London Embassy Files: Lot 59 F 59: 320 FMC

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Head of the United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings (Jessup)

590. For Jessup from Bruce. Both Harriman1 and I had similar concern in regard to the results of the Bilateral Subcommittee meeting with British reported in Secto 56 April 30.2 However, since talking with Bohlen we understand that it is the report of an informal Subcommittee meeting which does not in any way commit the US to the positions set forth in this cable and will be subject to review on a higher level before presentation to the Secretary. With this in mind I am giving you my views as to the possible dangerous consequences which the formal adoption of the policy suggested in this cable might have on our general European policy.

If the special relationship on a world-wide basis implied in this cable becomes established US policy, I believe the consequences in [Page 961] regard to our other partners in the Atlantic community will be extremely harmful. A special relationship of this kind, which would in effect mean that the US and UK would formulate their policies bilaterally on a world-wide basis, could not under any circumstances be concealed from other countries. I believe it would be regarded on the continent as the abandonment by the US of any serious attempt at European or even Atlantic community integration in favor of an Anglo-American world alliance as the cornerstone of US foreign policy.
From past experience we could be certain that the British in their dealing with other European countries would make full use of this “special relationship” in order to develop the point of view that they are in effect an intermediary between the other European countries and the US.
I think we should recognize that the British desire for special relationship with the US is in fact indissolubly linked with their unwillingness with respect to greater participation in European affairs and will inevitably be so interpreted by Continental European Powers.

I know from Bohlen’s report that these considerations are very much in your mind in London and I am therefore sending them to you rather than to the Dep in order to avoid what might appear to be divided counsel to the Secretary. Should however the question of confirming the report of the Subcommittee as definite US policy arise before the Secretary’s departure, I would appreciate your transmitting my views and in general those of Harriman to him on this point.3

  1. W. Averell Harriman, Special Representative in Europe for the Economic Cooperation Administration.
  2. Ante, p. 890.
  3. In telegram 752, May 5, to Paris, not printed, Jessup told Bruce that he had had these considerations in mind during the discussions with the British. He reiterated that the report was a working-level document without governmental commitment and that it would be discussed further in Paris when Secretary Acheson arrived. (London Embassy Files: Lot 59 F 59: 320 FMC)