396.1/12–145: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France


2194. Eyes only Ambassador from Secretary. Just lunched with President reviewing problems which may arise in Paris in relation to London-Paris Accords. We both have impression that US is being subjected to undue pressuring. Yesterday we were told that we must [Page 1498] go down the line with the French on the Moroccan issue at UN1 and we did so, even voting against a resolution to postpone debate. This has cost us heavily in Arab relations.

Today Bonnet reports SOS message from Mendes-France that he must have in hand the actual declaration of the President which in London I promised would be forthcoming if appropriate agreements were adopted to retain the basic advantages of EDC:

We anticipate there will be similar demands in relation to Saar and perhaps in relation to Indochina.

The disposition of the President, in which I concur, is not to give in to these demands and to insist that the French must rely upon us in good faith to carry out whatever we have promised, but that we do not have to anticipate these promises and make new ones in order to induce the French to take action which presumably is primarily in their own interest rather than ours. If the French do not believe that the London–Paris Accords with all the protections they carry are in the French interest, then we doubt that any marginal assurances we can give will be successful. On the other hand, it would be most embarrassing politically and indeed humiliating if for a second time we go through the process of giving the French all the assurances that they want and then have them reject the program. We feel that this time the French should place some trust in us and not require us to make advanced delivery.

This is sent so that you can be thinking about the general policy prior to my arrival tomorrow.2

  1. Documentation concerning French North Africa is presented in volume xi.
  2. Dulles was going to Paris to attend the NAC Ministerial meeting scheduled for Dec. 17–18; for documentation, see pp. 549 ff.