Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 203

No. 350
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State
top secret eyes only

I summarized for M. Bidault the procedural talks which we had heretofore with the Soviet, and indicated it was my intention here to propose to Molotov that we on our side would prepare a plan on the basis of President Eisenhower’s proposal and would exchange it with the Soviet plan simultaneously at a date to be agreed upon.1 M. Bidault said that he thought that was wise procedure postponing a conference meeting as long as possible.

I said nothing to M. Bidault as to when the French would be invited to consider the plan, but was implicit in what I said—that they would at least have a chance to see it and make comments on it before it was delivered to the Soviet.

M. Bidault indicated that he thought Franco was embarking on an ambitious plan to build himself up at the expense of France, and perhaps of Britain. He said he felt that (Franco) was encouraged in this regard by the Base Agreement which we had made; and also M. Bidault referred to a report which had considerable currency in Europe that the U.S. was considering shifting the headquarters of NATO to Spain as a more solid base than France. I told M. Bidault this was new to me, and he said that their information was that it had been suggested by some Congressional committee or subcommittee.

M. Bidault said that Franco was in a good position to stir up trouble in Africa, because Spain was not a member of the U.N., and therefore was not subject to being attacked in the U.N. as France had been.2

John Foster Dulles
  1. For documentation on the procedural talks with the Soviet Union beginning Jan. 11 at Washington, which evolved from President Eisenhower’s address on Dec. 8, 1953 to the U.N. General Assembly, see vol. ii, Part 2, pp. 1334 ff.
  2. At lunch on Jan. 24 Secretary Dulles asked Bidault about possible bilateral talks with Molotov. Bidault did not show the enthusiasm which Eden had (see Document 348), but stated that if there were such bilateral talks, he would have to engage in some himself. Bidault commented further that it would be better if the initiative for such talks came from Molotov. (Dulte 4 from Berlin, Jan. 25, 110.11 DU/1–2554)