76 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Prime Minister

Cablegram 57 LONDON, 1 October 1941, 10.10 p.m.

FOR THE PRIME MINISTER SECRET

My telegram 14 of 22nd August. [1]

D'Argenlieu. [2] Further points contained in Mr. Menzies' telegram 4714 of 25th August [3] were brought at Once to the notice of the United Kingdom Government who referred them to the Free French Headquarters. I have just received reply from the United Kingdom Government setting out the answer of Cassin (Secretary of the Free French Defence Council and now Commissioner for justice and Education on the National Committee). Cassin points out that de Gaulle [4] received Sautot's [5] offer to resign but replied stating that he had every confidence in the Governor. According to Cassin d'Argenlieu's functions were in no way confined to 'Gouvernement local' and while he would have large civil powers, the main purpose of his mission would be the Organisation of defence of French possessions throughout the Pacific area. He ended 'La situation de Gouverneur Sautot dans son ile reste intacte'. The High Commissioner for the Western Pacific [6] also expresses ideas about d'Argenlieu's appointment similar to those set out in Mr. Menzies' telegram and Cassin asked that Luke be advised that d'Argenlieu's appointment was in no way due to intrigue of Brunot [7] but principally to military needs and also to the internal situation in Tahiti. There was nothing he said in this matter which in any way reflected on Sautot.

BRUCE

1 Document 48.

2 Free French High Commissioner for the Pacific.

3 On file AA:A981, New Caledonia 20. It transmitted to Bruce the cablegram referred to in Document Si, note 1.

4 President of the Free French National Committee.

5 Free French Governor of New Caledonia.

6 Sir Harry Luke.

7 In charge of the Free French administration in Tahiti.

[AA:A981, NEW CALEDONIA 20]