175. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State1

Secto 94. For President, Acting Secretary, and Secretary McNamara from Secretary. NATUS. Subject: French forces in Germany. The delegation is reporting several successive chapters in the story of negotiations among the Fourteen and with Couve de Murville on arrangements for negotiating the issue of French forces in Germany.2 The significant developments are these:

The Fourteen stuck together past the point of breaking with the French on a fundamental issue of substance, disguised as an issue of procedure.
After Couve had tested their ability to stay together, and found they really were prepared to break on the issue of NATO cooperation and command arrangements for the French forces in Germany, Couve retreated to the extent necessary to get a procedural agreement at this conference. This object lesson in dealing with French diplomacy is similar to the lesson learned from the Common Market negotiations of last winter.
In the process, Schroeder made what I believe is the flattest and least equivocal statement of the limits of German interest in an arrangement with the French on their troops in Germany. The essence of the matter as Schroeder sees it is that if German troops must be integrated into NATO, the French troops have to have some formal relationship to the NATO system, else the discrimination against Germany on its own soil is just too big for any German Government to swallow.
Paul Martin of Canada continues to be the most difficult of my colleagues on all dealings with the French. On the issue of moving NAC out of Paris, he urged Couve to make clear in the Ministerial Council that France wants NAC to stay in Paris. (Couve did not go as far in doing so as Martin wanted him to.) On the French forces in Germany, Martin again showed signs of being more Royalist than the King. Although Martin has sporadic support from Danes, Italians, and even Belgians, the issues with those others are probably well within our negotiating range. Martin’s view is a very special case, with which the professionals in his own delegation seem unhappy. This may require some special bilateral attention in the weeks to come.
At this point, my guess is that we will only be able to get a satisfactory arrangement on French troops in Germany by playing a very tough diplomatic game, keeping the Fourteen tied together through intimate and continuous consultation, and making it very clear that we (together with the Germans and the British) are prepared to face the prospect that the French might end by pulling their forces out of Germany. This is not because we ourselves want this result; but the issue is not one on which the French should be enabled to break up NATO. Much additional evidence has come out of this meeting that France is seeking a position which will permit her to stand aside in a crisis.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 4 NATO. Secret; Priority; Nodis. The source text bears no time of transmission; the telegram was received at 4:48 p.m.
  2. The four chapters were transmitted in Secto 88, 90, 91, and 95, June 8. (Ibid., DEF 6 FR)