711.4027/11–948: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State


4802. Memo quoted Embtel 4687, October 301 prepared jointly by Foreign Office and Embassy. In Embassy’s opinion text thereof consistent with NSC/15 insofar as area US–UK agreement on satellite air policy concerned. Paragraph (B)1 Deptel 4214, November 52 indicates Embassy may have misunderstood Deptel 4030, October 213 [Page 477] regarding extent and form joint US–UK action block satellite flights Middle East. We believe essential that US position this point be absolutely clear before additional discussions with British. Further approach to Foreign Office, therefore, will await receipt Department’s views on following comments reference Deptel 4214.

A. Containment

British do not agree regarding desirability complete exclusion satellite carriers Western Europe but are in hearty accord regarding denying satellites access Middle and Far East.
Following British unwillingness proceed implementation NSC/15 in toto, Embassy understood Department desired accomplish maximum progress possible toward such objective.
Paragraph 1 Deptel 4030, October 21 stated “US willing to leave question satellite rights Western Europe in abeyance … does not desire press this aspect policy further for time being”. Same paragraph states “… such portion policy (satellite flights to Western Europe) should not be discussed with other countries by either British or US” until such time as we have reconciled our differences this connection.
Paragraph 3 Deptel 4030, October 21 correctly pointed out UK would probably be willing assist in containment satellite flights to Middle and Far East and requested British views.
UK then agreed joint approach with US to Turkey, Greece and other governments this area in order prevent satellite flights eastwards. This course of action would seek accomplish one objective NSC/15 and at same time would not prejudice question satellite flights to Western Europe which is to be subject further discussion between US and UK.
Reference Paragraph (1) Deptel 4030, October 21 above procedure would leave in abeyance sole remaining unsettled point, i.e. satellite flights to Western Europe. Approach to Middle and Far East Governments by US and/or UK would, of course, not be discussed with Western European Governments.
Memo quoted Embtel 4687, October 20, drafted jointly by Foreign Office, Railey, Deak, Satterthwaite and Lister, not intended imply US has accepted UK policy regarding flights to Western Europe. It merely attempts set forth substantial area of agreement achieved between US and UK regarding satellite policy. Embassy agrees, however, draft memo should be revised (presumably in Paragraph 2) amplifying “certain procedures” put forth by US. Foreign Office in all probability willing leave such drafting changes to US.
Reference Paragraph (B)2 Deptel 4214, problem appears one of definition. Embassy believes “common front approach” contemplated [Page 478] in NSC/15 means approach (to Greece, Turkey, etc., in this case) by those governments which have common objective in mind (UK and US).
In summary, Embassy strongly believes US should seize upon all aspects of NSC/15 in which UK agrees and seek early and effective implementation thereof. We believe early action on agreed points is preferable to postponement attempt make Middle Eastern portion containment policy effective unless and until UK agreed regarding Western European portion.

B. Sale of Aviation Equipment

Reference Paragraph (B) Deptel 4214, Embassy and ECA Missions here still strongly believe best course of action is to handle sale of aircraft and parts in approaches to other governments as part of satellite air policy (London Toeca 3424 and phone conversation5 Satterthwaite and Prentice6 with Norton October 28) for following reasons:

Aviation items for which export Eastern Europe prohibited in satellite air policy are broader than those ECA Item A list, e.g. radio range equipments;
On basis ECA London experience negotiation Item A and Item B lists7 will take considerable time with each OEEC country, hence excluding subject of sales from separate approach on satellite air policy to OEEC countries might delay over a long period its full implementation. Complete Item A and Item B lists will not be given nine countries until after UN Committee Two meeting8 (Washington Repto 1422 and 1483)9 and British not even able discuss details of lists with these countries until then;
Active British support pledged for aircraft and parts restrictions but British as yet reluctant exert pressure OEEC countries on Item A list generally (London Torep 295, repeated Toeca 368).10 [Page 479] Therefore handling of restrictions on export aviation equipment apart from approach on Item A list will tend strengthen British influence in supporting these restrictions with OEEC countries.
OSR has already approved treating aircraft and parts restrictions separately from rest of Item A for time being (Paris telegram 5402 to Department, October 15, repeated Bern as 71).11

Department please pass above section B to ECA. Paris please pass pass OSR.

Sent Department, repeated Paris 856, Bern 58.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 1, p. 473.
  2. Supra.
  3. Ante, p. 472.
  4. The message under reference here, from London to the Economic Cooperation Administration in Washington, is not printed.
  5. No record of this telephone conversation has been found.
  6. Edward Prentice, Acting Assistant Chief, Aviation Division, Office of Transport and Communications.
  7. The reference here is to two secret lists of strategic export items utilized in connection with the policy to control exports of strategic significance to Eastern Europe. For the definition of policy transmitted to American representatives negotiating with ECA countries for the control of exports to Eastern Europe, see telegram 3848, September 28, to Paris, p. 569. For an account of these negotiations, see the extract from Current Economic Developments, No. 178, November 22, 1948, p. 585.
  8. The United Nations General Assembly’s Economic and Financial Committee was considering the question of alleged discrimination in international trade which had been raised by the Polish Delegation to the General Assembly. Regarding this issue, see the editorial note, p. 588.
  9. The reference here is to messages from the Economic Cooperation Administration in Washington to the United States Representative at the Organization of European Economic Cooperation; neither message is printed.
  10. Not printed.
  11. Ante, p. 471.