168. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 11, 1957, 4:45–4:55 p.m.1


  • Disarmament and European Security


  • U.S. Side:
    • The Secretary of State
    • Assistant Secretary, C. McCardle
    • Assistant Secretary, Francis Wilcox
    • Acting Assistant Secretary C. Burke Elbrick
    • Mr. William R. Tyler, WE
  • French Side:
    • Mr. C. Pineau, French Foreign Minister
    • Mr. H. Alphand, French Ambassador
    • Mr. C. Lucet, French Minister
    • Mr. F. de Laboulaye, Counselor of French Embassy
    • Mr. J. Beliard, Press Officer, French Foreign Office

Mr. Pineau paid tribute to the Secretary’s remarks at the NATO Meeting in Paris in December 1956 with reference to European security.2 He said that they had greatly reassured the French Government.

Mr. Pineau suggested that problems of disarmament and European security should be kept under constant review by the four Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Western Germany. The Germans are particularly worried about this question because they are not members of the United Nations and, as such, do not participate in the work of the subcommittee on disarmament. Such a review would, however, be also of interest to the three other powers, as, according to Mr. Pineau, the Subcommittee on Disarmament [Page 449] in the UN is staffed by people who are specialists in disarmament and who, in consequence, tend to lose sight of certain concrete problems affecting Europe.

The Secretary said he had discussed this with Mr. Stassen who was in close touch with Mr. Moch. The Secretary said that he was sympathetic to the idea of consulting with the Germans, who were naturally concerned with these matters. Moreover we also had an interest in being closely informed on what the Germans had in mind and might be intending to do. The Secretary referred to certain disturbing aspects of Chancellor Adenauer’s remarks on the banning of nuclear weapons, as reported in the press. The Secretary asked Mr. Pineau whether the suggestion he was putting forward was a French suggestion or a German one. Mr. Pineau answered that it was a French suggestion but that the Germans knew about it and that he had reason to believe that they would be glad for such talks to be held. In discussing the venue of such talks, the Secretary thought they might be usefully held here in Washington. He said that perhaps the German Ambassador here might be informed of the idea and it could be suggested that the talks be held here. If this were acceptable to the German Government, a working group could be set up. The Secretary stressed the need for avoiding any publicity on these talks and Mr. Pineau agreed.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 600.0012/1–1157. Secret. Drafted by Tyler and cleared by Elbrick.
  2. Regarding the North Atlantic Council Ministerial meeting held in Paris, December 11–14, see volume IV.