103.02 ECA/1–2450: Telegram

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


Secrep 17. Brit Amb has confirmed to me1 that Spaak would be unacceptable to Brit for OEEC position particularly in light of Daily Telegraph article mentioned by Kenney in his Toeca 81, January 19.2 Franks said he had been instructed to request us to approach Spaak and ask that he withdraw his candidacy. I have told Franks that we do not consider ourselves committed to Spaak, that any European of stature agreed upon by the OEEC countries would be acceptable to us but that I do not consider it would be appropriate for us to suggest to Spaak that he should withdraw his candidacy.

During my conversations with Spaak prior to foregoing conversation with Brit, Spaak had indicated that he felt Brit, Scandinavians and Portuguese wld continue to attempt to postpone action on appointment. My conversations with Spaak were in general terms and not confined to OEEC issue and no specific commitments of any kind were made to him. Spaak reiterated his views on European integration with which you are already familiar.

In light of my recent conversations with Spaak and with Brit, I believe it would be a mistake to continue to push candidacy of Spaak. He could only be successful if he had full support of OEEC members. In face of flat opposition from Brit and varying degrees opposition from Portuguese and Scandinavians further support might possibly do more harm than good. I am confident Spaak realizes that we have from the first felt that he cld have made a unique contribution to the organization and that he will recognize that further action on our part might jeopardize his own future as well as that of the OEEC.

I do not feel that it is necessary for us to alter our view on the desirability for the appointment to the OEEC of some outstanding European. Franks indicated that the Brit were willing to “go along” with the establishment of the position and suggested that Stikker might be a generally acceptable candidate.

[Page 617]

Sent Paris for Harriman and Bruce; rptd to London for Holmes3 as 333 and to Brussels for Murphy as 86.

  1. On January 20, Sir Oliver Franks spoke with Secretary of State Acheson and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs George Perkins on several subjects related to ECA procedures in Europe. He briefly mentioned fund allocation, liberalization of trade, dual pricing, and currency interchangeability as matters that the British Government was not able to act upon at the present time. The Ambassador said his chief concern, however, was with the question of Spaak’s candidacy for the proposed new position in OEEC. Acheson’s memorandum on this conversation, dated January 20, not printed, is in Department of State file 411.409/1–2050.
  2. Telegram from W. John Kenney, Chief of the ECA Mission in the United Kingdom; not printed.
  3. Julius C. Holmes, Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom.