On January 14, 1963, French President Charles de Gaulle caught everyone by surprise with a press conference in which he vetoed British entry into the Common Market and flatly ruled out French participation in a NATO multilateral force. Not knowing that de Gaulle and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer were just days away from springing another surprise–the Franco-German Treaty of 1963 (also known as the Élysée Treaty), former Secretary of State Dean Acheson telegrammed Adenauer directly, appealing to him to try to persuade de Gaulle to backtrack on the veto.
Date: January 18, 1963
Author: Dean Acheson
Title: Telegram to Konrad Adenauer
Archival Source: "State Department and White House Advisor" folder, Box 83, Dean Acheson Papers, Harry S. Truman Library
January 18, 1963
Chancellor [Konrad] Adenauer
If anyone can affect Gen. DeGaulle's decision, you are surely that person. I urge you to dissuade him from the disastrous course of breaking off negotiations with the British on their application to Common Market. His indicated course will destroy the unity of Europe and of the West which you have so brilliantly and patiently worked to bring close to its pinacle [sic].
With high regard and respect.