The Chargé in Norway ( Villard ) to the Secretary of State
236. For Arneson. Randers1 informs me following return from Paris that unofficial and informal discussions have taken place for Union of Western European countries interested in atomic energy development. Project apparently originated in Amsterdam last December at inauguration of Dutch cyclotron and conversations so far involve Norwegians, Dutch and French. Randers also mentioned Switzerland, Portugal and Sweden as potential members of group which would be formed mainly for purpose of exchanging raw materials and technical skill. Subject will now be referred to government officials for study and approval and formal Norwegian position will probably be determined in next few weeks.[Page 544]
Randers observed that recent events such as Fuchs case and announcement of H-bomb have led smaller countries of Europe to believe that little assistance can be expected from US in foreseeable future for furthering their progress in atomic energy field. Interested scientists, therefore, feel that pooling of knowledge and techniques is only solution if Europe is to keep abreast of advances made by US and USSR. Randers points out that integration of such endeavors is fully in line with economic and military defense policies we have been advocating for Western Europe. Randers also remarked that to bring France into group might raise political or security objections but expressed opinion there was nothing in France today that was not already known in Soviet Union. Latter, in fact, was doubtless well ahead of anything yet developed by French who held lead among European countries, therefore, risk was negligible.
In advising me of above development, Randers undoubtedly hopes that some early reaction may be forthcoming from US with regard to original Norwegian requests.2 It would be helpful if some comment negative or otherwise could be passed on to him at this stage since in any event he and fellow technicians on Continent seem resolved to pursue the path of progress by every possible means.
Randers had extended conversations with Joliot-Curie who made no secret of fact he was convinced Communist as well as anti-American. Although French have concluded graphite agreement with Norway shipment has not yet been made. Dautry made vigorous protest at terms proposed by Norwegians for heavy water deal (mytel 882, December 173) but Randers does not believe French would go so far as to hold up graphite shipment to obtain better conditions.