740.5/3–2450: Telegram

The Secretary of State of the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

secret   niact

1342. Deliver fol personal msg from Secy to Bevin in response to his reply of Mar 20 through Brit Emb to msg contained Deptel 1075, Mar 9:2

“I am glad that you and Mr. Schuman, from whom I have also heard,3 share my belief that talks between us about May 8 would be useful. I look forward to receiving your suggestions as to questions which you believe could profitably be discussed. Mr. Schuman has suggested Germany, an exchange of views on the general evolution of our relations with Eastern Europe and Indo-China and more generally Southeast Asia. He suggests, and I fully agree, that specific problems should be considered within the framework of overall policy. I am especially impressed by that point as I believe this should permit fruitful consideration of what part each can play individually and collectively toward attaining our common objectives in specific fields.

I am informing Mr. Schuman that I agree to the inclusion of the topics he has suggested.4 I am also suggesting to him that we might include a review of problems of the Austrian Treaty and perhaps other problems, such as possibilities of closer association of countries of Europe and the North Atlantic area, under overall framework of common objectives.

As you forecast in your message to me, Mr. Schuman indicated some reservation with respect to the holding of a meeting of the Pact Council, [Page 831] mainly on the ground that he thinks a meeting might be premature, that Article 2 of the Pact may be the only field to which attention could usefully be directed and that it might not be opportune to discuss specific political questions in the Council. He believes such questions might more properly be the subject of tripartite discussions, as the most urgent of them such as Southeast Asia and Germany do not directly concern the majority of the Pact signatories. I have urged Mr. Schuman to consider further the desirability of holding a Pact Council meeting and am expressing following views to him: ‘I agree with you that many specific problems are more appropriate for tripartite than Pact discussions but believe it would be particularly helpful for the twelve Foreign Ministers to have the opportunity this spring to review general developments germane to the Pact since its creation. I feel it would be most useful to have certain meetings of the Council at Foreign Minister level so that the potentialities of the Pact, which have to date been concentrated on military matters, may be more fully realized. This might include some consideration of strengthening the organization through creation if desirable of additional central machinery to assist in carrying out the purposes of the Pact and of what might be done under Article 2. I agree that any developments under Article 2 will require long and careful consideration. I believe that specific consideration of its implementation should be preceded by Council discussion along the broad lines I have indicated and would expect at this meeting of the Council only a very preliminary exploration of the question of possible steps in connection with Article 2 and some agreement on guidance for its further study.

Mr. Bevin has told me that he feels a Pact meeting would be desirable and several of the smaller countries have also expressed to us a strong feeling that a Council meeting is necessary and desirable.

I hope that a Pact Council meeting along these lines will appeal to you. I had hoped on one trip to Europe to be able to have private conversations with you and Mr. Bevin, tripartite discussions and also attend the Pact Council. It would be very difficult for me to make two trips to Europe in the next few months. I have had in mind that at least portions of our bilateral and tripartite discussions would occur before a meeting of the Pact and that in these first meetings we would, among other things, discuss Pact problems. I would also envisage early diplomatic preparation for the bilateral and tripartite talks and believe we should also prepare carefully for the Council meeting, using the mechanism of the International Working Group here in Washington.5 I would appreciate your further views on the desirability of a Council meeting, particularly since this question must be discussed with all Pact members. If there is agreement on holding it the I.W.G. should be convened at an early date for preparatory work on the agenda.’ I hope you will feel able to join with me in urging the desirability of a Pact meeting on Mr. Schuman.

As to the third paragraph of your message, I am agreeable to the holding of the tripartite and the Pact Council meetings in London as well, of course, as our own private discussions. I feel I should also [Page 832] talk to Mr. Schuman and I am considering stopping in Paris on my way to London for that purpose.”

  1. Repeated to Rome as 1061 for Perkins who was attending a meeting of the United States Ambassadors in Western Europe. For documentation on this meeting, see pp. 795 ff.
  2. Not printed; in it Bevin welcomed Secretary Acheson’s proposal to go to Europe and agreed that such a trip would provide an opportunity to hold a meeting of the North Atlantic Council. In a subsequent message transmitted through the British Embassy, not printed, Bevin sent his suggestions on the subjects which might be discussed. (396.1 LO/3–2150 and 3–2450)
  3. Presumably a reference to a note from the French Foreign Office to Ambassador Bruce a translation of which was transmitted to Washington in telegram 1317, March 21, not printed (740.5/3–2150).
  4. The complete text of the note to Schuman was transmitted in telegram 1301, to Paris, March 24, not printed (740.5/3–2150).
  5. For documentation relating to the work of the NATO Intergovernmental Working Group, see pp. 611 ff.