740.00119 EW/2–2349: Telegram

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

us urgent

675. For Saltzman from Douglas.

I saw Bevin briefly yesterday about dismantling, and would have cabled substance of conversation had he not suggested that to save him certain amount of time, I elaborate on certain points with Kirkpatrick. This I agreed to do after making it clear (a) that I did not propose to discuss any technical questions; and (b) that this matter was one with which Bevin and Schuman must deal in broad and reasonable way.
In passing, it is interesting that Bevin seemed listless, tired, and although anxious to settle problem, without assurance that his recommendation would be accepted by the Cabinet.
I saw Kirkpatrick this morning and explained to him, in greater detail than time permitted in my conversation with Bevin, that we were not prepared discuss prohibited and limited industries in conjunction with retention of plants recommended by Humphrey Committee. I explained reasons which influenced us take this position. [Page 556]

In response Kirkpatrick repeated in more elaborate way what Bevin had said yesterday. Sum and substance is that British do not want to discuss dismantling as separate issue, because they fear that:

If dismantling is settled by itself, their bargaining position in regard to prohibited and limited industries will have been impaired; and
If issue of dismantling is once settled, our interest in prohibited and limited industries will wane, negotiations will be postponed continuously, and present situation will be reserved for an interminable period of time during which a German government may be established. This government will then become an ardent participant in matter of prohibited and limited industries, and controversy will develop into one between British and French governments on one hand, and German government on other, thus impeding, if not interfering with measures for assimilation of Western Germany in Western Europe.

Thus, in absence of confirmation from Bevin after he will have discussed matter with Cabinet, situation appears to be as follows: We will not discuss prohibited and limited industries coevally with Humphrey Committee’s report, and British are very reluctant discuss two questions separately. As long as this situation prevails neither of the two issues will be discussed.
My analysis is that second of two reasons referred to above which influenced British to resist discussing question separately is by far the more important of two, and that if we could give British some firm assurance that we would initiate negotiations on prohibited and limited industries at earliest possible moment and bring them to conclusion at earliest possible date, this would go far to break deadlock.

Deptel 601, February 21.1 Do not understand what is meant by “British and French composite list,” but interpret cable to mean that we cannot supply list of plants referred to in Deptel 587.1 This, however unavoidable, is I think unfortunate, because:

It may tend further to delay result of negotiations; and
It may place British and French in stronger position of indicating plants which they believe have security considerations.

Is there no way of getting around difficulty, so that Clay’s list of plants can be adjusted to Humphrey Committee’s list of plants?

Is any progress being made re paragraph I–(3) of Embtel 615, February 17,1 in which hope was expressed that I might be able to tell British and French that negotiations on prohibited and limited industries at governmental level would commence shortly?

Sent Department as 675, repeated Paris as 122.

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