711.51/3–845: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater, at Caserta

206. Your 876, March 8. You may tell Macmillan that we are at a loss to understand reported British solicitude regarding Franco-American relations and that he need not be unduly alarmed.

We are fully aware of the situation with respect to food and other supplies in France and for a number of weeks have been urgently engaged in doing what we could to alleviate it. On February 28 we and the French signed agreements for mutual assistance,36 the importance of which to France would be difficult to exaggerate. For our part we are following with interest French efforts to obtain urgently needed supplies from British stockpiles, which were built [Page 677]up in substantial part by imports from this country and which are reliably reported to be adequate to take care of the immediate French problem and at the same time maintain present British rations.

In view of what we have done and are doing to assist the French through supplies of all kinds—not to mention the fact that French armed forces are almost entirely equipped by this country—it is hardly necessary for Macmillan to remind us of the need of a strong France as though that policy were a British monopoly. Perhaps his government has not informed him of our efforts to bring about French sponsorship of the San Francisco Conference. He might also be interested to read that portion of the President’s message to Congress on the State of the Union37 which dealt with France and our policy toward that country as well as the President’s remarks to the visiting French journalists reported in radio bulletin 59 of March 9. Other references can be furnished him if desired.

In conclusion you might observe that if the British Government has any observations to make to us with regard to our relations with France it would seem that they might be more appropriately taken up with us in London or Washington.

Sent to Caserta as 206. Repeated to Paris as 966 and London as 1865.

Grew
  1. For texts of agreements, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 455, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1304
  2. For text of President Roosevelt’s State of the Union Message of January 6, 1945, see Department of State Bulletin, January 7, 1945, p. 22.