The Acting American Representative to the French Committee of National Liberation at Algiers (Chapin) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 22—1:35 p.m.]
570. For the Secretary and Under Secretary and Ambassador Wilson.25 From a reliable source within the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs I learn that Monnet26 continues to report in most optimistic terms with regard to the possibility of some early action by the United States looking toward recognition of the French Committee of National Liberation as a provisional government. This same source informs me that these reports on the progress of the Washington “negotiations” are becoming increasingly at variance with concurrent reports from London which, while stating that a practical solution appears in sight as respects problems between the Allied Military Authority and the French Committee after the invasion of metropolitan France, have made no reference to recognition of the Committee as a provisional government.
However, in a postprandial conversation yesterday with a member of this Mission, Mr. Duff Cooper admitted in strictest confidence that the Prime Minister had now veered to the belief that the FCNL should be accorded recognition as a provisional government but that he understood that the Prime Minister had not as yet made known this recent evolution in his position to President Roosevelt and was probably deferring doing so for the time being.
Although I have no knowledge of what development affairs may be taking in Washington, it seems possible that Monnet either as a result of misunderstanding, wishful thinking, or desire to please, may be making overoptimistic reports to the FCNL. While so far as I am aware the question of recognition was never formally raised by de Gaulle or Massigli with Ambassador Wilson before he left here, it appears that recently, possibly as a result of Monnet’s reporting [Page 652] and the fact that certain editorials and commentators are unable to distinguish between “recognition” and increased cooperation along the lines of a working agreement, the two matters have been fused to a point where they are now considered almost synonymous in the minds of certain members of the Committee.
The Department may feel that some clarification of issues is in order both as respects Monnet and possibly through some friendly commentators or editorial writers in the American press.