740.5/1–252: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 2

top secret

3784. Eyes only from Secretary. Have read cables from Bruce on recent Mins mtg in Paris on EDF.3 Appreciate excellent and prompt reporting of developments.

Most fundamental factor of conference seems to be close identity of views of Fr, Gers and Italians. It wld appear from reports that these three nations cld have reached final agmt on most, if not all, of important issues in estab of EDC.

Because of the confusion of the discussion it is hard for us to tell in what matters and to what degree Benelux nations will give way and how far the other three can go to meet them without prejudicing the great opportunity which the Three Power agmt offers for EUR. We assume that this will be fully explored before the alternatives of The Three going ahead alone or accepting failure are contemplated.

Of primary importance in analyzing the best course of action wld be the views of Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi as to what shld be done. We are somewhat in doubt as to how matter was actually left when mtgs ended and whether any understanding was reached between these Three as to what to do about situation. I shld appreciate any info you can furnish along these lines as well as recommendations as to how to proceed. As this will be one of major issues in talks with Churchill need reply by end of this week at latest.4

[Page 572]

Related subj: I am infomed that Fr have formally requested Pierson for delay of approximately two weeks in date of Lisbon mtg.5 Reason advanced was not related to progress on EDF Treaty but to allow time for debate in France this subj after parliament convenes in late Jan. Appreciate your views on desirability this postponement and effect it may have your respective countries.6

  1. This telegram, which was also sent as 869 to Bonn for McCloy and as 3006 to Rome for Dunn, was drafted by Byroade (GER) who cleared it in draft with Acheson and Perkins (EUR) and who signed for the Secretary.
  2. Regarding the Six-Power Foreign Ministers Meetings in Paris, Dec. 27–30, 1951, regarding the proposed European Defense Community, see the editorial note, Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. iii, Part 1, p. 980.
  3. Between Jan. 5 and 18, 1952, Prime Minister Churchill, Foreign Secretary Eden, and a party of advisers held a number of meetings in Washington with President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, and other American officials. The meetings ranged over a wide spectrum of world problems including the European Defense Community project and NATO. Documentation on the ChurchillEden visit is presented in volume vi .
  4. Regarding the French request under reference here, see also Schuman’s letter of Jan. 2 to Acheson, p. 1.
  5. In telegram 3962, Jan. 3, from Paris, Bruce indicated that he already had presented his views on the subject in an earlier telegram and preferred to wait until the current French crisis was over before having new conversations with French officials and commenting further (740.5/1–352). For the McCloy and Dunn responses to this message, see telegram 927, Jan. 3, from Bonn and telegram 3032, Jan. 5, from Rome, pp. 576 and 578, respectively.