396.1 LO/5–1150: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting to the Acting Secretary of State


Secto 231. Latter half of meeting May 11 considered item 2 triparitite agenda.1 Meeting had before it new version of document on strengthening NATO, MIN/TRI/P/3,2 prepared by experts in morning. Deferred consideration this and MIN/TRI/P/23 (resolution) until later meeting.

Turning to 2b, Bevin suggested Schuman summarize French views as item had first been raised by French. Schuman referred to French proposal considered, but not agreed, by experts (TRI/P/15)4 which provided that representatives of US and Canada “enter into relations with the competent organs of the OEEC, with a view to examining the best methods of ensuring regular economic cooperation between the various countries concerned.”

In explaining background of proposal, Schuman referred to fact that present relationship between US and Western Europe provided by ERPOEEC relationship would change after 1952, that it was necessary for some more lasting relationship between US, Canada and Western Europe to be established and that it was not desirable to wait until 1952 before considering what that relationship should be. He indicated French had first thought might be possible to meet need by developing article II of NAT but that on further examination [Page 1041] realized a number of European countries would be excluded and cited Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Turkey and Greece. Added that French attach importance to European character of OEEC and did not wish any “radical change”. For these reasons considered best solution was to leave OEEC as it is for ERP period but to provide for association of US and Canada with OEEC after 1952. He felt it was not necessary to reach a final decision at this time on just what relationship would be but believed it would be of great interest to people to know that a continuing relationship had been provided for. He added that in making this proposal, French delegate had had in mind Bidault’s proposal. Although they realized their present proposal might not be the entire answer to the problem felt it attacked the problem on most practical basis, i. e., economic.

Secretary agreed with Schuman that it was desirable to consider question of post-1952 relationship now rather than waiting until end of ERP. Said further thought required on two aspects: (a) Substantive matters on which concerted action required, and (b) Means by which concerted action could be achieved.

It might well be that several organizations could be used. No reason why all joint action need be carried on by one organization. He indicated that substantive matters could be divided into three major categories: economic, defense, and political.

Beginning with economic, said we were now at mid-point in Marshall Plan. ERP based on assumption that barring unforeseen contingencies Western Europe generally should by end of period be free of need for extraordinary outside assistance, although possible developments in Southeast Asia and elsewhere made it impossible for anyone to predict with assurance. He added that some countries would obviously require continuing assistance and cited Austria. However, even granting full success of Marshall Plan, great adjustments on both sides of Atlantic were still necessary and it was clear that further cooperative efforts between Western Hemisphere and Europe were required. Furthermore, it was now necessary for both sides of Atlantic to make greater efforts in military field. Both these situations required an increase in productive plant, production, and productivity, and required access to necessary raw materials and markets. To achieve these ends greater progress was required towards convertibility of currencies, removal of quantitative restriction, lowering of tariffs, freer movement of people, and equitable treatment of German economy. Problem of markets raised problem of investment. It was important to make sure that funds were invested so that they strengthened [Page 1042] area and worked for benefit of economy of Western Europe. Progress in Europe along these lines was required but so was progress and effort in US and Canada. He emphasized necessity of joining efforts of US and action within Europe and suggested that if people could be made to see that security depended on cooperative efforts it would have powerful effect in all our countries.

Turning to military field, he stressed importance of progress on the medium-term plan and development of a balanced force. In political field, he felt there was no need to review all problems on which cooperative approach would be useful but emphasized need for joint action with respect to Germany.

Referring to problem of organization, Secretary said it appeared quite clear that no one organization could deal with economic, military and political questions. NAT could work out military. NAT plus further tripartite consultations might be sufficient for political. On economic questions he emphasized necessity of having experts who could work together quickly and effectively on specific problems.

He said we in US realized need to consider immediately what we should do to help solve dollar gap and referred to appointment of Gordon Gray. Indicated his hope that it would be possible to reach agreement with executive branch by middle of the summer on what US could do; that executive branch recommendations would probably be reviewed by some public commission; and that it might be possible to put legislation before Congress first of next year.

