248 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 185 CANBERRA, 21 July 1943

Your telegram D.432. [1]

We note that if and when recognition is accorded to French Committee of Liberation on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom you propose to convey it through Resident Minister at Algiers.

2. Delegate in Australia of French National Committee [2] made formal request for recognition on 15th June and as requested we have withheld reply pending advice that you are prepared to proceed with this. In the circumstances we think it best to convey recognition of His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia in our reply to the Delegate. We will, of course, consider carefully question of reservations on receipt of further advice from you.

3. We take this opportunity to express our anxiety lest further delay in recognising the Committee should not only jeopardise the British position with regard to the French, but cause bewilderment in case of Allies who have already recognised the Committee, and of others such as Soviet Union who desire to do so. We have been impressed with views expressed by Resident Minister in your telegram D.436 [3] and, while we appreciate necessity for keeping in step with United States in this matter, we attach importance to Resident Minister's warning that prestige gained by British Commonwealth regarding French policy to date may be compromised if present situation continues.

1 Dispatched 16 July (FA:A3195, 1943, 1.29613). It advised that although the question of recognition of the French Committee of Liberation was currently in suspense, it might become necessary to act at short notice and accordingly suggested that consideration should be given to the procedure to be adopted.

2 Andre Brenac.

3 Dispatched 17 July. In FA:A3195, 1943, box, Most Secret inwards master sheets from Secdo, 1.29706.

[FA:A3196, 1943, 0.19764]