Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt 1

top secret

Prime Minister to President Roosevelt personal and Top Secret Number 846.

I have replied as follows to Stalin’s enquiry for my advice on the two questions raised with him by De Gaulle:—

  • “1. Your telegram about De Gaulle’s visit and the two questions he will raise. We have no objection whatever to a Franco Soviet [Page 290] pact of mutual assistance similar to the Anglo Soviet pact. On the contrary, His Majesty’s Government consider it desirable and an additional link between us all. Indeed, it also occurs to us that it might be best of all if we were to conclude a tripartite treaty between the three of us which would embody our existing Anglo Soviet treaty with any improvements. In this way the obligations of each one of us would be identical and linked together. Please let me know if this idea appeals to you as I hope it may. We should both of course tell the United States.
  • 2. The question of changing the eastern frontier of France to the left bank of the Rhine or alternatively of forming a Rhenish-West-phalian province under international control, together with other alternatives ought to await settlement at the peace table. There is, however, no reason why, when the three heads of government meet, we should not come much closer to conclusions about all this than we have done so far. As you have seen, the President does not expect De Gaulle to come to the meeting of the three. I would hope that this could be modified to his coming in later on when decisions, especially affecting France, were under discussion.
  • 3. Meanwhile, would it not be a good thing to let the European Advisory Commission sitting in London, of which France is a member, explore the topic for us all without comitting in any way the heads of governments?
  • 4. I am keeping the President informed.”

2. There seems much to be said for a tripartite Anglo Franco Soviet pact. In that way we can be sure that our mutual obligations to each other are harmonised from the beginning. Public opinion too would think such a joint agreement more satisfactory than an arrangement whereby relations between the French and ourselves were governed by agreements which each of us had entered into separately with Russia.

3. I should welcome your views.

  1. Sent by the United States Military Attaché, London, via Army channels.