He felt US task would be helped and European tasks made easier if similar efforts were going on in Europe and if some connection between the two endeavors could be established. Thus momentum of Marshall Plan could be captured and carried on. Such joint action, with US itself, doing some of unpleasant things required to increase strength of west could give European peoples prospect of a vigorous community with strength to it.

For these reasons Secretary said he was attracted by Schuman’s proposal. OEEC already was a going concern with a competent staff which would continue into the future and not end with ERP. He indicated he had no specific organizational arrangements in mind but believed it would be possible to associate US and Canada with OEEC at various levels. He suggested that technicians might suggest what form this connection should take. He himself, wished simply to express view that OEEC was an excellent organization and that would be a mistake to lose it while looking for something new. He made it clear that economic questions related to military problems should not be dealt with by OEEC but by NAT.

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Concluding, he said that obvious no final conclusion could be reached until Canada had been consulted and suggested that question be discussed with Pearson.5

Mr. Bevin, obviously surprised at Secretary’s general support for Schuman proposal, indicated need for time to consider questions which had been raised and said he would have preliminary views tomorrow.

It was agreed that three Foreign Ministers would meet with Benelux Foreign Ministers Saturday afternoon to inform them of discussions on Germany.6

US distributed draft declaration on migration which will be considered tomorrow. Operative paragraph declaration.

“They believe, however, that in view of the importance and wide scope of the problem it would be desirable again to make a review of the activities of the various bodies concerned with the question, with a view to determining whether there are other and new approaches which could be undertaken. For this purpose they have agreed that they will designate experts to confer together after the conclusion of these meetings.”7

Sent Department Secto 231, repeated Paris 830.

  1. Close Association of European and North Atlantic Areas.
  2. For the text of this paper, see footnote 3, p. 1022.
  3. The text of MIN/TRI/P/2 is the same as that transmitted in Secto 143, May 4, p. 908, except for the revision of the first paragraph to read:

    “The Council agrees that in carrying out its tasks as defined in subparagraphs (a) and (b) of Council Resolution No. —, it will in particular be guided by the following general considerations.” (Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 20)

  4. Not printed.
  5. Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Foreign Minister.
  6. For a report on this meeting, see Secto 251, May 13, p. 1056.
  7. This is the third and last paragraph of the United States draft which was designated MIN/TRI/P/25 in the records of the conference. The first two paragraphs read:

    “In the course of their discussions the Foreign Ministers have recognized that the excess of population from which several countries in Western Europe are suffering is one of the most important elements in the difficulties and disequilibrium of the world. In particular it retards the efforts which are being made to assure greater economic unity in Europe. It contributes to the increase of unemployment with the grave social and political problem which this entails.

    “They also believe that the systematic exploration of opportunities for greater population mobility can contribute significantly to the solution of this problem. In this connection they have noted the valuable work on numerous aspects of the problem of migration which has been going forward within the OEEC, and the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies.” (Conference Files: Lot 59 D 95: CF 20)

    At their fifth meeting on May 13, the Foreign Ministers approved a revised draft of this paper, MIN/TRI/P/25 Final, with the following changes: in paragraph one the last two sentences were deleted; in paragraph two, the second sentence was revised to read “In this connexion they have noted the valuable work on numerous aspects of the problems of migration which has been going forward within the ILO, the United Nations and Specialized Agencies, and in the OEEC, and in particular the conclusions reached at the Preliminary Migration Conference which has completed its work at Geneva.” Paragraph three was revised to read:

    “They believe that in view of the importance and wide scope of the problem it would be desirable to make a general review of the various activities in this field with a view to determining whether there are additional approaches which could be undertaken. For this purpose they have agreed that they will designate experts to confer together after the conclusion of these meetings and to consult with the experts of other interested governments particularly Italy and Germany in view of their major interest in the problem.” (Ibid.)

    For a report on the fifth meeting, see Secto 246, May 13, p. 1052.