851.85/379: Telegram

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

1517. Department’s 850, November 17. Following is summary of Foreign Office note of December 9:

1. If German Armistice Commission consents, France disposed authorize sale of Normandie reserving the right to repurchase under following conditions:

a. France will purchase in the United States petroleum products, foodstuffs and cotton goods with sale proceeds not exceeding one-third for each category. Purchases will be shipped to French North and West Africa upon resumption of economic plan.

2. [b.] If France unable obtain German consent, departure three freighters from Mediterranean as stipulated paragraph 1 of proposals made November 191 by Maritime Commission to Henry-Haye, United States would:

Either renounce this stipulation while maintaining the other proposals of the Maritime Commission November 1;

Or permit chartering three freighters from Mediterranean to Spain for Spanish American runs which Germans might accept more readily.

c. If France able obtain German consent departure three freighters from Mediterranean for United States–North Africa line, number French freighters in United States to be released and assigned this line to be four instead of three, French freighters chartered by Maritime Commission being reduced to four plus Normandie, tankers from Martinique to be chartered remaining three.

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2. Foreign Office will inform Embassy as soon as possible of definitive German position concerning departure three freighters from Mediterranean for North Africa–United States run.

Copy and translation of this note being forwarded airmail.92

Repeated by airmail to Algiers and Casablanca.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Note and translation transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in his despatch No. 628, December 10; received January 13, 1942.