110.11 DU/2–1353

Memorandum by Douglas MacArthur II of the Office of the Regional Planning Adviser, Bureau of European Affairs, to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Bonbright )1


As a matter of record, I would like to bring you up to date regarding General DeGaulle’s overtures to Secretary Dulles. You will recall that Gaullist Terrenoire originally approached our Paris Embassy indicating DeGaulle wanted to see Secretary Dulles when the latter was in Paris.2 I sent a message to Paris saying that the very tight schedule would not permit such a meeting.3 While we were en route from Washington to Rome, Secretary Dulles reopened the question with me. He said that he would be willing to see DeGaulle if Prime Minister Rene Mayer thought it would be useful. Accordingly, I sent a telegram to Paris Embassy from Rome and Jimmy Dunn took it up with Rene Mayer.4 Rene Mayer, much to our surprise, said that if DeGaulle wished to call on the Secretary, he not only saw no objection to it but thought some good might come out of it since the Secretary could set forth the US position with respect to the EDC.

The Paris Embassy got in touch with Palewski 5 and told him that the Secretary would be willing to see General DeGaulle the evening of [Page 1582] Monday, February 2nd if the General wished to call. Palewski said the General was in the country but he would be glad to come to Paris that evening. However, he was recovering from an eye operation and it would be a long trip up from the country; therefore he asked if it would not be possible for the Secretary to call on General DeGaulle at his quarters in the Hotel La Perouse. He said that it was bad for DeGaulle’s eye to travel around in the night air! He added that there was no protocol involved since DeGaulle was a former President!

On our instructions Palewski was informed that the Secretary’s schedule was so tight that it would be impossible for him to call on DeGaulle that evening, but if DeGaulle wished to see the Secretary we would endeavor to arrange it so that he could come to the residence Tuesday after our morning meetings were concluded.

It was left that if DeGaulle cared to come to Paris the following morning, we would endeavor to complete these plans. However the final upshot of all this was that DeGaulle was unwilling to call on the Secretary but wished to see him only if the Secretary would call upon him.6

I attach some memos7 prepared by Mr. Looram of the Paris Embassy staff as of possible interest. My only comment is that DeGaulle has not changed one bit.8

  1. Copies were sent to Knight and McBride.
  2. The Department of State was informed of De Gaulle’s request for an interview in telegram 4084 from Paris, Jan. 22, not printed. (110.11 DU/1–2253)
  3. A handwritten notation in the margin of telegram 4084 from Paris (see footnote 2 above) read as follows: “Jan. 22, 1953—Achilles advised by phone that schedule would not permit meeting. D[ouglas] MacA[rthur]
  4. The editors have been unable to identify this telegram further.
  5. Matthew Looram summarized his conversation with Gaston Palewski in a memorandum dated Feb. 2, not printed. (110.11 DU/2–253)
  6. Looram summarized Palewski’s telephone conversation during which Palewski informed the Embassy of De Gaulle’s decision not to come to Paris in a memorandum dated Feb. 3, not printed. (110.11 DU/2–353)
  7. For information concerning the two memoranda by Looram under reference here, see footnotes 5 and 6 above.
  8. Bonbright wrote in the margin of the source text at this point: “And he never will.”