No. 607

740.001/1–3151: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices 1


Following received from Paris as 4427 January 28:

“Interior Ministry’s orders of January 24 (carried in Journal Officiel January 26) calling for dissolution within one month of WFTU, WFDY and IFDW are of notable importance. Coming as they do in wake of government’s recent anti-Commie policy statements and actions outlined in Emdes 1908, January 15,2 and of latest measures taken by government on occasion January 24 anti-Eisenhower demonstration,3 they offer further encouraging evidence of official determination to deal energetically with Commie threat in France. By its action, French Government has deprived leading Commie front organizations in fields of international labor, women’s and youth’s activities of hallmark of respectability which presence of their headquarters in this western capital has heretofore constituted with resultant enhancement to their political influence and prestige. Presumably they will now find it necessary to transfer their official seats to points behind iron curtain where source of their political inspiration will be more readily identifiable to western opinion generally.

“French affiliates of these organizations, such as CGT, Union de la Jeunesse Republicaine de France and Union des Femmes Francaises may be expected to continue their own activities here unobstructed. However, their authority should become more questionable in consequence of government’s action as it will no longer be reinforced by officially tolerated presence in France of those Cominform organizations immediately responsible for their control and for coordinating their activities with those of similar organizations abroad. From practical standpoint, termination of such convenient means of direct liaison will doubtless have no more than nuisance value for French affiliates and offer no serious handicap to their continued effective operation. It may nevertheless serve to isolate them to limited degree. It is clear that prime advantage to result from government’s action is that of further impressing on world [Page 1211] opinion real character of their role as concealed instruments of Soviet policy.

“Concern with which CPF views these measures is fully evidenced in Duclos declared intention to interpellate government on subject and in lengthy party protest contained in Humanite4 of January 27 characterizing them as further example of progressive fascization of France on road toward war. CPF protest reads in part: ‘Doubtless it is not within power of little men who temporarily are administering France to suppress democratic organizations which unite tens and tens of millions of workers, women and youth in all countries of the world . . . but those who govern us hope to merit Eisenhower’s confidence by bringing some miserable obstructions to fruitful activities of these peace organizations.’ Protest calls on people to unite to bring about revocation of government’s orders and answer them by ‘considerably strengthening’ French affiliates of banned organizations. Protest concludes with declaration of party’s intention to unite with all ‘democratic organizations’ in powerful protest demonstrations on February 11 in commemoration seventeenth anniversary of ‘February days’ of 1934 and ‘great days of union and struggle against fascism.’”

Having been barred from France it seems to us extremely likely WFTU will make strong efforts establish their headquarters in some other Western European country. In our view we should leave no stone unturned in barring them from Western Europe and forcing them settle behind Curtain where they would be more easily identified with Hammer and Sickle.

Suggest you bring above considerations discreetly to attention Government to which you are accredited. We would appreciate being informed of their reaction together with information regarding any approach which WFTU may have made.

  1. Drafted by Bonbright (EUR). Sent to The Hague, Oslo, Copenhagen, Bern, Stockholm, and Frankfurt. The same instructions had been sent to Rome, London, Brussels, and Luxembourg on January 29 and to Vienna on January 30.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation on the tour of North Atlantic Treaty Organization capitals in January 1951 by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (Eisenhower), see vol. iii, Part 1, pp. 392 ff.
  4. L’Humanité, daily newspaper of the French Communist Party.