CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting A Series
Paper Prepared in the Department of State1
FM D A–2d2
U.S. Objectives and Course of Action in the May Meetings
- The original concept of the meetings with Bevin and Schuman was that we should exchange views on the developing world situation and seek to reach substantial agreement with them on the analysis of the situation and on our fundamental common objectives. This, it was thought, would be valuable and highly productive to prepare the ground for agreements at the meetings on certain specific actions and, more importantly, for subsequent agreements on other actions. We suggest that this exploratory discussion should still be regarded as the principal purpose of the meetings.
- Advantage was taken of your visit to Europe to schedule a meeting of the NAT Council. A second purpose of your talks with Bevin and Schuman is, therefore, to concert your action at the Council’s meeting.
- If this concept of the meetings is accepted, it will be very
important to prepare an introductory statement for you to use
with Schuman and Bevin which would:
- review the present world situation, including
- our relations with the Soviet Union, and the nature and seriousness of the threat to our security as a result of Soviet intentions and capabilities, including atomic capabilities;
- the progress which has been made in strengthening the West politically and economically and the importance of making further progress;
- the situation in the Near, Middle and Far East;
- indicate the main lines of action, the need for which
is indicated by the preceding review. These major lines
of action are:
- building up the defensive strength of the West;
- building up the economic strength of the West and of the free world generally;
- speeding up the integration of Western Germany with the West, and, if possible, to relax our controls in Western Germany;
- strengthening South and South East Asia to prevent their domination by Kremlin oriented Communist Governments, and coordinating certain actions with respect to the Near and Middle East;
- coordinating our propaganda effort and other phases of our policy toward the Soviet Union and the satellites;
- intensifying and integrating cooperative efforts to the extent necessary to deal adequately with the foregoing problems.3
- indicate that much work needs to be done with respect to all of these areas to determine just what action each country should take; that the U.S. desires to coordinate its efforts with those of the U.K. and France; and that in our view the major purpose of the meetings is to agree on actions with respect to some problems and, on other problems, how we can move ahead most rapidly to the development of coordinated programs of action.
- Against the background of the discussion which would be
elicited by such an opening statement by the Secretary, it would
then be possible to take up in more detail each of the six major
fields listed above and to seek agreement as to the next steps
in each, including agreement on certain specific actions under
each heading. We are, of course, not now in a position to
indicate finally what the U.S. policies should be on a number of
the issues related to these problem areas. Furthermore, any
action we may agree to at these meetings must be within the
framework of existing treaty commitments. As we now see it,
however, our position on each can be summarized as follows:
- Building up the defensive strength of the West. At the
North Atlantic Treaty Council meeting we should obtain
Council agreement to:
- Approve the reports of the Defense Committee and Defense Financial and Economic Committee and (a) initiate action [Page 1003] on an urgent basis to build up forces in accordance with the priorities of the medium-term defense plan, accepted as a first approximation and without awaiting the perfection of the medium-term plan. In this connection it would be desirable for us to indicate that we are actively considering plans to increase our military strength; (b) as a matter of principle, work toward the creation of balanced collective, rather than balanced national, forces; (c) direct the Defense Financial and Economic Committee to examine the economic and financial resources of members with a view to ascertaining their ability to finance additional military expenditures; and (d) direct the Defense Committee to develop an estimate of the cost of a strategically adequate defense plan setting forth priorities therein.
- Establish a Permanent Commission of the Council to study and recommend measures for the rapid implementation of the above and for coordinating the information activities of members which are related to NAT objectives.
- Adopt a series of resolutions to be made public which will assist in developing public support for the expanded defense program and which might deal with: (a) the establishment of the Permanent Commission; (b) the building of balanced collective forces; (c) the need of increasing the economic and military strength of the West; and (d) the general attitude of the West toward the Soviet Union.
- Building up economic strength in the West and in the
free world generally.
