740.0011 EW/5–1945: Telegram
The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 20—6:09 a.m.]
2820. From Murphy. In reply to SHAEF request of May 7 that instructions be given to French Commander to withdraw his troops to French side of 1939 Franco-Italian frontier, Genl. Sevez25 wrote on May 18 that he desired to present as follows the French Government’s point of view on this subject:
Operations in Mediterranean Theater as in the Western Theater being now completed, movements and stationing of French troops of the Alps are henceforth questions which no longer fall within the strategic sphere but which should be examined by the interested governments.
Consequently question of withdrawal of the army detachment of the Alps to the Franco-Italian frontier of 1939 can no longer be handled directly between the Supreme Command and the French Command and should be dealt with on the diplomatic plane.
While awaiting study by the interested governments the army detachment of the Alps will continue to remain in the area which it is now occupying. (End of message from Sevez).
In the meantime, SHAEF cabled Sixth Army group May 18 that in expectation that agreement of French zone may be reached soon, First French Army and Alpine detachment will for the present remain under Sixth Army group command. [Murphy.]
- Gen. François Sevez, Acting Chief of Staff for France.↩