851.85/383: Telegram

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

1544. Your 927, December 13, 5 p.m. German propaganda has already informed the French Government that we have already seized the Normandie.

In my opinion this Embassy should be directed to inform the French Government that its proposal for sale of ship is impracticable because of conditions imposed and that vessel will be requisitioned under same terms applied to the Kungsholm.94

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We are informed in regard to conditions regarding Kungsholm only through radio broadcasts that “adequate compensation will be paid”.

While I do not believe that requisitioning of the Normandie will of itself have any material effect on prospect of use by Axis of French Fleet or bases, it will be used as an argument by the Germans and the collaborationists of the Vichy Government in an effort to stir up anti-American feeling.

  1. Exercising the right of angary, the United States took over the Swedish Motorship Kungsholm on December 12, 1941, promising to make just compensation to the owners. For press release regarding seizure, see Department of State Bulletin, December 13, 1941, p. 519.