Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Merchant )

top secret


  • The Secretary
  • General Smith
  • Mr. Robert Anderson, Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Admiral Radford
  • Mr. Merchant

Mr. Anderson and Admiral Radford called at the Secretary’s request to be shown the draft statement which the Secretary proposed to issue in consequence of the French rejection of EDC.1 The Secretary pointed out that it had already been approved by the President but that he felt authorized to make any editorial or language changes. Both the Admiral and Mr. Anderson stated that they considered it a fine statement. Each made several minor suggestions, some of which were incorporated.

Secretary Anderson then raised the question as to how far Defense should go in halting MDAP programs to France2 and the other European countries. He said that he had already called for a review of the European military end item program which would have the effect of slowing down deliveries. The Secretary indicated that he believed, in accordance with the Richards Amendment,3 deliveries should promptly be cut off from France. Secretary Anderson then repeated that he would proceed on the basis of a general review program which would have the effect of an unannounced slow-down but that in the case of France end item deliveries would be stopped. The Secretary indicated agreement (although not explicit it seemed that this discussion referred to military aid to metropolitan France and that the cut-off in deliveries was not intended to include deliveries to Indochina).

There was then a brief exchange concerning the offshore procurement program in France and reference was made to the part which some French industrialists behind the scenes had played in killing the EDC. It was agreed that new contracts in France would be held up but there was no suggestion that existing contracts in France should be canceled.

  1. The text of Dulles’ draft statement is included in telegram 757 to Paris, Aug. 30, supra.
  2. Documentation concerning Mutual Defense Assistance Pact programs in France is presented in volume vi .
  3. Regarding the Richards amendment, which was designed to curtail aid to countries that did not ratify the EDC Treaty, see the editorial note, p. 973.