740.0011 European War 1939/19747

The French Chief of State (Pétain) to President Roosevelt


My Dear President: I was happy to receive your New Year’s message2 and at the same time to have confirmation of the interest which you had felt in our recent conversations3 with Admiral Leahy.4 During the course of these conversations, French policy was clearly defined both by me and by the Vice President of the Council5 and I see with keen satisfaction that the Government of the United States understands the position of the French Government in the present conflict.

The sentiments which you were good enough to express to me on this occasion respond to those which the French people feel for the American nation and you may be assured of the fidelity of the French to the traditions which you invoke.

I was very much touched by the good wishes which your message brought me; I beg you to find here the expression of my thanks and the renewal of my best wishes.

Please accept [etc.]

Ph. Pétain
  1. Letter dated December 27, 1941; see ibid., p. 205.
  2. See ibid., pp. 196 ff.
  3. Adm. William D. Leahy, American Ambassador in France.
  4. Jean François Darlan.