Hull Papers

Statement by the United States Government

The Government of the United States desires again to make clear its purpose of cooperating with all patriotic Frenchmen, looking to the liberation of the French people and French territories from the oppressions of the enemy.

The Government of the United States, accordingly, welcomes the establishment of the French Committee of National Liberation. It is our expectation that the Committee will function on the principle of collective responsibility of all its members for the active prosecution of the war.

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In view of the paramount importance of the common war effort, the relationship with the French Committee of National Liberation must continue to be subject to the military requirements of the Allied Commanders.

The Government of the United States takes note, with sympathy, of the desire of the Committee to be regarded as the body qualified to insure the administration and defense of French interests. The extent to which it may be possible to give effect to this desire must however be reserved for consideration in each case as it arises.

On these understandings the Government of the United States recognizes the French Committee of National Liberation as administering those French overseas territories which acknowledge its authority.

This statement does not constitute recognition of a government of France or of the French Empire by the Government of the United States.

It does constitute recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation as functioning within specific limitations during the war. Later on the people of France, in a free and untrammeled manner, will proceed in due course to select their own government and their own officials to administer it.

The Government of the United States welcomes the Committee’s expressed determination to continue the common struggle in close cooperation with all the allies until French soil is freed from its invaders and until victory is complete over all enemy powers.

May the restoration of France come with the utmost speed.

  1. The source text has the following manuscript notations in the upper margin in addition to the date, which is in Dunn’s handwriting: (1) “Final”, in Dunn’s handwriting; (2) “Latest OK”, in an unidentified handwriting; and (3) Hull’s initials. Although the text had reached its final form by August 22, this statement was not released until the morning of August 27, 1943, after further discussion at Quebec had failed to reconcile the British and United States positions with respect to recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation. See ante, pp. 949, 953. The text was telegraphed to Robert D. Murphy in Algiers on August 24 for communication to the appropriate French authorities there on August 26, 1943. See Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. ii, pp. 184185. On instructions received from Hull at Quebec, the Department of State also acted on August 24 to communicate the text to the Governments of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, China, and the Soviet Union (851.01/2779a, 2794a, 2811a, 2815a, 2815b). The text was published in Department of State Bulletin, vol. ix, August 28, 1943, pp. 125–126.