177. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

1988. Paris pass USRO Stoessel, McGuire. French this afternoon came down flatly opposed to London meeting Senior Officers2 on basis of failure understand US position and not wishing give appearance Four-Power mandate to further exploratory talks with Soviets by Ambassador Thompson in Moscow. While they could not prevent such further explorations they felt them to be undesirable under current circumstances and did not wish to be associated with them. Requested additional explanation US conclusions to be drawn Gromyko talks.

We pointed out that French Government assuming serious responsibility by this position; they have all information we have and we had [Page 498] hoped London meeting would provide quadripartite consensus on where we go from here.

Full memorandum being pouched.3

Ball
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/10-1361. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Cash, cleared by Hillenbrand, and approved by Kohler. Repeated to Bonn, Paris, Moscow, and Berlin.
  2. At the Ambassadorial Group meeting on October 12 it had been agreed, subject to French confirmation, that a senior officer level working group would meet in London for a week beginning October 19. (Memorandum from Kohler to Rusk, October 13; ibid.)
  3. A copy of the memorandum of conversation is attached to a memorandum from Kohler to Rusk, October 14. (Ibid., 762.00/10-1461)