76. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Berlin


  • M. Hervé Alphand, French Ambassador
  • M. Charles Lucet, Minister, French Embassy
  • The Secretary
  • Mr. R.H. McBrideWE
  • Mr. D. BrownWE

The Ambassador reported on the deGaulle-Adenauer discussion of Berlin during which von Brentano had said that it is not possible to accept the transfer of power from the Soviets to the GDR even tacitly, including the idea of GDR officials acting as agents.1

The Secretary noted that we have contingency planning on this subject. He had tried to play this down in his press conference2 but the press had, nevertheless, blown it up.

[Page 138]

The Ambassador said that deGaulle believed we must not separate on this issue but rather have firm positions. These we should take after we study the Soviet note. DeGaulle, he said, does not believe the Soviets will push to the ultimate end. Their aggression, additionally, will be lessened if we remain firm and united. This, of course, must include German resolutions.

The Secretary said that the Soviet note3 was vicious and unacceptable.

The Ambassador asked where we should center our discussions.

The Secretary said that he would be absent for a week.4 He expected that we should have views on his return and there could be an exchange thereafter. There is not much time before the NATO Ministerial meeting. We should probably take advantage of the NATO meeting to discuss Berlin on a tripartite basis.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/11–2858. Secret. Drafted by Brown. A summary of this conversation was transmitted to Bonn in telegram 1131, November 28. (Ibid., 762.0221/11-2858)
  2. See Document 75.
  3. See Document 68.
  4. See Document 72.
  5. Dulles was in Mexico City for the Presidential inauguration November 30–December 2 and on the West Coast until December 5 on vacation.