April 15, 1942

Pro-Nazi Laval Back in Power
VICHY, France—After the United States recognized the rule of the Free French in North Africa, the Vichy government of Marshal Petain last night angrily rejected the action. The statement was in response to a note from the United States Department of State to the French ambassador in Washington, delivered on April 13, indicating the United States has sent a consul-general to Free French Brazzaville in Equatorial Africa. The statement rejecting the American action occurred on the same day that Petain welcomed the return of the pro-Nazi Pierre Laval to a position of “chief of government” for the Vichy administration. Speculation is Laval will hold the real power, and it is expected open collaboration with the Nazis will begin, something that has thus far been avoided.

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