711.4027/1–2849: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


376. Holmes2 and Lister3 from Norton.4 Dept most seriously disturbed recent Brit attitude, reflected Embs recent cables and reports other missions, re implementation Satellite aviation policy.

Embtel 344 Jan 285 disturbing evidence Brit unwillingness or inability move fast even in instance where time element obviously important. Emb requested impress FonOff and MCA with Depts desire receive Brit reply without further delay.
Embtel 345 Jan 28.6 Dept appreciates fact careful overall consideration might require different Ital treatment re Yugo. At same time, Dept does not consider this matter as immediate particular urgency or that Ital-Yugo trade rapprochement at moment hinges on exemption, to greater or lesser extent, of Yugo from agreed course toward Satellites aviation wise. Differentiation Yugos from other Satellites involves major policy decision which Dept not presently prepared leave entirely to discretion Brit and US Embs Rome.
Embtel 352 Jan 29.7 Dept concedes exchange Belg-LOT service concerns area where US and UK have not yet reached coordination views. Nevertheless, US-UK discussions London resulted, after thorough exploration and mature consideration, in agreement joint course action all areas including Western Eur. As spelled out joint US-UK memo, joint course action, even far as Western Eur concerned, does not, Depts opinion, contemplate indiscriminate throwing open door to Satellite penetration Western Eur without real and substantial benefit to Western Eur countries. Dept unable conceive any advantage Belg might possibly derive Sabena’s air service Warsaw, commercially or otherwise, even assuming Sabena able and willing inaugurate concurrently with LOT such services Warsaw and maintain such services matching each LOT flight to Brussels. Brit argument in support desirability Belg service Warsaw appears to Dept unrealistic to point of disingenuity. Brit doubtless aware fact under present conditions Warsaw people whom Brit or US might wish assist could not be “gotten in and out in hurry” via flights commercial carrier. While US does not wish impose its views on UK Emb shld make clear FonOff we have no intention grant LOT permission overfly US Zone Germany on Prague-Brussels sector of route.
Paris’ Niact 400 Jan 31 rptd as 85 to London.8 Dept most disappointed Brit action in Paris. To say least, manner in which US has learned of apparent change procedure contemplated by Brit is curious and raises question whether Brit have reconsidered joint course action to which they have previously agreed. Feel substitution Western Union for previously agreed upon joint Anglo-US approaches to individual countries will delay and initially perhaps weaken policy, especially as Western Union not organized such matters.
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Brit reluctance act promptly Turk situation, their advocacy Belg-Pol exchange, their avoidance joint action in Paris, and apparent failure send instrs to all UK missions as we were led to believe they had done (Rome’s 229 Jan 24, Embtel 345 Jan 28, Embtel 5442 Jan 19), forces Dept reluctantly conclude Brit, for unexplained reasons, no longer prepared act this matter with determination and firmness which was underlying assumption our joint agreement and course of action. While nothing was further from mind US than to impose its views and policies on UK it is felt that as between friends and allies US entitled: to immediate and unequivocable explanation Brit intentions this matter and Emb requested impress these views on FonOff and obtain without delay clearest possible answer re UK intentions implement joint Satellite aviation policy.10 [Norton.]

  1. Repeated to Paris, Bern, Rome, Belgrade, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin, and Ankara.
  2. Julius C. Holmes, Counselor of the Embassy in the United Kingdom.
  3. Ernest A. Lister, Attaché (for civil aviation matters) at the Embassy in the United Kingdom; also assigned to the Embassies in Ireland and the Netherlands.
  4. Garrison Norton, Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation and Communication.
  5. Not printed; it reported a delay in British response to American proposals regarding the manner by which Turkey could denounce the Turkish-Czechoslovak air agreement (711.4027/1–2849).
  6. Not printed. It reported that the British Foreign Office felt that American and British representatives in Rome should be authorized to inform the Italian Government that United States-United Kingdom civil aviation policy toward Eastern Europe allowed for the possibility that Italy might find it necessary in aviation matters to treat Yugoslavia differently from the Soviet-controlled satellites of Eastern Europe (711.4027/1–2849).
  7. Not printed. It reported that the British Foreign Office was moving toward the view that the advantages of Sabena (Belgian National Airline) air service to Warsaw might outweigh the advantages of a LOT (Polish State Air Service) route to Brussels. The British felt it would be desirable to have Belgian commercial air flights penetrate the “iron curtain” and be able to “get people in and out of Warsaw in hurry” should Poland cut off British flights there (855.796600/1–2949).
  8. Not printed. It reported on the sequence of circumstances which had prevented British representatives from joining with American officials in the previously agreed-upon parallel presentation of the U.S.-U.K. civil aviation policy regarding Eastern Europe to the French Government. Jefferson Caffery, the Ambassador in France, eventually made the American presentation to French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on January 24. The Embassy in France had learned that the British Foreign Office was considering presenting the civil aviation policy to member-states of the Western European Union (711.4027/1–2249).
  9. None printed.
  10. Telegram 490, February 8, from London, not printed, reported that American misgivings regarding British actions and intentions in the implementation of satellite aviation policy had been given to the British Foreign Office. The Foreign Office expressed “surprise and deep regret” over the Department of State’s conclusion that the British were not prepared to act with determination and firmness. The Foreign Office gave unequivocal assurances that the United Kingdom Government had not modified its previous full support for the desirability of a joint U.S.-U.K. course of action and objectives (711.4027/2–849).