740.0011 European War 1939/167971/6: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State


5547. Personal from Former Naval Person19 to the President.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • “2. It would be disastrous if Weygand were to be replaced by some pro-Hun officer just at the moment when we are likely to be in a position to influence events in North Africa both from the East and from home. I hope you will try your utmost at Vichy to preserve Weygand in his command. If this cannot be achieved some friendly figure from retirement, like General Georges might be agreed upon. I have not seen Georges since the collapse but I have reason to believe his heart is sound. I knew him very well. Anyhow, Mr. President, Tunis and all French North Africa might open out to us if we gain a good victory in Libya and we must be ready to exploit success. I am afraid, on the other hand, lest Hitler may demand to occupy Bizerta in view of possible danger to Tripoli. It is now or never with the Vichy French and their last chance of redemption.
  • 3. Very glad to get Averell20 back here.”
  1. Code name for Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister.
  2. W. Averell Harriman, special representative of President Roosevelt in the United Kingdom, with the rank of Minister, with responsibility for expediting lend-lease aid to the British Empire.