740.0011 EW/2–1745

The French Embassy to the Department of State

[Translation]

Aide-Mémoire

The Ambassadors of the United States, Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics delivered to the Chief of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, during the evening of February 12th, in the name of the Chiefs of their respective governments, two documents, one of which was relative to the occupation of Germany, and the other to the declaration concerning liberated Europe which was published in the communiqué handed to the press on February 11th, at the conclusion of the Yalta Conference.21

[Page 670]

Following a preliminary examination of these texts, it appeared to the Provisional Government that the one which relates to the occupation of Germany does not call for any particular observations on its part other than those which the Ambassador of France in London22 has already formulated in its name to the European Advisory Commission with a view to indicating the limits of the zone of occupation which the Provisional Government wishes to be assigned in Germany to French troops and to requesting, for its benefit, the transformation of the tripartite organizations of Allied control in Germany into organizations with four representatives,23

On the other hand, before arriving at a decision with respect to the request of the American, British and Soviet Governments that it associate itself with them in the action and procedure mentioned in the Declaration of Yalta relative to liberated Europe, the Provisional Government considers it necessary to request some clarification. Indeed, it notes that only the purpose of this declaration is fully defined, while the action and the procedure are not formulated therein.

In this connection, the principal points concerning which the French Government, considers it necessary, at first sight, to request clarification are the following:

(1)
How will the four Governments consult each other and how will they consult the other United Nations should the occasion arise?
Will they create a special organization for that purpose? Will they have recourse to the European Commission in London or will they make use of ordinary diplomatic channels?
(2)
Are the conferences of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs which the communiqué also mentions (and with respect to which no provision seems to have been made for the participation of France, at least in the passage specially devoted to them) to be part of this system of consultation?
(3)
If the four Governments decide to take action in the case of a specified country, will they install an organization of control therein or will they merely charge their diplomatic representatives with concerting such action?
(4)
Is the Tripartite Commission created in Moscow to handle matters concerning Poland an application of this principle?24
Will France be invited to join?
(5)
What will be the nature and the extent of the powers which the controlling Governments will assume?
(6)
Lastly, and this question appears to the Provisional Government to be of great importance, under what conditions will the activity [Page 671]of these Governments be a part of the plan suggested by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference?25
Does this activity constitute the application of a trusteeship?

The American, British and Soviet Governments cannot doubt the determination of the Provisional Government of the French Republic to collaborate in the reconstruction of Europe. However, they will certainly understand that the Provisional Government is not in a position, in view of the knowledge now in its possession concerning the nature of the task in which it is invited to participate and concerning the means planned for its accomplishment, to answer immediately the question which was addressed to it.

Clarification regarding the different points raised above would contribute greatly towards aiding it to form an opinion in this respect and prepare its decision.

  1. For the texts of the two documents as quoted in telegram Argonaut 149, February 11, 1945, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 948.
  2. René Massigli.
  3. Regarding the French Government’s proposals in the European Advisory-Commission regarding French participation in the occupation and control of Germany and the limits of a French zone of occupation in Germany, see telegrams Cornea 59, January 2, 1945, and 1400, February 8, 1945, both from London, vol. iii, pp. 161 and 182, respectively.
  4. For documentation regarding participation by the United States in the Tripartite Commission for Poland, see vol. v, pp. 123 ff.
  5. For documentation regarding the conversations at Dumbarton Oaks, August 21–Octo!ber 7, 1944, on international organization, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.