28. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Germany1
Washington, July 8, 1964, 6:37 p.m.
67. For Ambassador from McGeorge Bundy.
- The President asks you to call on Chancellor promptly to express President’s deep appreciation for highly confidential message conveyed in your 472 and to convey following message in reply.
- President is most grateful for the Chancellor’s confidence and will insure that there is no disclosure of the contents of his message, or indeed of its existence.
- On substance, the President finds himself in full agreement with views expressed by Chancellor, and in particular re-emphasizes his conviction that it can never be useful for Germany to be forced to a choice [Page 61] between France and the United States. We are all members of the same alliance. The US continues to believe that interdependence of Europe and America is inescapable reality upon which policy of all must be based. President believes that De Gaulle’s proposals to the Chancellor fly in the face of this reality, and that it is of highest importance that De Gaulle should learn to recognize the firmness and rightness of the position the Chancellor put forward. Thus although President regrets any argument among allies, he cannot but send his thanks to Chancellor for the position he stoutly and clearly set forth to De Gaulle.
- You can reassure Chancellor once more that US would welcome an improvement of relations with De Gaulle and will always be ready for serious discussion with France. Moreover, US will not squabble publicly with De Gaulle. At the same time Chancellor can be quite sure, as you have already said, that the US will never make any private agreement with De Gaulle or anyone else at expense of Germans. Nor can US regard the General as spokesman for Europe.
- President hopes that as time passes it may be possible to make new beginnings toward stronger partnership, always with room for France and never with any thought of exclusiveness. This is immediate value of MLF, and the President repeats his belief that it will be important to move ahead promptly with this major undertaking in the last months of 1964.
- If there should be any fresh prospect of wider agreement among Germany, France, US, UK and Italy, President would gladly lead new and strong effort by all to move forward. Please note inclusion of Italy, whose solidarity in Alliance needs constant attention.
- The President values your prompt and comprehensive report of Chancellor’s extraordinarily revealing conversation and sends thanks.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 3 EUR W. Secret; Priority; Nodis. A typed note indicates the text was received from the White House.↩
- In telegram 47 from Bonn, July 6, McGhee transmitted a detailed report given to him by Erhard of the Chancellor’s July 3–4 meeting with De Gaulle. Erhard characterized the talks as “tough,” and related that he had told De Gaulle he could not agree with President De Gaulle’s concept of Europe, stressing that Germany’s relationship with the United States was the decisive point. The Chancellor told McGhee that the results of the meeting were meager and asked whether the United States had any plan for improving its relations with France. (Ibid.)↩