320.2–AC/3–951: Telegram

The Acting United States Representative at the United Nations (Gross) to the Secretary of State

secret   priority

1249. Re collective measure[s] committee. Upon instructions from his government, Lacoste raised following points with me afternoon March 8 re CMC.

At time uniting for peace resolution was under discussion between US and France, we had given certain assurances to French Government upon which they relied in reaching their decision to vote for the resolution. One such general assurance, according to Lacoste, was that by agreeing to resolution France was not making a commitment in advance on subject of military measures. The French were deeply disturbed to find in US formulation of program of work suggestions re military measure which had not previously been discussed.

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In addition, French had understood that initial statement of US representative before CMC would be limited in general to “introductory matériel” and general expression of hope for success of committee. However, “to great surprise” of French delegation and of French Government, initial statement went far beyond this and dealt with specifics about which French had not been informed.1 On substance of work of committee, French Government believes priority should be accorded to economic and political measures.

With regard to military measures, French Government hoped that there would be close advance coordination of views between US, UK and France. As first step in this direction, UK delegation, with complete agreement of French, had arranged meeting to be held morning March 9, to which Generals Penette2 and Crittenberger3 have been invited. Finally, a major preoccupation of French Government was to prevent UN from becoming a “holy alliance”. French laid great importance upon “universality principle” of UN and, although this should not be taken as indicating a diminution of realization of France concerning vital importance of solidarity and close coordination “among friends”, we should nevertheless keep in mind the central function of UN. In this connection, French Government desires to stress importance it perceives in avoiding action in the UN which would encroach upon or cut across functions of NAT organization.

I reminded Lacoste that we had a specially designated deputy representative charged with responsibility for CMC operations. He replied he was aware of this and intended to discuss foregoing with our deputy representative on CMC, but he had been instructed to present foregoing views to “head of US delegation”.

  1. For text of the statement by Harding F. Bancroft, Deputy United States Representative, at the First Meeting of the Collective Measures Committee, March 5, see Department of State Bulletin, March 19, 1951, pp. 460–462.
  2. Gen. de Brigade Marcel Penette, French Army Representative on the United Nations Military Staff Committee.
  3. Lt. Gen. Willis D. Crittenberger, United States Army Representative on the United Nations Military Staff Committee.