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

6002. Paris’ 7712.2 Question of whether we will make a written or oral reply to French memorandum of April 22 is still under consideration here. French Embassy reps have raised question of our reply with us from time to time. We have made following points:

In fact negotiations with France on issues relating to France/NATO problem are underway, e.g. discussions with De Leusse on such issues as support personnel for NATO headquarters. Exchange of notes we have had with French as well as note from FRG on question of French forces in Germany3 in themselves represent negotiations, all of which does not need to take place around a table.
US is not yet prepared either in terms its internal decisions or in terms status of its talks with other Allies to begin any required conversations [Page 378]relating to removal of US facilities from France. Nevertheless, we have advised French that we intend to withdraw these facilities as soon as possible.
US has made a proposal whereby US/French bilateral agreements may be terminated by mutual consent. What has prevented negotiation on this particular question is lack of any French yea, nay or counter-proposal.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO. Secret. Drafted by Spiers on May 11; cleared by Beigel, Acheson, Ball, and Thompson; and approved by Schaetzel. Repeated to London and Bonn.
  2. Telegram 7712, May 11, asked if there were any special reason for delaying a reply to the French memorandum of April 22 (see footnote 2, Document 158) and noted that the delay was beginning to hurt the United States in French public opinion. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO)
  3. For text of the German note, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, pp. 340–342.
  4. No formal reply was ever given to the French memorandum, and in telegram 7920 from Paris, May 19, Bohlen replied that the line taken in telegram 6002, as it applied to multilateral negotiations with the French, seemed “just right.” (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO) On May 27, Rusk called in Ambassador Lucet and asked specific questions about the bilateral agreements with France. (Circular telegram 2352, May 27; ibid., POL FR–US) On June 1, Bohlen was informed that these questions constituted the U.S. reply to the April 22 aide-memoire. (Telegram 6321 to Paris; ibid.)