750.00/10–550: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices 1


18. High level Govt consideration being given draft paper (not prepared Dept.) in which fol assumptions or conclusions set forth. Your comment on validity these assumptions or conclusions requested soonest:

  • “1. Econ trends Western Europe will be far less favorable in next three years than in past three.
  • “2. Continued U.S. support on present basis and increasingly aggressive Sov tactics and rising East-West tension will not have same polit meaning to continent in 1950–1953, that they had 1947–1948.
  • “3. Roots of problem Western Europe’s morale lie in feeling present polit structure Eur society grossly inadequate cope with rigorous [Page 675] world environment. Most continental Eur realize present natl polit org Western Europe simply unable guarantee to individual real security, freedom and progress.
  • “4. Responsible leadership Fr, Ger, Belg, Ital and Dutch Govts now fully committed to union. No continental Eur politician today can afford to be against union. Public opinion polls have shown again and again an overwhelming majority in favor idea Eur federation. Lack effective polit action in Europe toward union has led us assume that vitality continental nationalism far greater than it is. Fact is demoralization which has accompanied growing loss faith in natl polit order and in its ability survive has so far prevented necessary polit initiative and leadership toward union from arising within Europe. Continental Eur polit loyalties have, to a critical degree, been withdrawn from going natl order and remain unpledged awaiting effective leadership which can inspire them with a realistic belief in attainable goals of union.
  • “5. Present polit structure continental Europe no longer capable supplying necessary org and inspiring necessary morale. People of Western Europe have fundamental conviction that purely cooperative arrangements among sovereign Govts do not really touch basic weakness of natl polit structure Western Europe and therefore cannot provide basis for transformation morale. Effects of this loss faith in natl order Western Europe have reached widely and deeply into Eur life.
  • “6. Problem is nothing less than restore faith continental Europe in its own worth and its own future. This cannot be done on basis present natl polit framework which must be remade into something broader and stronger. If Europe can be brought believe in a clear polit goal and can be led through first steps toward it, a radical change in Eur attitudes and transformation morale, conditions for success aid programs and U.S. policy Europe, are possible. For this, essential ingredient now lacking is effective continuous leadership. Under present circumstances, such leadership cannot be expected arise spontaneously in Europe. It has long been apparent only USG has strength, self-confidence and freedom action give this essential leadership.”2

  1. Sent to London, Paris, Frankfort HICOG, Rome, Oslo, Copenhagen, Brussels, The Hague, Stockholm, and Bern.
  2. Ambassador Murphy, in his telegram 562 of October 12 from Brussels, took issue with all six points of this circular. Ambassador McCloy, in his telegram 3107 of October 13 from Frankfort, agreed that most of continental Europe might be dissatisfied with the region’s national political organization and might favor some form of federation, but he disagreed with the thought of seeking such a union through aggressive U.S. leadership. Ambassador Eugenie Anderson, in her telegram 373 of October 14 from Copenhagen, agreed with the need for continuing progress toward the unification of free European countries, with U.S. support, but questioned the effectiveness or advisability of actual U.S. leadership in the development. Mrs. Anderson said that Denmark, at least, was more concerned with the question of its military security than with thoughts of European political unity. Ambassador Chapin, in his telegram 579 of October 19 from The Hague, concurred in the assumptions of paragraphs 2, 3, and 5 but questioned the others. Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., Deputy Chief of Mission in Italy, in his telegram 1795 of October 23 from Rome, took partial issue at least, with every one of the circular’s assumptions. The Minister in Switzerland, John Carter Vincent, in his telegram 647 of October 26 from Bern, questioned or qualified all six assumptions and expressed belief that U.S. influence, rather than leadership, would be the key to increasing European integration. These replies, not printed, are in Department of State file 750.00.