850.33/6–250: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices 1


Following are joint State–ECA instructions which shld be followed by all US reps in Eur in handling Schuman proposals re coal and steel.

US welcomes Schuman proposal as imaginative and constructive initiative in field of Eur economic and political relations. Although many difficult problems involved in working out application, US belives they may be overcome. US gratified at emphasis on objectives of cost reduction through increased productivity, benefits to consumers and workers and recognition of desirability of retaining benefits of competitive process (See President’s statement contained Wireless Bulletin 117, May 182).
Dept and ECA consider it most important that initiative in developing this proposal continue remain with Eur govts in order assure maximum acceptability Eur people. Moreover, Eur initiative and responsibility are essential to achieve maximum degree political advantage from viewpoint harmonizing French-German relations. Accordingly no further public statements of US position or attitude shld be made at this time except to reaffirm general position expressed in present statements and no formal US proposals for detailed implementation of plan shld be made to Eur govts. US will not be a party to negots and will have no official association or observers at present stage, either on behalf US or US repr on HICOM. Do not believe US can take position on issues between UK and Fr with respect procedures for negots.
May be useful at early stage make participants aware, informally, of direction of US thinking on implementation when this has been more clearly defined in Wash. Also believe possible that situation will develop in which strong US influence shld be exerted to avoid watering down of proposal by one participant (British for instance) or to assure retention of favorable economic elements outlined in original Schuman announcement and emphasized in President’s May 18 statement. Therefore, US Govt proposes watch closely development of plan. Dept and ECA wish to be fully informed of views of missions concerned and will give them full consideration but will determine timing and nature of any formal or informal US approach which may be desirable or necessary. This connection, SecState and ECA admin may wish personally authorize or express any US comments.
US proposes watch closely development of plan. For this purpose informal arrangements will be sought with Fr and Ger whereby US reps Paris and Bonn will obtain regular and current info on progress negots in maximum detail, including working docs and drafts as negots proceed.
In order assure coordination, all future instrs this subject will originate jointly State and ECA, with consultation other interested agencies as appropriate.
  1. Sent to London, Frankfort, The Hague, Rome, Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, Bern, Stockholm, and Moscow.
  2. Statement read by President Truman at the start of his news conference on May 18. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, May 29, 1950, p. 828.