The policy of this government in its relations with
the French Republic has been based upon the terms of the armistice between
Germany and France and upon recognition of certain clear limitations
imposed upon the French Government by this armistice. Furthermore, we
have had assurances given by the head of the French State on behalf
of his government that it did not intend to agree to any collaboration
with Germany which went beyond the requirements of that armistice agreement.
This was the least that could be expected of a France which demanded
respect for its integrity.
The people of France, who cherish still the ideals
of liberty and free institutions and guard that love of these priceless
possessions in their minds and hearts, can be counted on to hold out
for these principles until the moment comes for their re-establishment.
It is inconceivable they will willingly accept any agreement for so-called
"collaboration" which will in reality imply their alliance
with a military power whose central and fundamental policy calls for
the utter destruction of liberty, freedom and popular institutions everywhere.
The people of the United States can hardly believe
that the present Government of France could be brought to lend itself
to a plan of voluntary alliance implied or otherwise which would apparently
deliver up France and its colonial empire, including French African
colonies and their Atlantic coasts with the menace which that involves
to the peace and safety of the Western Hemisphere.
[New York Times, May 16, 1941.]