851.01/3429: Telegram

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

454. Since the despatch of my 429 February 9, 11 p.m.,20 anticipation that US recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation as a provisional government is just around the corner has greatly increased and admittedly the number of articles summarized in the local press from the American press tend to substantiate French optimism. The Secretary’s statement to the press that French affairs are being actively considered in the White House and the announcement that the President is to speak at the ceremony of turning over a destroyer to the French naval authorities21 are all taken as signs of immediately impending favorable developments in the situation. Today I was greeted by Queuille, a leading member of the Committee, with the statement that according to French advices things were going extremely well in Washington and in my hearing he replied to a question put by another Frenchman that he supposed recognition would be forthcoming within a week or two.

In the absence of any information from the Department, I have naturally refrained from any comment, although I have felt it wise on several occasions as when talking to Queuille to give a friendly warning against exaggeration of news from Washington.

I have the impression, although I would find it difficult to produce any concrete evidence therefor, that the British civil and military authorities here are giving some encouragement to the belief of the French officials that an increased recognition is to be extended to the Committee. At any rate these authorities are cultivating de Gaulle and de Lattre far more assiduously than was the case some months ago.

I should be grateful for any instructions that the Department can give me for my guidance.

  1. Not printed.
  2. For text of the President’s speech delivered at the Washington Navy Yard, February 12, 1944, see Department of State Bulletin, February 12, 1944, p. 167.