Hull Papers

The General Consultant ( Savage ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary: It seems to me that further consideration should be given two points in this memorandum for the President on the subject of possible adherence of the French to the United Nations Declaration.1

Under the Department’s announcement of January 5, 1942,2 adherence would not be to the Declaration but to its principles. Presumably, this would not satisfy the French since they may expect to be admitted as a full member under the final paragraph of the Declaration.
We have not taken any important step involving adherence without consulting the British, Chinese, and Soviet Governments. According to the attached memorandum, there would be consultation with the British only.
C[arlton] S[avage]

Draft Memorandum for the President 3

Memorandum for the President

In our opinion a public announcement by the American ‘and British Governments concerning the basis of their future relationship with the French Committee of National Liberation would be a propitious occasion for the two Governments to invite the Committee to adhere to the United Nations Declaration. As you are aware, such a step would not involve political recognition since the matter was covered in the following State Department announcement of January 5, 1942.

[Page 671]

“In order that liberty-loving peoples silenced by military forces may have an opportunity to support the principles of the Declaration by United Nations, the Government of the United States, as the depository for that Declaration, will receive statements of adherence to its principles from appropriate authorities which are not governments.”

This step is recommended for the following reasons:

The absence of France from the list of the United Nations has long been an anomaly and a source of resentment not only to the French people themselves but to many people in this country. This is particularly true since French armed forces took part in the Libyan and Tunisian campaigns. The French military contribution may be expected to increase rather than diminish in the future and it will become increasingly difficult to justify the exclusion of the French when other countries whose contribution is insignificant in comparison are included.
Last summer we had correspondence with the British who proposed that the French National Committee in London be invited to adhere. At our suggestion final decision in the matter was postponed,4 but with the formalizing of our relations with the Algiers Committee it is sure to be brought forward again in the near future, either by the British or by the French themselves. In the circumstances it would seem the part of wisdom to seek for ourselves the credit for initiating the proposal at this time.
There can be little doubt but that the basis which has been recommended for our relations with the French Committee of National Liberation will fall far short of French hopes and expectations. Consequently the act of simultaneously inviting the Committee to adhere to the United Nations Declaration would serve a double purpose. From the point of view of French prestige it would have the broadest kind of appeal to all Frenchmen and, at the same time, be a concrete manifestation of our good will which would place at a disadvantage those who may be inclined to criticize our formula as not going far enough along the road to political recognition.

If you think sufficiently well of this suggestion to take it up with the Prime Minister, I believe it will be useful for us to get off a telegram at once to Murphy in order that he may inform Massigli of our initiative in the matter. If we do not get off the first word Massigli may receive a somewhat different version.5

  1. i.e., the Declaration by United Nations, January 1, 1942. For text see Department of the State, Executive Agreement Series No. 236; 55 Stat. (2) 1600; Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 2526.
  2. Quoted in the attachment to this memorandum, below.
  3. This draft was prepared in the Division of European Affairs and approved by the Adviser on Political Relations (Dunn) and the Legal Adviser (Hackworth), but it was not forwarded by Hull to Roosevelt.
  4. Correspondence not printed.
  5. On September 1, 1943—the day of Churchill’s arrival in Washington following the First Quebec Conference—the Department of State instructed the United States representatives at London, Moscow, and Chungking to approach the British, Soviet, and Chinese Governments on the subject of inviting the French Committee of National Liberation to adhere to the Declaration by United Nations (851.01/2829a). Correspondence on this subject continued for some time after Churchill had left Washington, and no evidence has been found to indicate that this subject was discussed by Roosevelt and Churchill either at Quebec or during their Washington conversations.