740.00119 Council/5–2148: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

top secret
us urgent

1791. Embtel 2720 May 21.1 Pls reply to Bidault along following lines:

U.S. Govt has in recent months received a number of indications of French Govt’s concern at state of international situation. While many unfavorable developments have taken place during past two years, there have of late been increasing indications that firm policies of Free Powers have already had stabilizing effect and tended to reduce tension.

[Page 636]

U.S. Govt is convinced it can best contribute to further stabilization and improvement of situation by continuing calmly and resolutely to follow this same firm course. It has endeavored to make clear to all concerned both its determination to do so and fact its policies can in no sense be justifiably taken as provocation by any one. These considerations apply equally to U.S. efforts to strengthen free countries of Europe, both through ERP and through eventual military support of some type which President has made clear will be provided with determination equal to that of free Europeans to defend themselves and for which broad nonpartisan public approval is being progressively gained. In this connection, French Govt has doubtless noted resolution unanimously recommended to U.S. Senate by Foreign Relations Committee on May 19.2 That resolution provides a powerful bipartisan initiative looking toward implementation of President’s March 17 declaration.3

U.S. Govt fully agrees on desirability of maintaining unity of policy in action between three Western Powers and trusts that French Govt, as well as Brit Govt, agrees as to soundness of position expressed above. While spectacular high-level meeting at this time might well have unfortunate repercussions, direct consultation between them is currently taking place in London. U.S. Govt hopes this consultation will further consolidate such unity. Should it fail to do so, effect on public opinion in a number of countries, including U.S., would indeed be unfortunate.

Mr. Marshall has asked me to express his earnest personal hope that French Govt can see its way clear to approving program for Western Germany formulated in London talks.4 After reviewing all aspects of problem, Mr. Marshall is convinced dangers of delay are more serious than those involved in implementing it promptly.

In larger field of security, U.S. Govt desires to strengthen ability of free nations of Europe resolutely to resist aggression and their confidence that they can successfully do so. It contemplates doing so in association with signatories of Five-Power Treaty5 and other nations in accordance with Senate resolution. It also desires to contribute toward maintenance of peace by making clear that, while its policies threaten no one, any armed attack affecting its national security will be met by immediate exercise of right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of Charter. When Senate resolution has been passed, form and extent of U.S. association with parties to [Page 637] Five-Power Treaty of March 17 will be developed in consultation with parties to that Treaty. U.S. Govt will be motivated by desire to achieve objectives stated above and will give careful consideration to views of French, Brit, and Benelux Govts as to best means of achieving them.

(Sent Paris as 1791; rptd London as 1906; Berlin as 910.)

  1. Not printed; it stated that Bidault had handed Caffery a note which referred to the recent American-Soviet conversations in Moscow (see vol. iv, pp. 834864.) and called for urgent direct conversations between the American, British, and French Governments. (740.00119 Council/5–2148)
  2. See footnote 1, p. 118.
  3. See p. 54.
  4. Documentation on Germany is included in volume ii .
  5. For documentation relating to United States interest in the treaty signed at Brussels, see pp. 1 ff.