Editorial Note

Between April 15 and April 22, a number of telegrams were exchanged between Washington and Paris regarding the tripartite reply to the Soviet note. Draft replies submitted by the United States were considered too aggressive and not sufficiently convincing by the French who favored a draft reply submitted by the United Kingdom which officials in Washington considered insufficiently firm. (Telegrams 3911 and 3912 of April 15, 3970 and 3971 of April 20 from Paris, and 3721 of April 17 to Paris, as well as the memorandum from Walter J. Stoessel to Henry Cox, April 21, and Walworth Barbour’s memorandum for the files, April 21, documenting the course of negotiations regarding the draft tripartite reply are in file 740.5.)

In telegram 4022 from Paris, April 22, Dillon reported that the final text of the reply to the Soviet note of March 31 “as approved by Secretary, Eden and Bidault this afternoon and communicated to members of the North Atlantic Council” would be transmitted in the immediately following telegram, and the Missions at Bonn, Berlin, and Vienna were instructed to communicate the text in “concert with British and French colleagues” as soon as possible in accordance with established procedures to German and Austrian authorities “stating text not yet finally approved by three governments but that it is hoped to transmit to Soviet Government before opening of Geneva conference” (740.5/4–2254). Dulles, Eden, and Bidault were at Paris to [Page 505] attend the Thirteenth Session of the North Atlantic Council which met April 23. See the editorial note, page 508. The text of the draft tripartite reply to the Soviet note of March 31 approved by the Foreign Ministers of the United States, United Kingdom, and France on April 22 is printed infra. Subsequent amendments to this draft reply were communicated to the Department in telegrams 4057 and 4203 from Paris, April 23, and May 4, respectively (740.5/4–2354, 5–454). The final text of the reply to the Soviet note, as formally approved by the three governments, was transmitted in telegram 4228 from Paris, May 6 (740.5/5–654) and was delivered by the United States Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 7. It is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, May 17, 1954, pages 756–757.