Roosevelt Papers: Telegram
Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1
Former Naval Person to President. Personal and most secret. Number 400.
Following is revised draft formula “Recognition” of the French Committee of National Liberation referred to in my immediately preceding telegram.2
“The Government of the United States and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom desire again to make clear their purpose of cooperating with all patriotic Frenchmen looking to the liberation of the French people and French territories3 from the oppressions of the enemy.
“The two Governments accordingly welcome the establishment of the French Committee of National Liberation. It is their understanding that the Committee has been conceived and will function on the principle of the collective responsibility of all its members for the prosecution of the war. It is also, they are assured, common ground between themselves and the Committee that it will be for the French [Page 663] people themselves to settle their own constitution and to establish their own government after they have had an opportunity to express themselves freely.
“On this understanding the Government of the United States and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom wish to make the following statement:
“‘The Government of the United States and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom recognize the French Committee of National Liberation as administering those French overseas territories which acknowledge its authority and as having assumed the functions of the former French National Committee in respect of territories in the Levant. The two Governments also recognize the Committee as the body qualified to ensure the conduct of the French effort in the war, within the framework of inter-Allied cooperation. They take note with sympathy of the desire of the Committee to be recognized as the body qualified to ensure the administration and defence of all French interests. The question of the extent to which it may be possible to give effect to this request in respect of the different categories of such interests must, however, be reserved for consideration in each case as it arises.
“‘The Government of the United States and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom welcome the Committee’s determination to continue the common struggle, in close cooperation with all the Allies, until French and Allied territories are completely liberated and until victory is complete over all the enemy powers. The Committee will, of course, afford whatever military and economic facilities and securities in the territories under its administration are required by the Governments of the United States and United Kingdom for the prosecution of the war.
“‘In respect of certain of these territories, agreements already exist between the French authorities and the United States or United Kingdom authorities. The creation of the French Committee of National Liberation may make it necessary to revise these agreements: and the Government of the United States and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom assume that, pending their revision, all such agreements concluded since June 1940, except in so far as these have been automatically made inapplicable by the formation of the French Committee of National Liberation will remain in force as between the respective Governments and the French Committee of National Liberation.’”
- Channel of transmission to Washington not indicated. Forwarded by the White House Map Room to Roosevelt, who was then at Birch Island, Ontario. A copy was made available to the Department of State by the British Embassy at Washington on August 3 (851.01/8–343).↩
- As originally received, this passage read “in French territories”. An unnumbered supplementary telegram from Churchill to Roosevelt dated August 3 corrected it to “and French territories”.↩