740.00119 E. W./6–2545

No. 99
Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State


Memorandum of Conversation

Subject: United States–French Relations

Participants: The French Ambassador, Mr. Henri Bonnet;
Acting Secretary, Mr. Grew.

. . . . . . .

The Ambassador then said that while he had no instruction from his Government he wished in his capacity as Ambassador responsible for the good relations between our two countries to express to me his concern at the present unfortunate trend of these relations. He said that it was the earnest desire of General de Gaulle and, as I well knew, of himself to bring France and the United States steadily closer together and he felt that the present trend is unfortunately in the other direction. This arises from a number of issues in which France has been given little satisfaction and public opinion in his country, knowing of these issues, is at present developing in a way not conducive to the improvement of our relations.

. . . . . . .

The fourth point is the fact that in spite of the feeling engendered by France’s exclusion from the Yalta Conference and in spite of all that France has suffered during the war and of her vital interests in many of the subjects which are bound to be discussed at the coming meeting of the Big Three, including the occupation of Germany and Austria, reparations, the Far Eastern situation, et cetera, France had not been invited to attend that meeting. This exclusion of France has, of course, had a very painful effect in his country.

. . . . . . .

I listened carefully to the Ambassador’s presentation and when he had finished I said that he knew very well the desire of the President [Page 129] and myself for good relations between our two countries. The Ambassador asked me especially to bring to the President’s attention the points that he had raised. I said that Mr. Stettinius would in all probability return to Washington this week and would probably be here before the President’s return so that it might be the Secretary and not I who would discuss these matters with the President. I, of course, gave the Ambassador no assurances of any kind.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]
  1. For other extracts from this memorandum, see documents Nos. 357, 616, and 637.