485 Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London, to Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of the Department of External Affairs
Cablegram ET6 LONDON, 8 May 1942, 12.20 a.m.
From the Minister  to Hodgson.
New Caledonia. Your S.L. 8.  The essence of the problem seems to me not to take sides but to let the Free French settle their own differences and determine their own leadership. The United States has complete military authority but General Patch  should play up to d'Argenlieu's  vanity if Sautot  is to go.
I am quite unimpressed by what the citizens are said to desire.
The only thing that matters is that the de facto administration should be induced to work smoothly with Patch and the occupying forces.
(2) I should add that Mackenzie King  and the Canadian Government have the highest opinion of d'Argenlieu's ability. In particular, he has considerable influence over French Canadians and he was one of the heads of the Carmelite Order in France.
(3) If d'Argenlieu comes out on top diplomatic messages drafted by the Prime Minister  and myself  to d'Argenlieu at the time of the previous disputes should be studied with a view to repetition.