396.1 LO/4–2750: Telegram

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


Secto 31. From Jessup.

At first US-French bilateral this morning satisfactory preliminary exchange of views, understood to be informal and noncommittal, took place on NATO (agenda item 4a).1
Alphand leading officer for French centered discussion along 2 general lines:
Creation small executive body of NATO acting under general directive of Council to lay plans and take action on organization of defense and finance.
A new economic organization of the Western Powers, unrelated to NAT, to include present OEEC countries (he specifically mentioned Germany) plus US and Canada.
Principal problem to be tackled by NAT executive body would be coordination military and finance aspects of rearmament and its functions would be:
Drawing up of rearmament plan.
Division of production tasks between countries. Alphand explained that the body was not to be the purely economic one contemplated under Article 2 NAT. As for composition Alphand clearly thinking along lines of standing group although did not specify membership. French have not even decided whether representatives should be international civil servants or Government representatives or combination of both. Body should have wide powers of initiative and execution on terms of reference specifically agreed by Council, it being understood that all powers were by delegation from Council. Men should be of high level and first quality on full time basis.
Re new eastern [Western] economic organization, its functions should be purely economic but should also be directed toward countering Communist propaganda and its objective to avoid cyclical crisis in light of impact of rearmament on Western economies and in light assumed disappearance ECA 1952. It should not be an outgrowth of NAT nor derived from Article 2 of treaty, since Germany, Switzerland, [Page 895] and Sweden must be in new organization and are not in NAT. Not appropriate that Germany should become NAT member and Sweden and Switzerland (particularly latter) would be reluctant associate themselves with NAT whose military aspects conflict with neutrality concept. On other hand new organization should not be limited to present OEEC which should be allowed continue after 1952 as purely European organization possibly affiliated with Council of Europe. New organization should consist for study purposes of OEEC members plus US and Canada with consideration later being given to admitting other Western members.
Perkins for US stating US views on new NAT body not far apart from French outlined US position on creation permanent commission as contained in B–1.2 He stressed that in addition coordination of defense and financial policies, permanent commission could also consider where appropriate political, economical, and propaganda coordination. Likewise emphasized US view commission should be composed deputies all Council members and would in effect be Council sitting permanently at deputy level but with a fulltime staff under competent executive to act on specific problems. Basic need is for a focal point of decision which can now only be intermittently provided by Council. (Alphand agreed that was our mutual objective.)
Re Alphand’s proposed new Western economic organization Perkins stated US policy had not been crystallized but there had been some general thinking along lines of economic association including US, Canada, Germany and WU countries. He pointed out this was a problem which must be eventually approved by Congress.
After discussion Alphand suggested that from 3 ministers meeting decision might emerge to appoint a group possibly including Canada to contact a group of say 4 OEEC countries to consider problems basic to creation new organization.
Re location permanent commission, French had no views to offer. Jessup suggested and Massigli agreed that after further discussion of permanent commission in tripartite meetings our respective representatives on IWG in Washington should be advised our conclusions with view to sounding out other NAT members.

Sent Department, repeated Paris 669.

  1. The United States Delegation minutes of this meeting, US-FR Min 1, not printed, held in the conference room of the United States Embassy at 10:45 a.m., are in the CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 150: US-French Bipartite Meeting.
  2. Not printed; but see background paper of April 25 and footnote 1 thereto, p. 65.