740.00119 Potsdam/8–745: Telegram

No. 1410
The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

4774. 1. The following is the translation of a note handed me this evening by Bidault (my 4769, Aug 7, 10 p.m.1)

2. Mr. Ambassador: In reply to your communication of July 31,2 I have the honor to inform you that the French Govt is glad to accept the invitation which the Govt of the United States of America, in agreement with the Govts of the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was kind enough to extend to it to participate in a council of ministers for foreign affairs of the five great powers and to join at once in the organization of this council which will meet in London on Sept 1 at the latest.

3. However, as concerns the text relative to the “establishment of a council of ministers for foreign affairs” which appears in your communication, the French Govt wishes to set forth the following important reservations:

4. France is obviously interested in all important questions concerning Europe or any region of Europe. This applies particularly to the settlements concerning Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. Furthermore, the French Govt feels constrained to point out that the dispositions envisaged by the text of the agreement concluded between the Govts of the US of America, the United Kingdom and the USSR and which concern the preparation of the treaties of peace with Rumania, Hungary and Finland do not appear to it to be [Page 1554] in harmony with the declaration on liberated Europe made at Yalta by the Govts of the US of America, the UK and the USSR.3 The procedures provided for in this declaration and with which France was invited to associate itself cover not only countries liberated from Nazi domination but countries formerly satellites of the Axis as well.

5. Moreover, the French Govt could not accept “a priori” the reconstitution which is apparently envisaged for an undetermined date, of a central Govt in Germany. Furthermore, such a reconstitution has not up to now occasioned any exchange of views between the French Govt and its Allies.

6. As far as Italy is concerned France does not appear among the signatories of the instrument of capitulation4 although she was the first objective of aggression of Italian Fascism and although she participated to an important degree in its defeat. The French Govt, therefore, sees no reason why she should be considered now as a signatory of this instrument. It is nonetheless favorably disposed toward the conclusion of a peace treaty with Italy. We [are?] favorably inclined to the entry of a democratic Italy into the United Nations.