851.01/3623: Telegram

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

1109. This evening Duff Cooper and I called by request on Massigli who presented us with three documents, first and most important of which was a reply to the Combined Chiefs of Staff’s proposed agreement contained in Agwars44 1913 Fan 343 March 11.

In substance note unnumbered dated April 3 refers first to letter of December 30, 1943,45 to Wilson and Macmillan46 and text of French draft agreement of December 27 transmitted therewith (Wilson’s despatch 40 [41], January 145).

Massigli’s note makes following points.

Agreement should be concluded between Allied Governments and Committee rather than between latter and CCS47 and suggests text of preamble to this effect.
Note rejects proposal contained in article 3 of CCS draft agreement and then states that mere fact of rearming French forces does not ipso facto place them under command of the CCS although it is [Page 669] willing to accept general procedure directive of CCS provided original reservations contained in December 22 document are observed. FCNL considers it must be fully informed of plans of operation before it can give its consent to employment French forces in such operations and believes that CCS draft gives no satisfaction in this respect.
FCNL observes that CCS text carried to its logical conclusion would not permit FCNL to dispose of forces for maintenance of internal order and security of lines of communication.
Note expresses regret that CCS proposal provides for one representative to the ESC [CCS] who could only present views of FCNL and does not permit complete cooperation with that body. In same sense it allows only one liaison officer to Allied High Command. It therefore insists on provisions of article 3 in its entirety of proposal of December 27.
The next point made in note formulates objections against insufficient guarantees that French divisions will be kept intact.
The next representation objects particularly to deferment of providing secret means of communicating between French independent commands and higher echelons both Army and Navy and argues against present arrangement obtaining now in Italy (present arrangements are that all communications from French High Command in Italy are through Allied communications).

Summing up arguments FCNL insists upon the acceptance on the whole of the proposals presented in its draft of December 27 and refers to past agreements, specifically those of August 7, 1941 [1940], and July 25, 1941 between British PM and Oliver Lyttelton48 on one hand and de Gaulle on other. It concludes with plea that American and British Governments may find it possible to reconsider the FCNL proposals of December 27 as plans are now being made for the employment of French forces and agrees that any delay in reaching an agreement would only postpone execution of its plans.

The two other notes refer to ancillary matters, namely, protests: first against the insistence that French aviation be integrated under MAAF49 and second against obstruction by unilateral decision of movement of French forces from one part of the Empire to another. Massigli admitted this latter was motivated by AFHQS50 objection to recent French arrangements for “replacements” of effectives in Levant.

General Devers51 requests that CCS be informed.

Sent to the Department as 1109, repeated to London as 136.

  1. Adjutant General, War Department.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Harold Macmillan, British Minister Resident at Allied Headquarters in North Africa.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Combined Chiefs of Staff.
  6. British Minister of Production.
  7. Mediterranean Allied Air Force.
  8. Allied Force Headquarters.
  9. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater of Operations.