61. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Williams) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (McGhee)0


  • Authority to Receive PAG Representative in the Department after Algerian Cease Fire


It has been agreed, as you know, that following the Algerian cease fire, the Department should receive representatives of the PAG informally [Page 90] at an appropriate high level. The occasion of the official announcement of a cease fire agreement would in itself present an opportunity which I believe would be particularly useful for us to exploit in this connection.

I should appreciate an early chance to talk to Mr. Chanderli, the PAG representative in New York, who up to now has been limited in Departmental contacts to occasional informal discussions with officers of AFN and WE outside the Department. Mr. Chanderli has been quite forthcoming in these discussions and informal talks he has had with Ambassador Stevenson and other USUN officers.

On an informal basis I should like to arrange to have a discussion with him as promptly as possible after the cease fire announcement during which I would propose to inform him of the substance of the President’s message and the additional points which Ambassador Walmsley will have been authorized to pass to Ben Khedda.

This would serve two useful purposes. First, it would be very gratifying to Chanderli who has been sensitive about not being informed about past initiatives of the Department concerning the PAG. Secondly, it would provide a natural pretext for holding such an interview and changing our policy of banning reception of PAG representatives in the Department under circumstances and at a time which could hardly be seriously objectionable to the French.

Mr. Chanderli is a likely choice for the post of first Algerian representative to the UN and possibly also Ambassador to the United States. Recent conversations he has had with USUN indicate that he is well informed about Algerian plans concerning inter-African cooperation and that he is destined to play a significant part in Algerian representation at future African conferences such as the Conference of Independent African States scheduled to take place at Tunis later this year. I feel that this move to establish a basis for informal discussions in the Department would help us considerably in obtaining a flow of useful information about prospective internal and external policies of the FLN.

Recommended Action:

That AF be authorized to arrange informally through USUN after the cease fire for Mr. Chanderli to visit the Department for purposes of holding discussions along the lines indicated above.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.51S11/3-1362. Confidential. Drafted by Hooper on March 12.
  2. McGhee initialed his approval on March 14. A cease-fire agreement was concluded at Evian-les-Bains on March 18. On March 26, Chanderli was received at the Department of State by Williams. The visit was preceded by a small informal luncheon outside the Department hosted by Deputy Assistant Secretary Tasca. The conversation was recorded in two memoranda of conversation (ibid., 751S.00/3-2662) and reported to the Embassy in Paris on March 26 in telegram 5251, which asked the Embassy not to emphasize the fact that this was the first time any PAG representative had been received in the Department of State. (Ibid.)