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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States. The Conferences at Washington, 1941-1942, and Casablanca, 1943

III. The Casablanca Conference,   pp. [485]-849 ff. PDF (133.6 MB)

Page 489

                      PRE-CONFERENCE PAPERS                       489
against the possible reactions from Spanish Morocco, and are clear
as to the situation in Tunisia, North Africa must naturally take
precedence. We are far more heavily engaged in the Southwest
Pacific than I anticipated a few months ago. Nevertheless, we shall
continue with BOLERO as rapidly as our shipping and other resources
permit. I believe that as soon as we have knocked the Germans out
of Tunisia, and have secured the danger against any real threat from
Spain, that we should proceed with a military strategical conference
between Great Britain, Russia and The United States. I am hoping
that our military position in Africa will be such that a conference
might be held in a month or six weeks. Our own Combined Chiefs
of Staff will, I believe, have a recommendation for us within a few
days as to what the next steps should be, but I feel very strongly that
we have got to sit down at the table with the Russians. My notion
would be a conference in Cairo or Moscow: that each of us would be
represented by a small group meeting very secretly: that the con-
clusions of the conference would of course be approved by the three
of us. I would probably send Marshall to head up our group but I
presume that all services should be represented. I think it would be
wise to keep the numbers down to three from each of us.5
  I have given Oliver some private messages 6 to you which I do not
wish to put on the cables and he will be returning I believe next Mon-
day.7 I hope that all of his problems will have been substantially
  6 Roosevelt had already proposed to both Churchill and Stalin that tripartite
staff talks be held in Moscow to consider future operations. Roosevelt's
gram No. 211, November 14, 1942, to Churchill read as follows: "I think
and I have overlooked one very important step in relation to any operations
springing from the eastern Mediterranean. I suggest that after we have con-
sidered our preliminary studies we should send a small British-American staff
group, possibly limited to two officers from each of us, to Moscow to discuss
procedure with Mr. Stalin and his staff. I realize that this may cause some
delay but one week in Moscow should suffice and front every point of view
looks wise to have closer staff cooperation the nearer we get to the Black
and Russia." (Roosevelt Papers) In his message to Stalin of November
1942 (Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iII, p. 662), Roosevelt reported that
British and American military staffs were studying future military operations
and added, "Before any further step is taken, both Churchill and I want
consult with you and your staff, because whatever we do next in the Mediter-
ranean will have a definite bearing on your magnificent campaign and your
posed moves this coming winter."
  'Sir Oliver Lyttelton headed a British mission which came to the United
States in November 1942 to negotiate shipping and munitions allocation for
United Kingdom in 1943. Lyttelton took back to Churchill a long letter from
Roosevelt, dated November 30, 1942 (Roosevelt Papers), regarding British
requests for the allocation of shipping in 1943 and summarizing some of the
agreements which had been reached in Washington relative to munitions and
aircraft. Brief summaries of that portion of Roosevelt's November 30 letter
dealing with shipping allocation are found in Leighton and Coakley, pp. 679-680,
and W. K. Hancock and M. M. Gowing, British War Economy (London: His Ma-
jesty's Stationery Office, 1949), pp. 428-429. For accounts of the Lyttelton
sion, see Rosen, The Combined Boards of the Second World War, pp. 125 and
151-152, Leighton and Coakiley, pp. 283-284, and Slessor, The Central Blue,
p. 442.
  'November 30, 1942.

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