Cairo Conferences (SEXTANT)

The Director of War Mobilization to the President

Washington, November 26, 1943

Cablegram for the President:

Increased landing craft program submitted Wednesday possible only if we immediately issue directive giving priority over all programs any kind. Please wire whether I shall have Nelson issue directive.


Roosevelt-Churchill-Chiang meeting, 4:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom China
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Generalissimo Chiang
Ambassador Harriman Foreign Secretary Eden Madame Chiang
Sir Alexander Cadogan

President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Cairo, 26 November 1943

Op priority

Thank you much for your message of November 23 informing me of your intention to reach Teheran on the 28th or 29th. I expect to reach there on the 27th. It will be good to see you.


The President to the Secretary of State

Cairo, 26 November 1943

In reply to your message transmitted as White 38, I am convinced that this is not the time to make any final decisions or plans relating to Civil Affairs for France. The whole situation in North Africa is complicated but the general attitude of the Committee and especially de Gaulle is shown in the Lebanon affair. De Gaulle is now claiming the right to speak for all of France and is talking openly about how he intends to set up his government in France as soon as the Allies get in there.

I am increasingly inclined to the thought that the occupation when it takes place should be a wholly military occupation.

I see no need for any further discussion at this time, though I may discuss it informally when I see the Russians.

I saw Vishinsky four days ago and I don’t believe the Russians will press for any immediate action. I am showing this to Churchill and I hope we can hold up the whole matter until we can see the picture more clearly.

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The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

This morning I informed Russian Chargé d’Affaires that you would reside at your own Legation. I told him that this decision in my opinion was final and was made before any invitation had been received by you from Russia. All this was satisfactory at that time. At three o’clock this afternoon, the Russian Chargé d’Affaires called on me to say that the Russian Government cordially invites you to be its guest at its Embassy while here. I told him I would convey to you this generous invitation but inasmuch as you had already decided to reside at your own Legation and all preparations had been made accordingly, I thought that perhaps it would be too late to make another change, although I knew that you and Stalin would spend a great deal of time together while here. In the meantime, DARKY is inspecting suggested quarters, Russian Embassy, so that if you should decide to accept the invitation, all details regarding quarters will be in hand.

The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

Since wiring you I accompanied General Connolly and Rowley together with the Russian Charge d’Affaires and other Russian security officers for an inspection of quarters which the Russians propose to give to you as their guest. For Reilly’s information the quarters are in the same building inside the Russian Embassy compound which he inspected and consist of six rooms to the left of the entrance to the building. The suite contains one large reception or assembly room, four smaller rooms that could be used as bedrooms and one large bedroom with adjoining bath. For the other four rooms there is but one bath, making two baths and toilet facilities for the entire suite which is the same number as in the American Legation. In the suite there is also a large dining room and below the main bedroom a kitchen which can be used by your staff for you. The building is steam heated. The suite they are offering you is on the same floor with and adjoins the large conference room. No one else is living in this building but two other rooms are being used as a Russian communications office. There is also a private entrance to the suite. The only work needed to be done on the suite is to reinstall bathtubs and toilets which have been removed but can be replaced quickly. List of necessary furnishings being given Russians by DARKY. From the standpoint of your convenience and comfort, from the standpoint of conference communications and security, these quarters are far more desirable than your own Legation. As I told you in my earlier wire, I have advised the Russians that you have definitely decided to use your own Legation. The Russians still most cordially solicit your acceptance of their invitation.


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The President to the Minister in Egypt

Cairo, November 26, 1943

Memorandum for: Ambassador Kirk

Please have Wadsworth, Consul General at Beirut, come down here when I get back here – I think about Thursday or Friday.


President Roosevelt to the Chinese Minister of Finance

Cairo, November 26, 1943

My Dear Dr. Kung. It was good of you to think of me and I am delighted to have that delicious Chinese tea – especially because I am more and more substituting tea for coffee.

Our visit here in Cairo with the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang has been not only very delightful but it has been a true success. It is the beginning of many such conferences, I hope. They have spoken to me in regard to the inflation problem and when they get back to Chungking, they will speak with you in regard to a suggestion which I have made. I have not, of course, had a chance to talk with the Secretary of the Treasury about it but I will do so just as soon as I get home.

I do hope that I shall have the pleasure of seeing you one of these days very soon.

My warm regards, Sincerely yours,

Hopkins-Chiang conversation, evening

United States China
Mr. Hopkins Generalissimo Chiang
Madame Chiang

The Chiangs raised the question of the return of Outer Mongolia.

