740.00119 Council/12–2447: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Belgium

top secret

40. Embtel 2040 Dec 24.1 We appreciate Spaak’s speaking so frankly and share his concern. He is of course aware that considerable degree Western European “disorganization” compared to “organization” in East is inevitable price of democratic processes and mutual respect for national sovereignty in contrast to Eastern totalitarianism and complete Soviet control of satellites. We consider voluntary cooperation [Page 359] and concerted action by independent countries democratic counterpart to dictation of totalitarianism. Whole concept of ERP is effort to replace such disorganization by maximum concerted cooperative effort. We have already exerted considerable leadership not only in connection with ERP but relative to UN and its specialized agencies. We know this is “not enough” and are constantly seeking means of promoting more effective action. Our leadership must necessary be general in character. More specific leadership on European problems must come largely from within Europe and Spaak seems to us excellently qualified to extend it. We have following comment on your four points:

“Putting European house in order” seems to us basically to mean maximum national and cooperative effort to increase production and trade, balance budgets and stabilize currencies. Europe will receive frequent reminders that it must rely primarily on its own efforts from forthcoming Congressional debates on ERP and ensuing debates on appropriations which will recur annually. Top level ERP administration will also undoubtedly constantly emphasize this aspect and may find it useful to advise and encourage certain courses of action.
As Spaak knows we have always favored Belgian and Netherlands participation in consideration and settlement of German problems. Developments at London CFM2 mean that there will be discussions in which Russians will not be able to block such participation. We look forward to it but would ask Spaak’s patience if it does not materialize as speedily as he would wish.
Current exchange situation of Belgium’s debtors offers little prospect of early liquidation of blocked credits. General expansion of production and trade seems only real cure. We are still interested in and favorable to stabilization loans but “only after domestic measures in countries concerned are bringing about balance both in internal finance and, after allowances for external aid, in their balance of payments” (See pp 50–52 Title 3 outline of ERP).

[Here follows a discussion of Spaak’s point No. 4, dealing with security, the text of which is printed on page 3.]

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 1, p. 3.
  2. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1947, volume ii .