Mediation by Roosevelt to end war urged in Paris (5-19-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (May 19, 1941)

By Ralph Heinzen, United Press staff writer

Vichy, May 19 –
Paris newspapers, dominated and partly owned by Germany, have started a concerted campaign to try to induce President Roosevelt to mediate in the war.

They said that, as a result of the Balkan and Libyan campaigns, French observers were convinced that neither the Axis nor Britain was strong enough to strike a decisive blow now, and that Mr. Roosevelt had the choice of arranging a peace by compromise or taking the United States into the war, either wilfully or as the result of convoys.

With the new strength resulting from her switch-over to war production, the United States could virtually dictate peace terms between the Axis nations and Britain, the newspapers said.

They said that, if Mr. Roosevelt wanted to mediate, France would throw her influence behind him, but that if Mr. Roosevelt decided to back Britain in an attempt to wear down the Axis nations in a long war, France would fulfill her pledge to collaborate with Germany in agricultural and industrial matters.

French observers believe that if there is no mediation, the Axis powers will make a spirited drive against Gibraltar and Suez in the next six months, and that by the end of 1941, they will have captured both, driving the British fleet from the Mediterranean.

The campaign for President Roosevelt’s intervention did not soften the anti-American tone of the press of occupied France. Anti-democratic writers continued to denounce President Roosevelt’s foreign policy.

Vichy, May 19 –
Germany has consented to liberate all French military prisoners, totalling about 100,000, who served as non-commissioned officers or privates in both the present and the last wars, it was announced today.