The “Special Relationship” in Action

In 1943, the allied powers met at Hot Springs, Arkansas, to discuss the future of food and agriculture in the post-war order. I’m going to spend more time researching this event, but in the meantime, enjoy a brief excerpt from a British report on the conference which illustrates how British politicians thoroughly enjoyed playing the new superpower–the USA–against a traditional “great power,” France.

WP (43) 275, 28 June 1943, War Cabinet, “Food Conference,” memorandum by the Sec of State for Foreign Affairs.

Appendix, Mr Law’s report. “There was to be one official language—English. This provoked a characteristic protest from the French, who demanded that French should be adopted, in accordance with precedents, as a second official language. The proposition was turned down by the Conference. It was, however, only the first of a series of clumsy and childish manoeuvres designed to assert the rights of France as a Great Power. These tactics failed in all respects save one: they succeeded in irritating the Americans to the point of frenzy.”

From CO 852/503/12, TNA (UK).

Don’t miss these American political cartoons about the conference: http://ww2cartoons.org/june-1943-fdr-eleanors-food-conference/

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