851.01/395: Telegram

The Consul at Leopoldville (Mallon) to the Secretary of State

70. Sicé has received telegram from National Committee at London (see my 65, March 30, 6 p.m.)11 stating that Committee has advised American Government thru British diplomatic channels that [Page 569]permission to use Pointe Noire as air ferry base will not be granted owing to failure of United States to recognize Free French National Committee and failure to deliver 18 airplanes allegedly promised.

General Sicé is very angry at this news and has informed me that in spite of National Committee’s decision, he, as High Commissioner of Free French Africa, on his own responsibility and by virtue of his authority will ignore Committee’s ruling and will permit Pointe Noire to be used as base. Runway, installations and housing construction will proceed uninterrupted.

He has so informed London Committee and proposes to discuss matter further during his coming visit. French authorities here believe it is Pleven12 who is “playing politics” with the war effort, not de Gaulle.

Sicé refuses to accept London Committee’s thesis that Free French Africa is under British protection or subject to British orders. He states he himself will be accountable to French people for independence and integrity and proper administration their African territories under his control.

Mallon
  1. Not printed.
  2. René Pleven, Free French Commissioner for Economics, Finance, and the Colonies.