Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 242: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France1

top secret

4356. Eyes only Under Secretary and Ambassador from Secretary. Reur 4596.2 We are gratified at progress made but believe you should warn Laniel that no statement implying anything like final agreement [Page 1002] should be made to his Cabinet or in Parliament or otherwise now or at any time without careful prior agreement between our Governments as to precise form of words. You will bear in mind that the U.S. conditions required among other unfulfilled conditions assurances of action and participation by other governments and also that political and military conditions cannot be divorced for, as I earlier pointed out, the military situation might deteriorate to a point where a collective defense of Indochina would be impractical. Any premature or inaccurate statements which now attain publicity would cause Congressional and public reactions which might necessitate a denial or explanation here which would leave the situation worse than if nothing had been said by Laniel.

  1. Drafted by the Secretary of State. Repeated to Geneva as telegram Tedul 149.
  2. In telegram 4596 from Paris, May 29, Ambassador Dillon reported on a discussion with Laniel concerning the status of the U.S.-France negotiations. Laniel expressed great satisfaction at the fact that “we had now reached accord in principle on political side” and said that “our political agreement made it urgent that we start military conversations immediately to complete the negotiations regarding training, command structure, and war plans.” Ambassador Dillon said he “made it clear to him that we had now answered all questions posed by French Government but that, except for important military phase of negotiations, we were awaiting further action from the French side.” The Ambassador recommended strongly that the United States agree to a proposal made by Laniel “that Franco-US military negotiations be held in Washington next week.” (751G.00/5–2954) For the full text of telegram 4596, see volume xiii.