139. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State 1
Paris, October 18, 1972, 1652Z.
19905. Subject: SC Meeting in Panama. Ref: Paris 19729.2
- In conversation October 18 on unrelated subjects, Quai Director American Affairs told PolCouns that instructions on possible SC [Page 264]meeting in Panama were sent to French Embassy Washington on October 17.
- Essence of message to French Embassy is:
- Schumann feels he cannot reneg on his commitment to Latin Americans to support Latin American initiative to hold SC meeting in Panama. (French working level had not briefed Schumann on possible SC meeting in Panama prior to his September dinner with Latin Americans since “idea had been germinating for about eight months and US reps had not made a particular issue of it.”)
- Ever since Ambassador’s representation to Schumann on October 5 (Paris 18969),3 French reps in New York and elsewhere have been under strict instructions not to “proselytize” on behalf of Panamanian proposal. French will continue to maintain this “discreet” position.
- PolCouns commented that while he could appreciate FonMin’s’ difficulty in reneging on his commitment to Latin Americans, something more than apparent neutrality of French position was needed in the circumstances. Speaking personally, PolCouns asked Quai Director whether he could consider instructing French reps, without reneging on Schumann’s promise, to attempt persuade Latin Americans of wisdom in the circumstances of not pressing issue to a vote. Without committing himself, Quai Director said he would look into this possibility.