The Acting Secretary of State (Grew) to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)


328. Please hand the Minister for Foreign Affairs the following letter from the Acting Secretary of State:

“I wish you to know promptly that General De Gaulle’s recent letter to the President with regard to the further arming of French forces, which has been received from Ambassador Caffery, is deeply appreciated and is now before the United States Chiefs of Staff for their consideration and advice. It is hoped that a definitive reply to General De Gaulle’s letter may soon be possible.

“In this interim manner, however, I wish to assure you that this Government fully understands the fervent desire of the French Government to contribute to the fullest extent possible to the defeat of Germany. The French forces already fighting at the side of their allies are making an outstanding contribution to the Allied cause. It is a source of gratification to this Government to know that the United States, despite the strain placed upon it of equipping American as well as Allied forces, has been able to assist France by equipping French forces in action against the common enemy. It appreciates General De Gaulle’s reference in this regard to the earlier arming of French forces in North Africa and to the recent approval given to the arming of eight additional French divisions. Every effort is being made to send armament and equipment for these latter divisions at the earliest date possible.

“I am sure that you will understand that the assistance we are gladly giving to our many allies places the utmost strain on our production capacity. At the same time, I wish you to know that it is the hope of this Government that further assistance can be given.”