Gardiner Howland Shaw to Herbert Lockwood Willett, November 13, 1920




November 13, 1920.

Dr. Herbert L. Willett,
President, Chicago Church Federation,
Chicago, Ills.


The receipt is acknowledged of your communication of November 8, 1920, containing the text of resolutions adopted by the Chicago Church Federation concerning the alleged misconduct of French black troops in occupied regions of Germany.

In reply you are informed that when these stories of alleged outrages began to reach the Department an investigation was ordered and the reports received, both official and unofficial, indicate that the French colored troops have been greatly exaggerated, are in many instances totally false, and that they are being circulated as anti-French propaganda. The specific attacks made in the German press have been in almost every instance refuted by citizens of the Rhineland and by responsible German officials and in the few cases of proved misconduct the French have promptly punished the guilty. There were no negro troops in the forces of occupation of Frankfort in spite of stories to that effect. Furthermore, at no time has there been any large number of black troops in the French occupied district and it is understood that the French Government has now withdrawn all such troops. The Department would be grateful if you would report these facts to those who have subscribed to the resolutions of protest.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

For the Secretary of State:
(Signed) G. Howland Shaw.