64. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State 1

2592. August 25.

I was informed today that following decisions had been taken August 23 at interministerial meeting presided over by Pompidou with reference to US-French bilateral military problems and more especially with regard to French relationship to NATO:
French Government had been genuinely shocked to learn that French had failed to take over installations which US already ready to return (Paris 2515)2 and Prime Minister had instructed Messmer to have Army engineers instantly prepared to receive these facilities.
With regard to pipeline, it was decided refuse permission for 40 US technicians to assist in operation US pipeline. French position was identical for both US and NATO pipelines. US pipeline would not be closed nor would we be expelled from France but US would be [Page 128] given time to install pipeline elsewhere. If no US technicians were introduced and US accepted French position on re-entry, then pipeline could continue to operate for benefit US forces. However, there was no change in French position on re-entry which was that France would first have to decide Article V should be invoked. Ambassador is to be informed of this decision officially September 9.
With regard to NATO military budget, Deleusse would give French position to NAC September 7. France would not make any payments toward major NATO headquarters. However, France would contribute five million francs which had been earmarked for repairs on old SHAPE headquarters towards costs of transferring SHAPE and other headquarters.
France would not contribute towards costs of telecommunications projects. France would participate in leasing communications facilities such as PTT lines for long-range protection purposes and in connection with France’s new role towards these organizations, i.e. France is now present in only a liaison capacity. With regard to Ace High (forward scatter system) France would contribute budgetarily so long as this system remained useful. In general on these projects France would contribute in accordance with the degree of agreement which was reached between France and her allies. France would continue in The Hague and La Spezia centers but would withdraw from AGARD and London Bureau and such similar organizations.
With regard to infrastructure, France would not participate in Slice XVIII or any subsequent slices. Insofar as Slice XVII and earlier slices were concerned, France would continue to contribute to projects for which money had already been allocated and on which work had already started.
Concerning Namso and Hawk projects, France was not particularly interested in principle but these could remain for some time, until such date as perhaps 1969, if other Allies wish. France would not oppose their remaining or leaving. If they left, France would withdraw. Otherwise France’s attitude towards these agencies is similar to her view regarding NAC.
Comment: In general, we were told attitude underlying decisions was that France should be tough on withdrawal of all agencies which they had already asked to leave, including US installations, and deadlines were to be enforced insofar as possible. However, with regard to other agencies which had not been discussed so far, there was no particular urgency in getting them out. Attitude toward latter group was to be flexible and waiting for time to take care of them. In conclusion, I was told that Pompidou terminated meeting indicating he thought “everything” would eventually go except overflights.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, France, Vol. 9. Secret; Nodis; Maria.
  2. Telegram 2515 from Paris, August 24, reported Bohlen’s démarche to the French regarding their uncooperative stance on pipeline maintenance. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL FR-US)