47. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State1

6237. Germany and Europe: I told General De Gaulle that I thought some clarification from him as to what particular differences he saw between France and the United States in regard to Europe might be useful if he would give them to me. He immediately said that he did not think that our differences were really very much a matter of principle; he thought more a matter of time and he emphasized in this connection that when he said reunification of Germany would result from the evolution of Europe he did not in any sense envisage that the U.S. would not participate in and be a party to any final arrangements for [Page 96] the unification of Germany. He did think however that any unification would require the consent of the neighboring states as to frontiers, which was obvious, and also, he felt, a prior agreement somewhat like the Paris Agreements in regard to the prohibition of nuclear weapons. He said in this connection Germany lost the war and should be expected to pay for it.

On the subject of Europe he made the interesting comment or charge that the other members of the Six, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, were not in favor of the unification of Europe because it was very convenient for them to have America assure their security and conduct their foreign policy. I told de Gaulle that I had understood that the Germans in particular were pressing for action in regard to European unification, which he dismissed with a wave of his hand on the ground that Erhard was in an election year and would make these gestures but really didn’t mean them very much.

De Gaulle however did not seem willing to pursue the subject of the attitude of the other European countries towards European unification.

The conversation then led into the subject of NATO which will be covered in a separate message.2

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 10. Secret;Limdis. Repeated to London and Bonn.
  2. For Bohlen’s report on this part of his discussion, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XIII, Document 83. Bohlen also reported on his discussion with De Gaulle about the Gromyko visit in telegram 6236 from Paris, May 4. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 10)