White House news release.
I am sending this message to you as the Chef d'Etat
of the United States to the Chef d'Etat of the Republic of France.
When your Government concluded the Armistice Convention
in 1940, it was impossible for any of us to foresee the program of systematic
plunder which the German Reich would inflict on the French people.
That program, implemented by blackmail and robbery,
has deprived the French population of its means of subsistence, its
savings; it has paralyzed French industry and transport; it has looted
French factories and French farms-all for the benefit of a Nazi Reich
and a Fascist Italy under whose Governments no liberty loving nation
could long exist.
As an old friend of France and the people of France,
my anger and sympathy grows with every passing day when I consider the
misery, the want, and the absence from their homes of the flower of
French manhood. Germany has neglected no opportunity to demoralize and
degrade your great nation.
Today, with greedy eyes on that Empire which France
so laboriously constructed, Germany and Italy are proposing to invade
and occupy French North Africa in order that they may execute their
schemes of domination and conquest over the whole of that continent.
I know you will realize that such a conquest of Africa
would not stop there but would be the prelude to further attempts by
Germany and Italy to threaten the conquest of large portions of the
American Hemisphere, large dominations over the Near and Middle East,
and a joining of hands in the Far East with those military leaders of
Japan who seek to dominate the whole of the Pacific.
It is evident, of course, that an invasion and occupation
of French North and West Africa would constitute for the United States
and all of the American Republics the gravest kind of menace to their
security-just as it would sound the death knell of the French Empire.
In the light of all the evidence of our enemy's intentions
and plans, I have, therefore, decided to dispatch to North Africa powerful
American armed forces to cooperate with the governing agencies of Algeria,
Tunisia and Morocco in repelling this latest act in the long litany
of German and Italian international crime.
These indomitable American forces are equipped with
massive and adequate weapons of modern warfare which will be available
for your compatriots in North Africa in our mutual fight against the
I am making all of this clear to the French Authorities
in North Africa, and I am calling on them for their cooperation in repelling
Axis threats. My clear purpose is to support and aid the French Authorities
and their administrations. That is the immediate aim of these American
I need not tell you that the ultimate and greater aim
is the liberation of France and its Empire from the Axis yoke. In so
doing we provide automatically for the security of the Americas.
I need not again affirm to you that the United States
of America seeks no territories and remembers always the historic friendship
and mutual aid which we have so greatly given to each other.
I send to you and, through you, to the people of France
my deep hope and belief that we are all of us soon to enter into happier
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT."