162. Telegram 1682 From the Embassy in France to the Department of State1 2

Please pass BNDD, White House for Dr. Moynihan.

From the point of view of immediate results for the US, the most important thing which could come from President Pompidou’s talks with President Nixon would be French agreement to a substantial increase in resources directed to detecting illegal heroin laboratories in the South of France. We have much to be pleased about in the increased French attention to narcotics problems, in their cooperation with US in approaching the Turkish authorities, and in their general willingness to cooperate with US across the board. France has obviously become very sensitized to the narcotics problem and to a large extent this is due to Pompidou’s own efforts.
However, the French Government is still not devoting enough resources, men and materiel, to the detection of illegal shipments of heroin and heroin base, in and out of France, or to the detection of heroin laboratories here. There has been a very substantial increase in the number of people put to work on narcotics problems in general but almost all these people are involved in trying to control the flow of narcotics throughout France rather than the narrower problem of detecting heroin refining laboratories.
I suggest that the best way to get the French to devote more men and money to the detection problem is for President Nixon to request President Pompidou to do so. President Nixon can paint a very dark picture of the terrible toll drug addiction is taking in America, particularly among our youth. He could [Page 2] say that there is no problem whose solution is of greater importance to our future and no problem on which we need more French help. He can express our appreciation for all that the French have been doing but say that in our view there should be a tenfold increase in personnel assigned directly to detection of labs and shipments. The French now have around twenty men working on this problem in Paris and in the Marseilles district but they should have at least one hundred. Furthermore, they need to increase the technical backup for such operations by assigning cars and by setting aside a reward fund.
I realize that to be so specific on what another country should do is not terribly diplomatic. However, given the degree of American concern over this problem, I am sure the President can convince Pompidou that our intense concern is justified. Certainly France can afford the relatively small cost of putting more men, more money and more equipment into solving heroin detection problems. Good men can be taken from other police duties and trained for this job. Cars can be purchased and the technical equipment acquired or if necessary provided by confidential subsidies from the US. France is in a period of budgetary stringency and the answer we get today when we propose radical increases in resources for the detection of illicit heroin shipments has been that the Ministers of Finance and interior do not have the money in their own budgets for this purpose. I am convinced, however, that to a very meaningful degree Pompidou can and will be responsive to a direct approach from President Nixon and will give the necessary orders to find the needed money and men.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, INCO-DRUG S FR. Confidential. Pass to BNDD and Moynihan.
  2. The Embassy in France provided guidance on the problem of heroin trafficking in France in advance of the visit to Washington of French President Pompidou.