Text Version

The following is the text of a message received from Mr. Winston 
      Churchill for the President, March 29th, 1941.
Sinc %e my telegram of March 12th about feeding unoccupied France, 
      we have been confronted with the agreement between Darlan and 
      Berlin for the supply of large quantities of foodstuffs to unoccupied 
      France in exchange naturally for a quid pro quo to the occupied 
      zone from which the German army of occupation is a heavy gainer. 
      There are also press reports of Vichy trying to negotiate purchases 
      of foodstuffs in Latin-America. If we were to put up with this 
      it would mean that French ships unhampered by the fetters of 
      convoy, would soon be doing a big trade and Germany would secure 
      at least half of the import. This seems to put the matter in 
      a new light.
Parliament and the public will ask me why when we are ourselves 
      suffering a grievous blockade and British rations are reduced 
      week by week the French and Germans should have these advantages 
      thus prolonging the war. Moreover the Belgians, Dutch and Norwegians, 
      whose privations and sufferings are far worse than those of Vichy 
      France, may soon ask that their own ships in our service should 
      carry food to their own countries. We ourselves in Britain need 
      more ships and food more stringently every week in order to carry 
      on the war with its present vigour.
I am therefore instructing the Admiralty to tighten up the 
      blockade of unoccupied France as far as our naval resources and 
      opportunities allow and I hope that you will not think that this 
      is unwise or unreasonable. The two gift-ships will of course 
      be let through as agreed between us.
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