- Our position would be that, though we cannot make any commitments at this time, we are deeply and seriously engaged in a study of what adjustments this country can make to assist in a solution of the dollar gap problem; that our interest in a healthy and thriving European economy is a continuing one; that we are determined to do our part in achieving such economic conditions, and that we expect the European countries to do their full part.
- We would indicate that some aspects of this problem are being dealt with in the OEEC, but we would urge (a) that the European countries should get on rapidly with the job of establishing a satisfactory payments union, and that the technicians should redouble their efforts to work out a satisfactory payments union plan during the meetings so that this achievement could be announced; (b) that the European countries should rapidly eliminate remaining quantitative restrictions on trade with each other and make further progress in lowering other barriers to intra-European trade and that some commitments to this effect be included in any announcement on the payments union; and (c) that the European countries should reduce barriers to the movements of persons in Europe.
- We should make it clear that the foregoing steps are regarded as cooperative steps by sovereign nations and do not cloak any design to force the European countries to steps involving merger of sovereignty.
- Germany and Austria.
- We should explore and obtain British and French agreement to study jointly, through agreed machinery, measures required to further the integration of Western Germany with the West and, if possible, to relax our controls in Western Germany. This position is subject to modification, depending on a decision with respect to recommendations in a separate paper on Germany.4
- We should obtain British and French agreement to issue a joint declaration with respect to German unity; and
- We should obtain British and French agreement upon specific actions with respect to the Berlin situation, refugees and Soviet moves to create para-military formations in the Eastern Zone, and we should be prepared to discuss aspects of the internal economic situation, the Ruhr Authority, and ownership of the coal and steel industries.
- Our desiderata regarding Austria are subject to developments in current negotiations. However, it is likely that we will wish agreement on a three-power policy designed (a) to obtain a conclusion of the Austrian treaty negotiation, and (b) if such negotiations are not successful, a policy to serve temporarily in the absence of a treaty. It is also probable that we will wish to obtain agreement on measures to lighten the occupation burden on Austria, including the appointment of Civilian High Commissioners.
- The Near, Middle, and Far East.
With respect to the Near and Middle East, the meeting provides an opportunity for working-level talks on a variety of problems.
However, on the Ministerial level, we should (1) indicate our interest in the UK’s maintenance of strategic facilities in Egypt, and our hope for a satisfactory resolution of UK-Egyptian differences with respect to the Sudan and arising out of the 1936 treaty; (2) express our interest in political, economic, and social stability in Africa and explain U.S. objectives in Africa; (3) obtain agreement on certain aspects of arms shipments to the Near East, and particularly on a declaration by each of the three powers that they will not permit arms shipments to the Near East unless the recipient country gives formal assurances not to undertake aggression against any other state; (4) seek agreement that the British, French, and U.S. will issue statements following the meetings supporting the independence of Near Eastern states and opposing forcible violation of the frontiers of one Near Eastern country by another; and (5) discuss with the British our proposed program regarding Iran, and solicit their cooperation in presenting a united front to the Iranians, suggesting in addition that they could make a positive contribution by resolving the dispute over the AIOC contract.[Page 1005]
Regarding the Far East, we should: (1) discuss with the British the position regarding a Japanese peace treaty; (2) after reviewing the problem of preventing Communist control of Southeast Asia and Burma, confirm the responsibilities of and specific actions to be undertaken by the three powers in this area; (3) with respect to Indochina, obtain further information regarding the French program, and explain (a) that we regard the military and economic support of Indochina as primarily a French responsibility; (b) that we expect the French to live up to the letter and spirit of the March 8 agreements,5 and (c) that the U.S. is prepared to provide supplementary economic and military aid to the Associated States and France. (4) Indicate to the French that, in our view, they would be ill-advised to extend recognition to the Chinese Communists at this time. (5) Explain our position on the Chinese representation issue in the United Nations.
In addition to the above, we should discuss in general terms the colonial questions which have arisen in the United Nations in order to provide guidance for the bilateral discussions which will subsequently be held in Washington.
- Coordinating our propaganda effort and other phases of
our policy toward the Soviet Union and the satellites.
