London Embassy Files: 500 Marshall Plan: Telegram

The Deputy Chief of the Economic Cooperation Administration Mission in the United Kingdom (Siegbert) to the Embassy in France


Torep 547. Ref Torep 519 rptd Toeca 616 Jan 24.1

Brit report meeting with French Jan 26 produced most cooperative attitude on part of French who have agreed with large majority of items on Brit-developed 1A list. Items not yet agreed to by French are those on which French place high commercial value in their trade and lesser importance security-wise. Brit state items not yet agreed to by French are those which Brit considered border-line cases but which Brit finally agreed to include their current 1A list.
Meeting with other countries originally scheduled Jan 29 postponed until Feb 2. Brit and French have agreed to take joint leadership with other countries to urge acceptance joint Brit-French list. Brit will report results this meeting to us Feb. 4.
Brit for first time indicated formally and clearly that if any other countries not prepared to go along with some or all of those items Brit have tentatively agreed upon, Brit will have to reconsider. This reconsideration would be a Ministerial one but Brit pointed out not only useless but internally politically impossible to embargo an item if another participating country refuses to embargo that item and produces it in sufficient quantity to meet requirements of Eastern European countries. Diesel electric generators cited as example since Swiss and Swedes both produce this item in substantial quantities. Brit state however if Switzerland or Sweden refuse to control entire list Brit would still control items which those countries do not produce in sufficient quantity to meet USSR and satellite requirements. Brit indicated French take same approach. Brit feel best approach solution this problem is to make every effort have other countries agree to as extensive a list as possible.

Sent Paris Torep 547, rptd [Washington] Toeca 645.

  1. Ante, p. 70.