740.0011 European war 1939/2691‑5/7A


The Secretary of State to the Ambassador Near the French Government At Bordeaux (Biddle) [54]


WASHINGTON, June 17, 1940—5 p.m.

3. The President desires that you obtain immediately an interview with Admiral Darlan and subsequently, if possible, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and state that the views of this Government with regard to the disposition of the French fleet have been made very clear to the French Government on previous occasions. The President de­sires you to say that in the opinion of this Government, should the French Government, before concluding any armistice with the Ger­mans, fail to see that the fleet is kept out of the hands of her oppo­nents, the French Government will be pursuing a policy which will fatally impair the preservation of the French Empire and the eventual restoration of French independence and autonomy. Further‑


[54] Transmitted in a telegram to the Consul at Bordeaux.






more, should the French Government fail to take these steps and per­mit the French fleet to be surrendered to Germany, the French Government will permanently lose the friendship and good‑will of the Government of the United States.