851.51/2–2046: Telegram

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

secret

826. My 825, Feb 20.24 FonOff unofficially informed Embassy today that subject to final decision of Cabinet, Blum, accompanied by Mrs. Blum, Monnet, Baraduc25 of FonOff and possibly Monick26 plan departure by air for Washington Feb 26 or 27. They will be prepared to open negotiations by March 1. Tentative agenda contained in your 573 of Feb 4 has been carefully studied by French officials concerned and it is believed they are well briefed and documented.

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As I have reported, Blum desires to discuss French political and economic position in broad outline through medium of personal talks with highest officials. He will not remain through entire negotiations, which French are aware must be confined to technical level insofar as credit and financial matters are concerned from March 8 until conclusion Savannah meeting.

Embassy was also informed that Blum’s mission will probably be launched by important press conference by Gouin February 23 which is desired date of simultaneous publication in Washington and Paris of November 8 letter exchange27 and French Yellow Book containing full text in translation of US Govt’s proposals for expansion of world trade and employment.28 At press conference Gouin presumably will elucidate for benefit French public the import to France of mission entrusted to Blum.

In connection with outstanding balance due on North African civilian supplies FonOff intimated that Valensi29 might be instructed to defer further payments until conclusion of the negotiation. Embassy pointed out that such delay in payment of long overdue account might have unhappy effect. Latter comment evoked prompt backtrack reaction.

Caffery
  1. Not printed.
  2. Jacques Baraduc, Office of Economic Affairs, French Foreign Ministry.
  3. Emmanuel Monick, Governor of the Bank of France.
  4. For texts of letters, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. iv, pp. 769 771.
  5. It was the intention of the French Government to print in the Yellow Book the whole series of financial negotiations between France and the United States before and since the Bretton Woods Monetary Conference.
  6. Christian Valensi, Financial Counselor of French Embassy in Washington.