740.00/8–1150: Telegram

The Consul at Strasbourg ( Andrews ) to the Secretary of State 1


28. Koren and I appreciate guidance Deptel 52 and will continue keep conversations with Council of Europe Secretariat officials and delegations on informal basis, avoiding any suggestion we are spokesmen fixed US policy.

In light general tone of reference telegram and certain specific instructions contained therein, however, we would welcome further elaboration Department’s thinking. Frankly we fear that even most guarded presentation views so far outlined would give members of Strasbourg Assembly impression US considers their institution should be little more than debating society, or at best that Council’s main job is in social and cultural spheres. So far we have carefully taken no sides on issues dividing Assembly; since it would come as particular shock if we were to air even “personal” views that delegations should regard as taboo subject on which both they and we are aware that real power of decision does not now rest with Strasbourg Assembly. Unless Department feels strongly that Assembly fulfills its role by discussing problems without going on to make as positive and concrete proposals as its members are ready to sponsor, we would consider it more appropriate comment of specific proposals before Assembly, e.g. European companies, than on questions of scope Council’s responsibilities.

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As Department is aware, whatever sentiment there may be in Europe for political unity and establishment supra-national political authority finds in Council of Europe its only official institutional outlet for expression. It has been our understanding that US, while interested in promoting certain policies of economic unity, largely through OEEC action, took a strictly hands-off attitude toward methods by which Europeans achieved greater political unity. The question of method is again being fought out at Strasbourg, first on issues relating to institutional relationships of Ministries and Assembly within Council and second on policy questions debated by Assembly. We assume we can take reference telegram’s silence on first to indicate continuation past US attitude, not conviction that Council should forget problem of political unity.

On second, reference telegram correctly anticipates that there is support within council for latter to have role in relation Schuman Plan high authority, specifically that Strasbourg Assembly should be the common Assembly under discussion at Paris. We feel in need some knowledge Department’s reasoning if we are to present even in informal and personal manner Department’s tentative conclusion rejecting such a relationship.

In this connection, would point out that French Foreign Office official went out of his way after Schuman’s speech to Strasbourg Assembly to declare to US that: (1) Foreign Minister was not merely expounding plan, but definitely asking for Assembly’s views, and (2) Schuman himself did favor having Strasbourg Assembly become body to which high authority ultimately responsible (Contel 24, August 8, Paris 123.)

Would appreciate particularly learning whether Embassy Paris has corroborating evidence as to French thinking, whether it has given any expression Department’s views as contained paragraph 5 reference telegram, and reaction French and other delegations.

Assembly debate on Schuman Plan scheduled begin August 14.

Reference telegram paragraph 6. Churchill proposed following resolution this morning as motion for immediate adoption by Assembly: “The Assembly, in order express its devotion to maintenance of peace and its resolve sustain action SC of UN in defence peaceful peoples against aggression, calls for the immediate creation of European army subject unified European democratic control and acting in full cooperation with the US and Canada.”

British Conservatives state that they able force vote on motion today and will do so if it takes all night. They are somewhat apprehensive about German vote.

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Sent niact Department 28, repeated information priority Paris 16, priority London unnumbered, priority Brussels unnumbered, priority Rome unnumbered, priority The Hague unnumbered.

  1. Message was read in the Department by Hal Reynolds of the Office of European Regional Affairs.
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed.