110.11 DU/6–1054: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State, at Seattle1
07. For the Secretary from Murphy. Re our telephone conversation this afternoon.2 The evolution in Eden’s thinking (assuming it is supported by British Cabinet) as set forth’ in Dulte 1643 could be very significant and radically change our tactical possibilities both in Geneva and indeed with respect to Southeast Asia. I think generally we would agree with Eden’s analysis and with Bedell’s comments thereon. In his comments Bedell has pointed out some very knotty questions. One is what we and the U.K. (on the assumption that the U.K. will go along with Eden’s views) should do if France insists on continuing the negotiations when the U.K. and ourselves feel that the time to break has come. If we act with the British, other Europeans may go along with us and although the French can be expected to react strongly, at least the full brunt of the blame will not rest uniquely on the U.S.
I do not think that we should send any reply to Dulte 164 until after your return on Saturday when we should know the outcome of the French Assembly’s vote of confidence. If the Laniel Government falls, we will obviously be faced with a different situation. But in any event Dulte 164 raises such important basic issues that I do not think we should rush a reply until we have assessed carefully the possibilities and the corresponding tactics. This I believe we will only be able really to do following your return and in light of the French Assembly vote.
In the meantime, we shall try our best to have some thoughts to go over with you on Saturday.