740.00119 EAC/4: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

7621. The Foreign Office today informed us that they were now occupying themselves with the preparation for the establishment in London of the Advisory Commission for Europe. While they were unable to make any definite plans and had as yet no knowledge of the British representation which would have to await return of Mr. Eden,2 in view of the fact that it was expected that a large Soviet delegation would appear within a month, certain preliminary preparations should be made as soon as possible. They thought that the United States would also be concerned with similar considerations and asked us to present the following to the Department in a preliminary way:

The question of housing. Foreign Office is endeavoring to obtain a building for the use of the Commission which would provide adequate space for the main committee and sub-committee meeting and would be sufficiently large to provide office space for clerical and sub-committee staffs.
Joint Secretariat. Foreign Office feels that this should be small at least in the beginning and composed probably of two representatives of each of the nations represented. Since Foreign Office feels that success of Commission depends to a great extent on an efficient secretariat they propose to appoint carefully selected members on the British side, preferably those who have had some conference experience and would be prepared to act as secretaries for the various subcommittees [Page 802] to be established. British believe duties of secretariat should be purely clerical. They suggest tentatively the possibility of appointing of British Secretary General.
British are attempting to gather together a clerical staff for the Commission but Embassy feels Department may desire to provide some clerical staff for American representation thereon.
Foreign Office thinks that there will probably be established immediately about 10 sub-committees who will prepare studies for the principal representatives on various subjects which will be referred to the Commission. Their feeling is that there should be a [at] least one representative for each sub-committee from each nation represented. They recognize, however, that in certain cases it may be possible to have one representative for say two of the various committees should it develop that the sub-committees do not have a full-time job.
The question of interpreters may present certain difficulties and we were asked if the American Government could provide two reliable interpreters who could interpret from Russian into English. It appears that they have in mind one interpreter in each sub-committee or other meeting of the Commission interpreting from English into Russian which they think can probably be handled by the Russian delegation and one interpreter translating from Russian into English which will probably have to be provided by the British and ourselves.

We explained that we had no information regarding any plans which might have been formulated by the American Government with regard to the composition of the American delegation to the Commission but that we would present these preliminary considerations to the Department for such comment as it might consider desirable.

It is evident that the British intend to assign considerable British personnel to the Commission and that they anticipate that a very large Russian delegation will appear in London within the relatively near future. This presents staff and personnel problems as regards the American delegation which we are sure has already been receiving the attention of the Department.

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, had not yet returned from Moscow, where he had been the British representative at the Tripartite Meeting of Foreign Ministers.