Search in

Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • August 12, 1957

    Letter from Max Isenbergh, Special Assistant for Atomic Energy, to Robert Schaetzel, Office of Special Assistant to Secretary of State for Atomic Energy, enclosing 'Franco-German Coordination of Advanced Weapons Research, Development, and Production'

    During the summer of 1957, diplomats in London and Washington were becoming uneasy as they learned that France and West Germany were setting up formal arrangements to cooperate in the development of advanced weapons systems.

  • December 14, 1957

    John Foster Dulles, Memorandum of Conversation with Chancellor Adenauer

    Conversation between John Foster Dulles and Chancellor Adenauer at a NATO meeting. Dulles learned from Adenauer that the French-West German project on nuclear weapons research would soon come to include Italy, to which Dulles expressed reservations and suggested a broader arrangement including the U.S. and the U.K.

  • May 28, 1960

    Ministry of Defense Memorandum to the Minister of Defense Andreotti, 'Tripartite Military Agreement'

    A collection of progress reports from the sub-commissions of the Accordo Military Tripartito F-I-G of 1957, a military alliance between Italy, France, and Germany, summarizing achievements and future objectives regarding development of co-owned nuclear weapons.

  • July 25, 1962

    US Embassy West Germany Telegram 243 to State Department

    In this telegram, Embassy analysts in West Germany found that “at present there does not exist deliberate intention in Germany to embark on nuclear weapons program either alone or with French.”

  • September 19, 1962

    Ministry of Defence, 'Notes on Talks During the Minister of Defence’s Visit to the United States, September 1962, Nuclear Problems in Europe'

    In September 1962, British Defence Minister Peter Thorneycroft traveled to Washington for discussion on defense cooperation. During a flight with President Kennedy and Secretary of Defense McNamara, they discussed the French nuclear program and the possibility of French-German nuclear cooperation.

  • December 10, 1962

    US Embassy West Germany Telegram 1538 to State Department

    Following a similar telegram from 25 July 1962, this telegram noted French denials of any such discussion on French-German nuclear cooperation, but the Bonn Embassy agreed with the U.S. Embassy in France that the subject was “reserved for possible consideration in future.”

  • December 28, 1962

    US Embassy West Germany Airgram A-1389, 'Franco-German Cooperation in Atomic Energy Matters'

    This report from the American embassy in Bon to the Department of State details the embassy's impressions that cooperation between France and Germany in the atomic energy field was underway.

  • May 13, 1963

    Director of Central Intelligence John McCone and AEC Chairman Glenn Seaborg to President Kennedy, with Attachment 'Report on French Gaseous Diffusion Project'

    In this report, the CIA and the AEC found that because the French underestimated the cost of the Pierrelatte plant, they had a reason to consider West German financial aid.They conclude that the West Germans had relevant technical skill and the French may have regarded cooperation as a tactic to dodge Adenauer’s 1954 commitment and also as a “way for German industry to improve its position in the nuclear technological race.”

  • May 21, 1963

    Atomic Energy Commission, 'German Participation in Pierrelatte Gaseous Diffusion Plant,' with Cover Memo from Myron B. Kratzer, Division of International Affairs, to Mr. Thomas and Mr. Kaufman, Department of State

    This AEC report looked at the Pierrelatte plant’s prospective capabilities, possible West German motives for seeking an independent supply of enriched uranium (possibly in cooperation with the French), the “adverse” implications of a French-German project, and policy alternatives available to Washington. If the West Germans were determined to contribute to the French enrichment project, the AEC saw serious risks including the “the prospects of a Franco-German military alliance that could constitute a European third force capable of dominating Western Europe."

  • May 29, 1963

    Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs William Tyler to Secretary of State Rusk, 'Rumored Secret Military Annex to Franco-German Treaty' with Attachment on Same Subject

    In this document, Assistant Secretary to European Affairs, William Tyler, discussed the State Department's request to the US Embassy to ask the West German government whether there was an arrangement in the French-German Friendship Treaty that included a secret annex on military and nuclear cooperation.

  • May 29, 1963

    State Department Telegram 6389 to US Embassy United Kingdom

    In this telegram, President Kennedy encourages Prime Minister Macmillan to take a positive interest in the MLF project, in which the British had little interest because of financial reasons and their doubts about the German role. Kennedy also expressed concern about the future of German nuclear efforts.

  • June 06, 1963

    Thomas L. Hughes, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to the Secretary of State, Research Memorandum, 'Franco-German Military Nuclear Cooperation,' REU-43

    In this report, INR noted that the French had walked back statements by Charles de Gaulle in January 1963 that he would not object to the development of a West German nuclear capability. This report also includes notes on why the French opposed an MLF, claiming Washington might be "whetting the German appetite" for a national nuclear capability.

  • July 05, 1963

    Secretary of State Rusk to the President, 'Interim Reply to Your Memorandum of May 30, 1963, for Holders of NSAM 241'

    In this memorandum, Secretary of State Rusk noted Minister Lenz’s denials of any German connection with Pierrelatte or any interest in supporting the French weapons program. He declared that the agencies would continue “reviewing allied attitudes toward the Pierrelatte project and possible measures for inhibiting bilateral cooperation.”

  • May 22, 1964

    State Department Executive Secretary Benjamin H. Read to National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, 'NSAM 241 on Report on French Gaseous Diffusion Plant'

    Noting that the situation that gave rise to NSAM 41 had improved, Read informed Bundy that intelligence reporting would continue but he wanted permission to stop work responsive to the NSAM. There had been “no indication of any attempts by the French to enlist German or Italian cooperation in the Pierrrelatte project.”

  • July 04, 1974

    Letter by the Italian Ambassador in London, Raimondo Manzini, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Aldo Moro

    Italian Ambassador to London, Raimondo Manzini, writes to Foreign minister Moro in the aftermath of the 1974 Ottawa Declaration. He discusses the British interest in reviving the Special Relationship with the US and its effects on European politics, and suggests that through intensified dialogue and cooperation, an Anglo-Italian solidarity could function as a counterweight to the close Franco-German relations.

  • September 28, 1981

    Memo on discussions by the Chairman of the SPD, Brandt, with the French President, Mitterrand, on 25 September 1981

    Description of discussions between Brandt and Mitterrand on European security and strategic balance between the East and West. Topics covered include France's nuclear forces and INF negotiations.

  • November 14, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Tuesday, 14 November 1989

    The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for 14 November 1989 describes the latest developments in East Germany, the Soviet Union, El Salvador, Palestine, Israel, France, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, Panama and Brazil.

  • December 07, 1989

    Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Program of Chancellor Kohl on German unification; Reaction of the Western states'

    The document outlines other countries' reactions to the prospect of German Reunification. The fears of France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are cataloged. In addition, Western allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, and France are marked as being hopeful for the upcoming reunion of the two states.

  • December 08, 1989

    National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 8 December 1989

    The CIA’s National Intelligence Daily for Friday, 8 December 1989 describes the latest developments in USSR, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, West Germany, France, Hong Kong, Comoros and El Salvador.

  • May 07, 1990

    Memorandum of Conversation Chancellor Franz Vranitzky – President François Mitterrand, Bordeaux

    The document is a summary of a meeting between French President Francois Mitterrand and Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, and Vranitzky's ensuing presentation on democracy in Eastern Europe. This included Austria's duties and obligations to this process. Both ministers proceeded to reflect on their country's relationship with Germany both past and future.