Memorandum by Mr. James C. H. Bonbright of the Division of European Affairs 29

Although details are still lacking regarding local conditions in French Guiana since the decision of the Government yesterday to join the United Nations cause, there are certain indications that a serious situation may be developing in the Colony as between the adherents of General Giraud and General de Gaulle.

1. Although the Governor of French Guiana, M. René Veber, announced the government’s adherence to Giraud the Mayor of Cayenne, Mr. Ulrich Sophie, endeavored to communicate with both General Giraud and General de Gaulle. As the Mayor must have known of the Governor’s action it seems likely that his message to Giraud was in the nature of insurance and that his real appeal was to General de Gaulle.

2. Mr. Sophie has also endeavored to communicate with the Governor General of French Equatorial Africa, Mr. Eboué. This of course is Fighting French territory.

3. A close relative of Governor General Eboué lives in Cayenne. Her husband is interned on the Island of Guadeloupe.

4. Mr. Sophie is the only prominent official who is a native of French Guiana. This fact and his position as Mayor suggest that he is considerably closer to the populace than the Governor who is generally disliked.

On December 27, 1942 Consul LaMont listed Mr. Sophie as “pro-United Nations.”

He listed Mr. Veber as “anti-United Nations.” Last October the Consul expressed the opinion that Mr. Veber is anti-British and anti-American. The Consul thought, however, that Mr. Veber would follow any course laid down by Admiral Robert in Martinique.

5. It is significant that although the Governor has adhered to Giraud, he has not prevented the Mayor from telegraphing to different Fighting French officials. It seems probable that the Governor would not have allowed this if he had dared prevent it.

6. Up to now we have suppressed all messages from the Mayor which have come to our attention in the hope that the Governor could consolidate the position as adhering to General Giraud.

  1. Addressed to the Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs (Atherton), the Adviser on Political Relations (Dunn), the Under Secretary of State (Welles), and the Secretary of State.