396.1 LO/4–2850: Telegram

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


Secto 43. From Jessup.

1. US–UK bilateral meeting held this morning1 to review work sub-committee which met April 26 and to consider coordination information policy (DB–27a 2).

2. Makins opened with summary deliberations economic sub-committee which Labouisse had headed for US.3 Discussion he said had centered around UK viability by 1952, soft currencies, and UK stresses and strains. Re latter he had elaborated on political and psychological as well as economic factors involved and steps foreseen to obtain better equilibrium. Labouisse in turn had outlined measures which US thought UK should take. There had, Makins said, been general agreement [Page 887] re main objectives but differences on “immediate objectives” as regards both timing and approach. There had been doubts on US side re sincerity with which UK was pursuing matter and doubts on UK side on ability US to keep its economy out of trouble. US side also had doubts re UK internal policies with respect to both rigidity and use of resources and as to certain aspects sterling system. US side had explained reasons for rigidity and inability to take on more commitments. Sub-committee Makins said had concluded by agreeing that continuance discussions between US was most helpful and that bilateral talks should be extended as widely as possible. An agreed paper on problems involved would be drawn up for consideration but no decision by Ministers (paper will bear on items two and three bipartite agenda).

3. Labouisse said Makins summary represented fair estimate of discussion. There had been a number of points of difference between US and UK which were presumably due to economic and financial causes—US was concerned at times, however, as to whether or not there was agreement in principle. He agreed that close and frank consultations were best means of preventing difficulties.

4. Consideration then given to work of Perkins-Jebb sub-committee on relationship between UK and Western Europe. (Secto 20, April 26.4) In oral summary Jebb said that UK had been concerned that we wished to push her into steps leading to economic or political union Western Europe. Reiterated efforts pointed to unity are acceptable but not those leading to union. Perkins had explained that this was not our purpose although we felt that UK should take further steps towards Western European unity. British were, however, not entirely clear as to nature our proposals. There was developing situation in both Council of Europe and OEEC and Jebb would appreciate it if we would put our finger on things where we would like UK to go further. There were, however, certain points beyond which UK could not go where they would conflict with other obligations and commitments.

5. Jessup attempted to pin Jebb down, inquiring whether we were clear between ourselves where these points are. Latter avoided direct reply. There were, he said, certain proposals in C of E which provided majority vote could direct economic policy for whole area. UK didn’t like this and furthermore didn’t think that we would. Establishment some such organism politically impossible as both government and opposition opposed.

6. Perkins asserted our suggestions did not envisage impingement sovereignty although some loss sovereignty might occur in certain [Page 888] cases, as for example, all of us had given up part of it in entering into NAT. Jebb replied that he did not mean British opposed establishment organism in wider field but only in relationship to Europe. Sovereignty he continued was difficult to define. What he meant was that British do not want an organism which would result in “constitutional change”.

7. Perkins maintained nothing in our proposals involved such a change, mentioning EPU, elimination quantitative restrictions, lowering tariffs, freer movement peoples, general common economic policy in area and development OEEC. Part of this he said stems from our concern over Germany. It seems to us that there are certain things which could be handled jointly. There were also certain things in which we feel UK is holding back and that basically this is where issue lies.

8. Makins said “essentially” British accept these objectives. They wish an EPU but feel that they cannot accept certain forms of EPU put forward at Paris. Nevertheless some progress being made there. UK’s record was as good or better than others within balance payments position, and under satisfied [satisfactory] EPU they could go even farther. There were furthermore conflicts between policies being pursued by OEEC in these fields which have far-reaching implications and that OEEC is now trying to determine what these conflicts are. For example, Austrians and Norwegians maintain that further liberalization would lead to unemployment their countries.

9. Discussion then turned to question of UK leadership. Perkins said we feel that British should assume this and that other nations will hold back until they do so. UK representatives agreed that this was “fair point” but maintained that very fact that they are in role of leaders requires them to examine problems more thoroughly, and “because we point out difficulties, people think we are making difficulties.”

10. Jebb inquired whether we felt that UK’s acceptance our suggestions re EPU, would result in one market and further whether one market possible without economic or political union. Perkins replied that what US wants is a healthy Europe and to keep it developing. Furthermore none of things which we think should be done are very drastic. Jessup said that urgent situation now facing us necessitated reexamination of UK’s position in Europe and that of US in Atlantic community and vice versa. By way of hypothesis one solution would be merger into single state. This was out. We also reject idea of single Europe state with UK. Question was therefore what we should do short of these measures to solve problems confronting us.

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11. Makins inquired whether our objectives would be satisfied in “next period” if we saw EPU working, trade being liberalized, harmonization economic policies and continuing progress in both OEEC and C of E. In reply question he defined “harmonization” as clarification of effect of pursuing simultaneously several policies which may conflict with each other. Labouisse pointed out that there were additional steps such as rationalization of investment. Makins observed this was now major subject of study in OEEC. Hall asserted liberalization was beginning to “bite” through creation dislocations. Makins said he understood US was not urging UK to enter any “institutional adventures” in Europe. Labouisse dissented, asserting we felt there were institutional arrangements which British could and should enter such as EPU.

