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

2868. In conversations with Boyd, Chairman of CAB, and Prill, Asst. Administrator FAA, Vergnaud today informed us of meeting of Ministers planned for tonight to prepare French position on Concorde for submittal President de Gaulle this week. Choice appears to be “abdication” or proceeding alone. Vergnaud seems to feel time too late for American-French cooperation and that British-French cooperation no longer possible. While responsible French officials do not believe accusations of American duplicity that have been appearing in French press for last week they do not seem to regret their appearance.

As present US position based on assumption of continuation present Concorde program, we not able to discuss alternatives with GOF until all facts available on past discussions. Would appreciate all information to help alleviate anti-American aspect of cancellation if this is forthcoming.2

Bohlen
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, AV 12. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to London for CAA and FAA.
  2. In telegram 2829 to Paris, November 16, the Department informed Bohlen that the French had never formally approached the United States requesting cooperation on the SST project. “Oblique references” had been made in conversations with American officials in 1962, but “when U.S. officials did not react affirmatively, subject was not pressed.” The original initiative and approach came from the British in September 1960. “Lack of positive US response was probably major reason leading UK turn to France.” (Ibid.)