640.521/10–1050: Telegram

The Chargé in France ( Bohlen ) to the Secretary of State


1900. FonOff surprised to find press reports correct that in speech at Bremen October 8, Francois-Poncet had declared it desirable that Spain enter Council of Europe. Does not yet have text of speech so unable say whether he mentioned any conditions, but in any case declares High Commissioner was expressing only personal opinion in matter, in no way spokesman for government on Spanish policy.1

Sent Department 1900; repeated info Madrid 32, Frankfort 211, pouched Strasbourg.

  1. In telegram 1904 to the Embassy in France dated October 12, 1950, the Department asked for copies of Francois-Poncet’s remarks “re desirability Spain membership Council of Europe.” The Embassy in France responded in despatch 1150 of November 10, 1950, enclosing Francois-Poncet’s speech with the added comment that “As the Department will at once recognize, the mention of Spain is so incidental that reference to Franco Spain is by no means certain.” The Embassy further noted that “an informal note from a [French] Foreign Office official enclosing the relevant excerpts from the French text of Francois-Poncet’s speech points out that he was not speaking even as French High Commissioner” and that he had opened his speech with the disclaimer “that he was speaking in any official capacity.” (740.00/10–1250 and 740.00/11–1050)

    Nonetheless, there was an attempt made during the November 18–24, 1950, session of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe to propose a resolution supporting the entry of Spain into the Council. This initiative was under the direction of the French Liberal Republican Delegate, André Mutter. However, according to Consul in Strasbourg George D. Andrews (despatch 211, December 1, 1950) so little support developed for such a proposal that the informal Spanish observers at the Assembly Session urged its sponsors to abandon it, which was done (740.00/12–150).