Reference: Your telegram 1179 of May 28.
Repeat Bonn, Paris, NATO Paris, London (Information).
The following resumé of the discussions in Toronto on Saturday May31st between the
Minister and Mr.Von Brentano may be of interest and some assistance to you in connection with
the latter's forthcoming visit to Washington.
The focus of discussions on this subject was the attitude which deGaulle would take in the
direction of French foreign policy.20 Mr.Smith expressed the fear that deGaulle might not
hesitate to present U.S. policies unfavourably, exploiting French public opinion in this regard and
driving France further away from one of its major allies. In this connection he also spoke to Mr.
Brentano about the role which the U.K. could play in helping to prevent France being driven into
international isolation. In general Mr.Smith thought that the U.K. might be expected to show a
greater degree of sympathy and understanding towards present French difficulties than the U.S.
and as a result the U.K. could well become the most influential channel to the new French
government. As for NATO Mr.Smith mentioned that Mr.Spaak, while he could not be certain of
what attitude deGaulle would take in this matter, expressed the opinion when he was here in
Ottawa that as a loyal Frenchman deGaulle could not let the Organization drop.
Mr.Brentano declared his full agreement with Minister's assessment and said that everything
must be done to prevent France under a new government from being driven into isolation. If
nationalism were aroused with France in an isolated position it would go along with Communism
and France would then thrash about like a drowning man.
Recognizing the interest which the Federal German Republic had shown in promoting
economic cooperation in Europe, Mr.Smith wondered what deGaulle's attitude in this matter
would be and whether he would think as a European. Mr.Brentano replied he believed he
could say that deGaulle does not want European integration. His often declared opinion is for
cooperation perhaps in the form of an alliance with strong emphasis on unrestricted sovereignty.
DeGaulle does not agree with everything that is designated as European integration. Mr.
Brentano then stated that he would not at first like to assume that a government under
deGaulle's premiership would withdraw from its treaty obligations. Hethought, however, that
France would display less fervour in fulfilling these treaties and would assume an even more
negative attitude towards the Free Trade Area than before. Hefelt that the European Community
will sometime have to consider whether a certain special status with additional advantages in the
Common Market should not be granted to France, in order to prevent France from putting any
more difficulties in the way of the Free Trade Area. Hebelieved that the Free Trade Area at the
present time is economically and, above all, politically of even greater importance than ever
Foreign Aid Programmes
When asked by Mr.Smith for an expression of the Federal German Government's attitude
towards aid for underdeveloped countries, in particular India, Mr.Brentano replied that relations
between the Federal Republic and the African countries are very good. The Federal Republic has
also reached an agreement with the United Arab Republic, he said. Hefelt it right to follow an
elastic policy here. Hewas convinced that Tunisia and Morocco are absolutely and consciously
anti-Communist. Healso has the impression that influential political circles in Cairo are anti-Communist. They naturally tried
to obtain support from both sides and to play one against the
other. The West has also made it easy for these countries, as it has not yet succeeded in reaching
a common policy for the near East. The right hand never knew what the left was doing. The
attitude of the U.S. has also not been very clear. Hethought it NATO's task to reach a common
policy in the near East. This will not be easy, as the views of the allies are not identical. But these
countries must not be excluded.
Mr.Brentano went on to state that what he had said also applied to the relations of the Federal
Republic with the countries of Southeast Asia. The Federal Government has always tried to pry
these countries loose from the Communist sphere of influence. Hehas the impression that Prime
Minister Nehru is much more critical of the Soviet Union today than he was before. Here too it
should be the task of NATO to coordinate the economic policies of its member countries. It must
be recognized, however, that one can only talk to these countries if no political conditions are
attached to an offer. If this is not done, there is a danger of losing both the near East and
When asked by Mr.Smith whether the Federal German Government was of the opinion that
reunification need not necessarily be placed on the agenda of the first summit conference, Mr.
Brentano replied that he could answer this question in the same way he had done in Copenhagen.
Reunification continues to be one of the most important problems for German policy, not only
from the point of view of German interest, but from the conviction that continued division of
Germany is like a mortgage encumbering peace. Statements made by the Federal Chancellor and
himself might perhaps have been misunderstood. It is not the intention of the Federal
Government, by insisting on first priority treatment of reunification in international discussions,
to create the impression that the Federal Government is sabotaging a promising summit
conference. Mr.Brentano believed, however, that any discussion on disarmament must inevitably
lead to the German question once conversations took place as to how this disarmament should be
carried out and who shall participate. In the same way, every conversation on European security
leads to the German problem, if the question is asked who should participate in an agreement on
German security, and what status the participating powers should be given. For this reason, the
Federal Government is of the opinion that the German question cannot be excluded from this
discussion. If the Soviet Union vetoes this, she herself is sabotaging the summit conference. If,
however, the agenda were so arranged as to allow discussion of all political problems, the
German Government would be satisfied, because this would mean that the German problem
would have to be discussed. It could then be seen what constructive contribution the Soviet
Union would make in this connection. The Federal Government would never agree to an
exclusion of the German question from international discussions, but would agree to an agenda
on which the German question was not expressly mentioned, if it can be certain that this question
will be discussed, under whatever heading, at the meeting.
19 M.Theodor Heuss, président de la République fédérale d'Allemagne, et M.HeinrichvonBrentano, ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères, sont venus au Canada, entre le 28mai et le 4 juin 1958. Ils se sont rendus à
Québec, à Montréal, à Niagara Falls et à Toronto avant de passer les quatre dernières journées de leur visite à Ottawa.
Theodor Heuss, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Heinrich von Brentano, the Republic's Foreign Minister, visited Canada between May 28 and June4, 1958. They toured Quebec City, Montreal, Niagara Falls, and Toronto before spending the final four days of the visit in Ottawa.
20 Se reporter à la 8 Partie du ChapitreII et à la 2 Partie de ce chapitre pour un compte rendu de l'accession au pouvoir de deGaulle et
des grandes lignes de sa politique étrangère.
See Chapter II, Part 8 and Part 2 of this chapter for an account of deGaulle's
rise to power and his foreign policy outlook.
21 Voir volume 25, chapitre IV./See Volume 25, Chapter IV.