851.01/3336: Telegram

The American Representative to the French Committee of National Liberation at Algiers (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

110. The Consultative Assembly held debates upon the resistance movement in France on January 8 and January 10. The speakers uniformly emphasized that the resistance movement is in danger from lack of supplies, that the potentialities which it might otherwise possess remain unfulfilled. In practically all cases complaints were made that the hopes held out by the United Nations had remained without visible results and that the resistance movement has been practically ignored by the Allied Staffs. The efficacy and economy of the action of the resistance against enemy object[ive]s in France with less danger to the civilian population as against Allied air raids upon the same objectives were emphasized and it was pointed out that the Resistants, if armed, would in effect replace parachute troops. Practically every speaker attributed in part the failure in arming the resistance to uneasiness on the part of the Allied leaders that the arms might be used for internal political purposes and reiterated that the resistance movement had no other aim than to rid France of the Germans and of Vichy. Several speakers claimed that the Allies feared that France might liberate herself too completely and stated emphatically that whatever might be done or not done those who had collaborated with the Germans would be purged.

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Several speakers including Grenier, the Communist delegate, demanded that the Committee make all possible use of the materials and means of transportation which are available to it in assisting the resistance which they stated is primarily the affair of the French Committee.

The Commissioner of the Interior, D’Astier, in replying to the speeches of the delegates stated that not a single military movement of any variety could be undertaken without the consent of the Allies, thereby implying that if the Committee is unable to assist the movement it is owing to Allied opposition. He asked that the Allies reconsider their position on supplies to the movement and stated that if there was any hesitancy on grounds of the use to which these arms might be put, the Allies should know that, with or without arms, the collaborationists would be purged and that the sooner this was done, the sooner order in France would be re-established.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution calling upon the Committee among other things to endeavor to secure official recognition from the United Nations of the resistance groups as the advance guard of the invasion and their inclusion in the strategic plans of the Allied Staffs.

General de Gaulle concluded the session with a brief speech in which he characterized the resistance movement as one for the renovation of France. He stated that much had been done by the Allies to assist the movement but not indeed to the extent which the efforts of the resistance had merited.

The next meeting of the Assembly is scheduled for today when the purge will be discussed.