The French Ambassador (Henry-Haye) to the Acting Secretary of State


The Ambassador of France to the United States presents his compliments to His Excellency the Secretary of State a. i. and, responding to the desire which the latter was good enough to express in the course of their conversation yesterday, has the honor clearly to set forth below the position of the French Government with respect to the communiqué published on April 4, 1941 [1942] by the Department of State, with respect to the creation of a consulate general of the United States at Brazzaville and the appointment of Mr. Maynard Barnes to that post.

According to the provisions of the Consular Convention of February 23, 1853, the Federal Government should have taken up with the French Government in advance its intention to create a consular post in French Equatorial Africa and should have requested, in the manner contemplated, the exequatur for the holder of this new post.

The French Government is all the more surprised by this innovation because the American Government has constantly recognized, whatever the local de facto situation may have been, the sovereign rights of France over all parts of her Empire as well as the exclusive exercise of these rights by the French Government, and in particular, by the regular notification, on February 13, 1941 of the appointment of Mr. MacVitty as Consul of the United States at Nouméa and on September 19, 1941 that of Mr. Scott to the Consulate General at Beirut.

The French Government is convinced that it is only a case of inadvertence and that by notifying it, in accordance with the procedure contemplated, of the appointment of Mr. Maynard Barnes to the post of Consul General of the United States at Brazzaville, it will be pleased to recognize publicly that this designation has no political character and must not in any manner be interpreted as an attack of any kind on the exclusive rights of the French Government over the territories in question.

Mr. Henry-Haye is happy to avail himself [etc.]