Washington, D. C., November 8, 1942
White House news release.
It is because your nation and mine are friends in the best sense of
the word, and because you and I are sincerely desirous of the continuation
of that friendship for our mutual good that I want very simply to tell
you of the compelling reasons that have forced me to send a powerful
American military force to the assistance of the French possessions
in North Africa.
We have accurate information to the effect that Germany and Italy intend
at an early date to occupy with military force French North Africa.
With your wide military experience you will understand clearly that
in the interest of the defense of both North America and South America
it is essential that action be taken to prevent an Axis occupation of
French Africa without delay.
To provide for America's defense I am sending a powerful Army to the
French possessions and protectorates in North Africa with the sole purpose
of preventing occupation by Germany and Italy, and with the hope that
these areas will not be devastated by the horrors of war.
I hope you will accept my full assurance that these moves are in no
shape, manner, or form directed against the Government or people of
Spain or Spanish territory, metropolitan or overseas. I believe that
the Spanish Government and the Spanish people wish to maintain neutrality
and to remain outside the war. Spain has nothing to fear from the United
I am, my dear General,
Your sincere friend,
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.