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

6614. During a call on Couve de Murville today I took occasion personally to tell him that I was concerned when General De Gaulle made a speech about Yalta and distorted the meaning and significance of this Conference.2 I had been genuinely sorry to see the old thesis repeated by the General yesterday in his speech yesterday at La Roche-Sur-Yon to the effect that Yalta had brought about the division of the [Page 97] world. I told Couve that having been there I could tell him that this had no relation to reality whatsoever and that the American document on the “Declaration on Liberated Europe”3 was on the contrary specifically designed in an endeavor to prevent the Soviets from dividing Europe.

Couve said he thought he would mention this to General De Gaulle to which I replied that the General knew full well that I had been at Yalta and I felt it would do no good.

Further on in the conversation I told Couve that I was really concerned that the current line of French policy would begin to have a very serious effect on American public opinion as distinct from the government. I said that when there was military action and losses began to come in the people who had lost a son, brother or other relative would not go into the nuances of political positions but would simply ask the question who was with us and who against.

Couve said he realized the danger on this score and said he understood the particular role of public opinion in foreign relations and execution of American policy. He made no offer, and I did not seek any, to do anything about this but I do believe the thought was registered with him.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15-1 FR. Secret.
  2. For text, see De Gaulle, Discours et Messages, Vol. 4, pp 354-358.
  3. For texts of the U.S. draft and the final version of the “Declaration on Liberated Europe,” see Foreign Relations, 1945, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 862863 and 977978.