Memorandum by Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
for the record only
The Secretary went over to see the President on Friday afternoon.1 Mr. Harriman was also present at the meeting. The Secretary had requested the appointment to discuss with the President the action the United States takes with regard to the Council of Foreign Ministers.
On his return from the White House, the Secretary told a group of people from the Department that the President has very strong feelings about this matter. He believes that the sound course is to stick to the “triple play” and, if the British and French would do so, he would strongly prefer this course. The President is also inclined to believe we would win out on this stand. The President will authorize Mr. Jessup to make a package proposal if the British and French agree that this is the end. The President wanted it made very clear that Mr. [Page 1139] Jessup should do this in an off-the-record meeting as something he would propose if the others would accept. He also wanted it made very clear that this was not a step from which Mr. Jessup would bargain. He should also make clear that there would be no other proposals and that this was the end.
The President expressed himself as feeling very strongly that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should not be on the agenda in any way. The President takes the attitude that this is not something for the CFM to discuss. He also felt it would be preferable to give on the German demilitarization item since from a negotiating point of view it was better to put forward the item which we had already given in on in Alternative A. He feared that any other course might end up in our giving in on both NATO and German demilitarization. In so far as order of items on the Agenda, the President does not care as long as the Austrian item precedes the item on Trieste.
The foregoing is merely for the record, as action has been taken on it.
- May 11.↩