340.240/1–550: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Murphy) to the United States Special Representative in Europe (Harriman 2)

top secret
Eyes only Harriman repeat Secretary State eyes only Secretary. Ockrent3 informs Embassy that Belgian Embassy Paris has been advised Norwegian Ministry at Hague has made personal and confidential démarche to Stikker4 in name of Scandinavian countries asking Stikker to be candidate for contemplated new position in OEEC. The Norwegian démarche was made on ground that it was common opinion Scandinavian countries this position should be given to personality with active Ministerial rank. The Norwegian démarche is known to certain delegations in Paris.

Ockrent added he was conveying this information through me to Harriman with consent of Van Zeeland.5

Ockrent gave his personal comment on above as follows:

  • (1) It is not necessary to create special position if contemplated post is to be given to Minister. It would be sufficient for Minister to be President or Vice President.
  • (2) This démarche seemed to Ockrent to have for its final objective candidacy of Lange6 adding it is evident that Stikker who has already indicated agreement to designation of Spaak7 would not “give effect” to démarche of which he is object.

Ockrent said Van Zeeland was transmitting copies of Spaak’s letter of December 308 to Cripps,9 Schuman,10 Stikker and Pella11 in reply to their request that Van Zeeland take up question with Spaak on terms last proposed. Van Zeeland is also sending copies of Spaak’s letter for information to Lange, Castro Fernandez,12 omitting Greek representative owing to latter’s absence from meeting.13

[Here follows the remainder of this telegram further describing the distribution of Spaak’s letter and summarizing Ockrent’s personal views on the Portuguese, Scandinavian, and British opposition to Spaak as a candidate for the proposed new post in the OEEC.]

Sent Paris 1; repeated Department 10.

  1. W. Averell Harriman, appointed under Section 108 of the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948. For further responsibilities, see telegram 156, January 31, footnote 1, p. 13.
  2. Roger Ockrent, Secretary General of the Belgian Administration of ECA.
  3. Dirk U. Stikker, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and representative on the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). For background information on the proposed creation of a position of OEEC Conciliator, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iv, pp. 367 ff.
  4. Paul van Zeeland, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the OEEC Council since August 15, 1949.
  5. Harvard M. Lange, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  6. Paul Henri Spaak, former Belgian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, President of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, Chairman of the OEEC Council from April 16, 1948, to August 15, 1949.
  7. Letter to van Zeeland from Paul Henri Spaak, outlining his conception of the duties attendant on the proposed new post of political director of the OEEC. For background information on Spaak’s decision to write this letter, see the compilation on economic recovery of Western Europe, Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iv, pp. 367 ff.
  8. Sir Stafford Cripps, British Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  9. Robert Schuman, French Minister for Foreign Affairs and French representative on the OEEC.
  10. Giuseppe Pella, Italian Minister of Budget and Treasury and Marshall Plan Affairs.
  11. António Júlio de Castro Fernandes, Portuguese Minister of National Economy.
  12. For an account of this meeting of the OEEC Consultative Group on December 20, 1949, see Repto 8075, December 21, 1949, Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. iv, p. 464.