Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Exchange of Letters Between the President and President Coty of France After the Fall of the Laniel Cabinet.

June 18, 1954

[Released June 18, 1954. Dated June 16, 1954]

My dear President Coty:

I write to assure you that in these troubled days my country remains warm in its sympathy and staunch in its friendship for your country.

It is of the utmost concern to my country, and indeed to peoples everywhere, that France should continue to play her historic role as the champion of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and as a master craftsman of new and better human relationships.

The United States hopes to see realized, while the opportunity still exists, the imaginative and epochal French concept for blending national military forces on the continent of Europe so that they will perform a single service of peace and security. I want to assure you that the pledge of support embodied in my message of April 16 to Monsieur Laniel still stands, and will continue available to his successor.

In Indochina our nation has long shown its deep concern by heavy financial and material aid which continues. The proposals for a united defense which we submitted to Monsieur Laniel represented on our part a momentous and grave decision. Nothing has happened here to change the attitude thus expressed, even though the lapse of time and the events which have come to pass have, of course, created a new situation. But I assure you that we shall be ready in the same spirit to open new discussions as the forthcoming French Government may deem it opportune.

I have mentioned two aspects of our relations which imperatively demand high governmental attention. You can be sure that they will be dealt with upon the foundation of the respect and affection for France which is felt by many millions of individual American citizens. Our past associations have brought sorrows and joys which have indelibly pressed their image upon the very heart of our nations and this is, on our side, a guarantee of our future attitude.

I shall be talking informally with Sir Winston Churchill and Mr. Eden next week and I look forward to resuming with the Government of France such intimate conversations as I have had in the past both as President and previously when I served in Europe in our common cause first of liberation from one tyranny and then of defense against another tyranny.

I extend to you, my dear Mr. President, my respectful greetings.


Note: President Coty's letter, dated June 23, follows:

My dear Mr. President:

I am profoundly moved by the sentiments of understanding that you have so kindly expressed to me.

The friendship of our countries is written in history, it is profoundly embedded in the hearts of the French who do not forget the disinterested aid which in the gravest hours the United States has spontaneously provided on two occasions. This friendship confers on our relations frankness and confidence that has always marked our affairs.

The world must face up to tremendous problems. In agreement with their friends and allies, the United States and France are merging their efforts to preserve the freedom of Europe and to put in the background the conflicts of the past, in order to assure, in peace the independence of the peoples of Southeast Asia. As you have been kind enough to suggest, the French Government is always ready to proceed with the United States Government to examine the problems involved in the reestablishment of peace in the Far East.

In searching for a system upon which the future depends, France continues to be motivated by her desire for freedom and peace. United to all the peoples of the Atlantic Community, whose solidarity guarantees independence, France has decided to contribute to a rapid and realistic solution of the problem of the defense of Europe.

You have been kind enough to give me the assurance that the American Government was disposed to examine, in the most friendly spirit, the principal aspects of the relations between our two countries. This undertaking is particularly valuable, coming from the Chief of the great American nation, who was Commander of the Armies of the Liberation, whose victory has maintained this freedom which we defend together. I can on my part assure you of the desire of the head of the French Government to see reopened, between our two Governments, in the near future, conversations of a confidential and intimate character resulting from inalterable sentiments of friendship.

I pray you, my dear Mr. President, to find here the expression of my respectful and faithful friendship.


For the President's message of April see Item 84.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Exchange of Letters Between the President and President Coty of France After the Fall of the Laniel Cabinet. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232204

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives