740.022/6–2150: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


3020. Dept believes Monod has misapprehension re scope proposed bilateral colonial discussions (ReEmbtel 3015 June 19).2 Jul talks in our view intended carry out para 2 page 1 of MIN/TRI/P/21. Included beginning proposed agenda were two genl subjects but purpose was under those discuss general colonial problems as background to consideration specific UN problems and Dept wishes confine forthcoming talks to UN problems as envisaged when we first raised this with Fr beginning of 1950, in discussions between two dels in NY at last Assembly and during London mtgs.

This approach outlined in some detail to Benard, first secy Fr Emb by Hare June 19. Benard was further advised Dept not prepared at this time to comment on matters other than UN listed annex 1 MIN/TRI/P/21 since position on proposals other than UN matters not yet formulated. During conversation Benard was advised that McGhee and possibly other members staff NEA wld be prepared stop off Paris either on way to or returning from Tangier Consular Conf scheduled first week Oct3 for informal discussion Af problems with Fr shld they desire such a mtg. Presumably Benard has communicated this info his govt.

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This does not preclude in forthcoming talks some discussion of Af as it may bear on UN questions and shld Fr desire present in further detail info re proposals advanced at London or any new ideas re colonial problems such views may be presented at July mtg or in separate talks with Dept officials. It shld be made clear to Fr, however, that Dept will not be prepared at July mtg to comment on Fr views set forth annex 1 MIN/TRI/P/21 or on other substantive aspects of Af affairs, except UN matters, for reason lack of preparation mentioned above.4 For your info it appears to Dept that Fr are primarily interested in securing some commitment from US for financial aid in implementing long-range econ development plan for Af and Dept not prepared at this time discuss or make any commitments along this line.

Dept hopes, however, that Fr will send someone from Paris to participate forthcoming talks. Explain this in detail to Fr so they will not have misconception re forthcoming talks and attempt secure Fr concurrence urgently to date July and their final preference as to place between NY and Wash.

  1. Repeated to London as 3126.
  2. The telegram under reference here, not printed, reported that Guy Monod, Head of the African Division of the French Foreign Ministry, had asked the Embassy whether the Department of State was prepared to give its reaction to the French statement of policy on Africa set forth in Annex 1 to document MIN/TRI/P/21, May 9, approved at the meetings of American, British, and French Foreign Ministers in London, May 11–13. The French Foreign Ministry was prepared to send its African experts to the United States for proposed conversations on colonial problems in the United Nations only if substantive African problems were to be discussed. The telegram further observed that the French Foreign Ministry was obviously still smarting under what the French considered cavalier American treatment of the African item on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers meetings in London (740.022/6–2150). Regarding the meetings of the Foreign Ministers in London in May and document MIN/TRI/P/21, see the editorial note, p. 1541. Regarding the U.S.-British, U.S.-French, and U.S.-Belgian talks in Washington in July on colonial problems in the United Nations, see the editorial note, infra.
  3. Regarding the North African Regional Conference of U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Officers held at Tangier, October 2–9, see the memorandum of November 6 from Assistant Secretary of State McGhee to the Secretary of State, p 1573.
  4. In response to a British suggestion in late May that the proposed U.S.-British talks on colonial problems be extended to include a wide-ranging discussion of Africa, the Embassy in London was instructed (telegram 2631, June 1, to London) to inform the Foreign Office that the Department of State was prepared to have discussions on Africa later in London at some mutually convenient time (740.022/5–3150). Telegram 8, July 3, to Brussels, not printed, instructed that the Belgian Foreign Ministry be informed that the Department was not currently prepared to discuss substantive aspects of African affairs but was willing to have separate talks on Africa with Belgian officials at some mutually convenient time and place (350/6–3050).