Madame Chiang to President Roosevelt

Cairo, 26 November 1943

My Dear Mr. President: You will, I hope, forgive me for this uncertain handwriting, for I am still Cyclops, and the letters all run together very unneatly. But the Generalissimo wishes me to tell you again how much he appreciates what you have done and are doing for China. When we said goodbye to you this afternoon, he could not find words adequately expressive to convey his emotions and feelings, nor to thank you sufficiently for your friendship. He felt too the wistfulness of saying farewell, although he feels that only a short while will elapse before his next meeting with you. Meanwhile he hopes that you will consider him as a friend whom you can trust. He on his part finds joy and comfort in the thought that as time goes on, the bonds of affection and similarity of motives between you and him will be strengthened.

Will you please overlook this very inadequate interpretation of his views, for I have had a full day, and my brain simply cannot encompass what he conveyed to me to pass on to you.

On my own behalf, Mr. President, please remember that as I write this, my heart overflows with affection and gratitude for what you have done, and for what you are.


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President Roosevelt’s log of the trip

Friday, November 26 (at Cairo)

During the forenoon the President conferred with Mr. James Landis, Ambassador Harriman, Admiral Mountbatten, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Admiral Leahy and Ambassador Winant.
2:30 p.m. Generals Marshall and Eisenhower called on the President. The President bestowed the Legion of Merit on General Eisenhower in recognition of his outstanding work in the cause of our country. A copy of the citation is appended, marked “A.”
4:30 p.m. The Prime Minister, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Ambassador Harriman, Sir [Mr.] Anthony Eden and Sir Alexander Cadogan conferred with the President. A press communiqué announcing the completion of the first phase of the Cairo Conference was agreed upon. A copy is appended hereto, marked “B.” For reasons of security, it was also agreed that this communiqué would not be released to the press until after the completion of the forthcoming conference at Tehran.
6:00 p.m. The President summoned Lieutenant (jg.) Rigdon and worked on official mail that had arrived in Cairo today from Washington. There was no Congressional matter contained in this particular pouch. The President worked until 7:00 p.m. with this mail.
7:30 p.m. The President dined at his villa with Admiral Leahy, Admiral Brown, Admiral McIntire and General Watson.
10:00 p.m. The President turned in, in anticipation of an early rising and departure (5:00 a.m.) on Saturday for Tehran, Iran.
The weather at Cairo during our first five days there was most pleasant; the days were comparatively warm, but the nights were always cool enough for excellent sleeping.
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What does she mean that she is Cyclops?


She doesn’t have the best sight. And considering Cyclops is one-eyed, well…


Why not wear spectacles? Or is she blind in one eye?


She did wear glasses later on.


U.S. State Department (November 27, 1943)

The Assistant Secretary of War to the Secretary of War

Cairo, 27 November 1943



To Stimson attention Hilldring and Dunn from McCloy

Had talk yesterday with Eden. Quite evident he feels European Advisory Commission in London important achievement and does not wish to derogate in any way from the authority which he feels was given it by the terms of reference and documents which were referred to it at Moscow. He wants to dignify it and have us send a small but good staff to London immediately to assist Winant whom the President has advised Prime Minister he intends to appoint to Commission. However, Eden has agreed and I believe favors submission by Advisory Commission of their tentative recommendations to Combined Chiefs of Staff for comment and suggestion by them prior to any final submission of recommendation by commission to Governments. Also has tentatively agreed to remove further pressure for removal of Combined Civil Affairs Committee to London and if we are prepared to take step one above will agree to permit British representatives CCAC to take full part in all discussions relating to U.K.-based operations, perhaps sending to Washington a man with substantial authority to augment or replace existing British representation. Under this arrangement very important we should send good military man to act on Winant’s staff, and that State Department should nominate their men. Eden pleaded that this staff be sent to London immediately. British want a military man who is familiar with CCAC procedures in London to help Winant… Will have to await return of party from the East and further confirmation by British of their agreement as above-outlined. Above entirely satisfactory to me and best arrangement I think we can make under the circumstances but would like to have your views. For information Dunn, Eden seemed much interested in Combined U.K.-U.S. Commission to deal with French political situation suggested in your number 1074. Question was raised by British as to where such a Commission could be located most effectively, whether in London, Washington or Algiers. Eden agrees with Hull on political desirability of avoiding separate spheres of responsibility but both military groups here feel this is impractical. Eden also expressed prompt approval of Hull’s opinion as to declaration by Governments of occupying forces as expressed in 1074.

The Assistant Secretary of War to the Secretary of War

Cairo, 27 November 1943



To Stimson from McCloy

Have had talks with Joint Chiefs and British on civil affairs matters and discussions with others including President, Winant and Eden. Feel that if British confirm agreement outlined in my 10064 we have accomplished all that we have set out to do on civil affairs matter. Though I have only been on fringe of strategical discussions, it is clear that all decisions of important matters are held up pending results Eastern conference to which I did not go though I was requested to stay on here pending their return.

