The French Yellow Book

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No. 333 :
The French Government's Reply to the Appeal of the President of the United States of America regarding Aerial Bombardment. Paris, September 1, 1939.

THE French Government hastens to reply to the appeal which the President of the United States of America has addressed to all the Governments which are liable to be involved in the conflict, requesting them to refrain from having recourse, in any event and circumstances, to aerial bombardment of civilian populations.

The French Government highly appreciates the spirit which inspires the step taken by Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt and affirms its intention to conduct hostilities, if war should be imposed upon it as a result of German aggression, in strict conformity with the laws of warfare, and to do everything within its power to spare civilian populations the sufferings which modern warfare can involve. It is in this spirit of humanity, which has ever dictated in all circumstances the conduct of the French Government, that orders have already been given to the Commanders-in-Chief of all the French forces.

These orders exclude in particular the bombardment of civil populations and restrict aerial bombardment to strictly military objectives.

It is, of course, understood that the French Government reserves the right to have recourse to any action it may consider appropriate if its adversary should not observe the restrictions which the French Government has itself imposed upon the operations of its own Air Force.

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