Editorial Note

No official record of this conversation has been found and none appears to have been made by either Roosevelt or Hull. Hull, vol. ii, (pp. 1132–1133) describes the conversation in considerable detail but does not explicitly mention the date. From the general context it appears that the meeting took place just before Churchill’s departure for Ottawa on the evening of December 28.

Hull describes the meeting as follows:

“I had a blunt conversation with Prime Minister Churchill at the White House on the whole question of our relations with Vichy France, with the seizure of the islands [St. Pierre and Miquelon] as a springboard.…

“I pointedly accused De Gaulle of being a marplot acting directly contrary to the expressed wishes of Britain, Canada, and the United States, and I asked the Prime Minister to induce him to withdraw his troops from the St. Pierre and Miquelon islands, with Canadians and Americans assuming supervision over the radio station at St. Pierre.

“Mr. Churchill said that if he insisted on such a request his relations with the Free French movement would be impaired.”

According to the accounts of both Hull (vol. ii, p. 1132) and Churchill (The Grand Alliance, p. 667), Roosevelt acted as moderator in this contentious discussion.

For summaries of the development of the St. Pierre-Miquelon issue, see the memorandum by Halifax, post, p. 378, and the memorandum by the Department of State, post, p. 383. For negotiations [Page 132] on the subject outside the conference, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. ii, pp. 540 ff., and ibid., 1942, vol. ii, pp. 654 ff.