The Chargé in Belgium ( Millard ) to the Secretary of State
420. Have just communicated to Spaak substance Department’s 272, February 24.1 He seemed fully in agreement with Department’s views and described it as policy which is precise and clear and the only one which is now practicable. Asked how he thought such policy should be put into effect, he said we must not move too quickly lest French be frightened since it means most fundamental change for them. Above all, we must endeavor not to give ammunition to French Communists who will, of course, say we are reviving German menace. Steps must be well thought out and supple. First step extend ERP to west Germany but it should be made clear, as Department pointed out, that our primary concern is rehabilitation of Western Europe and that rehabilitation of western Germany was secondary. He stressed that it should be made clear to French that there would be no relaxation of control. He added there was also technical difficulty resulting from absence of German Government with which to deal. He thought international control Ruhr was feasible and scheme could be worked without much difficulty.
In concluding, he remarked although basic policy re Germany was [Page 96] right, practical application was difficult and delicate.2 Asked whether he felt a Four-Power settlement on Germany was out of the question, he dodged question, saying he did not feel he could give a considered opinion as he was not sufficiently informed. I requested that he give Department’s views searching consideration and let me know as soon as he had any further observations to make. Sent Department 420; repeated Hague 27, Paris 35, London 12.
- Not printed; it authorized Chargé Millard and Ambassador Baruch at The Hague to talk with Belgian and Dutch officials along the lines set forth in telegram 516, February 19, to Paris (p. 70) and telegram 597, February 20, to London (p. 71) (862.00/2–2648).↩
- In telegram 416, February 26, from Brussels, not printed, Chargé Millard reported as follows on Spaak’s views: “Re London talks re Germany, Spaak said he had instructed Belgians to listen and not raise too many questions. He was a little afraid, however, Dutch want to push too hard and too soon.” (740,00119 Council/2–2648)↩