840.50 Recovery/1–748: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State

us urgent

92. At a meeting here yesterday evening between French and British representatives concerned with CEEC matters, Hall Patch1 informed the French that the British Foreign Office had been told by Washington that it was desirable to resume CEEC activities on a more formal basis. (French official commented to me that they were pleased to receive this information because, although they had believed it desirable to proceed with European cooperative efforts, they had previously understood that Washington was reluctant to have the conference reconvened during the period of Congressional consideration of ERP.)

At a working level, French and British representatives yesterday evening prepared a proposed program along the following lines:

French and British representatives to go to principal European capitals to explain purposes of reconvening CEEC.
Bevin2 to reconvene the conference at Paris for the beginning of February.
The conference to be of short duration, possibly only one week.
Conference agenda to include the following:
Review of mutual aid and self-help measures taken since the issuance of the initial report;
Planning future measures of European economic cooperation;
Discussion of provisions which should be included in any multilateral agreement;
Establishment of a small working party to (a) direct activities of specialized committees and groups, (b) act as liaison agency with Washington, (c) prepare plans for the multilateral organization.
It is proposed that the working party would consist of representation similar to the executive committee; namely, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Benelux and a Scandinavian representative, preferably Swedish. The working party would meet twice a month, moving from one capital to another to avoid any impression of Franco-British dominance.

The foregoing is to be submitted to Hall Patch and Alphand3 and subsequently to the respective foreign ministers. It was emphasized that the planning was in its initial stages and that the foregoing suggested [Page 356] no agenda and procedures would be subject to some changes before finally approved by the governments.

Shall keep the Department informed of all developments in this matter.

Sent Department 92, repeated London as 2, Borne as 5.

  1. Sir Edmund Hall-Patch, Deputy Under-Secretary of State, British Foreign Office.
  2. Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary.
  3. Hervé Alphand, Director of Economic Services, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.