103. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom0

5217. London’s 4450 rptd info Paris Topol 41.1 We are concerned re implications of statements reftel that problem of nuclear weapons “partnership” is for exclusive tripartite (US, UK and French) consideration and is not appropriate for NATO consideration. We agree that question cannot be dealt with definitively at Ministerial Meeting at Oslo but matter is clearly of concern to NATO as a whole and US approach to NATO Strategy and Defense Planning (Topol 1526)2 based on this premise. Statements reftel and other recent public comments this subject by UK also carry unfortunate implication that nuclear weapons policy towards France should now be changed because she has become nuclear power. This is of course not the case. [8-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

Embassy should use foregoing with FonOff and express hope that UK can see its way in future statements this regard to avoid tripartite connotations and emphasize importance of finding solution to questions within NATO context.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 740.5611/5–361. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Magill (EUR/RA); cleared with Fessenden, Owen, Furnas, WE, and BNA; and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Paris and Bonn.
  2. Topol 41, May 3, reported various statements made by Gaitskell and Macmillan during the debate in the House of Commons on May 2. (Ibid.)
  3. Topol 1526, April 25, transmitted the text of a presentation to be made to the North Atlantic Council on NATO strategy and defense that was a summary of the Policy Directive on NATO (Document 100). (Department of State, Central Files, 375/4–2561) Finletter made the presentation to the North Atlantic Council on April 26, circulated it as a U.S. paper, and reported that the presentation was generally well-received and regarded as the opening of a new stage of NATO consideration of strategy and defense. (Polto 1501, April 27; ibid., 375.74/4–2761)