740.00119 EW/10–3145: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

6326. When Angell and Phelps47 made a courtesy call on Alphand latter suggested that while Separations Delegation is here it might be opportune time for French to present on technical level in detail certain aspects of France’s proposed program for control of Ruhr, Rhineland and Saar.

Alphand mentioned his conversations with British in London last week and indicated that Assistant Secretary Dunn had been kept fully informed. He added that he was going to Moscow about November 15 on number of economic matters and hopes at that time to present to Russians explanation of French Ruhr proposals. He expressed hope that prior to his departure French would have opportunity to discuss French Ruhr proposals with us here in Paris. Rueff, French reparations representative, subsequently expressed same hope. They evidently both take position that Ruhr, Rhineland and Saar are an integral part of reparation arrangement.

Chauvel48 also spoke of this to me and said that despite fact that Dunn could not come to Paris and that neither Alphand nor Couve de Murville could proceed to Washington for discussions he believes it would be useful for our reparations people to listen to elucidation of French proposals. He indicated that French feel that their proposals from an economic viewpoint “while perhaps not perfect are at least sound and workable” and therefore that possible economic objections to overall French proposals for control of Ruhr will be removed.

While Dept (which has available memoranda on French proposal) is in best position to gauge utility of providing an audience for French on this subject Minister Angell and I agree that presence in Paris of members of Reparations Delegation including State Dept Officers who are familiar with German and general European economic problems affords an excellent opportunity to obtain more information on French proposal.

Discussions would also certainly be welcomed by French as an indication that we have not adopted a fixed adverse position prior to hearing their proposals.

We understand of course that any discussions here would be solely for purpose of receiving an elucidation of French proposal and would [Page 890] not include discussions at a policy level. If Dept authorizes such discussions Alphand assumes that a formal reply would subsequently be made by US and Soviet Govts as well as by British indicating whether they would be prepared to consider proposal further. If their decisions were in affirmative, French would propose a quadripartite conference at the technical level.

Sent Dept 6326, repeated London 179 for Dunn and Berlin 183.

  1. Dudley M. Phelps, Chief of the Division of Foreign Economic Development, and Acting Director, Office of Financial and Development Policy, was Mr. Angeirs deputy.
  2. Jean Chauvel, Secretary General, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.