485 Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London, to Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of the Department of External Affairs
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
(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
[AA:A981, NEW CALEDONIA 1, ix]