840.00/9–2649: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

1188. For Acting Secretary and Mr. Rusk from Secretary. Mr. Schuman called on me at my request this morning at eleven o’clock and stayed about one-half hour. I told him that I had two matters which I should like to discuss with him.

[Here follows discussion on devaluation of the German mark.1]

The second matter which I wished to speak to Mr. Schuman about grew out of an apparent misunderstanding of something which Mr. Bonnet had understood me to say. I said that Mr. Wapler, the Counsellor of the Embassy, had arrived in Paris on Friday with a report from the Ambassador on our talks in Washington. The substance of this report had been communicated to our Ambassador, who reported to us that it had caused considerable concern in the Foreign Office and to the Prime Minister.

Mr. Bonnet apparently believed that a historical policy decision had been made in Washington to the effect that special relations would be established by the United States and the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and that the US relations with nations on the continent would now be altered, contrary to the principles of OEEC, the Atlantic Treaty, etc. I thought it probable that the Ambassador’s view had grown out of an article by the Alsop Brothers2 some days ago, in the light of which he had quite misinterpreted a statement which I had made regarding French leadership on the continent.

Mr. Schuman interrupted to say that he was quite at a loss to understand how anyone could have gotten such an idea; that Bonnet [Page 339] had never expressed it to him; that he had never so interpreted it; and that he remembered well the remark in question which had been made by me to Mr. Bevin, Mr. Schuman and Senator Connally. It Has to the effect that the future of Western Europe depended upon the establishment of understanding between the French and the Germans; that this could only be brought about by the French, and only as fast as the French were prepared to go; and that, therefore, the role of the US and UK in this matter was to advise and to assist the French and not put them in the position of being forced reluctantly to accept American or UK ideas.

I then said that I should like to be quite clear that we understood one another by going over this entire matter again. I pointed out the deep concern of the US in Europe, which had been increasingly manifested since the war and which culminated in the Marshall Plan, the NAP, and the MAP bill. These were certainly not steps looking toward the abandonment of France, but, on the contrary, were the increasing association of the US with the Atlantic community. Mr. Schuman agreed enthusiastically.

[The remainder of the telegram concerns economic matters.]

  1. For documentation on this subject, see vol. iii, pp. 448 ff.
  2. Stewart J. O. Alsop and Joseph W. Alsop, Jr., coauthors of an American syndicated newspaper column.