396.1 LO/4–2850: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State


Secto 36. Opening second [third] tripartite meeting Thursday afternoon1 Sir William Strang suggested the group address self to three problems: (1) is there need for closer association among the NAT treaty powers with respect to work now being done and if so is new machinery required to bring about this closer relationship; (2) is there need of closer association for work which is not now being done by NATO but which might be undertaken e.g. as envisaged in Article 2. If so what machinery is required for this work; (3) if the answer to two is in affirmative in what way would new machinery relate to other existing organizations.

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Massigli requested that before discussing these points he be brought up to date on work on international working group in Washington and in consequence Hoyer Millar summarized current developments. It was agreed it would be useful for members of tripartite meeting to give their representatives in IWG as much in the way of preliminary views as possible on question of establishment of permanent machinery but that we should not put agreed plan before IWG.

Perkins then led off with indication of current US views in following terms: we believe answer to first question raised by Strang is in affirmative, that there is need for central machinery to coordinate and give impetus to work of defense and military committees and any other bodies that may be established. On point two we believe answer is also yes; we believe there are two and possibly three lines on which further action is required in addition to urgent question of coordination of finance and military aspects defense programs; viz: (a) coordination of programs relating to pact matters; (b) further coordination of foreign policy questions related to objective of pact. In addition he suggested consideration should be given to possibility of need for work on economic questions in addition to those referred to above. He indicated that organizationally he felt permanent committee composed of deputies to council members required to perform these functions; that, in addition, executive of real ability was required composed of vice-chairman or secretary general or something similar aided by international staff. Also assume deputies would have small staffs of own to carry on committee work.

Alphand then indicated French views which were somewhat at variance with those suggested in bilateral discussion this morning.2 Agreed need central body to give coordination and propulsion present finance and military committees; agreed with Perkins suggestion of permanent deputies but stressed need for strong executive arm headed by high ranking secretary general. He agreed that there were economic problems which faced west as a whole not simply Europe with which no organization was now dealing directly. At present ECAOEEC relationship provided a link on economic matters between US and Europe but this would disappear when ECA came to end. In this connection, and at other points in discussion, he emphasized French view that OEEC should continue beyond ERP period. Because fact number of countries not NAT members he felt NAT could not provide necessary economic link. Underlying objection which emerged in course French discussion is French objection associating Germany with NAT in any way. As solution to problem of providing economic [Page 846] link he suggested that after 1952 US and Canada might be asked to meet with OEEC, not as members, but as associates for discussion of specific common problems. He made clear that despite US and Canada association with organization OEEC should remain a European organization primarily concerned with European problems.

Jebb then indicated UK views, stressing their preliminary character. Agreed was need for new pact machinery to effect better coordination between military and finance aspects of defense effort. Agreed in general Perkins’ suggestions as to composition but obviously favored much weaker executive arm than French. Again referred as in bilateral discussion earlier3 to difficulty of getting working arrangement among 12 countries and need for some streamlining through establishment inner group or otherwise. He felt answer respecting new work was less clear. If pact broadened to include foreign policy and Article 2 questions he felt consequences which would follow would be at variance with those flowing from plan proposed by Alphand. He felt both schemes should be looked at in relation to Germany and questioned whether Alphand scheme would satisfy requirements of German situation. Broader pact as outlined by Perkins would he felt gradually take over from OEEC and also eventually lead to association Germany with non-military aspects NAT. Makins added that they did not feel Article 2 should be allowed to atrophy and added that they felt that pact permanent body should be developed gradually. Until 1952 and probably longer OEEC would be a going concern. Question of relationship between it and any economic machinery under pact could be considered at a later stage.

He questioned whether, as suggested by Alphand, it was possible to separate defense economic questions from other economic questions and felt that, increasingly, economic questions of all kinds would tend to be discussed under pact machinery.

Alphand reiterated fact that French did not want Germany in pact but would want Germany associated with OEEC and other western countries on economic questions. He believes NAT should confine itself in economic field primarily to military supply questions. Makins felt German affiliation with pact machinery could be accomplished by clear differentiation of military and non-military aspects of pact.

Massigli felt that any method of associating Germany with North Atlantic machinery would cause deeper cleft between east and west and might lead to German rearmament. Alphand added it would also lead to death of OEEC.

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Strang reiterated that UK did not feel Germany should be associated immediately with any NAT machinery and that as first step Germany should become member of Council of Europe; in meanwhile pact machinery might develop so that eventually Germany and other countries could be associated with non-military machinery within general pact framework.

Upshot of meeting was general agreement on immediate need of creation permanent machinery for NAT and that primary immediate function should be coordination of military and defense finance problems, and general, but less firm agreement on value of further coordination foreign policy questions relating to defense and willingness explore question of coordination of information. Subcommittee established to meet tomorrow to examine terms of reference for permanent machinery in more detail.

Following this discussion and on the general subject of continuing US relations with Europe, Jessup made general statement following closely paper A–8/1a.4 Makins welcomed statement but took occasion to indicate fact that British thought present defense expenditures already over-strained economy. Alphand also expressed appreciation for expressions mutual interest in Jessup’s remarks and general agreement with objectives. He also, however, took this occasion to stress heavy military commitments of French in Indochina in particular. Group then took up migration item. French made short statement indicating importance of problem particularly problem Italian and German emigration but indicated they did not wish ministers to consider in detail. They felt, however, that studies of migration problem now being made by other organization lacked necessary political direction which might be given by calling general conference on subject. Jessup and Strang, although not supporting, indicated willingness to explore idea further and French to put proposal in writing. Neither French nor British had proposals to make on item 9. Jessup summarized our views, following closer paper B–19.5 There was general, little discussion of but general agreement with US proposals.

Sent Department repeated Paris 672.

  1. Held April 27 at 3:30 p.m. at the Foreign Office.
  2. For a report on the first U.S.–French bilateral talks, see Secto 31, April 27, p. 894.
  3. For a report on the second U.S.–U.K. bilateral talks under reference here, see Secto 13, April 25, p. 860.
  4. Infra.
  5. Not printed; it stressed that the world situation made it necessary for the United States, United Kingdom, and France to bring to bear their full resources on particular problems in a coordinated fashion. Emphasis should be placed on increasing the use and effectiveness of already existing diplomatic channels rather than building new ones, including frequent meetings of the Foreign Ministers, the High Commission for Germany, the Austrian Deputies, the central organization of NATO, the United Nations, and the OEEC. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting)