762.022/1–1354: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


CA–3633. Now that Laniel government “reinvested” we hope Bidault though undoubtedly preoccupied with Berlin Conference2 might as soon as possible seek further progress towards agreement with Adenauer on Saar. Understand from Paris despatch 16703 Bidault has not intended move before end of January due Berlin Conference and expected government crisis which, however, has not materialized so that Bidault might be persuaded take action once possibilities Berlin Conference clarified. Unlikely that final agreement sufficient EDC ratification purposes can be reached, and presumably should not be announced, until immediately prior Assembly EDC debate, but much further negotiation may well be necessary, particularly on economic aspects, before full meeting minds achieved with substance agreement cleared with respective cabinets, and early resumption serious bilateral conversations therefore desirable to prevent post-Berlin delays on EDC due Saar problem.

Although Adenauer understandably reluctant make substantial concessions until French ratification prospects clear, agreement by Bidault and Adenauer to make implementation of settlement conditional upon ratification EDC (penultimate paragraph reference despatch) seems [Page 872] possible and would go far to make earlier serious negotiations possible, perhaps during possible lull Berlin Conference by Francois-Poncet if not Bidault, or immediately after. If Bidault reaction favorable formula along foregoing lines, Adenauer would be urged in return embark upon serious negotiations at first opportunity.

Presence of Secretary and Eden on continent with Bidault4 and in contact with Adenauer would appear offer exceptional possibilities for accomplishments on Saar problem. Addressees’ comments desired (London after consultation with Foreign Office).

  1. Drafted by Fisher and Blumberg, cleared in substance by MacArthur, initialed for the Secretary by Bonbright. Sent also to Bonn and London, repeated to Strasbourg.
  2. Documentation on the Four-Power Conference at Berlin, Jan. 25–Feb. 18, 1954 is presented in volume vii .
  3. Summarized in footnote 6, p. 851.
  4. Both Dulles and Eden attended the Berlin Conference.