855.001 Leopold/3–3145: Telegram

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

1583. [To Brussels:] for the Ambassador from Reber. Following General Erskine’s visit to forward headquarters, I was informed of the results of his discussions at SHAEF in regard to the return to Belgium of the King. Reference our recent conversation, I have now received a memorandum from the Deputy Chief of Staff stating that SHAEF is charged with the duty of transporting the King from the point where he will be recovered to a place of safety to be designated later. The only other military interest in the operation is that his eventual return to Belgium shall not take place in such a manner and in such circumstances as to abuse [cause?] an upheaval that may interfere with the conduct of military operations in Germany or elsewhere.

SHAEF considers that the matter is predominantly a political matter and has instructed General Erskine to remain in touch with both the USA and British Ambassadors in Brussels and to avoid as far as possible any discussion on the subject other than with the Ambassadors.

Inasmuch as the Deputy Chief of Staff has asked me to keep him informed of the situation, I shall acquaint him with the contents of the Department’s telegram of March 30 and inquire whether the procedure meets with SHAEF’s approval as directed.

Sent Brussels as No. 26. [Reber.]