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

1445. For Under Secretary from Ambassador. It looks very much as though, if we want it to be that way, the August 2 meeting with Couve de Murville could well wind up the discussions in regard to the use of bases and facilities in time of war. It seems clear that the chief sticking point, as I have previously mentioned, will be the event which will commence U.S. reentry into bases or re-takeover of certain facilities. The French will in all probability think that this kick-off point will be the French declaration of war whereas naturally we must insist that it be the request by SACEUR for an alert.

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I am asking you to let me have your judgment as to whether Washington would prefer to break this off quickly and cleanly (with possible exception of the pipeline) or whether you would prefer to string it out and postpone it until September or even October. I could play it either way with great ease but I think some indication of the considerations which you might have in mind dictating either an early termination or playing it along would be most useful to me.

I would very much appreciate if you could give me your thought before Tuesday, August 2.2

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL FR-US. Confidential; Exdis.
  2. In telegram 19145, August 1, the Department of State responded: “Your discussion will be ad referendum and talks should not be broken off Aug 2.” It added that the “primary objective” of the talks was “seeking ironclad agreement for US reentry.” (Ibid.) In telegram 1619 from Paris, August 2, Bohlen reported that he had presented U.S. views to Couve who had noted them but remained noncommittal. (Ibid.)