Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

President Roosevelt to Prime Minister Churchill 1


Number 323 for the Former Naval Person personal and secret from the President.

[Page 397]

Referring to your Number 377 of 23 July,21 cannot look with favor on the attendance of Canadian Staff officers at plenary meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff during the Quadrant Conference for the following reasons:

Inclusion of the Canadian Staff in “ Quadrant ” will almost certainly result in an immediate demand from Brazil and China for membership on the Combined Staff in Washington.
It will probably result in a similar demand from Mexico, our neighbor on the southern border, as Canada is on the northern border.
We have until now succeeded in preventing the deterioration of our Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington into a debating society by refusing membership to representatives of other Allied Nations.
It appears certain that inclusion of Canada in “ Quadrant ” with its unavoidable attendant publicity would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to exclude from the Combined Chiefs of Staff representatives of the other Dominions and the other Allied Nations.

I had a long talk with Leighton McCarthy yesterday and he went to Ottawa last night to explain the whole thing to Mackenzie King, who will, I think, understand. As you know, Mackenzie King is one of my oldest personal friends.

Rather than face the difficulties that would follow admitting the Canadian Staff to “ Quadrant ” I would prefer to have the meeting elsewhere—say Bermuda.

The 17th is the earliest day I can make it, so let us decide on that.

  1. Sent to the United States Naval Attaché, London, via Navy channels.
  2. Supra.