851.01/3921: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

4582. From Phillips. Since his arrival on D minus 2, General de Gaulle has proved a difficult and non-cooperative guest of the British Government. There has been constant friction and no one has been more annoyed than the Prime Minister himself. The first impasse arose in connection with the Eisenhower proclamation14 to the people of Western Europe and with regard to de Gaulle’s own broadcast. He took exception to parts of the Eisenhower message and General Koenig indicated to the Chief of Staff that therefore de Gaulle might not deliver his broadcast and furthermore might forbid the participation of the French liaison officers (who had been in training in England for a year at the expense of the British Government) to accompany the invasion forces. However, late in the afternoon of “D” day, de Gaulle made his broadcast, the text of which was passed on a technical level without formal approval. Yesterday, de Gaulle permitted 20 French liaison officers to participate in the invasion and today, in reply to a question it was stated that the remainder of the 500 will not be allowed to go.

The issuance of the SCAEF currency proclamation, which was approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, has been delayed in the hope that de Gaulle would issue, at the same time, a supporting statement since it was felt here that some French recognition should be given to the presence in France of our currency notes. The General has refused to do so on the ground that France was being treated in this respect precisely like Italy and that he alone, as President of the FCNL, has the right to issue such a proclamation. Our proclamation, therefore, will be issued at midnight tonight, without his support and with as little publicity as possible.

I have learned that in spite of his non-cooperative attitude, the sentiment in Parliament and in the press is growing more and more in his favor on the ground that he is not being given proper consideration. It seems possible that he may be invited, as President of the FCNL, to agree to the plans which have been worked out for the administration of civil affairs in France. [Phillips.]

  1. For text, see Documents on American Foreign Relations, vol. vi, p. 671.