Voltando um pouco no livro (Their Finest Hour), me lembrei de uma interessantíssima passagem, um tanto esquecida em outros livros e materiais.
Na beira do colapso francês, cogitou-se uma união formal das nações britânica e francesa, idealizadas por M. Reynaud, de Gaule, Churchill e outros. Segue abaixo a declaração formal:
DECLARATION OF UNION
At this most fateful moment in the history of the modern world the Governments of the United Kingdon and the French Republic make this declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves.
The two Governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations, but one Franco-British Union
The constitution of the Union will provide for joint organs of defense, foreign, financial, and economic policies.
Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France.
Both countries will share responsibility for the repair of the devastation of war, wherever it occurs in their territories, and the resources of both shall be equally, and as one, applied to that purpose.
During the war there shall be a single War Cabinet, and all the forces of Britain and France, whether on land, sea, or in the air, will be placed under its decision. It will govern from wherever it best can. The two Parliaments will be formally associated. The nations of the British Empire are already forming new armies. France will keep her appeals to the United States to fortify the economic resources of the Allies, and to bring her powerful material aid to the common cause.
The Union will concentrate its whole energy against the power of the enemy, no matter where the battle may be.
And thus we shall conquer.
Este foi o último grande esforço feito pela Grã Bretanha para a salvação da França. Contudo, mesmo com o apoio de M. Reynaud e de Gaule, a proposta foi recebida na França com diferentes reações, e, por fim, rechaçada.
The final scene in the Reynaud Cabinet was as follows.
The hopes which M. Reynaud had founded upon the Declaration of Union were soon dispelled. Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception. The Premier read the document twice to the Council. He declared himself strongly for it, and added that he was arranging a meeting with me [Churchill] for the next day to discuss the details. But the agitated Ministers, some famous, some nobodies, torn by divisions and under the terrible hammer of defeat, were staggered. Some, we are told, had heard about it by a tapping of telephones. These were the defeatists. Most were wholly unprepared to receive such far-reaching themes. The overwhelming feeling of the Council was to reject the whole plan. Surprise and mistrust dominated the majority, and even the most friendly and resolute were baffled. The Council had met expecting to receive the answer to the French request, on which they had all agreed, that if our formal answer had been laid before them the majority would have accepted our primary condition about sending their Fleet to Britain, or at least would have made some other suitable proposal and thus have freed them to open negotiations with the enemy, while reserving to themselves a final option of retirement to Africa if the German conditions were too severe. But now there was a classic example of "Order, counter-order, disorder".
Paul Reynaud was quite unable to overcome the unfavourable impression which the proposal of Anglo-French Union created. The defeatist section, led by Marshal Pétain, refused even to examine it. Violent charges were made. It was a "a last-minute plan", a "surprise", "a scheme to put France in tutelage, or to carry of her colonial empire". It relegated to France, so they said, to the position of a Dominion. Others complained that not even equality of status was offered to the French, because Frenchmen were to receive only the citizenship of the Bristish Empire instead of that Great Britain, while British were to be citizens of France. This suggestion is constradicted by the text.
Beyond these came other arguments. Weygand had conviced Pétain without much difficult that England was lost. High French military authorities had advised: "In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a children." To make a union with Great Britain was, according to Pétain, "fusion with a corpse". Ybarnegary, who had been so stout in the previous war, exclaimed: "Better be a Nazi province. At least we know what that means." Senator Reibel, a personal friend of General Weygand's, declared that this scheme meant complete destruction for France, and anyhow definite subordination to England. In vain did Reynaud reply: "I prefer to collaborate with my allies rather than with my enemies." And Mandel: "Would you rather be a German district than a British Dominion?" All was in vain.
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Vol. II, Página 186-188.
Mais: uma matéria sobre documentos secretos apontando para uma união entre França e Inglaterra em 1950: BBC.