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Franklin Roosevelt Administration: Message to General Franco

(November 8, 1942)

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 Nations.

I am, my dear General,
Your sincere friend,

Sources: ibiblio