851U.7962/4: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Brazzaville (Taylor) 16

66. As you know, War Department representatives have carried on informal discussions of a technical nature with the Free French authorities at Brazzaville in connection with the improvement and operation by the United States Army of the airport at Pointe Noire, together with such supply installations as may be required.

It is understood that these discussions led to difficulties between the authorities at Brazzaville and General de Gaulle. However, owing to the urgency of the matter, this Department has advised the War Department informally to proceed with the work by agreement with the local authorities and to expect the support of this Department should the French National Committee in London interpose objections. In the circumstances, the War Department will proceed with the work at once but, in order to avoid possible future difficulties, it now wishes to obtain formal permission for the work. You should, therefore, immediately approach the local authorities with a view to obtaining their formal consent and inform the Department by telegraph of the results of your conversations.

For your information, the question is also being referred to the Embassy at London with the request that General Bolte, recently named as our military representative for the purpose of consultation with the French National Committee, inform General de Gaulle of your instructions and press upon him the desirability of having this important matter settled quickly and smoothly.

Hull
  1. Repeated to London as No. 3357, July 20, 11 p.m.