851.85/215: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Leahy) to the Secretary of State


438. Department’s telegram 310, April 10, 5 p.m. I called on Admiral Darlan this morning and conveyed to him the viewpoint set forth by the Department. He said in reply that his note had not accurately expressed his thoughts. He fully recognizes our right under our laws to place guards on the French ships in our ports; what he had meant to convey was that, inasmuch as instructions had now been sent to the French officers and crews to refrain from any acts of sabotage, [Page 531] if following such assurances from the French Government armed guards should be placed on those ships, such action would be interpreted here as lack of consideration toward the French Government. (He did not make any further reference to the request contained in his note that French ships in our ports should be permitted to be utilized by the French Government.)

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