203. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State 0
3216. Jansen, German Chargé, has just filled me in on de Gaulle–Adenauer conversations yesterday. Jansen very obviously delighted with results visit and said that the three interviews, Colombey-LesDeux-Eglises, Bad Kreuznach,1 and yesterday’s had become progressively more successful, warm and friendly.[Page 426]
De Gaulle appears to have been at his best, gracious, wise, calm, friendly, giving his aides plenty opportunity talk and on whole, according informant, seems to have charmed Adenauer and, very definitely, did Jansen.
Jansen also said Debre conducted himself extremely well throughout.
No reference was made to specific French or German matters and conversations were devoted entirely to “the big question,” Berlin-Germany, USSR. No decisions were taken, but this subject was explored from all angles and Jansen states that note running through conversations was de Gaulle statement, “let us not fool ourselves, it is the Americans who count in this.” (Jansen elaborated on this that it is United States which has the power, the decision, the leadership, etc.)
Both de Gaulle and Adenauer stressed gravity of situation, the most dangerous since end of war.
De Gaulle indicated his belief that Russians were playing for big stakes and Alliance must hold firm, strong, must be no concessions; “if we accept Russian diktat Western Alliance is finished,” said de Gaulle.
De Gaulle said he hoped that Alliance would withstand and he thought it would.
Illustrating his own conviction that de Gaulle is a big man Jansen said de Gaulle was unhappy about Macmillan visit to Moscow but refrained from being critical [3 lines of source text not declassified].
I asked Jansen if any specific reference was made to Algeria or question of French Mediterranean fleet; on latter subject Jansen had briefed Adenauer prior to meeting.
Jansen again said no specific French matters were dealt with—unless perhaps during private conversation of several hours which de Gaulle and Adenauer had in afternoon at which only an interpreter was present. However Jansen does not think these matters were raised for no reference was made to them in summary of conversations which de Gaulle and Adenauer later gave their collaborators.
At dinner with Adenauer and French and German aides (Debre, Couve de Murville, Jansen, Boegner, etc.) de Gaulle paid generous tribute to Adenauer not only for what Adenauer had done for Germany but for Europe and the world and concluded by expressing regret that “this small house is inadequate for such a big man.” Reference was of course to Lodge of Marly where conversations took place in an atmosphere which both statesmen prefer, away from telephones, pressure and general hubbub of capital.
Jansen also reported de Gaulle, after having stated that he believed Western Allies would hold together against Soviets, as saying (approximately) “but even if this should not come to pass our two countries [Page 427] (Germany and France) must always remain united. Together we can be salvation of Europe. Perhaps this does not seem a great deal to you now since France is not very strong, but France is beginning to come back and in time two of us can work miracles.”
[1 paragraph (3 lines of source text) not declassified]
Jansen reports Chancellor Adenauer contented with meetings and departed this morning in high good spirits.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 651.62A/3–559. Confidential. Repeated to Bonn, London, and Moscow.↩
- Regarding the meeting at Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises, September 14, see de Gaulle, Mémoires, pp. 184–190 or Adenauer, Erinnerungen, pp. 436–439; regarding the meeting at Bad Kreuznach, November 26, see Document 75.↩