CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: Secto Cables

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


Secto 45. From Jessup. Fourth trilateral discussion, Friday p. m.1

A. Subgroup Report on NAT

Jebb reported subgroup had not been able to agree on the text of cable to Washington IWG. French insisted no new body being created but simply meetings of council, sometimes with deputy Foreign Minister and that to move forward with military defense program there was need for high level Executive SYG with considerable authority. UK considered what was involved was permanent body of deputy Foreign Ministers with an efficient secretariat. Main work would be done by subgroups.

Alphand held Executive SYG would act under control and directives of permanent group and there need be no fear his exceeding proper role. French convinced plan would not succeed without such strong individual in strategic spot. The main questions to be resolved [Page 851] were: (a) Do we propose to have new body or council meetings with deputy Foreign Ministers; (b) Scope of authority of Executive SYG; (c) Terms of reference of functions of body.

Jessup suggested sole problem was to inform IWG of views put forward in talks by representatives three powers. Unanimous agreement at this stage unnecessary. This view accepted and it was agreed Perkins, as chairman IWG, should send general and vague cable to IWG based on US draft with indication these ideas represented “kind of proposals” being considered in London meetings. (Sent Department Secto 412.) Question was raised by Massigli re phrase “and considering the equitable division of the financial burden and of productive tasks” which was revised of original text which had phrase “seeing to it that there was an” instead of “considering the”. He considered revision too weak and strongly urged three powers face up to this vital issue, on which a decision was urgently needed, not further study. Agreed subgroup will continue study term[s] of reference and organization machinery.

B. Chinese Representation

Jessup summarized US position.3 Jebb went over same ground he covered in the US–UK bilateral stressing UK would welcome receiving Chinese Communist representative UN and stressing votes of France and Ecuador were crucial to break impasse. Also emphasized need to settle question before membership issue arises; indicated would be difficult UK accept principle of universality involving favorable votes Outer Mongolia, Albania, other satellites. De La Tournelle said situation causing French grave anxiety re future of UN and re interruption atomic energy discussions where the Western countries had had contact with USSR. Small countries may conclude large powers manipulating UN and be critical their inability agree. If Chinese representative not settled by GA apprehensive Soviet bloc would withdraw and France could not accept UN becoming sort of “holy alliance”. France had not taken position re Lie’s distinction between problem of recognition of new government and representative in UN. Jebb and Strang urged to consider serious consequences that might ensue if situation continued. Jebb acknowledged a government should be consistent in attitude toward recognition government and seating their representatives in UN but held that, though perhaps illogical, inconsistency here not illegal. Massigli said French position had not [Page 852] changed; his government not prepared to vote for unseating Nationalist Government. However, French might eventually vote favorably on unseating representative that government without having recognized Chinese Communists, though it would be difficult public to understand in view attitude Chinese Communist Government toward French. In response to an inquiry from Jessup, Strang indicated Bevin would like to have Foreign Ministers consider this question.

C. Periodic Meetings

Jessup summarized the US position on the question and Jebb did likewise for UK along the lines previously reported to Department (Secto 14). Massigli said he had no instructions but would probably have them after Lie saw Schuman tomorrow.

D. Declaration

Massigli submitted a draft declaration on objectives and conclusions for approval by the three powers or NAT Council. Study of document deferred. Text in separate telegram.4

E. Attitudes Toward Soviet Union and Satellites

a. Retaliation.

Jebb explained the UK view on need for consultation on problem of retaliation prior to reaching individual decisions. Purpose should be to determine extent to which the other governments could follow same proposed course. Massigli held difficult have fixed rules since these questions come up as specific cases affecting individual governments, should be considered on merits, and governments must reserve right to act as they think best. Common action might increase difficulties. He agreed however on the desirability of consultation and thought common practices desirable when the problem was a common one. Bohlen stated fixed rules was not objective; Soviet and satellite actions against Western diplomatic mission was common problem since directed as part of general plan against the West as a whole and not against individual countries. Consultation looking toward the possibility of adopting common attitudes highly desirable. Where matter was clearly one affecting only one government practice of informing the other governments helpful and constructive. He then summarized the US position.5

b. Exiles.

Massigli stressed the need to take cautious and prudent attitude in view of possibility that war might be provoked by activities of exiles who consider war inevitable and want it. They are indiscreet and spread rumors which are then considered by their own governments [Page 853] as the views of the Western Powers. Bohlen agreed this was matter that should be handled with discretion but suggested risks would be less if there was consultation among the three governments. He particularly stressed the value of consultations among the field representatives of the three powers for mutual exchange of information re any dissident developments within Soviet states. Alphand inquired if permanent consultations were contemplated and Bohlen indicated that there was no thought of special permanent machinery, but perhaps consultation could be through the missions in the three capitals, or perhaps through the NAT Council.

F. Yugoslavia (in particular, measures of financial assistance)

Alphand said French attitude on financial assistance differed from that of the US since France was a creditor. Thus France had indicated to the International Bank that it was against extending new credits to Yugoslavia before the old debts were paid. Bohlen pointed to the fact that the three powers agreed on the importance of Tito and the need to help him to stay in power. His downfall would have far-reaching and very serious effects. Bohlen then summarized the US attitude re financial assistance.6 Makins said that UK did not have a clear idea of the situation in respect to general balance of payments but Yugoslav sterling position good. Yugoslavia had not drawn on UK credits nearly to extent expected. He thought the International Bank loan less urgent. Bohlen stressed importance of the loan and the very great political importance US attached to keeping the situation under close surveillance to see that it did not deteriorate. Alphand said that France agreed on the consequences of a Tito downfall and that she would be prepared to join in the same financial assistance policy with the US and the UK after her debt problem had been solved on which he seemed reasonably hopeful. There was no dissent to idea of consultation re military supply assistance in event situation should become serious.

Sent Department, repeated Paris 686.

  1. Held at 4 p. m. April 28 in the Foreign Office.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Regarding the United States position on Chinese representation at the United Nations, see Secto 14, April 25, p. 863, and footnote 4 thereto. For further documentation on this question outside the framework of the Foreign Ministers meeting, see vol. ii, pp. 186 ff.
  4. Secto 44, April 28, from London, not printed (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: Secto Cables).
  5. For a summary of the United States position, see Secto 12, April 25, p. 865, and footnotes 4 and 6 thereto.
  6. In preparation for the preliminary meetings the Office of Eastern European Affairs had drafted position paper FM D B–8, “Policy toward Yugoslavia,” dated April 12, not printed, which recommended the following with regard to financial assistance:

    “3. It is an objective of the three Governments that the Tito regime should be accorded sufficient economic and financial assistance to maintain itself against Soviet pressures. All three, with the participation of other western nations, if possible, should contribute within their means to this objective. Whether or not it will be possible and desirable to take up specifically with Bevin and Schuman the International Bank loan will depend upon whether, prior to the meeting, the interested agencies of the US Government and the Bank have agreed to proceed with the loan in spite of the failure of the Yugoslav negotiations with the US bondholders. …” (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting B Series)

    Presumably Bohlen used this paper as the basis for his summary.