396.1 LO/5–450: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State
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Secto 133. Re Secto 123 (Paris 736).1 Massigli informed tripartite subcommittee on SEA this afternoon2 that he had important statement to make for French delegation. US draft assessing situation SEA (Secto 903) had caused considerable emotion in Paris. US–UK [Page 946] revised draft does not basically modify original.4 He had received instruction from Paris to state that French Government considers there is great discrepancy between the assessment of the critical nature of the situation in SEA including the disastrous results which would follow upon withdrawal of French and UK forces from the area and the consequences which the US Government appears to draw from this assessment. Some time ago French Government drew attention of US Government to necessity for extensive US aid for Indochina. While certain US assistance measures are mentioned in document, French Government considers the document as a whole does not bring out the common interest in the area and US Government does not seem understand urgency and extent of the measures necessary to deal adequately with critical Indochinese situation. Consequently Massigli was instructed not to associate himself with any joint document on SEA situation drafted in the preparatory talks, since French Government reserved its entire position on question until Schuman had opportunity take up matter with Acheson in Paris and Bevin London.

Jessup vigorously presented following points: purpose preparatory meetings was to make assessment areas of agreement or disagreement as they emerge on official level for presentation to minister. If differences of degree of emphasis were found they should be recorded. Such differences frequently occurred in policy conclusions. US draft however, was largely factual in nature and there were surely points of fact in combined US–UK draft to which French delegation could agree. Questions of emphasis could be discussed and perhaps modified. Would not French delegation be willing proceed to record such agreements and disagreements in such form as would permit subcommittee to present them to plenary session and so fulfill its functions.

Massigli stated his instruction did not permit him discuss draft in any form at present. He suggested best procedure would be for agreed draft to go to plenary as such with note of French reservations on its entirety. He would in meantime seek new instruction from Paris and hoped by Saturday morning he might be in position to give further views his government.

Jessup then made personal plea he be permitted fulfill purpose his presence in London. He was to meet Secretary Sunday morning in Paris with record principal agreements and disagreements. He felt he should be able take with him at very least statement of extent of agreements reached on factual points re SEA and again asked Massigli that discussions proceed on these points. Massigli expressed inability do so.

[Page 947]

Remainder subcommittee proceedings follow separately.5

Sent Department Secto 133, repeated Paris 743.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 1 to Secto 135, supra.
  2. The fourth meeting of Subcommittee C was held at 5:30 p. m. in the India Office.
  3. Regarding the text of the U.S. draft, see Secto 135, supra, and footnotes 8 and 4 thereto.
  4. Transmitted in Secto 135, supra.
  5. Secto 146, May 5, not printed (396.1 LO/5–550). It reported that the subcommittee had approved the text of the minute on arms smuggling and publicity, transmitted in Secto 136, infra, and agreed that two drafts of a final declaration of solidarity on Southeast Asia would be submitted to the Foreign Ministers for decision.