The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1
804. Confirming Merchant’s telephone conversation with Dillon we have informed British here of Dowling’s telephonic report to Merchant to effect that Adenauer’s reaction to Protocols was more violently negative than anticipated2 and recommending postponement démarche to Mendes-France. British informed us they are telephoning and cabling London at once as follows:
- At our request interview scheduled with Mendes-France this afternoon be postponed until we all have an opportunity know results (a) Conant’s and (b) Hover Millar’s interviews with Adenauer.
- That we are instructing Amb. Dillon not to accompany Jebb to interview with Mendes-France this evening even if British insist upon going through with it.
We emphasized to British our feeling that purpose Protocol operation was to assist Adenauer and that his views as expressed to Conant indicated that far from being helpful it might prove harmful to him. British underlined to us their fear that if there were not a joint démarche, element of US–UK solidarity which is so necessary in coming weeks would be lacking. They appreciated however grave risk Protocols leaking to press once they are in French hands.