PR 10 “Foreign Relations of U.S.”/1–3–68

Statement by the Canadian Government1

The Prime Minister announced today that a note in the following terms had been addressed to the French Committee of National Liberation in Algiers: [Page 1172]

The Government of Canada has welcomed the establishment of the French Committee of National Liberation. It has been and remains the intention of the Goverment of Canada to co-operate with all patriotic Frenchmen in freeing France and the French people from the oppression of the enemy. This Government is deeply interested in the early return of France to her high place among the nations and regards the institution of the Committee as an important contribution to that end. Early in July the Committee was informed that Canada was prepared to consider promptly and sympathetically any requests which the Committee might care to present for assistance in the equipment and training of the French forces under its control. It is understood that the Committee will operate on the principle of the collective responsibility of all its members for the prosecution of the war. It is also understood that the Committee is in accord with the view of the Canadian Government that the French people themselves, as soon as they have an opportunity of freely expressing their wishes, should establish in France the Government of their choice.

On this basis the Government of Canada recognizes the French Committee of National Liberation as administering the French overseas territories which acknowledge its authority, and as the body qualified to ensure the conduct of the French effort in the war within the framework of inter-Allied co-operation. It notes with sympathy the desire of the Committee to be recognized as the body qualified to ensure the administration and defence of all French interests. It is the intention of the Canadian Government to give effect to this request as far as possible while reserving the right to consider in consultation with the Committee the practical application of this principle in particular cases as they arise.

The Government of Canada warmly welcomes the Committee’s determination to carry on the common struggle in close co-operation with all the Allies until French and Allied territories are entirely liberated and complete victory over all enemy powers has been achieved. It is understood that the Committee will afford in territories under its administration whatever military and economic facilities are required by the Governments of the United Nations for the prosecution of the war.

  1. This statement, a copy of which was obtained by the editors from the Canadian Department of External Affairs, was released to the press for use after midnight, August 26, 1943. Copies of a draft of this statement had been sent to Roosevelt and Hull at Quebec on August 22, 1943. See ante, p. 1108.