396.1 LO/4–3050: Telegram

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

top secret

Secto 56. From Jessup. Inference bipartite paper BI/P/5 April 29, 1950.1 Below is report of US–UK sub-committee which examined question of continued consultation on and coordination of policy.

“III Sub-committee—continued consultation on and coordination of policy. The sub-committee met on the 26th April.

2. The [A] short survey was made both of geographic areas with particular reference to the Middle East, and of functional fields. Certain points were identified in various areas for special discussions during the following week.

3. From a discussion on objectives and machinery the following general conclusions resulted without commitment on either side.

4. It is the common purpose of the two countries to build up the strength and closer unity of the non-Communist world.

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5. In working towards this purpose special burdens and responsibilities fall upon the United States and the United Kingdom. They would bear the principal brunt of action in the event of war, and they have common interests not only in the Atlantic area but throughout the world.

6. If they work at cross purposes the effort to build up the strength of the non-Communist world will be endangered, if not paralyzed.

7. In the light of these special responsibilities it is particularly desirable that, in the light of their obligations as members of the United Nations and of their other associations, there should be continuous consultation and close coordination of policy between them.

8. It was of course recognized that the development of closer consultation with other like-minded governments was desirable, and that opportunity should be taken to develop the practice, which already takes place in a wide field.

9. It would be of advantage if as a result of the present discussions common objectives could be identified, both in geographical areas and in functional fields. An attempt should be made to bridge such divergencies of view as may be found to exist. If there are points on which it is impossible for the time being to reach agreement, it should be the aim to limit, as far as possible, both the area of disagreement and the effect of such disagreement on other questions.

10. The committees which would be working during the following week should be asked to endeavor to prepare papers which would serve this purpose.

11. If such a body of common objectives can be worked out, it would be of advantage to arrange for periodical reviews of them as a whole. One suggestion was that this might be done in one of the two capitals between the Foreign Secretary and the Ambassador of the other at intervals of perhaps two months.

12. It was suggested that it was an essential principle in the coordination of policy that it should be contrary to the policy of either government to injure the other or take advantage of the other. On the contrary, it should be their parallel and respective aim, within their agreed objectives, to strengthen and improve each other’s position by lending each other all proper and possible support. The United Kingdom representative pointed out that this principle had already been recognized on both sides in a particular area, namely, the Middle East, and therefore would not constitute a new departure. It might be of advantage to consider whether each should inform the other in some appropriate manner that it was their aim to work on this general principle.

13. The suggestion was made that one field in which divergent attitudes might result in weakening of each other’s position in face of Communist attacks was the approach to colonial questions. It was felt that further discussion and consultation was desirable with the aim of avoiding misunderstandings and divergencies, both in general approach and in discussions in the United Nations. It was agreed that in this general category of questions the problem of Africa should receive special consideration.

14. As regards the United Nations, it was felt to be highly desirable to avoid divergencies at Lake Success and in general (subject always [Page 892] to special cases) to avoid situations arising in which one country found itself in the position of opposing or voting against the other. There might be advantage in extending the practice of consultation prior to important meetings of the United Nations.

15. It was also felt that consultation in the specialized agencies of the United Nations might be further developed and that delegations attending technical conferences, e.g. on radio frequencies, might be briefed more fully in the light of general common objectives.

16. In the strategic field it was noted with approval by both sides that the principle of close direct consultation was already established and was being put into effect.

17. United Kingdom representative suggested that the question of exchanges of security information, and certain questions concerning atomic energy, might require discussion later in the talks.

18. It was felt that increased coordination on information policies was desirable and should be further discussed. There might be scope for some additional machinery for this purpose.

19. It was felt that in the coordination of policy constant day by day exchanges of view played an important part. This was particularly valuable before policies were finally formulated. Constant contact between officials at appropriate levels was an important factor.

20. It was also felt that the appointment of officers specially qualified in particular fields to the respective Embassies had proved a valuable experiment which might be continued or developed with advantage. Latin America was one of the areas mentioned on which closer cooperation might be developed.

21. It was felt that consultation and coordination between American and British representatives in the field, as well as in Washington and London, was important and might be further developed where appropriate. In some areas representatives in the field have already been given a general directive in this sense. This might be further developed.

22. It was also felt that consideration might be given to assuring that appropriate procedures exist in each government for bringing to the attention of other departments and agencies the practice of consultation and the general policy considerations which should be kept in mind even in technical matters.

23. It was agreed that economic aspects of cooperation fell [sic] to be discussed in other sub-committees.”

  1. This report was designated UKUS/P/5 and dated April 29 in the records of the conference.