740.00112 European War 1939/6778: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Tuck) to the Secretary of State

1432. Department’s 594, September 26, 6 p.m.61 The Embassy has just received note dated September 26, signed by Laval, a translation of which follows:

“By note dated September 22 you were good enough to inform me that the Government of the United States is willing to authorize the exportation and free passage from the United States to Casablanca for the sole consumption of the North Africa civilian population and under the supervision of American control officers in North Africa of a shipment of kerosene [apparent omission] the French Government transported in a French tanker. This shipment constitutes the counterpart of the assurances given by the French Government to the Government of the United States according [Page 382] to which (1) the prohibition to ship cobalt and molybdenum in French bottoms to Germany will be maintained; (2) no shipment of North African cobalt will be authorized to metropolitan France.

The Federal Government asks, however, that the prohibition to export North African cobalt to metropolitan France should also include molybdenum and that American central [control?] officers should be authorized to ‘ascertain from time to time whether any change has occurred’ in the amount of stocks of North African cobalt and molybdenum.

I have the honor to inform you that the French Government is willing to reply favorably to the American requests mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

Inasmuch as the assurances given by the French Government concerning North African cobalt and molybdenum will only be maintained in effect as long as the regular supplying of French North Africa in American petroleum products is assured, I have the honor to ask you to be good enough to confirm to me the indications given on September 14, by the Department of State to M. Henry-Haye62 according to which the loading on French tanker of a first shipment of kerosene will be followed by shipments of automotive gasoline and gas oil and subsequently by regular ships of each of these three categories of petroleum products taking into account the loading capacities and the rotation of the tankers used for their transportation.”

The responsible friendly official who delivered the note told us unofficially that he would endeavor to keep us informed of any shipments which might be contemplated in other than French vessels.

  1. This telegram read: “Please expedite reply to Department’s 567, September 15, 6 p.m.” (740.00112 European War 1939/6569 suppl.)
  2. Gaston Henry-Haye, French Ambassador in the United States.