71. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Conversation with French Ambassador


  • Ambassador Charles Lucet, French Embassy
  • Mr. Robert Anderson, Director, France-Benelux Affairs

During a brief conversation at a French Embassy reception today, Ambassador Lucet said that he was very disturbed over the current state of Franco-American relations which, in his view, were at an all time low. He attributed this in large measure to General De Gaulle’s unfortunate and inexplicable remarks on December 31 and January 1 on the United States’ involvement in Viet-Nam.2 He said that when he had read these remarks in Guadeloupe during a brief vacation, his desire [Page 140] for returning to Washington was, to put it mildly, less than enthusiastic.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL FR-US. Confidential. Drafted by Anderson.
  2. In a December 31 television address to the French people, De Gaulle characterized the war in Vietnam as “unjust hellip; due to the armed intervention of the United States in territory of Vietnam.” For text, see De Gaulle, Discours et Messages, Vol. 5, pp. 128-131. In a New Year’s day address to the diplomatic corps, De Gaulle again blamed the United States for the war.