396.1/1–851: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


3593. 1. Our next tel2 transmits our draft of proposed reply to Sov note Dec 30 re CFM.3 Pls hand copy to FonOff and discuss with them fol points. We will also give copies to Brit and Fr Embs. (FYI only, substance of draft has been discussed on a personal informal basis with Franks arid Chauvel, whose Suggestions have been taken into account, and we therefore hope that it will meet with Fr and Brit concurrence without substantial change. Under no circumstances should fact that Chauvel commented on draft be divulged.4)

2. On Jan 6 Fr Emb left with Dept Aide-Mémoire indicating

Council of Mins of Jan 3 indicated preference for Paris as site for “quadripartite conference on agenda of four-power conference”.
If this agreeable, logical that Paris also be site for tripartite exchange of views for purpose drafting reply to Sov. note.
Choice of Paris for preliminary conversations wld not prejudice designation of city where CFM wld eventually be held.5

3. Our draft holds to position that ultimate CFM shld be in US on principle of rotation so far followed, and that N.Y. wld therefore be most convenient site for quadripartite exploratory talks. If agreed by Brit and Fr this will dispose of points 2 (a) and (c) of Fr Aide-Mémoire. Re point (b) we hope that, on basis of our draft, agreement on reply to Sov note can be obtained through diplomatic channels without reconstituting Paris working group.6 (FYI Chauvel supports New York as locus.)

4. There remains important question of time, place and personnel for reaching tripartite agreement on positions to be taken in exploratory talks with Sovs.

As to time, we think that we shld aim at initiating tripartite discussions as soon as possible, preferably next week, even if agreement has not then been reached with Sovs on holding exploratory talks.
As to place we still prefer US (preferably NY) as stated above.
As you know Jessup has been designated to represent US. Problem has been complicated by Bonnet’s hurt feelings resulting from original meeting with Franks and Chauvel in Washington. We gather that Chauvel has been instructed to keep out of it but we are not clear whether this means only such discussions as may take place in Wash or only question of reply to Sov note. We wld appreciate clarification. One solution wld be for talks to take place in NY, the Brit switch from Franks to Jebb and Fr redesignate Chauvel. Another wld be for Parodi to rep Fr (FYI we understand from Bohlen Parodi was thinking of doing this). Second alternative wld straighten out BonnetChauvel tangle regardless of whether talks took place in Wash or NY. In this case Brit cld use either Franks or Jebb, as they prefer.

  1. This telegram was drafted by Bonbright and sent also for action to London and repeated to Moscow and Frankfurt.
  2. Telegram 3594, infra.
  3. Ante, p. 1051.
  4. Memoranda of Jessup’s conversations with Chauvel and Franks on January 2, with Franks on January 5, and with Chauvel again on January 6 are in files 396.1/1–251, 1–551, and 1–851.
  5. A copy of the French aide-mémoire and an English translation are in file 396.1/1–651.
  6. The Paris working group, established in November 1950 to coordinate a reply to the Soviet note of November 3, had consisted of representatives from the French Foreign Ministry and the Embassies of the United States and United Kingdom.