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Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Pleven of France.

January 30, 1951

SINCE Prime Minister Pleven arrived in Washington on January 29 three meetings between the President and the Prime Minister have been held. Those who participated as advisers were:

United States: Dean Acheson, Secretary of State, John W. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury, General George C. Marshall, Secretary of Defense, Charles E. Wilson, Director of Defense Mobilization, William Foster, Administrator, Economic Cooperation Administration, General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President, Philip C. Jessup, Ambassador at Large, David K. E. Bruce, U.S. Ambassador to France, Willard Thorp, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Thomas D. Cabot, Director Designate of International Security Affairs, Department of State, Donald R. Heath, U.S. Minister to the Associated States of Indo-China, Charles E. Bohlen, U.S. Minister to France, James C. H. Bonbright, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Henry A. Byroade, Director, Bureau of German Affairs, Department of State.

France: Henri Bonnet, French Ambassador to the United States, General of the Armies Alphonse Pierre Juin, French Resident General in Morocco, Ambassador Alexandre Parodi, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Herve Alphand, French Deputy to the North Atlantic Council, Guillaume Guindey, Director of the Ministry of Finance, Raoul de Vitry, French Representative to the Central Committee on Raw Materials, Tezenas de Montcel, Inspector General representing the Ministry of the Associated States, Jean Daridan, Minister Counselor, French Embassy, Pierre Paul Schweitzer, Financial Counselor, French Embassy, Gontran de Juniac, Counselor, French Embassy, Colonel Allard, Chief of Staff to General de Lattre de Tassigny, M. de Marranches, Aide to General Juin.

At the conclusion of their conferences, the President and the Prime Minister issued the following joint statement:

The President and the Prime Minister exchanged views on the broad subject of international affairs and they touched upon all the questions that are of common interest to France and the United States. Once again they found that there exists a fundamental identity of views between the two countries.

The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their belief that the principle of collective security, embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, is the chief bulwark of world peace and of the independence and survival of free societies in the world. They agreed that, in conformity with this principle, aggression must not be rewarded or the menace of aggression appeased. It is in this spirit that the President and the Prime Minister examined the means to assure coordinated action and turned to the more detailed questions as set forth below.

I. Far Eastern Problems

The President and the Prime Minister found themselves in complete agreement as to the necessity of resisting aggression and assisting the free nations of the Far East in their efforts to maintain their security and assure their independence.

The situation in Korea was discussed and they concurred that every effort must be exerted to bring about an honorable solution there. Until that end can be accomplished resistance by United Nations forces to aggression must continue. Both France and the United States will support action directed toward deterring aggression and toward preventing the spread of hostilities beyond Korea.

With regard to Indo-China, the Prime Minister described the heavy responsibilities borne by France in that area and the great cost, both in lives and money, she has paid in resisting the communist onslaught in order to maintain the security and independence of the Associated States, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos. The Prime Minister declared that France was determined to do its utmost to continue this effort. The President informed the Prime Minister that United States aid for the French Union forces and for the National Armies of the Associated States will continue, and that the increased quantities of material to be delivered under the program authorized for the current fiscal year will be expedited.

The President and the Prime Minister agreed that continuous contact should be maintained between the interested nations on these problems.

II. Problems of Europe

The President and the Prime Minister both recognized the vital importance of Europe to the defense of the entire free world. The Prime Minister described the French efforts to achieve European unity. He stressed in this regard the French desire to see disappear the divisions and rivalries that oppose a harmonious development of the European economy and the establishment of a strongly organized Europe. The Prime Minister stated that the policy of the French Government was to favor the creation of a broad European market open to competition by all through the abolition of cartels and discriminatory practices.

The President and the Prime Minister were in fundamental agreement that the cause of peace in Europe and the world would be furthered by a progressively closer integration in every aspect of a democratic Germany into a vigorous Western European community.

The Prime Minister brought the President up to date on the recent developments relating to the Schuman Plan Treaty. He expressed appreciation for the interest and the comprehension which this plan found in the United States. The President hoped that the treaty would be concluded in satisfactory form at the earliest possible moment. The Prime Minister also mentioned that new steps are anticipated in the same direction, particularly in the field of agriculture.

The Prime Minister also referred to the conference to be convened in Paris on February 6th, to consider the formation of a European Army based on European political institutions and within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The President welcomed the conference and expressed his hope for its success. He informed the Prime Minister that the United States would be glad to accept the invitation to send an observer, and that Ambassador David Bruce would be designated.

III. Atlantic Defense Plans

The President and the Prime Minister exchanged views with regard to the progress made by both countries in their defense programs. The President described to the Prime Minister the great efforts now being made by the United States. Mr. Pleven outlined the steps taken by France in this field and added that the French Government would neglect no opportunity to intensify its rearmament and particularly to accelerate as much as possible the execution of existing programs.

The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their conviction that German participation in the common defense effort as envisaged last month at Brussels would strengthen the security of Europe without altering in any way the purely defensive character of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

IV. Economic Problems

The President and the Prime Minister also reviewed certain questions concerning United States assistance to France in the economic field. They clarified procedures so that United States assistance will make its most effective contribution to the French defense effort.

They agreed that the solution of the raw materials problems ought to be the aim, not only of national action, but also of international action undertaken with the utmost speed and vigor. The objectives of such action are to give the necessary priority to defense requirements and to meet essential civilian needs through the stimulation of production, the equitable distribution of available supplies, the avoidance of waste in nonessential uses and of unnecessary accumulation of stocks. The two governments, together with that of the United Kingdom, are presently proposing the formation of International Commodity Groups which will take up immediate problems of material shortages of common concern to the countries of the free world.

They recognized the importance of dealing with the problem of inflation and rising prices, which adversely affect the common defense effort. They agreed that not only should vigorous national action be taken but that wherever international measures may effectively contribute to this objective they would give their full support.

The President and the Prime Minister wish to state that the supreme objective of the foreign policies of the United States and France is the establishment and maintenance of durable peace based on law and justice.

The measures which they have discussed and undertaken in common with other free nations for the development of adequate defense under the North Atlantic Treaty and for the development of European unity are directed solely to that end.

Moreover, the two governments have never neglected in the past and will never neglect in the future any genuine opportunity to settle international problems by negotiation.

The discussions between the President and the Prime Minister have shown again that no menace or maneuver will succeed in shaking the fundamental unity which exists between the United States and France.

Harry S Truman, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister Pleven of France. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230967

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