The Secretary of State to the President

top secret

Memorandum for the President

There is attached herewith a copy of an aide-mémoire1 left with the Department of State this morning by Lord Halifax in which the latter raises certain questions with regard to the French role in military operations in the Far East, with particular reference to French Indo-China.

The Ambassador stated that the question is of considerable urgency owing to Mr. Eden’s desire to give an answer on two definite points before the latter leaves London on Tuesday, August 29. The two specific questions on which Mr. Eden desires to give an affirmative answer are:

The attachment to the South East Asia Command Headquarters of a French Military Mission under General Blaizot, and
The establishment in India of a “Corps Léger d’Intervention” which apparently has already been established at Algiers.

Although these suggestions are ostensibly military in character, they have wide political implications and for this reason they are being referred to you for decision. If more time is needed for decision we can so inform Lord Halifax.2

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Attachment to Matthews’ memorandum of conversation, supra.
  2. Matthews sent a copy of this memorandum and of the enclosed aide-mémoire to Leahy on August 26, 1944 (851g.00/8–2644).