appropriate places. The last two paragraphs of this draft constitute a separate page (page 4) of the typewritten source text. The first three typewritten pages of this draft were probably prepared after Churchill’s message of January 20 to the British War Cabinet (Hinge of Fate, pp. 683–685) reporting the intention of the Conference to prepare a statement for the press which would include a declaration on “unconditional surrender”. Churchill’s handwritten insertion of the word “Italy” (see footnote 10, p. 835) was undoubtedly made after receipt of the War Cabinet’s telegram on January 21, urging that Italy not be exempted from the unconditional surrender requirement (Hinge of Fate, p. 686). The other handwritten alterations were presumably made by Roosevelt and Churchill at the same time. The last two paragraphs of this draft (page 4 of the typewritten source text) were apparently added on January 22, after de Gaulle’s arrival at Casablanca.

    Hopkins’ informal notes on the proceedings of January 22 indicate that difficulties had arisen in the preparation of this statement to the press:

    “It was perfectly clear that there was no meeting of the minds as to the exact statement that should be released. In view of the fact that de Gaulle was just arriving, it seemed to me that the wisest thing to do was to postpone the Press Conference until we were ready to make a final statement. The President rather reluctantly agreed to this, but I told him that it was essential that we have a meeting of the minds with Churchill. The question of whether any reference to Stalin’s having been invited must be decided, and a careful statement relative to the Southwest Pacific ought to be included, and if the de Gaulle thing might be in the bag in another 24 hours, a much better statement on that could be made.” (Hopkins Papers)

    The contents of this draft paper as amended by Roosevelt and Churchill and as subsequently revised still further were incorporated into Roosevelt’s press conference notes, infra.

  2. The phrase “further conduct” is crossed out and replaced by the word “prosecution”, presumably in Roosevelt’s writing.
  3. The word “of” is crossed out and replaced by the phrase “he was conducting”, possibly in Churchill’s writing.
  4. The phrase “Commander-in-Chief” is crossed out and replaced by the phrase “war leader”, possibly in Churchill’s writing.
  5. The word “excellent” is crossed out and replaced by the word “thorough”, in Roosevelt’s writing.
  6. The phrase “now opposing Russia on the eastern front” is crossed out, presumably by Churchill.
  7. The opening phrase “It envisions also” is crossed out, and the word “All” is capitalized, presumably by Churchill.
  8. After the word “aid” the phrase “will be given” is inserted in Churchill’s writing.
  9. The phrase “the objective of ending” is altered to read “the resolve to end”, in Churchill’s writing.
  10. The word “Italy” is inserted after the word “Germany”, in Churchill’s writing.
  11. “But does mean” is revised by Churchill to read “but it does mean”.
  12. The words “and subjugation” inserted following the word “conquest”, in Churchill’s writing.
  13. “Cooperate” crossed out and replaced by “march”, in Churchill’s writing.
  14. “Sultanate” is changed in an unknown hand to read “Sultantate”.