62. Memorandum for the Files0


  • Algerian Cease Fire

I was called yesterday evening between 8 and 9 p.m. by Pierre Salinger. He said he had been called by Lebel of the French Embassy, on instructions from Ambassador Alphand, who said the Embassy was concerned at the omission from the statement which the White House had issued1 of any specific reference to the role and achievement of General De Gaulle with regard to the cease fire. I told Salinger that this had been deliberately done in order not to appear to be giving credit only to one side.

Salinger called me back sometime later to say he had talked with the President, who had requested that some way be found to convey to the press our admiration for De Gaulle’s role. Salinger asked if it would be all right for him to leak to the correspondents the fact that Ambassador Gavin had been instructed to express to De Gaulle the President’s feelings of admiration and gratification.2 I pointed out that the Ambassador had not been instructed to see De Gaulle personally and that it would therefore be better to confine any background comments to the press to saying that the Ambassador had been instructed to convey to the French Government the appropriate sentiments of the United States Government with regard to De Gaulle’s role. Salinger agreed, and said he would do so.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751S.00/3-1962. Confidential. Drafted by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs William R. Tyler.
  2. For text of the Presidential statement welcoming the Algeria cease-fire agreement on March 18, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, p. 809.
  3. On February 23, the Embassy in Paris had been instructed to call on De Gaulle as soon as a cease-fire agreement was officially announced in order to convey an oral message expressing the President’s deep awareness of the immense difficulties that De Gaulle had overcome to reach the agreement, the painful decisions and sacrifices involved, and his admiration for the great qualities of character and statesmanship that made the agreement possible. (Telegram 4554 to Paris; ibid., 751S.00/2-2362) On March 18, the Ambassador was authorized to carry out these instructions. (Telegram 555 to Tunis, repeated as 4992 to Paris; ibid., 751S.00/3-1062)