740.00112 European War 1939/3929: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Algiers (Cole)

325. For Murphy. Since sending your 593, November 19, midnight, you have undoubtedly received Ambassador Leahy’s 1454, November 19, 6 p.m.

In informing him of the suspension of the plan of assistance to North Africa and the necessity of a review of our policy toward France we stated that “it is obvious that the adoption of a policy of assistance to German penetration and military activity in North Africa would be disastrous for the French nation. Our whole policy toward France has been based on the Marshal’s assurances that every effort would be made to preserve for the French people the integrity of their territories. It has been possible for the Marshal to maintain this position by his continued resistance to German demands which went beyond these requirements. I am certain that through your presentation of the policy and attitude of this Government in support of those nations resisting German aggression Marshal Pétain must realize that acceding to German pressure for assistance to the military plans of Hitler will bring a sharp reaction on the part of public opinion in this country [Page 474]and will make it impossible for us to continue our helpful attitude either now or in the future. We must observe developments in Vichy and North Africa with closest attention.”

For the present we shall expect you to continue to follow the situation in North Africa very closely and to keep the Department promptly informed of all developments. We should also appreciate your estimate of the attitude of the local authorities of the different localities as well as your comment on the Ambassador’s suggestion that you return for “consultation”. You should also endeavor to obtain as much further information as possible regarding the so-called leak in the Department.

With regard to Casablanca’s telegram 621, November 18 and 629, November 19,23 regarding the activities of German agents, we feel that this matter should be fully investigated and would like a report as to the basis upon which police activities of the German Armistice Commission in uniform are being carried out.

  1. Neither printed.