851D.001/11a: Telegram

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

1740. On March 17 Governor Veber of French Guiana telegraphed General Giraud announcing the adherence of the Colony to the Allied cause under the direction of General Giraud. Shortly afterwards the Mayor of Cayenne, Mr. Sophie, telegraphed both General Giraud and General de Gaulle asking for instructions.

Subsequent to the expulsion of former Governor Veber as a result of popular pressure a local committee of which Mr. Sophie was chairman urged upon General Giraud the necessity of his sending a representative at the earliest possible date. This request was later confirmed by the local military authority, Colonel Vanegue, who stated that he assumed responsibility for the actions of the committee. Likewise at that time the American Consul reported that after a few street demonstrations there was complete order in Cayenne and this situation has remained unchanged according to our information.

Shortly after the middle of last week General Giraud’s representative here made a request for a place on a plane about to proceed to Cayenne which it was found possible to grant and he arrived there March 21. On Saturday, March 20, the military representative of the Fighting French Delegation asked for a priority which the War Department was not able to grant immediately. Meanwhile the Dutch Government we understand have shipped food to Cayenne and supplies will shortly be going forward from Puerto Rico.

In so far as we know whatever confusion may have arisen in the Cayenne situation comes from the Mayor’s messages seeking dual instructions as outlined above.

I have outlined the situation to Mr. Eden46 this morning and the American interest in keeping this situation stabilized.

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, at this time on a visit to Washington.