740.5/8–1554: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


Edcol 10. Paris for Bruce and Dillon. Coled 17.2 Dept in agreement characterization reftel French EDC proposals which we regard as unacceptable.

[Page 1043]

There remains question of tactics to bring French to inject some note reality and responsibility into their present maneuvering. In view anticipated strong adverse reactions other EDC powers to French proposals we believe our best tactic is to look primarily to them take initiative in formulating and pressing objections. We should seize every opportunity however make clear other EDC countries our concern and to encourage them stand firm against unrealistic concessions or destructive compromises. In general Dept believes that publicly we should avoid putting US in lead in this matter although it undoubtedly will be necessary for us make clear our opposition.

Inline foregoing following are replies recommendations in Coled 17:

Ambassador Bruce authorized immediately despatch letter quoted reftel to President EDC/IC with copies to national representatives.
For present at least we feel we should defer decision re press statement by Secretary specifically on US assurances.
Ambassador Dillon should take line Para 3 Coled 17 either at time formal French démarche or if already made soon as possible. Acting Secretary will similarly inform Bonnet today.

Note statement Aug 16 Dept spokesman re NY Times article.

Embassy London should inform and exchange views with British on basis foregoing and pertinent Paris reftels.

  1. Drafted by Palmer. Cleared in draft with Under Secretary Smith, Bowie, Phleger of L, and Merchant. Repeated to Bonn, Brussels, The Hague, London, Luxembourg, and Rome.
  2. Not printed; it requested that in view of the “confused, chauvinistic and destructive nature of proposals submitted by France for Brussels meeting”, which Bruce attributed to Mendès-France having “ignorantly outsmarted himself”, that Bruce be authorized to send a letter on Monday, Aug. 16, to the President of the EDC Interim Committee, first recalling that on June 14, 1954, Bruce had informed the Committee that he was authorized at any time to sign on behalf of his government the proposed agreement on external aid between the EDC and the United States, but that “considering the nature of the proposals put forward for consideration at the proposed meeting of the participants in the European Defense Community at Brussels on August 19, 1954, I must now advise you that my authorization to sign the agreement on external aid has been withdrawn until such time as the results of the Brussels meeting are known and have been considered by my government.” Bruce then also suggested that Dulles make a press conference statement to the effect that the guarantees offered in President Eisenhower’s statement of Apr. 16 “may have to be reconsidered after the Brussels meeting,” and recommended in paragraph 3 that Dillon be instructed to inform Mendès-France that “we will not enter into any discussion on possible tripartite declaration on security until such time as results of Brussels conference are known and French Government’s policy on EDC is definite” (740.5/8–1554). Regarding Eisenhower’s Apr. 16 statement, see the editorial note, p. 940.