79. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State0

2004. Daridan asked Lyon to call this afternoon to give him French first reactions to Soviet note on Berlin.

Daridan said French find it “very bad and see no good in it.” They believe there should be no yielding on Berlin under Soviet threats.

[Page 142]

French find “take it or leave it approach,” that it is this solution within six months to Berlin problem or nothing else, totally unacceptable.

Daridan suggests there are three alternatives for handling Soviet proposal:

Refuse it out of hand.
Try and seek a limited solution for Berlin itself. This would probably prove ruinous for Berlin.
Try and seek a broader all German solution which would probably be ruinous for Germany and would raise subj Rapacki plan,1 etc., which would be totally unacceptable to NATO Alliance.

French believe note requires much study and thorough exchange of views between UK, France and ourselves and urge that we refrain from taking any public position on it until these have occurred.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/11–2858. Confidential. Repeated to Berlin, Bonn, London, and Moscow.
  2. Regarding the Rapacki Plan for a nuclear-free-zone in central Europe, see footnote 2, Document 43.