103.02 ECA/1–1250: Telegram

The United States Special Representative in Europe ( Harriman ) to the Secretary of State


Repsec 3. Personal for SecState and Hoffman1 from Harriman. At Schuman’s suggestion Bruce2 and I called on him today. He expressed himself as satisfied with Spaak’s letter to Van Zeeland [Page 613] and said that he would give the proposal his full support and indicated that he did not believe there would be serious difficulty from any country except Portugal. He thought Cripps would now accept and the Scandinavian countries would withdraw their objection, but felt that we were the only ones who could exert influence on Portuguese Government. You will recall how vigorously Portuguese opposed selection of Spaak at last meeting of Consultative Group.3 I share Schuman’s concern over Portuguese attitude and had independently come to the conclusion that unless strong pressure were exerted in Lisbon by US, Portuguese representative at next meeting would be instructed to unalterably oppose Spaak. I, therefore, urge that our Ambassador be instructed to bring strongest possible influence to bear prior to the Consultative Group meeting tentatively scheduled January 28. Unless we are successful in persuading Portuguese Government to withdraw personal objection to Spaak feel the whole concept will be delayed to point of frustration, since Spaak is in fact the only outstanding personality available. I am personally not quite as optimistic as Schuman about withdrawal of Scandinavian and British objection, particularly if they have the screen of vigorous opposition from Portugal to hide behind. I am ready to go to Lisbon if MacVeagh4 feels after further talks that my presence can be of use.

  1. Paul G. Hoffman, Administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration.
  2. David K. E. Bruce, U.S. Ambassador in France.
  3. The Consultative Group of the OEEC.
  4. Lincoln MacVeagh, U.S. Ambassador in Portugal.