851.00/6–649: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bruce )1 to the Secretary of State

secret

2307. At my lunch with Queuille Saturday he gave general impression of being relaxed and confident. He stated he anticipated remaining in power at least until late this year and after official stabilization of franc unless some unforeseeable crisis should arise. He recognized that outcome of current discussions on devaluation of pound sterling would have a bearing on date of franc stabilization. He did not exclude possibility of continuing in power beyond date of stabilization but seemed to feel that by that time he would have sufficient cohesive and established majority to enable someone else to succeed him without radically modifying complexion of government.

I expressed hope that Queuille would not underestimate prestige which he had acquired in American eyes in the course of last few months. I said that present government was considered to be a “Queuille government” and that Prime Minister’s own position and authority were integral elements in general picture of increasing French recovery and stability. I therefore hoped that Queuille would keep this in mind and give due weight to importance of his personal role. Queuille was obviously pleased with my remarks and assured me that he would carry on as long as he felt it was possible for him to do so.

Regarding recent flurry in Assembly created by Paul Reynaud and Independents, Queuille gave it as his opinion that Reynaud had been prompted by his group to launch political offensive which he could not carry through. I seized on his reference to Reynaud to observe that we had heard and read stories to effect that latter had received official or semi-official support and encouragement during his recent trip to US on certain internal French issues such as social security and nationalization, and that US Govt was therefore rumored to be not unsympathetic to Reynaud’s subsequent political activity in Assembly. I assured Queuille that these stories and rumors were unfounded and that reception given Reynaud in US was without political significance and had been merely that which was due to a distinguished visitor.

Bruce
  1. David K. E. Bruce was appointed Ambassador to France on May 9 and presented his credentials on May 17. He succeeded Jefferson Caffery, who in July was appointed Ambassador to Egypt.