396.1 LO/3–1750

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs ( Perkins ) to the Secretary of State


FM D A–1.1

It is too early to come up with recommendations for specific agenda items for the meeting of the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty tripartite meetings with Bevin and Schuman, and the bilateral meetings with Bevin and Schuman.

We do, however, have the following objectives:

To breathe new life into the North Atlantic Treaty. The Pact Council under the Treaty is empowered to set up such additional [Page 829] subordinate bodies as it deems necessary. The establishment of some effective central machinery for which there seems to be considerable support is one possibility which is being explored in the Department. Another would be to reach and announce some important policy declaration covering matters falling under the objectives of the Pact. Studies on this are also going forward. One possibility is a declaration on principles of peace or a program for peace but if this can be worked out it may be more appropriate for the three Ministers rather than the Pact Council since it may have world wide implications.
To attempt to reach an understanding with the U.K. on what our basic relationship should be and on the roles which the U.K. and the U.S. can each play most effectively in the world.2 To do this it will probably be necessary to have preliminary conversations discussing with the British, first of all, what our general objectives are, and secondly, how these apply to specific problems in the various parts of the world.
To arrive at an understanding on longer range objectives on Germany and what steps we should take to achieve these longer range objectives.3 This again will take a fair amount of preliminary discussion with both the British and French. Although progress can undoubtedly be made on certain minor questions it is by no means certain that we will be prepared to propose specific solutions for the basic problems.
To discuss the problems which must be met to achieve progress on the political and economic integration of Western Europe, bearing in mind the problems presented by the inclusion of Germany. Questions such as E.P.U., if not clarified earlier, would come up under this heading.
To decide on what action we should take in connection with the Austrian peace treaty negotiations.4 Actually we hope to achieve this before the meetings in May, but it may well be that the meetings in May will be an appropriate time to make an announcement.
To work out with the British and French policy in respect to Southeast Asia and Indo-China in particular.5
It is probable that in addition to the objectives listed above there will be other general and specific items which should be covered in the talks. There is attached for your consideration a very tentative outline of items which might be considered for inclusion as topics on the agendas for bilateral discussions with the British and French, the tripartite talks with both of them, and the meeting of the North Atlantic Council.6 This outline is not intended to be the agenda for the actual meetings but more an agenda of items which may be discussed in preparatory meetings. We have in mind sending an advance party to London for such talks about three weeks prior to your meeting. [Page 830] This or a similar group would also hold preparatory talks with the French. The preliminary meetings will determine how much of this in addition to the points listed above may need to be discussed in the official meetings.

It should also be noted that we have not heard from Britain or France on the agendas. Further consideration here may also add or subtract items now listed.

  1. Regarding the series indicators of papers prepared in the Department of State for the Foreign Ministers meeting, see editorial note, p. 832.
  2. For further documentation on United States relations with the United Kingdom, see pp. 1598 ff.
  3. Further documentation on the question of Germany is scheduled for publication in volume iv .
  4. Documentation on the negotiations for an Austrian state treaty is scheduled for publication in ibid.
  5. For documentation on United States policy toward Southeast Asia and Indochina, see vol. vi. pp. 690 ff.
  6. Not printed.