851D.001/7: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

1991. My telegram no. 1983, March 22, 1 p.m. Under heavy headlines “Guiana rallies to Fighting France” the Marseillaise (de Gaulle’s weekly paper) carries the French texts of General de Gaulle’s replies to the three messages quoted in my 1983, March 22, 1 p.m. In order, however, to conceal the fact that similar messages were addressed by M. Sophie to General Giraud the texts of the incoming telegrams are not given and there is nothing in that journal to indicate that any approach whatsoever has been made from Cayenne to the North African administration. The same concealment was apparent in the statement given the British press Saturday45 and reported in my telegram no. 1979, March 21, 2 p.m. De Gaulle’s two replies to Sophie follow:

1.
“I received today your messages of the 17th and 18th of March. The National Committee and I send French Guiana our warm congratulations. Thanks to the patriotism of its population French Guiana rejoins the Empire which is struggling for the liberation of France and the liberty of the world. I approve the steps taken by the Comité de Ralliement over which you preside and particularly the authorization given by the Comité to M. Collat, Chief of Administration for the carrying out of all the current business is approved by Fighting France. The appointment of the Governor will be made immediately.”
2.
“M. Bertaud (Maurice), Chief Administrator of Colonies, is charged by the National Committee with the functions of Governor of French Guiana. M. Bertaud at present in the Cameroons will proceed to his post as soon as possible. General de Gaulle.”

The Marseillaise also carries Saturday’s handout which was not published in the British press. It reads as follows:

“Press service of Fighting France communicates: The rallying to Fighting French of French Guiana draws attention once more to the French possessions in the western Atlantic. According to information which has recently reached the headquarters of Fighting France a growing number of young people from Guadeloupe and Martinique are escaping from these islands to join the armed forces of Fighting France. Several months ago the escape from Martinique was announced of the Commander of the troops Chef de Bataillon Farrac, who thus joined several hundreds of volunteers who are at [Page 261]present training in the United States. Subsequently the escapes continued and among those escaping is the son of Governor Nicol and several hundred new volunteers who are at present waiting in neighboring territories for transfer to units of Fighting France. In the first 10 days of March the numbers of those escaping exceeded 50.”

Matthews
  1. March 20.