740.00112 European War 1939/6931

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Thomas C. Wasson of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Mr. Panafieu71 stated that the Embassy had received a further communication from Vichy in regard to the possible extension of the North African trade program to French West Africa. The French Government welcomed the suggestion and trusted that the Department would give immediate consideration to the shipment of much needed supplies to that area. At present French West Africa is in urgent need of petroleum products and coal to maintain internal transportation in order to prevent a breakdown in the economy of the Dependency. Mr. de Panafieu stated that it would not be possible at the time to send French ships from the United States to Dakar because it would involve sending German observers or a German commission there. It was suggested that commodities approved for shipment to French West Africa be sent to Casablanca for transshipment to Dakar. There would be no objection to American packaging or American propaganda of the type now used in the North African trade. The French were not prepared to permit American control officers to proceed to Dakar at this time [Page 385] because the Germans would demand the right to station observers there, but it was suggested that we might send another American clerk to the Consulate at Dakar, whose duties would include the supervision and control of the distribution of economic supplies moving to French West Africa.

  1. François de Panafieu, Counselor of the French Embassy.