324 Cranborne to Curtin

Cablegram D1564 LONDON, 19 October 1944, 8.40 p.m.


Following for the Prime Minister.

Messages have been exchanged between Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt regarding the question of recognition of the French Provisional Government.

2. We have come to the conclusion that events in France have now moved to a point where we can take a decision to accord recognition of the present French administration as the Provisional Government of France.

3. The French Authorities have been co-operating well with the Allied Supreme Command and General Eisenhower [1] is prepared to agree to a request from the French administration for a declaration of a large part of France as an 'interior zone' (in accordance with the Civil Affairs Agreement) in which responsibility for civil administration would become entirely a matter for the French Authorities. (See my telegram D. No. 1544 of the 16th of October. [2]) 4. The internal position of the French administration also appears to us to be satisfactory. There is no doubt that the administration has the support of the majority of the French people. For their part, the French administration are doing their best to restore the democratic basis of French political life. The enlargement of the Consultative Assembly is making good progress.

5. We consider that recognition of the French administration as a Provisional Government might be accorded either when the greater part of France is formally declared to be an 'interior zone' or alternatively when the reformed Assembly has met and has given the administration a vote of confidence. On the whole, the first occasion which is likely to be earlier would seem to be preferable.

6. The above considerations have been put to President Roosevelt whose concurrence has been invited. Pending his reply we shall, of course, take no step.

7. We are also informing the Soviet Government.

8. In anticipation of this event we are engaged in the preparation of a communication to be addressed by Mr. Duff Cooper to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs [3] on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, the text of which will be communicated to you as soon as it is ready. Before sending final instructions to Mr. Duff Cooper we intend to show our draft to the State Department for their consideration.

1 Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, North-West Europe.

2 In AA:A3195, 1944, 1.37247.

3 Georges Bidault.

[AA:A989, E44/350/4/6]