The Secretary of State to the French Ambassador (Henry-Haye)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the Ambassador of the French Republic and has the honor to refer to the latter’s communication of May 26, 1941 concerning the measures taken as regards French vessels now in ports of the United States. As stated in a previous communication made to the French Government in April, this Government pointed out that whereas this Government would be disposed to grant these vessels a special position in the light of assurances to be obtained from the French Government, it was nevertheless pointed out that the presence of these vessels in American harbors constituted a special situation. The action taken relates only to a simple extension of surveillance exercised within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States.

As soon as the Government of the United States is convinced that the Government of France is a free agent in the exercise of control over French vessels in American ports and will not exercise such control in a manner detrimental to the interests of the United States, immediate consideration will be given to the removal of the guards that have been placed on the vessels in order to assure the public safety of the United States.