840.00R/1–3050: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State


534. In course informal talk with McNeil1 this afternoon on several matters, he expressed his disappointment at course which Paris meeting2 had taken. It was unfortunate, he said, that impression had been [Page 625] given US that British Government was opposed to a payments union.3 It was definitely in favor.

He hoped that the snags which British experts did not foresee in early phases would be overcome as a result of further study. He doubted whether study could be completed and decisions taken before general election February 23. He appreciated the difficulty this would put Hoffman in when testifying before Congress but said it would not be easy for an expiring government actually to take a decision on payment union with only a few days left of its mandate.

Sent Department 534; repeated Paris 151. Pass ECA and OSR.

  1. Hector McNeil, British Minister of State.
  2. On January 25, Hoffman and Harriman met with Sir Stafford Cripps. On the 26th and 27th, the Consultative Group of Ministers of the OEEC met. In attendance, in addition to Hoffman and Harriman, were Milton Katz, Deputy Special Representative in Europe for the ECA, and Richard M. Bissell Jr., Assistant Administrator for Program, ECA.
  3. The development of a European Payments Union (EPU) that would include the United Kingdom was a primary goal in U.S. encouragement of the economic integration of Europe.