396.1 BE/1–2854: Telegram

No. 373
The Secretary of State to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 13. For Acting Secretary from the Secretary. Re Tedul 5.1 Thank President and you for your prompt reply to Dulte 10.2 I met with Eden and Bidault for lunch today to discuss this afternoon’s [Page 853] meeting.3 I urged that at today’s meeting we all oppose Molotov proposal and suggest moving on to Germany and Austria. Eden took constructive position that after one more round at conference table, we propose passing on to Germany and Austria with proviso that we could return to item on five power conference after Germany and Austria.

Bidault said that in view of French public opinion which believed that Soviets had offered a solution for Indochina it was utterly impossible for him to propose, in his first statement this afternoon, that we move on to Germany and Austria. He would speak against five power conference as proposed by Soviets but, in view French opinion, must leave door open for hope that Soviets would be constructive.

In view above we believed it tactically wiser not to put forward to British and French the position set forth in Dulte 10 just two hours in advance of four power meeting but to hold it till we see where we are this evening.

Although I told Bidault and Eden we were thinking about a constructive proposal we might be able to talk over with them I have not yet revealed any details although believe Eden guesses rather closely. Please keep our idea secret till you hear further from me.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 3, Document 369.
  2. Document 369.
  3. For another record of this luncheon meeting, see the memorandum by Merchant, infra.