880.00/7–2447: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

top secret

2759. North African nationalists here have already approached Romulo, Philippine UN Delegate, requesting his intercession their behalf forthcoming General Assembly. Before Romulo had given definite answer he was informed of Dept’s view that no good would result from airing this subject in UN at present and that probably only Communists would benefit. Romulo expressed understanding and stated that when next approached by nationalists he would decline accede their request. Dept also telegraphing Emb Manila1 so that identical views may be presented President Roxas if necessary.

Thus in spite of absence of an overall French plan for North Africa which Dept and you have considered necessary we are already lending tangible and valuable, although secret, support to French in anticipation of action on their part which will not only substantiate our reasons for doing so but enable us to continue support more openly. As this cannot be continued indefinitely and as secrecy of our support will become increasingly difficult as further steps may be required urgency of approach to Bidault or Ramadier and tangible evidence of their intention to do something “positive” and not “negative” as stated by Chauvel (urtel 2942 Jul 24) is reemphasized.

If you believe Bidault will keep info in strictest confidence it might be helpful to inform him of support already given emphasizing that it has been done in anticipation of French action along lines contained [Page 701] in recommended approach urtel 24422 and desp 9033.3 It would be necessary also to point out very clearly that open support and even continuation of secret support will depend upon nature of French plans and indications of early implementation.4

  1. Telegram 844, July 25, 8 p. m., not printed.
  2. See footnote 2, p. 691.
  3. June 20, p. 690.
  4. In telegram 2971, August 11, 6 p. m., to Paris, the Department informed the Embassy it should discuss with Foreign Minister Bidault personally the Department’s policy toward North Africa even if promised French papers were not yet ready (880.00/7–2947).