751.5/3–250: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France

top secret

885. This is State–Defense msg. Request you see Pleven and hand him fol personal msg from Sec Johnson. Begin verbatim text.

My dear Mr. Minister: I appreciate the splendid and heartening efforts that you are making to increase the efficiency of the Fr armament programs. There can be no doubt that any increase in armament production wld not be really significant if it lacked the latest technical knowledge. I know that you fully realize that every nation, through research and development programs, is likely to solve problems and techniques that wld be profitable to associated countries and that an exchange of info between us may be of great benefit. Where national security interests are involved these exchanges necessarily proceed slowly—not from lack of intent, but because of the circumstances of various national laws and procedures. I hope, and I am sure you share the hope, that the manifest spirit of cooperation in the North Atlantic Treaty Org will provide a basis for coping with this problem.

Meanwhile, I shld like to offer to you such technical assistance as the US Mil Depts are empowered to make available to your country. Accordingly, I suggest that you make specific requests of the US for technical info pending such time as more comprehensive arrangements are made. The Dept of Defense has effected an arrangement whereby requests for US mil info delivered to our Gen Kibler,1 Joint Amer Mil Advisory Group, in London, will be transmitted back to the US for consideration by a technical group of experts. If this technical group can, under existing laws and regs, release info we shall do so promptly in order that you may immed benefit from it.

We have been greatly impressed and encouraged by the spirit of cooperation and endeavor that the Fr Gov, and yourself, have displayed in strenuously attacking the crucial problem of creating an effective defense under the North Atlantic Treaty.

[Page 28]

With kind personal regards, I am, Sincerely yours, Louis Johnson. End Text.

In interview with Pleven you shld inform him further along fol lines. Problem of exchanging mil info for purpose harmonizing or standardizing on weapons and doctrines in North Atlantic Treaty Org is recognized by US as of vital importance. Although some time will pass before satisfactory arrangements have been evolved for dealing with this question on NATO basis, it is to be hoped that mutual cooperation which is growing day by day in NATO will enable us to proceed with solving problem.

We are pleased report that US and United Kingdom have recently adopted identical policies that permit disclosure of technical info hitherto unreleasable to third nations because it was combined in such a way as to be the sole property of neither US nor United Kingdom.

Under existing circumstances best course of action insofar as US info concerned is for Mr. Pleven continue submit Fr requests for details with respect specific US items or US fields development through Gen Kibler, Joint Amer Mil Advisory Group in Europe. Although no commitment can be made now that all such requests will receive favorable action, a special provision has been made for handling such requests. You may assure Mr. Pleven we are giving and will continue give serious and urgent consideration requests recd through this channel.

Letter quoted above being sent Emb air pouch.

  1. Maj. Gen. A. Franklin Kibler, Director of the JAMAG.