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The Director of War Mobilization to the President

Washington, November 27, 1943

For the President from Justice Byrnes

Francis Gibbs advises me that if immediately authorized, forty to fifty additional ships nearly identical with LCIL but having speed of twelve knots probably can be delivered within specified time by converting army cargo vessels under contract in Gulf intended for duty in MacArthur theatre. Could probably start deliveries within sixty days. If these ships are held not suitable for all functions of LCIL they can at least be substituted for non-combat duty of LCIL and LST releasing the latter. If you approve, please wire me authority to proceed.

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U.S. State Department (November 28, 1943)

The Secretary of War to the Assistant Secretary of War

Washington, November 28, 1943

Eyes only to McCloy from Stimson

Hull and I agree with the suggestion that the tentative recommendations of the European Advisory Commission be submitted to the Combined Chiefs of Staff for comment and suggestion by them prior to any final submission of recommendations by the commission to Governments. We are pleased to note Eden’s tentative agreement to remove further pressure for removal of Combined Civil Affairs Committee to London, and to permit British representatives Combined Civil Affairs Committee to take full part in all discussions relating to operations based on UK… State Department believes that UK-US Commission to deal with French political situation should be located in London. I congratulate you heartily on having worked out thus far such satisfactory solution of these problems.

The Minister in Egypt to the President’s special assistant, temporarily at Tehran

Cairo, 28 November 1943

Immediate and urgent for Harry Hopkins signed Kirk.

With reference to document which you gave me for safe keeping pending instructions from Tehran I learn from Ryan of Ministry of Information that British have communicated text in code through British Embassy here to Foreign Office in London preparatory to release upon notification flash from your party. Ryan states such release will be immediate without twenty-four-hour advance notice mentioned and that Cairo handout will be for background only and not for transmission.

In view of this situation, I would appreciate immediate detailed instructions as to action to be taken by me so that there may be no slipup by the Legation and in order that I may notify Chinese as you requested. Russell Barnes of Office of War Information now in Tehran is familiar with set-up here and can furnish you with any additional information in that regard.

U.S. State Department (November 29, 1943)

The Minister in Egypt to the President’s special assistant, temporarily at Tehran

Cairo, November 29, 1943


With reference to my message of yesterday Chinese Chargé has just called to say that he has cabled text of document to Chungking with instructions to hold release pending flash from him.

I told him that I had been instructed to notify him when I received word from Tehran of date of release. As matters now stand therefore texts of document in question are in Foreign Offices in London and Chungking, but unless you have sent text direct there is none in Washington. Do you wish me to cable text in advance to State Department to be held pending instructions as to date of release or are you taking action in Tehran?


The President’s special assistant to the Minister in Egypt

Tehran, 29 November 1943

Your instructions are as follows: Give text of communiqué to OWI with instructions that it is released for publication at 2330 hours Greenwich Meridian Time Wednesday December 1 under Cairo date line. News services will be given text of communiqué at 1700 hours Cairo Time Tuesday November 30 to facilitate transmission. Release terms must warn that all material is secret and confidential until the hour for published release and must not be discussed outside newspaper offices or speculated upon in any way. No pre-announcement will be made concerning tendency of important announcement and newspapers and radio stations are directed not to make advance statements of any kind whatsoever until exact hour of release. Background material at Cairo is subject to same release conditions. Stories released must include information all principals have left Cairo for unannounced destinations. Pictures are released same hour or whenever transmission is possible. These instructions are approved by the President. Notify Chinese Minister in detail. Also send immediately highest priority full copy these instructions with text communiqué to Steve Early, Secretary to the President, Washington, DC.

U.S. State Department (November 30, 1943)

The Assistant Secretary of War to the President’s special assistant

Cairo, 30 November 1943

Memorandum for Mr. Hopkins:

We have worked out with the British an arrangement for handling civil affairs, so called, in conjunction with the European Advisory Commission which I think will be satisfactory:

First, we agree to treat the EAC seriously and to put good men who are familiar with what has already been going on, on the staff to help Winant.

Second, they agree to forget their idea of moving the Combined Civil Affairs Committee to London and will empower their representatives in Washington to go ahead and function.

Third, all recommendations made by the EAC will be first submitted to the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington for their comments and suggestions before being submitted as final recommendations to the respective governments.

Fourth, the Combined Chiefs of Staff will prepare the final directives for the commanders in the field, based on the determinations of the three governments as thus obtained – the detailed planning to be carried forward by the local command.

This general setup was agreed to in my conference with Eden and later Jebb, his assistant, before leaving for Tehran said he felt “London” (whoever that was) would go along. He asked me to prepare a memo embodying this agreement for final confirmation on his return which I have done.

This in my judgement is the best that can be done and I have gotten Hull’s and Stimson’s approval of it. If you say O.K. I think it can be put across. My only concern is as to how expeditiously the EAC will function. I do not get the impression that Winant is a fast administrator but we will give him as good a staff as we can collect. If it works at that end it will work at ours.

Will you phone me?