The United States Delegation to the Department of State
Secto 581. In keeping with Tosec 526,1 I assume that Department desires I maintain a generally passive attitude in conference meeting and in relations with other delegations, acting in role of “friendly observer who wants to help if and when our help is wanted”.
US-UK note to France (Tosec 4902) should provide sufficient guidance on US policy for most questions which will arise.
Real negotiating will take place at ministerial level outside of conference, and I will endeavor do maximum keep Department promptly informed thereon.
It is not clear to what extent there may be conference meetings, but as it is likely that developments will be rapid during course of next week, probable that urgent questions will arise as to attitudes we will take as long as we participate when matters presented to conference. [Page 1324] While any conference action which involves a commitment by the US would clearly require a reservation of US position pending instructions, uniformly to adopt such an attitude with respect other questions will be regarded by French and others as an obstructive and delaying tactic. I have in mind possibility of procedural and substantive issues on which Ministers here have reached agreement and where action might not be entirely to our liking but would not involve commitments by US. As example, something along lines French proposal on controls (Secto 575)3 might be presented for conference agreement as basis for drafting detailed agreement by committee experts. In such a situation I would not in conference oppose position taken by France but would merely state, where appropriate, US has some doubts on adequacy or clarity of document but will not obstruct action agreed upon by other participants in conference.
When consistent with the positions set forth in US-UK note to French (Tosec 490), I would propose briefly support in conference substantive positions taken by French or others on our side when it would appear appropriate and useful.
I would appreciate the Department’s comments and instructions.
In event some one or all of Associated States take position of open opposition to France in conference session, possibly even to extent of walking out, I would appreciate Department’s thinking regarding US attitude.