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12 Cranborne to Curtin

Circular cablegram D56 LONDON, 12 January. 1944, 11.40 p.m.


Following for the Prime Minister. Begins-

My telegram Circular D.1085, 10th December. [1]

On December 16th, immediately upon his return from Africa,

President Roosevelt received the Chinese and Turkish Ambassadors

[2], the Egyptian Minister [3] and the Soviet [4] and Persian [5]

First Secretaries, in the absence of their chiefs, and His

Majesty's United Kingdom Minister at Washington [6] (His Majesty's

United Kingdom Ambassador being indisposed) and made the following

statement, warning them that they must not repeat to anyone what

he said.

2. He had been working very hard to prevent Indo-China from being

restored to France, which during the last 100 years had done

nothing for the Indo-Chinese people under their care. The latter

were still as poor and as uneducated as they had ever been and

this state of affairs could not be allowed to continue.

3. He thought that the Indo-Chinese who were not yet ready for

elective institutions of their own should be placed under some

United Nations Trusteeship which should take them towards the

stage when they could govern themselves, somewhat after the manner

of developments in the Philippines (the President did not make it

clear whether he was thinking of a United Nations Trusteeship for

all peoples in this category or whether the administration should

be in the hands of a single country or of all or several of the

United Nations).

4. The President went on to say 'we' would have great trouble over

this with the French, but that nevertheless it would have to be

done. At the recent meetings it had been decided that peace must

be kept by force. There was no other way and world policemen would

be necessary who would need certain places from which to exercise

their function without bringing up the question of changes in

sovereignty. He men tioned Dakar, which in the hands of a country

too weak to defend it or of a hostile country, constituted an

immediate threat to the whole of the Western Hemisphere.

5. The President referred, with pleasure, to the decision taken


Chiang Kai Shek [7] in Cairo that Manchuria, Formosa and

Pescadores should revert to China. (See my telegram Circular

D.1046 of 1st December.) [8] Korea, he said, would have to be

prepared for an elective government under a form of trusteeship,

while Japan would be com pressed into her own islands and would

receive various forms of treatment which would prevent her

becoming a danger again. See my immediately following telegram.


1 On file AA:A989, 43/735/302. It noted a declaration by the

French Committee of National Liberation on post-war political

progress envisaged for French Indo-China.

2 Dr Wei Tao-ming and Mehmet Munir Ertegun respectively.

3 Mahmoud Hassan.

4 V. I. Bazykin or F. T. Orekhov.

5 H. Hadjeb-Davallou.

6 Sir Ronald I. Campbell.

7 Chinese President and, until 4 December, President of the

Executive Yuan.

8 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI,

Document 340.

9 Presumably Document 14, although circular cable D57 (on the file

cited in note 1), summarising U.S. Govt commitments regarding the

future of the French colonial empire, was dispatched at 11.50 p.m.

on 12 January.

[AA:A989, 43/735/302]

Last Updated: 2 February 2011

Category: International relations

Topic: History