JMAS.D-01 Felix Frankfurter Papers

Documents from [1940] to [1964]

Identity Statement

Reference Code
JMAS.D-01
Extent and Medium

n.4 files

Reference Archivists

Carr, Mary

Content and Structure

Abstract

In 1940, after the fall of France, Jean Monnet went to Washington and within six months he was working on a British assignment, with the approval of Winston Churchill to procure arms and to push for greater defence production. During this time Felix Frankfurter, newly appointed to the Supreme Court, by President Roosevelt introduced Monnet to many of the key officials in the Roosevelt administration. Monnet later came to exploit these new friendships in order to gain support for his plans for Europe. Frankfurter, a Jew, was dedicated to alerting Americans to the need for American involvement in supporting Great Britain and later the Soviet Union against Hitler. Particularly during Monnet's time in Algiers on behalf of the Combined Munitions Assignments Board, Frankfurter was Monnet's sounding board on his activities in North Africa. When General Giraud abrogated the Cremieux decree, which caused problems regarding citizenship for native Algerian jews, Frankfurter sought clarification from Monnet on what was occuring. Monnet's position with the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington aroused a lot of suspicion both sides of the Atlantic. Lord Halifax British Ambassador to the US sought Frankfurter's opinion on Monnet's credentials. Frankfurter not only personally endorsed Monnet but related to Halifax the high opinion in which Monnet was held by key officials such as Henry Stimson, Secretary of War, John McCloy and Robert Lovett, assistant Secretaries of War and Harry Hopkins, Presidential aide. These men spoke of Monnet in glowing terms, with reference to his loyalty, insight and experience. After the war Halifax wrote to Frankfurter, "Monnet was with such as Harry Hopkins, one of the real architects of our victory" 1. Frankfurter helped to make a reality of many of Monnet's ideas. When in 1941 Monnet suggested a joint Anglo-American Board for allocation of weapons his plan was endorsed by Frankfurter who presented the concept to Roosevelt, who established in January 1942 the War Production Board to co-ordinate supply programmes in the US. After the war Frankfurter stayed on in the Supreme Court but kept up his personal relationship in Monnet and always expressed interest and support for Monnet's endeavors.

Allied Materials

Location of Originals

The originals are held in various Archives and Presidential Libraries in the USA

Notes

Notes and Remarks

1. JEAN MONNET: THE FIRST STATESMAN OF INDEPENDENCE, Duchene, François, New York 1994, page 97

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