The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 20—12:40 p.m.]
2826. For the Acting Secretary. The White House communiqué issued after the President received Bidault on Friday69 has been received very favorably by the French public. Its deep understanding of the French problem, its length, its cordial tone and the concrete ways which we have and intend to aid France regain her position have all been commented on with deep and real appreciation by Frenchmen in all walks of life.
As I have reported the French are worried and uncertain over what the future holds in store for them and they are still suffering from their well-known inferiority complex. One of their reactions to the communiqué therefore was that not only had Bidault been treated as the Foreign Minister of a great power but that the President with great understanding had made a special effort to lay to rest some of the misunderstandings which have in the past sometimes troubled Franco-American relations.
The President’s expressed desire to see de Gaulle has, of course, been given a big play in the press and has also been received with much pleasure.
The mention of our willingness to cede the French a part of our occupational zone in Germany was also a masterful touch because although the French Government has had knowledge of this it has endeavored by inference at least to present this question to the French people in such a way as to cause them to believe that we were opposed to ceding part of our zone to France and that only through the untiring vigilance of de Gaulle and his Government and their constant pressure would we agree to cede part of our, zone.
- May 18.↩