12. In reply Makins question Perkins said that we do not feel that OEEC and C of E should necessarily continue as separate entities but that their functions should. Makins remarked that pull of C of E is stronger and that there is feeling that it might eventually take over OEEC’s functions. For time being, however, he considered that both should continue as separate institutions. Perkins indicated that we had no particular views on that score although probability was that they would eventually merge.

13. It was agreed that the economic sub-committee would draw up a paper for consideration UK–US bilateral meeting May 2.

14. Wright then summarized work sub-committee with Jessup (Secto 33, April 275). Central thought had been that we had major common purpose to build strength and unity non-Communist world and that in this relationship each of us has special burdens and responsibilities to bear. It must further be recognized that if either of us weakened or hurt other, entire structure would fall. Hence it was desirable that we get our general relationship to each other clear in our own minds. Wright then stressed need to improve bilateral machinery, closer cooperation in colonial and information fields, coordination at all government levels and avoidance insofar as possible divergencies in UN. Re consultation on colonial matters, he suggested that discussions should preferably be held in London. Parrott6 has mentioned this to Raynor and British apparently will press for changing locus later bilateral colonial discussions Washington to London.

15. Jessup expressed general agreement with Wright’s summary and advised him that we had certain suggestions to make on paper which British had drawn up on subcommittee meeting.7

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16. Consideration then given to US paper on coordination of information (DB–27/18) with which Warner9 said UK basically in agreement. He concurred desirability coordination on national programs but pointed out difficulty of setting up 12-power body for this which would have more possibilities for “stalling than stimulating”. Hence it would be useful to discuss precise degree of coordination required and machinery to attain it. Once we had reached common line matter could be discussed with French and thereafter considered at NAT council.

17. Meeting agreed that matter would be discussed further after arrival P area representative.

18. At conclusion meeting Wright stated Massigli had expressed regret Middle East not included on Tripartite agenda. He had, he said, taken line that we wished to limit matters for consideration of Foreign Ministers to those of crucial importance such as Germany, China and Indochina and therefore did not feel it necessary to include Middle-East. Jessup and Raynor agreed that if possible we should not include Middle-East on tripartite agenda.

Sent Department Secto 43, repeated Paris 684.

  1. This fourth U.S.–U.K. bilateral meeting was held April 28 at 10:30 a. m. in the Foreign Office.
  2. Not printed; FM D B–27a, “Coordination of Public Information Activities under North Atlantic Treaty,” recommended that the United States seek NATO Council agreement along the following lines:

    • a. Each country to continue to have responsibility for developing the most effective public information program.
    • b. Article 2 of the Treaty should be implemented (1) to provide for the exchange and coordination of information material within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and (2) to concert the information policies of the Member governments, in furtherance of the objectives of the North Atlantic Treaty.
    • c. The Council to agree on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization machinery most appropriate for the task and, if possible, issue the necessary directive. From the United States viewpoint, the most appropriate body to handle this task would appear to be a unit within the additional central NATO machinery the establishment of which is now under consideration by the Treaty members. It would not, for reasons stated above, be designated as the ‘North Atlantic Treaty Information Bureau’, or any similar title, but would act as a clearinghouse where information relating to the policies as well as the information projects of the different members could be exchanged and where the different Pact governments could keep each other informed of the scope of their programs, the problems encountered, and how best to solve them. The representatives could work together on common information projects and appropriate information material could also be exchanged which might be suitably adapted by other members for use in their own programs. Arrangements should also be made for it to develop appropriate information from the Defense Finance and Economic Committee, the Military Production and Supply Board, the Standing Group, and other NATO bodies for release to the respective governments for their use in their information programs.”

    If this proposal were adopted, it should not be allowed to interfere with existing bilateral or multilateral arrangements and should support the objectives and purposes of the United Nations Charter. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting B Series) An earlier draft of this paper, FM D B–27, dated April 11, contains the same recommendations, as does a subsequent draft, FM D B–27/1, dated April 22, without the admonition about existing bilateral and multilateral arrangements, neither printed. (CFM Files, ibid.)

  3. A memorandum reporting the results of the first two meetings of the economic subcommittee, dated April 27, not printed, is in the London Embassy Files: Lot 59F59: 320 FMC.
  4. Ante, p. 881.
  5. Ante, p. 884.
  6. Cecil C. Parrott, Head of the United Nations (Political) Department of the British Foreign Office.
  7. Not found in Department of State files.
  8. Not printed, but see footnote 2 above.
  9. Presumably Christopher F. A. Warner, Assistant Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.