840.50/3–1345: Telegram

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

2599. 1. In private conversation last night Borishenko told us that he will continue to support the prompt establishment of ECO but that he expects to make a statement at the meeting on Thursday68 opposing the establishment of EEC at this time, on the ground that such a committee, if set up at all, should be set up at the San Francisco Conference69 as a possible regional subgroup of the world organization (chapter IX of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals70). After prolonged discussion Borishenko continued to adhere tenaciously to this view

2. We explained that in our view an EEC should be set up promptly without prejudice to what is done at San Francisco and should be strictly limited to immediate problems of the transition period. However the Soviet delegation speak and apparently think on economic matters in simple, general terms and do not appreciate distinctions between the “transition period” and the “long term”. It is not certain but we think it is likely that Borishenko will actively oppose the establishment of EEC on Thursday morning. We propose to adhere firmly to our position but a difficult period of negotiation must be anticipated on EEC.

3. Borishenko said he was convinced of the need for ECO and that he thought he would be in a position also to support the establishment of other groups dealing with special questions, such as fertilizers and textiles, if the need for them could be demonstrated.

4. Borishenko’s change of position was unexpected in view of the strong opinions which he expressed in the early meetings that ECO should be a subcommittee under EEC.

5. Ronald on several occasions has said that in the United Kingdom view it is even more urgent to establish ECO and other groups dealing with limited economic subjects than to establish EEC. However we strongly concur with the view expressed in the penultimate paragraph [Page 1433] of Department’s 1776, March 8, that it would be unfortunate to have several specialized organizations operating independently without an established method of coordination.

6. For our confidential information it would be helpful to us to be informed of the Department’s views regarding the more detailed elaboration of chapter IX of the Dumbarton Oaks plan, particularly in its application to Europe.

7. We think the United Kingdom view is likely to be that the working out of the details of the economic and social council could not conveniently be done in such a large gathering as will take place in San Francisco, and that it will probably be more convenient to set up an interim commission as was done in the case of the food and agricultural organization.

8. The coal drafting committee met this morning and the immediately following telegram contains a further revised text, which was tentatively agreed for submission to the general meeting Thursday morning.

9. In line with the changed position of the Soviet regarding EEC the Soviet representative on the coal drafting committee refused to agree to any reference to EEC in the draft text on coal. The United Kingdom member said that ECS [ECO?] may come into existence before EEC and in any case it would be for EEC to decide what its relationship to ECO should be. Berger tried to insert a sentence in line with the views expressed in the penultimate paragraph of Department’s 1776, March 8, 9 p.m., but was unable to obtain any support for it. We will make another attempt at the meeting on Thursday morning. However in view of the Soviet attitude regarding EEC we think that if this attempt is unsuccessful we should not delay the formation of ECO on this issue but should reserve our right to raise it again in the EEC negotiations.

Sent to Department as 2599, repeated to Paris as 145 and Moscow as 97.

  1. March 15.
  2. For documentation on the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, April 25–June 26, 1945, see vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  3. For documentation on the Dumbarton Oaks conversations on International Organization, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.; for text of Chapter IX of the proposals, see ibid., p. 898.