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274 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 231 CANBERRA, 7 September 1943

My telegram 185. [1] Paragraph 2.

Recognition of French Committee of National Liberation.

We now think that it will be more suitable if recognition of
Committee by His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of
Australia is conveyed by Resident Minister at Algiers. We should,
appreciate it, therefore, if Resident Minister would be good
enough to convey to the Committee the following statement on
behalf of the Commonwealth Government:

'. . . His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia
recognises the French Committee of National Liberation as
administering those French overseas territories which acknowledge
its authority. The Commonwealth Government also recognises the
Committee as the body qualified to conduct French effort in the
war within the framework of inter-allied co-operation. It takes
note with sympathy of the desire of the Committee to be regarded
as the body qualified to ensure the administration and defence of
all French interests. It is the intention of the Commonwealth
Government to give effect to this request as far as possible while
reserving the right to consider in consultation with the Committee
the practical application of this principle in particular cases as
they arise. During the war military needs are paramount and all
controls necessary for operational purposes are, as a matter of
military necessity, reserved to the Supreme Commander of the
Allied Armies in any theatre of operations. His Majesty's
Government in the Commonwealth of Australia welcomes the
Committee's expressed determination to continue the struggle in
close co-operation with all the Allies until French and Allied
Territories are completely liberated and until victory is complete
over all enemy powers . . .'

We are informing the delegate in Australia of Fighting France [2]
that recognition is being communicated through Mr. MacMillan. [3]

1 Document 248.

2 Andre Brenac.

3 Despite this communication the Commonwealth Govt on 26 November
found it necessary to complain to the U.K. Govt that the French
Committee of National Liberation in Algiers was showing a 'growing
tendency ... to communicate on official matters with M. Lancial,
former Vichy Consul in Sydney, whose exequatur was withdrawn and
who is now merely a private individual awaiting repatriation to
North Africa'. See cablegram 301 (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.32596).

On 3 December the Commonwealth Govt asked the U.K. Govt to suggest
informally to the French Committee of National Liberation that
there be an 'exchange of official representatives of high
diplomatic rank with the Australian Government'. See cablegram 310
on file AA:A989, 43/350/5/5/1.

[FA:A3196, 1943, 0.24565]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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