740.5/12–1054: Telegram

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

confidential

2486. Reference Embassy telegram 2475.2 Narrow margin by which Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee approved favorable Bilotte report on German rearmament and membership in NATO is now revealed. Official tabulation 16 votes for included 8 Socialists, 2 ARS, 2 Independents, 2 Peasants, 1 Radical, 2 Independent Peasants and 1 Peasant. Socialists voting for included Mayer and Moch, both of [Page 1492] whom have heretofore been opposed to EDC and German rearmament in any form. They are said to have informed committee that their group had voted unanimously in favor of treaty in committee but they reserved their position on final vote on floor. In this connection, it is recalled that last Socialist Congress decided that group should vote unanimously for ratification and that any dissenting members will be subjected to party discipline.

Votes against included 6 Communists, 5 Gaullists, 1 Progressist, 2 Independents and 1 Radical. 11 abstaining included MRP.

Of 2 Independents voting for, Delbez and Paternot, latter later attempted to switch his vote to an abstention but he was overruled on basis final vote had already been recorded. If switch had been accepted, whole process of passing bill from committees to Assembly floor in time to meet December 20 opening date for debate might have been jeopardized.

Bouhey (Socialist) spoke on behalf those voting for to effect favorable vote had been granted on understanding that “parallel negotiations” with Soviets would proceed. Also expressed concern over “Adenauer’s declarations on Saar” and indicated that he and some of colleagues might find reason vote differently on floor than they had in committee if their conditions for parallel negotiations and accepted Saar Agreement were not satisfied. Rosenblatt (Communist) speaking for opposition explained hostility on well-worn Communist ground of objection to German rearmament in any form.

Dillon
  1. Repeated to London and Bonn.
  2. Not printed; it reported that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly approved three favorable reports on the Paris Agreements, which meant that the “first hazard on parliamentary road to ratification [had] been successfully overcome” (740.5/12–1054).