251. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in France0

6203. Eyes only from President for Gavin. I have read your interesting report of your luncheon talk with General.1 When you see him again, I hope you will spell out our inability to accept the notion that we should stay out of all of Europe’s affairs while remaining ready to defend her if war should come. We cannot give this kind of blank check. In Berlin and Germany, in particular, all major questions of policy relate directly to the confrontations of the Soviet Union and therefore to questions of war and peace. General European policy in turn relates directly and sharply to the problem of Germany. We cannot and will not stand apart from these questions as long as our strength and will are committed to the defense of Europe against any Soviet attack. If Europe were ever to be organized so as to leave us outside, from the point of view of these great issues of policy and defense, it would become most difficult for us to sustain our present guarantee against Soviet aggression. We shall not hesitate to make this point to the Germans if they show signs of accepting any idea of a Bonn–Paris axis. General de Gaulle really cannot have both our military presence and our diplomatic absence, and you should make this point with emphasis. I am sending you by pouch copies of my conversations with Malraux in which you will find this position developed at greater length.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.51/5–1862. Top Secret; Priority. Drafted by Bundy and approved by Rusk.
  2. See Document 250.