396.1 GE/4–354: Telegram

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

secret

3705. Limit distribution. Embtel 36541 and Deptel 3401.2 Believe I understand Department’s reluctance to hold preparatory talks on IC matters before Geneva meeting opens. At same time it seems important to find some satisfactory way of developing in advance as much tripartite common ground as possible in order to reduce Western vulnerability to Soviet divisive tactics at Geneva. Berlin was excellent example of benefits of such careful preparatory work. French, and apparently British, are most anxious that preliminary talks be held as soon as possible.

While Embassy can of course reiterate positions given in Deptel 3401 at such tripartite talks as French may call before ministers arrive late in month, believe it would be far preferable to exert maximum influence on French (and British) thinking through positive presentation of US substantive position on specific question as rapidly as Department is able to send it. Even brief visit here, preferably during week beginning April 12, by MacArthur, Robertson or Bonsal would also be desirable or, if Department considers that level too high, anyone else Department may wish to send.

I feel that we must be careful to avoid giving impression to French that we consider US and French positions to be so fundamentally opposed that we do not feel it worthwhile even to attempt tripartite coordination in advance.

Dillon
  1. Dated Apr. 1, p. 492.
  2. Dated Mar. 31, p. 491.