American Under Secretary of State Robert D. Murphy, the American mediator in the Franco-Tunisian dispute,?
American Under Secretary of State Robert D. Murphy, the American mediator in the Franco-Tunisian dispute, arrived in Tunis today, after having spent the previous day in Paris.
He was met by the Tunisian Chief of Protocol, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Mr Lewis Jones, the American Ambassador to Tunisia.
Mr Murphy was expected to have a meeting with President Bourguiba during the afternoon. Speculation was rife as to the position the President was likely to take up, but it was thought that intransigence was likely to be the keyword.
Unless the signals at Tunis change overnight, as it were, Mr Bourguiba's position is expected by diplomats in Paris to remain thus:- French troops will regain freedom of movement only after the French have accepted in principle the total evacuation of their forces from Tunisia, including the naval base of Bizerte, valuable to the West; there will be no Tunisian cooperation with France for patrolling the Algerian frontier; Tunisia no longer believes that direct talks with France will lead anywhere; "Good offices" must include discussions of a settlement in the Algerian war.
Informed circles in Tunis indicated that President Bourguiba intended to plunge into a discussion of the Algerian war as soon as possible with Mr Murphy.