851.01/2401c: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley)

504. For your information the Department has been informed by the British Embassy that on June 20 the British Ambassador at [Page 167] Moscow77 was informed by Molotov78 in a private letter that the Fighting French Representative in Moscow had requested the Soviet Government to recognize the French Committee of National Liberation in North Africa. In his letter, Molotov further stated that after due consideration of the request made by the British Ambassador on June 15 stressing the importance of a common attitude on the part of the Soviet, British and American Governments on the question of recognition, the Soviet Government had come to the conclusion that it was not expedient to postpone recognition because of the effect that such postponement would have on the French forces opposed to Hitler. The Soviet Government, therefore, expressed the hope that the British Government would for its part favor recognition.

On June 22 the British Embassy at Moscow was instructed to inform Molotov that the British Government shared the desire of the Soviet Government to avoid unnecessary delay in recognizing the French Committee of National Liberation but found it necessary to postpone action on the question of recognition until the outcome of the latest crisis in Algiers was known and until it was possible to observe how the Committee functioned. The British Ambassador was also instructed to explain to the Soviet Government that General Eisenhower had been authorized by the British and American Governments to insist on effective control of French forces in North Africa remaining in the hands of General Giraud with whom the military arrangements were working smoothly; that in view of the pending military operations and the presence of millions of Allied soldiers in North Africa the command of the French forces was a military and not a political matter and that General Eisenhower had the full support of the British and American Governments in this matter. The Ambassador under instruction urged the Soviet Government to consult the British Government before committing itself to recognition.

You are requested to seek an early interview with Molotov and inform him that the Government of the United States is in complete agreement with the views expressed by the British Ambassador and requests the Soviet Government to refrain from any act of recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation without prior consultation with this Government.

You should add that in our opinion any emphasis in the North African situation at this time on other than strictly military questions would be most undesirable and even harmful from the point of view of our common military effort against the Axis powers.

  1. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr.
  2. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, Soviet People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs.