96. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Ambassador Herve Alphand, French Embassy
  • Mr. Livingston T. Merchant, EUR
  • Mr. Robert H. McBride, WE


  • Atomic Submarine for France

Mr. Merchant called the French Ambassador and said that on the instruction of the Acting Secretary he found it necessary to inform the French that should they proceed with their action in withdrawing their Mediterranean fleet from NATO;1 legislative justification for furnishing an atomic submarine to France would appear to be removed. He said that if the French action were carried out he thought the Congressional situation would be extremely difficult and that it would in all likelihood prove impossible to obtain passage by Congress of the necessary action. He said that he had thought it was essential that the French be forewarned to this sense and that accordingly he was calling him urgently on the instructions of the Acting Secretary.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751.5621 /3–359. Confidential. Drafted by McBride and approved by Herter on March 9.
  2. See Part 1, Documents 187 ff.