Mr. Jean Monnet of the French Supply Council at Washington to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Acheson )
With reference to the Aide-Mémoire presented by Mr. Acheson on March 15, 1944, and to the attached draft of the Mutual Aid Agreement defining the lend-lease relations between the Government of the United States and the French Committee of National Liberation on a uniform basis for all French territories under the authority of the Committee, I wish, on behalf of the French Committee of National Liberation, to make the following comments:
- As regards the draft of the Mutual Aid Agreement attached to the Aide-Mémoire, the French Committee agree with the views expressed by the United States Government that it will replace the Lend-Lease Modus Vivendi Agreement of September 25, 1943, and the previous Reciprocal Lend-Lease Agreement with the French [Page 756] National Committee dated September 3, 1942. They take due note that it is the intention of the Government of the United States to discuss with them at a later date the question of entering into a master agreement of the type of the Master Agreement with Great Britain dated February 22 , 1942, and of certain other types of Lend-Lease agreements.
- The French Committee agree to the proposed text of Article
VI of the draft of the Mutual Aid Agreement, which is
identical with the first paragraph of Article VII of the
preliminary agreement with Great Britain referred to above.
They also agree to the remainder of the draft subject to the
following two changes:
- Suppression of Paragraph II (a)4, which provides that the French Committee will make available to the armed forces and to the governmental agencies of the United States “such other supplies, material, services or facilities as may be agreed upon as necessary in the prosecution of the war, but not including exports of civilian supplies to the United States from any such territories”.
- This provision does not exist in the Reciprocal Lend-Lease Agreement with the French National Committee dated September 3, 1942, nor in any other reciprocal aid agreement entered into by the United States Government. It was introduced in the Modus Vivendi of September 25, 1943, only in view of the dollar resources accruing to the French Committee at that date. The situation is now completely altered and, therefore, this exceptional provision should not, in the opinion of the French Committee, be maintained.
- A new article, similar to Article VI of the
Preliminary Agreement with Great Britain referred to
above and other reciprocal aid agreements, should be
added to the draft, reading as follows:
“In the final determination of the benefits to be provided to the United States by the French National Committee, the Haut Commandement en Chef Civil et Militaire, and the French Committee of National Liberation, full cognizance shall be taken of all property, services, information, facilities or other benefits or consideration provided by the authorities referred to above subsequent to March 11, 1941 and accepted or acknowledged by the President on behalf of the United States”.
- The French Committee agree to the remainder of the draft of the Mutual Aid Agreement, which maintains the principle that civilian supplies furnished by the Government of the United States under the Act of March 11 shall be paid for in dollars subject to Article V. They also agree to the suggestion made in Paragraph II(e) of Mr. Acheson’s memorandum that they should use, to meet their deficit, the proceeds of the sale of the newly-mined gold in the territories under the jurisdiction of the Committee. They do not think it possible, however, at this time to use the gold and dollar assets of the French Treasury, as suggested by Mr. Acheson. The gold, [Page 757] although it is within African territories, belongs to the Bank of France, and the French Committee cannot use either this gold or the French Treasury’s holdings before the Committee is established in France.
- The French Committee suggest that the following measures
be taken to overcome their present financial difficulties:
- The French Committee should keep a minimum reserve of twenty million dollars and make available for the payment of their administrative expenses in dollars and civilian supplies such other dollar funds as they may at present own or as may subsequently accrue to them;
- The dollars referred to above would include all dollars accruing from the sale to the United States of the newly-mined gold in the French territories under the jurisdiction of the Committee, as well as from the mobilization of dollar balances and securities attributable to private persons or firms resident in territories under the authority of the Committee. A census has been taken of these holdings and mobilization is now proceeding;
- All efforts will be made to increase exports to the United States. The measures contemplated would permit a substantial increase;
- The French Committee have approached the British Government to explore the possibilities of transferring to the United States Government part of their sterling balances;
- The French Committee maintain their request that supplies of food and clothing for prisoners of war should come under straight lend-lease;
- The dollar funds accruing to the French Committee, with Provision made for the agreed minimum reserve, would be made available by priority for the payment of the administrative expenses and of that part of the civilian supplies which have to be paid cash on the market, the balance being used to reimburse the Lend-Lease Administration for delivery of civilian supplies already shipped or to be shipped. Payment of a remaining deficit would be postponed until the Committee is established in France.