851.85/383: Telegram

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

932. Your 1544, December 15, 11 a.m. You should inform the French Government that at 2 p.m., E. S. T., December 16, 1941, the Maritime Commission will proceed to the requisitioning of the S. S. Normandie95 under conditions similar to action taken in the case of the Kungsholm and that just compensation will be made to the owners. You may further explain that this action is in line with the expressed willingness of the French Government to permit the United States to acquire the vessel although the conditions imposed could not be accepted in view of the present belligerent status of the United States.

You should make the aforesaid communication to the French Government at approximately the same time as the French Ambassador here will be informed, namely at 12 noon, E. S. T., December 16.

  1. Title and possession of the Normandie was taken for the United States on December 16, 1941, by the United States Maritime Commission acting under authority conferred upon it by the President by an Executive Order of June 6, 1941, issued pursuant to the Act of Congress of June 6, 1941, 55 Stat. 242.