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

3143. For Lyon from Kohler. Re urtel 2864 Dec 1.2 Besides belaboring Alphand repeatedly in Quadripartite group as you may have noted [Page 641] from reporting telegrams, I had long private talk with him today on dismal prospects Paris meetings unless French loosen up. Recognizing that Adenauer was key to any change in de Gaulle’s attitude toward negotiations as such, I said outlook hopeless for any progress or useful work unless French made clear distinction between tactical questions which could be left in abeyance and development of substantive positions on German and Berlin questions. Argued strongly that we had been doing precisely what Couve proposed last August in Paris. We had in effect deferred to French position on negotiations by suspending further explorations and tried to develop substantive positions as Couve himself proposed in Paris Foreign Ministers meeting. However during recent weeks French had apparently spread their disassociation to both aspects. In this connection I cited Tyler’s report Laloy had unsuccessfully tried to get instructions to him on substantive paper and Couve de Murville’s rueful question to Gavin as to what Foreign Ministers could do. Alphand confirmed inability get replies to his many requests for specific instructions on quadripartite papers. He indicated appreciation distinction between two aspects and intention of trying to get something done but did not seem hopeful. If you can give this line a boost it would help.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/12-161. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted and approved by Kohler.
  2. Telegram 2864 reported Laloy’s concern about the forthcoming Working Group meetings, since Adenauer, who was sick, had been unable to meet with de Gaulle as originally scheduled. (Ibid.)