500.CC/2–1945: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith)

322. No. 67. For the Secretary. I called the French Ambassador in today and told him that it was absolutely essential that we issue the invitations to the Conference at San Francisco as soon as possible and that we hoped very much indeed that France would join as one of the sponsoring nations. I pointed out that we had as yet received no reply from the French Government although China had accepted sponsorship and the three other nations were ready to go ahead with the invitations. I told the Ambassador that it would be difficult for us to delay acting on the invitations very much longer and it might be that within three or four days we would have to issue them even if we had not heard from the French Government. The Ambassador said that he had already warned his Government that we might have to act without France as I had intimated to him in a previous conversation that we could only wait a reasonably short time to hear from France and we hoped that it would not become necessary for us to go forward without her.

The Ambassador went on to say that he had the impression that France’s not being invited to the regular meetings of Foreign Ministers28 was probably causing some difficulty in the French attitude toward sponsoring the invitations. He felt quite sure that his Government would come along before very long and he expressed the earnest hope that the four other nations would not issue the invitations before hearing from France as it would add immeasurably to the difficulties of the present situation and that he felt although he had no authority or instructions to say so that issuing the invitations without France might result in France not going to San Francisco.

I was insistent that the Ambassador lay before his Government the necessity for giving us a reply to the question of joining in the invitations even though that reply might be made pending the receipt of further clarifications which he had already requested.29

I thought you should know of the difficulties we are having in connection with the issuing of the invitations.

  1. The Foreign Ministers did not hold regular meetings. Reference is apparently to the following meetings not attended by French representatives: The 1943 Moscow Conference, the 1944 Dumbarton Oaks Conversations, and the 1945 Yalta Conference.
  2. The French Ambassador had called on the Acting Secretary on February 17 and left with him a list of questions contained in an aide-mémoire, asking for clarifications relative to the Yalta communiqué. For texts of the French aide-mémoire of February 17 and the Department’s memorandum of February 19 in reply, see vol. iv, pp. 669 and 671, respectively.