851.00/5–2545: Telegram

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

2956. Bidault tells me that he returns delighted from his trip to the US; he was especially pleased with his conversation with the [Page 700]President. He also had most satisfactory conversations with the Secretary and Acting Secretary. He says that our good-will, generosity, as well as our industrial capacity and war effort, far surpass anything he envisaged.

He said: “Give me about four days to try to arrange several matters which I know must be arranged. The first one is the matter of our military forces in northwest Italy. Another matter which I know is not going well at all is our policy in Syria and Lebanon and we must change it. Without any question, our future depends on good relations with you and we must not sacrifice that for minor grievances here and there.”

I told him of the poor way in which his colleague Frenay73 had been acting over the French prisoners in Germany and of the unjustified attacks on SHAEF in that connection in Humanité and other papers. I told him that in my opinion Frenay was back of some of those attacks. Bidault professed a sympathetic understanding and gave me to understand that he would do something about it.

He said: “I shall not hesitate to use pressure on General de Gaulle in regard to all this, even the pressure of my own political party which is de Gaulle’s political mainstay. I have just been talking to Leon Blum74 about the situation.” (Blum was in his office when I came in.)

He then said: “I would like to take Gen. de Gaulle to make a visit on President Truman in about a month. What do you think?” I should like the Dept’s views on this.

Caffery
  1. Henri Frenay, French Minister of Pensions and War Prisoners.
  2. The former Premier, who had been liberated from a German concentration camp early in May, had returned to Paris on May 14.