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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1943. Europe
(1943)

France,   pp. 23-301 PDF (103.0 MB)


Page 23


FRANCE
CONCERN OF THE UNITED STATES OVER THE DISUNITY BETWEEN
GENERALS GIRAUD AND DE GAULLE IN FRENCH NORTH AND WEST
AFRICA; RECOGNITION OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OF THE
FRENCH COMMITTEE OF NATIONAL LIBERATION'
  President Roosevelt to the British Prime Minister (Churchill)2
                                      WASHINGTON, January 1, 1943.
  Personal No. 250 from the President to the Former Naval Person.
  In reply to your 249 3 I feel very strongly that we have a military
occupation in North Africa and as such our Commanding General has
complete charge of all matters civil as well as military. We must not
let any of our French friends forget this for a moment. By the same
token I don't want any of them to think that we are going to recog-
nize any one or any committee or group as representing the French
Government or the French Empire. The people of France will settle
their own affairs after we have won this war. Until then we can
deal with local Frenchmen on a local basis wherever our armies occupy
former French territory. And if these local officials won't play ball
we will have to replace them.
  I agree that Eisenhower has had to spend too much time on political
affairs but Marshall 4 has sent him very explicit instructions on this
point. I don't know whether Eisenhower can hold Giraud 5 in line
'For previous correspondence regarding the invasion and occupation of French
North Africa and the relations of the United States with Free French Forces,
see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. ii, pp. 429 ff. and 502 If. For accounts
of mili-
tary cooperation between the United States and the French forces, see Marcel
Vigneras, Rearming the French, and George F. Howe, Northwest Africa: Seiz-
ing the Initiative in the West, both in the series United States Army in
World
War II (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1957).
2Copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
Notation on telegram indicates it was sent also to Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisen-
hower, with second paragraph omitted except for second sentence. General
Eisenhower was Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, and
Commander in Chief, Allied Expeditionary Force, North Africa.
  3 Telegram No. 249, December 31, 1942, filed in Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.
In addition to discussing military matters, Mr. Churchill stated that the
Allied
Commander in Chief should be supreme in Northwest Africa in all matters civil
and military, but that a civil regime should be set up in whatever form was
found locally convenient, subject to the guidance and veto of Mr. Robert
D.
Murphy, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt, and Mr. Harold Mac-
millan, British Minister Resident at Allied Headquarters.
  Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
  5Gen. Henri Honor6 Giraud, High Commissioner of French North Africa.
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