762.51114/4–2145: Telegram

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

2027. The United States position as set forth in Department’s 1584 April 20 was brought to the attention of the appropriate official of the Foreign Ministry and our desire to have the French authorities give further consideration to the German proposal in the light of these additional considerations was stressed.

[Page 716]

In reply the official stated that while the Foreign Ministry will present our views to de Gaulle11 he does not believe that the French decision will be altered. He said that it was de Gaulle personally who had taken the decision and that in addition to the considerations set forth in my 1930 of April 18 de Gaulle seems convinced that this German offer will ultimately be linked in some way with a German proposal looking to the exchange of French political hostages and French POWs within the so-called German redoubt against guarantees of immunity for leading Nazis (he indicated that German feelers have already been put out). The French, he said, have no intention of bargaining with the Germans for immunity for Nazis. Furthermore the French feel that the German proposal is not a real bona fide offer since they are only offering to leave the prisoners in the camps because they lack the facilities to move any large number of them elsewhere.

  1. Charles de Gaulle, Head of the French Provisional Government.