Under this heading we would discuss in more detail than in the introductory statement our relations with the Soviet Union and the satellites, with the purpose of exchanging views and exploring the adequacy of existing means of coordination of decision and action. We would discuss the need for developing further strength as a prerequisite to successful negotiations with the Soviets, and the tactics, timing, and arrangements with respect to any such negotiations. We would also wish to (1) obtain British and French agreement that we should neither encourage nor give a negative response to Lie’s proposal for a periodic Security Council meeting and that Lie should be informed that, while it is not now clear that fruitful results would be achieved by such a meeting, if it is later decided to hold such a meeting it should be held in New York just before the fifth General Assembly; (2) agree upon, although probably not on the Ministerial level, certain specific policies toward the Eastern European satellites; (3) reaffirm our agreement with respect to the importance of the Titoist schism, of providing economic assistance to Yugoslavia, and of consulting with respect to military aid, if and when the situation so warrants.
- Measures to achieve the greatly intensified and
integrated cooperative efforts, particularly in the
North Atlantic area, essential [Page 1006] to deal adequately
with the foregoing problems. These measures include:
- Making clear that the US fully recognizes its responsibilities in connection with these problems and that it is prepared to participate fully and jointly with the Western European nations on a continuing basis in dealing with them.
- Agreeing to participate fully with the UK, France and Canada, with consultation of other governments concerning including the German Federal Republic, in urgent study of the specific steps necessary to deal with these problems, and primarily (a) the defense of the West, (b) establishing the necessary economic base and (c) the integration of Germany into the West. Emphasis should be upon the action necessary and organizational questions should be considered only from the points of view of: (a) how can existing organizations be made more effective to deal with these problems, (b) what problems can not be dealt with adequately through existing agencies, and (c) what type of organization, if any, with what functions and what membership is necessary for more effective action in dealing with them.
- If we can obtain real agreement on the above, the meetings
would have been very important if progress in the above fields
could be made in the following months. What would remain to be
done to prepare for the meetings, if this approach is accepted
are the following things:
- Preparation of an introductory statement.
- Preparation of a summary paper for your use at the
meetings on each of the six major problems listed above
- Summarize the U.S. position and the supporting facts and provide cross reference to the position papers;
- state what we are trying to accomplish at the meeting and what our negotiating position is;
- list the specific issues under each general heading which the Secretary must take up personally, digest the U.S. position and what we are seeking to obtain, and provide cross references to the position paper.
- Preparation of draft resolutions and communiqués on which we would hope to be able to reach agreement on the bipartite, tripartite and Council meetings.6
- Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which indicated that this paper had been cleared within the Department of State and approved by Secretary Acheson.↩
- Two earlier drafts of this paper, FM D A–2 and 2a, dated March 29 and April 11, respectively, neither printed, are substantively the same as FM D A–2d. The comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this paper were transmitted to the Department of State on May 5, not printed. They concurred in the general approach to the problem but recommended strengthening the text to show the reasons for the United States courses of action. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting A Series and 396.1 LO/5–550)↩
- To cover the six items enumerated here, six series of papers were prepared by the Department of State, numbered FM D A–2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 2/5, and 2/6, respectively. Copies of the various drafts of these papers are in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 149: May FM Meeting A Series. Regarding FM D A–2/3, see footnote 4, p. 914.↩
- FM D A–2/3.↩
- For the text of the agreement, embodied in an exchange of letters between Vincent Auriol, President of the French Republic, and His Majesty Bao Dai, Emperor of Viet-Nam, of March 8, 1949, regulating relations between France and Vietnam, see Documents on International Affairs, 1949–1950, Margaret Carlyle ed. (London, Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 590–606.↩
- On May 1 and 2 Secretary Acheson, speaking from this paper, outlined to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee the general concept and objectives of the United States with respect to the London meetings. Reports on these two meetings, transmitted in Tosecs 51 and 60, May 1 and 2, neither printed, stated that both committees were “favorable” to this approach. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: Tosec Cables)↩