ECA Telegram Files, Lot W–130, Paris Repto: Telegram

The Special Representative in Europe for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Harriman) to the Administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration (Hoffman)


Repto 3209. Personal to Hoffman and Acheson from Harriman. At conference OSR and east-west trade representatives of ECA Missions London, Paris, The Hague, Brussels, Frankfurt, Rome, and Legation Bern, the following position was unanimously agreed. I strongly endorse those views and recommend their prompt adoption; to quote:


We believe that British plans for control 1A items reported by London Toeca 7431 and London memorandum 117, March 15,2 sent OSR and airmailed Washington, represent highest level of agreement which will be attained, at least in near future, by countries consulting in Paris and that US should:

Inform Britain that US willing modify its 1A list to meet deletions and consider additions proposed by British, and to transfer deletions to IB list, in expectation that France, Netherlands, and Belgium will agree on a modified list;
Immediately notify Italy, Norway, Bizone, and Austria of modified US list;
Urge establishment committee in London or Paris with membership all major OEEC countries and US, under ECA or State or Atlantic Pact auspices to consider currently perhaps monthly, additions or changes in list in light of both intelligence reports and eastern European demands for items of possible security importance, especially the B items.

Reasons for foregoing:

As to step (1), this offers best chance of expediting prompt and effective control of substantial amount US list by major OEEC countries, for it provides proper basis for pressure, if desired, on countries which fail to come up to modified list to which Britain, Italy, Norway, Bizone and Austria have already agreed. Furthermore, it avoids danger of US exporters attempting secure 117 D sanctions where several major OEEC countries continue export certain items still banned by US because of non-acceptance US view.
As a result recent press comments, European countries have become more sensitive to charges of US pressure. Though major OEEC [Page 100] countries express willingness cooperate, they desire voice in final determination of any list which they have responsibility for enforcing. American agreement to modify 1A list with major OEEC countries will demonstrate that US is in fact consulting and cooperating on basis mutuality of interests and security problem and not endeavoring unilaterally compel OEEC countries to adopt its views.
Step (2) is only proper as means of preventing those countries being placed at trade disadvantage (Repto 2889, March 23).
Regarding step (3), the fact of mutual consultation as therein provided would, we believe, (a) result in greater cooperation generally, (b) better implementation of controls, (c) the collective application of pressure against any country inclined to be recalcitrant; (d) the coordination of intelligence reports and prompt action therein based upon mutual understanding of facts. Committee would furnish forum for discussion and exchange of information regarding exports, quantities of IB exports, eastern European demands for items with security aspects, estimates Soviet stockpiling and the like. We believe flexibility of lists essential. For example, Bizone and Austria both report sudden and great demand by USSR for carbon electrodes.
To minimize the OEEC aspects of such a committee as suggested above and to strengthen security factor, dominion especially Canada, might be invited participate.

  1. Not printed. It reported that British officials had agreed to recommend the extension of export controls over additional items on the U.S. 1A list. The action brought to 121 the number of 1A items which the British were willing to control in full, together with 8 other items they were willing to control in part Three other items were under consideration, leaving 31 items not agreed upon (London Embassy Files: 500 Marshall Plan).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.