740.5/3–2354: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Dillon) to the Department of State 1


3483. Bidault only returned to Paris at 4 Monday afternoon so I was unable to see him regarding AHC problem until this morning. I went over with him briefly the arguments I had presented to Maurice Schumann on Saturday and Bidault then said that he realized that the French had come up with the idea of the link between AHC approval and the signature of the protocols2 very much too late in the [Page 911] game and that as a result it was susceptible of serious misinterpretation in Bonn and elsewhere.

Bidault said that what he was concerned about was the final result and not the means of achieving it. Therefore, he was prepared to drop the linking of AHC approval and the question of the protocols signature provided he could feel sure that Conant would use his full influence with Blankenhorn in support of the French position on protocols. Bidault said that his whole personal position in the National Assembly depended on proving that the protocols were fully as valid as the treaties themselves, and that if could not do this there was no hope of the EDC ever passing the French Assembly. The only way to prove to the French Assembly that they were fully valid would be to have them signed by Adenauer on behalf of and with the authority of the Chief of State.

Bidault said that what he would like would be for Conant to tell Blankenhorn quite frankly that it would be impossible to obtain ratification of the EDC in the French National Assembly unless the protocols were signed in the manner desired by the French.

I told Bidault that we felt his willingness to drop the link between protocols and AHC approval was most constructive attitude. I also said that we now fully realized the importance to him of the manner in which the protocols were signed by Germany, and that Conant was prepared to give his endorsement and full support to the French position after the question of AHC approval had been settled. On that basis, Bidault said, he would forward new instructions to Francois-Poncet today telling him that he need no longer insist on a definite link between AHC approval and the signature of the protocols. Poncet will probably wish to receive direct assurances from Conant regarding his support of the French position on the protocols before finally giving his agreement to the AHC ratification of the constitutional amendments.

Finally, Bidault told me that he had a four or five page memo which dealt in detail with the reasons why the protocol signature question was vitally important to EDC ratification in the Assembly. He said he would have a copy of this memo made and send it to me this afternoon.3

  1. Repeated to Bonn and London.
  2. Reference is to the additional protocols to the treaty instituting a European Defense Community drawn up in February and March 1953; see pp. 702 ff.
  3. See telegram 3499 from Paris, Mar. 24, p. 913.